The Free Resources I Use for Blogging

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
FREE Resources I Use for Blogging

Buenos Dias!

For the last couple of months, I've been focusing more on what my blog looks like and my writing than when I began. My focus has been more on quality vs quantity, so I've been trying new techniques and resources that have been helping my blog grow and become something better than I expected.

Since then I had been thinking of writing a post of all of the resources I use on my blog and social media that are free and that makes my life so much easier. And so I did.

*updated in March 2019

If you are new here, I started Plaid and Sugar back in late 2017 and I had no ideas what I was doing. My pictures were badly lit or edited, my writing less than perfect and I didn't know (or care) much about how my blog should look.

By searching on the interwebs, I found that blogs need stock images, a certain format, and other things to make one's blog look better and engage more people. But most of the sites that I would be referred to cost money, and as a student and new blogger I wasn't (and still isn't) making money and so I couldn't afford them.

But then I stumbled into sites that do offer all that is needed for free! That's right free. Gratis!
Some of these offer two or three free products so that they'll entice you to buy the full membership or other more costly products.

I am not affiliated with any of these companies, I just love their products and wanted to share it with others.

Free Resources I Use


Creative Market 


After lots and lots of searching, I found Creative Market in January 2017. It is an online store that resembles Etsy but is only focused on online products, such as graphics, templates, fonts, and more. The great thing about it is that every Monday they offer 6 products to download for free, with no strings attached.

The products often include fonts, graphics, clipart, and much more. Sometimes there have been Lightroom presets, blog themes (this is where I got the one I'm currently using), stock photos, and templates (mockups, resumes, etc).


Some of the stock photos, fonts, and graphics that I have used on this blog I've downloaded from CreativeMarket. The products are of great quality and they do entice me into buying other products. Artists and developers (?) will give it free so people can try out their products and then buy their other products (I hope this sentence doesn't sound redundant).

In the year since I've joined, I have gained over 300 products for free! 6 every Monday.

I do recommend this site, as you will find many, many things, and if you don't like them well, well you got it free! Lately, I've been focusing on the branding of Plaid and Sugar and so I've been looking at all of the products and fonts that I have received to achieve my idea since there are so many products.

A selection of images I received for free from Creative Market
a small section of the stock photos/bundles I've received

The Hungry Jpeg


Just like Creative Market, The Hungry Jpeg has a free resources library, and each week a new product is offered for free. The site has stock photos, fonts (lots, and lots of fonts) and graphics that can be very useful for branding. 

It is not as nice or as product extensive as the aforementioned, but it does have products that is extremely useful for anyone and it is free.

Canva 


To make all of my blog post pictures/visuals I go straight to Canva, a graphic design software. The site is free and there are many templates to chose from, resumes, Pinterest-size images, lists, and more. Perfect for making logos or any graphic design for your blog. There is a membership if you wish to have access to everything (like special photos, graphics) but with the free membership, you can do plenty and more.

You can upload your own graphics and images, which I often do with the ones I received the two sites above. 

Related Post: 2020 goals and plans


Stock Images

There are many places where one can get free stock photos. There are some sites where they'll send you 5 photos monthly for free, like a sample of the photographer's other pictures. Other sites are free with thousands of pictures in different categories.


    An example of the types of photo bundles and resources the Haute Stock has.

  • Haute Stock sents out 4-5 free stock photos each month that usually centers around a theme (spring, love, etc) and are part of a new stock bundle on their site. They have tutorials and how-tos and they also have a monthly membership that gives you access to thousands of pictures and more.
  • She Bold Stock also sents out about 4 free stock images a month and like the above site, it also has a membership with thousands of photos in different themes/colors/bundles.
  • Pexels is a no-account needed stock photo site with thousands of high-quality pictures. There are hundreds of categories and you can download images for free, no strings attached.
  • Unsplash is just like Pexels, the only thing they ask is to give credit to the photographer as a way of saying thanks, but it's not obligatory.
Those are the top four that I use. The quality is great and the pictures are lovely, and with some help from Canva and other photo manipulation the pictures will look different and can achieve the desired look.

Word Counter


Sometimes I have a word goal in mind for a post or I'd like to know what words I'm repeating too often, and that's where Word Counter comes in.
It is an online editor of sorts that counts the number of words, characters, sentences and etc, what reading level it is and which words I've used multiple times. This has helped me immensely for sometimes I can repeat the same word in a post 5-6 times while there are other better synonyms as it has also a thesaurus.
It is free and it works great with Grammarly!

Grammarly


Need grammar help or don't know if you spelled a word right? Don't worry Grammarly is here to help! I think that most of you know what Grammarly is. It is a plugin (?) that is added to your browser and when writing it will point out your mistakes by underlining them. It's free and it is a miracle worker when writing posts, essays or anything in general as it will also suggest what you should write instead.
There is the free plugin, then there the free account that does more, and finally there is the paid premium version that has a plagiarism checker and has vocabulary enhancement suggestions.

*Newly added

Design Wizard


After I published this post I was introduced to Design Wizard. It is a site much like Canva but with many more designs and templates. Unlike Canva, everything is further detailed and labeled. So not just 'logos' but 'beauty logos' or 'art logos', so you can save time getting to what you are looking for. 
This site has a wide range of graphic design tools and the interface is very similar to Canva, so you are not going to feel disoriented or confused when using it.  My only issue was that when trying to line up or level a text the site does not point out if its at 90degrees etc. so at times it is crooked but near to impossible to level.
I'll be further trying this out in the coming months and see what it is like.

So those are all the resources that I use on my blog. Some of them are quite common like Grammarly but others were new to me (Creative Market) and they really do help in the upkeeping of this blog.

Have you used any of these resources before? Do you have one you would recommend?


FREE blog resources for blogger!
 Blogging resources that are FREE


Thanks for tunning in, til next time
Loren Camila

33 comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I knew about pexels and unsplash but Creative Market is new for me. I will definitely check it out!

    Patty x • https://www.pattycular.com

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    1. No problem, I love sharing what works well and is inexpensive.

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  2. Canva and Grammarly are two of my favourite resources! They are so useful even outwith blogging. I haven't hear of the other resources so I will be checking them out.

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    1. Love Grammerly and Canva, useful for social media, posters etc! Hope you find some resources you'll love

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  3. These resources are wonderful! I definitely want to check out Creative Market the Hungry JPEG! I'm so glad you found a word counter site, I've been looking for one to use forever❤️

    Natonya | https://JustNatonya.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Natonya, glad to be of help!
      Hope you found some that you like.

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  4. I've dabbled with Canva but haven't really got myself into it yet (I'm still trying to figure out pinterest, which is what I was trying to use canva for!). Word Counter sounds great though, especially if it picks up what you are repeating, I'm definitely going to have to give that one a go. Great post - really useful.

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    1. Like you I use Canva mainly for my Pinterest graphics and makes my post more shareable.
      Glad to be of help, Lindsey!

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  5. Great resources I will have to look into them! I do use Canva and I love it! I use Canva for all my blog headers!

    astorydetective.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Rakayle! It's easy and fun to use Canva once you get a hang to it and so so useful!

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  6. Grammarly is the BEST thing ever! It's so helpful, but Word Counter sounds great too. I might have to try that one because I ramble a little bit when I'm writing!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Naomi xo
    tralisty.com

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    1. Hope you find Word Counter to your liking, Naomi. It works great as an editor and it is useful for many things, too.

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  7. It is great that you've been doing some research! I love using Creative Market as a resource for design inspo. OOOH, The Hungry Jpeg makes me want to spend a lot of money on those cute bundles! Grammarly is such a gem. I have a subscription to it and totally recommend this to everyone. Thanks for sharing your go-to resources!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Nancy. It is really hard to resist from buying all the products at the
      Hungry JPeg!

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  8. Some amazing tools here! I love the sound of Creative Market - what an interesting offer on Monday! I'm definitely a Canva kind of girl too, always using it for my photos - it's fabulously FREE. Great picks! x
    Marina Rosie x
    https://marinawriteslife.blogspot.com/

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    1. Love Canva! It is so versatile and works so well on blog posts. Thanks for commenting Marina Rosie!

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  9. Great advice! Thank you for sharing 🙂💜 I love Canva.

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  10. This is such a helpful list! I love Canva personally and use it to create all my social media promotion graphics for Instagram and Twitter etc. x
    El | welshwanderer.com

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    1. Hope this list helps! Love how versatile and easy Canva is.
      Thanks for commenting, EL

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  11. This is such a great list! Thank you!!

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    1. Hope it helps you.
      Thanks for commenting Sandra!

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  12. I've never heard of the hungry jpeg. I'm going to check that out. Thanks!

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    1. Hope you find it just as useful as I did, Erika!

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  13. I have genuinely never heard of most of these! The Hungry Jpeg and CreativeMarket sound bloody great and I'm definitely going to check them out ASAP, Canva is my absolute favourite to make graphics and fun things on! I can't believe I ever survived without it now!
    Alice Xx

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    1. Glad to be of help, Alice. Creative Market is a lifesaver in many ways as there are free templates and more!

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  14. Such a helpful post! Thanks so much for putting this list together!
    Rhianna x
    www.tsundokugirl.com

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    1. Glad to be of help, Rhianna. I wanted to share resources that would be a help to everyone!

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  15. I've bookmarked this post! It's super useful, thank you! I have not come across many of these resources before - especially word counter, this is going to be my new best friend! xxx

    Ashley
    https://lellalee.com

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    1. Hope you find something that works best for you, Ashley! Glad to be of help.

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  16. Thank you so much for this! Free resources are so tough to track down!

    www.poutineandprada.com

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    1. No problem, Sarah. It is hard finding useful resources especially when most cost money!

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  17. I can relate to focusing on quality vs quantity. Although I aim to post at least once a week, there are weeks where I don’t have the ~inspirations~ for a post, and I would much rather a post be 100% than 50%, so there are times where I skip a week.

    If I were to look at my beginning photos/writing from when I first began blogging, oh wow I’d be cringing! It’s all about learning on the way though and finding your own blogging voice. I personally prefer to take my own photos, but free stock photos are a great way to have a photo to go with a post! I haven't heard of Word Counter before - I usually just write until I'm done haha- I usually get so many advertisements on grammarly, haven't yet tried it though!

    Sahara
    http://saharas-dreams.blogspot.com

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