Ever struggled to stay organized in your online biz?! *raises a hand and jumps up and down* You need tools for online business, and you need them fast! The initial stages are crucial for creating effective systems in your biz.
Running a business, a blog, handing out free resources and creating emails on the reg can get confusing. When you’re starting out, it’s hard enough already to juggle what you already had going on and now this.
I thought this was meant to be fun?!
Don’t worry, there are ways to expert-level manage it without having all the skills or prior knowledge.
Taking your creativity online means adapting from scrawling in notepads to rearranging your thoughts for an audience. The ways you can translate this information is endless; today, I show you how to organize your blog content from start to finish using online tools.
This is the number one marketing tool I use to grow my online business. ConvertKitis next level when it comes to email marketing providers; I can’t believe how my email list keeps growing and growing since switching from MailChimp. To help you get your head around the differences: ConvertKit is subscriber-based, MailChimp is list-based.
In ConvertKit, my subscribers can sign up to many content upgrade forms without duplicating across several different lists. I can provide my audience with new resources and not waste time moving anyone over to my ‘Master List’ in MailChimp.
I first heard about ClickFunnel when I attended a Grace Lever webinar, she’s basically the #girlboss of ‘doing’ and empowering female entrepreneurs. Her ClickFunnel pages convert — and that’s because it’s an awesome marketing tool for small business. If you don’t know much about sales and marketing funnels, Moz has some really great tips for new and old marketers interested in inbound marketing.
I can’t stress this enough: you need a content calendar. It will transform the way you see your work and help you effectively plan out each type of blog content. No doubt, we could all do this better, but we need to stay relevant and top of mind to our audience.
There are two ways I do this to stay on track each month. I plan my content in depth quarter-by-quarter, and I have a rough idea of my strategy for half the year.
I do this using Google Excel and my handy Editorial Calendar template. My tip: work vertically, not horizontally. It gives you a better high-level view of your content for the year.
I know a lot of creativepreneurs prefer the pen and paper — I do love my bullet journal — however, when I want to move around blog posts and email marketing depending on the way my week looks, this calendar is perfect for me (get it below!).
The other way to organize content I’ve found really effective is Google Calendar. If Excel confuses you, using the drop-and-drag, Google Calendar really helps when sorting a month’s worth of content.
Here’s an example from my former Sydney-based lifestyle blog. The initial launch month was in September 2015. I transitioned this over from (another) personal blog into a more well-rounded lifestyle/Sydney blog last year. It became mildly successful and performed well on Google, but the direction was lost in all the personal. It came back to where the heart is: creating.
It’s incredibly simple to set up your own Google account if you haven’t already, and with it comes a world of other useful resources, including Gmail, Google Drive, and Google +.
As a small business owner, you need a top notch accounting system (I ignored this when I started my online biz and OH BOY, I WAS WRONG). FreshBooks is perfect for small business owners that want to grow their biz, but also if you’re looking for an easy to use solution.
FreshBooks helps you to get organized and get paid. You can track your client hours, log your expenses (I got a lot of them!) and invoice your clients quick.
The buffer is a game changer. Managing multiple social media accounts is not easy, but with Buffer you can schedule your tweets throughout the day with the time’s Buffer deems most appropriate for your audience. In the Analytics section, you can Re-Buffer the tweets that received the most engagement at the click of the button and only add back into your queue.
Now you don’t need to hire a graphic designer (or you may actually be one!), you can do it all yourself in a simple, mostly-free program taking the blogging world by storm — Canva. You design anything you can think of, from presentations to social media graphics to postcards. Basically, it’s all customisable, and you can get many of the pre-made designs for just $1. And Canva boasts, it only takes 23 seconds to learn.
There’s a new set of ten photos every ten days — you can subscribe here. You’ll find a lot of the images used on this blog are from Unsplash, with links to the respective artist pages. The collections are brilliantly curated; a current favorite is Workspace.
The boss of plugins. It’s the most efficient way to quickly optimise your content and make the whole social media experience more pleasant. Yoast SEO does all the work for you. You pop in the keyword, and Yoast SEO scores your content based on frequency, images, page title, links, meta descriptions + more.