Best Free and Paid Blogging Resources for New Bloggers
WP Rocket – What I’m using to make my site super fast. Very easy to implement, with great documentation and support. Speeds up my site greatly. A worthwhile investment if you want to create a top-notch user experience and improve upon your Google Page Speed stats, especially mobile.
Data Collection Tools
With scores of online and offline resources, you’re likely to run into a valuable piece of information anywhere and at any time. Below are applications that allow you to capture that rare article or hard-to-find image and share them with team members. Information can be accessed from all of your devices which makes it easy to gather information on your Smartphone and access it later on your laptop. All of the apps below are free and offer plenty of single-user functions. Upgrades are optional.
Airstory is a web-based tool for capturing documents, graphics, web pages, emails, and just about anything you come across in your research efforts. Collaborate with an unlimited number of team members as you share your information. Includes Chrome extension for grabbing data from websites. Airstory has everything a single user needs to capture and share information.
Evernote is a cloud-based software service designed for creating, organizing, and storing research materials. Create as many notebooks as you need to store text documents, photos, videos, audio files emails, or complete web pages. Integrates with your browser, Microsoft Outlook, Google Drive, Slack, Salesforce, and Microsoft Teams.
Google Keep is a note-taking service developed by Google. Launched on March 20, 2013, Google Keep is available online and has mobile apps for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems. All it requires is a Google account. The amount of storage space you get in Keep is dependent on your Google Drive storage, which is 15GB by default.
Microsoft OneNote is an application that allows you to gather information in several formats: paper notes, text, web pages, images, and audio. Research materials can be shared with other OneNote users over the Internet or a local area network. OneNote is available as a part of Microsoft Office and Windows 10.
Pocket is a popular storage tool for articles, videos, and web pages and has over 30 million registered users. Integrates with over 1500 apps like Flipboard, Twitter, and Zite. available for major devices and platforms including iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac, Kindle Fire, Kobo, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Windows. Premium upgrade is optional.
Zotero is the only software that automatically senses research on the web. Need an article from JSTOR or a preprint from arXiv.org? A news story from the New York Times or a book from a library? Zotero has you covered, everywhere. Flexible options allow you to download this software for Mac, Windows and Linux, or as a browser extension (Firefox) or plug in (Chrome, Safari).
Windows Notepad deserves an honorable mention as an out-of-the-box Windows applet since its first version in the early 1980s. It can still be used to quickly jot notes on your Windows laptop when the need arises. The applet is a simple ASCII text editor only and does not handle graphics, audio, or automatic device synchronization.
Online Information Sources (A thru N)
The first thing I look for when writing an attractive blog post is good information sources. There are many free online and offline resources that can provide information on any subject. Here are some of the many that I’ve actually used listed in alphabetical order:
Google Alerts will send articles in your niche right to your inbox. Simply type in a query of any topic of interest you. If there are articles available, they will email inks to articles that match your query at the frequency that you choose: daily, weekly, or as soon as they are available.
Google Scholar provides access to several databases with nearly 400 million peer-reviewed academic journals, books, and patents. Subjects span healthcare and medicine; gender and diversity, innovation, science, careers, and thoughtful insights.
Blog Monetization Resources
Best Affiliate Marketing Networks (article): Teaches bloggers how to earn a commission by recommending other companies’ products and services. Also includes networks you can sign up for to start promoting products on your blog today.
Google AdSense (they pay you): Google’s advertising network that approves new bloggers. It’s easy to set up and start earning cash by following the company’s step-by-step guide. Note, though, that payout can be low and you need to earn at least $100 before receiving a payment.
Mediavine (they pay you): Advertising network that accepts bloggers with at least 50,000 monthly user interactions, known as sessions, as recorded by Google Analytics. The company pays more per ad click than Google AdSense.
Pro Blogger Bundle (paid course): A discounted set of three blogging courses: Launch Your Blog Biz, Pinterest Traffic Avalanche, and Six-Figure Blogger. The course creators, Alex and Lauren from Create and Go, teach everything new bloggers need to know, from starting a blog to growing traffic using Pinterest to turning a profit.
Feminine Stock Photography For Blogs – Memberships
Most of these offer a small pack of free sample images (one-time or each month) when you sign-up for their newsletter. These are some of the best tools for bloggers to stand out from all other bloggers out there using free stock images.
Best Visual Content Generation Resources
Many free options with extra features with a reasonably-priced paid plan (highly recommended you upgrade!). You also get access to thousands of gorgeous stock photos via Pexels and others you’d pay for. Some of my favourite features include the ability to add my custom fonts (YAY!) and add my brand palette. Read more about all the ways I design and monetize my blog by upgrading to Canva Pro.
There are a number of ways to earn commissions (from sign-ups to promotions). Sign up to Tailwind, try it out and become an affiliate, referring it to others. Member referrals to others to join can be $15+