52 Totally Free Resources for Freelance Bloggers

Free stuff is the best. Right?

Of course you’d love to buy lots of exciting books and training courses and whatnot, but you haven’t got a ton of cash to spare.

That’s why you’re here, learning to make money from your blogging services. And while you learn, freebies are awesome!

But… sometimes freebies aren’t awesome. Sometimes free stuff is just junk that sucks your time, clutters up your memory, and ends up in the recycle bin.

This list is not about that kind of free stuff.

This list is solid. I checked out every single thing myself, and if it sucked, it got cut.

Totally Free Resources for Freelance BloggersSo here are the survivors, the worthy, the genuinely useful… 52 totally free resources for freelance blogging success.

If they cost anything, it’s your email address or maybe a tweet – no money involved. You’re welcome. 😉 

Some of the freebies on this list also offer stuff you can pay for. That’s your call. I’ve marked affiliate links with an asterisk (like this*). Cool? Cool.

The list is so big it started giving me scroll blindness, so I’ve split it into a few sections for different purposes:

Free Resources to Get You Hired

The one thing you want more than anything is to get hired for good pay and published on well-respected blogs.

I’m creating an ultra-effective new training resource for you on how to find and win those higher-paying gigs, but until that’s ready, here are four ways to get yourself work on paying blogs:

1. The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs: 45 Blogs That Will Pay You $50 or More – Yep, this one’s mine and it’s exactly what the title says it is: a list of blogs that pay freelance contributors at least $50 per post. Help yourself!

2. This free report and video series on guest blogging* by blogging superstar Jon Morrow will help you get accepted by editors, build your portfolio with bylines on famous sites, and break into new blogging markets.

3. Alexis Grant’s database of freelance bloggers is open to anyone with professional blogging experience. Fill in a short application form to get added to the database, and Alexis will email you when she has a suitable gig available.

4. 10 Query Letters That Rocked is a resource from The Renegade Writer that’s intended primarily for writers pitching to magazines, but it’s equally useful to freelance bloggers who want to boost their pitching power.

Free Ways to Improve Your Blogging

To get the highest-paying gigs, it helps if you blog like a superstar! There’s a ton of information out there about how to blog, so I’ve picked out just a few of the best free “better blog writing” resources for you:

5. Headline Hacks* by Jon Morrow gives you 52 headline templates that you can use for any kind of blog to get your posts noticed, read, and shared. [Jon’s own posts go viral almost every time!]

6. Unleashing the Ideavirus by Seth Godin is about getting your audience’s attention and how ideas go viral – deeply relevant to bloggers, especially if your work involves content strategy as well as writing.

7. Why Headlines Fail by Psychotactics’ Sean D’Souza teaches you how to write headlines that get results (and avoid writing ones that don’t). Killer headlines are vital if you want to make money blogging, so grab this guide to make yours rock.

8. The (Nearly) Ultimate Guide to Writing is a free ebook from Write to Done, with writing tips suitable for bloggers and freelance writers. If you want to pick up some A-list blog writing tactics, this is a good place to look.

9. HubSpot’s Free SEO Crash Course explains the basics of on-page search engine optimization, social media, and Google’s algorithm changes in 3 simple videos to help you write and promote your posts in a way Google likes.

Free Marketing Resources

If you want to get paying gigs, you’ll need to market your services. And if right now you’re thinking ugh, I don’t like marketing, then you also need to redefine what marketing means to you!

Long story short: marketing is the difference between a hobby and a business. This is important, so here’s a stack of resources to help you develop marketing strategies that work for you and with you.

10. Google Authorship is one of those things you might have heard about, but may not have set up yet. If you want to see your photo and byline appearing next to your work in Google search results, this is how to do it. [UPDATE: Google has withdrawn Authorship elements from search results, so these tips don’t work anymore.]

11. This series of posts on Copyblogger gives you a detailed explanation of what all that Google Author stuff is about, how it changes Google search results, and what it means for you. [UPDATE: Google has withdrawn Authorship elements from search results, so these tips don’t work anymore.]

12. The Naked Marketing Manifesto by Firepole Marketing’s Danny Iny is an awesomely clear guide to marketing your services by being yourself to attract your ideal customers, instead of chasing after jobs that aren’t even right for you.

13. Marketing 101 for Freelance Writers is an easy-to-follow course by Carol Tice of Make A Living Writing. It’s delivered by email, no complicated tech stuff, and it teaches you how to promote your services to clients. Check it out!

14. Internet Marketing for Smart People is a free 20-part course from Copyblogger that teaches you marketing principles as well as the content know-how that separates the expert bloggers from the hobbyists.

15. The Get More Cash video series from Firepole Marketing was one of the first things I found online that really made me believe there was an easier way to freelance. Since then, I’ve increased my hourly rate by more than 200%. I strongly recommend watching the whole series!

16. International Freelancers Academy has a huge pile of useful free stuff –from blog posts and training videos to full-day live events online– that helps you get to grips with marketing your freelance business.

17. The Social Triggers newsletter covers the psychology of engagement and why readers or customers respond. Derek Halpern explains it in simple terms so you don’t need psychology or marketing experience to understand.

18. Chris Brogan’s newsletter is something I look forward to every Sunday, sitting down with a hot Ovaltine to read his friendly email about how business, marketing, and people work. His down-to-earth stories bring the insights home.

19. Conversion Psychology by Gregory Ciotti is a free ebook that summarises a stack of psychology studies and explains their relevance to the way people make choices. Apply this knowledge when you deal with clients and when you write!

20. Find the Core of Your Value Proposition is a short worksheet by copywriter and conversion expert Peter Sandeen that will help you pinpoint your unique value as a freelance blogger.

Free Images and Editing Resources

When you blog a lot, you tend to use a lot of images to accompany your posts. Some clients will want you to source great images from their paid stock libraries, which is always fun.

But whether it’s for your own website or for a client, there’ll be times when you need an image you can use –or create– for free. Here are a bunch of free ways to find and make the images you need.

21. Flickr’s Creative Commons search lets you limit your search to images under different types of Creative Commons licence. Be sure to give an appropriate credit and link back to the source!

22. Stock.XCHNG offers you a small range of royalty free images under specific terms of use. It also displays images you can buy from iStockphoto, which can get annoying while you’re looking for your free images.

23. You don’t need money to get professional quality images from places like iStockphoto, Bigstockphoto, Fotolia, or Dreamstime. They all offer one or more free photos to download each week. iStockphoto also gives you free illustrations, audio tracks and video clips. [That’s at least 4 resources in one list item. Score!]

24. Morguefile gives you a range of free images that are meant to be used as source material by creative artists. To use a Morguefile image unaltered with a blog post, contact the photographer.

Totally Free Resources for Freelance Bloggers25. Recite makes simple yet effective images out of your text. Type a quote or phrase into the input box, then choose a look with one click. You can save the image to your hard drive or share it straight to Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Here’s an example that took me about 30 seconds to make.

26. Pixlr is an online image creation and editing service that’s free to use. It can do most of the things Photoshop does, from adding text and creating layered images to applying filters and effects.

27. Easel.ly helps you make your own infographics. It gives you ready-made templates you can customise with your own text –and if you want to, you can change any element of the template to suit you.

28. Gravatar is a free online service that lets you associate your email address with a specific photo of you. Then, when you post or comment on a blog, your photo can be automatically displayed next to your name. An image makes your text more convincing, and a vast proportion of the blogosphere is Gravatar-enabled, so get yours set up today!

Free Research Resources

As a freelance blogger you need to research all kinds of stuff, from statistics that help prove your point to the names and contact details of specific employees at big companies. These good people all provide freely accessible and searchable information online:

29. LinkedIn has a useful search engine that will help you find and contact editors, marketing managers and PR people for the blogs and companies you want to target as clients. Plus, a LinkedIn account is part of a professional freelance blogger’s online portfolio these days, so keep your own profile up to date!

30. The United States Census Bureau is a one-stop shop for statistical info on all kinds of stuff from population to economics and lifestyle in the USA; very handy if you need a couple of quotable stats to give your blog post some authority.

31. If your post is focused on another region, there are plenty of useful sites that cover other countries, like the UK National Statistics Publication Hub or Eurostat for European Commission statistics.

32. BrainyQuote is an easy-to-browse, easy-to-search site full of pithy quotes on a huge range of topics. It’s great for finding that perfect quotation to highlight your post’s key message.

33. Wikipedia may not be perfectly reliable, but a good Wikipedia entry includes references to the supporting evidence. So don’t base your post on the entry itself, but follow up those footnotes to find the original sources.

Free Tools and Technical Resources

I’ve tried a vast number of tools to boost my productivity. Some of them worked and some of them didn’t work for me. These are the ones that did.

34. Online Stopwatch is a very simple website with two tools: a stopwatch and a countdown timer. If you’re not ready for a full-featured time tracking system yet, this is a good way to keep an eye on your work hours.

35. Time and Date gives you time conversions around the world. Whether you need to know the time right now at your client’s location, or find out how many days there are until your next deadline, you can do it here.

36. Word Count Tool is a website where you can paste or type in your text to get an instant word count. Handy if you’re working with a content creation tool or content management system that doesn’t count words for you!

37. MailChimp is an email service provider that you can use to send group emails to your clients and leads, or to create a newsletter for your blog. Their “Forever Free” plan lets you email up to 2,000 recipients.

38. Evernote saves all your notes-to-self and articles or URLs of interest in one place that you can access online. Useful as a swipe file for all the interesting stuff you come across, and for works-in-progress.

39. Trello lets you drag-and-drop your task lists into order. It starts with 3 lists (To Do, Doing, and Done) but you can add more, give tasks deadlines, and create separate boards for different clients if you want to.

40. WordPress.com isn’t what I’d use for my own professional blog or website, but it’s a completely free way to start your own blog and gain experience in the basics of WordPress without anyone watching when you screw up. When you need to use WordPress.org for your clients or for your own blog, you’ll find that the interface is similar enough to give you confidence.

41. HTML Dog teaches the kind of basic HTML you might need to know if your client wants your posts marked up in code, and you can continue studying right up to advanced coding for fancy websites.

42. EchoSign is a service from Adobe that you can use to email your client a link to an in-browser document (for example, a contract) that they can sign digitally using their mouse or stylus, or by typing in their name.

43. Harvest is a simple time tracking and invoicing app that lets you start and stop timers on different projects, send invoices and receive payments (via Paypal or by giving other instructions in your invoice).

Free Business Inspiration and Motivation

44. The Traffic Toolkit from Think Traffic is much more than a guide to getting blog traffic. There’s a whole bunch of useful stuff in this kit, from the “6 Ways to Earn $1000 a Month Online” video to the business plan template for bloggers.

45. How to be Legendary is an awesome manifesto by Johnny B Truant that’s full of ideas to get you working towards something and reaching your goals. Essential reading for, well, almost anyone!

46. A Writer’s Bucket List by Dana Sitar at DIY Writing gives you “99 things to do for inspiration, education and experience before your writing kicks the bucket”. Check out the career section in particular.

47. Love the Grind is an email newsletter I read every time it arrives in my inbox. Rob Hatch shares tips to make you more productive at the essential work of your business: sticking at the less-fun tasks along the way to greatness.

48. LittleZotz Writing Adventures in Freelancing by Lauren Tharp is an awesomely entertaining and educational guide to freelance writing as a job and as a lifestyle. With hand-drawn comic book images!

49. How to Influence All the Right People is a fun guide to marketing against the grain, by Gary Korisko of Reboot Authentic. If you’ve ever worried that you don’t fit in or you need to “tone yourself down”, this is your kick in the pants.

50. The Everyday Courage email challenge series from Jen Gresham at Everyday Bright starts with a video on courage-building, then gives you a small, simple bravery-boosting challenge to complete each week.

51. 20 No Bullshit Ways to Make at Least $30 Tomorrow is an instant-income resource from Megan Dougherty at Paying For Life, showing you ways to fill small income gaps quickly and keep your head above water.

Free Bonus

52. Me. I’m your freelance blogging resource, and you can ask me anything. Email me or leave me a comment, whatever works for you. It’s free. [If you want more than free tips, you can also book a live one-to-one mentoring session.]

Look at that: now you’ve got 52 free things to help you rock the freelance blogging world.

Don’t waste them!

Image: comedy_nose

Yours Free: $13,355 in Blogging Gigs

If you're keen to make money blogging, you'll love the Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs -- it gives you details of 75 blogs that pay $50 to $2000 per post. Enter your email and I'll send you a free copy, plus my money-making toolkit and other useful stuff.


    • says

      I am totally on board with you on this one Willi.

      Sophie put together a rad list of a TON of free resources. I can’t believe how much epic content is out there. I suppose I shouldn’t be as surprised.

      Sophie, I just wanted to personally thank you as well for putting together this fabulous resource.

      Do you have a favourite resource?

      • says

        Time is my favourite resource. 😉

        I’ve tried a lot of different things to manage my time, and the tools Google provides have worked the best for me because they’re so well-integrated. I can use Google Tasks and Calendar together, and add items to either of those from my Gmail account. Saves me a lot of hassle!

  1. says

    Man, this is great! …kinda bummed that I’m already using almost all of them. I’m going to check out the rest, through, for sure! That invoicing time tracker sounds like something I’ve been needing. :)

    • says

      Lisa, hi! Yep, time tracking’s one of those things that shouldn’t *take* your time. Soon as you find an app or something that works for you, it gets a lot easier.

  2. says

    Thanks Sophie! I took a break from work just to enjoy the list. It’s amazingly comprehensive, something you can keep going back to for quite a while.

  3. says

    #1 This post was meant for meee! 53 is my favorite number, it’s a funny story actually…..

    #2 I really really appreciate this insightful post.

  4. says

    Hi Sophie – awesome list post.

    I’m in the middle of compiling a similar list myself and am a member of some of the sites. You have added a few that I haven’t stumbled upon yet – so I may well have to steal a few:) don’t worry though, I remember you giving words of encouragement from the freelance writers den and you will be getting hyped up and linked to when my own blog goes live:)

    Thanks for giving us newbies such hope Sophie

    For anyone who doesn’t already know – this is a blog to watch – the lady knows what she’s doing…

    • says

      Steal away, Jamie! All I did was trawl the internet for gems and write them all down – grab a handful and save yourself some research time.

      Yeah, I do rock from time to time. Modest, too. 😀

    • Roy Gomez says

      Yes, Sophie does indeed rock. I’m as green a newbie as there is and I know I’m really lucky having come across her. Sophie, thanks for the shortcuts. I’ve already met Danny Iny ’cause of you.

    • says

      Ha! Though now that you mention it, taking your own photos is a great idea as long as you’re charging extra for them.

      But for those of us who just need to grab an image without any fuss, thank the gods there are some free options, eh?

  5. val clark says

    Overwhelmed but grateful for the work you’ve done putting this together! Fb here it goes – again, probably.

  6. Jane Manthorpe says

    Thank you so much for this, these resources are going to be very useful, appreciate you time putting this together

  7. says

    wow, this resources are so much awesome. Sophie thanks for taking time to compile such an interesting list. it makes freelance writing easy especially when you don’t have some/most of the resource talked about here.

  8. says

    Sophie, what an epic list! You’re making the rest of us look bad with all this value. 😉 Thanks for, again, doing all of the research work – and thank you so much for including me on the list! It’s an honour!

    • says

      You’re very welcome, Megan, and you deserve to be mentioned – ways to make a little cash fast are priceless if you’re a freelancer waiting for client payments to arrive.

  9. says

    Sophie Lizard: adding value every day!

    Really great list Sophie. I’m going to have to check quite a few of these out, especially Jon Morrow’s free blogging series and the Renegade Writer’s 10 query letters that rock!

  10. says

    Hey Sophie,

    I have been writing for a little while now but just recently started getting paid. These will be very helpful to me as I continue to grow and learn.

    Thanks a lot!

  11. says

    I’m sorry I meant to put this in my comment above and spaced it.

    When it comes to SEO the go to guy that provides everything for free is Alex Becker. His website is Source-Wave.com. There is soooo much free SEO info it can be a little overwhelming. :)

  12. Gary says

    I am soo happy to be following your blog! This post gave me lot’s of great sites to check out to improve my blog and business.
    Cheers to you lady. ;-))

  13. Eva says

    Hi Sophie, this is such a great resource especially for a freelance writer like me who is just starting out. I’m in the right place.

  14. says

    Hi Sophie, just wanted to let other subscribers know about this gem of a freebie. If you self host a website get over to richwp .com the owner is giving away a professional WordPress framework and 12 premium child themes! Check it out.

  15. says

    Hi Sophie,
    I have 1,4,5, 8 and 13 saved on my computer.

    I’m a big fan of free resources, and when I do spend money, it is often on the products of bloggers whose free tips/resources I have enjoyed.

    I also love list posts, as well as individual reviews of resources. Which reminds me….It’s been some time since I published my last review post…:)

  16. says

    Much appreciated. Another good site is marketingexperiments.com. They do the research, offer corporate web training and then provide their results in the form of mini training programs on line – at no charge. You can also access their archives. A lot of really good info there.

  17. says

    I have been blogging for the last one year as full-time blogger, before that I worked another one year as part timer; but so far I could not have made it. Simply cast a look at my blog http://www.leadership-idn.com and let me know very briefly where I am:
    a) blundering
    b) mistaking
    c) erroring
    d) missing
    e) over-smarting

  18. says


    Well I gotta say that Number 48 is–ahem!–my personal favorite. 😉 Thank you so much for including me!

    The other resources are absolutely fantastic too. I already had most of them, but there were still a few on there that I’m going to check out ASAP. How exciting! 😀

    Thank you again for including me on this list. I’m honored and extremely excited. I’ve already had several new subscribers since this went live. Yay!

  19. Linda says

    Thanks so much Sophie for all of this free info and advice. I was blown away by it all and there s much that I will take advantage of for sure. Thank you again.

  20. says

    What an incredible post! Interesting, concise and very useful isn’t easy to achieve but this ticks all the boxes.
    Too much to take in at the moment so am keeping this to read over a cup of coffee (don’t like ovaltine) or three.
    Thanks Sophie :)

  21. Richard Hourigan says


    You have just given me one more reason to hang with you.

    I really do love you, you know!

  22. says

    Wow. I like the free research tools part! I’ve never find this kind of source before, it would be useful for my future blog post. Thanks for it. Bookmarked.

  23. says

    Wooohooo! What a great round up, Sophie! Found you through Carol Tice’s May link party, and so glad I did!

    I’ve done list posts like this, and I sympathize with your ‘scroll blindness’ and the amount of time it takes to put an article like this together. Kudos!

    Bookmarked and shared, thanks!

  24. says

    Thanks for this Sophie – I’ve just had WAY too much fun looking through all this stuff and I now have a stack of bedtime reading to do!

    I may well get in touch with you too about advice for my own blog. Expect an email – you’ve just become my new best friend 😉


  25. Tony Nguyen says

    Wow, I am so impressed by your list. I am sure you have put a lot of efforts and time to make such an useful list. I will try them soon. Thanks for sharing mate.

  26. says


    What a great list (and really useful site overall). Good to see Google authorship in the list – I struggled to get this working consistently on one of my blogs (http://redrocketrising.com for any Doctor Who fans!) but I have noticed my average level of traffic is up substantially since I did (maybe 60% more on quiet days).


  27. Susan C says

    Wow, Sophie! I saw so many titles where I thought “oh, I need to read that!” This is just an excellent resource for a newbie like me. Thanks for putting it together.

  28. Jennifer Alston says

    Hi Sophie,

    Thanks so much for this list. I love it and need it.

    I saw your wordcounter tool, I have a site that I would like to share, it not only counts words, but does keyword density, characters and a lot more. It is a great tool to use.


    Happy Blogging Everyone!!!


  29. says

    Great list! I have been focusing on transitioning from my current job into writing / blogging / SEM and your blog is loaded with great information and tips that will be very useful in cutting my learning curve!

  30. Therese says

    I’m curious if the blogging report that you send out is up-to-date. I signed up for it but I noticed some of the blogs and publications aren’t taking submissions anymore.

    It’s a tough gig, folks. I highly recommend finding a retainer. Although, retainers are not a guarantee of stability. I was lucky to be on retainer for almost five years with a marketing agency. I’m working with a local client at the moment but it’s difficult and I have lots of experience under my belt. I recommend not quitting your day job until you have solid leads and contracts signed. I’m not trying to be a downer but I may be getting out of the freelance game. The market is saturated and it’s tough to find reliable clients who understand the value of hiring a professional writer. I have tons of copywriting experience under my belt and know how to market myself, but I’m burnt out on the game. While I’ve worked with some awesome clients and was on retainer for a great agency for a long time, the market is shifting and it’s very competitive right now. If you are up for the challenge and have a lot of writing experience under your belt, then go for it. However, if you are afraid or don’t want to market yourself or pound the pavement looking for work freelance writing may not be for you.

    • says

      Yep, we created the latest edition in August 2014 but some blogs’ guest posting policies have already changed since then! Another updated version of the list is in the works. :)

      And I definitely agree with your last point: freelancing involves a LOT of marketing, especially when you’re getting started. Anyone who doesn’t want to do marketing at all is better off finding a permanent job (or reliable agency work, as you mentioned).

  31. says

    Thanks for sharing..! The above are great resources for freelancer as well as personal development. Actually, I got an eBook from Write to Done but I found a lot of useful resources here. I’m impressed by SEO from Hubspot and now register for enroll. I have book your post, I’ll for more resources next time.

  32. Lam Huynh says

    Lamhuynh, Thanks Sophie! This is a great resource for a newbie like me. Allow me to be copied to lifelong learning


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