So you’ve taken the leap and created your very own blog or website! Yay, you! But now what? Aside from content creation, you also need to think about traffic, ads, affiliate programs, social media, etc. It can seem daunting. And expensive. Well, fear not! I’ve put together a list of FREE resources for beginner bloggers to help you get started.
This post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure here.
In no particular order, here are some awesome and FREE steps you can take to really help get your new blog off the ground.
Pinterest Business Account
Pinterest is a HUGE source of traffic for bloggers. It’s basically become a massive, visual search engine with endless information. Joining as a business gives you an inside look at how your pins are performing using Pinterest Analytics. It allows you to see what pins are getting the most views, clicks, saves and by who. You’ll quickly learn who your audience is and what they are craving. That’s such a powerful tool! You’ll see what’s working and what’s not. Thus, you can keep sharing the popular content and grow from there! Join as a business here.
You’ll need to create engaging images for your blog posts and to also create pins to promote those posts on Pinterest. No need for fancy and expensive software. Canva allows you to create beautiful pins and graphics for free! No design skills? No problem. Canva offers beautiful templates to help get you started. Your designs are all saved for you to return back to later and access your branded colors and images. This makes branding your pins so simple. They have a free version and a premium paid version. But the free one is very impressive and versatile. Sign up for free here.
Tailwind is like your Pinterest / Blogging assistant. In the beginning, you may feel like you’re spending all your time pinning. Enter Tailwind. Tailwind is a pin scheduler. And it’s brilliant! You tell them what you want to pin and they tell you the best time to pin those items for the pique visibility. Then it schedules and pins them for you. Great if you are heading out on vacation or if your week is going to be really busy.
The absolute best part of Tailwind (in my opinion) is Tailwind Tribes, where you can collaborate with other Tailwind users in your niche market, which is so helpful, especially when you are getting started. Sign up for a free trial of Tailwind here. Tribes is also free for anyone to use.
Bonus: Tailwind also offers an Instagram Scheduler as well! You can make Instagram posts from your Tailwind account, schedule your posts, use their handy Hashtag Finder (learn more here), check your post’s analytics, and more.
It’s important to begin growing your email list as soon as possible. MailerLite is your best bet for creating and maintaining your email list when you are starting out. A lot of bloggers start with MailChimp (I was one of them). But I struggled with the platform a lot. For me, it was quite confusing and I didn’t love the overall look of my forms and landing pages when I finally did figure out how it all worked.
I made the switch to MailerLite and wish I’d done it sooner! It’s much more user-friendly and offers better features on the free version. You can send unlimited email campaigns, create beautiful landing pages, and customize absolutely everything! And it’s free for your first 1000 Subscribers! There are also lots of helpful video tutorials on YouTube if you get stuck on anything. Sign up for your free account here.
ShareASale is an Affiliate Marketing Network. You’ll find lots of merchants in various niches who are looking for bloggers to promote their products. Ever wonder where bloggers get those ads that run down the sidebar of their blog posts? Find a merchant that fits your niche and they’ll provide you with those sidebar ads. You can also create a custom referral link for specific products they sell. There are fantastic merchants like Stella & Dot, Gymboree, and Wayfair looking for promoters. Join for free here.
Sendowl is an online platform for creative entrepreneurs who have digital products to sell. If you are just starting out you likely don’t have a product to sell yet. BUT, tons of bloggers do. And lots of them offer affiliate programs through Sendowl. So if you have a blogger you admire, reach out to them. Chances are if they have a digital product (like an E-book) they’re likely looking for affiliates to promote their products. Failing that, Sendowl also has its own affiliate program. You can earn a commission just by referring others to join. They offer a 20% recurring commission for every sign up you refer. You can sign up here.
If you want to learn more about Sendowl, check out my post: How I Use Sendowl to Make Consistent Affiliate Income.
You can join Amazon as an Associate for free and place product referrals on your blog or website. If that referral leads to a sale, any sale, you get a commission! The Amazon Associates Program is one of the largest and most successful online affiliate programs out there and they make it really easy to use. To join or just get more info, simply scroll to the bottom of Amazon.ca or Amazon.com and find “become an associate” OR go here (Canada) or here (US). Once you join you have 180 days to make your first sale.
If you really want to make the most of your 180 trial period and ensure you make that first sale, check out this helpful E-book: How to Make Money with Amazon Affiliates. It’s a small investment but will pay for itself quickly.
If you’re struggling with setting up accounts or just general use of any of these free resources, head on over to YouTube (also free). There is almost always a video tutorial to guide you through anything you are struggling with. It can be so valuable to watch and follow along as someone gives you specific instructions.
Never underestimate the power of social media. If you don’t already have accounts, it’s time to join Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to grow your brand. All are free to join.
Here are a couple of Pinterest Boards to follow for relevant tips on gaining success through social media:
These are just a few of my favourite tools to use in your early blogging days. There are many more of course, but these are the ones I used to get started and continue to use today. They are all fairly easy to navigate and set up, even for a total newbie. If I can figure them out, so can you! Give them a try and see for yourself!
Want even MORE free blogging resources?
Check out my post: Free Training Courses for Beginner Bloggers.
*Updated to include this Bonus!
I’ve recently discovered this awesome Affiliate Marketing Course by Ana at The She Approach (she’s got 20,000 Pinterest Followers and knows her stuff!) She’s a blogging strategist/coach and she’s giving away some great tips in her Affiliate Marketing Course…for FREE! Check it out below.
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Blogging Resources I love and recommend:
SiteGround – I use SiteGround as my web hosting platform and I love it. They are trusted by the owners of over 1,900,000 domains! It’s secure, fast, reliable, and the customer service is AMAZING! I’ve had to contact them for help for a few reasons and the support I received was outstanding. Learn more about SiteGround HERE.
Tailwind – Is the Pin Scheduler of choice amongst most bloggers. I don’t know where I’d be in this business without it. In my mind, it is a NECESSITY! It’s like your blog/Pinterest assistant. And it’s a real game changer. If you haven’t already, sign up for a FREE month of Tailwind HERE.
Sendowl – Is my favourite source of affiliate income. Earn money through Sendowl 3 different ways. Refer people to their services, promote products for other bloggers, or use it to sell/run your own affiliate program and products (such as e-books). Learn more about Sendowl HERE.
ShareASale – If you are interested in monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing, ShareASale has got to be one of the easiest ways to do it! They’ve got merchants for every niche looking for affiliates to promote their products. Learn more about ShareASale HERE.
Grammarly – I saw a huge improvement in my writing after installing Grammarly. It’s the World’s leading checker of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and plagiarism. The better your writing, the more credible you will seem to you readers. Did I mention they have a FREE version? Check it out HERE.