“We’ve all heard the old saying,
“Time is money“,
well, it’s true and if you have “bargain” web hosting it could be costing you a fortune!
I’m sure you’ve seen those ads on Facebook, while you’re shopping, even when you’re trying to relax with a mindless game. $2.95 hosting! Save money!
Yes, it’s true you can get hosting from some companies for “VERY LOW PRICES“, but there’s another saying that I’m reminded of.
“You get what you pay for”. Cheap isn’t always good especially when it comes to running your business or blog.
First, it’s NEVER just $2.95 a month.
Here is what you’re paying for an SSL Certificate if you have GoDaddy!
Can you say, “Ouch!”
An SSL is a necessary investment and if you can get it for free? Hello?!?
You’re Probably Asking, “Who Cares!”
This is one of the most important decisions that you will make for your business. Web Hosting is the necessary foundation and just like with everything else some foundations are stronger than others.
A 1-second delay in page load time can lead to:
- a 7% loss in conversions
- 11% fewer pageviews
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.
When deciding on web hosting you need to take 3 main factors into account.
As I said above even a fraction of a second adds up to $$ and as a small business owner, we need to get as much bang for our bucks as possible.
Like my husband always says, “the proof is in the pudding”.
Below are 6 of my web hosting clients who have agreed to let me share these stats with you.
As you can also see, every single one of them passed the tests with flying colors and it’s because of the foundation that the sites are hosted on.
HOW DO THEY DO THAT?
- PROVIDING A CDN
- UTILIZES FLYCACHE
- INSTANT REFRESH
EVERY PLAN COMES WITH A FREE SSL CERTIFICATE
Every plan comes with a FREE SSL which was mentioned above (definitely worth mentioning again).
EACH PLAN COMES WITH MALWARE PROTECTION & MALWARE REMOVAL IF NEEDED!
Last but certainly not last in this list of pros!
TRUE LIVE 24/7 SUPPORT
THEY DON’T “WALK YOU THROUGH” DIFFICULT SITUATIONS.
YOU ASK, THEY PERFORM…
THAT’S REALLY IT!
ONE BUTTON RESTORE
We offer three plan sizes
We Have Just What You Need...
Website Maintenance is like an insurance policy for your business. Keeping your site maintained is an important responsibility. We take care of it so you don't have to.
What it includes:
- Website backups w/ offsite storage
- WordPress Update 2 x
- Theme updates 2 x
- Plugin updates 2 x
- Database Optimization 2x
- Malware Scan 2 x
- Speed test 1 x
- Site Performance Report 1x
- "Eyes On" site checks
- Discounted hourly rate
- MailChimp support
- Google Analytics support
- 25% Discount on any services.
With Premium Website Management you get the best of both worlds plus even more. This is for the girl who has everything and no time for anything.
What it includes:
- Premium hosting
- Server-side daily backups
- Offsite backups 2x monthly
- WordPress core updates
- Free SSL certificates
- Uptime monitoring
- One-button emergency restore
- Malware protection
- Staging site for development
- Theme & plugin updates 2 x
- Spam removal 2 x
- Database optimization 2 x
- "Eyes-On" site check 2 x
- Speed check 1 x
- Access to Genesis Framework
- Access to StudioPress themes
- Website performance Report 1 x
- Integration Monitoring (MailChimp, Paypal, or Google Analytics.
- Unlimited Tech Support
By partnering with Flywheel we offer a feature-rich plan that will keep your website secure & running its best. Unlike other hosts, you don't pay extra for the necessities needed to run an online business.
What it includes:
- Onsite daily backups
- Free SSL Certificate
- Uptime Monitoring
- One Button emergency restore
- Malware Protection/removal
- Staging Site For Development
Branding, marketing, and promoting your small business can be challenging.
Mainly because there’s a wealth of information both on and offline telling you what you should and shouldn’t do.
And while you think this would be a good thing, the variety of information out there can often be confusing and overwhelming for small business owners and managers.
Fortunately, we’ve put together the following guide on free promotional tricks that you can use to grow your small business, perfect for those with a limited budget!
Google My Business
Creating a Google My Business profile is a beneficial and free marketing strategy, particularly for local businesses that want to tap into their local markets.
This free listing will allow your company to appear on Google Maps, displaying a variety of relevant information about who your business is, what areas you serve, and how to get in contact with you.
It’s also a place where you can cultivate reviews and testimonials from your existing customers, which can serve as a great marketing strategy on its own.
Not to mention the fact that having a Google My Business listing simply makes your business appear more professional to prospective customers!
Social Media Marketing
Increasing social media interaction and creating an online community is a cost-free way to expand your small business while also sharing your brand’s personality, graphics and logo, and gaining confidence from your audience.
Create company profiles on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, YouTube, etc. and then get active on those platforms to increase your brand awareness.
Whatever your inspiration, make sure you’re involved and constructive on the social media pages you build.
Consistency and portraying your true personality are critical to having a successful social media presence.
Incorporating hashtags into your social media posts is another free and highly effective marketing technique that can help you expand your scope and reach new audiences.
Although broad or trending hashtags can help you strengthen your brand awareness, they shouldn’t be your only option. These hashtags are often highly competitive, which means that they might not help all that much for a small business.
Therefore, when you’re sharing resources or tips in your posts, descriptive and relevant hashtags are often more helpful than using the most popular hashtags.
If you’re a local business, you should also use various hashtags specific to your location.
Just make sure that you’re using various popular, relevant, and location-specific hashtags in your posts to ensure they reach your intended audience.
LinkedIn is a fantastic social media platform that is often underutilized, especially for B2B businesses looking to grow their brands.
In fact, for B2B brands, LinkedIn is more important than the other social platforms we’ve mentioned.
But don’t just make network connections and then disappear; engage in conversation with them, share your blog posts and business deals, join and contribute to existing discussions, and share others’ high-quality material.
You will develop your brand and gain confidence and respect in your industry by educating your potential customers and helping other professionals to grow.
Furthermore, it would help if you encouraged all of your staff to participate in the platform, leading to more interactions, testimonials, and referrals for your business.
The best thing about Google’s algorithm is that it’s designed to provide the most reliable, high-quality, and appropriate results for any given search query.
So in terms of SEO, aiming to rank for local search results is often easier than aiming for industry-wide results.
For instance, if you’re a marketing agency, you’ll often have better luck ranking for terms such as “content marketing Oklahoma” rather than simply trying to rank for the keyword term “content marketing,” which will be a far more competitive keyword.
Remember that SEO takes time, so get started now and keep working at it; the rewards can be substantial over time.
To rank locally, the most critical thing to do is to add location-based keywords to your website’s meta descriptions, tags, blog posts, headings, etc.
Free Branding And Promotional Tips
Branding and promoting your business doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars!
In fact, by listing your business on Google, being active on social media, using the right hashtags, and optimizing your website for local search results, you’ll be well on your way to building a popular and successful small business!
*The tools and products below are used by me on a daily basis. However, I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE and I am not paid by these companies.
One question that I get asked quite often is, “What tools do you regularly use to do what you do”. I spend 90% of my time online and finding tools that are easy to use, easy to set up, and affordable could be a whole career in itself. If you’re not familiar with me I run three websites, three FB groups, spending time on social media platforms, plus I manage over 58 websites (not including my own).
If you missed part 1 you can find it HERE. Today we’re going to talk about a few more of the important tools that I use to run my business. There are so many tools out there and I have to admit I’ve been guilty of shiny object syndrome and I’ve gone down enough rabbit holes in my time, but I have found that less really is better when it comes to running your business.
There are things you need to do:
- Email service provider (newsletter vs rss feed)
- Keeping track of your statistics
- Creating content
These are just a few, but they are the ones we’re going to cover today.
Email Service Providers
I’ve worked with a lot of email service providers and I’ve even recommended a few, BUT I always come back to MailChimp. I hands down recommend this to everyone whether they are a blogger or have an eCommerce site. You cannot find better value then the paid version of MC and if you have under 2,000 you can use totally FREE!
Below are a comparison of the top three email service providers CONSTANT CONTACT, CONVERTKIT & MAILCHIMP:
You can see here that for $9.99 you can have up to 50,000 contacts with a MailChimp Essentials account. Under 2,000 is completely free.
ConvertKit charges $29 for 1,000 subscribers.
As you can see Constant Contact wants a whopping $45 a month!
I use MailChimp, I recommend MailChimp and if you look right over there →→→ ( in the sidebar) you will see the MailChimp logo. I’ve recently partnered with MailChimp and after weeks of testing, I am now an official MailChimp expert. I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE I DO NOT MAKE MONEY FROM YOU SIGNING UP. I just really love the service.
Have questions about what MailChimp can do for you? Just email me at Rena (at) theblogging911.com.
Tracking Your Statistics
You know I love me some statistics! So much so that I became a Certified Google Analyst. Also over there →→→ BUT that doesn’t mean that it’s the only tool I use. Sometimes you need comparing views especially when you’re trying to see if what you’re doing is working.
So of course, I turn to Google because let’s face it, they are the internet Gods. But I also like using JetPack’s statistics. You can get a lot of information by comparing the two. Jetpack has a free and a paid version and it does offer a lot of features but you can get the same information for free.
Google Analytics is free and very easy to set up these days and if you use the MonsterInsights plugin it gets even easier. I totally recommend all three of these products.
IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure to filter out your own IP so that you aren’t counted in those statistics. I made a video showing exactly how to do that in this blog post.
Creating content is nonstop so anything you can find that will help you accomplish creating compelling content that people are actually wanting to read can be difficult some days. I usually write all of my content right in the WordPress post editor but when I’m working on ideas I like to open up a Google Doc. They are easy to use and easy to share. I do have Microsoft Word, but Google Docs is just easier sometimes and this especially true if you’re using Gmail.
I like to get inspiration from several places. It may be a newsletter I’ve read, a webinar I’ve watched or a podcast I’ve listened to. My favorite place to go for a little inspiration is Pinterest first. I am a visual learner and Pinterest is the eye candy of visual learners. I love to learn and I try to learn something new every single day even if it’s just about myself.
I also get a lot of inspiration from your questions, but lately, my most favorite way to create content is in my newsletter. I share a blog post every week, but I also like to have conversations with all of you. I love hearing your replies so please keep them coming! Also, if you have something that you’d like me to cover let me know.
I have to be totally for real here. I struggle with organization every single day of my life. I am not an organized person and I work hard, but don’t always accomplish my goals. My mind doesn’t work the way it used to and some of my struggles are memory issues, spatial judgment, and organization. That being said as a business owner I require a certain amount and the way I’ve found to deal with this is to try not to overcomplicate it. I have bought courses on time-blocking, organizational concepts, and automation and on and on. All a waste of money in hindsight.
No one thing works for me so I use a multitude of services to achieve the mediocre amount of organization I can actually stick with and here it goes.
I save all of my clients’ assets to a shared folder in Dropbox. This is also where I store all website backup copies. I also store most of my assets there as well, but historically I have used Google Drive for client files and One drive for mine, but recently decided to keep it all in one place. I spent a REALLY LONG weekend setting it all up, but I love it now.
I am very new to the Trello game and I cannot believe what I have been missing! I am still working out my system there because I did what I always did and ran around like a sugar addict in a candy store creating more and more boards, but I have created ONE BOARD that contains EVERYTHING I need in my daily business. Client info, passwords, subscriptions, and even a list of the many, many courses I’ve bought over the years.
Is also a great place to store graphics and pdfs etc. You can create folders to keep it all in order. This way when I’m making a graphic I have what I need to create it in the client folder. I love Canva so much (I have the business account) that I totally did away with Photoshop & Illustrator. I can do everything I need to do with Canva and $12.95 is a lot better than $53 monthly!
Is another place to store things. I create a secret board with every new design to pin inspiration, ideas, and branding pieces. I always have a few secret boards going for research purposes.
What tools do you depend on to do what you do?
For a business owner with a solid funnel in place, it’s easy to take a look at the number of subscribers at each level of the funnel and predict pretty accurately what the sales are going to be from day to day or week to week.
If you’ve got a funnel in place, though, and your numbers aren’t looking great, chances are you have a leak somewhere. Your funnel has a hole (or two or three) where subscribers are falling through. There are four common causes for funnel leaks, and once you spot them, they’re pretty easy to fix.
Not enough traffic. The very heart of your sales funnel is the traffic you bring in. Without visitors to your blog or opt-in pages, you’ll have no subscribers. Without subscribers, you’ll have no (or very few) sales. Without sales, you’ll have no business. Yet this is where a lot of people struggle. How can you get more eyes on your content and more subscribers into your funnel?
How to fix it: Traffic generation is an entire industry of its own, but here are some tips: Use good SEO to encourage search engines to rank your content well. Be present and active in the places where your ideal reader hangs out, whether that’s on social media, in niche forums, or at live events. Use paid ads to drive targeted traffic to highly relevant pages. Recruit JV partners and affiliates to promote your offers. Buy solo ads in related email newsletters.
No follow-up. This is a leaky funnel mistake that a lot of new entrepreneurs make. They spend a lot of time and energy setting up a great squeeze page and driving traffic to it, then they deliver the goods to their subscribers, and then…nothing. No follow-up emails. No offers to buy more. No related services or products. Nothing.
How to fix it: Before you spend time building that opt-in page or offer, be sure you have a back-end to promote, or those subscribers you so carefully collected will end up costing you money instead of earning it back.
No call-to-action. This happens most typically at the top of the funnel. Your blog posts, social media content, podcasts, YouTube videos—everything you offer for free—must have some kind of call-to-action, or it’s all just wasted energy. Your call-to-action can be as simple as “Subscribe to my YouTube channel” or “Follow me on Facebook for more tips,” but it must be there.
How to fix it: Every time you write a blog post or an email, as yourself, “What do I want my readers to do when they’re done reading/listening/watching this?” That becomes your call to action.
No product offers. When you’re just starting out, this can be a problem. You know you need to be building a mailing list, but with nothing to offer them, what’s the point? The truth is, there are lots of ways to make money in your funnel even if you don’t have a product to sell.
How to fix it: Promote affiliate offers. No matter what industry you’re in, there are a variety of tools and products your readers need. Find those tools, sign up for the affiliate programs, and recommend them to your readers. Not only will your readers thank you for pointing them in the right direction, but you’ll earn a little cash, too.
Got a leaky funnel? With a few tweaks and some attention paid to your follow-up sequences, chances are you can fix those holes and increase your profits in no time.
This post was originally written in 2018, but it was updated Mar. 2020
- This first one came to my attention after helping a friend create a new website. She was going through her web hosting company every time she signed on to her website. When you want to log in to your website you can type in your URL and then add /wp-admin/ to the end of it and you will be taken to your login page. For instance, to sign on to this site you would go to https://technology-therapist.com/wp-admin/.
- A page is a static piece of content. It isn’t dated, nor does it show up in any sort of RSS feed. Great uses for pages are your ABOUT page, RESOURCES page, CONTACT page. A post is a dated piece of content that gets pushed out to your RSS feed. It’ll show up in readers. It also is categorized and tagged in your database differently than a page.
- If you look at the top of your posting page you will see a tab that says “SCREEN OPTIONS” (See image below 1.). There you can decide what you want to see on your posting page. You can change it whenever you like and it includes things like plugins that you may want to use. Such as SEO by Yoast or CoSchedule. You can also choose whether you show an excerpt, you can turn your comments off and on, use the distraction-free writing functionality, turn off sharing buttons, even whether or not you use the featured image.
- The next tab which is the “HELP” tab will give you instructions for writing posts, inserting media, etc. (Image 2)
- On your posts page if you have “LAYOUT” checked you can decide what kind of page you want to create. On mine, I can use the “Default page” which will be whatever I have checked for your general layout (sidebar, no sidebar, right-sidebar, left sidebar). My other choices are: Archive, Blog page, Category Index, or a Landing Page. You can make any or all completely different from each other. (image 3)
- You can also choose to make a post or page public or private. You can even make a post or page password protected. Like the resource library for this site. When you sign up for my email list you get a password which allows you access to the resource library. (image 4).
- You can also schedule posts in the future in case you are away. (image 5).
- Write an excerpt (activate it in the post screen option) to customize how your post appears around the web. If you are using an SEO plugin, it’s called the meta description. One difference between the two: The excerpt box will display if you have your blog posts set to an excerpt format, whereas the SEO meta description usually only shows up in Google search results or in places where you share the link (like on social). The excerpt will show up in RSS feeders (if your website is set to only show excerpts).
- Under the “SETTINGS” tab on the left under “READING” set your how your article looks in a feed to summary and only send out excerpts in your newsletters. If you send the whole thing out no one will have a reason to come to your site. (image 6).
- You can always change the permalink (URL) of your post by clicking on the edit button right beside the permalink (URL) (image 7).
- If you want to decide exactly how much text is shown of a post on the front page. Then use the jump break (image 7). It will stop the text and add a read more tag. (#16)
- Trying to get rid of preformatted text by highlighting and using the eraser button. (image7).
- The toolbar can do a lot of things quickly as you can see on image 7. I’ve already mentioned two the rest are as follows:
- Bold text
- Format text (H1, H2 etc. If you are not using these you should be.)
- Underline text
- Is to justify text
- Change the color of the text just highlight the text you want to change and enter the HEX number).
- Change the color around the text.
- I mentioned above
- Insert icons of different things like hearts, diamonds, etc.
- Decrease the indention
- Increase the indention.
- A list of keyboard shortcuts.
- Show/hide the bottom part of the toolbar
- Proofreads your writing
- Mentioned above
- Break a link
- Add a link
- Insert text/image to the right
- Center the text/image
- Left-justify the text/image.
- Insert a horizontal line across the page
- Quote button to accent parts of your text.
- Numbered list
- Bulleted list.
- Strike through text, example: She
- When creating menus you can use not only pages and posts but categories, even external links. Example: On your menu, you could have a “STORE” and it could take you to another site altogether. Or you could have a tab marked “RECIPES” and have it take you to all of the recipes on your site.
- Under the “SCREEN OPTIONS” that I mentioned earlier you can set it to show your bio at the end of a post or page. You can change the wording by going to “USERS” & “EDIT”.
- You need to create an archive page of all of your posts. I use a plugin called “CLEAN MY ARCHIVES” and I only have to place the shortcode [clean-my-archive] and it will post my archives. I also use a plugin called “GENESIS 404” which lets me create my own 404 PAGE (the page someone gets when they type in an error or there is a broken link). On my 404 page is a list of all of my posts so that readers can quickly find what they’re looking for. If you don’t have Genesis then you can go here for instructions on how to create your own Archive index page. If you’re using DIVI you can go to your 404 page and decide where you want to send those who have gotten lost.
- If you go to “SETTINGS” “DISCUSSION” you can blacklist anyone you want. By simply entering their email. This will prevent them from being allowed to comment. (Trolls & bullies). You can also filter out comments by “trigger” words.
- Go to “SETTINGS” “READ” to change the number of posts that show up on the front page.
- Change your media sizes to fit parameters that you choose by going to “SETTINGS” “MEDIA”
- If you have Genesis you can go to “GENESIS” “THEME SETTINGS” to enable breadcrumbs which are small bits of text showing the reader where they are on the website. If you don’t have Genesis you can use this plugin. Your site can find adjustments for this under APPEARANCE >>CUSTOMIZE.
- You can upload more than just images to your website such and also Powerpoint presentations, pdfs, word docs, and now Google docs on your website. Just upload them just like an image. Just insert them where you want them with a link.
- Trying to get images side by side? You can go to Picmonkey and Canva and make a collage or you can simply go to the “TEXT” view and insert the code that fits your needs down below and that will allow you to make columns. There are also plugins that will help you as well. Elementor is a good one, but Divi comes out of the box being to design in columns and rows.
- What to create columns on your blog post? On your post or page edit screen and click the text view. Use the following instructions to create columns on your Genesis theme. Here is a great list of Columns plugins by Elegant Themes.
<div class="one-half first">This is the 1st column</div>
<div class="one-half">This is the 2nd column</div>
<div class="one-third first">This is the first column</div>
<div class="one-third">This is the 2nd column</div>
<div class="one-third">This is the 3rd column</div>
<div class="one-half first">This is the 1st column</div>
<div class="one-fourth">This is the 2nd column</div>
<div class="one-fourth">This is the 3rd column</div>
<div class="one-fourth">This is the 4th column</div>
- Use the WordPress APP to respond to comments, check stats, and even write posts.
- Use the find link content tool when creating links. When the link box pops up, just hit the arrow and choose “find existing content”. Then you can search or browse your posts for the link.
- Go to “SETTINGS” “GENERAL” and fill in the first two blanks for your website title and tagline. This is what will show up in Google Search. If you don’t have a logo this will show up in its spot.
- Fill out the “USERS” profile completely.
- Change the name of your “UNCATEGORIZED” category to something custom by going to “CATEGORIES” find “uncategorized” click “QUICK EDIT” and change the name to whatever you’d like it to be.
- Create a FAVICON (the small image at the very top). Mine is the circle at the very top of the screen. You used to have to use a plugin, but now you simply go to APPEARANCE>>CUSTOMIZATION and look under site identity and you will see SITE>>ICON. Go to Canva, Picmonkey (any photo editing APP) and create an image in the size of 512 X 512. You can use your logo just make sure it’s something that is legible. You can change it whenever you’d like.
- Put a search bar where it is visible on every page. I suggest the top, but sidebar and footer are fine.
- Put an email sign up form in at least three places on every page. Because there are so many different size devices. Chances are some of them will not show up so it is imperative to have it at multiple points.
- Stop saying you wrote a blog. It’s annoying. You write a “BLOG POST” on your “BLOG”.
- Don’t limit your sharing buttons to only the platforms that you’re on. Just because you aren’t utilizing it doesn’t mean that your reader isn’t. You may get new readers from the exposure.
- When creating a link the rule of thumb is. If it’s a link to somewhere else on your site you shouldn’t open in a new window. If it’s a link to another site then you should definitely check the box that says “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”.
- Don’t use CAPTCHA it’s annoying and people will avoid it altogether. The WordPress plugin Akismet works great.
Want even more awesome WordPress tips? Check out the infographic I recently created!
Join our community and get this in a downloadable form.
Each year I am approached by companies wanting me to try their products & services and ultimately share them with all of you. Some have been great additions to my business others have left me disappointed and flummoxed. I thought I would share with you the best & the worst from the past year!
To begin with, I’m going to break it down into 4 categories.
- Blogging tools
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Running your business
As you know (if you have a blog) there is always so much that needs to be done in a short amount of time so anything that I can find that will:
- Save Time
- Save Money
- Improve My Skills
is a Godsend to me. Now, I want to share them with you!
I have my own hosting that I provide through Flywheel (owned by WPEngine) which runs $20 a month. We provide fast, secure hosting, free SSL’s, and amazing support. I only have three spots available.
For someone just starting out or on a tight budget I use **Bluehost. I have to say that I have set up hundreds of sites on Bluehost and not once have I ever had a problem. Once upon a time, Bluehost was considered the bottom of the barrel in terms of hosting, but a few years ago they turned it around and I have to say that I’ve been very impressed with how hard they have worked to improve every aspect of their service.
I have always been a Genesis girl and **Studio Press is the place to get the best themes. A few months ago I had the opportunity to work with **Divi by Elegant themes and I have to say that I absolutely love it! It’s so versatile and easy to use and saves me tons of time. There are so many things included that you hardly need any plugins at all!
Listen I know that those sneaky plugins get you where it hurts. I’m sure you have seen the notices in your dashboard ‘get this pro version’, ‘buy this’, ‘do that’. Nine times out of 10 you don’t need it. There are free plugins for just about anything. My go-to plugins are:
- Updraft Plus for backing up.
- Wordfence for security.
- Jetpack lots of things.
- Akismet for spam.
If you’re using Genesis then I add:
- Genesis Enews (optins)
- Simple Social Icons
- Simple Social Share
If you’re using Divi
All of those are free & if there’s something you want just search the plugin repository.
Hubspot created a blog post with 60 free online courses that you can take to improve your skills. If you don’t follow Hubspot’s blog you really should. There is always so much valuable information.
Would you like to learn more about Facebook ads? Here’s a great post by Insane Growth that explains it all.
Social media is the bane of my existence, but it’s also a necessary evil. I build websites and create content with business tips for bloggers, entrepreneurs & small businesses. I get asked to try a lot of different social media scheduling tool and here is my honest opinion.
**#1 For me is Sendible.com. I run three different websites and manage several clients’ social media accounts. Scheduling blog posts and monitoring keywords that I set up, even monitoring my competitor’s social media accounts. If you run multiple blogs or social media accounts
Sendible is the best.
Most places make you pay per account so for three sites I would have to have three different accounts. I would only be able to pick up one RSS feed unless I had three different accounts.
I could not run my business without Sendible!
Sendible is different. I have a set number of services I can set up and it doesn’t matter how many RSS feeds you pick up and auto-posts new pieces. You can schedule them to repeat however many times it’s all completely up to you. I post to five different FB pages for various people and with Sendible I can do it automatically saving myself lots of time.
Then there is **Tailwind
I love using it for Pinterest.
I know I’m not taking full advantage of the features but what I am using I love. BUT I don’t like them for Instagram. I tried it I really did, but it was just too confusing and I wasting to much time trying to figure it out.
A few years ago I bought a lifetime membership for Grum.co for only $39 and I love it for scheduling Instagram posts. That’s all it does Instagram, but it’s so easy to use. Unfortunately, they are no longer taking on new customers. If I didn’t have this I would make the time for Tailwind, but this one is just to easy and it’s a lifetime purchase.
I love Co-schedule I really do, but because of the limitations of only having one site on one account, I just can’t justify that expense when I have other options. It offers a boatload of features and it’s easy to use.
There is really no “free” service for scheduling your content. You can use “Publicize” inside your WordPress site and it will automatically post to FB, Twitter, & LinkedIn.
I know that Buffer offers a free version but I’m not sure of its limitations. I’ve always found it too confusing to use.
If you’re going to spend money this is one of the places where I say if you can pay for it then get it. A good social media scheduler can save you loads of time while helping you build your tribe.
In today’s 24/7, 100mph world if you’re not marketing through email then you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. You should absolutely be sending a welcome email sequence & sending out an RSS to your subscribers.
A few months ago, I was singing the praises of **Engagebay and I learned a very valuable lesson. Sometimes quick decisions can be the wrong decisions. It can send beautiful emails, there are tools for marketing, sales or service. I feel as if it is an excellent platform, but it just didn’t fit my needs. The main problem was the RSS emails. There just wasn’t enough flexibility and I actually sent out a few crazy emails before I gave up.
If you’re running a small business then I cannot recommend Engagebay enough. It’s beautiful, easy to use and handles so many tasks. It’s also affordable. Here is a link to their Youtube channel which has a lot of info about its features. It’s a great platform I just tend to have a problem with change I guess.
So, I’m back at MailChimp and that’s where I’m staying! I know my way around, it’s easy to use (most of the time) and it’s cheap. They have changed things and unless you have a paid account you are limited in what you can do. Such as only having one audience(list), limitations on automation, etc. I pay for The Blogging 911 account and use the free version for Wanding Web Designer & The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver my other two sites. The paid version runs me $9.63 a month.
Have you seen my the MAILCHIMP EXPLAINED ebook in the 911 Resource Library? It’s just one of the many free resources inside.
I’ve worked with ConvertKit before and it is easy to use. I didn’t like the design limitations and figure if I’m going to spend $30 a month it needs to have a lot more.
Running your Business
There are several tools that I use every single day to run my business. Some are free (well most are free) but they are still necessary. Tools such as:
- 17Hats – is an all-around scheduling tool, lead capture forms, templates such as contracts or estimates. It runs $39 a month for all of its features and there are many. I personally only use the free version because I use the templates & lead capture forms (those project inquiry forms you see around here).
- Acuity Scheduling – If you need an easy way for people to schedule appointments I highly recommend Acuity. Their free version has always been more than enough for me.
- Asana – This is my project management tool and it keeps me on track when I’m building out a new site, managing other projects or even just things I need to do. There is both a free and paid version and I’ve always found the free version more than enough for my needs.
- Canva – There is a free version of Canva that works very well. I use Canva almost every single day and I love it for it’s easy to use dashboard, to the free and paid elements like stock photos, icons, frames, colors, and fonts. For this, I splurge and get the paid version so that I can store my own logos, my fonts (up to 25) and my brand colors for $12.95.
- Google Drive – Also free. I use it to store all of my clients’ assets. I like how easy it is and it works great with Gmail which is another great free tool. I do use the paid version of this and it runs $6 a month and I have tons of storage and it’s easy to use.
- One Drive – This is part of my Microsoft subscription which is about $7 a month. This is where I keep all of my assets. (Such as stock images, templates, or other graphics).
- Dropbox – This is where I store all of the backups for my clients & my own personal websites. This costs around $10 but they’ve added a bunch of new features.
- Screencast-o-matic – This another thing I purchased from Sumo. It was a lifetime subscription for only $39 and I use it whenever I need to make tutorials or other videos where I share my screen. It’s something I purchased on APPSUMO.
- APPSUMO – is a great place to find great deals on products or services to run your business! They always have freebies or lifetime deals that will save you tons of time and money.
Know some great tools that I might not know about? Let me know in the comments below.
** Means that it is an affiliate link if you purchase a service, with the (**) beside it, means that I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your cost.
*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase their services I will earn a small commission that will in no way affect your pricing.
Most of you probably already know that when you are trying to promote your business you will likely need more than one tool to schedule content. I use a combination of free and paid tools to get my message in front of the right people.
Today, that just got a little easier with Tailwind. If you haven’t heard of Tailwind or think it’s just not for me you should take another look. Tailwind specializes in only two platforms: Instagram & Pinterest which just happen to be my favorite of all of them.
Tailwind saves so much time by allowing you to schedule in bulk. It automatically optimizes your Pinterest and Instagram schedules based on when your audience is most engaged. Saving you both time & money. Not only is it a remarkable scheduling tool it also has some awesome analytics because let’s face it, you also need to know what’s working and what isn’t.
Tailwind for Instagram automatically suggests the best hashtag for your posts! This is so helpful because if you’re on Instagram you know exactly how important hashtags are. If that wasn’t terrific all on its own they’ve recently gone one step further. You can now put those hashtags in the first comment right inside of Tailwind! What?!?
Here’s how it works:
- Hop over to your Tailwind account and upload your post, drop in your caption and then type the # symbol to get predictive hashtag suggestions.
- Click to choose or add frequently used hashtags from your list.
- Check the box to move those comments from your caption to your 1st comment.
- Click “add to queue” to automatically schedule your post for the best time.
This is like scheduling on steroids! If you post to Instagram often you know how hard it is to come up with relevant hashtags. Do you find yourself making them up as you go along because you just don’t know what they are? Now, you don’t have to know Tailwind has this info built right in. It simply doesn’t get much better than this!
Pinterest & Instagram are quickly becoming the standout platforms for 2019. Loss of trust in Facebook and frustration at not being put in front of your tribe has people leaving in droves. Where are they going? Instagram & Pinterest!
Schedule like a pro with Tailwind! Want to give it a try? HERE YOU GO!