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So I've been blogging for a little over a year and a half so I'm pretty sure that means I'm a total pro at this stuff. Ha! 
Not really, in reality I know my blog is still just a tiny little baby. One day I'll grow up and be big and strong just like the other run blogs out there! ;) 

I've blogged about tips for bloggers in the past but I've recently added a few more tools to my repertoire and wanted to share the love! 

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Confession: I'm totally addicted to Google Analytics. For real.
I know what you are probably saying, But RGR doesn't your blog come with stats or insights?
Yes. And they suck!

Google Analytics is a free service but you have to have a g-mail account. No problem! I love GA because it has a date range feature and a real time feature. The analytics that came with my blog don't have either of those. Also the keyword feature is mucho better-o! (<---white girl Spanish) 

The Date Range Feature allows me to look at a day at a time, a week at a time, a month at a time, or a year at a time. It doesn't matter. I can pick whatever date range I want. In the analytical tool that came with my blog, I can look at the month or the current year and that's about it. I can't even look at several months together to look at the first quarter or anything like that. Lame!

The Key Word Feature is great because it tells me what phrase or key words people used to land on my blog. These are hilarious! Here are a few of my favorites from 2014!
  • Don't eat after lunch
  • game racing ginger bear
  • dirt nail
  • Ginger disadvantages (PS - there are none! :P )
  • Huge snow suit
  • One of my favorite things gets undress (Umm what??)
  • What are the things related to me? (Family, your family is related to you)

You guys, the Real Time Feature is going to make me sound creepy but I'll tell you anyway!
This feature shows me a map of the world and who is actively on my blog in real time! Meaning that if I publish a blog and then look at my Google Analytics page the map will start to get little orange dots on it and it tells me what city you're in! So awesome and yet so creepy now that I'm sharing this with you. #SorryNotSorry

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If you are considering making some changes to your blog or are unsure something about your blog, you can sign up for a free SurveyMonkey account and let your readers weigh in on the topic. I did an 8 question survey a while back and it was so helpful! It gave me insights to questions that Google Analytics couldn't tell me. Such as, Should I change my blog name? What do you all like to read about on RGR?
After I completed my survey I shared the results with you all in fun little pie charts. I used a free website called ChartGo.com It was pretty easy, it was fast, and it was also the first one I came across and I legit did zero research. So, there's that.

Things to know about SurveyMonkey: It's free but you are limited on the number of questions you can ask and the number of responses you can collect. For the free account you can see the first 100 responses. There are options to upgrade to a professional account for around $200 a year if you want more access to all the features. For now, I'm keeping it free! 

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MailChimp is a free email blast service. If you look over to the right side of my blog right under my picture you will see a place to enter your email address and get updates about my blog via email. I put that form up a while ago, but then never really did anything with it. Until people started really sending in their emails to me and I figured I'd better get on it! So I did a Google search for Free Email Blast and MailChimp came up. Just like SurveyMonkey they have a free option, although it is limited to having 2000 people on your mailing list. I'm far from that number so it's working for me right now. Free is Fabulous! 

Question! What free tools do you like to use for work, your blog, or your daily life?
Oh and what apps do you LOVE right now?