[This is a guest post]
I Love Tools
Especially free ones – who doesn’t?
Being a blogger is tough. It’s tough to earn a buck and it can get mighty expensive the more tools you own.
Now I get that there is a time and a place for paid tools – sometimes you get what you pay for, but if there is a free option I say have it!
Here are my top 5 recommended free tools (that few people even know about)
Are you constantly looking for contact information for bloggers and businesses?
Are you pitching for guest posts?
Do you want to know the SEO and Social data of the page you are on?
If so, look no further.
This new Chrome Extension released by NinjaOutreach makes finding information about bloggers and contacting them easier than ever.
Just click the ninja icon and you can find out dozens of metrics about bloggers including, name, location, posting frequency, social following and much more!
This video shows you how it works:
If you’re a blogger you write a lot.
Personally, I write several thousands words a day – seriously.
That translates to a lot of spelling and grammar I have to be on top of.
But to be honest, I’m not very good at grammar (I studied math in college).
Meet Grammarly, your friendly grammar checker on the go. Simply install the extension and it will scan your writing on almost every platform (wordpress, emails, Google docs, chat, whatever), and recommend suggested edits based on its vast knowledge of grammar.
Frankly, I can barely string together a functional sentence without it!
Here’s another amazing free extension from the Chrome webstore.
Full Contact gives you a snapshot view of the person you are communicating with via GMail, such as their social profile, bio, and notes that you can leave about them.
I estimate I spend about 10+ hours a week in email, so it’s pretty helpful to know who I’m talking with.
Personally I like to add everyone I know on Twitter or LinkedIn as a way to keep in touch with my contacts and customers. This app helps me do that seamlessly.
Speaking of email – ever wonder who is opening and responding to them?
Say “Yes” to YesWare, a handy chrome add-on that will keep track of sent emails and let you know if they’ve been opened
Why is this useful?
Well, for starters, it helps to let me know who has opened my emails during my outreach campaigns.
You can also split test templates for open and reply rates, which helps you optimize your efforts.
If you’re sending a lot of emails and you take your outreach seriously, this is a free app that you must have.
Gyazo is a new one for me, but I don’t know how I lived without it.
It’s a super simple app for taking screenshots and 7-second gifs.
Basically, I open the app through an icon in my toolbar, highlight the area on my screen I want to take a printscreen of, and then it will take a picture and automatically upload it to Gyazo, supplying me with a link that I can hand over to whomever.
Let me stress how quick this is.
I click a button, highlight an area, and get a shareable URL – amazing.
Previously, I would need to take a print screen, copy the file to paint, edit it, save it, upload it to a sharing application like screencast, get the embeddable link, and then share it.
If that sounds like a lot more effort – it’s because it is (or should I said, was).
The video functionality is quite nice as well, if I just want to show something on my screen that I am doing in less than 7 seconds.
While I don’t always recommend a free alternative – if the task is simple enough, sometimes free is all you need.
I am willing to bet that you haven’t heard of at least 4 of the above 5 – so what do you think?
What are your favorite free tools (that no one’s heard of)?