This is a list of the tools I use daily. They power my website, my business + help me create content for myself + my clients. So I have no problem recommending all these great services to you (and using my affiliate links too!)
My Tool Kit
For Content Creation
Adobe Creative Cloud*
I use this suite of programs daily. I create the majority of my content with a combination of Illustrator, Photoshop + InDesign and I use other programs in the suite like AfterEffects and Animate when I want to create fancier content.
I was reluctant to get this for a while. I didn’t want to have to pay for yet another service. Now, I can’t even imagine how I’d run my site without it. Lead Pages allows you to create landing pages for your site that focus your audience on an offering. I particularly love their Lead Boxes feature!
This is one of those services that can change your life! SmarterQueue has quickly become one of the best investments I’ve made in my business for social media management. Not only do I have a clear overview of all my content channels, I’m able to recycle my content and have them do the work for me and that by itself is worth GOLD! It boosts engagement and saves you hours each week. You can get a free extended trial with my link above.
I used this service before and really enjoyed their features. CoSchedule is powerful and my favorite feature was the easy integration with WordPress for posting blog posts.
I visit Creative Market often for new fonts to add to my library (I’m a font nerd). I like to create my own graphics and even take my own photos for most of my content but when I’m in a pinch, I also have a look at their mock ups and stock photos.
This is another of my go-tos for new fonts. I also subscribe to their newsletter and love learning about the designers behind the fonts.
I’m pretty picky with grammar and spelling and I always do my best to double and even triple check that things are right but you always miss something. It’s nice to have a tool like Grammarly that will check stuff for you!
For Site Management
I can’t say enough good things about WordPress. It’s a great platform to build not only blogs but entire websites. I love that it’s open source you can find a plugin for almost anything you need.
WP Engine Hosting*
WP Engine offers managed WordPress hosting, which can significantly improve the security and speed of your website. WP Engine is trusted by pretty big websites but they cater to small businesses as well without breaking the bank.
I own a small letterpress shop that I run on Shopify. It took some time to graduate to Shopify as it’s a considerable cost when you’re starting out, but I haven’t regretted it. Shopify just keeps getting better too! They just announced they’re adding Calculated Shipping to all their account levels, a feature that was paid before.
I recently joined Convert Kit and it really has impressed me. It’s taken my efforts to a whole new level, allowing me to get very specific about the content I want to send to my audience and how it’s delivered.
I use Lead Pages in conjunction with WordPress to create pages for my site. It’s a very powerful tool. It even comes with a plugin that makes adding Lead Pages to your site a breeze! I use Lead Pages to deliver a lot of the content upgrades I share throughout my site and social media.
Theme Forest is the one market I use the most from Envato. It’s my go-to resource for WordPress themes. However, they have a huge market that includes the availability to buy code snippets, scripts, graphics and almost anything you can imagine.
For Business Management
The Contract Shop*
Can’t say enough good things about The Contract Shop! First off, their branding is gorgeous and of course, I’m a sucker for good branding. But what I love about The Contract Shop is the ability they provide for a small business like me to cover myself legally. No more frankensteined contracts that leave you wondering whether it’d stand up in court. This is for those of us that have graduated to a new level and want the legal that comes with it!
Dubsado has been a game changer for me! I finally decided I wanted an all in one solution to create invoices, contracts and proposals. I also wanted more control over my clients’ experiences. Dubsado does this and more with proposals, contracts, invoices, client portals… I could go on. What I love is that they also recognize the importance of having my brand at the forefront and make it simple to have your branding all over the place. Win-win.
Tailwind is another amazing way to boost your website traffic. Pinterest is easily one of THE best ways to bring traffic to your site and Tailwind makes it ridiculously easy to do it. You can schedule pins out months in advance so you don’t have to do it daily and with Tailwinds new feature, Tribes, you get your content in front of thousands of people easily.
I have to be honest, I’m a little bit of a snob when I have stuff printed digitally. I’ve gotten some terrible surprises before but not with Moo. Moo always has high quality products. I recommend them often!
Another digital printer that I’ve found has good quality is PS Print. They’re sample kit impressed me enough to try them out on smaller jobs where having a less expensive printer makes more sense.
This is one of two resources that I go to most for learning. Creative Live offers live classes taught in their CA studios. The classes are in-depth and you can sometimes catch them for free as they have 4 channels airing classes every day. So head there now, you might catch a good one!
This is the other platform that I visit the most for learning. Skillshare is a community full of people like you and me, teaching what they know. You can find a class for almost anything. Classes have a shorter format so they’re great to pick up skills quickly.
* Some of the links above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link + purchase the item, my boys may get extra money for Matchbox cars! Yay! Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be valuable to you.