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Resources used to run my online business

resources used to run my online business

I recently set up a new resources page on my website. This page links to my personal suggestions on hosting companies, design programs and more. Today, I’ll be sharing with you the ones that I’m currently using to run my online business.

This page contains affiliate links. Which means I will receive a small compensation if you purchase using the link. I only use affiliate links for products and services that I would 100% recommend regardless of being paid or not.

hosting & domain

My domain name was purchased from Namecheap. Most hosting plans offer a free domain for the first year when you sign up but I opted to buy mines separate. My website is hosted on Siteground, I signed up a for a 2-year plan to lock in the discounted price (wish I had done 3 lol) I’ve used GoDaddy in the past and honestly, it was not a bad experience when I was first starting out. But the more my site grew I knew I had to invest in a more stable hosting plan.

design software

I’m using the Adobe Creative Cloud which is about $30/a month for me. I started on the student plan which was $20/a month. There are other design options to choose from but Adobe I’m most comfortable with using.

If you’re a student you can sign up for the student plan of $20/a month in your first year. If you’re not, then Adobe Creative Cloud goes for about $53/a month. You don’t necessarily need to get the entire suite, you can opt for the Photography plan which gives you Photoshop and Lightroom for $10/a month or a single program for $20/a month.

stock photos

I’ve purchased a lot of photos and mockups over the years from Creative Market and Design Cuts. With the mockups, I can easily create my desired image that I’m looking for. When I’m looking for more stock photos or clips I’ll go to sites like unsplash or pexels.

mailing list

Currently, my mailing list provider is Mailerlite, I’ve been with them for a few years now. I started on their free plan then locked into a paid plan before their prices went up. I’m now back on the free plan mainly because I haven’t been putting as much focus on my mailing list. I plan to change that in 2019. I also previously and sometimes still do use MailChimp which is also a very good option. There are few more options out to choose from.

There is no need to spend $30+ a month if you’re not getting as many subscribers on your list. Think smart when investing!

social media scheduling

I swear by later scheduling, you can schedule to Instagram, Stories or Twitter. I mostly use to schedule my Instagram posts. I’m on the free version and that is just enough for me at this time. They allow you to post 30 images in a month which is perfect because I post to my Instagram every other day. I can also preview how my feed would look when everything is posted.

I also have what is posted to my Instagram to also be posted on my twitter page. Recurpost I use to post previous and new blog posts to my account. This lets you add all your posting material at one time and you can schedule how often you’ll like the content to post. For example, I can add all of the current blog posts to a library and select for one to be posted every Monday and Thursday etc. This way I don’t have to go in manually and post, its the perfect automated way to continuously have activity on your Twitter page.

online storage

Now let’s be honest the least expensive version of the latest MacBook Pros only come with 256GB of storage and I was not going to upgrade for an extra $200+ nope. Instead, I bought a 1TB external hard drive and I pay $99 a year for 1TB of online storage from DropBox. (1TB of storage on the new MacBooks is an extra $600, that is DropBox for 6 years) These options work best for me but I also sometimes use Google Drive and I use Box to store the free downloads that I offer.

accepting payments & accounting

I use WooCommerce to run my online shop page – soon to be its own website. For payment gateways, I use Stripe and PayPal. When I’m working with clients I send them an invoice using PayPal or Wave. I have a PayPal business account so I’m not if these features are available on the personal account, I’m assuming it is not.

When using PayPal, Wave or Stripe they each charge 2.9% +.30cents for each transaction. That is a standard rate and I recently had to raise my prices to accommodate for these fees because for some reason I forgot that these were standard charges.

Everything listed above helps me run my online business smoothly. When investing in certain things you have to make sure that it’s right for you and your business. As you can see many of the programs I use are paid because it’s necessary to run an efficient online business but there are free options that I use that are just right for me.