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How to Improve Your Blog: A list of free resources

After a discussion with fellow bloggers, it seems that most people would like to improve their knowledge of technology, websites and apps, particularly when it comes to their blog. This is a list of free resources that can help you learn more and make use of on your own blog.

You might already be using all or some of these, but it is a good starting place. Please comment with any other free resources that might be useful to anyone reading.

I have personally tried each one to make sure they are worth checking out.

 

 

 

 

Social Media

BufferGreat for scheduling tweets/Facebook posts, up to 10 scheduled posts. It also analyses posts once they’ve been shared to measure engagement. Free for one social network or $10 (about £7) a month to add more plus up to 100 scheduled posts. More on pricing here.

Hootsuite – Can also be used for scheduling, but also to follow streams. So you can easily follow a topic or hashtag that you’re interested in (great for Twitter chats). I found this a bit more complicated when I tried it years ago for work, but have just signed up again. It’s free for 3 accounts: pricing plan.

Facebook Pages Manager – A phone app that makes it really easy to share, post, respond on your Facebook page.

IFTTT – Stands for ‘If this, then that’. You set up your social networks on this, then choose or create a formula. For example, IF you post to Instagram, THEN it also shares to your Twitter page. Saves a lot of time sharing. You can set up your blog to automatically share to social network pages.

Canva – Easily create picture posts for sharing on social media. Templates for blog posts, Twitter, Pinterest and more. Easy to use with plenty of free choices.

Pablo – A bit like Canva, but easier to use. If you want pictures with quotes on, or blog post titles for sharing, this is a great, simple tool.

 

Creating Posts


CoSchedule
 
– A free headline analyser that lets you test a few headlines and choose which is best based on a score. It gives tips on better headlines that will get your blog posts more clicks.

Stock Images – Shopify shared this list of all the best places to get stock images for free. It’s perfect for standard posts when you just need a standard picture to your post. There is such a range, and it means you don’t have to ninja around on Google trying to find ones you’re allowed to share.

Giphy – Wondering where everyone gets their gifs from? Probably here! You can search for a gif related to your post, save as you would save a picture and stick it in the post as you would a normal image.

Ubersuggest – A keyword planner that gives suggestions based on a word you input. For example, I put in ‘resources’ and it suggested ‘free resources’ as more likely to be searched. I definitely planned to make this free before that!

 

 

Photography

eHow – Lessons for beginners or those getting to grips with the rules of photography. The site includes videos to fully explain how to take great photos.

About Tech – The photography section has just about everything you need to improve your photography. From tips to contests to reviews, a great site for beginners

Photography Tutsplus – the list of all lists when it comes to photography. Rules, tips, facts, this will even help people who already know their stuff.

 

 

Editing Photos

MOBILE: 
Simply search your app platform.

Photoshop Express – works great on a tablet

Snapseed – Great for changing exposure

VSCO cam – great filters and all round editor

Instagram – plenty of filters and settings to play around with. Just screenshot the result and crop it if you don’t want to post to Instagram

PC:

Gimp – a good alternative to Photoshop, does everything you need, but for FREE! Need to download.

Paint.net – Windows only, wide variety of tools and special effects. Need to download.

Be Funky – Make photo collages, edit photos and design. Templates for flyers, infographics and more.

PicMonkey – As above, great all-rounder. This is a popular one for editing photos online.

 

 

Learn to Code

Having some basic coding knowledge is becoming much more necessary, even when using template sites for your blog or website.

Codeacademy – Great starting point for beginners. Tutorials and tasks keep you going.

Khan Academy – Great for learners. Community chats and help as well as further links.

Code.org – Advertised as for ages 6-106. Easy enough for children to follow, but great for all learners.

 

Let me know if this helps!

Have anything to add? Stick it in the comments. I can edit the list too if necessary.

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15 Comments

  • Reply Tony Burgess

    I use IFTTT to bring my Instagram pix to my WordPress blog because there isn’t a native solution to it. Thanks for the ideas here.

    18 March 2016 at 15:54
    • Reply Tina

      Yeah, I’ve used it for that in the past, it’s really handy.

      18 March 2016 at 16:20
  • Reply Kaitlyn

    These are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    18 March 2016 at 18:15
    • Reply Tina

      No probs! Seems handy 🙂 X

      18 March 2016 at 19:31
  • Reply Robert

    If you would like to be informed about the latest or trending search terms, you can try my new keyword tool http://www.kwalert.net. It comes with an optional notification service that will send you an email whenever new suggestions are found for the keyword you entered.

    19 March 2016 at 10:12
    • Reply Tina

      Sounds great, thanks!

      19 March 2016 at 10:17
  • Reply Allison

    Tina! This is so great! Thanks for all those tips! I had noooo idea. I’m definitely going to check these out! 🙂

    22 March 2016 at 04:08
    • Reply Tina

      No problem! Hope it helps 🙂 X

      22 March 2016 at 07:59
  • Reply Janice Wald

    Excellent tool suggestions. I have blogged about tools as well for bloggers, and I have blogged about many of these. I just blogged about Buffer within the week. I will blogging about tools again soon. Maybe you can check out my blogging tips site.
    Janice

    23 March 2016 at 08:11
    • Reply Tina

      Hi Janice. I’ll definitely have another look. I am Tina from Branded Value 🙂 recently written a guest post and so glad you’ve come across me here too!

      23 March 2016 at 08:12
      • Reply Janice Wald

        Thank you for subscribing!
        Janice

        23 March 2016 at 08:14
      • Reply Janice Wald

        When I publish my post, if I use your ideas, I will link to you.

        23 March 2016 at 08:28
        • Reply Tina

          Oh great! Thank you 🙂

          23 March 2016 at 08:30
  • Reply Jordon @ Simply Adrift

    Awesome post!

    I haven’t head of IFTTT, it sounds like it will be a time saver so you don’t have to manually post to all of your social media accounts at once. I love it! I’ll definitely be checking it out.

    Actually I’ll be checking out a lot of these, I haven’t heard of most of them to be honest…

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift.com

    24 May 2016 at 12:37
    • Reply Tina

      Thanks! I’ve tried and tested every single one, so let me know if you have any questions. IFTTT is amazing! Definite time saver as one post goes everywhere at once xx

      24 May 2016 at 13:36

    I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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