Are you aware of bloggers’ two most important priorities?
They are saving money and saving time.
This post, an update to my 2016 post 89 Best Free Blogging Tools That Will Save You Time Blogging, does just that.
The sites and apps I’ve discovered since the original post’s publication have been added. Sites no longer in existence have been removed.
These websites and apps make blogging so much easier you might wonder if they are free. Have no doubts. They all are.
The blogging tools are presented in alphabetical order.
Let’s get to them.
Free Blogging Tools
April 2021 Update:
Socialert helps you to spy on your competitors so you can find what content of theirs went viral. You can do Twitter analytics for keywords and accounts, brand names, and hashtags. With the help of Socialert, you can do a complete Twitter audit for any Twitter account.
- Accessify will analyze your site’s loading speed and make recommendations for improvements.
- Ahalogy I used to use Ahalogy to schedule all my Pinterest pins to my boards and community boards. I am such a fan.
- Alexa has your blog’s Alexa score. Many experts revealed they won’t subscribe to someone’s blog if that person doesn’t have a low Alexa score.
- AnswerthePublic This fascinating site gives you blog topic ideas as well as ideas for long-tail keywords. Blogger Julie Kaulpali called it “fun” to use. I actually enjoyed seeing the extremely specific analytics. Make blogging decisions based on your reader preferences, which it will share with you. I will give you fair warning: When you get there, you will see a man waiting for you. His name is “The Seeker”. At one point, he started picking his teeth while he was waiting for me. As Julie expressed, a “fun” site to use. I was shocked to see how many ideas showed up when I typed in my niche, blogging.
- aSleep You don’t have to use the app to go to sleep. However, it produces white noise that will allow you to block out distracting background noise when you are trying to blog. If you find listening to the sound of the rain or the wind more relaxing than noisy neighbors when you are trying to blog, try the app.
- Backlink Checker tells you which sites have linked to you.
- BeFunky Photo Editor I find BeFunky quick to use and user-friendly. [Read: This is How You Spruce Up Your Visuals with 3 Free Tools]
- Bounce Rate can be found at Alexa.com. Its analytics are important. It will tell you how long people are staying on your blog and how many pages on your blog they are viewing. [15 Guaranteed Ways to Make Your Bounce Rate Look Amazing]
- Buffer is my choice for social media scheduler but only allows up to 10 links to be scheduled at one time for free. [Read: 17 Reasons Buffer Will Blow Your Mind]
- Buzzsumo.com shows you trending topics. If you write about popular topics, you will be more likely to get page views. Blogger Harsh Agrawal recommends Buzzsumo. “You can use this information to discover what content performs best for your targeted keyword so you can create an even stronger article and get it to outrank your competitor’s.” UPDATE 2019: Buzzsumo is no longer free.
- Canva: Once the graphic is the way you want it, put it into Canva. There are free backgrounds, and templates with text are already designed for your use. If you’d prefer, you can just write the text and not use a predesigned template. You can crop once you’re in Canva as well. [Read: How to Use Canva: A Quick Guide]
- Capitalize My Title I used to pride myself on my capitalization, but it’s reassuring to know the site is there if I need it. This free site is great for those of you that have trouble remembering your capitalization rules! It capitalizes your headline for you while you type, and then lets you copy the headline to your post.
- Check Page Rank is Google’s way of checking your blog’s importance. However, Google’s score is based on quality backlinks. The more quality backlinks, the higher the score, and the better the blog. (Note: Subscribers to MostlyBlogging have access to a Link Exchange where we strive to build quality backlinks.)
- Click to Tweet This site enables others to promote your posts for you. [Read: How to Simultaneously Blog & Promote Your Post: Click to Tweet]
- CommentLuv is a WordPress plugin that encourages others to leave comments on your blog. Although there is a free version, I pay to use the premium version. [Read: How to Use CommentLuv to Easily Get Blog Comments]
- Commun.It is a Twitter tool. It shows you the bloggers in your niche, along with the influencers in your niche. If you want to follow them, you can. It tells you who has retweeted you, so if you want to return the blog love and retweet their links, you can do that as well.
- Content Curation sites Pinterest, Flipboard, StumbleUpon, Medium, and Reddit are great places to do research for an article. Many have a bonus of bringing traffic to your blog if you use them correctly.
- ContentIdeator Stuck for a headline idea? Plug your topic into this website.
- Content Row Not feeling terribly creative? Let this site do the thinking for you. Warning: The site prides itself on creating click-bait headlines for you: headlines so outlandish people won’t be able to resist clicking on them. For example, I plugged “Blogging Tools” into their generator. This is the headline it produced: The Rise of Blogging Tools and How to Make it Stop.
- Copyright Infringement Notice: Everyone should have access to a Copyright Infringement Notice that you can put in your sidebar. This will deter plagiarizers.
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer Is my go-to headline analyzer. The best part is that it tells you what you are missing in your headline so you can get a higher score.
- Crowdfire is a Twitter tool. I use it to quickly unfollow people who aren’t following me. You can load your data in order of most recent or least recent. UPDATE 2019: Crowdfire no longer unfollows people who aren’t following you back on Twitter.
- Dropbox helps you store all kinds of documents and data. Open your data wherever you are. No hard drive is needed. Never lose your documents or photos again. You will always have them handy since Dropbox is both an app and a website. [Read: The Most Effective Solution for Blogging Crises: Dropbox]
- DrumUp has a Twitter queue so I can keep retweeting my tweets even after my Buffer queue has filled up. DrumUp also puts your posts into an RSS Feed which you need for some sites. I go to DrumUp to find content to retweet. Also, at DrumUp you can automatically send your articles to an RSS feed. At Klout, your articles will appear if you send to an RSS feed. (Note: Klout folded.) DrumUp has a Chrome extension to make it easier to share content from the web. You can preschedule at DrumUp so you aren’t bombarding your social media followers with reshares all at once. You will get notifications from DrumUp so you will know when your queue is empty. You can even create a custom post at DrumUp. The site has analytics so you can see how your posts are doing. A Twitter user recommended DrumUp to me. I agree it’s worthwhile.
- Easel.ly: I find myself repeatedly returning to Easel.ly when I need an infographic. [Read: How to Make an Infographic in 5 Minutes: Easel.ly]
- Editorial Calendar. You need an editorial calendar to plan your content. Variety, they say, is the spice of life. You can’t give readers variety if you’re not planning. You can write it on paper. I use WordPress’s editorial calendar.
- Email is a great tool whether you use Aweber, MailChimp, or another choice. Email each other off the blog, link to blogging collaborators, Email your new subscribers with a Click to Tweet included; the reasons to use email for blogging are endless.
- Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer will analyze the merit of your headline for you. This tool actually takes the guess-work out of headline writing, so the effectiveness of your headline is no longer subjective.
- Evernote The value of Evernote is not overrated. I use it for blogging use as well as for personal to-do lists. You can add a photo you are planning to feature with your article to your Evernote so you won’t forget what photo you had in mind. Evernote is still free for up to use on two devices. [Read: 19 Free Ways to Fire Up Your Creativity– Evernote]
- Facebook is a great tool for bloggers. You can join Facebook groups with threads that relate to your blogging niche, expand your community by meeting like-minded bloggers, and join Facebook groups with people that share your blogging goals. The site has an app so you can visit on your phone. [Read: This is How Facebook Can Always Help You Blog Better]
- Facebook Analytics I have not personally used Facebook Analytics, but if you’re interested, it’s a free report.
- Facebook Live Streaming Today, to join in on the trend to use videos, bloggers are using Facebook Live Streaming. Blogger Ryan Biddulph uses this free blogging tool as a way of giving information to his readers. He even used it to present information to my readers when he guest posted on this blog.
- FeedInformer I’ve never used the site, but if you ever need an RSS Feed for your blog, you might consider it.
- Fiverr You can outsource any job you need to Fiverr for just $5.00. You can get jobs there too. [See information about Fiverr and Upwork in this article about Fiverr and Fiverr alternatives.]
- Focus Booster App will actually turn off your ability to browse the internet so you can focus on your blogging.
- FotoJet is an amazing free photo-editing site. I use it when I want to highlight certain words or make them glow.[Read: 17 Ways Fotojet Will Quickly Help You Blog Better]
- Fotor is a free photo-editing site. In addition to editing a photo and transforming it into a Pinterest graphic using templates or your own editing, there is an uncommon feature found at Fotor. You can use the Double Exposure Image Effect which I have not seen at other photo-editing sites. [Read: How to Quickly Make Your Images Shine with Fotor]
- Free Range Stock Photos: Since I take all my own blog photos, I have never used Free Range Stock Photos, but when my guest author blogged about the site, my readers got so excited, I wanted to be sure to mention it here.
- Google Keyword Planner Bloggers dream of being on the front page of Google. This site will enable you to tag your posts so Google can find you. [Read: How to Easily Get Your Blog Found on Google: Google Keyword Planner]
- Google Analytics Whether or not you self-host, you have access to the information available on Google Analytics to varying degrees. Let the data it reveals to you guide your future planning. [Read: How to Increase Your Blog Traffic Using Google Analytics]
- Google Alerts will Email you if a new story in your blogging niche is published.
- Google Calendar I just sent another blogger an invitation to collaborate using Google Calendar. It may sound silly to say my husband and I love this tool. We live in the same house, why don’t we just talk to each other? If I have a blogging conference or if my blogging schedule supersedes any social plans I want Wayne to schedule, I put it on my Google Calendar (I have a separate color for blogging,) and Wayne is kept apprised of my schedule. Also, you could use it to keep your blog’s editorial calendar. I logged in and saw my subscribers’ birthdays. How cool is that!
- GoogleDocs I find more valuable as the days progress. Recently, I had questions about a guest post for the author. I pasted it into GoogleDocs where we both looked at and discussed the article in real-time. You can access it anywhere you have the Internet in case your notes are on it. [Read: 25 Ways Google Docs Will Make You a Better Blogger]
- Google Keep This fantastic app keeps electronic post-it notes for you. You can color code them. For example, I have a color for my blogging notes, a color for my personal notes, and a color for my work notes. You can even pin to the top of the notes if a note is time-sensitive. You can archive them as well.
- Google Rank Checker will tell you what position in Google’s search engine pages you rank for different keywords.
- Google Search Console is part of Google Webmaster Tools (See next tool.) Go to Webmaster Tools. Under the “Search Traffic” category, you will see the “Search Analytics” tab. Scroll down to see which keywords people are using to find your site. Use these keywords in future posts; they are working for you!
- Google Trends: Type in your blogging niche at the top. Scroll down to see which keywords people are using to find your topic. Continue to use them!
- Google Webmaster Tools has interesting analytics about your site. Click “Search Analytics, Links to Your Site” and you will see what sites are linking to you and what your top five most linked to content is.
- Grammarly.com is a free site that will check your grammar for you. Supposedly, the site is able to catch 250 more grammar errors than your word processor. [Read: Never Make Grammar Mistakes Again–How to Use Grammarly]
- Hashtags: Hashtags are used to categorize information on many social media sites. When used correctly, hashtags can increase your visibility. By increasing reader awareness of your online presence, you have the potential to significantly increase traffic to your site.
- Hashtagify.me shows you relevant hashtags. You want like-minded bloggers to be able to find you on Twitter. This site will tell you what hashtags to use with your Tweets, so they can.
- Hashtags.org has a free membership. The site can tell you what’s trending on Twitter.
- Hooked Line Dynamic is helpful for writing headlines and also helpful for writing Email subject lines. Blogger Sara Duggan recommends the site. I have also found it helpful.
- Hootsuite is a free, unlimited social media scheduler. Bloggers need to use social media to promote their blogs. Save time, and let Hootsuite do your scheduling on social media for you. [Read: Can We Really Trust Hootsuite?]
- Hubspot will offer you three headline ideas, and then charge you after that.
- Hubspot’s Website Grader will assess your blog’s headline strength, SEO, and mobile readiness, among others.
- IFTTT (a.k.a. If This, Then That) is an amazing app. You create recipes of causes and the effects you want to happen. For example, if it is going to rain the next day, IFTTT lets me know, so I can dress appropriately and bring an umbrella. My students and my readers need me. I wouldn’t be much good to them if I were sick. Many bloggers use IFTTT to connect their social media accounts. When I publish a new post, IFTTT posts my link on Twitter and Facebook. [Read: 27 Ways to Use This Amazing Free App That Will Make You a Happy Blogger: IFTTT]
- Inbound.org: Inbound is a great site to learn more about blogging as well as make new blogging connections.
- Instagram: The filters are amazing. Use them to spruce up your blog photos and draw attention to your blog.
- Just Retweet is an important site if you are looking for people to tweet your links for you. You tweet other users’ links for credits. Then, you use those credits to post your links. You must budget as you decide how many credits you’ll pay users to tweet your links.
- Keyhole Type in a keyword. Check out the analytics on either Twitter or Instagram.
- Keyword Rank Checker Shows you how other blogs rank for your keyword.
- Klout Use Klout to find people in your niche to follow on social media and to discover your degree of influence in the blogosphere. [Read: How to Be a Powerful Blogging Influencer with Klout]
- Links should go without a mention, but many bloggers don’t think of them. Linking to your other articles helps your SEO. Linking to other people’s articles gives you credibility as well as helping your SEO.
- MailChimp, a free Email tool, is easy to use, offers A/B testing, and has analytics.
- Manage Flitter, a Twitter tool will help you find people to unfollow on Twitter. You might want this option if they aren’t following you back. I find the site faster than most with the same function.
- Nimbus captures screenshots. It will allow you to edit them as well if you want to highlight certain areas of the screenshot for your readers. Nimbus is a browser extension.
- OpenLinkProfiler is a backlink analysis tool. It enables you to analyze the active backlinks of any website. These are the links that influence the position of your website on Google and other search engines.
- Open Site Explorer will analyze your links for you. Those interested in No Follow and Do Follow Links may find this an interesting site.
- Pablo: I had fun making my first graphic with Pablo, and it only took what felt like a matter of seconds. I wanted to send my graphic accompanying my article to my MailChimp subscribers, but my graphic was on another computer. I used Pablo and had a new graphic almost immediately. [Read: This is How You Spruce Up Your Visuals with 3 Free Tools]
- Paint: I use Paint for cropping my graphics. My screenshots have been modified in Paint. I circle the important elements in red and then save them to my desktop. You can write on your graphics in Paint as well.
- Periscope An app that allows you to live stream from your phone. [Read: Do You Need More Popular, Free Blogging Tools? Try Periscope]
- Phone: I couldn’t blog without my mobile phone. I use the camera on my phone to take blog photos, and I have countless apps that help me with my blogging.
- PicMonkey is a popular photo-editing site. I always liked the effect of the textures I could use at the site. [Read: How to Easily Use a Free, Popular Photo Editing Site: PicMonkey]
- Piktochart: At Piktochart, you can create infographics, presentations, or banners. The site is versatile, free, fast, and easy. The graphics can easily be downloaded onto your computer and uploaded onto a blog post.
- PinGroupie is a Pinterest Community Board Finder. PinGroupie has analytics so you will know how many members are pinning to the board and how recently they have been active.
- Pinterest allows me to store my blog photos on virtual bulletin boards. After they have been seen by my readers, the graphics continue to work for me on the bulletin boards by providing advertising for my blog articles. Pinterest has a great shelf life. Years later, you might find people clicking on your graphics and bringing traffic to your site. Pinterest has an app, so you can always access it.
- Pinterest Community Boards provide a great resource. You can meet like-minded bloggers who are pinning to the same board. The best part is many boards have hundreds or even thousands of people pinning to them. Think of all that increased exposure when you pin your post graphics to the boards. (Note: Subscribers of MostlyBlogging have access to a Pinterest group board. Leave a comment in the comment section that you’d like to be added to the board if you are a subscriber.)
- Pixabay The beauty of Pixabay is the photos are royalty free. You can have peace of mind when you use stock photos from Pixabay in case you’re worried about getting sued for photo theft.
- Plagiarism Checker Have you ever been sent a guest post and wondered if the content is original? Plagiarism Checker is fast, free, and easy.
- Portent: Like with Contentrow, the folks over at Portent tend to offer silly, albeit entertaining, headline ideas.
- Publicize will post your articles to social media for you. It’s part of the WordPress platform under “Publish”.
- QuillEngage will analyze your site and Email you your reports of your analytics.
- Quora When you answer questions at Quora, you are establishing yourself as an expert in your niche. Also, you are allowed to link to your articles. When people click, you get traffic and a link from Quora. [Read: How to Be a Better Blogger with Quora]
- Read More Tag: In the WordPress dashboard, if you hover over the Insert Read More Tag icon, you will be able to insert a page break. This has two advantages. First, you will get double page views since readers will have to click twice to read your entire article. Next, your home page will fit more articles, so as readers scroll down, they might find more to interest them.
- Recite All you do is type in an important quote from your article, select your style, and click “create.” Before clicking, you can see how your quote will look in every design. Pick your favorite! You can put the graphic in your post or upload it to various social media sites. (See “Viral Content Bee” for an example.) UPDATE 2019: Recite’s link isn’t working giving the indication the tool has folded.
- Revive Old Post Plugin Thanks to this plugin, someone saw an old post, stumbled it, and I got a slew of extra page views as a result.
- Serpstat is an SEO tool. If you scroll down, you can see the keywords your top competitors in your blogging niche are using. If you type in your blog’s URL, you can see where you rank in Google for your topics. Use those keywords that come up since they are getting you higher in Google’s search engines. Once you make an account at Serpstat, they send you Emails and tutorials.
- Similar Web The site is similar to Alexa. You can find out interesting data about your site and about your competitors’ sites. SimilarWeb will analyze your site for you and show you how you compare globally to other blogs in your niche.
- Siteliner Checks your site for broken links and duplicate content.
- Snapseed has amazing filters for your iPhone photos you want to turn into blog graphics. [Read: How to Rock Your Blog Photos for Free with Snapseed]
- Skype is used by bloggers to talk to people out of the country. Avoid paying for expensive data plans.
- Snip.ly Do you want to get traffic from other bloggers’ traffic? Snip.ly is the way to reap their benefits along with them. [Read: How to Share Social Media Content & Get Traffic With Sniply]
- Social Jukebox (formerly Tweet Jukebox) is a Twitter tool that’s like a real jukebox. You have different jukebox titles that retweet your links for you.
- SocialMention: See who is talking about you in a positive, negative, or neutral way. See who is giving you links to your site. I discovered several people linked to me this way. This was important so I could thank them.
- Social Oomph is a Twitter tool. The site has a queue so you can keep retweeting your tweets. Blogger Raymond Baxter recommends Social Oomph. He likes the reservoir that is your queue for scheduled tweets.
- Spreadsheet: Excel, or any spreadsheet, is fine for this purpose. If you are spending money on your blog, your accountant will want your outgoing (and incoming) expenses if there are any. Some people use spreadsheets to keep track of which keywords are high volume and low competition keywords.
- Statusbrew is a Twitter tool. Do you want to know who has unfollowed you recently on Twitter? Statusbrew tells you who your new unfollowers are. Twitter coach Marc Guberti recommends Statusbrew.
- StayFocusd A browser extension that helps you limit the time you spend online.
- Stencil Make images for your blog posts. The free plan allows up to 10 images per month.
- Strides: Goals and Habits Tracker I have never used the app, but for bloggers, it sounds interesting. The app will remind bloggers who might be preoccupied with blogging to stop blogging long enough to drink enough water each day, exercise, sleep, or get up early. The app also counts how close you are toward meeting your goals.
- Trello can be used by groups. Blogging mastermind groups use Trello to show resources and other visual aids on Trello boards. MadLemmings uses Trello to keep his blogging notes organized.
- Triberr This site offers the help of other bloggers who will help you with blog promotion.
- Tweak Your Biz offers headline ideas.
- Tweepi helps me find Twitter followers. The site will tell you various metrics. The one I’m most interested in is who is following me that I’m not following back. Twitter doesn’t share all that information with me. Tweepi does. According to the culture of Twitter, people will unfollow you if you don’t follow back. Tweepi ensures I follow them back since that’s where I’m notified of all my new followers.
- TweetDeck See all your Twitter information with one glance. Your feed, notifications, inbox messages, and activity are all on the screen at the same time. Blogger Lylia Rose recommends TweetDeck.
- TweetGuru can be used to send multiple people the same Twitter message.
- Twello makes it easy to see who is you are following on Twitter, and who isn’t following you back.
- Twitter: Twitter has a wide variety of blogging opportunities. Twitter Lists, Twitter Chats, and chances to engage with like-minded bloggers are just a few of the opportunities Twitter provides. Get the Twitter app so you can tweet on the go!
- Twitter Cards enable your graphics to look so eye-catching, your odds of reader engagement will increase.
- TwitterReach is a great Twitter analytics tool. It shows you who the top bloggers are in your niche so you can retweet them. They may return the favor and retweet your links to their many followers. The site also tells you the best time of the day to tweet for your niche.
- Twitonomy has Twitter analytics like tracking retweets.
- Twubs Type in a hashtag. See discussions about it on Twitter in real-time.
- Ubersuggest: Type in your keyword, and tags not available at Google’s Keyword Planner are suggested, at least that’s what the site advertises.
- Under Construction Page PlugIn for WordPress If you are building a blog, you need this tool. Visitors should see a blog is on its way and not get an error when they click on your link. [Read: Under Construction Page Plugin for WordPress]
- Unroll.me helps you organize your email inbox. [Read: How to Make Sure You Never Suffer from Email Overwhelm Again]
- Upwork: If you are looking to make money as an Ebook writer, ghost writer, or editor, contact Upwork. I’m sure there are many other jobs for bloggers there as well.
- ViralContentBee is the brainchild of Ann Handley. The site saves you time with your blog promotion since it allows you to promote to four sites at once! Blogger Sara Duggan is a big fan of Viral Content Bee. “ViralContentBee was the top app to increase retweets,” she reported.
- Viralwoot is a free Pinterest pin scheduler. I use the free version which is just fine for my needs. [Read: This Wonderful Pin Scheduler is the Fastest Thing I’ve Ever Seen: Viralwoot]
- WordCounter Have you ever been asked to participate in an interview where they limit the number of words? I have. Have you ever been asked for a biography but told the maximum word count? This tell will count your words for you. Just copy and paste to get the word count.
- WordPress: I read a recommendation that Tumblr is good for people who write shorter pieces. I am not familiar with Weebly. I have used Google’s Blogger and WordPress. I recommend WordPress. There is a WordPress app I couldn’t blog without. I’m sure many WordPress users would agree. In addition to providing a blogging platform, WordPress has great ways to find like-minded bloggers.
- Wunderlist is a wonder list. Bloggers need to-do-lists since they have so many blogging tasks to attend to. This list can also be shared with others. Note: Wunderlist folded.
- YouTube: Videos are ever-increasing in popularity. Some people prefer to get information from a video than from a blog post. Once they watch your video, you can end with a Call to Action to visit your blog.
In conclusion, most of these tools I use on a regular basis. Based on first-hand knowledge of the tools, I can recommend them to you.
Many of the SEO tools and Twitter tools have similar functions. What does it hurt to try? After all, they are all free.
Click here to get your own downloadable PDF of the free blogging tools list.
Readers, please share. I’m sure other bloggers would appreciate a list this thorough.
What free tools can you recommend for bloggers? I look forward to your suggestions in the comments section.