If you’ve been on my email list a while, you’ll have noticed I love sharing free tools (I literally wrote the book on free). Recently I’ve been making a few important improvements to my blog, using tools that are 100% free and easy to access. The following tools can be used to make small but vital tweaks to your blog, that will help drive traffic, improve usability, and build your email list. Take a look.
Peek User Testing is a site that lets you get an idea of what readers think of your blog. You simply submit your url and a real person will visit your website, take a look around, click on some links and let you know exactly what they think. You’ll receive an email, usually within 24 hours of submitting your url, with a link to a video of one random user talking you though their first visit to your blog.
You can request reviews of your site on desktop or mobile, and you can ask for up to three tests a month. This means you can improve based on the feedback you get, and then re-submit.
This is a totally free service. Obviously the folk at Peek are hoping you’ll also use their paid services, but there is no hard upsell on this. I’ve been gently tweaking my site based on Peek feedback for a couple of months now, and I’m getting a better response each time.
I’ve started using this totally free online tool on every headline I write for my blog, (I actually use it on the articles I write for my content creation clients too, and the pitches I send out to freelance markets). I’m using it to test out titles for my books as well.
Simply pop your headline in the box, and click ‘Analyze Now’. You’ll get a grade for your headline (you’ll want to aim for a B+ at least, if not an A). You can keep tweaking it to improve. The analyzer will let you know how many power words you’ve used and how many emotional words, as well as whether your headline is the right length.
This free WordPress plug-in optimizes every post I write, letting me know if I need to tweak my title, url or description, or add more keywords to my post. If you’re still not sure how to use Search Engine Optimization, this book does a great job of explaining it, but if you use Yoast, you’ll only need a basic understanding. Yoast will do the hard work for you.
Just ReTweet is my favorite free way to drive traffic to my blog posts. It lets you to get a lot of genuine ReTweets, Google shares and Facebook likes very quickly, and helps you attract new followers on Twitter at the same time.
As an extra bonus, this site is also a great place to go to find fresh content to curate and share with your readers.
Mailchimp and Mailmunch are actually two separate tools, but I’ve grouped them together because they’re best used as a system to grow your email list. Mailchimp is a reliable email provider that’s free for your first 2000 subscribers, so it’s great for when you’re just starting out with email marketing. You can sign up for free here, and then you’ll be able to put a form in your sidebar, within your blog posts, or anywhere else on your site, with simple html code.
Mailmunch is a plug-in which allows you to add extra forms, such as a pop-up, scroll box or top bar, to your site. It integrates with Mailchimp, sending all the emails you collect in these forms straight to your Mailchimp list. The forms allow for a fair bit of customization too, even if you’re only using the free version. Both Mailchimp and Mailmunch have paid versions that you can upgrade to in the future, but they are completely free to get started with.
I’ve just updated my free tools ebook and right now you can grab it from Amazon stores worldwide for just 99 cents. Click below to see more details and reviews from happy customers. And don’t forget you can read Kindle books on almost any device. Find out how here.
Want to see the exact online business tools (free and paid) that I use to run my online business? You can.