Starting an online business can be somewhat intimidating sometimes. What started as a hopeful and inspiring pinterest browsing quest somehow morphed into chaos and overwhelm. Let’s bring down the noise and simplify things a bit. We’re going over my five favorite tools that I used to start building my own business, She Builds, two months ago.
The five tools that you need to start your business are:
- a website platform
- an email marketing service
- a graphic creator
- a content manager
- a traffic developer
The She Builds website is built on the Squarespace platform.. All other leisure and lifestyle blogs I’ve authored have been on Blogger.
What sets Squarespace apart is the ease of design, adding in custom coding and the laundry load list of options and layouts that come with creating pages and blogs. I’m still learning all the ins and outs and learning the power of Squarespace, and feel 100% confident in the $12/month investment!
Squarespace features I’m currently using include:
- Bedford Theme
- Cover Pages (my home page)
- Blog Page
- Newsletter Box (to collect emails that are automatically sent to Mail Chimp and deliver freebies via a link in the thank you text).
- Gallery Box (so that readers can see related posts to the one they are currently reading)
Email Marketing Service
After googling a bunch of mail service providers and comparing services and pricing - I’ve opted to use Mail Chimp at this point in my business.
Mail Chimp is a great email marketing service to start with because they are easy to use, there are tons of tutorials that you can find on the web about them and they also have an app so that you can get alerts when you have a new subscriber and even see reports on campaigns.
Initially, I chose GetResponse because their services are very diversified (ie: landing pages and a webinar system), but after learning about using the newsletter box in Squarespace to collect emails and deliver freebies without my audience even leaving the page - I was sold. As I grow though, I may consider GetResponse again.
Hey - if you want to learn more about email marketing - check out my Pinterest board below!
Visuals help to draw your audience in and get excited about the content that you are about to share. Canva is a great tool to create graphics for your website and blog. If you decide to use a web-based graphic creator, make sure that the service you use has a font selection that fits with your visual brand identity.
I use Google Drive to store all things business.
Here are just some of the ways I use Google Drive:
- Write blog posts.
- URL and bit.ly directory for the She Builds site.
- Running content queue
- Branding color code and font directory
- Stock photo storage
- Content upgrade storage
- Written text for content upgrades
- I love having my documents online because I can access them wherever I go. I can even add to them on my mobile device.
Help your audience help you by making it easy and quick to share your content. SumoMe is a service that provides tools to help you grow your traffic. I’ve installed three apps from SumoMe to help me share and grow my traffic.
- Google Analytics - you can view your google analytics through SumoMe right on your website when you are logged in.
- Scroll Box - A box pops up on the bottom right of your screen every so often when you visit my site to offer you a chance to sign up for my newsletter.
- Share - On the left side of your screen there is a share bar so that you can easily share any of the pages on my site with your friends on various social media sites.
As a very new, but growing site, my current top source for traffic is DISQUS, the commenting system I use and many many other girl bosses use! So just know that it pays to write a genuine and real comment when something you’ve read sparks your interest. People will take notice of you!
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