10 Useful Free Tools and Resources For Your Blog

toolsBlogging is part art, part science.  To create a truly great blog, you will need help.  If you have money you can just outsource everything to experts and have them do most (if not all) of it for you.  But what if you are just getting started and don’t have much extra cash floating around?  Luckily, there are some great online tools at your disposal that are completely free.  Here are a few of my favorites.

KnowEm

URL: http://knowem.com/

KnowEm is a service that will check over 500 social networks and sharing sites to see if your username is available.  You never know when some network may become the next big thing, but if you used KnowEm to reserve your name, at least you know your territory is claimed.

 

FreeWpThemesBlog

URL: http://freewpthemesblog.com/

Not satisfied with the default themes that come with WordPress?  Don’t want to spend money on a premium theme yet?  FreeWpThemesBlog.com has hundreds of high quality, visually appealing themes for free.

 

CamStudio

URL: http://camstudio.org/

CamStudio is free, open source software for making screen capture videos.  It is very useful for making how-to type videos where the subject is best taught by showing how something is done, rather than using text or a series of pictures.

 

DMCA Request Templates

URL: http://www.mcanerin.com/EN/articles/copyright-03.asp

Has someone stolen your content and posted it on their own website?  You can use these templates to craft a DMCA takedown notice and force them to remove your stolen content.  Erica Douglass also has a great article explaining how to use these templates here : http://www.erica.biz/2008/scammers-stealing-your-content-how-to-craft-a-dmca-takedown-notice-and-where-to-send-it/

 

Privacy Policy Online

URL: http://www.privacypolicyonline.com/

If you intend to use Google AdSense to monetize your blog, you will need a privacy policy.  Privacy Policy Online has an easy to use template that allows you to create your own custom privacy policy for your site in under a minute.

 

Google PageRank Checker

URL: http://www.prchecker.info/

PageRank is a system that Google uses to determine the authority of your site.  This affects how you are ranked in search engine results.  This free tool will tell you exactly what your PageRank is.

 

Alexa

URL: http://www.alexa.com/

Alexa is a site that ranks other web sites by how much traffic they receive.  Sites are sorted according to the number of visitors they receive per month.  If you are curious to see where you stand, Alexa will tell you for free.

 

Pingdom Tools

URL: http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/

A web page usually consists of many files.  When a web browser requests your page, it will grab the main page and then load all of the required components before displaying it to a visitor.  These components can include images, css stylesheets, and javascript code.  Pingdom Tools will measure the total time it takes to download all of the files needed to load your page and display it.

 

Google PageSpeed Insights

URL: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights

This tool is similar to Pingdom Tools, but instead of just telling you how long your site takes to load, it will give you hints on what you can do to decrease your load time.

 

FreeDigitalPhotos.net

URL: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

This is a great site where you can find free stock photos and illustrations for your blog.

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net