Tools I Love
I’m a proud affiliate for some of the tools on this page, and I never endorse anything I have not or would not use myself.
Websites & Hosting
Web Domains & Domain Management
I collect domains like some women collect shoes. If you have the same entrepreneurial nature, you might consider consolidating all your domains under one manager. For years I bought domains from my host, but then I would switch hosts and still have to maintain logins to route DNS servers… just a bit of a mess. Namecheap is, well, cheap, and also has good customer service & a nice interface for managing domains.
Web Hosting for WordPress
I’ve tried a ton of webhosts in the last couple decades working as a web designer and webmaster. I moved all of my personal AND client WordPress sites to SiteGround in 2016. I’ve had virtually no downtime, and their customer service is phenomenal. It’s really world’s apart from others the best WordPress hosting I’ve personally used – without destroying your budget.
I’ve been an Elegant Themes customer since 2011 and after testing quite a few premium themes, I’ve decided Divi is the best WordPress theme. This site uses Divi because it is one of the most versatile and configurable themes or frameworks I’ve ever used that is still very easy for anyone to use. Divi ships with premade layouts or you can build from scratch. And again, their customer service is excellent – which is always worth paying for.
I built my first WordPress site from scratch around 2009 and have been learning slowly for years. I wish I’d had a course like this – it would have saved me literally 1000’s of hours. A lot of my clients ask me about building a WordPress site and I was planning to create a course – thankfully, I met Rebecca Lutz and found out she’d already created the course so I don’t have to! She’s done a truly fantastic job, and you can try it free for 7-days.
Digital Marketing & Growth
Drip Marketing Simplicity
Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience – it converts at least 2x better than most social media and it’s intimate – people read your emails on bus, at their desk, on the john… point is, done right, email is really powerful. I used to promote ONTRAPORT as an all-in-one marketing solution, but I discovered that sometimes it’s better to use multiple, specialized solutions – so I switched back to Leadpages (below) and signed up for Drip because it’s super simple, pretty easy to use once you get going and integrates natively.
Create webpages like a designer
As mentioned above, I used to used ONTRAPORT but I switched back to Leadpages because it’s just SO much easier to use. I can create a well designed landing page in about 15 minutes and share it or integrate it with my WordPress site in just a few clicks. Leadpages is so easy to use that if you don’t have a website already, you could just build a leadpages! Oh, and I’ve more than doubled my opt-in rate since switching back!
Use quizzes to build your list
Creating a quiz was one of the best moves for marketing, and I’ll be using them more in the upcoming year – people love to learn about themselves, and Interact’s quiz builder makes it easy to create an interactive quiz, even providing pre-built templates. You can choose from multiple types of scoring or grouping, integrate with your email list and there are tons of other features. I’ve doubled my email list in the last month, and I’d give about 50% of the credit to Interact quizzes. Try it!
For Freelancers or the Tech Challenged
If you’re brand new to email marketing and want to get started rapidly with minimal investment, MailerLite is my recommendation. It’s some of the easiest to use email marketing software I’ve tried and they are rapidly adding features. You can have your first autoresponder, including embedded forms and optin pages, up in an hour, without spending a cent. If your business model is simple and service-based (i.e. you’re a freelancer & don’t plan to sell online products), this is a great bet.
Boost Client Engagement
I’m not sure how I came across Bonjoro, I think maybe they found me. But this uber cool platform lets you send videos via email to your clients super easily, and it integrates will with a lot of other programs. So, if you have an email list or a digital signup form, you can integrated it with Bonjoro and get an alert that someone’s signed up and you can reply with a video. Totally cool. Annnnd, the team at Bonjoro is pretty much awesome sauce – I’ve worked with a lot of startups and these guys are doing it right. Check em out!
Learning & Online Courses
Change Your Life in a Weekend
To say that Tony Robbins has changed my life and business would be an understatement. I booked a ticket to Unleash the Power Within after watching the Netflix documentary “I Am Not Your Guru,” and have since attended Date with Destiny in Australia and Business Mastery in Amsterdam. I consider Tony to be the best teacher I’ve ever had, and I cannot recommend his events enough – they’re designed to immerse you in learning so you can make lasting change. As such are very intense, but worth every moment & every penny.
I owe a fair amount of my success as a UX designer to what I learned in the Creative Class, and have continued to benefit from the methods that Paul Jarvis teaches. If you are a freelance designer, developer or writer, this is an excellent course for taking your business to the next level.
For Travel Writers
A few years ago, I toyed with quitting my job and traveling the world solo and making a living as a travel blogger for women. I signed up for this class, did about 75% of the work, started Eat, Pray, Love to Travel and even built a bit of a following. Ultimately blogging was not my calling – but I learned a ton from this course that helps me now as a coach and digital marketer. If you’re a freelance travel writer or aspiring blogger, this was a great course for me with valuable resources.
For Creative Projects
I’ve taken a couple of courses through creative live, mostly related to photography or social media management. I’ve found the classes to be really high-quality from excellent teachers, and if you can attend the course live you can try it out for free (I’m a huge fan of testing anything before investing).
For Technical & Business Skills
When I decided I wanted to take my freelance business to the next level, I took a number of courses to improve my coding skills, including learning to build WordPress Themes from scratch (Brad Hussey is my favorite instructor for web classes – highly recommend). I’ve also taken a number of classes related to marketing from experts on Pinterest marketing, Instagram, and even a class with the real Gary Vee.
Misc Tools & Deals
I’ve always been a bargain hunter, and that doesn’t stop at the digital world – which is why AppSumo is so great. Part discovery tool, part crowdsourced deals, I’ve bought about 30 deals ranging for stock photo services, premium upgrades, online courses and tools that have massively improved my focus or my business. Plus, their emails and descriptions are funny as hell.
When I started traveling full-time with Remote Year, I found myself really getting distracted by social media and FOMO. My productivity tanked for the first month – until I found the Freedom app. Now I lock myself out of social media for a few hours every morning so I can make sure I’m focused on what’s truly important to me. What’s neat is it works across platform and you can be as strict or flexible as you want.
Creative Market is an excellent resources for buying creative assets – I’ve purchased WordPress themes, mockups, fonts, icons, all sorts of stuff – and have even sold a couple of things to make a few bucks. Generally, I’m always really impressed with the quality of the work I’ve found on Creative Market and even bought my first logo here.
Looking for a great collection of fonts for your new brand? Need graphics for your blog? Stock photos for your sales page? Check out MightyDeals.
I don’t remember how I stumbled on Grammarly, but it’s a super handy tool for copywriting and editing. Of course, I ignore every other grammar suggestion it gives me, but I know it’s saved me a lot of dumb spelling and context mistakes. I also really like the simple nature of the editor and will often use it in lieu of other word-processors when I need to really focus.
Get all these, plus 40 more tools I use to run my online business and travel full-time in a PDF: