Blogging is a real business for me. So I care about it so much that I invest money to scale the activity and generate more income.
That doesn’t mean I do not use free resources for my blogging. I do of course. But there are some I’m never going to work with.
The reason is that some free stuff is really not free. You end up paying differently and for the most part, you may be paying way too much.
I want us together to discuss some few blogging resources you have to quit using the free options. And I will be sharing some reasons to support my position. But before we get to it, let’s see the free blogging resources and tools I use and recommend.
Free blogging resources and tools to use
1 – Neil Patel’s free SEO tool
There are tons of free SEO tools out there and you can use any of them for any phase of your SEO campaigns. But Neil’s ubersuggest is fast becoming the game-changer.
I think Neil has hidden plans to make this tool the best in the industry. Many features you are going to find in many premium tools are built-in for free and I do not see Patel locking some of the awesome features behind the price barrier anytime soon.
2 – Free books and courses
This is obvious, right? If you find a free book on blogging or a free blogging course, there is no harm throwing an eye on it. However, be sure what you are reading isn’t outdated.
Free ebooks or blog posts on how to start a blog abound. But some of these were written 5+ years ago and have not been refreshed by their authors. I won’t encourage wasting your time on these. Blogging and related topics are on a constant move. So don’t just go for anything about it because it’s free.
3 – Free domain names
Today, it’s possible to get a free domain name for your blog, I even show you how to get a free .com domain for your online business. These are offered by reputable web hosting companies. However, the free domains come as part of a hosting package. Meaning if you buy hosting from them, you get the free domain advantage.
4 – Attend a free offline blogging event
One of the things I have done a couple of times to grow my blogging community is to attend blogging events. For the most part, these events are free to attend. Apart from these free offline events, we have free webinars here and there teaching you how to succeed in blogging.
There is no harm in being part of these events. On the other hand, they give you a platform to network with many more like-minded folks and grow in your business.
They are certainly more free resources that may add value to your blogging. Let me end the list here as we move on to what I firmly stand against.
Free blogging resources to avoid in 2020 and beyond
If blogging is your business (part or full time), be ready to invest money. The reason is that once you put money into something, you naturally valorize it. You work hard towards getting the best out of it.
Here are a few blogging resources you should not use for free. The free options may be enticing but I recommend that you upgrade as soon as possible:
1 – Free web hosting
This is one of the tempting areas in online business especially for starters who have a limited budget. We have lots of free web hosting services out there but if you mean business in blogging, stay away from these for reasons I have outlined below.
2 – Free themes
Since getting into blogging and actively running successful blogs, I have never used a free theme. I have written tons of blogging tips and always, using free themes is something I stand against.
I know some reputable theme developers have free templates that may look attractive. But trust me, your blogging will be stagnant at some point.
Why using free is a big no?
There is no free web hosting service on the Internet that gives you the scalability of your blogging business needs. There must always be something that will pinch you down:
- Limited resources
- Lack of sufficient technical assistance
- Security breaches
- Poor branding
Most of these points apply to free themes as well. Free themes are always spotted at a distance given their amateurish looks. Some beautifully designed themes may be appealing to the eyes. But most of these will lack the features needed to expand your business.
The worst thing you are going to do is use a cracked paid theme. From a security standpoint, this may expose your business to hackers or viruses. Adding to this, you may never be able to access needed upgrades and technical support due to a lack of valid licenses.
Why do some companies offer these free resources?
Making something available for free is a marketing strategy. They are not a charity organization. By giving you free access to their resources, they will get the attention of many more users who may at one point upgrade to the paid version (freemiums).
Many free hosting providers would impose some adverts on your site, usually somewhere on the sidebars. And you do not have any control over what is advertised.
In those early days when sitewide links weren’t a problem in SEO, free theme developers will require a permanent link somewhere on the footer of your blog.
That means the free service providers would always try to get something in return. So free isn’t really free right?
What about free plugins?
There are tons of great free plugins especially for bloggers on WordPress. However, you have to be extremely careful with these on your blog.
Some of the scripts are poorly coded, creating backdoors or other security issues. Some are however freemiums meant to entice users to the paid version.
If you must use a free tool or resource on your blog, pay attention to the following:
- User reviews – What other users are saying about it
- The reputation of the service provider
- Technical specifications
Thanks for reading. I hope the post was useful and thanks to Vishwajeet for allowing me to share these points with you. Let me know what you think in the comment box.