Setting up a successful blog can get costly but there’s no need to shell out a fortune to get started. Here are some fantastic free tools that can help to raise your online profile.
You really can start a blog for free. There’s no need to pay for services or marketing when you begin and you can build your following with no budget at all.
Here are some great free tools to help you start blogging:
You don’t have to take every image you put on your blog yourself. There are loads of websites out there that offer royalty-free pics that you can use to fill feature images, blog headers, your social media channels and add to your posts.
Remember never to steal an image from Google and to always credit pics that you use from elsewhere (with permission from the photographer, of course!).
This is a brilliant site for creating infographics for social media plus leaflets, documents, presentations and tonnes of other materials.
You can perfect your social media headers with it, design your own logo and produce loads of colourful content to promote your blog. The free package offers access to a huge range of products so there’s no need to fork out for the premium membership.
Social media scheduling
If you’re a new blogger you probably have a full-time job elsewhere and can’t spend your days posting your content to social media.
That’s why you need a tool that allows you to schedule posts so you don’t have to launch each one yourself. My favourite is Hootsuite but you can also use Tweetdeck, Buffer or Socialoomph among others.
Say what? Basically, this means reducing the link to your post down to a social media-friendly tidbit.
Use bitly to crop your links into neat little clicks on your social channels.
After all this https://goo.gl/aT8ERx looks much tidier than this https://dawnmcguigan.home.blog/2019/01/11/books-to-help-you-get-your-sht-together, right?
Understand your opportunities
If you just want to blog for fun, that’s fine. It’s a great outlet for your creativity and a platform to share your thoughts with the world.
But, if you do want to grow your blog into something that generates an income, has a massive following or leads to other opportunities, then you need to know more about how to develop it.
I find HubSpot and ContentHQ great resources for tips and techniques to improve blog content and grow a following. For example, check out this piece from HubSpot on 13 mistakes to avoid when you start blogging.
What are you waiting for?
These tools were the basics that I had in my kit bag when I started blogging and I still use them all now. (I began with a book blog that was shortlisted for a Northern Blog Award in 2017 #humblebrag.)
Blogging needn’t be over-complicated, costly or massively technical – start slow and develop as you become more confident in your writing and digital wizardry.
Remember this, though: successful blogs are built on quality content so focus on producing good-quality posts that your audience wants to read and publish them regularly.