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30 Free Resources For Blogging On A Budget

When you're starting out as a blogger you may not have a lot of money to put towards your blog. Or you may not want to invest too much money into it until you know you'll get a return on your investment.

Either way, you don’t want your blog to look like a fly-by-night operation. You want it to look as professional as possible so that you can attract visitors and grow it so you can start investing money in it. I know I did.

30 Free Resources For Blogging On A Budget | A Relaxed Gal

(This post contains affiliate links for which I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase.)

When I first started my blog it was purely a hobby. I wasn’t too serious about it and I didn’t have any money to invest in it. Especially when I was laid off the month after I started my blog.

But as I’ve spent more time blogging I’ve become more serious about it and can see it has the potential to become a viable side business. Additionally, while I've come to realize that to make your blog into a business at some point you need to start investing in it there are still some areas where you don’t have to spend a lot a money or any money at all.

As I dive more and more into the blogging world I’ve found several free resources for blogging on a budget. Some are ones that I’ve used to help grow my blog, others are ones that I’ve read good reviews on. So I decided to create a list that other newbie or even established bloggers can reference. Because who doesn’t like free things!

Blog Templates

1. Premium Blogger Templates
This is a site with several blog templates available for download for free or for a fee. The templates at you pay for are supposed to come with more features and customer support. I’ve used a few free templates from this site over the years and was able to easily edit them with my branding.

2. Themexpose
Like Premium Blogger Templates you can either download templates for free or pay for more features and support. The templates at Themexpose are made to work with the Blogger platform.

3. Sora Templates
This site has fewer Blogger templates than Premium or Themexpose, but they have several sophisticated templates. The templates come in free and paid versions.

Writing And Content Creation

4. Google Calendar
This is what I use to create my content calendar. It’s really easy to use and I can color code my blog and social posts so I know what's supposed to go live when.

5. Google Drive
I love Google Drive. It allows me to house most of what I need to run my blog. I’m able to create and house printables that I use for my content upgrades. I can also write and organize my blog posts in Google Drive, and access them from multiple devices.

6. Coschedule Headline Analyzer
I don’t use this tool as often as I did, but it’s been very helpful when I’m stumped on what would make a good post headline. This free online tool uses research to help determine if your headline would perform well.

7. Grammarly
This is an online tool that helps you edit your content. I do a decent job of editing my own posts when I spend the time to, but Grammarly is like a great backup because it will catch any grammar or spelling errors I didn’t.

Tools To Start And Run A Blog Without Going Broke | A Relaxed Gal

Stock photos

8. Styled Stock Society
These are pretty, bright, and stylish stock photos created with the female entrepreneur in mind. Though this is a paid site you can still sign up to get 10 free photos.

9. Stock Snap
The photos on Stock Snap are free from copyright restrictions and don't require any attribution. The photos I've used from this site are lifestyle photos or interior shots.

10. Stockvault
This site offers free photos for personal, educational and non-commercial usage. I have to admit I don't use Stockvault that often when I search for stock photos because much of what I find I don't like.

11. Death to the Stock Photo
This stock site is a free subscription service where they email you photos on a monthly basis.

12. Ivory Mix
Get access to an extensive free image library that has images that fit many types of styles and blog niches.

Photo Editing

13. Fotor.com
With this free online design and editing software, I can do all kinds of things. From the basic photo editing o adjusting brightness, contrast, and cropping, to adding filters and frames. Fotor can be accessed from a computer or an app on mobile devices. The one downside of the free version is you can't save your edited images in the software, so I make sure to download them before I move on to something else.

14. Snapseed
This is a free app that I love! Just by using my phone I can do some serious editing to images such as adjusting exposure, changing brightness, adding blur, and cropping. I've been able to use Snapseed to make dark images look light and airy.

15. Tinypng
Have a slow loading blog is the worse. It can turn away potential and current readers and also negatively impact your income if you've monetized your blog. One of the biggest culprits can be large images. I've started compressing my images using tinypng.com. So my images aren't so big that they slow download time.

Graphic Design

16. Canva
This is an online graphic design software that makes graphic design easy for those of us who aren't designers. You can sign up for a free account and create designs for social media covers, blog graphics, posters and more. I love how simple it is and that I can use my own images or free ones available through Canva.

17. Colorful Social Media Icons
Having cohesive branding is important and one way to do that is to use social channel icons that are your brand colors. Beautiful Dawn Designs has 100 free icons in multiple colors.

30 free blogging resources | A Relaxed Gal


Social Media

18. Later
This is my go-to app for managing my Instagram feed. With Later you can plan and auto-schedule up to 30 images a month and track your stats all for free.

19. Planoly
This is another Instagram management app. With Planoly’s free plan you can upload 30 images that you can then schedule and auto post to your feed. One additional feature that Planoly has and Later doesn’t is scheduling your Instagram Stories so you get a notification reminding you to post.

20. SocialPilot
To regularly post on my Facebook page and Twitter feed I use SocialPilot With SocialPilot I have the options bulk uploading and seeing all my scheduled posts in a calendar format. Additionally, with Facebook, I use the repeat post feature and pretty much set it and forget it.

21. Recurpost
This is a social media management platform for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn that doesn't just post your content once but saves it to post it again. I'm currently using the free plan for Recurpost which allows me to save 100 pieces of content for posting.

Email Lists

22. Email Service Provider Cheat Sheet
Compare the features and benefits of the top three email service providers for bloggers so you can choose the best one for your needs.

23. MailerLite
To manage my email subscribers and send emails I opted to use MailerLite. Several bloggers use other newsletter services, but MailerLite is the one that fits best in my budget and also provided the types of features I wanted. I love how easy the interface is to use and the reporting that I get. MailerLite's free plan allows you to have up to 1,000 subscribers and send unlimited emails each month.

Courses, Guides, and Printables

24. Decrease Your Bounce Rate
This is my free 6-day mini email course that walks you through key and important things that can help keep visitors on your blog longer and decrease your bounce rate. 

25. Traffic Tracker
These are two free printables that help you track monthly stats for your blog and multiple social media accounts so you can see your growth over time and evaluate what is and isn’t working.

26. 5 Types Of Content That Will Boost Your Blog Traffic Ebook
This ebook is offered by Abby Lawson of Just a Girl and Her Blog. In it, she outlines the 5 types of posts that have consistently brought her high pageviews.

27. 101 Free Website Traffic Ideas
Especially when you’re starting out growing the traffic to your blog is very important. So having a list like this one from Redefining Mom can help make it easier to find out what ways work for your blog and audience.

28. Weekly Social Media Planners
Helps you keep all of the weekly tasks and ideas for your social accounts in order.

29. Blog Theme Checklist
A helpful checklist to help you narrow down the best theme or template for your blog.

30. Ivory Mix
Several free courses that can help you as you manage and grow your blog. Such as getting traffic from Pinterest and creating graphics with Canva.



Originally posted 1/30/16
Updated 5/21/18

16 comments:

  1. Great tips here! I use picasa as well for photo editing. And I'm thinking of getting an inexpensive blog template from etsy.com

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    1. There are some nice, but inexpensive templates available on etsy. How do you like Picasa? Thanks for reading!

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  2. I love using PicMonkey. Thanks for sharing. I bookmarked this page for future need. LOL!

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    1. What do you use Picmonkey for? Editing, design, both? I've come to like Picmonkey a lot more than when I first checked it out. I'm glad you found the post helpful.

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  3. I found this information very helpful for my blog as I don’t seem to get enough traffic to it. I would also recommend going on this website: http://tinyurl.com/gwexanm one of my freinds recomended it to me and it teaches you on how to you can earn a residual income from your blog and can make blogging into a full time carrer. I suggest anyone that has a blog or considering about making one should definatley check the website out it has lots of useful information on it and has helped me out a lot.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Sean. What is some of the information from your friends site you've used?

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  4. These are great resources Leah! Thanks for the tip, I will be checking these out for sure!

    http://mrsdoingme.blogspot.com/

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    1. You're welcome Keoshia. Thanks for reading!

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  5. These are great tips, PicMonkey has been my go to as I learn to edit photos better for both Pinterest and Instagram shares!

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    1. PicMoney is great. I've started using another photo editing app that I need to add to this list. It's Adobe Lightroom. I think I'm able to get brighter, cleaner photos with it than other editing tools.

      Do you also use PicMoney to design your Pinterest graphics?

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  6. Thanks for this! I could always use more stock image sources!

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    1. I know. I can never have enough. I'm trying to take more of my own photos, but when I'm in a pinch the free sites are so helpful.

      Thanks for reading!

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  7. Enjoyed this post - especially the theme and stock photo sites!!!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Laura! Do you have any free resources or sites you use for your blog?

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  8. Wow, I'm honestly super impressed! I didn't know there were so many new ways to schedule Instagram posts! Especially because I run three different Instagram accounts now so I feel like this was so much more informative than I could've ever expected. Thanks Leah! <3

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  9. I didn't know about so many of these! Thanks for sharing!

    Ruth | www.ruthinrevolt.com

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