It’s hard out there for an independent publisher. But here we are, like we have been for the past 13 (whoa!) years, putting out out stories, offering tips, and uncovering cool finds that we really hope our readers enjoy — all while making sure it remains free for you.

That’s important to us. Even though it’s starting to change for some other publishers.

So, here is a quick list of the super free, very easy, barely energy-exerting things you can do to help your favorite bloggers, influencers, content creators, podcasters, social media managers, and independent publishers of all kinds.  -Kristen and Liz

1. On Facebook, like their pages. You can also use the “See First” feature so that you don’t miss a post. (Small sites like ours don’t tend to spam your feed with posts every six minutes.

2. On Instagram, follow them. Like their posts and leave a comment or tag a friend – even just an emoji goes a long way.

10 simple, free ways to support your favorite content creators to keep that content free for you |

3. On Twitter, follow them. Give them a like or a RT. Add a comment if you’re feeling spicy.

4. On Pinterest, Medium, or any channel at all — including aa website! — you can also like a post (so easy!), leave a comment, tag a friend, share the post in your own feed.

5. Don’t just share a social media post you see — if the publisher has linked to a post, click through. You’ll probably even enjoy it! (And we all know now not to “just read the headlines,” right?)

6. For podcasts, subscribe! Leave the podcast a 5-star review. No words needed — just click the 5 stars while you’re listening. Downloading the episodes to your device also helps.

7. For Facebook Events, mark yourself as “interested” even if you’re not sure you are “going.” That actually helps other local people learn about the event who may be interested.

8. For live-streaming events — Facebook live, Instagram live, Periscope, even Instagram stories — it’s helpful to like or leave a comment.

9. Don’t steal! If you repost or share something, that’s always great — but be sure to credit the original content creator visibly. It’s not only the legal thing to do, it’s the decent thing to do. (And psst…don’t crop off people’s copyright symbols or watermarks in your Insta feed.)

10. Support the advertisers of your favorite independent publishers, if they interest you. Sites like ours work hard to curate great brand partners to work with (and turn down a lot more), so supporting a brand or ad campaign with a click, a share, or even a purchase really helps support the publishers you love — and again, keeps all the stuff you love from the publisher free for you.

Of course, all of this comes down to great content. If you don’t like the content you’re seeing, or don’t find an article interesting, or don’t find a meme funny — by all means, skip them. But when you see something you do like, sometimes simply taking a quarter-second to tap that “like” or “share” button does more good than you know.

Photo: Damian Zaleski via Unsplash