Every business and/or website/blog out there needs some auxiliary tools to keep things running smoothly. Below you will find a collection of the various tools (or resources) I use on a regular basis to help me run my business, manage and maintain my website and everything else associated with it (social media, content marketing, email marketing, graphics, planning and management etc.).
I’ve grouped the tools under different sub-headings to make it easier for you. Here we go!
Disclaimer: Some of the links are affiliate links which means that I will earn a small commission if you decide to pay and use the tool. And nope, I won’t earn anything if you continue using the free version. I ONLY recommend tools that I personally use and like.
My most amazing web host! I haven’t had any issues with them till now (been with them since I launched my site) and let me tell you that their customer service is absolutely the best. I highly recommend SiteGround as your web host if you are launching a new website or thinking about switching.
Click here to sign up with SiteGround (from $3.95 per month)
Social Media Scheduling and Management
I have tried quite a few social media scheduling and management tools out there and according to me, HootSuite is by far the best out of all of them in terms of the features it offers for free! The free version allows you to add up to 3 social media profiles, which seems ideal from a small business point of view. Plus the tool is very simple to use.
The free version of the tool has limited features (allows you to schedule only 10 updates at a time). I use Buffer mainly to schedule my Google+ posts.
I use the free version of this tool to primarily figure out the best times to tweet. (Because Twitter’s in built analytics doesn’t give me that info yet).
Click to Tweet
I use this free tool to add “tweetables” (stuff to tweet out instantly) within my blog posts. Check out this post as an example.
Both these tools are very handy if you participate in or host Twitter chats.
I use a combination of Boardbooster and Tailwind for scheduling pins and managing my Pinterest account. I would have probably used only Boardbooster but there’s one feature of Tailwind that I particularly love! The ability to schedule pins to multiple boards with a single click.
Click here to get 100 pins free when you sign up with Boardbooster. After that, you can choose your monthly plan. Very inexpensive, beginning at only $5/month.
As I mentioned above, I also use Tailwind for scheduling pins and managing my Pinterest account. Another handy feature of Tailwind is its browser extension (a feature not yet available in Boardbooster) which enables you to schedule pins very easily with one click. I leave it to you to choose one or the other (or both) depending on your requirements.
Click here to get one month of Tailwind free.
I use the free version of Later to schedule my Instagram posts. I sometimes repost other people’s content so I find the search and repost feature of Later extremely handy. I also like their clean and easy to use user interface.
Click here to get 10 extra posts for free per month (that is 40 posts/month for free).
I am also exploring the free version of Planoly for Instagram. You can create Instagram Stories using the desktop version of the app which is pretty neat. Later doesn’t have that feature yet so yes, this is definitely a plus in Planoly.
Asana is what I use to plan, organize and communicate with my clients in one central place. I am using the free version right now and I’m loving it!
Editorial Calendars, Bookmarking and Content Curation
It’s free and it rocks!
I use Pocket for all my bookmarking needs while I’m browsing for content to get inspired. I also look at it as a content curation tool because I frequently share the stuff that I bookmark with my audience via social media. Things I like about the tool? The ability to archive, tag and mark things as favorites. Plus it also has an app which enables me to bookmark stuff when I’m on my mobile.
The Old Reader
Yeah I know, people hardly use RSS feeds these days but I think its still pretty handy if you never want to miss out on things being published by your favorite blogs/websites. Primary reason why I like The Old Reader? Allows to add 100 feeds for free! Very easy to use and you can view all your posts within the tool itself.
This is my go to tool for researching what is being shared in my niche on social media! Again, very easy to use. Just type in the keyword you’d like to research in the search bar and the tool will give you a list of the most popular posts being shared on social.
Graphics Creation and Design
Canva is so simple to use that anyone can fall in love with the tool right away! You can whip up high quality, extremely professional looking graphics using the tool.
I also use PicMonkey from time to time to create and edit my graphics.
Need to create a designer quality infographic in minutes? Piktochart is your answer! I have created infographics using only the free version of the tool and I absolutely love it.
Another infographic creation tool. Both free and paid versions available, the free version does have some limitations, for example it does not let you download and save your graphic in your computer. I like their chart creation capabilities better than Piktochart.
Awesome Screenshot, Skitch
Both these screen capture tools are amazing! Whenever I need to share snapshots of my screen I use either of these tools.
Lead Magnets Creation and Design
I don’t use any fancy software (such as Adobe InDesign) to create and design my lead magnets (opt-in resources such as ebooks, cheatsheets, PDF downloads etc.). I’ve stuck with Apple Pages from the very beginning and so far I’m extremely pleased with the results.
Need to create a simple editable PDF document for free? Try PDFescape.
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
Need to do a quick review of how your headline will look in Google’s search results or within an email inbox? This nifty tool can help you! All you need to do is type in your headline and the tool will do all the analysis for you. Pretty useful considering that the headline is the very first thing a reader notices while browsing for information online.
I send out my email newsletters using MailChimp.
I use the free version to create pop ups for my website. If you are looking for an all in one solution for your digital marketing requirements (landing pages, pop ups and forms, marketing automation, contests and promos), definitely check out Wishpond.
Google Drive, Dropbox
The best, free cloud storage spaces available! I use both depending on my needs. Of course, I’d still always recommend that you back up your data from time to time in an external hard drive.
Think digital post it notes! This handy app is very useful for jotting down your draft ideas. Whenever I read something online or offline and come up with a new idea for a blog post or anything else for that matter, I make a note of it using this tool.