Resources For Building Your Visionary Business

Below is a collection of resources I’ve gathered to help you build your business.  If you know of something else that is super awesome, or if you are trying to find something in particular for your business and want my thoughts, please, give me a shout.

Blogging and Your Website

WordPress –>  Even if you aren’t planning to blog, I can’t recommend enough that you create your website on wordpress.  The self hosted version, not the wordpress.com.  They are different.  :)  Yes, you will have to host your site yourself, using something like hostgator (see below), and there is stuff to learn as you get started, but in the end, it will be SO worth it. And, wordpress is FREE!  Yay!

WordPress has available so many different themes and plugins, which means you can build your site exactly how you want it to be.    You are in complete control.

Hosting Your Site

Hostgator –> I’ve used hostgator for many years and have never had a problem.  When I’ve had questions or needed something, they were fast to help and very nice.  I’d recommend signing up for the baby plan – it lets you host unlimited domain names, so as your business grows, your expenses won’t.

WordPress Themes

Thesis from DIY Themes –>  This is what I used for my design services and what I used to create this website.  I love Thesis!  You can do so much with it, even without knowing HTML.   But you will need to use some to make bigger changes to your site. But, they do have easy instructions and a great forum for help with the more advances stuff.

Elegant Themes –>  They have some really great, out of the box themes that will let you make simple changes without having to mess with the code.  If you DO want to make some bigger changes, you can with HTML knowledge. They do have a support forum for asking questions and getting help.  I think this is a great starter theme for those of you who want something that you can customize to make your own, but don’t want to spend to much time doing so.  I created a few of the earlier versions of Visionary Mom using these themes.

Email Marketing

Aweber –>  This is for the serious email marketer, which you may end up being as you grow your business.  The advantages of Aweber over Mailchimp (mentioned below) are it’s advanced features.  Things like doing A/B split testing and multiple lists management so people don’t get the same email from you several times, which can happen with MailChimp.

If you foresee your business growing and needing an email marketing service that can allow you to do big things, I would recommend starting out with Aweber, even if it’s not what you are needing now.  Switching over can be a hassle, so get started right.

Mailchimp –>  Mailchimp is awesome too and is what I’m currently using, only because I haven’t wanted to deal with the headache of switching to Aweber yet.   Yet!  :)  But mailchimp is a great service if you are just starting out, on a budget (they have a good free starter plan), or don’t see yourself ever getting on the big time email marketing bandwagon.

Social Media

HootSuite –> I use HootSuite alot to schedule posts on facebook and twitter, it’s a real time saver.  This helps me to stay up in front of people withot having to hang out all day on facebook!  You can also check and respond to others on all your social media platforms in one place.  I highly recommend!

Buffer –> This is similar to HootSuite above, but is a little more simple.  It will allow you to que up posts, links, photos, etc that you want to share on your social media accounts and it will space them out for you so you don’t just post a bunch of stuff at once.  HootSuite will do this too, it’s just a matter of your own preference.

Click To Tweet –>  A super easy way to turn a text link into a tweet.  Like this!  I love it and use it all the time.

Selling Your Products or Services

Paypal –>  Paypal is a simple, easy way to collect money online.  You can create buttons and set up reoccurring payments.  It’s a fast and easy way to collect credit card payments without having to set up a full blown merchant account.  Yes, they do take a small fee out of each transaction, but most credit card collection is going to do that one way or another.  I use paypal for pretty much everything here on Visionary Mom.

e-junkie –>  This is an easy shopping cart that will allow you to set up affiliate accounts.  It’s a great way to sell ebooks or other information based products.

1ShoppingCart –> A more advanced shopping cart service that will allow you to set up an online store and set up affiliate accounts.

Productivity

 Todoist –>  This is what I use to manage all my to do lists.  It’s simple and easy to use.  I love that I can set up separate lists, how they roll over when I don’t get stuff done on time and can reoccur.  AND, I can access my list from my phone, so I always have access to the gazillion things I need to get done.

Evernote –>  I am just starting to feel the Evernote love, but am finding it useful to track my ideas and thoughts.  I used to create dozens of word documents, but am slowly switching over to Evernote so I can have everything in one place AND be able to access stuff from my phone.

Photo Editing

iPiccy –> An online photo editor to make your website/blog images pop.

 

Do you have a super awesome resource to share, something that helps your business grow or keeps you organized?   Send ’em my way!!

 
Some of the links above are affiliate links.  If you choose to sign up or purchase from some of these companies, I will get a commission for sending you their way.  You should know that I will only recommend stuff that I really do think is awesome.  If you do purchase something using one of my affiliate links, which costs you nothing extra, my family benefits.   And for that, we say thanks.  :)