Blogging Essential Tools
WordPress: my go-to blogging platform. It is easy to use, advanced as you wish it to be and completely free. I highly recommend starting with the self-hosted WordPress site, which means you would need to invest a bit into your own domain and hosting in order to start a blog or website. Learn more about starting a blog with WordPress.
SiteGround: the best hosting out there! In two years, we had zero problems. I heard they had amazing customer service too – the best thing is I never needed them. If there is one thing I would recommend to anyone in need of a website, it would be to go with SiteGround hosting. Learn how to start a WordPress blog with SiteGround.
Divi by Elegant Themes: if you are looking for a perfect WordPress theme, you should definitely consider Divi by Elegant Themes. It is easily customizable, fast and reliable. It comes with a visual Divi builder so you can easily create the site you want while seeing all the changes immediately. Did I mention you can customize pretty much anything?!
Divi Overlays: Divi is great, but with Overlays, it becomes even more awesome. You can easily create useful and great looking overlays for more or less everything on the site.
Grammarly: since we are not native speakers, we use Grammarly a lot to correct wrong tenses, misspellings, punctuation or word order. Even a free version has been a great help. Grammarly is a must for any blogger – it checks your text as you write.
My Favorite Devices
Apple MacBook Air 13’3 – I was telling myself I do not need a Mac for a long, long time. Oh, I was wrong! I needed it so bad! I was hesitant to buy it since it was a big investment, but I did not want to end up with another laptop I could barely use. Now I can proudly say it is the most amazing thing I ever possessed. Small, strong and beautiful. If you are planning to do anything regarding design, you need it too.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge – a beautiful and powerful smartphone which I adore. It has enough space to store your documents, contracts, and photos and you can fastly answer all the emails. The camera is awesome so most of the time you will not need to have the real camera with you at all!
Go Pro Hero 4 Silver Edition – GoPro is not a camera for your business. So why do I even bother recommending it here? Because you need a free time too! If you are a traveler or adventure lover like we are, you will adore GoPro. We have Hero 4 Silver and we are totally happy with it, but there is also a newer Hero 5 version. Did I mention they are both waterproof?
Programs I Could Not Live Without
Trello: My whole life is organized in Trello! It is just fantastic – you can track your business, plan trips or even plan the weekly menu. It is versatile and your imagination is the only limit.
Asana: Another free project management platform you can use to keep a track of your projects and deadlines. We love Asana and use it often for task prioritization.
Slack: communication with your team is 100% easier and more effective through Slack.
Teachable: Our go-to platform for online courses. If you are looking into creating a course of any kind, you should definitely check Teachable out. It is easy to use and looks great!
Online Marketing Tools You Need
Active Campaign: super affordable for beginners and yet very advanced email marketing tool. Active Campaign has the best tagging and automation system out there so you can really plan out your marketing.
Motion Mail: It is proven that “sense of urgency” pushes people to buy the product faster. Add the countdown to your marketing emails and try it yourself.
Pretty Link Pro: THE plugin to use for any affiliate links. You can make pretty short links so you would not scare your visitors away. There is free and paid option; if you are just starting the free option is all you need.
Social Warfare: magical plugin for social sharing! It adds custom descriptions to your images, allows you to choose pinnable images and you can completely adjust it to your brand. If a plugin would be a love of my life, it would be Social Warfare.
BoardBooster: nobody has time for all that manual pinning, right? BoardBooster is a Pinterest scheduler which helps you automate the process. You set it up and you can basically forget about it.
Hootsuite: I must admit I am not the biggest fan of HootSuite interface, but it does what it is supposed to do. The great thing is you can use it for free for 3 social profiles, but there is no Pinterest included in their services. If you have more social profiles, you can easily upgrade to the paid plans which start from 9.99 EUR per month. Use this link to register and receive 30 DAYS FREE PRO TRIAL.
Later: Great place to schedule your Instagram posts in advance and visualize how the pictures will look together. It also sends you a reminder when to post.
Awesome Courses To Take
Pinterest Superstar Course: our signature course. Coming soon with more details…
Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing: the best course out there about affiliate marketing. If you wish to monetize your blog, but don’t know where from to start, start from here. Michelle is an awesome teacher and you will pay out the course in no time.
Adobe Creative Cloud: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom. Depends on what you do, but you will need one of this programs for sure. Lightroom is great for retouching photographies, Illustrator for design and vectors, in InDesign you can make print collateral and e-book and Photoshop… In Photoshop you can do what you wish!
Canva: you know why Canva is so popular? Because it is so easy to use and results are great! You can make a logo, pinnable images, any image for social media, … Try it yourself and create something great!
Creative Market: the biggest market for stock photos, design elements, images, … If you need something for your blog, you will most likely find it here.
Design Cuts: there are no so many design items like in Creative Market, but they offer an extended license for all purchases. So if you wish to use some items for commercial purposes, but you cannot afford the full commercial license, this may be a solution. Check their license rules first!
Other Useful Stuff
Really Good Emails: something like Pinterest for e-mail inspiration! You can find thousands of email examples made by a variety of companies categorized in popular categories you easily get inspired by. It is great for finding ideas for your next e-mail campaign. You can also view the live email or start building yours on top of someone’s template.