When you get started in the blogging world you are going to run across the blogging tools & resources that you think will make your life easier. Sometimes those tools will help you and sometimes they are just something extra that will make your life harder. In this post I want to introduce you to our 10 favorite & in my opinion the best blogging tools and resources that are $30 or less. We use and love these tools and at some point in your blogging journey you may find yourself shopping.
The Best Blogging Tools for Free
The tools I’m about to mention are free to use as part of your Google experience, one of them is built by a scheduling tool company and the other is built by Niel Patel. Let’s dive in and I’ll tell you how I use each tool and what it can do for your blog.
Keyword Research with UberSuggest
Keyword research is crucial to ensure that you are ranking on Google and people are finding your posts with those keywords. I used Keyword Planner for years and even though it’s technically meant for AdWords but it’s a good start to finding keywords for your blog posts. I personally prefer UberSuggest for keyword research these days. Niel Patel built this as a free keyword tool where you could monitor domain stats as well and recently added backlinks. I really enjoy this tool for a free keyword tool considering some of those can go as high as $99 per month. When I’m looking for a new keyword with UberSuggest I will go to Google & find the top ranking domain for that keyword. I like to poke around to view their top ranked URLs and their top ranked keywords. Once I’ve done that I head over to the keyword ideas tab and do some searching to find a keyword to use.
Writing Catchy Headlines with CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
You want to write keyword optimized headlines that catch the attention of potential readers. To make this easy you can use this tool to analyze your headlines. They also have a list of words to evoke more emotion that you can check out as well.
Optimizing Your Images Without a Plugin
I don’t like to run more plugins than necessary on my site so I use Compress PNG to compress the size of my images. You don’t want huge images bogging down your site speed and you don’t want plugins that can potentially jeopardize site security. This website also offers the ability to compress jpgs, pdfs, merge documents and more.
Storage & Web Apps with Google Drive
I don’t like paying for storage tools or Microsoft Office. I actually don’t prefer Office anyways so I use Google Apps for writing posts, spreadsheets and storage. I did upgrade my Google to GSuite which is $5 per month per user. You can use the free version for a while though but I upgraded so I could host my domain email through Google.
Reading & Understanding Site Traffic with Google Analytics
If you are going to have a website then you absolutely need Google Analytics so you can track and measure your performance. This is one of those non-negotiable blogging tools that can’t be ignored.
The Best Blogging Tools that Cost Money
Creating Beautiful Images with Canva ($12.95)
Creating blog images that are share worthy are a must! Now you can use Canva for free but your options are limited with what you can do. I have always paid for it so I can save my brand colors, use their in app stock photos and organize my photos into folders, create templates and more. They are always adding new features too.
Growing Your Email List with ConvertKit ($29)
Growing an email list from the beginning of your blogging journey is vital. The money is in the list and you need a good option for collecting leads & sending emails. I have paid for ConvertKit since before I was ever making money. I like the simplicity of ConvertKit and they added automations almost 2 years ago that are a great way to send your subscribers through funnels. ConvertKit starting out is $29 per month for up to $1000 subscribers.
Finding Stock Photos with Deposit Photos ($29)
I don’t like using free stock photos because everyone is using those. They are everywhere and it in my opinion it makes a blog look cheap. I don’t want to use free for stock photos so I pay for Deposit Photos. You can start with a flex plan for $29 per month but I always buy image packs. If you catch one of their deals when they run a sale on 100 image for $99 you’re getting them for nearly $8 per month then. Their service is worth it for me and I continue to buy photo packs to use.
Pinterest & Instagram Automation with Tailwind ($15)
Tailwind is a nor brainer for me. They make growing my Pinterest easy plus there isn’t another automation tool that I would use personally. You also have analytics within Tailwind that are great to use to measure performance. Tailwind if you pay monthly will start at $15 per month but if you pay for a year you get it for $9.99 per month. Paying yearly is a no brainer for me. For Tailwind you get a free trial then you can upgrade to plus. When I chose to start a travel blog it was going to be the third website I had built. I knew at that point what worked and what didn’t for me. This list of the best blogging tools (in my opinion) are a great start for any blogger still getting their feet wet. Blogging tools are everywhere and every blogger is going to offer something to you that may or may not be slightly different. These are what work for us and what I have used for nearly 3 years. If you want a longer list of blogging tools and resources make sure you grab our downloadable PDF.
How to Start a Travel Blog and Make Money