We wanted to share with you our go-to resources that have proved indispensable in improving our content, images, and videos on our blog, YouTube channel, and social media accounts. Quality resources that are free are hard to come by. With most resources, you are free to come buy… I call that “sad humor.”
The first 4 resources are free all the time. There is paid content available on their sites of course, but nothing essential. The second 3 are free trials. You can squeeze their worth in a short period of time, with content permanently downloaded to use whenever you want.
A little LifeHack regarding free trials: many free trials can be cancelled right after signing up but they will still let you use the days remaining without ever having to worry about having your credit card charged. We did this with only some of them though (Royal with PicMonkey and either Audioblocks or Lynda, can’t remember, sorry), so just make sure you know which day you have to cancel the trial.
As a disclaimer, none of these sites are our affiliates as of this time.
As a quick example of a couple of these resources in action, this blog picture was downloaded on pixabay.com and then text was added on canva.com (using the Blog Title design template). The whole process from searching for images, editing it and uploading it onto this page took about 3 minutes!
7 Free Resources for Your Blog and YouTube Channel
(From the link, just scroll down the page until you see the “Free” list)
As long as you’re signed in to your free Envato Market account, you can get the Free Files of the Month they offer. Every month has 8 free resources from each of Envato Market’s eight categories including a song, picture, template, graphic, site theme, and more.
We usually download the song every month to use in YouTube videos, and sometimes other content if we think they could be useful for our website. Once you’re signed up to Envato, put the Monthly Freebies page on your bookmark bar and check it in the beginning of every month.
Canva allows you to make banners, blog titles, thumbnails, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube covers with ease. You can import your own pictures and incorporate them with Canva’s free text, icon and picture catalog. Some things cost $1, but there’s enough free resources that you should never have to use them. You can also make a 30 page eBook with Canva. We used Canva for our two eBooks, it is just unfortunate they have the 30 page limit, we put a lot of work in working around that, but we’ll save that for another blog. Canva is super user-friendly and you can quickly whip up good looking pictures with text in the correct format to your platform.
PicMonkey is an easy to use online tool incorporating basic aspects of Lightroom and Photoshop to edit your pictures, erase backgrounds, merge images, and add text. It has been equally useful to us as Canva. We also use PicMonkey to save images in different formats or to reduce picture quality to use in thumbnails. They have some features in a Royal monthly paid program, which also offers a free trial.
For free stock images, this is the most user friendly and extensive library we have found. We use our own pictures as much as we can, but sometimes we need visual aids that we don’t have our own pictures of. If you need a picture of a “cabin” or a “glass of milk” for example, you will find good quality images that you can download in varying resolutions on Pixabay. For full resolution images, you must be a member, but it’s free.
For better quality audio, sound effects, Audioblocks.com offers a 7 day free trial that you can download 20 clips per day during the trial, you can sign up and then cancel before the 7 days end. We have dozens of sound effects and music we downloaded during our trial that we use in our YouTube videos. Finding music that isn’t lame and you can still monetize your videos is hard to come by, but Audioblocks delivers in this respect, with decent music in a variety of genres.
With the same mother company, Videoblocks offers the same 7 day free trial as Audioblocks with 20 free HD video clips, looping video and templates per day. Again, don’t forget to cancel your subscription before the free trial expires. Put it in your Google calendar or whatever you’re used to using.
Lynda.com has professional tutorials that far surpass anything you can find on YouTube in terms of quality. They have tutorials on how to use virtually any program you can think of such as Photoshop or Final Cut Pro for beginners or advanced. They have professional photography tutorials in abundance. Lynda offers a presently 10 day free trial with different options of accessibility.
The more access you ask for for free, the higher your bill will be if you do not cancel your trial after it expires. We picked the Premium bundle that allows you access to practice files and more importantly to download the tutorials, therefore keeping the video tutorials downloaded on your devices even after the trial expires. There is no download limit, but they don’t make it easy to download full tutorials. You have to download one section at a time. Definitely don’t forget to cancel the subscription for this one as it would charge you a full year.
None of these free trials gave us any difficulties in cancelling though. So as long as you mark the day to cancel, there’s not much to worry about. As helpful as YouTube tutorials are, these are better, from professionals in their field who know what they’re talking about. Some courses offer course files that allow you to edit or create along with the tutorial if you can’t do it on your own project.
Let us know in the comments of any free resources you use that would help us all!