7 Must-Have Tools For Starting A Blog Allie Wolff Thanks to marketing masters like Gary Vaynerchuk, you already know you should be blogging for the good of your company. But you’ve got a business to run, too. That means you can’t turn your blog into a second full-time job. The good news is that with each year, blogging gets easier and easier, thanks to a variety of free and low-cost tools. Here are some that will help you start and run your blog easily and efficiently—so you’ll stick with it. WordPress WordPress—the OG of free blogging platforms—is easy enough to master to help you get your website up and running in a single day, even if you have no web development experience. Because WordPress is an open source platform, people all over the world are constantly contributing improvements to it—including themes and plugins that will help you customize your site. And if you run into any challenges you can’t solve, it’s easy to find help through online forums or from a developer who is familiar with WordPress. Grammarly Can’t afford to hire a copy editor to peruse your blogs before you post them? Grammarly, a free grammar checker, can save you from egregious errors. Use it in combination with your spell checker, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many typos you avoid. If you rely on freelance bloggers to help you write your blog you may want to spring for the premium version of Grammarly, which has a tool to catch plagiarism. Pexels Choosing the right images for your blog is essential. Many people respond to photos more quickly than to a headline. Alas, hunting down the perfect stock photo for a blog can take a long time—and using paid sites that offer them can get pricey. Enter Pexels, which offers a wide variety of free stock photos for commercial use. Whether you run a gym, an agency or a medical office, you’re likely to find plenty of photos on this handy site. Canva Want to create great graphics for your site—but can’t afford to hire a web designer? Then you’ll love Canva, which is aimed at the DIY crowd. The site will allow you to perform tasks such as designing graphics, editing photos and incorporating creative fonts into your designs. Not sure where to begin? Check out the site’s “Design School,” which offers modules on topics such as banner designs, design layout, and infographic design. Google Analytics A blog is only useful to your business if people actually read it. Google’s free tool will help you keep tabs on which posts are pulling in readers so you can keep building on what works and avoid what doesn’t. The data you get through Google Analytics will give you important insight into who you’re attracting to your site, from demographic characteristics to information about the technology they are using to access your site. That’s information that can be invaluable to your marketing. Social Jukebox If your readers don’t spot the posts you Tweet when you first share then, they may miss them altogether. Social Jukebox, a free tool, will help you avoid that scenario. You can use the tool to program tweets on Twitter to repeat at specific intervals and within a certain date range so your followers don’t miss them. If you want to attract more clicks, you can upload a photo with your tweets. Hatchbuck An effective way to drive traffic to your blog is with an email newsletter. Hatchbuck’s easy-to-use email marketing tool allow you to build clean, optimized emails, grow your email list and convert subscribers into paying customers. Sure, a newsletter takes a little extra time. But if you’re spending part of your week writing great posts or hiring someone to do it for you, building a regular following of readers through an e-newsletter can ensure they don’t miss a single one (and will make blogging worth your time).