Did you know there are over 1,197,982,359 websites on the Web & millions of blog posts are published each day? As a beginner, thriving in this competitive market seems really tough, and it is.
But leveraging the right tools ensures the strategies you define are efficient to smartly boost your online marketing & blogging efforts. Gone are the days when it was very tedious to create/manage a website & execute various tasks to drive success.
Now is the time of tools & automation – that makes our lives really easy. I understand, for most beginners, it’s not always a good option to invest in paid tools upfront if you have no experience with various digital marketing concepts.
I was in the same situation five years ago, but now, a lot has been evolved & so are the tools.
You can nowadays avail premium-like benefits at no cost, because, you as a member of these tools, are important to them.
This article lists down some of the important & popular digital marketing tools that every blogger must use, and the best part is that all these tools are either free or have a free basic plan available.
Top Free Email Marketing Tools For Bloggers
Email marketing is one of the most powerful aspects of digital marketing & is one of the best channels for content marketers. Just like the importance of getting ranked & securing more keywords for your website using Search Engine Optimization, it is important to grow your email list over time so that you can make the most out of your blogging efforts.
Here are some leading email marketing tools that come with both Free & Paid plans:
MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing tools in the industry & it comes in both paid & free versions, & as a beginner, the free plan suffices the needs.
Pros of Using MailChimp:
- It’s an established business with Good growth history
- Easy to use
- Free to start with
- Good user interface & necessary features
- MailChimp has a great feature called “Smart Recommendations” which gives you valuable insights (audience plus campaigns) to make stronger data-driven decisions
Cons of Using MailChimp:
- It’s easy to use, but, some functions are hard to find (especially for beginners)
- With Free Plan, you can create only one form for your WordPress website
- When your list grows, you will have big bills rolling.
- MailChimp is a pretty big brand in email marketing, but, when it comes to comparing their paid plan with other players in the industry, MailChimp sometimes fails
With MailChimp Free Plan, you get
- Contacts Limit: 2000
- Email Sends Per Month: 10000
- Email Sends Daily Limit: 2000
After reading many opinions across the Internet, I found that MailChimp is a good tool but comes with heavy pricing as compared to other email service providers.
Mailjet is another email marketing tool that comes with a free plan sufficing the needs of startups or blogging beginners. The pricing starts as low as $10 per month.
MailJet Free Plan includes
- Email Sends Per Month: 6000
- Email Sends Per Day: 200
- Contacts Limit: Unlimited
Remember, many times your blogging roadmap requires heavy follow-up with your audience. For example, you are selling an online course & your funnel includes 3-4 follow-up emails for abandoned users.
In that case, Mailer Lite is a good option – It allows you to pay based on your subscriber list, & once you opt for a paid plan (starts at $10), you can send unlimited emails per month.
With MailerLite Free Plan, you get
- Contact Limit / Subscribers: 1000
- Emails Send Per Month: 12000 (Unlimited with even a $10 plan)
- Emails Send Per Day: No Limit (12000 monthly, you need to use the limit wisely)
Sendinblue is another email marketing tool that suffices the needs of a new blog & is good for beginners to test various email marketing approaches.
Sendinblue comes with great email automation tools & features to help you boost your email marketing efforts. You can design responsive emails & do A/B testing
- Easy to use Email designer (Free Responsive Templates + Drag & Drop Builder)
- Contact Management: To manage & segment your email list
- Upload unlimited contacts, regardless of your subscription plan
- Real-Time Analytics & Data Insights to understand & optimize your email marketing efforts
- Email Automation: you can decide actions based on user responses/behavior
- Easy Integration & API Support
Free Tools to Grow Your Website/Blog
Growing your blog isn’t a walk in the park & most blogging beginners have no idea on how to plan for the future to scale your blog.
Growing your blog means making the most out of SEO & keeping an eye on how your blog is performing – but the question is – how you should really track the performance?
Worry not, below are some free tools that would help you out
Google Search Console: Scale your Traffic Like A Pro Blogger
The possibilities are endless with Google Search Console & it can help you take your SEO efforts to the next level.
Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools is a boon for the website as it helps us understand how the website is getting discovered on Google.
To be honest – your website cannot survive without it. One powerful feature of Google Search Console is that it helps you analyze the keywords (known as queries) for which your website can potentially rank.
Basically, what happens is when Google bots crawl your website & index (save) your webpage at their database, they categorize & put your webpage based on a lot of factors/scores (algorithms), one such process is categorizing your webpage for some set of keywords (queries)
Since there are billions of web pages across the Internet & billions of people looking for information, Google bots, while crawling your page, try to analyze your content & compare it with the queries people use on Google Search (keyword)
The search queries that match your content is saved in Google’s database and a small chunk of this data is shown to you on Search Console – so that you can make informed changes on your website.
If you wish to know more about GSC, you can refer to this guide: The Ultimate Guide to Using Google Search Console as a Powerful SEO Tool
Google Analytics: Free Tool To Analyze your Traffic
Do I have to explain the benefits of Google Analytics? With Google Analytics comes Data, & data-driven decisions can help you validate a solid course of action for Growth & Targeting.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool that helps you analyze the incoming traffic to your website.
Since your website/blog is an important hub, it is important to look at the traffic that you are getting, and with Google Analytics, you can –
- Check the traffic source (Organic, referral, social media, email, etc)
- Analyse the real time numbers (real time active users on pages)
- Analyse the number of traffic you get
- See what pages are performing better
- See the average time a user has spend on your website (specific pages)
- Conversion Tracking: create, define & setup custom goals (like link click, subscription form fill, session duration limit etc) to actually see analyse the website traffic & see how many visitors of them are converting.
- Track Visitors Engagement: keep an eye on some user engagement metrics like the average time people are spending on your webpage, how many people are leaving the website without any interaction (known as Bounce Rate)
Top Free Tools for Keywords Research
Keywords research is the backbone of Search Engine Optimization. As you know, keywords are simply the queries that we put in search engines to get information.
Every single day, Google encounters & saves billions of user queries into its database & the widely used queries are the “Keywords”
Using a keywords research tool helps us discover & identify the potential of keywords & see what keywords can be of use to us. Not
Below are some popular & free keywords research tools that you must use to
Answer The Public
This one is my favorite & I’ve been using this since it was free. But sadly, it’s paid now.
However, the free version allows you to search for 5 keyword ideas per day, which is enough if you’ve already done some homework in researching topics.
It gives you hundreds of keyword ideas from a single keyword.
This is a very powerful keyword research tool for bloggers to get a deeper level of insights based on user search intent, not only keywords.
Google Keywords Planner
Google Keywords Planner is a powerful tool that is primarily used by search engine marketers to find keywords ideas or analyze the potential of keywords.
Basically, the tool helps you discover more keyword ideas & shows important data for keywords – like the search volume, competition & pricing (for Pay Per Click advertising)
To start using Google’s free keywords planner, you would need to sign up for a free account on Google Adwords.
Also Read: How to Use Google Keywords Planner
Top Free Tools for Graphic Designing
Graphic designing is one of the important marketing skills to master – If not the complete design, then at least a marketer should know what kind of design he needs for his campaign & what all elements must be there. How much spacing & color scheme he needs – should not be ignored.
Seems like a tough job that graphic designers can handle, but worry not if you can’t afford one.
There are plenty of free tools available in the market that can help you create amazing graphic designs without needing to have graphic design skills.
I love Canva! It’s almost Free & super easy to use. Canva is a popular graphic designing tool with more than 30 million monthly active users worldwide.
You don’t need to have any special designing skills to use Canva. It’s super easy to edit & create amazing graphics using this tool.
Some of the reasons why I suggest Canva to beginners as a perfect tool for their graphic design needs:
- You can select pre-defined image sizes: Canva eliminates the problems to figure out the right image sizing. It has a wide range of pre-defined image sizes. You can choose to create designs for various social media & other platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Ad Copies etc. This way, Canva ensures that you get the appropriate image dimensions for the platform you have selected.
- Canva offers plenty of Resources to use for Free: Canva Library has a large number of templates, designs, & pre-built banners that are ready to be used after some minor tweakings
- Canva Post Scheduler for Social Media: Canva recently launched their new feature named “Content Planner” that allows you to plan your social media postings. This tools currently allows you to post on the following platforms/channels: Facebook Page, Twitter, Facebook Groups, Pinterest, LinkedIn Profile, Linkedin Page, Slack, Tumblr
Crello is another cool graphic designing tool & is almost similar to Canva – similar interface & features. You can use Crello if you want some more free graphic variations than that of Canva.
As compared to Canva, Crello doesn’t restrict you from using all the features & you need to pay only when you use paid images from the Crello library.
Top Free Social Media Post Scheduler
Social media management is one of the most creative jobs to do in online marketing. Right from planning the month’s content calendar to posting the latest event in your industry – you need to make sure that your social media postings are getting published on time.
Below are some social media post scheduling tools to help you plan & schedule your social media posts in advance so you never miss out on posting on social media & keep yourself ahead in the game.
Though you will not get any free tool to manage all of your social media accounts from one place, you can use alternatives for different accounts:
Later – Best Instagram Management Tool
Later is an amazing social media management tool that offers many services & features like analytics, automated publishing, content management, post scheduling & more.
Later would help you manage your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest account – if you’re using their paid plan. And with a free plan, you can choose to use Later for any one of these social media channels.
Since the tool has a strong emphasis on visuals posting – so it is best suited for Instagram.
Hootsuite is another popular social media management tool to help you with post scheduling & publishing. Hootsuite can be used for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linked In & Pinterest.
What’s good about Hootsuite is that it also helps you track your Twitter threads & using it for Twitter is one of the most powerful aspects of this software.
The pricing starts from $16 USD per month & they also have a free plan.
Now that you are done with automation on Instagram & Twitter, Socialoomph will help you add one more social media account for management in their free plan.
Socialoomph is a powerful social media management tool & the company is reliable – in operation since 2008. Socialoomph also provides you with helpful documentation for onboarding.