Running a creative blog and business is hard. You need to juggle between tasks for your blog, doing admin tasks, work on client’s projects and so on. Not to mention, you need a time to live outside of your business, so you need to automate and streamline everything you can. Luckily, there are some amazing tools and resources out there to help you run your online business more smoothly.
Today, I’ll share my top 10 blog & business tools & resources to help you design and grow your online business. These are resources I personally use, love and highly recommend for your blog and business. Let’s dive in, shall we?!
This post contains affiliate links marked with (*) for products I recommend. If you decide to make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
MY TOP 10 BLOG & BUSINESS TOOLS & RESOURCES TO HELP YOU DESIGN AND GROW YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
When I launched my blog in March 2016, I picked some random, cheap hosting which was slowing my site. Not to mention, my website was down few times and the customer service was terrible.
I’ve seen a lot of bloggers mentioning a SiteGround* as the best hosting company they ever used. I was sceptical and afraid that I’ll get burned again, but I gave SiteGround* a shot and it was the best decision I’ve made!
Since using SiteGround*, my website speed improved exponentially, my site wasn’t down EVER and I have a free SSL certificate (HTTPS), so my website is more trustworthy and secured.
SiteGround’s*customer service is the best! They helped me move my site from the other host (for free!) and always replies to me if I have any technical questions or difficulties.
The plans start at $3.95/mo. for a single site, which is super affordable! I’m on a GrowBig plan because I have another domain hosted there (for Up Your Pinterest Game) and it’s for $5.95/mo. with multiple websites!
Adobe Illustrator* is my go to resource for all of the graphics you can see from me on this website, on social media, also all the graphics I design for my clients. It creates vector graphics which you can use in any size because they are scalable.
Adobe Illustrator* is not as hard to use as some things (maybe because of that, it seems like everyone is using Photoshop). It looks scary at first because it has hundreds of functions and options to choose from, but honestly (depends on your business) you might only use 10+ functions, ever.
I’ll write an entire blog post about how I use Asana to manage my brand & web design packages with clients. Asana is a free project management tool to be more organized and productive. I’ve been using Asana for 1,5 years now, mostly for my brand & web design clients, but since the beginning of this year, I started to create to-do lists for MintSwift there.
Thanks to Asana, I no longer feel like I haven’t done anything through the day because I can see the list of tasks I’ve completed in a day. I can manage workflow for my design packages and make sure that both my clients and I, will meet the deadlines for the tasks from the workflow.
UPDATE 16.08.2018 – Since June 28th, 2018, BoardBooster is closed down.
BoardBooster is one of the top tools that helped me grow my blog. You can read more about my BoardBooster journey in this posts. BoardBooster is affordable scheduling tool for Pinterest, which can literally grow your business on autopilot using Pinterest!
I love BoardBooster*, especially for the looping feature, which brings my old pins to the top of the boards. The prices start at $5 for 100 pins. I’m on a $25 plan ;)
WordPress.org is a free & powerful platform to create your self-hosted website. With WordPress, you can use plugins, which will help you improve your blog, get email subscribers and more.
I use WordPress.org to design websites for my clients. The sites are easy to manage, even for non-coding clients. WordPress has endless possibilities to customize it and change things whenever you want.
Creative Market* is my go-to resource for fonts, templates, illustrations, mockups, stock photography and inspiration. They also pick six products each Monday and make them available to download for free which is awesome!
Even though I no longer have an email list, I still recommend MailChimp* for your blog and business. MailChimp* is a free (for up to 2000 subscribers) email marketing tool ideal for bloggers who are just starting out and it’s great for delivering free email courses with automation feature.
UPDATE 08.11.2018 – I no longer use VC on my website
If you aren’t sure about picking WordPress and want to go with Squarespace, you need to know that having Visual Composer is very similar to Squarespace (but with a lot more customization!) because it’s a drag and drop builder. Visual Composer is usually a part of WordPress theme, for example, I’m using the Brick theme and I usually use it as a base to create custom websites for my clients.
Ditch the Lead Pages and invest in Layered Popups instead. With LP, you only pay once for a license and you can create unlimited number of on-click (and other) popups
10. HELLO SIGN*
Hello Sign* is a tool to sign documents electronically (3 free documents per month). I use it to sign all of the contracts with my brand & web design clients. You no longer have to scan your contracts and other legal documents in order to sign them. Isn’t this awesome?!
I’m happy to be able to use the top 10 blog & business tools & resources I’ve mentioned above! Thanks to them, I’m able to run my business with more ease and continue to grow it, while having more time for personal life.