I get a lot of emails from fellow bloggers and entrepreneurs asking me about different tools and resources I use to run my business. So I figured compiling a list of everything I use or recommend would be super helpful and a great reference to come back to whenever you’re searching for something you need.
This post contains affiliate links.
PLANNING & GOAL SETTING
Business Planning: I have a FREE Bloggers Business Plan Workbook you can download here when you access my Vault of free business tools. It will help you get clear on what you want to achieve for your online business for the next year.
Quarterly Goals: I rarely plan for year-long goals, instead I like to tackle them in quarters. I found The Self-Journal was the best way I could do this and it helps me stay on track.
Daily Gratitude: The 5 Minute Journal is my FAVE book to do my morning and evening gratitude with. It’s so simple but the daily prompts help me stay in a positive state. I also really love Mimi Ikonn and her philosophy.
ONLINE BUSINESS ESSENTIALS
Website & Domain: I use WordPress and love it because you can customize so much based on your goals for your business. Originally I was with Blogger and if you’ve ever used it you will know how much of a nightmare it was to try and do ANYTHING on it. I registered both my hosting and domain through Bluehost and have never looked back.
Wordpress Tech Help: BluChic has awesome in-depth posts on setting up your WordPress website. And if you sign up to their free resource library, they have a ton of resources that can help you with gettin set up on the tech side with their pre-launch checklist, beginners guide to the WordPress admin dashboard and how to safely switch themes in WordPress.
WordPress Theme: Having a theme that’s functional and fully supports what you’re trying to achieve on your website is so important. That’s why I chose the Corinne Theme by HerPark. When I was shopping around I made sure it had exactly what I wanted including thorough documentation and support in case something glitches out. There’s nothing worse than something going wrong that you can’t figure out and the theme owner doesn’t reply to any of your messages! 😤
Email Marketing: Convertkit is who I use for my e-mail marketing and have completely fallen in love with everything it allows you to do. From automation to funnels to email courses to tagging nd segmenting to creating triggers and automation rules and more!
Landing Pages, Tripwire Pages etc: I swear I’ve found the holy-mega-affordable-grail for landing page options, and that is with BluChic Landing Page Templates. It’s a drag and drop plugin with 7 templates you can use for Thank You’s, Webinar Registrations, Live Webinars, Expired Offers and my three favourites the Opt-In, Tripwire and Sales pages. They’re so easy to create and they make it easy to make more money and get new subscribers!
Opt-in Boxes, Welcome Mats, Pop-Ups etc: Because ConvertKit doesn’t have the prettiest opt-in box options and SumoMe too expensive, I decided to use a plugin called ConvertPlus. This super affordable plugin does all of those things for me. The thing I love most is that I can customize the design to look exactly how I want it. If you’ve seen my welcome mat or opt-in boxes in my posts you’ll know what I mean!
Urgency Offers, Countdown Timers etc: A totally FREE plugin I use on all my tripwire pages is the Evergreen Countdown Timer. This awesome piece of software allows you to add genuine urgency to your evergreen sales funnels by creating real deadlines for each individual person that enters your funnel- regardless of what time or day each person enters.
To-Do List App: My go to (and totally FREE) app for to-do lists is Todoist. Catchy, right? 😜 I seriously would not be able to stay organized if I didn’t use this app. I use it on my phone and as a Chrome extension. It makes working really easy, if i remember a task I need to do but I’m away from my laptop, I’ll add it on the app on my phone and it syncs with the Chrome extension. I can drop it down from the toolbar and add or check off tasks. I can even move them to another day if I didn’t get them done. It is AWESOME.
Daily Journaling: Another FREE app I use it Journey.Cloud and Chrome extension also (which is also another FREE app!) helps me to keep track of the tasks I complete each day. I do this so that I can compile my notes into an end of month “report” for myself on the next tool that I use below.
Monthly Notes: Evernote is the tool I use to compile my end of month notes – and it’s also another FREE app, woo! In these monthly notes I go back over the tasks I completed from my to-do lists and daily journal and then condense it into three categories: Big & Small Wins, Issues & Hang-Ups and Things To Work On Next Month. And it helps me stay on track with my goals.
Editorial Calendar, Team Management etc: OMG I’m not even shitting you when I say Asana is LIFE. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it – and yes, it’s also free! I use Asana to manage my team as well as store my editorial calendar. You can assign tasks to different people, add deadlines and any details, uploads or further information required to get the task done. LOVE IT!
For Creating Online Documents: Google Drive is my favourite place to create and store any spreadsheets, surveys or documents I need. Plus it syncs with my phone so I’m able to access the docs wherever I am.
HOSTING DIGITAL PRODUCTS & COURSES
For Ebooks: SendOwl is what I use to host my ebooks. I love it because it’s so damn easy to use, really affordable. In this post I share how I make 4 different streams on income from SendOwl.
For Courses: Teachable is where I host my courses. I chose it initially because they had a free plan and I wanted to see if running courses was scalable. It’s easy to use and a really good place to start for entrepreneurs looking to start selling courses without a huge amount of risk.
For Online Payment Gateways: I use PayPal and Stripe to take payments. They’re both awesome but my favourite is Stripe because you can get daily earnings automatically sent straight to your bank account!
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING & AUTOMATION
For Scheduling Instagram: I use Later to pre-schedule all my Instagram posts. You can mass upload a bunch of images from your laptop and schedule them out for a couple of weeks ahead. When your post is ready to go it sends a notification to your phone and opens up Instagram and the post is there ready to go! All you have to do is crop and edit.
For Automating Pinterest: Tailwind and Boardbooster are the bomb diggity digs! Originally I started with Boardbooster but recently moved over to Tailwind so that my Pinterest Strategist can manage my account. I love both of them so you really can’t go wrong with either. Pinterest is my highest traffic driver and so I invest the most in this method of marketing. If you want to learn how you can get started, I recommend taking my friend McKinzie’s FREE Pinterest Primer course. It’s got all the basics you need to get started with Pinterest!
For Scheduling Facebook Posts: When I was first scheduling posts for Facebook I used the free plan on Buffer. They give you about 10 free posts and this would allow me to schedule about 3 weeks of content in my FB group. Now my VA does all my scheduling inside FB! 😁
For Looping Twitter Posts: Okay, my friend Suzie write this post on how to loop your Twitter posts for FREE and it changed EVERYTHING. I don’t actually use Twitter but when I found this tutorial I decided to implement it because I could just leave it and let it grow my followers on autopilot. And it does!
For Creating Ebooks: I use Pages which is a free app on Mac and it’s AWESOME and so easy to use!
For Making PDF’s Editable: Ever needed to make your PDF files editable so that users can fill out different areas right in the document? Check out PDF Escape – it’s free for small files!
GRAPHIC DESIGN & STOCK IMAGES
Creating Images & Documents: The only tool I use – which is also totally FREE – is Canva! You can use it to create really gorgeous and professional looking blog post image templates, ebook covers, social media graphics and more. I LOVE IT!
Graphics, Fonts, Templates etc: I love to spend hours on Creative Market browsing for everything from fonts, templates, design elements and themes and stock images!
Free Stock Photos: There are a ton of awesome free stock photo resources out there but my favourites are from my friends Kayla at Ivory Mix and Yami at Boss Latina. I also use Unsplash for nature and landscape images but they have tons more different categories you can browse!
Recording Videos: To film all of my videos – free and paid – I currently use a Logitech C920 Webcam with an Arkon iPhone Tripod in natural light. For audio I use my Blue Yeti Microphone. If I’m traveling I’ll take my webcam and tripod and a lapel mic instead – the yeti is way too big to cart everywhere!