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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ankit Karma

21 Essential Free Blogging Tools - Twittindia blog


21 Free Blogging Tools
1. WORDPRESS
Yes, there are other blogging platforms
and some of them may be easier for new
computer users and non-techies to use.
But none of them is better than
WordPress. While WordPress may be
slightly harder to get started with
because it offers more options, it’s well
worth the time investment. WordPress is
still easy to use, yet powerful enough
that it can adapt to do anything you want
with your blog in the future.
Like many other bloggers I started with
Blogspot and then changed to
WordPress. Switching blogging platforms
is a pain in the bum and will lose you
readers so the quicker you change to
WordPress the better.
If you haven’t started blogging yet then
choose WordPress as your blogging
platform from day one. You’ll thank me
for it. If you already use WordPress then
congratulations – you should be set for
life.
2. GMAIL
I have many email addresses which all
automatically send to my Gmail email
account. That way I can check all my
emails from anywhere, any time – even if
I’m not at my computer since Gmail is
web-based. I use the archive to store
emails that have been replied to, labels
to sort mail so, such as all invoices are
stored in one place and easily browsed,
and stars to highlight important emails.
Best of all every single email is backed
up free of charge and I’ll never need to
change my email address when I change
Internet Service Provider or move
overseas.
3. GOOGLE ANALYTICS
I use Google Analytics to see which of
my blog posts are the most popular and
check which websites send me the most
readers. I also use it as a reliable source
of reader demographics and site
statistics which I share with advertisers
and sponsors in my media kit.
4. MAILCHIMP
Mailchimp is an email management
system that tracks your email
subscribers. It’s currently free up for lists
with up to 2,000 subscribers which
should be enough for new bloggers, then
there’s a monthly charge after that.
MailChimp has great statistics so you
can check how many emails sent
actually get opened.
5. EVERNOTE
You can capture anything including Web
pages, images, text, and voice notes with
Evernote which is available as an app for
your cell phone or iPad as well as web-
based. Your notes can then be accessed
later from just about anywhere via a
computer or mobile device. You can also
use Evernote search through all of your
notes so you can find the information
you need fast.
6. MY HOURS
My Hours is an online time-tracking tool
to help you work out where all those
hours in the day disappear to and see
which tasks take more time than they
should. I’ve just started using it to track
how my time is spent in a bid to increase
productivity. It seems easy to use and
useful too.
7. RAPPORTIVE
Rapportive is a free add-on to your
Gmail account which shows you your
contacts’ LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook
pages right inside your inbox. You can
then connect with them on those social
media sites without leaving Gmail. In
other words you don’t have to zip off to
Twitter to follow them, Facebook to
friend them and LinkedIn to connect with
them. It can all be done quickly and
easily from one place making you look
like a consummate professional with a
real interest in garnering your
connections.
8. DROPBOX
There are no excuses for not backing up
your work now. Dropbox offers free
automatic storage of all your files for up
to 2GB.
9. WE TRANSFER
WeTransfer is handy free tool for sending
big files like PowerPoint presentations or
videos which can’t be emailed.
10. OPEN OFFICE
Open Office offers free word processing,
spreadsheet and database management
software so you don’t need to buy
Microsoft Office.
11. SKYPE
Free phone calls all over the world,
instant messaging, free video calls and
free conference calls are all available
once you download Skype. We live in an
amazing world. Let’s take advantage of
it.
12. GOOGLE DOCS
Google docs is handy for sharing
documents online but best of all you can
use it to create free online surveys with
the results all shown in pretty pie charts
like this one.
13. GOOGLE CALENDAR
Google calendar is part of Gmail. The
calendar sends me reminders of my
appointments every morning and I can
update it from my cell phone too when
I’m out and about. I’ve also just given my
hubby access to my calendar so he can
see what I’m up to without having to ask
me. Hmmm, there could be some
drawbacks to that though.
14. GRAVATAR
Have you got a little image which
displays when you leave a blog comment
or are you stuck with the default grey
man? If you’re a grey man hurry over to
Gravatar (it stands for globally
recognised avatars) and spend a few
minutes uploading a fab photo of your
dear self. This is such an important part
of your online branding but one which
many new bloggers overlook.
15. GOOGLE READER
Once you have a Google email account
you can use Google Reader to follow all
your favourite blogs from one spot so
you’ll be able to find out when they’re
updated without actually visiting them.
16. FLICKR
Search the Flickr’s creative commons for
photos that will make your blog posts
pop like the one up top. Just be sure to
add a photo credit at the end of your
post.
17. PAYPAL
PayPal drives me nuts. Their anti-money-
laundering policies are so stringent that
almost everyone who ever receives
payment via PayPal seems to get their
entire account frozen at some point. It
took us months to get it sorted out when
it happened to us. But it’s still the best
way to send and receive money
internationally which you’ll need to do if
you want to buy blogging resources or
earn money by selling products or
services through your blog.
18. EASY CLOCK
This is a tool in the Chrome browser
which is far and away the easiest way to
compare time zones and work out a time
that will suit you and your overseas
clients when you want to book
consultations or a Skype call. First you
need to download and install Chrome
then add the easy clock app to it.
19. DRAGON DICTATION APP
I’ve just treated myself to Dragon
Naturally Speaking Premium which is
speak recognition software for your
computer. Yes, no more typing. The free
Dragon dictation app has limited capacity
but you can use it on your cell phone or
tablet to record short messages or
conversations which is handy.
20. HOOTSUITE
Hootsuite is a social media management
tool that let’s you manage Facebook,
Twitter and LinkedIn from one dashboard.
I love it because it allows you to add
RSS feeds so you can auto-tweet blog
posts, both your own and on other blogs.
The free version lets you add two RSS
feeds and will give you an idea if it’s
worth spending a small fee each month
for the professional version.

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Ankit Karma

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