These are the recommended tools and services that I LOVE using in my business. I will only ever share the tools that have made me successful in my my side hustles.
The importance of knowing the right ones to use at the right phase of your business is the key. If you spend your money on things you DON'T need at that moment, you're potentially just throwing away cash.
Understanding the Phases of Your Journey
Online marketing and creating a platform has a VERY low cost to entry. You can literally stand up a storefront for less than $10 a month. Too often, people will buy tools that they think is the magic bullet that will help them start finding their audience without putting in the work.
Here are the general phases of the journey of an online marketer and side hustler:
Phase 1 - Discovery
In this beginning journey, you have not created an income yet nor have an idea on where and how you can best monetize your business. You're also doing a lot of research and constant testing to see what works. The tools in this phase will help you get started on creating structure for your business as well as the foundation for your side hustle.
Phase 2 - Growth
At this point, you are over a year into your business and understand it well enough where you have structure and strategies in place. You have over 500 people visiting your site a month. The tools in where will allow you to level up your online home, start to increase your promotional strategies, and finally start using email strategies.
Phase 3 - Expansion
In this phase, you know what you need to do, but need more time in the day to do it. The tools in this phase will allow you to leverage your profits and continue to grow your business by paying for TIME so that you can continue operating at a strategic level.
The Tools by Phase
Click on the tab the best represents the phase of business you are in to help you get started!
- phase 1 - Discovery
- phase 2 - growth
- phase 3 - expansion
When you are just getting started ...
My very first host was Dreamhost. I know a lot of people use Bluehost, but I've heard horror stories. I've never had a bad experience with Dreamhost. It's also where I buy my domain name. Get $50 by signing up through this link!
Canva is an amazing tool that allows you to create graphics for any platform where you are sharing images. I love using this to create Pinterest images!
PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOL
This is an AMAZING To Do list. It has so many options for customization. I love using this to jot down the ideas I have for the blog and how I can use it.
When you are ready to level up ...
As my traffic grew from 500 views per month to 25,000 page views per month, my blog started slowing down with Dreamhost. I had to upgrade to a new provider, and they are amazing.
PINTEREST SOCIAL SHARING
I use tailwind EVERY DAY to schedule my pins so I don't have to think about pinning manually every day. It's Pinterest Approved!
EMAIL MARKETING PROVIDER
I love ConvertKit. I have used a few email marketing providers, and this is the easiest one to use and is intuitive enough to get "fancy" without being bogged down by a learning curve.
When you start building a team ...
FREELANCE CAREER BOARD
I've used so many resources from Upwork to hire people for odd jobs that I don't want to do with the blog. It's been an amazing time saver for me.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
I use HootSuite when I need to manage with a team all of my social accounts so I can see in one view what is being published.
Adobe Creative Suite
I use Adobe Creative Suite every single day for graphics, video, audio and so much more! Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, XD and After Effects are just some of the programs I use.