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Tech tools for online business is what I’m all about. So I thought I would give you a run down of 10 of my favourites for when you are at the beginning stages of your online business. Some are free and some you have to pay for but they are all well worth the investment.
1 – Google Docs
Google Docs is free but it is beyond handy. It’s like the office suite (or Apple equivalent) but free and accessible anywhere you have an internet connection. You can create word based documents, spreadsheets or slides. It’s an amazing tool for collaborating with people remotely and you can use it to create useful freebies (or paid products) for your audience or clients.
2 – Google Drive
Google drive is where your google docs will be stored automatically. You can sort your drive into folders and keep your virtual office organised. It is also fantastic for sharing documents. If you offer free opt ins to your audience to add them to your email list, you can deliver them using google drive. You can get a link to share the file and then place that link into your automated email that sends once someone subscribes to your list. You can see more on how this works in my video about delivering lead magnets.
3 – Mailerlite
I use Mailerlite as my email marketing software provider. I have used Mailchimp and Convertkit in the past. Mailchimp is not a good option if you want to offer more than one lead magnet (freebie). Convertkit is great but it’s expensive when you are just getting started. I opted for Mailerlite because it has a lot of the same functionality as Convertkit but it is free up to 1000 subscribers and then it is very competitively priced.
You can deliver as many different lead magnets as you like and you can keep a master list as well as segment and group your subscribers. The automation features are pretty nifty too. If you would like to see a bit more on how to use Mailerlite, you can see a demo video in my post about delivering lead magnets.
4 – Asana
Asana is a project management tool. I have gone back and forth between Asana and Trello but have recently been won over by Asana. You can create projects as boards or as lists in Asana and set due dates for large tasks and sub tasks within your large task. It is also possible to view all of your due dates in a calendar view. You can also download the Asana app to your phone and view the calendar there.
The feature that won me over to Asana though, is recurring tasks. You can set tasks that you need to do regularly (like write blog posts or schedule social media) to recur either daily, weekly, monthly or even quarterly!
5 – Pinterest
Pinterest is my absolute number one tool. It is a visual search engine and I am a visual person so I looove using Pinterest! As long as you remember that it is a search engine and NOT a social media channel then you will start using it the right way to drive traffic to your site.
The beauty with Pinterest is that you can influence how well your pins do by using it regularly and wisely. Group boards and consistency are key as well as making sure you use keywords in your descriptions. If you are really serious about using Pinterest to drive traffic to your website then you may want to also consider my next tool recommendation.
6 – Tailwind
Tailwind is a tool that I use to schedule my pins and repins on Pinterest. This amazing tool pins at optimum times for your pins to be seen. It is also a great way to batch your pinning activity into one pinning session and still remain consistent on Pinterest.
The added bonus for me is because I live in the UK. The optimum pinning times are all when I am in bed so now I am visible on Pinterest when I’m sleeping. I have a much more detailed post about how to use Tailwind to gain a Pinterest advantage here.
7 – WordPress
I created my website through WordPress. The reason I chose WordPress is because it is the most flexible way to create a website. If you are thinking long term then WordPress is the way to go. There are plugins to create great shopping sites or membership sites.
I had a blog may years ago on Blogger and on Squarespace and both of these were really intuitive to use. When I first saw the backend of WordPress I was confused as it was not as intuitive, but if you use a good theme, then I will be easy to use. Which brings me to number 8 on my list.
8 – Divi Theme
I switched to Divi by Elegant themes from a random theme that I bought before I knew much about WordPress themes. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to use than my old theme. It includes a builder that is really intuitive and my site looks so much better. I don’t have to worry about my site now. I have a post about Divi that includes a tutorial on how easy it is to create a basic web page using the theme.
9 – Affinity Designer
So, I don’t use Photoshop and I don’t use Canva for my graphics. I use a program on my laptop called Affinity Designer. I paid a one off payment (I think it’s around $50 now) and that’s it!
It is really easy to create multiple Pinterest graphics for each post, website graphics, blog graphics and my free PDFs all through Affinity Designer. I actually sell printables on Etsy as a side job and they are all designed using Affinity Designer.
It’s really easy to use and I’m planning a tutorial post in the next month or so, to share the joy of Affinity Designer.
10 – Teachable
My final tool is Teachable. Teachable is an online course tool so that you can create digital products to sell. The beauty about Teachable is that you upload your content, set your price and then market your course. You can also create payment plans. The reason I chose Teachable over Thinkific is because of a tax rule that a lot of people don’t even know about.
It’s called VAT moss and it applies worldwide if you sell to customers that live in the EU. If you sell to an EU resident you have to charge them VAT at the rate of the country that they reside in. You also have to submit that VAT to the relevant country. Teachable captures the required data and takes care of all that for you so you don’t need to worry about breaking the law.
Are there any online tools that you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments.
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