I have been working on this website for more than a year and a half now, and I have found some amazing tools that help me to get the job done easily. This article is about tools I use for my travel business. If you want to know more about traveling around the world, read this instead. If you want to discover very useful tools, keep reading!
As you can see on my website, I have a lot of pictures! To add to the photos I took myself, I buy some on Shutterstock. I really like their high quality pictures and vectors and finding something specific is easy. I usually subscribe for a month, at 250$ and download 25 pictures daily. I cancel the auto-renewal subscription at the end of the month. I once forgot to end it before it was charged on my credit card, and they reimbursed me no problem, and they were very nice and helpful.
You can find at Unsplash free HD pictures that are very beautiful and artistic. What can I say more: beautiful and free!
Pic Monkey is a photo editor. It is perfect for collages and designs. I never subscribed, so I can’t use all their tools. But the basic ones are pretty amazing. I once had a problem with how fast I could work on Pic Monkey… it was lagging big time. I think it happens when you work on a project for a very long time, since you cannot save your project and come back later to work on it.
After what happened with Pic Monkey (the lagging), I discovered Canva, and I was thrilled!! Canva is a photo editing tool that allows you to save your project and come back later to work on them. You can even publish them, so it’s another way of reaching audiences. The design tools are simply amazing. I love Canva! You can make professional designs without being a professional. There’s a lot of templates available for free, but even if you have to pay for one you like, it’s only 1$! I definitely recommend it!
I like Buffer! I schedule all my Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest (yes, Pinterest!) posts on Buffer. I don’t use Buffer to schedule my Facebook posts because I can easily do that within Facebook already. I can schedule up to 100 posts at a time. I can define my own schedule: it can be different for each social media, and for each day of the week. I’m using it mainly for my Pinterest account. It works wonderful! I pay $10 a month to have access to the Pinterest scheduler.
Crowdfire is very useful if you are following your followers on Twitter, usually when you are starting your Twitter account. There’s this mentality on Twitter that ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine’. So I used to follow everyone who followed me. Crowdfire tells me who I follow that is not following me, whose account has been inactive for 1, 3 or 6 months and I can also copy someone’s following. Let’s say I want to see who follows Lonely Planet on Twitter. I type their Twitter name, and see who’s following them, follow them myself so that they can follow me back. Another useful tool Crowdfire has been his automated message that is sent when someone start following me. I like automation! You can have a free account, but I choose to pay for the app to get the full access ($5.79).
When I first started my website, I used Viralwoot to gain Pinterest followers, and it worked quite well. It works like this: I follow people that have the same interest as my business, then I get some ‘seeds’ in exchange. I give those ‘seeds’ back in exchange for someone to follow me. I like Viralwoot because I could target people within my niche, travel, so it’s only a win-win relationship. Since it can take quite some time to get a lot of followers on Pinterest, I think Viralwoot helps speed up the process. Viralwoot is free, but you can pay to buy seeds. I never did.
There’s a free plan on Woobox, but it doesn’t give you much. Pay $29 a month, and get access to all apps for my one business page. Woobox offers marketing apps. It is incredibly useful if you want to easily manage contests. I run all my contests and quizzes on Woobox. It is very user friendly. I definitely recommend it if you want to increase engagement and run awesome contests.
I host my website on Site Ground. I have a GrowBig account, it cost me $7.95 per month, and I have peace of mind. Site Ground has amazing support, since every website has bugs every now and then. Support answers very fast and is very helpful. You can also get the StartUp account for just $3.95 per month. Now that’s cheap! I don’t want to change, seriously, they are doing an amazing job!
This one, I started using it yesterday. It looks very promising, but only time will tell. I signed up for the free account. Here’s what they’re saying: ‘Hotjar is a new and easy way to truly understand your web and mobile site visitors. Identify your hottest opportunities for improvement‘. HotJar records what your website’s visitors are doing so you will know what goes wrong and what is successful. I will come back soon to tell you if it delivers.
I use Mailchimp for my newsletter. Mailchimp is super user friendly, and offers a lot of tools to build your newsletter, templates to inspire you, and reports to know what’s going on with your subscribers. You can use it for free for up to 2000 subscribers, but you won’t have access to all their tools. I pay $20 a month so I can have access to their automation tool and now I don’t have to manually send emails to new subscribers. It works wonderful.
This is where I get my grammar checked before I post anything. It’s free, and works well.
You can find on Fiverr a community of services that you can buy for a bottom 5$ (it’s called a ‘Gig‘). Professionals in graphic designs, online marketing, video animation and much more offer their services at a very low cost. It’s easy to use, and I only had good experiences. Services are provided quickly, and you can buy extra Gigs to meet your needs.
If you need more than just a small job being done, I recommend UpWork. You have access to thousands of professionals from all over the world that can deliver amazing work. I hired a freelancer from UpWork to build my Destination Finder, at a very low cost, and he did a wonderful job (his name is Mariot Tsitoara, from Madagascar). You have to find the good person though to do the job, because not all professionals will deliver. I hired someone else at first to develop another application for this website, and she tried to charge me more after she agreed to an initial contract, and then refused to do the job. Just pick your freelancer carefully, and you will have an amazing experience.
What useful tools are you using for your website? Do you want to recommend any?