Top 10 free blogging tools
Are you looking for some free blogging tools? There is a list of them in this article.
My friend Ted has always loved the idea of blogging, and he aspired to be the next Linda Ikeji of Nigeria. Yes, he aimed so high and set boundaries that were admirable. Every time I saw him, he was always with his laptop, sorting things out to ensure that his blogging career was successful.
With high hopes, we kept anticipating his breakthrough. After all, we have seen many people turn out to be bloggers in Nigeria, but to reach the heights that Linda Ikeji has attained will be a great feat.
Ted kept on striving, and he has been successful. I am not here to say that he has surpassed his goals as he is still pushing. But, I can say that he is on the right path, and many of you should look out for him in some years.
However, that is not the main focus of this article. Once a person is successful in a certain path, others are bound to emulate. So, it was not surprising that some people also wanted to go down the blogging path, and they have been asking Ted for tips.
Ted usually gets diverse questions, and one of them is when people ask for recommendations on free blogging tools.
Below are some of the top free blogging tools on his list:
It is almost impossible to talk about blogging without mentioning WordPress as it is one of the biggest blogging platforms globally. WordPress has about 60% shares in content management system marketing. It shows that the platform is the most popular when it concerns content management systems.
As a newbie in blogging, WordPress is one of the best platforms to use as it is user-friendly. Ted usually tells people that your work area makes your work fun. If your work area is not enticing, you would not have the zeal to keep working.
In terms of blogging and WordPress, you will see that WordPress is easily customizable. So, you can set up different styles you desire.
Imagine getting free hosting and domain name without needing to pay for it. It is what you get to enjoy with WordPress. So, it should not be shocking that you will see many blogs or websites that end in .wordpress.com.
To ease into blogging, you need a platform that does not give you much stress, and you can enjoy this with WordPress. Once you have figured out how to pass your information to people, a huge part of your blogging work is settled. So WordPress can be that platform.
As a blogger, you cannot do with designing pictures and other graphics. So, if you think you can run away from this, you are in for something else. Graphics is helpful in so many aspects and can be what sets your blog apart from others.
Understandably, you might not be a pro graphics designer. However, you need to know some basics to ensure that you excel at blogging.
Sometimes, we see that people outsource the graphics design side of blogging. But as a beginning, you cannot afford to do such as it would cost you a lot. However, you can get a platform that helps beginners in graphics design at no cost. Yes, Canva is that platform.
Canva is a tool loaded with enough easy-to-use features and functionalities that anyone can use in creating a variety of engaging content that gets shared. With Canva, you can make infographics, featured images, and other visuals that align with your blog and post. In addition, you can use Canva to create appealing and compelling visuals that would interest your audience.
You get to experience zero stress and difficulty as a beginner using this app. But, if you feel that you have gone past the beginner level, you can decide to upgrade and get the paid version of the app.
As a blogger, you will always need information, which has to do with statistics and analysis. So, what better way to get such than with Google analytics?
It helps you gather data and learn a lot about your blog. For example, with Google Analytics, you get to learn about your most popular articles, most popular visiting country, best-performing traffic days, best-converting sign-up page, where your traffic/audience is coming from, and whether your visitors are on mobile phones, desktops, or laptops.
These demographic data from your visitors help you find out more about their interests, and these are only scratching the surface; once you start digging, there is no end to what you can find.
Google Analytics can help you learn what works best on your site and where to concentrate your efforts, e.g., if your readers love a particular theme of posts, you can make sure to produce more of them. As a result, it pushes more traffic to that page.
If you put all this information to use, your blog will rank so high that people may start to imagine you are doing magic. It is best always to remember that passing your competitors may be gotten from your analysis.
How do you market your blog at the initial stage? You can go about it in many ways, but an advisable way would be to have an email list. If you can garner a database of emails of your target audience and always send new posts to their emails, you can be sure of getting views.
Suppose you are sending out 100 emails whenever you make a new post. You can be sure that at least a quarter of the persons will open the link and get on your blog. However, it is left to your content to captivate them, keep reading, and even share your link with others.
But, you will need a way to manage your mailing list, and this is where MailChimp comes in, as the name implies. Many services can help you with your mailing list, but this one does it for free. It saves you a lot of stress and time as it manages your list and comes through in automation.
However, the free service comes with a clause. You can only use it for free until you get to a certain number of email users. By that time, you will have hopefully gained your ground in the blogging sphere.
Google keyword planner
The goal of any blogger isn’t just to have a blog but for their blog to rank high in search engines. For example, suppose you are a blogger in the tech industry. The goal is to ensure that your blog is one of the first to pop up when people search for anything tech-related. But, this will not be possible if you do not know the targeted keywords to use.
Certain keywords should be in your blog post, depending on the title of your article. It ensures that it ranks high. Understandably, you will need help getting these keywords, and that is where Google keyword planner comes to play.
Creating a blog post targeting a particular keyword is the best way to grow your organic traffic from Google. With Google Keyword Planner, you get those most searched for words and input them into your blog. This way, your blog becomes part of the top sites that pops up when that word is searched for on Google.
Google Keyword Planner lets you enter a series of keywords, and Google returns results on search volume and popularity, and related keywords that might spark an idea for you. These ideas come in handy for creating a blog post.
It is sometimes easy to get overwhelmed as a blogger, and you will lose track of what you are doing. It is why you need to get a type of planner or guide that helps you keep track of your thoughts or activities.
Typically, many people will choose the old-fashioned way of writing things down with pen and paper. But, will you always be able to carry that jotter everywhere you go? What you need is something that aids convenience and will be with you on the go. So, it would be best if you had something digital.
Evernote comes in as that free tracking app that lets you arrange and keep track of everything without charging a fee. Evernote makes organization very easy for bloggers. It can capture anything from web pages to images, text and voice notes, ideas, projects, and much more are captured and organized in such a detailed manner that helps you as a blogger not to lose track.
Suppose a random note hits you when you are in a busy area. You can open your Evernote app and make a voice note. Yes, it’s that easy. With Evernote, you can do so much in a very detailed manner.
Again, we cannot help but emphasize that it is easy to get overwhelmed as a blogger, especially when you are new in the addition. In addition, time, they say, is money. Also, we are sure that you’ve heard many people say that how you make your bed is how you will lay on it.
Understandably, you will get overwhelmed. But, how do you navigate it? So, it is important to note that you need to find a way around it immediately, as every time you waste will be at the expense of your blog.
My hours is an app that can assist you in monitoring the time you spend doing various activities, so you now keep track of what you do and how to apportion your time.
It is a time tracking tool that ensures effective use of your hours; tracking your time aids in ensuring effectiveness and productivity. As a blogger, you feel there is so much to do with so little time to accomplish them. And, there are also times when you feel that you are wasting your hours. However, you can solve all these with My Hours. This tool would help you keep track of your activities, know what you’ve been up to, review your hours and know what to and what not to cut off.
Understandably, people have various preferences. Suppose you are not satisfied with using the My Hours app; you can opt for Toggl. Sometimes, we even see people who use both applications. It goes to show the importance of time to bloggers and even all humans.
Almost every human struggles with time management, and a blogger will not be an exception. So, it is wise to utilize all means to ensure that you are not wasting your essential hours.
While it is not a given that you will become a famous blogger in months, you are sure to be on the right track if you know how to manage your time.
Toggl is also a free time tracking software. With Toggl, you get to have tracking reminders that keep you updated on activities and tasks you are to carry out. So, for example, if you log in that you are supposed to carry out a specific task by 3 pm, you get a reminder by that time, ensuring that you do not forget to do it.
Staying on track with your activities goes a long way in boosting productivity. In addition, it is another tool that helps a blogger to manage their time.
It may seem like there is always emphasis on time management, but records have shown that it serves as an obstacle for many bloggers. When talking with some new bloggers, and even those who have been in the industry for a long time, they mention how they wish to work with tools that have automation services.
Well, you can get one for free with Hootsuite. It is that service that helps with social media management. You do not need to worry about posting at a particular time as the software can do it for you.
Suppose you have noticed that your social media audience is always active at a specific time. So, you always try to post at that time, say noon. However, you have an important engagement that does not give you time for your phone that day. So, what are you going to do?
Instead of panicking or not posting at all, you can use Hootsuite to automate the post. You will see that the post will go through at the specific time you desire. Now, you can automate all your posts and have more time on your hands to do other things.
The Grammarly application works exactly as the name implies. It helps check your grammar, ensuring that it comes out in a readable format. As a blogger, one of the biggest turnoffs for your audience is making posts with bad grammar. Once they cannot understand what they are reading, they will not bother checking out other posts.
Also, when they are talking about your blog with people, they will only give negative reviews reducing your ratings. But when your content is written perfectly and is engaging, you are sure to get a lot of readers.
Understandably, it is hard always to write perfectly when you are making many posts in a day. It is why the Grammarly platform is there. It has a free and paid version. As a beginner trying to gain ground, you can start with the free version that eliminates bad grammar.
With this tool, you run your finished work through a test that analyzes it to ensure it is comprehendible and easy to understand. It takes little to no time to do this and gives you a great output. Now, your blog can stand out from the crowd as you are not presenting your audience with bad grammar.
Of course, people are bound to have many questions about blogging and blogging tools. So, here are some of the frequently asked questions:
How can I blog for free?
Earlier, we highlighted that WordPress is one of the blogging platforms that let you blog for free. However, some people do not like it because the website will end in .wordpress.com. But, that is the clause that comes with it. When you think you are ready to start paying, you can upgrade to remove the watermark or move to another platform. So, use WordPress to start blogging for free.
How do bloggers get paid?
Although that is not the main focus of this article, bloggers get paid in many ways. Understandably, one would want to make money from blogging before venturing into it. Bloggers can be paid through Ads, sponsored posts, cost per impression, affiliate marketing, etc.
Starting as a blogger is never easy, but it can be easier to start using some free blogging tools. Then, at least, you can minimize the amount of money you spend before the money starts coming in.
Get working with these tools and come back and drop your comments. Have you used any of these tools before? What are your thoughts?