I’m always having people ask me about different apps and programs I use so I decided to publish all my favorite small business and blogging resources here. I’ll continue to add to this page and update it as I learn about new programs and after I’ve used them for a while.
Please ask me if you have any questions about any of them or if you have other recommendations for me. (UPDATED 7/2018)
My Favorite Small Business Resources
ConvertKit – I FINALLY switched to ConvertKit after YEARS of hearing how great they were. I can now officially say that I agree! This service can do so much more than my old one. There is a little learning curve because there are SO many different ways to organize your subscribers. Just send me an email if you have a question about them… and there are lots of YouTube videos to explain how to get everything set up.
Jennifer Allwood’s Inner Circle & Other Trainings
It’s hard being a solopreneur! You need to hear from people who have been where you are right now. I pay a monthly fee to be in a group full of creative entrepreneurs… ’cause we’re just different in so many ways. Jennifer Allwood gets it. She’s been were I am now and I trust what she says. She’s a believer so that comes through in her encouragement, too.
One you sign up for the Inner Circle you’ll be included in a Facebook group where Jennifer shares 2-4 Facebook Live videos a month with guests, Facebook page and blog reviews of YOUR own pages, encouragement, information, and more. I’ve also learned TONS from the other group members! A very encouraging place that I HIGHLY recommend.
This is much more than just a blogging resource. Jennifer speaks to small CREATIVE business owners… painters, boutique owners, wreath makers, jewelry designers, etc.
She also has single subject trainings available if you just need a little boost in one or two areas.
- Join the Inner Circle
- Facebook Live Training
- ALL of Jennifer’s courses – including
- Using Pinterest for Business
- Marketing Your Creative Business
- Perfectly Price Your Pieces
- Furniture Painting for Income
- Cabinet Painting as a Career
I’m currently using a virtual assistant to share my blog links to linky parties. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll pass along her info.
My daughter also helps me design t-shirts and upload them to our Amazon Merch account.
Some of these are affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra for using them but I’ll earn a small commission which will help support my blog and I greatly appreciate it!!!
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is a big deal in the blogging world. Learning to optimize my blog post literally changed the way I blog!
This is a WordPress plug in that will tell you if your post is optimized for your keyword.
This app is important to have because Yoast will only tell you if you’re optimized… it won’t tell you what keyword to optimize FOR!
They also have a few other keyword related and back link tools but I haven’t used them.
Sticky Blogging SEO – open September 17-30, 2018 !!!
This is the online course I took where I learned the most helpful info! Registration is not open all the time so sign up for my business email list and I’ll let you know when her next course is.
Scheduling Social Media
I schedule directly on Facebook. I’ve tried other programs without much luck. My traffic seems to be even LOWER when I use a third party to schedule!
Right now I’ve cut back to scheduling 2 posts a day on FB.
Tailwind – It’s important to use a Pinterest-approved app for scheduling on Pinterest. Tailwind is the only one that I know of right now. I use Tailwind to find and schedule pins from other bloggers AND pin from my own blog. I probably pin 75% my posts and 25% others. The Tribe feature is my favorite! I joined about 10 tribes and can find and schedule a months worth of pins in an hour!
Ahalogy – You can schedule your own posts or choose from the Ahalogy network. They suggest keywords to help you optimize your listings and provide a editorial calendar to know when to pin what content. FYI, I haven’t used Ahalogy in months!
Twitter no longer allows posts to be repeated so I’m not scheduling anything right now. I just share my new blog post once when they come out.
Hootsuite – I used Hootsuite to schedule my social media for years. The free version worked great for me. Now I pay for Tailwind. I never used the Pro account but you can use my Hootsuite affiliate link and get a free 30-day trial of Hootsuite Pro. That will allow you to connect more accounts.
Tailwind – I’ve been using Tailwind to schedule Instagram for a few months now. I can’t tell you how much I love it!
One of my favorite features is that Tailwind saves hashtag lists! So once I research them (see hashtag resource above) I can just click on the list to use them.
Do you have more blogging resources that I should know about?
Photo Editing & Graphics
We use two different online programs to edit photos and create graphics.
PicMonkey – This is the app we use for editing photos. It’s pretty easy. Let me know if you have questions about it. I can either film a tutorial or find one to share with you.
Canva – This is a little more advanced than PicMonkey but it doesn’t do the basic editing. I use Canva to create my Pinterest collages and graphics.
Free Royalty-Free Images
Pexel.com – My current favorite. Not a lot to choose from but what they have is good quality.
Death to Stock Photography – Very creative photos.
Miniography – A very minimal look.
Unsplash – A more artistic look.
Books About Blogging
How to Blog for Profit Without Losing Your Soul, Ruth Soukup
The Blog Post Tool Kit by Gina Luker. I met Gina at my first Snap Conference in 2015. She’s been blogging almost a decade and gets about 2 MILLION pages views a month! This is really a step-by-step checklist of what you need to include in a blog post. Once you get this down, it becomes MUCH easier.
Books About Selling on Etsy
How to Start a Home Based Etsy Business, Gina Luker
Other Etsy Resources:
Marmalead – info coming soon
Inspired Bloggers University – Yes, this is a big investment but cheaper than a blog conference. And I’ve learned MORE about blogging from these courses than when I went to a conference!
…for reading about my favorite small business and blogging resources.
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‘Til the next project,