Resources and Recommendations
On this page, I have gathered together all the resources that I recommend for blogging and small business. There are all products that I either use or have vetted. If you have any questions about these products send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
This ecourse on how to bring your creative business online will be released on February 1st, 2017. Sign up for updates and freebies related to starting your own business.
This ecourse goes over how to create a small business brand. From fonts and colors to tagline and logo, this course teaches you how to do it all yourself!
This ebook goes over how to start your own business from home. Click the image to purchase your own copy on Gumroad for $5.
Resources for Your Website
You can purchase your domain through GoDaddy for as little as $.99. I paid $12.99 for kidscashandchaos.com, super simple to purchase and maintain.
This is the program to use for a blog you would like to monetize or need to be able to completely customize. If you sign up for hosting with Siteground you can install WordPress in three seconds!
This is my host of choice. Their customer service is amazing! If you are already with a host and want to move to Siteground they will help you every step of the way. I was with another popular hosting service and kept having problems with my site going down and being super slow. Since moving to Siteground I have had zero problems!
If you are a website newbie and want to start off with just a simple site, Weebly is the perfect! They have tons of themes to choose from, simple drag and drop interface and excellent customer service.
When you start a blog on WordPress you have a few free themes available to you. If you are serious about creating a blog as a business you will want to upgrade to a paid theme and there is no better framework than Genesis. It is easy to use and there are so many wonderful themes that work off of it.
The theme I am using currently is from Pretty Darn Cute Designs. It is called Pretty Chic and was super easy to install and customize. Plus when I had a small issue the customer service was excellent!
Resources for Social Media and Email Marketing
This is my choice for scheduling pins on Pinterest. I like having a button on Chrome for easy scheduling no matter where I am on the internet. Tailwind is the only pin scheduler that is approved by Pinterest too.
I recently added BoardBooster for pin scheduling and am loving the looping feature! I also use this for scheduling all my group board pins.
This is who I am using for my e-mail list. I love how easy it is to schedule email sequences. Pair this with Meera Kothand’s email course listed below and you will be well on your way to an awesome and engaged tribe.
Want a pop-up asking for e-mail subscribers? Or a Smart Bar on the top of each page? What about a Welcome Mat? SumoMe does all of those things!
If you are looking for a social media scheduler that will recycle your content look at SmarterQueue. This is the best scheduler I have used so far, better than Hootsuite, Buffer, CoSchedule and Edgar. It is priced right at $19.99 a month and will link with Facebook pages and groups, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. They will soon be adding more too. I love that I can add my blog posts and have them repost on a regular basis. It means I am never neglecting my own content.
Resources for Images and Editing
*sigh* I am so in love with Canva. This is what I use for all this blogs graphics and I use it for many of my VA clients to make posters, business cards, and graphics. I finally signed up for the business account and will never go back.
Perfect for editing photos, quick, simple, free!
Need free pictures? Look no further! They have an easy search function and there is no attribution needed for any of their photos.
I finally gave in a bought a subscription to a stock photo site. I am really impressed with the value of StockUnlimited! $85 for a lifetime subscription and they have tons of photos and vectors for every topic I have looked under. You really can’t go wrong at that price.
Courses and eBooks
Interested in learning all about Affiliate Marketing? Let Michelle walk you through her process, and you should listen to her, she makes $50,000 a month just from Affiliate income! You can read more at my review How to Rock Affiliate Marketing!
Abby Lawson from Just a Girl and Her Blog has written THE book on setting up a blog. It covers just about everything you need to know to get started if you want your blog to be a business. She has created a ton of content, not just written but audio and video as well. If you are thinking of blogging to bring in income, definitely check this one out.
Chantal Steele has written a great book for beginner bloggers. It is full of actionable information, worksheets and printables.
The Bootstrap VA: The Go-Getter’s Guide to Becoming a Virtual Assistant, Getting and Keeping Clients, and More! –
This is the book that started it all for me. I kept coming across mentions of this book when I was looking for a way to make money. I finally bought it and jumped in with both feet. If you want to be a VA, this is a great place to start.
Meera Kothand has created an amazing class for anyone who needs help building and engaging with their email list.
Lena Gott has written this book about getting traffic to your blog. It has great advice and I have been slowly working my way through her suggestions for my own blog.
Resources for Productivity and Organization
I searched all over for an easy time tracker for my virtual assistant business. Toggl has a simple interface and can integrate with many other programs online to help you track time. I added the Chrome button and now I can just click and start working. It will also ask me if I have been dormant for a while whether it needs to go back to my last activity, no more trying to figure out when I stopped working!
Do you need to do your own small business accounting and having trouble keeping up with everything? Enter Wave, a free online accounting app. So easy to use, you can bill clients from it and accept credit card payments! I use it for my VA business and this blog, cause you can track more than one account. Yep, it really does everything.
Check out the official site for the basic idea then check out some of my posts for more spreads.
This is a website that plays background noise like you are sitting in a coffee shop. It is great for minds that might be easily distracted by music with words but need some sort of background noise. I use it at night when I am working after the kids go to bed.
Resources for Graphics and Logo
Make your own pictographs with these awesome templates. Create a free account for the basic templates, or upgrade to a PRO account to access hundreds of templates.
Need a logo, brand book or business card? They’ve got you covered! Low prices, easy interface and branded bundles. Great for getting started online.
I am the worst speller. In fact, I failed Spelling in fifth grade, the only class I ever failed in school. Grammarly saves me many, many times a day. Not only does it check my spelling but it suggests punctuation and grammar and basically makes my writing bearable to read. In this paragraph alone it made six corrections.
Your source for everything business from the US government. Learn about laws, financing, loans, and grants, business plans and structures, and so much more!
This non-profit organization connects new business owners with mentors in their field. I used this service twice in the past. Mentors are often retired business people who volunteer their time to help others. They are super knowledgeable and dedicated to helping other succeed. I love my experience with this organization.