Most people online make it out like you NEED paid blogging tools to get started.
This isn’t always the case, and in this article on the best free blogging tools for beginners… I’m going to prove it.
However, there is one component where I would recommend investing in something paid – because otherwise, your long-term growth could suffer.
Also, we are going to look at both free blogging sites & tools. But if you would like to skip straight to the tools section you can do so here.
Best Free Blogging Sites
WARNING: The site you choose to start your blog on is something that you’ll be stuck with for years – unless you restart… OUCH. So please read this section carefully, if you need to choose between them.
WordPress.org CMS (RECOMMENDED)
The WordPress CMS is the most popular way of creating a website or blog on the internet – by far:
And it is completely FREE.
The reason I recommend it is that it’s an open-source platform where you have full control.
- You have full control over security
- You have full control over your website (SEO, coding, design, etc.)
- You can get plugins from the plugin store, which makes it user-friendly (comparable to apps)
You’ll only have to pay for hosting, which costs anywhere from $2.95 per month to $300 per month.
My #1 recommendation is WPX, which is perfect for any WordPress website and can handle a decent amount of traffic – while only costing $29 per month.
However, I have also listed some budget-friendlier options below, alongside why they are cheaper.
My #1 Recommendation: WPX – Fastest host by far, outstanding support.
Cheapest: Bluehost – But it is slow, so once you start getting traffic you’ll have to upgrade. But it’s what I started with, and it’s alright in the beginning. Sign up here.
Popular: SiteGround. I’ve never used it, but heard that it’s good. Sign up here.
Why I Don’t Recommend ANY Other FREE Platform Than WordPress.org
The problem with most other platforms is that you don’t actually own your website/blog. In the long term, this is a BIG problem…
Because you’re building your house on somebody else’s land.
- They can restrict/Delete your blog
- You can’t add whatever functions you like (like through WordPress’ plugins)
However, feel free to go for them anyway – just be aware of how it could affect you in the long term.
Wix has fair SEO capabilities, is easy to use and affordable. But the problem is that you don’t have as much control as you do with WordPress – which could hurt your long-term growth.
Also, if you ever wanted to switch from Wix to WordPress.org, you probably would have to go through many headaches.
And it’s no surprise that if you search for migrating Wix, the top search is “to WordPress” (just saying).
Still, it does the job and is one of the better free blogging platforms out there.
Medium is one of the best free blogging platforms out there, but again you don’t own your website… which is a big disadvantage.
If you really want to grow your blog, I wouldn’t limit yourself to medium. But, then again, that is your choice.
Benefits of Medium:
- You already have some initial authority making it easier to rank in Google
- You can make money through getting good engagement on your content
- It’s free
- It’s easy to use & sign up
Keep in mind though that with Medium, you don’t really have a website – It’s more of a profile.
WordPress.com, not to be confused with wordpress.org, is another platform you can use – but I wouldn’t recommend it.
So, what’s the difference between this and the other WordPress?
- It doesn’t have the plugin store
- It’s not open-source
- You don’t fully own your website as WordPress hosts it
Weebly is one of those builders you use when you quickly want a free website up. But it’s not really more than that, and it will limit your growth in the long run.
Still, it’s free, and if you’re messing around, it could be a fair option.
Learn how to start a blog – the right way:
If you would like to learn how to start and grow a blog, I have a free guide that explains everything – step by step.
You’ll be able to copy my exact process of setting up a blog, and I walk you through an introduction with marketing on every channel.
Click the button below and enter your email address to get the free guide sent to you.
19 Best Free Blogging Tools For Beginners
Now that we have looked at the best blogging platforms, let’s dive into the tools.
Here is a full list of the best free blogging tools for beginners:
- Yoast SEO or Rank Math
- Google Analytics & Search Console
- Google Drive
- Link Whisper
- Pingdom & GTMEtrix
- Lazy Load
- Social Media (ANd How TO Use It To Its Fullest)
- Pixabay, Unsplash, and Pexels
- Let’s Encrypt SSL
- Sumo. me
- A FREE Theme
Of course, you’re probably not going to need all of these tools… So let’s take a detailed look to see which one of them you need for your blog.
Grammarly has to be one of the most used blogging tools out there – and you probably already know what it is because it’s a globally recognized brand.
I actually recommend getting the paid version, as it will help you shorten your sentences – which your readers will enjoy.
However, the free version removes all your errors which does the job too. Definitely one of the essentials you MUST-have.
Aweber (Email Marketing)
Most email marketing service providers will cost you upwards of $50 per month. However, Aweber has an outstanding free plan which lets you:
- Build landing pages
- Send email newsletters
Plus, check this out: It has a WordPress plugin – with which you can integrate the landing pages you build onto your blog while using the same domain name. Not bad.
You can sign up for a free Aweber account using the button below. It’s one of the best free blogging tools because it lets you build an email list and comes with a drag and drop landing page builder.
Yoast SEO or Rank Math (SEO Plugin)
Yoast SEO or Rank Math are free plugins that you can download into your WordPress blog. And they act as your on-page SEO checklist and enable you to edit your meta information.
They both do a pretty similar thing, but I find that the free version of rank math is slightly better than the Yoast SEO one.
If you’re not quite skilled enough to use Photoshop like me, Canva is the perfect option.
It’s drag and drop, easy-to-use, and has a pretty decent free plan, which you can use to create your blog graphics.
Plus, it also comes with many VERY useful templates – because some people like me can’t even create nice images with a tool like this… Damn it.
AnswerThePublic (Content Ideas)
AnswerThePublic is a tool where you can enter in a topic, and it will literally spit out endless questions that look like this:
These questions are often Google searches, too, so you can combine them with keyword research to find questions that have SEO value.
On the free plan, you can only do two searches per day. However, if you’re getting ideas, that should be more than enough because it literally spits out about 100 ideas at the time.
Keywords Everywhere & Keyword Surfer (Keyword Research Browser Extensions)
The next two free blogging tools are Keyword Everywhere & Keyword Surfer – two browser extensions from the Google chrome store.
They both do a very similar thing, i.e., show keyword suggestions & data when you do a normal Google search.
But I recommend you download both – Here’s why:
Keywords Everywhere give you LOTS of suggestions on the right of your screen:
Keyword Surfer gives you the estimated search volume and CPC in the bar:
Together, you should have a nice combination to help you find keywords easily.
You may also like: How To Do Keyword Research For Blog Posts
Google Analytics & Search Console
Google Analytics will help you by showing you insights on how your website is performing in:
- How much traffic you’re getting
- Where the traffic is coming from
- Your visitors’ behavior
On the other hand, the Google search console will give you insights into your Google search engine performance.
Both are free tools that Google provides, so I really recommend learning them well and using them.
Okay, this one might be slightly odd for some of you. But Google Drive is such a handy tool, as it lets you save all your files on the cloud and share them with others if needed, including other blogs that you collaborate with.
Reasons why you might need to use Google Drive as a blogger:
- To share Images of your Guest Post with another blogger
- To create download links using this converter
- To save files on the cloud without having endless crap on your computer
You can access Google drive directly from your normal Google account.
Link Whisper is another great WordPress plugin. I haven’t used it as much as I should have, but I have heard many good things about it.
What it does: Link Whisper will give you internal link suggestions, so you can easily add them to your post.
This is pretty cool, as it will remind you where you need to add in links, which will save you time because you don’t have to think about it as much.
To access the free version, search for “link whisper” in the WordPress plugin store.
Pingdom & GTMetrix (Speed Testing)
Your page loading slowly could be the difference between someone who becomes a loyal subscriber and someone who leaves because they aren’t patient enough.
And there are endless statistics that back this point up:
Pingdom and GTMetrix will allow you to test your site speed, so if there is a problem, you’ll be able to fix it.
They both also give you insights into what needs fixing.
Elementor is a great tool for bloggers; it’s a drag and drop page builder on the WordPress plugin store. The free version will help you build your website, and it already has some great templates for your contact, about, contact us, etc.
It also has a paid version, which you can access for free if you purchase hosting. I have more information on that in my ebook on starting a blog.
Imagify & Lazy Load (Image Optimization)
Our next best free blogging tools are image optimization, i.e., ensuring your images don’t take too long to load.
Imagify & Lazy Load are WordPress plugins that will help you do exactly that:
Imagify: Automatically compresses the size of your images without harming the quality.
Lazy Load: Makes sure that your images only load when your website visitors need to see them, improving page speed.
Alternatively, you can also use tinypng.com if you’re not on WordPress, which is free too.
Audiit.io is one of my favorite tools, which a lot of people don’t know about. Have you ever wondered how long your blog post should be? Or how many times should you use a keyword?
Audiit takes all the top-ranking results for your target keyword and spits out their details: how much they have written, keyword density, etc.
So, you can take this data and do something similar, giving you the best possible chances of ranking.
Related: How To Write SEO-friendly blog posts
Social Media (And How TO Use It To Its Fullest)
Social Media is one of the obvious yet most effective free tools there is:
- Promote yourself
Below, I’m going to run you through my favorite social media platforms for blogging.
You can use Twitter for:
- Sharing your blog posts
- Networking: There are tons of other bloggers on Twitter and even just many smart people in general.
- Growing your audience: Twitter is one of the easiest audiences to grow. So you can tweet and grow an audience to which you can promote your blog to.
YouTube is also a great blogging tool. Here’s why:
Research – You can quickly find topics that YouTubers have covered and create them in blog post format.
Promote your blogs – Most topics that are popular for blogging are popular on YouTube too. So, you could also grow a YouTube channel and use it to promote your blog.
Pinterest is also an outstanding way to promote your blog. I must admit I haven’t played around with it as much, but I know that it can be very effective.
Here’s how to use Pinterest to promote your blog:
- Optimize your profile with lots of keywords
- Create keyword-rich boards
- Share your blog posts into the board, 10x per day
- Add other peoples pins into the boards
You can use Canva for your images, as there are many free templates that you can use.
Finally, we also have Facebook groups. I actually recommend growing your own, because that way you have more control over it.
It’s a great way to promote your content for free and re-market your content to existing users. You can also use other people’s Facebook groups to network and find people you want to add to yours.
Most blogs at some point have an educational course or something along the lines. Thinkific has a free plan, which will allow you to host a course.
Most other membership site platforms start at least $5o per month or so – Meaning: Thinkific is a great way to get started without breaking the bank.
The free plan comes with:
- Limited courses (3 I believe)
- Unlimited students
- Quizzes & surveys
- Content hosting
So, it’s pretty decent in features and something you would normally expect to pay for. You can sign up using the button below.
Pixabay, Unsplash, and Pexels
The next set of tools are for copyright-free images:
I mainly only use Pixabay because it has nice file sizes. All the others have such huge file sizes ranging from 1-2MB.
Still, if you can compress them, then they might be worth a shot too.
Let’s Encrypt SSL
Every website needs an SSL certificate. Otherwise, your users will not trust your website, and it can also harm your search engine performance.
Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates are free and ensure that you have the little safety lock on your website, which means you can’t steal your users’ sensitive data.
Here’s a tutorial on how to set up a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate.
Sumo is a free plugin that will let you add pop-ups to your blog so that you can collect emails on your blog. With the average ROI of email marketing being $44 for every $1 spent, you should be collecting emails on your blog.
Sumo lets you get started for free, which you can then collect to Aweber, the free autoresponder.
You can download the Sumo plugin from the WordPress plugin store.
A FREE Theme
Finally, if you’re on WordPress, you’ll need a free theme. I don’t recommend getting any from the standard WordPress store because most of them are heavy and will slow down your site.
Instead, I would really recommend getting a paid one. However, if that’s not possible, you can check out some of the free themes below.
Best Free Themes:
Best Paid Themes:
All of these you can pair with Elementor to create a beautiful site.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best blogging platform?
The best blogging platform based on popularity and features is WordPress.org. You can add pretty much any feature you want through plugins and have full control over your website.
It’s also self-hosted, so you’re not building your house on someone else’s land. Despite there being a slight learning curve, it’s also great for beginners.
What does a “self-hosted” website mean?
It means that you fully own the website and that you’re hosting it yourself. However, with many tools like Squarespace, Medium, and others, you are hosting your website on their tool, and it can even be tough to get it out of there.
How Can I Pick a Good Domain Name?
Ideally, you will want to choose your brand name, but if you haven’t chosen that yet, go for:
- Something short (ideally under 15 characters)
- Avoid unnecessary numbers, unless it’s part of the brand name
- Choose a good TLD (like .com)
- Make sure it reads easily and has a nice ring to it
What Are the Essential Free Tools For Blogging?
Here is my list of essential free tools for blogging:
- Aweber (email marketing)
- Grammarly (Write error-free)
- Elementor (Page builder)
That’s it! I hope you have enjoyed this guide on the best free tools for blogging. If you would like to read more similar posts, make sure to check out some of my recent posts below.