55 Best Free Blogging Tools for Massive Blog Growth in 2020

Last updated on May 26, 2020  ∙ by Edwin Contreras14 comments
Free blogging tools for beginner bloggers

I may earn a commission for purchases made through links in this post.

Who doesn't love free blogging tools, am I right? When you’re a beginner blogger, It can be difficult to justify paying for expensive blog tools. 

This is especially true when you're not yet making any money with your blog. 

While starting a blog is a relatively low-cost business to start, the costs can really start adding up if you’re not careful (see the total cost of starting a blog here).

So with that in mind, I decided to scour this vast interweb in the search for the best blogging tools known to mankind (cue the Superman music).

Keep this page saved, because you’re going to want to come back to this page as your blog continues to grow.

And also because I’m keeping this page updated with the best (and most current) free resources available.

Oh and before you leave, make sure and let me know of any other free blogging tools I might have missed in the comments section.

Alright, let’s boogie!

Free blog writing tools

Become a better writer and write better blog posts with the Grammarly browser add-on. The free version helps with misspellings and basic grammar mistakes.

I've got the Pro version. I know, it's hard to believe. Or perhaps it's even inconceivable, but I swear it's true!

WordPress is the free blogging platform most pro bloggers are using. It is far more popular than its 

In order to use WordPress.org, you need a domain name and hosting.

you need a domain, hosting and WordPress to get started. If you use Bluehost you get a free domain to go with your WordPress blog.

Many bloggers prefer to write their blog posts in Google Docs before moving them into WordPress.

Grades your writing to see how readable your content is. For blogs your content should be very readable - you're not writing in a medical journal!

Shows you a readability score and helps you write clear concise sentences.

Free design tools for bloggers

Here are the best image editors and graphic design tools for beginner bloggers. Best of all, they are all completely free!

Canva is my favorite blogging freebie from this list. There are templates to design a logo, Pinterest pins, ebook covers, and more.

Just look at the pretty pin designs I have built with Canva. They look so good I just want to lick the screen!

Pretty pins created with Canva.

You can also use Canva to create cheatsheets, checklists and printables to give out as incentives to join your email list.

Leave Adobe Photoshop to the pros. As a blogger you need to wear many hats, and ain't nobody have the time to learn how to use Photoshop.

From the creators of Evernote, Skitch is the tool I use daily to resize and crop images.

This is a must-have app for bloggers, because you don't want to upload a non-optimized full-size image to your blog. It will wreak havoc on your page speed.

My favorite feature? Hit Command + Shift + 5 to bring up the screenshot tool. You can crop the size, then annotate it with arrows and add text to the image.

Bonus: If you want to quickly edit images in a browser instead of a standalone app, use BeFunky instead.

Take image optimization one step further and reduce the final file size of your images with this WordPress plugin.

ShortPixel compresses your images while maintaining the best image quality. Image optimization is a big deal, as uncompressed images can lead to long page load times which has a detrimental affect on your SEO ranking.

Fiddle around with the settings to make sure your images still look sharp. Your 3 options are Lossy (best compression, worst quality), Glossy (average) and Lossless (least optimized, best quality).

If you have an image-heavy site, I'd set it to Lossy. If you're a photographer I'd set it to Lossless. I have mine set to Glossy.

My favorite part of this plugin is that it can create and serve .webp images, a new image format created by Google that let's browsers load images faster than the more common jpg image format.

Who needs Photoshop when you have Pixlr? This free tool is like a downscaled version of Photoshop, but it still packs a powerful punch.

It is extremely useful if you want to open a PSD file but can't because you don't have Photoshop.

By the way, just look at this massive list of free PSD templates here. Sorry, you're going to spend so much time there.

This is a Chrome (and Firefox) browser extension to identify the HEX color code from any point on a page.

Google Fonts are fast-loading and free. If your blog theme doesn't support them, get a real theme like Divi, Thrive Theme Builder, Astra or Hestia Pro.

Or, you can just use the Easy Google Fonts plugin to add that functionality to any blog theme.

Otherwise you can use a page builder like Thrive Architect or Elementor to use Google fonts.

I've used Open Sans and Lato in the past. Right now I have a thing for Montserrat. I know it won't last, but we're still together as of 2020.

From Canva, this free blogging tool lets you pair two fonts to see what they look like together.

Oftentimes, you want a different font for your headings and body text.

This tool from Buffer lets you create images quickly for use on social media.

Just choose an image, overlay text, font and you're all set.

Canva is my go-to photo editor and perhaps my favorite of all these blogging freebies. Even though I have Photoshop, I find myself using Canva more often to create my Pinterest pins and social media images.

While Canva is free, I do have a paid Canva Pro account to use their premium fonts and stock images.

Free keyword research tools

Before you write a blog post you must first do keyword research. If you don't, you will end up writing about something nobody is even searching for!

Here are my favorite keyword research blogging tools for beginners.

This free keyword tool works by extracting keywords using Google's autocomplete feature. You can generate hundreds of relevant long-tail keywords for any topic quickly.

This keyword research tool gives you some additional data on a keyword phrase.

You get the keyword volume (the number of people looking for this phrase) and a search difficulty score (to see how difficult it would be to rank for that phrase).

Short on keyword ideas? Start typing a keyword and Google will auto-complete your results with the most-searched-for phrases.

Pinterest has an autocomplete feature just like Google does. On Pinterest, search for a keyword and see what other keyword phrases appear afterward.

This is great for finding popular keyword phrases actually being searched for on Pinterest.

Want to write about a popular trending topic? You need to be using Google Trends. While it doesn't give you hard numbers, it does show you how the search term is trending over time.

Short on keyword ideas? You're going to regret using this site. It will shit out hundreds of thousands of keyword suggestions in a matter of seconds.

While not actually offering keyword suggestions, Search Console is still tremendously helpful.

Part of keyword research is seeing what keyword phrases you're getting traffic from. Using Search Console you can see what keywords you rank for, where you rank, and your click-through rate.

Here is my keyword research workflow.

I first use Keywordtool.io and Pinterest search to first give me keyword ideas to target. I then pop a keyword phrase or two into UberSuggest to get an indication of the keyword popularity.

If you want more data such as search difficulty and competitor analysis, try LongTailPro instead.

Free stock image sites

First of all, you can't use any image you find from Google on your blog. That's a surefire way to get into legal trouble.

Luckily you there are plenty of free stock photo sites to help you add visual content to your blog posts. Here are my favorites.

What you'll notice at these free stock photo sites is that many images are either outdated and/or overused.

This can become an issue if you're trying to use these images in paid ads or to sell a product.

To find the best stock photos you'll need to use a premium stock photography site like 123RF or DepositPhotos.

Free WordPress plugins

Deletes comment spam before you ever see it. Without this plugin you will be bombarded with spam and will have to manually delete it.

Adds beautiful share icons (like the ones in this post) to your blog posts.

Gets your blog posts SEO-ready. Let's you change the meta title and description (what Google users see on the search results).

Creates pretty links that redirect to your longer (and uglier) affiliate links to short URLs.

Deletes comment spam before you ever see it. Without this plugin you will be bombarded with spam and will have to manually delete it.

Automatically backs up your WordPress blog to the cloud. It even has a restore capability built into the plugin.

Makes your blog pages load faster by displaying static HTML copies to your readers instead of loading your PHP-heavy posts.

Makes changes to speed up your blog like combining and minifying CSS and javascript files and lazy loading images.

WordPress saves your blog post changes every time you save your work, which leads to hundreds of revisions stored in your blogs' database. This plugin controls how many revisions you want to store.

Email marketing tools

Email is one of the best ways to make money with your blog. That's because you can continue the conversation with your audience (and build trust) via email.

So it's important to start your email list as soon as possible.

This is who I use to send emails. They now have a free plan. Use my link and unlock email-sending to your first 1,000 subscribers.

You can have up to 2,000 email subscribers and can send up to 12,000 emails per month with their Forever Free plan.

All my domain name email addresses (like edwin@domain.com) redirect to my Gmail account. I also set up the "send mail as" feature to send emails from my domains using Gmail.

To help grow your email list you will need a list-building plugin. It really isn't worth using a free one. You're better off using the default forms from ConvertKit.

But if you do want to get more subscribers, I recommend Thrive Leads to help you build high converting opt-in forms, A/B test different forms and get detailed analytics on what forms and pages are converting best.

Free blog tools to run your online business

Pinterest and Instagram scheduler. I use this to grow my Pinterest account. Follow me here!

I couldn't run my blog without Dropbox. I work on an iMac upstairs and a MacBook downstairs and it's great to switch between machines seamlessly.

Never have to generate a strong password again nor remember a password again. Makes signing in a breeze with their browser add-on for desktops and app for smartphones.

Even if you're a beginner blogger you should be using Google Analytics. The main metrics I look at are total sessions, sessions per page and the average session duration. I use ExactMetrics to display the data right on my WordPress dashboard.

Browser extension and smartphone app to save and organize links to review later.

I use this to automate some workflows. For example, one Zap could be: when a new blog post is published -> send a tweet, update a spreadsheet, add a card to Trello and share it on Facebook.

Free project management tools

Let's call this one a pretty version of Trello. This is what I use.

Use this to jot down ideas for articles. It can also be used as a content planner / calendar.

Some people work better by creating a mind map (not me) for brainstorming, note-taking, and project planning. You can create up to 3 mind maps in the free version.

Free bonus blogging tools

This is my free 4-day bootcamp to start a blog and make money.

Create a few headlines and see which one gets the best score.

You can create an LLC here free. You only have to pay your required state fee.

There you have it, my epic 55 free blogging tools for beginners article!

I hope this list of resources was helpful. If it was, hit the share buttons below to help me spread the good word.

Until next time,
Edwin, DoSixFigures.com

just a little > about me

About edwin

Edwin Contreras is the professional blogger behind Cash The Checks and Do Six Figures. Over the last 17 years, he has started over 100 profitable blogs on his way to a six-figure income as a full-time blogger. He is now obsessed with helping people just like you escape the 9 to 5 and make serious money online. You in?

learn more > earn more

continue > the conversation

  • That’s a monster list of tools and services Edwin!
    Thank You for sharing.
    Well, I’m happy to say, I already use several tools/services mentioned here.
    I think WP Fastest Cache should be here as well.
    I use it and it really helped me speed up my blog by doing so many ‘Geeky’ optimizations.
    Keep sharing

  • Great to see these amazing tools out there for those new to the blogging! Thanks, for sharing those helpful and useful blogging tools.

  • Winnie Xu says:

    Thanks for taking the time to compile this list. I didn’t even know that keyword research tools exist so it was very helpful that you noted that!

    I used to have Photoshop but also use Pixlr instead now. It’s so much more cost-efficient and gets the job done.

  • I am new to blogging, my blog is a month old i must confess this was truly very helpful.

    • Hey Florence, that’s great to hear. Good luck with your blog!

  • I am new to blogging and find the information you provide very useful. Do you use the Open Live Writer? Are there any other free alternatives? I find it time-consuming transferring my posts from Word or Google docs to WordPress. There has to be something easier that I am not aware of.

    • You can write directly on WordPress. That would be the fastest way. Your content is auto-saved as a draft until published.

    • Lisa | Individual Obligation says:

      I’ve found that Google Docs and it’s Document editor to be an amazing free blogging tool. Like Michael, I used to write everything in Open Live Writer. But at the time it was rather outdated with limited features. So I went on the lookout for something more.

      I now write my entire blog posts in Google Docs and format it with links, headings, bold and italics. Before then copying the entire thing in one go. That I then paste into a new blog post within my WordPress dashboard. I’ll then add images, tables and anything other settings specific to WordPress. (You can add images into Google Docs but these generally don’t copy over to WordPress.)

      This method has worked perfectly for me. Even in the WordPress Gutenberg editor.

      The ShortPixel and UpdraftPlus plugins also mentioned in this list really are a must-have for any WordPress blogger in my opinion. Backups are important to avoid losing work, which UpdraftPlus provides all the tools you’ll need. Plus, ShortPixel is one of the best image compression tools I have ever used. It is so much better than the free version of Smush that is often recommended.

      All in all a really useful blog post!

      • Hey Lisa, thanks for your input and sharing your experiences!

  • Nice content.. Really helpful..

  • I use Font Awesome for my social media icons. Also, thanks for the list of free ebooks – I love free ebooks!

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