Are you struggling with all of the decisions you are faced with when you want to make videos, create graphics, set up a system for sending newsletters, and more?
And who can you trust to recommend a product that fits your budget and not someone else’s pocketbook?
I know what it’s like to start a business and not be able to buy premium tools. My recommendations are based on my experience. Some are free, some are premium, and honestly there are some that I believe in so much that I am an affiliate (yes I make a bit of income for promoting their products). But every tool on this list is one that I have personally used and believe in.
Namecheap – I use Namecheap most commonly because they don’t try to get you to purchase anything extra.
GoDaddy – I have had no problem using GoDaddy for domain names, except that they try so hard to get you to buy extras that are usually not necessary.
Siteground – If you choose host with me, I currently use Siteground. The StartUp Plan gives you all the essential hosting features you need to accommodate a “just getting started” website or an existing average-size blog, personal, or business website. (aff)
BlueHost – I used Bluehost for years prior to switching to Siteground. I moved away from BlueHost primarily because they no longer offered the services I needed. Besides, I like to give my clients options. If you decide to use BlueHost, I will get a small commission. (aff)
I would not use a free theme for WordPress because they aren’t always safe to use. I would stick with a paid theme from a reputable developer. My preference is to use the Genesis framework and add a child theme by Studiopress or Web-Savvy. I have used both of these and trust them to have good code.
Genesis by Studiopress – If you want a professional website, this is the theme to use. It’s not as user-friendly as iThemes, but it is more elite in my opinion. (aff)
Web Savvy Marketing – Great place to find child themes built for Genesis (aff)
Free Digital Photos – Yes, they’re really free. But even with free photos, it’s important to check the rules for using them. Some will allow you to use them only on personal sites; some want a link back to their site; others don’t care how you use them.
Canstock Photo – A royalty free stock photography agency that believes professional stock images should be affordable and accessible to everyone.
123rf – Another good source for photos
Depositphotos – This is one of the best places I have found to purchase images for a reasonable price. (aff)
Dreamstime – Another one of my favorite places to purchase images. (aff)
Big Brand System – Learn about design, colors, fonts, and so much more.
Tailor Brands – This is kind of a fun place to go quickly get a logo, social media headers, business card design, etc. Somewhat limited in design options, but great when you’re starting out. (aff)
iPiccy – iPiccy gives you all the power to edit photos right in your browser without any installation for FREE. Just upload any image to photo editor and make it awesome in one click!
Pixlr – I have used Photoshop for years, but this program is very similar to it … and it’s FREE! This is what I would use if I hadn’t already purchased Photoshop.
Graphics Mojo Guided Training – Learn to make graphics using Gimp. (aff)
Dropbox – Another no brainer. This program is the ONLY way, in my opinion, to share large files and photos. Many people store their files here as well since it’s “in the cloud.”
Email Marketing & Newsletters
AWeber – I started out using MailChimp for my newsletters because it was free. When it came time to use an autoresponder, I made the switch to AWeber. I love it! (aff)
Note: I am hearing some great things about Active Campaign, but I haven’t used it.
Screen Recording Software
Jing – I absolutely love Jing. I can capture my screen as an image and I can make 5 minute videos. Best of all it’s FREE.
Snagit – Snagit is another program by TechSmith. I used it before I discovered Jing. But now that I want to make videos that are longer than 5 minutes, I upgraded.
Take Action Social Media – If you are ready to promote your business using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube or all of these, this is a great class to take. Karen Clark is a social media guru and is a great instructor.
Planning & Organizing
Mindmapping – Discover the many ways mind maps can be used in your business. Get ideas on how you can use mindmaps to create more revenue, get more done, and enjoy your business again. (aff)
Evernote – Let Evernote change the way you organize your work.
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