Thanks for checking out my resources page. I know that some bloggers have a habit of sharing things just for the referral links, and have no interest in providing value to their readers. I am not one of those bloggers, but only share products here that I actively use, or have used in the past with success.
There are a few products on this list I used and loved, but have moved away from. Those products are marked with **. I would never want to misrepresent myself to you or share something with you simply because I get credit for it.
That being said, I do use affuliate links on this page, which helps support my family. All of the products on this page are ones I would recommend with or without affiliate or referral links.
Organize Your Biz
I used to use Aweber and loved them back when they charged $19 a month no matter how big your email list was.
But as email newsletter companies have evolved, Aweber hasn’t changed much. If you like their interface, they aren’t bad but I don’t love it. As far as price goes they’re comparable to other companies.
These days I use ConvertKit for all of my email marketing, it’s intuitive and simple as far as email marketing interfaces go. I know a lot of people use MailChimp because it starts off as free, but I’ve used them and they’re just not that great. If you want features like automation, you have to pay more. I prefer to just have all the features you’ll need from the get to, and be done with it!
There’s a great article you might like if you’re a current MailChimp user, called Why You Shouldn’t Switch from MailChimp. It’s great!
Social Media Marketing
**PostPlanner is what I use for curating social media content to share besides my own. Their Love plan is only $9 a month, which is pretty inexpensive considering other services’ crazy price tags. Their interface can be a little buggy sometimes, but I have noticed significant improvements since joining a few years ago. I have switched over to Meet Edgar now, since I rarely use my Facebook page to promote other people’s content, and tend to just share my own stuff there.
Meet Edgar is a new system for me, but I LOVE the fact that I can load up my content for a year at a time and just let it do it’s thing for my Facebook page and groups. I love their interface, I can mass upload posts with a CSV file (I make thise in Google Sheets, they don’t need to be fancy!) or schedule them one at a time. I am a “do it in bulk” person, but love to have the option to do both when I need to.
**HootSuite is a service I used and wasn’t crazy about, but I am including it here because it worked very well. I didn’t care for their interface but never had any problems with them. My best friend who is a professional social media manager uses them to manage the lion’s share of her clients’ accounts, so I would give them a try if Coschedule isn’t your favorite. They’re not a bad company, I just didn’t fall in love with their interface like I did Coschedule’s.
Thirsty Affiliates is one of my favorite plugins and it was one of the best investments I’ve made for my businesses. For one lifetime fee, I can have all my affiliate links automatically inserted into posts for me. No more going to look for links, trying to find logins to affiliate programs or wasting time looking up information… it paid for itself in the first month I started using it simply because it saved me so much time. It’s also a great tool for bloggers who want to update old posts to include affiliate links without having to do it by hand or pay an assistant to do it.
Online Course Creation and Management
Firstly, I have online courses which are one of the ways I love providing value to my readers and making money at the same time. I host all of my courses with Teachable, and love it. I did start off on the free plan, then moved to their Professional plan. If you’re interested in becoming an online course creator and having your own courses, a great plae to start is Teachable’s webinar, 7 Steps to Launching Your Own Profitable Online Course. It’s great information, whether you want to use Teachable or not.
While I love the Teachable system, I really wanted another cart with other functions, so I use Thrivecart for all of my payment processing. It has a great affiliate system and intrgerates with my email system, so when someone purchases a course, they can get added to the right email list withn Convertkit, without having to use an outside program to make that happen.
I have also used to use Samcart in the past (and know many entrepreneurs who love them!) but their built-in affiliate program function was terrible, and their support more than once gave me the “too bad, so sad” talk until I threatened to cancel. They also didn’t have Convertkit or Teachable Integrations, so I was dependent on Zapier, which was frustrating. Ultimately, I liked their interface, but they just didn’t have any of the features I felt were important to my business – and having support that isn’t willing to really HELP is a huge turnoff for me.
Business & Personal Organization
I am mentioning Coschedule again because they also serve as my marketing calendar and editorial calendar.
Asana is free -they do have a paid plan but I don’t use that, the free one has always been more than sufficient for managing my business ideas, odd tasks, etc.
I use Cozi for anything that requires regular maintenance reminders. I have so many things automated that sometimes I forget to check in, so I have Cozi send me text reminders. (I also use it to remind Ian to take out the trash on the right day. LOL) It’s totally free to use, you can pay the $20 a year (basically nothing!) to get more reminder options and a few other features, but I used it for years on the free plan and didn’t have that feeling like their free plan was just a way to get people to try their product, then give their “real” customers the good features!
I use Digit for finding extra in my personal budget, they are great for people on a tight budget looking to find some extra cash for their business expenses or for paying off debt. Their fees are very reasonable ($2.99 a month!) and they’re great for people like me who want to have the discipline to save, but struggle to actually do it.
We use Simple bank for our personal banking – we love the digital version of the envelope system that is a built-in part of our regular bank account.
Saving Money & Cash BAck on Purchases
Honey is a browser extension you can install in Chrome that automatically applies cash back deals and tests coupon codes for you. I have saved hundreds of dollars on car rentals and online purchases from stores for odds and ends things like some of Ian’s business items for his Etsy Store.
I also really like to Dosh app, which gives me cash back when I use my debit cards for certain purchases, which is all the time. I love them! I’ve only earned between $25 and $200 a month from them (depending on the month, usually it’s under $100) but I don’t have to do anything to earn it, since my debit cards are linked. Super simple, and I like free money.
Quickbooks is the amazing accounting software I use for my business. It auto-categorizes almost everything that comes through my bank account because I setup rules when I joined.
Hands down, this is the best software I’ve ever used for taxes! My tax system was pretty efficient before, but with quickbooks I’ll be able to keep our tax filing time down to under 2 hours. WAAAAY better than paying a tax “pro” (who I don’t typically trust, they’re only human and it’s not their money after all.) – and I LOVE any automated system that I have to do very minimal work to maintain.
Plus, if you use my link you get 50% off, and full disclosure I do get a credit for referring you… it benefits us both! 😉
I use a lot of things to help me be more productive. Some of those things include essential oils, food and that kind of thing. Having a healthy, balanced life is one of the things that lets me provide for my family with excellence…. so while these aren’t directly for business they help me be the best I can be and my business definitely reaps the benefits.
Love with Food monthly snack box
Love with Food is amazing for someone who is snacky like me. They offer variety and their choices aren’t unreasonably unhealthy, actually most of them are very healthy in my boxes for the most part, and their prices aren’t bad. They even have a gluten free box, if that’s your thing. You can see one of the boxes we’ve gotten below.
These boxes are one of our favorite subscription boxes ever!
I use essential oils almost every day. One of the things I’ve learned about being an entrepreneur is that I have to manage my own motivation and moods, because no boss was going to do it for me. Before I talk about the oils I use though, I want to make sure you know: I joined several oil companies so I could buy them at a discount.
I am not an essential oil seller, and if you are interested in purchasing under me so I get credit, that’s great! My family appreciates that. But I am not a good “upline” who will walk through the in’s and out’s of an multi-level business with you. That’s not my thing, and I don’t like doing it. Honestly, multi-level programs and I aren’t good friends. I don’t enjoy them as a business model.
I have blends I use for just about everything, and while there’s no way I can list all of them, here are a few I use and love.
- Progessence serum from Young Living for when my bedroom drive isn’t quite so… drivey. 😉 Using this once a day took me from having ZERO interest (not normal for me!) to actually having some interest. Twice a day and I was revving to go all the time.This oil gets 6 out of 5 stars from my husband, he wanted to note that every woman should give it to herself for the holidays as a gift for her husband. LOL.
- Citrus Bliss from Doterra (which you can buy on Amazon) this is mine and my husband’s favorite go-to blend for our diffusers.
- Digize from Doterra is great for my two lactose-intolerant little people, or when the stomach bug hits. The last two times my family has gotten the stomach flu, I’ve applied this and ginger to my abdomen and the bottoms of my feet and I didn’t have any worse symptoms than a decreased appetite – waaaaay better than what they had. I’ll spare you the details on that one, just trust me, it was horrible.
- Cedarwood & Lemon oils are what I use for insomnia
- Eucalyptus and lemon oils blended together are what I use for my feet, they’re always cold in the winter and this blend makes them warm and toasty!
I also have an amazing oil box, which you can see I posted on Instagram a while back. You can see that here on amazon, and below in use. 🙂
I am a firm believer that you should always be growing and improving, especially as a business owner. If you never evolve, you’ll quickly become an outdated model who is yesterday’s news. Starting in 2017, I made myself a huge list of classic and modern books to read and make it a priority to get in an hour of reading time on all of my “normal” days.
A lot of the time, that hour is spent on Audible as I do dishes, change diapers and live life here at my place. When I’m not listening on Audible, I have some free apps that play the librivox public recordings on my phone for the classics I’m reading. Their recordings are almost never as good as the audible ones, but they’re nice in a pinch.