As a quick break to my usual Dad-blog, here’s a list of the best over 40 FREE resources for bloggers and social media enthusiasts.
I’ve been asked a lot lately about the tools I use, which podcasts I listen to and which newsletters actually give interesting updates about the really fun stuff like social media tools, who changed what with Facebook and how we can use it, or where to get free stock images.
Let’s start with the basics.
The Best Social Media Newsletters:
Before you start anything, get updates and useful industry news delivered right to your email inbox.
- The Hustle – Marketing Industry news, business updates, social media topics and everything you need to know to sound very, very smart
- Social Media Today – Social strategy, marketing news and platform updates
- Buffer Social – Daily updates from one of the leading social platforms with tools, tricks and experiments to boost your engagement
- HubSpot’s Marketing Blog – includes articles on SEO, lead-generation, engagement tips and creating content your audience will love
Free blogging platforms:
- WordPress – Choose a name for your blog, pick a theme, start writing
- Wix.com – Great for very visual designing. Drag and drop everything into place
- Blogger.com – Older, more basic than WordPress but easy to use
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- Google Analytics – see who’s coming to your site, where in the world they are and how they found your content
- Evernote – lets you add notes, files and documents across desktop and mobile apps
- Trello – project management platform. It’s like Post-It notes but on your phone and computer
- Slack – talk to your colleagues or project partners without the ‘Reply All’ emails
Free stock images for commercial use:
It’s important to remember that unless you have permission from the creator, you can’t use their work for your own benefit. This includes photos, video or music for your blog or content. Instead of saving a photo from Google Images that could get you into trouble, here are a few useful sites that have free stock content that you are free to use.
Free stock video:
Free stock music:
- YouTube’s own Audio Library, – can be filtered by genre, mood, length, and if you need to mention the composer
- Free Stock Music – Browse hundreds of royalty-free loops, tracks and sounds
Social Media and Marketing Podcasts:
I listen to Podcasts all the time and they’re fantastic ways of hearing about the latest news, updates on your favourite topics and get some opinions on things that matter. Here are the ones that are really useful for my day-to-day as a Social Media Specialist and Blogger.
- The Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner
- The UnPodcast
- The Science of Social Media
- Stuff You Should Know – not social media but just super interesting
Best Apps for Photography:
Even if your blog is the most interesting around, it’s important to make your content shine with great pictures. Make the most of your photography with these free and easy-to-use apps.
- VSCO Cam – all the filters
- Over – Add text to your photos or the free stock photos provided
- Snapseed – More editing options for enhancements and corrections
- Enlight – Start creating some really cool photo effects
Best Apps for editing video:
- VSCO Cam – new update that allows the same filters and enhancements for video
- iMovie – easy to use video editing, including slicing, splitting clips and transitions
- Video To Gif – make looping gifs from your videos, perfect for use on social media and within your blog
- Magisto – Photo editor designed for use on social media, with a free stock video library
Best apps for making Pinterest pins:
- Over has presets for all social platforms, including the tall Pinterest pins which get the most engagement.
- WordSwag – lots of cool fonts and templates to get started
Survey Your Audience:
- SurveyMonkey – find out exactly what your audience or customers want by sending them quick surveys
- Facebook polls – you can now create a poll post to ask your fans which they prefer. It’s a great conversation starter
- Twitter poll – The same as Facebook. Ask your followers what they want and then give it to them
Make your own newsletters:
- Mailchimp – I know there are other platforms, but this is my favourite. It’s super simple to set up and has some nice plug-ins for WordPress blogs.
Social Scheduling Tools:
You can’t be at your computer all the time, so it’s great to be able to send out posts or updates automatically.
- Hootsuite – the industry standard for social scheduling. It also has a basic analytics platform which can be really useful
- Tweetdeck – only for Twitter, but works well and is easy to use
- Buffer – Similar to Hootsuite and has a great app too.
The best Google Chrome Plug-in
There are lots to choose from, but Grammarly is incredible. It will pop up with a little note if your grammar isn’t quite right and offer a one-click fix. It’s free and everyone should be using it.
And that’s 42! I thought the links below were worth mentioning too, even though they’re not free.
Best cheap marketplace for creative resources:
These two aren’t free, but you can get incredible value from these platforms. Find people who will make content for you, or are selling their templates for you to make your own media kits, wordpress templates, presentation decks and more.
- Fiverr – for $5 you can get a logo designed, a voice-over recorded, an animation created for your website and much more.
- Creative market – Buy fonts, templates, blog themes, media kit templates and more.
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