Why, good day! :::said in an English accent:: Perhaps you might be interested in a delightful list of juicy blogging and online business resources? If so, you're in luck!
Because that's what this post is all about.
I've got a lovely resource library that's chalk full of freebies; workbooks, checklists, stock photos that I took with my own two hands, business plan templates and more! You can click below to sign up for free access if you wanna.
I frequently get asked the question, "Hey! What do you use for -----", so I thought that putting together a list of all my favorite resources and blog posts might be super helpful! A couple of these links are affiliate links (because that's how savvy business owners do it, yo!) however I ONLY recommend products that I actually use and LOVE to pieces.
But before we get into today's list of epic resources ...
If your goal is to either start and/or grow a totally awesome online business then you should definitely check out this super detailed blog post on how you can do it in 28 steps!
(Pin now, read later.) ;-)
So without any further delay, here's a complete list of epic resources for growing your blog or online business!
Essential Blogging and Online Business Tools
Website: SquareSpace is a great place to make a professional looking website with less of a learning curve than customizing a Wordpress.org site. I used Wordpress for 6 years but ended up switching over to Squarespace because I wanted something more simple and user friendly- and I'm so glad that I did because I freak'in love it!
Opt-ins, Registration/Landing pages etc: Leadpages Is a drag and drop landing page creation website that syncs up with your e-mail marketing system (whoever you use for that!) and it's awesome. I love using it to make nifty thank-you pages, registration pages, pop up opt-in boxes, live webinar pages and more. The sky is the limit, really! I use it almost daily and LOVE it because it saves me a lot of time.
Email Marketing: Convertkit - This is who I use for my e-mail marketing and I'm in love with it. Everything is SO easy, including doing things like automation, creating awesome automation rules, funnels, email courses, tagging people in your list and more! I switched over from Mailchimp and haven't looked back. Plus, great people are behind the company, too! :-)
For Planning Out Your Business: The planners I created right here. The initial reason why I created these planners was because I couldn't find a planner where I could plan out my business, blog, life and online courses all in one place (I was seriously using THREE different planners!) I created these to be fun, colorful, quirky all-in-one planners. (There's even a section for your business plan, ideal client etc.) If you want to set achievable goals, stay organized, create a business plan so that you can create actionable steps to reach your goals and kick some major butt online then these planners will be your new BFF!
Step-by-Step Course for Starting and/or Growing Your Online Business: Check out my course right here if you'd like to save time and be guided through absolutely everything. This is the course I WISH I had access to when I first started! :-)
Online Storage: Drop Box is perfect for storing and organizing screenshots and backing up your website, videos and blog posts! It's super important to back EVERYTHING up because crap happens. Computers die. And you don't want to lose everything that you have do you?! (Because that's totally happened to me before.) Back it up, yo!
For Creating Docs, Spreadsheets, Surveys etc: Google Drive (and it's free!) It does spreadsheets, Docs and surveys. I love it because I can start up a Doc on my computer and then go lounge in bed with my kitty Mr. Purrie and add more to it from my iPad or iPhone if I feel like it. Wanna know what else is awesome? On the iPhone you can actually speak into the app and it will type what you say! This works miracles when you want to get a head start on a blog post- you can just babble up a rough draft super quickly! It also syncs up with Google Drive on the computer so I can go on there and edit any typos and punctuation if needed. (And it probably will be needed, haha!)
For Hosting Online Courses + Memberships
Website Hosting + Domains
Website Hosting: BlueHost is who I used for 6 years when my site was on Wordpress. (Now I use Squarespace which has it's own hosting!) I've heard lots of people make horrible complaints against Blue Host, but honestly I had no complaints when I was with them. It was cheap and I never experienced issues with my site being down!
Domain Purchasing: Godaddy Is where I purchase my domain names. (Fact; I collect domain names like some girls collect shoes!) :P
Putting on Online Workshops/Webinars
For Hosting Webinars: You can live broadcast with Youtube Live for free! Like ... you can LITERALLY put on epic webinars (or "live workshops", whichever you prefer to call them), for FREE. Just use your Youtube account to broadcast with Youtube Live and you can then embed that Youtube Live video onto a page on your website (which is where you'd send people to watch it.) Suuuuuuper easy. :-)
Webinar Training Resources: So um ... I happen to have lots of free webinar training resources right here to get you started. Time for you to break out of your comfort zone, baby! :-)
For webinars, Replays and Funnels: Webinar Jam is a really cool alternative platform to using Youtube Live. You can host live webinars, put on webinar replays with time sensitive bonuses if you're doing a promotion, create webinar sales funnels etc. I've only recently started playing with it, but so far I love it!
Social Media Automation and Marketing
Automating Social Media Accounts: Hootesuite - I use the free version of this to automate my social media and it's a total time (and sanity) saver! I effing love it. You can automate 3 different accounts for free, which is pretty sweet.
For Scheduling Instagram: Later is perfect! One of the things that I love most about using it is that you can see, in advance, what your "grid" will look like so you can plan the perfect layout! :-) (Oh, and did I mention that it's free for 30 posts per month?)
Automating and Growing Pinterest: Um ... one word (or is it technically two?) BoardBooster. This platform is the bomb-frigg'in-diggty and it saves me SO much time and sanity! Not to mention that it literally grew my Pinterest account from 3,000 followers to over 35,000 followers in less than one year. Plus, plans start at just $5/month! Using Pinterest strategically for marketing to grow your online business is something that I teach in depth in my course right here (including exactly how to set up and use BoardBooster!) I love it so much that I even offer an exclusive free trial of it inside the course. :-)
Ebooks, Workbooks etc: Pages - This is what I use to create all my PDFs and it's easy to use! It's a Mac application and it's freeeeeee!
More Design Savvy PDFs: In Design is annother great PDF creation option, and this is perfect if you love to design in general because you can use it for lots of other stuff too!
To Make PDF's "Filloutable": Use PDFEscape if you want people to be able to fill out your PDFs online (instead of having to print them out.) It's free for smaller sized PDF's!
Graphic Design + Stock Photos + DIY Apps
Professional Looking Graphics & Documents Canva is free and AWESOME. You can use it to create professional looking blog post image templates, social media graphics, webinar slides and a crap ton more! Plus it's super addicting. :P
Color Pallet Inspiration: Design Seeds is also free and PERFECT for getting inspiration. Need to create a color pallet for a design? This site is amazing to browse! (Plus you can create your own too!)
Fonts, Graphic Elements and More: Creative Market (it's super addicting, you've been warned!) :P There are SO many goodies on this site- it's dangerous! Fonts, mockups, design elements ... it's like the ultimate toy store for creative entrepreneurs.
Free Stock Photos: Oh um ... I happen to have lots of free stock photos (that I shot with my own two hands!) in my resource library for bloggers and creative entrepreneurs right here. (I'm totally obsessed with shooting pretty stock photos!)
For Online Payments: Paypal is what I use to take payments, make payments and all that jazz.
Alternative for Online Payments: Stripe is another payment platform. I've heard wonderful things about it!
Online Store: Shopify is yes, another payment platform where you can also create a website. Perfect for people who plan on selling lots of things, like if you want an online retail store!
Marketplace to Sell Your Goods: Etsy is a marketplace for you to sell your lovely goods! It's easy to join, easy to use and super cheap.
Another E-Commerce Option: WooCommerce is yep, one more e-commerce site option.
Getting Connected with Your People + Masterminds
For support, Tips, Brainstorming, Feedback and More: My Facebook Group for Lady Bosses is where it's at! :-) It's really important to have a support system as you work to kick ass online. You can join my free group of over 7,000 women (plus we're all super fun and supportive, I promise!) :P
Video Calls & Podcast Recordings: Skype is free and great for connecting with clients and team members around the globe! You can see each other on each other's devices ... hehehe. (I don't know why I find that funny!)
For Privacy Protection + Calls: Google Voice (Free!) Don't want to give your phone number out to prospects or random people? Calls still go to your phone but the number is “masked." Perfect right? Yes, I thought so. :P
Video and Photo Marketing Tools
Video Editing, Recording and Screensharing: Camtasia is what I use to record my online course videos and it's awesome! It records you, your screen (or both at the same time) and is really easy to use. You can add effects, captions, transitions and more.
Video Recording: Your smart phone. Don't laugh! :P Both the iPhone and Android take pretty great video if you have good lighting, a tripod and a microphone.
For Taking Photos + Videos: Canon 6D - This is one of the cameras that I use for most of my photos and I love it! It also does really well in low light situations. Another less expensive option would be the Canon Rebel T3i which I've heard a lot of good things about from lots of different bloggers, photographers and entrepreneurs.
Video Storage + Hosting: Vimeo - Vimeo Pro can be used for video “storage” as well as a host for any video courses that you might want to create! Plus, the videos play in 1080 HD so they are nice and clear. Suh-weet.
For Planning Out Your Business: The planners I created right here (which I mentioned above!) The initial reason why I created these planners was because I couldn't find a planner where I could plan out my business, blog, life and online courses all in one place (I was seriously using THREE different planners!) I created these to be fun, colorful, quirky all-in-one planners. (There's even a section for your business plan, ideal client etc.) If you want to set achievable goals, stay organized, create a business plan so that you can create actionable steps to reach your goals and kick some major butt online then these planners will be your new BFF!
To-Do List App: Wunderlist is what I use and it's FREE. You KNOW I love a good to-do list! You can create lists, reminders, etc. and access them from ANY device. Plus you can also share/collaborate with others. AND ... it makes a satisfying "ding" sound every time you check off an item! (Ah, the sound of sweet satisfaction!)
For To-Do Lists, Bookmarking, Notes and More: Evernote also free. Okay ... I'm kind of obsessed with this one too! You can record ideas, write up blogposts in the "notes" section, make checklists, set reminders, share content ... the possibilities are endless for using it to grow your business! If you search "Evernote Scott" on YouTube he's got several free trainings on using Evernote for business.
Digital Planner: Asana is a great digital planner option if you prefer digital planners over tangible ones! It's also free. It’s great for when you have a lot of projects to get done and perfect for “assigning” tasks to virtual assistants and team members!
Online Planning: Google Calendar is also free. Just login to your Gmail account and Google search “Google Calendar” and you’ll find it there. Super easy to use. You can make a “public” shareable calendar (which is great for sharing with other people) or use it for personal use. Use it to set up appointments and follow-ups PLUS you can color code everything! Color coding is the BEST. You can also have it set to send reminders to your phone and to do pop-up reminders on your computer. You can even have it send you an email to remind you of a special appointment! Syncs up with iCal on your computer or iPhone. So yeah ... it's pretty juicy!
Creating a Solid Brand: My free branding resources right here. Having a strong, personality-filled brand is what will make you stand out and allow you to attract the right type of people! Plus let's face it, branding is super duper ridiculously fun!
Learning How to Do Webinars: Yo ... I've got you covered with these handy webinar resources! (Webinars are AMAZING for growing your email list, connecting with your audience, making passive income and more!)
How to Grow Your Blog or Online Business Step-By-Step: I created this course right here to walk you through, step-by-step, exactly how to grow your blog or online business. We cover everything including how to build a strong foundation + brand, how to start and grow your email list, how to increase your traffic with Pinterest, how to grow your audience with social media, how to create epic sales funnels and more! :D
You've reached the end of the list. Whew! That was a doozy. But a HELPUL doozy it was!
(Okay now I'm starting to sound like Yoda or something ...)
Ehem! If you've got any blogging or business resources that have changed your life that aren't included on this list, feel free to drop me a line below in the comments. Is there a resource on this list that is your favorite?
And now, time for some quality cat-petting time.