I have a thing about pimping out products that I love. I think it’s fair to help people find things that make sense, and make their life easier. Let’s face it- blogging a business, and we really need to treat as such. It could be a business that doesn’t really make you that much money yet, but it’s a business nonetheless. And in order for you to grow any business into a serious side venture, you need to be treat it like it is already.
Being the startup world, and having been a cash strapped finance blogger, I understand that money sometimes gets in the way of cool new toys, but the good news is the not everything AMAZING out there costs an arm and a leg, most of these things are free. Yup- FREE.
RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU DON’T LIKE FREE STUFF. Thought so. Moving on.
I keep getting asked for my recommendations for tools all the time in my day job, so I thought I would share it here for all to enjoy.
1) Wave Accounting: (COST- FREE) This is the only thing I use to handle my side business income, and expenses. It has everything that you would need to create invoices, track payments, manage monthly expenses. It also hooks up to Stripe so you can receive credit card payments for any freelance work that you do. My favorite part about Wave Accounting is that it hooks up to you Paypal account so you can track every single penny that you made or spent.
Note: There is a pro version, but you get everything you need from the free version.
2)Pic Monkey (COST- FREE) You know those cool graphics that all the bloggers have on their sites? The cool quotes on solid backgrounds? Yeah, all of those can be made in Pic Monkey. Not only that, but you can also edit your pictures before printing then. I’d like to think of it as Photoshop on the go. It’s way easier to use, and does everything that you need to do.
Note: You can upgrade to the $4.99/month account and get access to more fonts and graphics. Worth the investment if you create a ton of content.
3)Fiverr ( COST- $5USD) This is the tool you need to help you do the things that you don’t want to do. Want to create a new FB header? Need a new logo or signature images? Want an video intro for your Youtube channel? This is the place for all that much much more. The key with Fiverr is be to very descriptive with you job posting. It’s also knowing that sometimes you don’t get the best quality result, so you have to ask for a redo. Most people on there are very great to work with.
4) Mailchimp (COST- FREE) We’ve all heard the saying that the money is in the list. Well, it’s true. If you plan of building a mailing outside of bloglovin, or Feedly, and want to have full control over how and when you contact your list, then having a mailing list is the way to go. Mailchimp offers you ability to build one that you own- because everyone on that list has opted in to hear from you. The free version allows you to have up to 2000 subscribes along with unlimited lists They also provide a very economically priced option for autoresponders if you already have a sales funnel built and want to start adding people. . So if you’re thinking of selling a product or a service, then Mailchimp is for you.
PS. You can just as easily set up your RSS feed with Mailchimp so you can send over your blog posts if that’s what you want.
5)Hybrid Connect ($49 for Single Site, and $69 for Multi Site licence) You want to build your mailing list really quickly but have zero techie bones in your body? Well, Hybrid Connect is the tool that you need. It have EVERYTHING you will need to get a sidebar, in content form, or popup running in zero time. Not only that, but the builder tool is one of the easiest things I’ve ever used. I really like the fact that it is a one time fee, and I can hook it up to my Mailchimp account, and pretty much forget about it. But, if like tinkering with things and want to spend some time A/B testing then this tool has you covered too.
This is pretty much everything you need to capture email addresses to grow your email list. You can see Hybrid Connect in action on Spark Sessions– our Fashion and Beauty Blogger Conference site.