Tools I Use - Elizabeth Stapleton

Tools I Use

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There are so many great tools, courses, and apps out there to help with blogging and running your own business. Here are the ones that I've used, love, and highly recommend.

  •  Freelance Writing Tools
  • Self-Employment Tools
  • Blogging Tools

Blogging can be a challenge and there are tons of tools to help you with new ones being developed each day. Here is what I am currently using and love. While I do use some other tools as well, these are the ones I'm kinda obsessed with.  I also work hard to keep this list updated if anything changes.

1

BigScoots - for hosting

BigScoots is the hosting service I use. The customer service has been fantastic. When I moved my Squarespace site to wordpress, I had a lot of questions, they had the answers. When I screwed up a few things, they were able to help me fix them. They have been awesome to work with and I highly recommend using BigScoots for hosting your blog

Hosting starts at just $3.55/month, which is excellent considering how amazing their customer service is.

2

Bluehost - for hosting

When I started blogging, I hosted my blog on Bluehost as it seemed the most recommended hosting service. Bluehost worked just fine when I was starting out but I outgrew it. When I needed help I was able to get it, though it wasn't quite as personable as BigScoots, that being said Bluehost can be a great option to start.

3

ConvertKit

Convertkit - for email marketing

I started with MailChimp, quickly left, went to Aweber, and finally settled on Convertkit. I love how easy it is to use. It makes confirming opt-ins and delivering content upgrades (like worksheets) a snap. I use the WordPress plugin and then just choose what form I want on each post and page. One thing that makes Convertkit stand out from other email marketing services is that they don't count subscribers twice. Most other email marketing tools count subscribers on each form, so if a subscriber subscribed to more than one form, they are counted more than once. Since pricing is typically determined by the number of subscribers this could drive up your costs significantly.

4

smarterqueue | social media scheduling tools | social media tips

SmarterQueue - for scheduling social media

SmarterQueue is a lower cost alternative to meet Edgar, SmarterQueue does pretty much the same thing but it costs about $20/mo for up to 4 social media accounts. They have a free 14 day trial but if you use my referral link you get a 30 day free trial.

4

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

Tailwind - for scheduling Pinterest

Tailwind had been a game changer for me, I went from 10,000 impressions on Pinterest to over 100,000 impressions and have seen traffic to my site grow as well as email subscribers. The ease of use to schedule pins and track analytics has been awesome. Learn more about Tailwind.

5

pinterest traffic avalanche | grow your blog traffic | increase traffic from pinterest

Pinterest Traffic Avalanche

When I bought Pinterest Traffic Avalanche, I'll admit I didn't have super high hopes, I'd bought a lot of Pinterest courses and strategies and ebooks in the past and while I'd learned a lot I hadn't actually seen a big increase in my traffic to my blog. In the month after taking this course traffic to my blog increased by over 40%. Which is why this is the only Pinterest course I'm recommending here. 

Pinterest Traffic Avalanche not only covers all the basics that I learned from other courses, but it takes it a step further, I learned new things and when implementing the strategies outlined it worked. Though make no mistake, you do have to do the work. If you are willing to put in the time and do the work, this is a great course. 

6

DepositPhotos - for stock photos

You are human, which means you do not have time to be taking pictures for everything you need a picture for on your blog. Enter DepositPhotos which I've found to have a fantastic variety for the very affordable price of $1 per image. Because I need stock photos, but I don't have a huge budget for them. 

7

making sense of affiliate marketing | make money blogging

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing - for monetizing your site

Michelle is an affiliate marketing maven. She regularly makes over $50k a month from affiliate marketing. I bought her course at the end of Nov. 2016 and mid-December 2016 while I'm still working to implement everything I've learned, I've already seen an increase in my affiliate marketing income. She really knows what she is talking about and the Facebook community that accompanies the course is a terrific resource. Learn more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

8

wordpress themes | start a blog | best blogging tools | thrive themes

Thrive Themes Membership - for creating beautiful sites that convert

I got the Thrive Themes Membership when I decided to redesign LDMW and it’s been fantastic. It replaces Leadpages which was costing me over $400 a year. It also produced a much cleaner design with so many great tools I’m still working to implement and get the most out of everything. Just to note, Thrive Themes only works on WordPress.org sites. But if you have a WordPress site I highly recommend using Thrive Themes, I love it and have become a bit obsessed with everything it can do.

9

asana for bloggers | get your blog organized |

Asana for Bloggers - for organizing your online to-dos

It's called Asana for bloggers for a reason, though it can be applied for any number of online work to get organized. After taking Asana for Bloggers, I now have an organized to do list, editorial calendar for my blog and email marketing and actually managed to stay on top of everything.  Frankly, this course is a steal for just $25.

I of course then also recommend Asana which is free. 

blogging tools | business tools | the best blogging tools | social media tools | how to blog | how to start a blog