You want some free stuff? Not just any free stuff, but genuinely useful things you’ll be glad you found?
Here are 52 things just like that.
See, I poke around the internet a lot. Every now and then I find something so good, I bookmark it and keep going back to use it again. The coolest thing, though, is that so much of what I find is free! You can take it, use it, don’t have to pay a cent.
With 52 free resources on this list, you can try a new one every week for the next year. Or, if you’re impatient like me, you can go nuts and grab ’em all today. Up to you. Take a look and help yourself to whatever you want.
This list contains only resources I’ve used and liked, and only resources that are free to use. If they cost anything, it’ll be your email address or maybe a tweet.
Some of the people on this list also offer other resources that you can pay for, if you want. And some of them have given me affiliate links — I’ve marked those with an asterisk (like this*) so you know who’s who.
To prevent you (and me) getting lost, I’ve split the list into sections according to what the freebies help you do: marketing, writing, research and so on.
Free Resources to Get You Hired
1. The updated 2021 edition of The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs now gives you the details of over 500 online pubs and blogs that pay $50 or more in 20 different niches. Some of these sites pay way more (like $1000+ per post)!
2. Need to pitch an editor and don’t know what to say? This detailed article on How to Write a Pitch That’ll Wow Editors and Clients will help you craft a winning pitch (plus give you some great examples to inspire you).
3. Think you’re too green to get hired to write for a popular blog or online publication? Read this story of newbie pitching success that ends with a major magazine byline.
4. Get SmartBlogger’s cheat sheet on how to become a paid blogger even if you’re a complete newb. They’ve only got a few thousand pro writers out there that can vouch for their expertise on this.
Free Business and Marketing Tips
5. The “How to Make A Living Blogging” expert interview library is still growing —have you seen the newest interviews in the collection? The latest addition is an interview with the CEO of People Per Hour explaining how to succeed in freelance marketplaces.
6. Learn how to get site visitors on your list that are ready to buy from email copywriter Kate Doster’s 3-day minicourse “Freebies that Sell and Serve.”
7. Writing Revolt’s free class will help you earn your first $1000, designed especially if you’re a beginning writer.
8. Tiffany Jansen’s free ebook The Sure Fire, Can’t Screw It Up, Completely Kosher, Super Fun Trick That’ll Make Your Competition Totally Irrelevant… And Six Ways To Do It has such a descriptive title, I think you probably already know you want to read it.
9. Read Aaron Orendorff’s The Complete Nobody Guide to Guest Posting Fame and Fortune (By the Guy Who Built a Career Out of It) if you’re looking for ways to get more eyeballs on your blog or hire me page.
10. Worried you don’t have what it takes to market your blogging services? Read How to Influence All the Right People by Gary Korisko of Reboot Authentic to discover why you’ve got exactly what it takes (and nobody can do it quite like you).
11. Erika Lyremark’s one of those bloggers I’d love to sit down with for a hot chocolate and a chat. Her business book, Think Like a Stripper, is as funny as it is useful. It costs about $8 on Amazon, but you can get a piece of her business mind for free with her weekly whip-smart tips.
12. Henneke Duistermaat’s 16 part snackable writing course will help you write more persuasive copy. Quick, short emails you can use right away to upgrade your skills.
13. The Freelance Writer’s ABCs by Lauren Tharp is an excellent free guide to freelance writing, covering topics from “Action!” to “Zzzzz… Sleep”. When you sign up for your copy, you’ll also get her other free book, LittleZotz Writing Adventures in Freelancing.
14. You’ve heard of Copyblogger, right? It’s one of the biggest and best resources on content marketing. Their free-to-join online community, My Copyblogger, gives you instant access to 15 ebooks and an online marketing course.
Free Resources to Get You Paid
15. The Be a Freelance Blogger Rate Guide takes the uncertainty out of rate-setting. It shows you how much other freelance bloggers charge, how your experience level affects your rates, and how to use my foolproof rate-setting table to choose your minimum and target rates.
16. Invoicely has a free forever plan if you’re just getting started as a freelance writer. Once you get a few great clients, their paid services are pretty reasonable too.
17. If you’re on a budget and need some accounting software to go with your invoices, Wave has completely free accounting + invoicing. All you pay for is the processing costs when clients send you money (the same rates you get anywhere else). Score!
18. Use the handy freelance rate calculator at All Indie Writers to figure out how much you need to earn per hour to cover all your expenses.
19. If you want to send a nice-looking invoice to your clients but you don’t have fancy invoicing software (or the time and patience to create them from scratch), check out Invoice-o-matic. Type your details into the boxes to prepare your invoice, then tell Invoice-o-matic where to email a copy.
20. Carrie Smith’s Careful Cents blog is chock-full of tips on making and managing your money as a business owner or a regular everyday person (in case you know any ;-).
21. You’ve heard of Mike Michalowicz, right? The author of Profit First and other extremely user-friendly entrepreneur finance books. Well, he’s got free tools and resources for you too (as if his books and podcasts weren’t enough).
22. Calendly has a generous forever free account for your appointment booking needs. You can schedule zoom or phone calls with potential clients (and send and get reminders automatically). You’ll never want to go back to the old-fashioned way again.
Free Ways to Improve Your Blogging
23. Hubspot’s free Content Marketing Certification will guide you through the ins and outs of writing content that attracts droves of readers while giving Google what it wants.
24. Kikolani’s Ultimate Guide to Blog Post Promotion is another fantastic free resource for anyone who wants to get more eyeballs on their website.
25. Ok, the Google Analytics Academy won’t turn you into Ernest Hemingway or Steven King, but it’ll show you which web pages are working…or not. And that will help you attract more visitors. Take the beginners course. You’ll be glad you did.
26. Check out Digital Marketer’s extreme ultimate guide on Content Marketing. They could sell this one as a book or a course (but it’s still easy to read).
27. One big way to blog better is making sure your headlines, subheadings, and the blog post itself have good keywords (so you can get more interested readers on your website). Ubersuggest will give you some free keyword searches every day, so take advantage of it.
Free Resources for Getting Shit Done
28. The productivity geniuses at GoalsOnTrack* are giving away not one but four free ebooks on time management and goal-setting. All you have to do to get your free copies is subscribe to their email newsletter.
29. Got too many open tabs? Get this free and easy-to-use tab organizer for Chrome users. It’ll help you wrangle your research and keep your browser clean for quick access to the 100s of projects you’re juggling.
30. Do you like the idea of planning ahead and keeping a to-do list, but hate the learning curve of working with productivity software? Try WorkFlowy — it’s incredibly simple and you can use it to plan anything you can break down in words.
31. When you’ve got a full schedule of writing projects, Asana can help you keep it all straight and on time. It’s a pretty easy-to-learn project management program with a nice forever free option.
Free Research Resources
32. Before you send that query, use Verify Email to check the email address you’re sending it to still exists.
33. Need a scientific study to support your point? Check out the Public Library of Science, where all the articles and research reports are free for anyone to read. (Most other scientific publishers charge a shocking fee for access to this type of stuff. PLoS kicks their asses.)
34. Use Google Alerts to stay up-to-date on your favorite writing and marketing topics. Google will deliver emails full of new content on specific keyword combinations right to your inbox.
35. When you need to find an email address, Hunter.io is the only one I know that’s pretty good and free. And if you’re sending pitches, queries, or letters of introduction, you’ll probably need to find certain email addresses.
Free Tools and Technical Resources
36. Need a free email service provider? If you’ve got under 1000 subscribers, Mailerlite is an easy-to-use ESP even if you’re not sure how it all works yet. Send regular emails to your list of potential clients or to your blog readers.
37. Whether you’re a WordPress pro or a beginner, you’ll find plenty of useful blog and other resources in this big list from WHdb: Top 100 Resources for WordPress Tips, Tricks and Tutorials.
38. Some blogging clients are intensely paranoid about plagiarism and “duplicate content”. To make sure you haven’t accidentally used the same phrasing as an existing online article on your topic, run your post through this free plagiarism checker at Small SEO Tools before you send it to your client.
39. If you’ve ever struggled with English grammar (and especially if English isn’t your first language), use the Grammarly Handbook to remind yourself of the rules.
40. Online Utility offers a whole set of free tools that help you write more clearly. Use their readability checker to find out which sentences of your post you might want to revise before you submit it.
41. If you use Gmail for email, try Canned Responses to instantly add “here’s one I wrote earlier” text into your email replies. That means you can save and insert your canned responses with just a couple of clicks — use it to send potential clients a list of your best blog posts, a signature with your social media URLs, a text advertisement for your services, or any other text you can write out in advance.
42. If you’re interested in SEO (or you’re researching this type of data while you plan a guest blogging spree), try the Mozbar plugin for your web browser. It works with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and it’ll overlay your search results with basic SEO information as well as giving you a toolbar that shows you info about the sites you’re browsing.
43. Trying to visit a website and it just won’t load? Go to Down For Everyone Or Just Me and type the URL in the box. It’ll tell you if the site’s down.
44. Need to keep track of your time? Clockify is a free time tracking Chrome extension, so you can get more productive or find out the hard and dirty truth about how much time you really spend on…pretty much anything.
Free Business Inspiration and Motivation
45. Get entertained and inspired all at the same time on the NPR How I Built This podcast. Learn just how crooked the road to success really is with these household names.
46. Need an inspiring story of a freelance writer who made it? How about 25 right here, because sometimes we all need reminding.
47. You’ve probably already heard of Duct Tape Marketing the book, but have you listened to the 10+ year podcast all about small business marketing? Get informed, inspired, and motivated in 30 minutes or less.
48. You’ve probably heard of Seth Godin and hopefully read some of his books. But have you ever watched any of his Youtube videos? Well, you should if you’re looking for a motivational boost to go with the outstanding marketing wisdom.
49. Need a kick in the pants that makes you laugh and ask for more? The Middle Finger Project may just be the irreverent wake-up call you’re looking for. Read the blog or get on their email list for more no-holds-barred inspiration.
Free Places to Get Even More Resources
50. I made another list like this one a few months ago — see it here: 44 Totally Free Resources for Freelance Bloggers
51. Make a Living Writing has some great advice for beginning (and even more experienced) writers on getting the job, finding great clients, and staying motivated right here.
52. That box down there. It’s for your comments, and it’s free to use. Talk to me about what you need — I’ll do what I can to help! [If you want more than a quick comment, take a look here, too.]