I have been working in the online space since 2014 and in all the time I've used a ton of different tools, these are the ones I love and use and most of all would recommend to others.
You should also know that any resources I mention on this page that aren't free, I have paid for, I did not and do not recommend tools and resources that I have not paid for and used.
Honesty is the best policy, you should know....
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- Business Operations
- Running a Blog or Website
- Tech Tools/Office
How would you like to automatically onboard clients, I'm talking send the proposal, get the contract signed and get paid all in one go? Thanks to Dubsado, I'm able to do that. Plus it provides a client portal so clients can access all of their documents. It also allows me to set up recurring invoices to automatically go out, so I don't have to spend a day on the admin of invoicing. I love that I'm able to set up automatic workflows and systems that help me earn more money.
BTW if you use my code: "stapleton" you'll get 30% off. They also have a free forever plan for up to 3 clients.
I used to use Quick-Books Self Employed but when I started taking a course to help me better understand business finances I made the jump to QBO and I'm glad I did, it does so much more! It's so much easier to get a birds eye view of what is happening in your business so you can course correct or take advantage of whats working really well.
Get 50% off your first 3 months, when you use my link!
Airtable is a dream when it comes to spreadsheets. Plus I like that when necessary you can do a kanban (like Trello) or calendar view of what's going on. Not to mention it's free.
Finally a project management system that helps me keep tabs on EVERYTHING! I'm in love. I just go see what due that day and voila! I have my schedule for the day half done. It's amazing it lets you manage different spaces (like Admin, Operations, and Sales) and different projects within that (so in Operations I have: Blog Management, Pinterest Marketing, and Email Marketing) and then in each project, you have lists, and tasks, and you can set a start date and due date for everything. I've tried Asana and Trello and Click Up definitely beats them both.
Thrive Themes Membership
I don't know anything about coding, but the Thrive Themes membership provides me with all the tools I need to create a beautiful website, making it easy to get the look I want just right. And it doesn't just come with a landing page builder. Since I started using Thrive Leads I've more than DOUBLED my opt-in conversion rate. Plus I can customize my readers experience by displaying different things in the sidebar based on the content they are looking at. To say I'm obsessed with Thrive would be an understatement. I left Leadpages for Thrive and haven't looked back, plus my bank account is a lot happier since the Thrive Themes membership is a fraction of the cost of Leadpages and does sooo much more!
I've used a lot of different tools to sell products in the past, but most were only designed to sell one kind of product and I would end up having to do work arounds to sell other types of products. I love Podia because it makes it easy to sell:
- Digital Downloads
Plus it's easy to manage affiliates and they will transfer you products over to their platform for you. While it's newer and still in development, any time I've asked about something and it didn't have it, it's usually been a feature that was quickly added within a couple of months, plus their customer service is just outstanding!
Deadline funnel makes it easy to set up deadlines that actually stick. Because a deadline forces people to make a decision - to buy or not. If you want to do a tripwire and make sure someone can't access it again just by signing up for you list again, you'll want to use Deadline funnel. Though tripwires are far from the only deadlines you can create. Plus it's super easy to use and get started, all you have to do is copy and paste a small snippet of code and you're on your way to more sales.
I use Tailwind to market my site on Pinterest - so I don't have to spend all my time on Pinterest. It makes it easy to schedule out weeks or months worth of pins fast and give me more opportunities to promote my content in Tailwind Tribes.
I'm in love with Lasso, it's an affiliate marketer's dream plugin. While it will mask links to make them "pretty" it also automatically tracks them in google analytics so you can see what pages are producing the most clicks on what affiliate links. Plus, it pulls together a list of all the links on your site so you can see how well monetized different posts and pages are, making sure you're maximizing your affiliate marketing efforts.
iMarkInteractive offers WordPress virtual assistance. Not sure if an update is safe? They'll handle that. Always forget to backup your site - the do daily back ups. They also offer use of SocialPug and WP rocket for their monthly clients. It just takes one less thing off your plate and ensures your site runs smoothly. I highly recommend using their services - and no I'm actually not an affiliate for them, just a customer that is super happy.
30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success
I took this course in 2016 and it helped me to go from complete freelance writing novice to a full time freelance writer in less than a year.
Elite Blog Academy
Elite Blog Academy is a foundation blogging course and it helped me to finally get my blogs organized and fix everything I'd messed up in the beginning of my blogging journey. Though it is not for the faint of heart, it took me an entire year to finish the course, but it was definitely worth it.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of my blog's main sources of passive income and even when I was going through a reconfiguration of my business last year I still managed to earn over $5,000 in 2018. This course taught me what I needed to know about affiliate marketing and how to do it well.
Other Recommended Resources
- KingSumo - for running viral giveaways
- Drip - for automating and managing my email list
- Screenflow - For recording my screen and editing videos
- Canva - for creating graphics and content upgrads
- ShortPixel - for compressing images
- Depositphotos - for getting stock images
- Tailwind - for great Tailwind tribes and Pinterest Marketing