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Freebies for new bloggers
I have read a lot of posts about things that you should buy when you start a blog. In fact, I even wrote about two things you should buy when you start a blog. There are a few important things to purchase when you start a blog, but there are also lots of freebies for new bloggers! I wanted to share the best free things that I know about, all in one place!
If you’re looking to start your own blog, check out my tutorial on how to start a blog on WordPress. Starting a blog is a fun hobby, and it can even turn into a side income or full-time business! Make sure to read the post and then use my link to start your own blog for only $3.95 a month!
Plugins & Themes
Okay, now onto the freebies! There are so many awesome services for bloggers. I assume that you’re starting on WordPress, and if you’re not, go back and check out my post about how to start a blog on WordPress! WordPress is where you need to be. Once you get your WordPress set up, you’re going to need a theme. I buy all of my themes from ThemeForest. I did pay for my themes, but they also have some freebies, as well as themes as cheap as a couple of dollars.
There are tons of free plugins that are excellent for bloggers, but these are some that you should start with.
SEO is critical to a successful blog. Yoast SEO is the best plugin that I know of to make sure your SEO is top notch. There is a paid version of Yoast, but the free version is just fine when you’re starting.
Social Share Options
You need to be adding at least one nice vertical image to your blog posts that will look awesome on Pinterest, like the one below! Using a plugin like the Pinterest Pin it button make it easy for your readers to pin your content. It’s very important and often something that new bloggers don’t think of. I also use the Social Warfare for sharing buttons. I have used several social media sharing plugins and this one is my absolute favorite. There is a paid option, but the free version is more than enough for starting out.
You’re blog will need a disclosure page, and using a disclosure form is a very easy way to make sure that your disclosure is on every page. I use FMTC Affiliate Disclosure, but a simple search will find many other free options.
There are lots of other free plugins, from contact forms to recipes and more.
Speaking of Pinterest, you need to be on Pinterest. It’s completely free to use, and it can be such a huge benefit to your blog. If you aren’t following me on Pinterest, you can do that here and then check out Blogging Ideas board. It is packed with tons of great information that I have all over the web. Most of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest. I’d like to diversify a little more, but it’s better to have a lot of traffic from Pinterest than no traffic at all. I wrote a post about how to use Pinterest for business. It has tons and tons of additional information.
Once you have your account set up, you’ll want to get your boards in order. Your boards might be a mess if you’ve been using Pinterest for personal reasons. Don’t worry, I was in the same boat. Think about what you’re writing about on your blog. Let’s say you write about how homeschooling enables you to travel more as a family. If you don’t already have boards for your key topics, you’ll want to create them. Sample board ideas:
- Homeschooling Ideas
- Traveling with kids
You’ll want to move these boards to the top of your page, so that your readers can easily find them.
I manually pin my content to Pinterest 90% of the time. If you don’t have time to do this, I recommend Tailwind. It isn’t free, but you can get a free trial to see if it works for you. If you want to learn about manual pinning, I recommend reading Pinteresting Strategies. Again, it isn’t free, but it’s a one time purchase rather than an ongoing subscription and the information is very valuable.
Remember when we talked about the free “Pin it” plugin? There’s a lot more to that. Okay, so you have a business account, you have set up your content specific boards, and maybe requested to join some group boards. Now what? Pinterest images are so important. I cannot stress this enough.
Back when I started blogging in 2011, my friend and I had a website with some pretty good content. We started noticing that we were getting traffic from Pinterest, but I believe that it could have been much better if I knew then what I know now. You need attractive vertical pins that draw the reader in. You need a pretty image, and a catchy description of what the pin is about with good keywords. Blurry photos, bright text colors (in most cases) and badly designed pin images just don’t cut it anymore. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to make your own pretty pin images.
I created a free template for you to master your own Pinterest images.
Wondering where you get those images for your pretty vertical pins? Don’t worry, I am getting to that! If you’re good at photography, you can take your own images. Another option is using stock photos. I do a combination of both. I use Dreamstime for both paid and free stock images, and Pixabay for totally free images. Both selections are limited, but they are a great start. There are lots of other ways to get free stock images, some stock websites will give you free images for signing up for their newsletter.
I asked some other bloggers for their favorite freebies, and they had some good ideas!
Emily from My Adaptable Career has a free Simple Social Media Routines download.
Another blogger suggested this Blog Topics Generator that I am excited to learn more about.
I created a free productivity printable. I use this every day to keep my life, blog, and business organized from day to day.
I almost forgot, but one of my favorite time-saving programs is Buffer. Again, they do offer a paid version with more options, but the base version is free and has been extremely helpful to me for over two years. If you’re looking for a free social media scheduler, Buffer is simple and very user friendly.
What do you think?
If you’re just getting started blogging, I hope that these freebies for new bloggers have helped you! There are lots of freebies out there, but there are also two things that you should pay for when you start a blog. Make sure to check that out too! If you have any recommendations of freebies for new bloggers, or old bloggers, I’d love to hear about them in the comments. Even if it isn’t free, what is your #1 must-have for blogging? Tell me in the comments below.