Over the past few months, we’ve talked about building your website and how to do it right. We’ve talked about how you should be using social media, and we talked about how branding is so important!
All your efforts require time. Some require time and money. Lucky for you, we’ve listed some of our favorite free resources that can help you save precious minutes… and keep your dollars!
While this is a paid website, Creative Market also offers free downloads each week. You can visit every once in a while to see what type of graphics, photos or fonts you can download, absolutely free. Even if you don’t have need for their resources right away, it can’t hurt to have a library handy for the future!
Death to the Stock Photo
There are many stock photography websites you CAN use, and they can definitely be very useful. However, many people misuse stock photos and end up having a very cheesy-looking website. Though it’s always nice to use your own photos whenever you can, sites like Death to the Stock Photo also offer free, royalty-free photograph downloads for your convenience.
Would you like a photo of your website displayed on a laptop, tablet or smartphone? It can actually take a significant amount of time for a designer to take a screenshot and fit it within another image of a device… or you can use PlaceIt. They have a number of photos ready for you to use. Simply enter your URL and it will grab a screenshot of that page, placing it within the device seamlessly. It’s that easy.
You have a photo, you know where you want it, but it needs to be cropped, cleaned up, and you also want to add a text overlay. Sure you can do this is other softwares like Paint… I take that back. Please don’t use Paint. PicMonkey is a super quick and easy way to edit (or create) images for your website, emails, social, etc. They have tons of different themes or tools built in… you’re only limited by your imagination!
Productivity & Organization
Do you have trouble keeping organized? Trello is a free tool where you can create an organization board. Create “cards” for different tasks, add lists to them, deadlines, and more. You can even use them with an entire team, assigning tasks to different team members. It’s a super easy, effective beginner’s tool for project management.
Have a team of fewer than 15 people? Asana is totally free. And it’s awesome! A bit of a more robust tool for project management, you can create projects that contain tasks and subtasks, assign these to team members, add deadlines to each task, and see your tasks in a personal or team calendar. You can even set this up to integrate with your Google calendar!
Is your business on social media? It should be! Hootsuite is an easy way to manage your social accounts without having to log into each separately. You can schedule posts, reply to follower’s posts, and easily monitor multiple accounts in one convenient place. Note, however, the free version of Hootsuite only tracks up to three separate social profiles. If you want more options, you can pay them $10/month for the professional version.
Analysis and Evaluation
Every. Single. Website should be using Google Analytics. This free tool shows you:
- The number of visitors on your site,
- Where they came from,
- How long they stick around,
- Which pages they’ve visited,
- Their demographics
- And so, SO MUCH more!
This is a free tool. Simply create an account and embed a few lines of code, provided by the tool. Trust me. Do it now.
Fresh Web Explorer
Use Fresh Web Explorer to find out how your site ranks in comparison to your competitors in terms of inbound links. This can help you find easy wins. If a website links to your competitor but not to you, you can see if they wouldn’t mind giving you a link as well! Fresh Web Explorer also lists “brand mentions” which shows you if a website mentions your brand name without linking to you. With this information, you can contact the website to request a link!