Free Blogging Tools No Blogger Should Live Without

With so many blogging tools available, it's hard to know which ones to try. Some blogging tools are free, others come with price tags, and still others offer free trial periods or limited functionality for free in what's referred to as a "freemium" model. That means to keep using the tool after the trial period or to get access to all of the tool's features, you have to pay for it.

Most bloggers make very little money or no money at all from their blogging efforts, so it's important to find useful free blogging tools that make bloggers' lives easier and their blogs better. This list features free blogging tools no blogger should live without (at least, these are the tools we'd rather not live without).

01
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Flickr

What We Like
  • Upload and share up to 1,000 images for free.

  • Royalty-free collection of Creative Commons images.

  • Android and iOS mobile apps.

What We Don't Like
  • Advertisement-supported.

  • Videos limited to three minutes.

Bloggers can use Flickr to upload, access, and share their images online as well as to find images with Creative Commons licenses that they can use on their own blogs. It's an active community with great features and mobile apps, too. Follow the link to learn how to find free images on Flickr that you can use on your blog.

02
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Gmail

What We Like
  • Supported on all platforms.

  • Easy access to related Google services including Google Drive, Photos, and Blogger.

  • Little down time.

What We Don't Like
  • No undelete feature.

  • Takes slightly longer to attach files to outgoing emails.

  • Ad-supported.

Gmail is the best free online email tool. You can use it to access not just email in your Gmail account but also email from all your other accounts. Since it's online, you can access your email from any computer or mobile device, so it's always easy to communicate or blog via email. It's also a perfect place to receive Google Alerts.

03
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Google AdWords Keyword Planner

What We Like
  • Hyper-local search areas available.

  • Filters out keywords below a set search volume.

  • Complete, reliable data for exact-match terms.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires a free AdWords account.

  • No broad or phrase match — only exact match.

  • No searches for related terms.

If you need to research keywords to better optimize your blog posts for search traffic, then you'll love the free Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Type in a keyword or keyword phrase that you want to write about or that your audience is likely to be interested in, and you'll get a list of similar keywords and keyword phrases along with monthly global and local search volumes. It's a great way to get keyword ideas and to choose the best keywords for blog post search engine optimization purposes.

04
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Google Alerts

What We Like
  • Customized notifications for user-specified news or mentions.

  • Keeps bloggers up-to-date on their niche happenings.

  • Scans multiple domains for specific keywords.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't monitor social media.

  • No analytics provided with links.

  • Doesn't deliver results as quickly as its fee-based competitors.

Use Google Alerts to set up email alerts whenever Google finds new content using the keyword phrases you input. You can set up Google Alerts to arrive in your inbox at the frequency of your choice, and you can turn them on or off at any time. It's a great way to keep up with news in your blog's niche and to find blog post ideas. If you set up an alert for your own name, or your blog's, it's also a great way to find out when people are talking about you.

05
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Google Analytics

What We Like
  • Free tools to analyze your readers or customers.

  • Detailed insights built to work with Google's advertising products.

  • Shows real-time traffic data.

  • Generates custom reports.

What We Don't Like
  • Reports a sample of overall traffic, rather than all the traffic.

  • Documentation could be clearer.

  • User interface can be overwhelming to first-time users.

Google Analytics is by far the best free web analytics tool to track your blog's performance on an ongoing basis. Check out our Google Analytics review for all the details.

06
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Google Bookmarks

What We Like
  • Save shortcuts to favorite web pages independent of browser.

  • Cloud-based service accessible from any internet-capable device.

  • Offers Bookmarks bar to add to browsers for quick reference.

What We Don't Like
  • Not as useful as it was before cloud-syncing of browser bookmarks became popular.

  • Separate from Google Chrome bookmarks.

You can use Google Bookmarks to privately bookmark web pages for later viewing. It's a great way to collect links to content you want to write about on your blog. When you bookmark web pages using Google Bookmarks, you can add keyword tags to make it easy to find those pages later from any computer or mobile device.

07
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HootSuite

What We Like
  • Free plan includes promoting your blog on three social media platforms.

  • 30 scheduled messages are included.

  • Free 30-day free trial of paid plans.

  • Helpful documentation and online courses for new users.

What We Don't Like
  • More than three social media accounts and other advanced features require a paid plan.

  • No analytics reports.

  • Supports only a few URL shorteners.

HootSuite is one of the best free social media management tools. You can use it to share links to your blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, Intsagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, and you can build a following and relationships with people that can lead to more exposure for your blog and audience growth.

08
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Paint.net

What We Like
  • Easy-to-use image editor.

  • Includes many special effects.

  • Large number of plug-ins.

  • Online tutorials.

What We Don't Like
  • For Windows PCs only.

  • Only opens and edits one image at a time.

  • No burn or dodge tools.

  • Limited brushes.

If you use a Windows-based PC, then Paint.net is a great image-editing tool that's free to download and use. It's not as complicated as some other image editing tools but more robust than some free online options.

09
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Plagium

What We Like
  • Free search for up to 1,000 characters.

  • Searches larger text blocks than similar services.

  • Does not store search text or results permanently.

What We Don't Like
  • Paid plans are required for searches larger than 1,000 characters.

  • Relatively slow to deliver results.

If you accept and publish guest posts on your blog, then it's important to be certain those posts are original and have not already been published online. Publishing duplicate content can damage your search traffic if Google catches you. Using the free Plagium tool, you can determine whether text has already been published online before you publish it on your blog.

10
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Crowdsignal

What We Like
  • Free plans include one user account and unlimited polls and surveys.

  • Includes limited report filtering.

  • Easy-to-use survey editor.

What We Don't Like
  • Free account includes Crowdsignal branding.

  • Must log in with a Wordpress account.

  • Excessive poll voters is rate limited.

Publishing polls on your blog is a great way to boost interactivity, gather information, or just have fun. Crowd Signal (formerly Polldaddy) is one of the best free options available.

11
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Skype

What We Like
  • Free audio and HD video calling.

  • Call recording feature.

  • Screen-sharing capability.

  • Smart messaging.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires an internet connection.

  • Fees apply when calling landlines, internationally or non-Skype users.

  • No emergency calling.

If you like to conduct interviews and publish them on your blog, Skype is a great way to do it for free. You can conduct free text chat, audio, or video interviews with Skype rather than using email or telephone.