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Free or Nearly Free Blogging and Writing Tools

blogging & writing tools

blogging & writing tools

Every person I know loves FREE, complimentary, nada, comp, free of charge, gratis, ‘on the house’ products, tools & services. The 2nd best is nearly free. Especially if it is an added value item. Working with clients, this becomes very obvious. I know if I like something for nothing than so do others. Here is a current list of the blogging and writing tools & products I love to use in my business.

Previously I have written about several products, tools & services that I like to use. Getting around town is not a challenge when you check out these navigation tools. This continuing series started with the calendar and task apps that keep me on track in my business.

Earlier this year, my website was hacked. Actually it was most likely infected with a virus or malware, nevertheless it was down for approx a week. The results were better security and tactics for keeping my website safe

My Favorite Blogging and Writing Tools

Continuing with this theme, here are my favorite tools for blogging and writing.

Hands down the best tool that I added was my editorial calendar. Trello was the tool of my choice for an editorial calendar. This very flexible tool, has kept me on track. The best part Trello is like two products in one, with a calendar view and a list view.

Calendar view shows what is in the works for what dates. In this view, it shows my blogs and any guest blog on their ‘Live’ date. There is no limit on how far ahead, I can plan blog posts. Typically, I try to have 2-3 months planned.

trello calendar view

List view is very ingenious – I use this tool to keep up with all my blog post ideas.

trello list view

  • Blog Brainstorm – any and every thought I have had on possible topics for my blogs.
  • Spin-offs – ideas based on a previous blog post. This strategy is a simple way to expand on a previous poplar topic/blog.
  • Approved Blog Topics – this is exactly what it says. Over in Google drive, I generally like to know if I can write an open paragraph or two, this helps me determine if I my blog topic is potentially viable. In that first paragraph, it should have several points that I would expand on in the body of the blog.
  • Writing/Edit/Design Phase – ideally I would like to be writing blogs around a month ahead. Will be there soon. Blogs sit in this phase until I am done with them;
  • Ready to Post phase – typically blogs don’t sit in this phase. Since I have added guest post, I have had some sitting here until they publish. When I am writing around a month ahead, there will be more sitting here.
  • Current Newsletter – once a blog post, it is placed here until the time the next newslette is prepared.
  • Past blogs/newsletter – keeping past blogs, gives me the chance to look back at the previous year’s post and what I wrote about in another spot.

Writing tools

I use Google drive, to write my blogs, list, notes and research and Penzu (*af) for my goal setting and journaling.

I know many people like DropBox, but ‘?Why?’. I don’t understand, especially when Google drive offers the same features and many more extra and favorite features. Storage and sharing are of value, but I also want to manipulate documents, spreadsheets, presentation, etc. DropBox does not allow any type of editing. Yea, I can’t understand it.

Previously I had mentioned Penzu as one of my list tools. It has the added feature of being fun to use. I love the simplicity of Google Drive, but i prefer my journal prettified, like a real journal would looks.

penzu journal view

Penzu’s free version has excellent features, but I quickly moved up to the paid version for the extras.

  • Penzu free
  • 100% Private
  • Available everywhere – Sync desktops, tablets & mobile
  • Reminders
  • Add photos
  • Legacy – one of my favorite features is Legacy, with this feature I am able to assign up journal to the person(s) of my choice and upon my death they can access my journals from my life.

Penzu paid

  • Multiple journals – I currently have my Goal journal, a Business journal & a personal journal.
  • Set reminders
  • Tagging content
  • Global searching of tags & multiple journals.
  • Importing & Exporting
  • Journaling via email to Penzu

Penzu $19.99 paid is worth it.

Blogging Platform

When I decided to blog, I immediately gravitated to WordPress. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there are some other great blog platforms and depending on what your end goal is one of the others might be a better platform.

Once my blog is written, I log into my WordPress.org back office to post. What sold me on WordPress was the flexibility. I love having options, but most especially I wanted to own my domain. Which using the wordpress.org platform allows me to do.

WordPress has the many free themes. My theme, Customizr was a free one, but again, I upped for extras. I chose Customizr, because even though I am very much a DIY’r, my theme choice had to be simple to install, that got me up and going immediately. The contributors have been updating and adding new features, and are quick to answer any support questions.

My WordPress website is managed (hosted) through Flywheel. As a DIY person, there are times I need and want help. With my old hosting website this happened too often and it was not an easy process. Flywheel (*af) admirably fit the bill for this. They migrated my website from my old hosting to their servers when I signed up. Eaze-peazy. And the few times I have had questions, they have promptly answered my questions.

Blog Content

Before the blog goes live, you gotta add images. Without question, my favorite creative tool for images is Canva and with the advent of their Canva for Work (*af) I am excited to see what extras there will be. There are tons of free image sites – Here are a few that I like PhotoPin, Vector Icons, Bigstock -weekly free image and my new favorite, Pixabay.  These are just a few of my favorite from the tons of options out there.

Lastly follow me on Pinterest for up-to-date articles on blogging & writing tools. If it’s interesting, a great resource and/or is a great ‘how-to’ blog it lands on my Pinterest ‘Blogging Stuff’ board.

Challenge

Do you agree with me? Disagree? What have you found to be the blogging & writing tools that make for an excellent writing experience.

Disclosures
*Some affiliate links are used in this blog. What that means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission from purchases you may make. Disclosure Page.

Author Profile

Gina DavisThe Money is in the Follow-Up!
Everything I do is with the belief that you must show your clients you care. This continues to resonate with me. I believe that it is the cornerstone of business growth today. My mission is to work with busy people in business on their growth strategy, by helping them build customer recognition, foster loyalty and increase customer retention and referrals.

7 thoughts on “Free or Nearly Free Blogging and Writing Tools

  1. Great post! Thanks for sharing! What do you think about Evernote? Have you even used it? Some of my friend marketers use it for saving interesting ideas. I’ve never tried it myself though)

    1. Hi Olena,

      Thanks for stopping by. I am familiar with Evernote. You didn’t specify how you were thinking of using it.

      I actually use Google Keep to keep notes. I use it for more than blog info, personal and business information often goes into it. It has a voice featured which I’ve used when I have an idea in the car and can’t stop to get it down.

      I would love to hear what tools you have or do use.

  2. Since Trello calendar only allows you to show cards per board and not a “great overview calendar” i helped myself and created an open source calendar that allows you to get a quick overview of all upcoming cards.

    Feel free to try it:
    Calendar for Trello

    Since its open source you can modify and host it on your own, this is only a hosted version you may use.

    1. Hi, This sounds like a possible great resource.

      The link (webpage/website) is lacking some information. I would like to know who you are. A description of what this resource is doing and maybe some examples.

      Thanks for chiming in.

      1. Hello Gina,

        i’m sorry for the lack of information, let me just fix that!

        Its a simple tool that shows you all your cards in a calendar view. It is open source – this means anyone can download and contribute for free – you dont need to follow my link you can set one up for yourself. There is no further description because you can look into the code if you want anything else its public under this url: https://github.com/w11k/calendar-for-trello

        Screenshot:
        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CHIR1O5XIAEn8Lh.png:large

        We need the calendar since we have a lot of boards and you need all cards in one round-up to not loose the controll.
        best regards,
        Can

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