free and paid blogging tools for novice and professionals

Are you a new to blogging or even at an intermediate level but need help with selecting tools that can make your blogging easier?  Are you confused about what kind of tools you need that will save you tons of time, don’t cost a lot, and enable you to hit the ground running? 

Well, this post was created with you in mind. Most of these tools fit neatly into keyword research tools while others fall under content optimization.  Both tasks are essential to product content that will do perform well in the search engines (we’re all here to create successful blogs). 

I have used and tested these tools myself and my team of writers use them as well for my blog and niche site content. 

For bloggers and niche site owners who want to know the best free tools as well as low cost and effective tools for blogging, I’ve got you covered *screeches in excitement because hey, there’s a Phoenix here*


4 Free & BEST Keyword Research Tools for Bloggers

The four tools listed below have been out for a while and I am confident you will find one or more that will fulfill your needs:


1. Keyword Surfer

If you don’t can’t spend money on a keyword research tool, then Keyword Surfer is an excellent, free option for you.

Keyword Surfer is a browser add-on for Chrome. While simple, it does the job beautifully.  When I typed in the keyphrase “how big do main coon cats get?” into Google, here are the keywords and their monthly search numbers it showed me: 

keyword surfer browser add-on

Additionally, you can change it to the country you are targeting as well as add the keywords to a list or “collection”.

Tools can get complicated and hours can be wasted on meaningless tasks only to realize nothing significant was accomplished… you were just getting data drunk; for that reason, I love Keyword Surfer since it does the exact job it is needed and it is free. 

Download Keyword Surfer here.


2. AnswerThePublic

Did you know there are over 8 billion searches conducted in Google’s search engine EVERY. FREAKIN’. DAY? Imagine how many of those keywords are new and untapped?

Well, that’s why AnswerThePublic is an amazing tool to have for researching keywords in your niche!  In their own words, “AnswerThePublic listens into autocomplete data from search engines like Google then quickly cranks out every useful phrase and question people are asking around your keyword.”

Beautiful, right?

This is a free plan with paid ones available. The only caveat the free plan comes with is that you can only conduct a certain amount of searches every day.  When I typed in “ginger cats”, check out what it showed me:

answer the public visual rep

If you want access to unlimited searches and a few more features, their plan starts at $99/month.

You can check out AnswerThePublic here.


3. UberSuggest

UberSuggest isn’t a “keyword research tool”; it’s more of a complete SEO tool that handles site audits, competitor analysis, keyword research, and so much more. 

After using tools like Ahrefs and Semrush for years, I finally decided to give UberSuggest a try this year.  I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised as I find it quite a comprehensive tool but also, it is extremely budget friendly: their Individual plan is priced at $29/month while Ahrefs and SEMRush come in at $99/m and $119.95/m respectively with their lowest plans.  Please keep in mind that it is in the “free” section because you can sign up for an account and use this tool but the usage and data are limited. 

With that said, if you need an all-in-one tool (keyword research and rank tracker included), then UberSuggest is one of the best options available for all the features it offers.

Get started with UberSuggest here.


Best Content Optimization Tools For Your Blog:


5. Frase

Frase is an underrated tool that continues to impress me: I know writers who use it to create their outlines and optimize the articles and I have since started using it a few months ago as well.

In fact, on a new site, I had a couple of articles land on page 1 of a new site.  The writer who wrote it had used Frase and to be honest, I was blown away. It showed me how powerful this tool is by itself.

This is one of the cheapest content optimization tools out there and a new blogger can subscribe to their Solo plan for $14.99/m and get started. 

Better yet, you can sign up for a 5 day trial for a freakin’ $1!  Umm, did Frase just give a $1 some great value? 

Learn more about Frase here.


6. Surfer SEO

Surfer SEO has had quite a lot of growth since its initial birth in the last few years: it is a super solid SEO tool that includes a keyword research tool, audits, content editor, and much more.

The content editor and the audit tools are my favourites as those two features alone give me a lot of insight into what my content is missing and what improvements can be made for it to do well in the search engines.  The content editor displays suggestions of NLP (natural language processing) words, what headers you’re missing (with keywords), and more.

The audit tool is quite useful too as you will see what factors your page or post is missing that the top search results contain including content length, h1-h6, images checks and more.

You can sign up for free and use Grow Flow but or you need to sign up for their Basic plan priced at $49/month to use their auditing and content editing tools.

Check out Surfer SEO here.


7. On-Page.AI

I have used On-Page.AI personally for years and it is a great tool.  Developed by Eric Lancheres, a renowned SEO, he truly made to be a helpful tool by building out an AI entity explorer to determine the most relevant words (or entities) that belong on a page.  The concept of entities is highly important in SEO and this feature is truly priceless.

The optimization document highlights what words/entities are missing from your content and is really easy to use.

This ONE feature, however, I’d be remiss not to mention the overoptimization checker that was introduced in 2022.  Overoptimization is a concept in SEO that was the result of a lot of blogs and niche sites falling out of the top 100 of Google starting in 2021 when the Google algorithm changed and overoptimization became quite a painpoint.

I avoid overoptimization like the plague and helps you do just that with its overoptimization protection built into the content optimizer.

Check out here.

Best Blogging Tool Packages For You

I’ve mentioned quite a few keyword research, SEO, and content optimization tools in this list.  I designed this section for three different types of bloggers and niche site owners in mind.  One of these packages should suite you well:

Budget-Friendly Blogging Tools Package:

If you are limited by budget, get overwhelmed easily, or want a simple process implemented for your blogging workflow, then the following three tools should do an excellent job helping you or your writers do keyword research for free and then optimize your article.

Combine Keyword Surfer, AnswerThePublic, and Frase for a sweet, budget friendly tool package.

Total Cost: $15 per month.

Soar High in the SERPs Package (UberSuggest, Surfer SEO or Frase):

By using UberSuggest, you can do keyword research, competitor analysis, track your own rankings, and so much more.  Combine that with Surfer SEO or Frase for content optimization of new content and improving existing content, you have a winning combo on your hands!

Total Cost: $44 per month-$78 per month.

Ultimate Optimization Package

This package is a combo of the ultimate keyword research plus two content optimization tools that I truly love: UberSuggest, SurferSEO/Frase + On-Page.AI.

If affordable, I’d highly recommend adding to this arsenal as it brings a little salt bae type of extra to your content optimization.

Total Cost: $173 per month-$207 per month.

In Summary

If your goal is to have a blog that does well in the search engines and is making money, then you will want to consider investing in a few of these tools.

These tools are here to help bloggers save hours and hours of time and will help you organize a better work flow for yourself or for your team.  Not only that, but they give you data that truly impacts how your blog will do in Google and other search engines.

Now, off to view the sunset while The Phoenix soars close to the sun 😉 

PS. If I missed any amazing tools, please contact me so I can add it to the list! TY.