You’re ready to jump into the world of the internet, but where do you start? I’ve put together a list of terrific resources I’ve used in the last 10+ years to be successful in online marketing. These are resources that will help you put your business on the (internet) map in the quickest and easiest way.
I prefer services and products that are easy to use, intuitive to my needs, and have great customer service behind them. I know you’ll find these resources helpful for your small local business.
Please note: I am an affiliate for some of resources (where noted), which means I earn a small commission if you buy anything using these links, at no extra cost to you. However, I would recommend them even without commissions, because I think they’re useful, effective and, above all, easy to use.
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Flywheel (affiliate link) – I am so pleased with this website hosting company. Get this: after I signed up, they scheduled a phone call with me. A customer service rep took the time to call me and ask me about the purpose of my site, what I needed help with, and explained a lot of their tools and options. Their pricing is very reasonable. I now have three websites hosted on Flywheel.
Moz – There are a lot of tools out there to help you with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO just means making it easy for Google to find it and rank it highly on search engine results pages (SERPs). I compared a lot of tools and went with Moz for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been reading their blog posts for years and it’s always easy-to-understand and very valuable. Second, I love the look of their tools. I’m a big fan of white space and they use plenty of it. I’ve also dealt with their customer service, which has been top-notch. Great resource for finding keywords and seeing if your website is up to SEO snuff, so to speak.
Social Media Scheduling
I actually use more than one social media scheduler because they each do something different.
Tailwind (affiliate link) – Tailwind is, by far, the easiest social media scheduler I’ve ever used. They have shortcuts for everything. And I love how I can batch things together. I use Tailwind for Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. It’s a powerful, friendly service that I couldn’t do business without.
Crowdfire (affiliate link) – Crowdfire is also easy to use, but their most powerful feature is their content suggestions. You tell Crowdfire the topics that you want to share, and they give you a stream of suggestions. Then, with one tap, you can share a post to all of your social media platforms at exactly the right time.
Mailchimp (referral link) – Mailchimp was the first email service I used because it’s free for your first 1,000 subscribers. I also like it’s interfaces, which are full of white space and easy to use menus. Mailchimp, however, isn’t for online business folks who need a lot of bells and whistles. But it’s fantastic for straightforward, free email marketing.
SendFox (referral link) – I used to use ConvertKit for email, but there were a couple of features that just didn’t work for me. Plus, I didn’t need lots of fancy automations. I switched to SendFox through AppSumo and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I paid very little for their lifetime plan and it has everything I need. SendFox is easy to use, and they add more features every day. (My link takes you to AppSumo, where you can buy SendFox and lots of other easy-to-use, cutting-edge apps.)
Etsy (affiliate link) – Yes, Etsy. There are a lot of talented artists and graphic designers who sell themes, graphics packages, logos and more on Etsy. Sometimes you can find something that’s already made, other times you can request custom work.
Canva (referral link) – Canva has loads of beautiful templates and done-for-you graphics. And it’s all free. There are fancier options if you pay for a business plan, but the free plan has enough for most solopreneurs and small businesses.
Trello (referral link) – I’ve used lots of calendars, mind maps, workflow apps, Google tools and other apps for tracking my work, but Trello is by far the easiest. I absolutely love its flexibility, customization options and features. I use Trello to keep my weekly workflow on track, to plan and create YouTube videos, to plan content for my clients and to track information about my clients. It can truly do anything you need it to. Oh, did I mention it’s free?
Calendly – Calendly is relatively new to me. I use Calendly to book meetings and interviews without back-and-forth emails. The beginner plan is free.
Customer Relationship Management
Hubspot – Hubspot and I go way back. I’ve been consuming their content for years. I’ve also started their classes to get certified in a variety of online marketing subjects. Their customer service is top-notch and their software is incredibly easy to use. You get a crazy amount of support from Hubspot at every step. I recommend them to my clients who require this kind of software all the time.
Private Label Rights
Coach Glue – Sometimes when I need content for a client, but I’m not an expert on their subject, I turn to private label rights content. PLR is a great way to add value to a blog or website without starting from scratch. Now, there’s a right way and a wrong way to use PLR. You can bet your bippy that I don’t just copy and paste. I make sure to edit PLR to my client’s “voice” and include personalized data and value. Coach Glue has a-mazing PLR. It’s the best-written stuff out there. (Trust me, if you spend any time reading PLR, you’ll know the difference.)
Amazon – I’m not going to lie: I use Amazon for pretty much anything you can think of. But I definitely buy my books from Amazon. I know there are real-book fanatics out there, but I’m an ebook lover all the way. I even have some of my own ebooks for sale on Amazon. And being an Amazon Prime member more than pays for itself in my house.
Audible – Oh, Audible, what would I do without you? I listen to books in the car, while I’m cooking, while I’m cleaning, while I’m doing pretty much anything that doesn’t require a lot of brain power. In fact, I use audiobooks as an incentive to get some of my chores done. It’s a productivity booster!