Resource Guide: The software and apps I use to run my website and business
I figured today, I'd share a bit about how I run my website and what's involved in having an online business. These are the products and software I use to make sure everything keeps running smoothly and looks great.
Convertkit (convertkit.com, paid)
For sending my newsletter emails, I use a company called Convertkit. They didn't start that long ago (2014, I think?) so they're still improving on their features and looks.
Convertkit makes sure everything you download on my site is delivered to your inbox, too. I think it's the most intuitive software out there for sending newsletters.
It keeps everything organized and easy to see who signed up for what.
Running my website
Squarespace (squarespace.com, paid)
This is the platform I use to run my website. Squarespace is an all-in-one way to host and design my website. It's what makes my site look so awesome :) .
It helps me add new blog posts, create pages for you to sign up for new things I'm offering and makes adding images and text super easy.
This way, there's no need for annoying WordPress plugins or apps and things always run smoothly. It has reduced the stress of having a website so much for me. I've come to love making new sites with Squarespace.
If you're just wanting a blog, squarespace isn't for you. If you're looking for something where you can just write about your health and your conditions, squarespace is a waste of money. You'd be better off with a wordpress site, either wordpress.com if you're not interested in making money from your site or wordpress.org if you want things like ads or affiliate links. Wordpress.org is what people call 'self-hosted', that means you pay a yearly fee to keep your website online. This costs about $15 per year and is the cheapest option.
Leadpages (leadpages.net, paid)
Have you noticed that whenever you click a sign-up button on my site, a lovely box pops up asking you for your name and email address?
That's what leadpages does. It makes sure that when you click that sign-up button and fill out your name and email address, convertkit gets your information and adds you to the list of people joining.
The 'thank-you' page that allows you to share the download/event on twitter and facebook is also done by Leadpages.
A rather expensive piece of software for only using two of its features. but well worth the headaches it saves though, and, very important, the cool sign up forms :) .
GoSquared and clicky (gosquared.com and clicky.com, free)
While SquareSpace has built-in analytics, I prefer using an extra service so I'm able to track things I can't in Squarespace.
Gosquared is easy to use and shows me things like where people are coming from and how long they're staying on my website.
Clicky's analytics is more in-depth but their free accounts only show visitors for the past 28 days. I use them to get a real-time view and Gosquared to keep track of year-round visitors.
Social Media Scheduling
Boardbooster (boardbooster.com, paid)
To make sure there are always new pins added to my Pinterest boards, I use Boardbooster.
I just add a bunch of new pins to a secret board in my account and Boardbooster adds them to my public boards.
That way there's always new content added and I don't have to add them all the time. They also loop older pins on my boards to make sure they are still seen by people who've just started to follow me.
If this than that (ifttt.com, free)
This is a slightly technical one, really. What it does is, it connects different services that aren't normally connected.
It sets up what's called a 'recipe' (now called Applet), that 'recipe' dictates what happens when a specific action is triggered. Think: If this thing happens then that thing happens...
I've got it set up to, whenever I post a picture to Instagram, to also post it, with the caption I added, to Facebook and Twitter. It's very easy to set up and helps add a bit more content to my FB and Twitter accounts.
Courses and group programs
Teachable (teachable.com, paid)
Whenever I run a larger group program or a course with lots of information, I use teachable to host the content and handle payments. It's not the cheapest option but it's by far the most intuitive one. It hosts videos for me and makes it easy for students to download the materials.
It deals with payments as well as giving me an overview of what sales taxes I need to pay. I upgrade to a paid plan when running a course to get the features I need and remain on a free plan when I'm not doing programs or courses.
Slack (slack.com, free)
Slack is a private group chat app. It's what I use for the people in the group program or course to be able to talk to each other and/or ask me questions.
When I'm running a group program, I can't give people one-on-one email support so this helps with supporting the participants.
It's perfect for sharing extra resources and for people to share their filled out documents as well. For smaller courses, I'll just use slack and send out emails with Convertkit.
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