As a small business owner, I get what it’s like to have the desire and the drive to boost traffic, grow your business, as quickly as possible but there just is NOT enough time in the day. Luckily, there is such a thing as automation, and I am going to share my favourite tools with you today.

Luckily, there is such a thing as automation, and I am going to share my favourite tools with you today. I wish I had known about these online business tools when I first started trying to . Being able to boost traffic is amazing but it’s nothing if you don’t know how to monetize properly.

 

Please note that *This page might contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy here

 

If you want to learn how to increase blog traffic, get more done in less time, make money like a boss then check out these Must Have Resources To Grow Your Blog #bloggingtips #blogging #sacb

 

Boost Traffic By Using These Top Tools Resources

 

Now, I know that I could have monetized my blog from the very beginning and I definitely would have skipped the free blogging platform first. I started my very first blog in 2009, then I decided to start a craft blog in 2010 and launch this blog in April 2017. I’ve been around the block and back again so I’m sharing my favourite tools with you today.

 

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Related: How To Start A WordPress Website the easiest way possible

 

The problem was, I wanted to try it for free in case it didn’t work out; I wasn’t brave enough and didn’t believe in myself enough to pursue my dream the right way from the beginning. This time last year, I decided that I was going to amp up my efforts and build a business. The only thing I had to do was figure out how the heck to do all that, be on social media, have the brain power to send out regular newsletters AND promote my biz. Then I discovered automation. Like a glorious, shining beacon of light, it entered my life and has helped me to step up my game big time!

 

In no time, I came across email marketing platforms (ConvertKit), webinars and advice on how to set up automated sales funnels, WordPress framework’s and themes that could increase my blogs performance and social media scheduling services for sharing both my own content and that of others!

Shortcuts:

This site runs on Siteground and I highly recommend it TO EVERYONE! Get 60% discount and you can start your blog for as little as £$2.95 PER MONTH. Are you kidding me?! That’s so cheap! Especially when you think of how much money you can make!

 

WordPress

 

In my opinion, WordPress is the number one site builder. You can use a WordPress site for e-commerce, a blog only or both. It’s in an easy to use option, and there are countless tutorials and videos on YouTube that can help you get set up.

 

For hosting I recommend SiteGround*, for beginners, check out how to start a blog the easiest way possible with a video tutorial.

 

✅CoSchedule*

CoSchedule is an Editorial Calendar that I use in my business all the time. But, it isn’t just an editorial calendar. It is used as an editorial calendar, social media scheduler and project management app, all in the one place.

If you end up blogging for a while and decide to hire someone or a team, you can see everything that everyone is working on, all from a centralised calendar location.

It also integrates with a lot of different programs, including:

to name but a few.

The Co-Schedule* newsletter team, send out regular tutorials and free training to help you make the most out of your plan.

✅ Genesis Framework*

 

The Genesis Framework is the foundation of any smart WordPress design, especially for craft bloggers who will have a lot of images on their site.

My craft site has been built on the Genesis framework. After reading a blog that managed to increase its site speed by 72% after installing the Genesis framework, I bought it immediately.

In a post titled 10 Things, I Wish I Knew Before Moving From Blogger To WordPress, I shared how I managed to waste several hundred pounds getting an amateur to help me move my blog content over and by doing so, he had managed to butcher my website code and I had costly problems for two years before I found the solution.

 

✅ Creative Market*

You can buy all the creative’s you need for your website or blog from CreativeMarket*.

You can purchase blog themes, branding packages, premade logos, logo kits and marketing promotional materials from talented designers via their online stores on CreativeMarket*.

 

My Pinterest success is down to:

 

✅Board Booster* is the perfect Pinterest tool to help you Boost Traffic

If you want to manage your Pinterest account automatically and increase engagement, visitors and conversions then a program like Board Booster or Tailwind is a great option.

If you decide to use Board Booster*, you can start out with a free trial and then a $5 account.

There is a limit to how many pins they will share, and there are more pricing structures available depending on how many pins you want to share across your boards.

Board Booster is designed to help you spread your pinterest pins, across the boards you want to concentrate on, at the best possible times, according to your pinterest analytics.

Which means you don’t have to guess when you should be pinning and you don’t have to do the manual pinning.

Win win as far as I’m concerned. It costs ¢1 per pin and I’m currently spending $30 a month on my plan. Since I’ve started using Board Booster, it has freed up so much time that I can spend concentrating on other things. I’m also getting a better conversion rate on my pins. Sometimes, I have to delete the odd pin from a board but not often. I highly recommend using Board Booster* to promote your pinterest profile.

 

Tailwind*

I use both Board Booster and Tailwind at the moment for maximum impact on Pinterest and it’s working. See this post all about How I Increased my Pinterest Views by 9000% In One Month.  Board Booster is used to pin to the Heart Handmade UK Pinterest Profile, and I use Tailwind to promote the Start A Craft Blog Pinterest Profile.

I must admit that I’m in love with Tailwind. Unlike Board Booster where you can actually set it and forget it; by allowing it to locate pins by keywords, you must manually schedule pins using the tailwind browser extensions.

It gives you more control, but you do need to work on it. I like the fact that you get a little more control, but I don’t think I would use Tailwind for both Pinterest profiles. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

I don’t mean to sound hella braggy but with Heart Handmade UK I get over 7.8 Million monthly views on my Pinterest profile and that drives 100,000 passive monthly views to my blog.

Heart Handmade UK Pinterest Profile 2017-06-13 at 18.19.29
Date – 2017-06-13 (June)
StartACraftBlog Pinterest Profile 2017-06-11 at 12.51.43
Date – 2017-06-13 (June)

 

Tailwind Tribes 2017-06-06 at 14.24.23
Date – 2017-06-06 (June)
Tailwind Tribes 2017-06-13 at 18.55.46
Date – 2017-06-13 (June)

 

✅ Sumo Me*

SumoMe is THE tool to help you increase your traffic, grow your E-Mail list and get pretty powerful analytics. You can get Sumo Me basic (free) and Sumo Me Pro.

I had the basic for an entire year before I decided to level up and I wish I had done it sooner. There were far more customisation options to match my blog branding, and it increased social sharing by about 40%

 

Buffer

This is one powerful social media scheduling tool that I have been using for almost four years now to help me boost traffic on a regular basis. I’ve flipped between free to paid to free to paid.

That was because I was useless and not being consistent, but that changed.

Now, I use it all of the time. With the help of browser extensions, sharing my favourite finds on the internet is so much easier and it’s another automation for my business that I couldn’t live without.

 

✅ Have2HaveIt

As you may already know, Instagram only allows clickable links in your profile.

Instead of having to change your link daily, you get a Have2Have.It URL, where you get another image feed with links attached to each individual image. You can boost traffic by sharing images from your blog posts and directing instagram users to your post.

You can integrate with a Shopify store and sell directly from Instagram.

Take a look at my Have2Have.It profile page, right here.

For a full tutorial in how to set up your own Shopify Store and Craft Business, Click Here!

 

✅ Leadpages*

Using Sumo Me, Leadpages and ConvertKit together, I was able to grow my list from April 2016 when it was at 100 to October 2016, where it reached 12,000.

 

I used LeadPages to create dedicated lead pages, using their drag and drop design options to create beautifully designed landing pages.

There is also an option to create something called a Lead Box, where you can simply insert code into a blog post to enable access to an opt-in freebie.

 

 

✅ ConvertKit*

Switching from MailChimp to ConvertKit* was the best thing I ever did. Convert Kit don’t offer image templates that are obvious newsletter style emails.

You get a basic text-based e-mail, like you would from a friend. I much prefer this method of communication, especially when you want to be treating your e-mail subscribers like they are your friends.

Because they are your fans and they are pretty loyal, and it’s the nicest feeling in the world when you get responses from people that are just lovely.

I am so happy I invested in ConvertKit*. The pricing was quite a jump but definitely worth it because the simplified emails are being opened and it’s by far an amazing way to boost traffic to your site.

If you want to learn how to increase blog traffic, get more done in less time, make money like a boss then check out these Must Have Resources To Grow Your Blog #bloggingtips #blogging #sacb

 Excellent Affiliate Programs to Join:
✅ Affiliate Window UK*/Affiliate Window US*

I’ve been with Affiliate Window for years and years, and I love it. Programs like Etsy UK/ Etsy US, HobbyCraftJoules and Urban Outfitters are on there. They also have an Affiliate Window Wiki for all the help you could need. There are also browser extensions to help you create custom affiliate links quickly and easily.

 

✅ Shareasale*

This is the most recent affiliate program that I signed up to and quickly became my favourite. I had $110 in my balance before I got paid, but you can set a “lowest level” before you get paid.  That means I get paid smaller deposits with a little more regularity.

Payment is on the 20th of each month and can be processed by BACS transfer, straight into your bank account.

I LOVE ✅Shareasale because they have a two tier program which means that you can earn money per lead (email sign up) as well as per sale.

 

✅Linkshare*

This is the first affiliate program I ever signed up to.  I’ve experienced drips and drabs from this account because my readership doesn’t buy an awful lot from the stores on there.

 

Great Affiliate Programs for bloggers who blog about blogging & biz
✅WP Engine Via Shareasale

WPEngine has a $200 referral fee per person which is an amazing way that you can monetize your blog.

I love promoting affiliate links that my readers would really benefit from and with StartACraftBlog.Com, users can sign up with WPEngine and have super speed blog hosting from the beginning and also refer others to the program. You can sign up to the affiliate program via Shareasale.

 

Grammarly Via Shareasale

If you’re a blogger, then Grammarly is an essential tool. It’s a proofreader, plagiarism checker, spelling & grammar checker and my favourite blogging tool of late. People don’t share posts that contain a lot of typos, or even social media images with typos. Good grammar can help you boost traffic, as well as great design.

They also have a program available via Shareasale.

 

Great Affiliate Programs for Crafters To Join
  Brit&Co Via Shareasale

I am a huge fan of Brit&Co and their workshops.

They are so bright, colourful and lots of fun. I’ve blogged about them a lot, and not just because I’m now an affiliate with them. It’s because I love taking online workshops and I loved taking the workshops that are available.

✅ Darby Smart via Shareasale  

“Darby Smart is a video community where people watch and share snappy how-to videos. Every day, people use Darby Smart to learn and be inspired.” Darby Smart also have a monthly subscription box available which is what would be promoted.

 

As mentioned above: Etsy UK/ Etsy US, HobbyCraft, through Affiliate Window.

 

✅ SendOwl*

If you want to create and sell digital products, then signing up to a service like SendOwl is a no brainer. You can also join their referral program and receive 20% on referrals, which is pretty sweet! I’m an affiliate with SendOwl for some eBooks like Building a Framework.

 

Companies who sponsor posts and social media content:
Blog Dash*

BlogDash is the most efficient, effective platform by which you can reach 200K+ bloggers and growing every day. These bloggers have specifically opted in to connect with brands like yours and help you achieve web-wide recognition.”

Izea *

Izea is a site that connects bloggers with brands. You’ll find sponsored post opportunities there, along with chances to get paid for tweeting or using other social media sites to promote brands. 

 

Hiring Freelancers to help you
 Fiverr*

If you feel overwhelmed at all when it comes to setting up your brand new blog, hiring a freelancer might be worth considering. Fiverr has a vast array of freelancers that could help you. You hire them via ‘gigs’, which are a bit like product listings. Prices start from $5.

 

Upwork

This is where I hire my Freelancers now. I actually have two freelancers that are my “go-to gals”. They’re the best and incredibly helpful. Contracts on upwork usually cost a lot more than on Fiverr, but it really depends what your needs are.

 

 

Amazing eBooks for Blogging:
  How i made $40,000*
How I Made $40k in my first year of blogging by Cheslea LordsI’ve included step-by-step pictures on how to set up a blog — including picking out and registering a domain, picking out a layout and design for your site, and step by step photos on setting up your unique hosting plan. I’ve even included some simple coding techniques to customise your site.
The Importance of Social Media

Step-by-step pictures showing you how to set up and optimise your social media sites, plus all the tips and tricks I’ve learned to gain a combined following of over 33,000 social fans in one year. Included are the ways I’ve leveraged social media to increase traffic to my site.

Income and Expense Tracking

Included in this book is a comprehensive spreadsheet that will allow you to track revenues and expenditure as well as recording when you’ve been paid. Additionally, there are resources helping you to stay as organised as possible with your blog.

How to Place Ads

Step-by-step pictures that will make you feel confident about placing your own advertisements on your site. Plus easy to understand terms of a complex world of advertising. An included chart illustrating pros/cons of ad companies to work with.

Working with Other Companies

You’ll understand how to network with other businesses to receive paid work and free products for yourself and your readers. Detailed instructions are also included on how to set up your own giveaway and how to make it successful.

Learn my Secrets to Success

In making over $40k in one year, gaining 33k social media fans, and reaching impressive page-view statistics, I share everything I learned to get here. The things I did right, the things I could have done better, and all of my “secrets” to success.

 

Building A Framework By Abby from Just A Girl And Her Blog*
“Abby’s eBook is full of great information for anyone hoping to start a blog and even those of us who have been blogging for awhile. I’ve been blogging for nearly three years, and still, I learned tonnes. Everything from how to make money blogging to really mastering social media. There is no other source available that gives you all of this information in one place. This book is sure to help any blogger be successful!”

 

– Chelsea, Making Home Base

 

 

Excellent Design Tools to help you Boost Traffic through great design!:

 

  1. Canva
  2. DesignSeeds
  3. ColourLovers
  4. FontSquirrel
  5. PicMonkey

 

Staying Organised:

 

  1. Trello*
  2. Evernote*
  3. Pomello (I use the Chrome extension/Macbook App) – It’s a Pomodoro timer for Trello cards.
  4. Noisli
  5. Coffivity 
  6. FocusWriter (if you use wordpress.org, it has a unique feature that means when you click on the rich text editor, the rest of the screen fades to grey. It creates a little focus window.

 

Online Learning

 

  1. Skillshare Business Classes*
  2. Brit&Co* Business Classes
  3. CreativeBug* Creative, crafty classes
  4. ModernThrive* Business Classes

 

 

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