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I have been running online businesses for a long time now and have tested many tools and resources. Here’s what I use and recommend!

Best online business tools

Graphic design tools

99 designs

A tool to source graphic design talent to suit your project.  I use 99 Designs when I need a more complex design created.  You have the option to choose a particular designer and work with them closely, or ask designers to compete by submitting their design.

Canva

I use Canva to create all sorts of graphics with their stock photographs and my own images. With a Pro Plan you can create your own brand, plus access more fonts and images as well as animations. I recommend the investment to save yourself time and access a larger library of stock photographs.

Email service providers

Mailerlite

I use Mailerlite as a comprehensive email system that facilitates campaigns (including mailing list segmentation), landing pages, pop ups and surveys. Free for lists with fewer than 1000 subscribers.

Flodesk

Flodesk is a relatively new tool.  I love it because it’s easy to get it up and running quickly, and is very design focused, creating great looking email campaigns.

Payment systems

Stripe

Stripe provides an efficient way of accepting one-off and regular payments.  It works globally and optimises conversion at checkout.

E-junkie

E-junkie is online software that’s designed specifically to sell digital downloads. However, because their shopping/payment cart is so easy to set up and use I’ve actually used it to sell physical products and virtual products like coaching calls. They offer 30 day free trial though when I signed up in March 2020 they were offering 12 months free subscription, so it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Content Creation tools

Lumen5

This clever tool uses AI to make engaging content videos from the text and images in blog posts.

Beacon (via Appsumo limited time offer, sign up with referral link to get $10 off)

Create professional lead magnets with Beacon.  I like creating checklists so readers can tick off suggested activities or challenge their families to visit a bunch of locations.

Brightsmart Resources for Digital Workers

Social media tools

Sked Social
Social media scheduling, primarily Instagram (including stories), though you can also use it for LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Website hosting

Siteground
I use Siteground for website hosting, and find their product to be reliable and their customer support and technical support to be excellent.  Siteground are recommended by WordPress.org.

Project management

Coschedule
Coschedule is a planning tool especially for marketers.  I use it for planning all content as it allows me to view blog posts and corresponding social media content.

Trello
A popular free tool, Trello is great for both business and personal use. I use it to plan tasks (including notes and checklists) and share them with collaborators.

Productivity tools

Focus Keeper

Focus Keeper is a freemium iPhone app that acts as a simple Pomodoro timer. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management technique that breaks work up into intervals (traditionally 25 minutes) with solid focus for that interval before taking a short break of 3-5 minutes.

[email protected]

[email protected] is a subscription service that combines personalised focus music to help you get stuff done (backed by science) plus a Pomodoro timer plus a productivity tracking tool. At the moment to support people working remotely they’re offering 50% off all plans. Read my review of [email protected].

SEO Site Audit

Woorank
Powerful SEO tool to track keywords and audit one, or multiple, websites.  Compare your website against three competitors.

Screaming Frog
Their SEO Spider is a powerful website crawler that will efficiently analyse your website and provide comprehensive data so you can optimise all pages.

SEO Minion
A free Chrome extension for On-Page SEO analysis, Broken Link Checking, SERP Preview and more.

Keyword Research & Competitor Research

Ubersuggest
This tool by SEO whiz Neil Patel gives 10 free searches per day and free Chrome extension

SEMRush
I love this as a great tool to access 10 free searches per day. They also have paid resources available to access comprehensive SEO tools.

Ahrefs
A free Chrome extension. Instant on-page SEO report, broken link checker, redirect tracer, and the most important SEO metrics for any webpage right in your web browser.

Keyword Surfer
This is a free Chrome extension. See search volumes directly in Google search results.

Keywords Everywhere
US$10 for 10,000 keyword searches.

Site Speed Testing

Pingdom
Offering a free tool to test your site speed, with comprehensive data and suggestions for any required improvements.

GTMetrix
A free tool to test your site speed with a list of suggestions for required improvements.

Google Pagespeed Insights
Provides data on website speed in Chrome browser for both mobile and dektop. Includes points where improvement could be made.

Think With Google Test My Site
Test mobile page speed on a 3G or 4G connection. Includes tips to optimise speed and recommended targets.

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links there is no extra cost to you and I earn a small commission that helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks Joyce
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