Are you a beginner or budget-conscious blogger?
Chances are, you started a blog because you want to explore the opportunities of making money online through affiliate marketing, creating your own courses or products, or offer services online. And you know the saying goes, “In order to make money, you must spend money.”
There’s a lot of persuasive arguments online about what services and software will help your blog excel, but here’s the real truth: Success is not about which services you use, but how you use whatever you have. It’s about strategy. It’s about being resourceful within your means.
And you know what, free software and programs are great if you use them well.
In today’s post, we’re covering the top FREE tools for any beginner blogger (or bloggers on a budget).
As a quick disclaimer, this post will not be covering plugins, however, I do have a blog post on my recommended essential (in my opinion) plugins for WordPress bloggers here.
01. For simple graphic creation – Canva
Canva is a simple-to-use, online graphics software website.
Who says you need Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign for simple graphics creation or ebook creation? They’re great industry standard programs to use if you are an artist or designer by trade, or if you offer freelance services in design that makes the subscription worth it, fine, but for the non-designer user, then Canva works great for putting together blog graphics.
On Canva, you can create:
- Pinterest infographics
- Social media graphics
- And more!
Pricing plans: Free | Paid (Canva for Work) – $12 USD/month
02. For email marketing – MailerLite
MailerLite is a wonderful feature-rich email marketing software complete with drag-and-drop templates, simple and classic text templates, automation, scheduling, tagging,
It’s free up until 1000 subscribers, and after that, it’s only $15/month (USD).
I love MailerLite because it is a great lower-cost alternative to the blogger standard, ConvertKit, which is whopping $29 USD/month for 0-1000 subscribers…Which is not an easy monthly investment, especially with the Canadian dollar conversion rate. Phew!). It’s also more affordable and more user-friendly than the other free email marketing software, Mailchimp.
According to 2019 reports, MailerLite ranks well in deliverability and open rates which is a major improvement from previous years. Also, they allow the use of affiliate links, which makes it easier on us to make money by referring our audience to products and services that we love!
Pricing plans: Free (up to 1000 subscribers) | Paid (see plans here)
03. For an automated chat bot – Tidio
Want to capture leads or answer frequently asked questions? You can set up automated, canned responses using a chatbox and install it onto your website using the free and easy-to-install tool, Tidio. It looks great, integrates with email, and it’s free — what more can you ask for?
Pricing plan: Free (for life, and up to 3 users per plan)
04. For a project manager/to-do list – Trello
Trello is a great (free forever) application for planning out your projects. If you’re a visual person, you will like Trello. Everything lays out visually like cue cards, you can colour code, you can integrate it with Google Calendar or Google docs, make deadlines and checklists…
You can use my invitation link for a free Trello account!
If you’re interested in free plugins for WordPress, check out this post!
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What are your favourite free resources for blogging?
Do share in the comments below!
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