I’ve been getting some questions about the tools I use and can recommend. I don’t use many online marketing tools on a regular basis but there are some that any online entrepreneur cannot do without.
So here is a list of the most important tools in my tool kit.
And I cannot emphasize this enough: I do not recommend any tools that I do not use!
(Disclaimer: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means I may earn a commission if you decide to buy a tool. That comes at no additional cost to you and it will not influence which tools I recommend!)
You may want to argue here whether hosting is a tool, but the truth is, it is the first service a new business owner or blogger will book – and can make an utterly wrong choice. We chose bad hosting with the blog I ran together with my brother: the social ms.
We started out with Bluehost because that is what many big-name bloggers recommend. It almost killed our business. Customer service with Bluehost was abysmal and when things started to go wrong in the middle of a launch, we were left to sort out the problems that we did not cause on our own.
We had to make a quick decision – and we never regretted it.
We chose Cloudways as our new hosting service.
The best argument to use Cloudways as your hosting provider is that they have the best customer support we have ever experienced with any service or tool. They even help us with problems and questions they did not cause.
When I started my new personal blog at susannagebauer.com, naturally I chose to host with Cloudways – there never was a question about that!
Yes, this is an affiliate link for Cloudways and it includes a special deal: Get $25 in hosting credits if you sign up through this link.
I have tried a fair share of email tools. If you have been a member of my newsletter for some time, you may have noticed some of the tools I tried.
We started out with a German tool when we were still running the publishing platform exploreB2B. But the tool simply was not the right choice for us.
When I started my first blog The Social Ms with my brother Jonathan, we tried Mailchimp. This may be a good choice for beginner bloggers and small businesses. For a small number of subscribers and just sending a newsletter once in a while Mailchimp’s free version will do the trick.
But when you want to grow your online business, you will soon need something more.
I needed to be able to set up welcome sequences and launch campaigns to segments of the email list. We moved to ConvertKit after trying Drip for a while.
Since I started using ConvertKit, it evolved a lot. Today it not only offers a thorough email marketing tool that allows (visual) automation and email list segmentation. It also offers some tools to help you monetize your creative work.
Yes, I know that most of my blog posts still contain some spelling mistakes and I am sorry about that. I am German, English is not my mother-tongue and although I have been blogging in English for a couple of years, I feel better with someone proofreading my posts. That is what Grammarly does for me!
And that is one reason to recommend Grammarly to any blogger and content creator.
Grammarly helps identify and correct your spelling mistakes. Plus, you get some recommendations to optimize your grammar for a better reading experience. For instance, lengthy or hard-to-read text bits are recognized and you get suggestions on how to make them easier to read.
Grammarly offers a Chrome extension, that will give a smooth experience. All your online-written text will be checked and corrections automatically provided on the fly.
With the Chrome extension, Grammarly’s free version will already tremendously help you to avoid spelling mistakes in your blog posts and help identify grammar glitches. As you write your posts in the online editor, Grammarly shows you the most important mistakes as you type them.
When we started creating our first course back in 2015 we did not use Teachable. I am not even sure if Teachable was available at the time.
The tool we chose promised a lot of advanced stuff that we needed like tax handling for selling digital products in the EU and the ability to make packages of a larger number of courses. If the functionality was not available when we started it was promised to be released soon.
Well, what can I say? Everything got stuck with this course software all the time.
Our first course launch was delayed for weeks because tax handling was not doing what it was supposed to do.
Trying to take a single course out of the course package was such a big affair that we shied away to do it again.
New features never quite worked.
And finally, they admitted defeat and forced us to make a decision for a course software that would take us to the future.
We went for Teachable and so far have not regretted it one day.
Teachable provides you with the easy-to-use course software. But today, you can also use it to sell other digital products like ebooks and worksheets through their downloadable feature.
You can also use Teachable to sell coaching.
Teachable comes with a payment integration that makes it easy for you to start earning once your products are ready and Teachable can even do the tax handling for you.
I agree that SocialOomph is not beautiful. But it simply does a job. And has been doing this job for years for me without much complaint from my side.
I use SocialOomph’s recurring queues for Twitter. These queues allow me to automate tweeting of my best evergreen content so that I can focus on conversations on Twitter.
Even when I am busy or out hiking, my Twitter account is active and sends me traffic due to the recurring queues.
When I started my Twitter journey, SocialOomph was basically the only tool that offered recurring queues. Since then there have come up more tools that can do recurring posts, I have tested a couple of them. So far, other tools for Twitter automation were either more complicated or far more expensive. I never had any reason to complain so I just stuck with the SocialOomph.
Twitter threads are one way to grow your Twitter account and provide a ton of value for your target audience.
Since I do not like how SocialOomph handles scheduling Twitter threads I needed to find a better tool for that. I chose Circleboom publishing.
The editor for Twitter threads is very convenient and you can see how your thread is going to look. In addition, all your sent threads are saved in Circleboo. You can reuse some of your Twitter threads a couple of weeks later.
When I started to invest more time and energy in our Pinterest marketing, one of the first things I learned was that I need to pin a lot and daily to see considerable traffic to our blog from Pinterest.
I also learned that it does matter what you pin, when you pin it, and how often you pin the same content. That means you need to schedule new pins for Pinterest daily.
I often use the scheduling feature that Pinterest offers. But sometimes that is not enough. Then I use Tailwind for scheduling my pins.
Tailwind added some very convenient functionality since I first tried it:
- Smart loops are the Tailwind version of recurring queues for Pinterest. Scheduling with Tailwind can help you to avoid content repetition, which Pinterest penalizes today.
- Since Pinterest favors new pins and you have to create new pins all the time, Tailwind also added the Tailwind create feature to easily create new pins.
Tailwind also offers a tool for scheduling Instagram posts, you should check it out.
When you start offering email signups and even products online, you need landing pages for these offers. If you are not a web developer this can seem very intimidating. But there is a solution for this: Leadpages.
Whenever I need a quick landing page I use Leadpages. I create landing pages for my courses, for free stuff, and I even create some of the informative pages on my blog with Leadpages.
The advantage of Leadpages is that even someone who is not very experienced in web development can easily create landing pages. Leadpages comes with a huge number of templates – I mostly use them for design inspiration – and allows you to add your individual landing page elements.
Creating a landing page from scratch is so simple with the click, adjust and combine interface that Leadpages has to offer.
I use Canva daily. I create social media images and videos, I create freebies. I even create my webinar slides in Canva and turn them into video lessons.
And if I can create half-decent images, slides, and ebooks with Canva, then you can do it too. Why? Because I suck at design.
Canva comes with a huge number of templates for any event. You can start with the template and change it until it looks like you want it to. You can change fonts and colors, add images, and move elements.
Canva allows me to create images for our blog, courses, and free stuff – without spending ages on the design process. The social media images in this article were created with Canva.
Canva is very efficient to use. If you are looking for an image tool with a ton of features and options that can still be handled by a non-pro designer: Canva is a good choice.
Tweetdeck is a free Twitter tool or rather a Twitter client. Everybody can use it.
Tweetdeck allows you to watch multiple Twitter feeds in one place. You can use it to watch the feeds of multiple Twitter accounts. But you can do a lot more with Tweetdeck.
You can set up feeds for searches or your Twitter lists.
If you want to monitor all tweets to a certain keyword or phrase, you can set up a feed for this keyword.
You can use the complete spectrum of Twitter’s advanced search to set up search feeds in Tweetdeck.
That makes Tweetdeck the perfect tool to monitor conversations on Twitter – and engage with people from your niche.
I don’t do many webinars. I should do more webinars – I know. But when I do a webinar, I need the tool to be easy to handle and come with basic functionality like email automation, and integrated offers.
What I also want to have as an option is to turn a webinar into an evergreen automated webinar. Although I have not used it in the more recent past, it is something that I consider doing.
WebinarNinja offers everything I need plus it comes at a fair price when you compare it to other webinar tools.
That’s my basic toolkit.
I try some more tools from time to time. But the above tools are what I use on a daily basis.
You may not need all of them. You are probably already using some of them. I still hope that you find some value in this list!