There are online tools to do pretty much anything we need as a blogger and online business owner, but sometimes it’s difficult to weed through the crap and get to the good stuff. I also believe there isn’t one right platform for everybody, nor is there one platform that can do every single thing we need it to do. (Wouldn’t that be divine?!)
In the six or so years since I started blogging, and especially in the past year or so since I’ve been a business owner, I’ve discovered so many tools, and I’ve tried a ton of them until I’ve found what I currently depend on to keep my business running efficiently. Today I want to show you my top 6 online tools, and share with you how each one contributes to my business in a positive way.
I use online tools to help me schedule my social media, maintain a client workflow, including payment collection, manage & create documents, grow my email list, and manage my never-ending task list. These tools help me spend more time doing what I enjoy, like creating content and working with clients, and less time managing the administrative tasks that can become a time-suck.
To help you see how I use each tool, I have a short video guide through each one.
I big puffy heart love Buffer, y’all. Oh let me count the ways! Buffer is easy peasy to use, and helps me keep quality content in front of my audience on all of my social media platforms.
Buffer allows me to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook pages & groups, LinkedIn, Google +, and Pinterest, all for only $10/month. I dig it. To see how I use it, watch the video below:
- A weekly & monthly view of all scheduled content on all social media channels
- The ability to add different blog feeds to each social media channel to easily allow me to keep my queue filled to the top
- The price – did I mention it’s only $10/month?
I started using Typeform for reader surveys after seeing it used on Olyvia.co, and I fell in love with the design aesthetics and ease of use. Every time I create a new survey using Typeform, I get asked about the platform I used to create the survey because users love it.
I’ve recently upgraded from the free version of Typeform, however, because not only does this tool allow me to create beautiful surveys, but also allows me to build responsive client workflows, and collect payment.
My client workflow has been something I’ve been struggling with for a while. I tried 17 Hats but it was entirely too much work to set up, and I just didn’t like the platform at all. I started digging around in Typeform and realized I can set up my entire client workflow within that platform. Check it out:
- Beautiful design aesthetics, including the ability to create fully branded forms
- One form to take my clients from intake info to contract to payment in one easy form
- Easy drag-and-drop form design features
A couple weeks ago I was at my mom’s house and was trying to help her save a document to her computer. I told her to just save it straight from her email to Google Drive, and she looked at me like I was nuts. She informed me that she didn’t even know she had a Google Drive.
Holy crap, woman! I can’t function without Google Drive! I use Drive and all of it’s bajillion features instead of Microsoft Office products. Word? I have Docs. Excel? I have Sheets. PowerPoint? I have Slides. And I even have my phone photos synced to Google Photos, which I can access right there in Google Drive!
Drive is a work horse, yet I run into bloggers all the time who have no idea how to utilize it for their own business. I am actually planning a course that focuses on Google Drive for bloggers, so stay tuned for that one. In the mean time, take a peek at the video to see a few ways in which I use Drive for my business:
- Access all of my docs from anywhere, even my phone
- Syncs with my computer so I can see my Google Drive files on my desktop, even when there is no internet access
- Ability to save and send documents directly from an email
- Ability to “print” any document to my Google Drive
Can we just agree that the Google suite of apps is killer? Ok good. It wasn’t until the past few months that I have come to love Google Calendar, however. I have always been a paper planner person, but when I started working for Collective Bias, I had to rely on Google Calendar because that’s how they schedule all of our meetings.
Using Google Calendar for my Collective Bias job has taught me how to use it for everything I do for my business, and I truly love it. In addition to adding events to my calendar, I also schedule all of my client calls, accountability group hangouts, and major to-do list items all in one place. Let me show you what I mean:
- Schedule & share links to video calls with clients
- Ability to see when clients accept the invitation for the video call, adding it to their calendar
- Ability to color code tasks for easy reference
- Create multiple calendars for different purposes but view all events on one calendar
I use LeadPages for all of my webinar registration pages and for blog post specific content upgrades. LeadPages seamlessly integrates with MailChimp, which allows me to create a segment of my email list for every webinar and content upgrade.
LeadPages also seamlessly integrate with WordPress, allowing me to customize the URL of every LeadPage I create. Here’s a quick overview:
- Fully branded landing pages to promote my webinars & any other content I want to promote
- Easy integration with MailChimp & WordPress
- Easy-to-read analytics to monitor success of each LeadPage
- Fully customizable LeadBoxes to create an endless amount of content upgrades
Click HERE to learn more about LeadPages for content upgrades.
Did you honestly expect me to make a list of my six favorite business tools without putting MailChimp on the list? Not only do I use MailChimp for my own email lists, but it’s also the backbone of my business. I teach bloggers how to use this platform, and design custom newsletter templates for them.
MailChimp is so incredibly versatile, and I’m honestly learning more about it all the time. Rather than giving you a super short overview video, which honestly won’t even scratch the surface, I’ve got several blog posts on the subject, and occasionally host in-depth webinars, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
- Automation workflow for ecourses, welcome series, and more
- List segmentation for targeted emails
- Full customization and branding
- A/B testing of subject lines & send times
*What online tools keep your blog or business running efficiently?
*Do you want to see any of these tools in more detail? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll write a post dedicated to it!
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