Sharing Time :: The Tools We Use

by contributor on 22/05/2013

in Guest Editors 2013, Resources

During most of 2013, Whipup.net will hosting a monthly mini-series, each month edited by different crafters and designers. Enjoy!

Introducing Destri from The Mother Huddle :: The theme for this month is Advice For Starting and Growing a Creative Business :: Stop listening to the advice of those that say it can’t be done, and seek the advice of those who are successfully doing what you want to do.

Destri :: The Mother Huddle

Tools For The Creative Business

If there is one list I would have loved to have when starting my creative business, it would have been a list of all the available tools for growing and sustaining it.

I have a few favorites I will share today, but really I can’t wait to hear yours. It seems every time I am talking with fellow creative business owners, they mention a tool I have never heard of.

Some of these you may have heard of, but I am hoping a few make you say “where have you been all my life?” like they did for me when I discovered them.

Tools I Use For My Creative Business

WordPress.org – I include this because it seems that is the most common question I get… Blogger or WordPress? You (or your developer) can literally do anything you need on the platform, you have much more freedom, and from what I understand SEO capabilities are much stronger on WordPress.

WP Engine – This is the company I use for hosting, and I couldn’t recommend them more. I was with Bluehost to start and liked their service as well, but TMH outgrew their servers and we had to find a new home :). WP Engine has all sorts of great features, but here are my favorite – one click backup and restore, they update your site with new wordpress releases, they guarantee you won’t get hacked, and will fix it for free if you do, speed-speed-speedy, always ready to help.

Madmimi – I use this for the TMH newsletter, and love them. You can easily make a beautiful template that is custom to your brand, simple opt-in integration, and great support. I have not experimented with other email platforms, so I would love to hear your input on your favorite.

Kind Over Matter Printables Kit – this is a great ebook with templates for making printables you can use for giving to readers or making for sale.

The Ink Nest – Beautiful graphics you can use for free or for sale printables — just read the terms of service for details.

Outright – I just recently discovered this small business online accounting tool, and I am in heaven. You can link it to paypal, bank accounts, and it keeps track of all the purchases and incoming sales. You can even prepare your quarterly taxes on the site. Like I said, I am new to it, so I am sure there are many other things it can do.

Law For Creatives – Contracts, employment law, insurance, intellectual property, for your specific creative field.

Picmonkey – Oh the things you can do on Picmonkey. I use this platform for all my photo editing — I have photoshop but find it too cumbersome and much prefer the simple and intuitive layout on Picmonkey. Check out their blog for tutorials — love the one for making a transparent background for png files (perfect for logos and watermarks).

Etsy – You can find branding kits to set you apart, graphics for your Facebook page, royalty free graphics, and much more — just do a quick search.

With Etiquette – Royalty free music for videos — I was actually just introduced to this last night!

Alt Classes – Great online classes covering many useful topics. They are always offering different ones, so you just have to check in now and then to see what they have. I have taken tax classes, imovie for bloggers, and many more. What I love is the classes are taught by fellow creatives that know the business, and they’re only $15!

Passionfruit Ads - easiest way I have found to serve private ads, so many great features.

Okay, now it’s your turn! What tools do you use for your creative business? What online platforms make your work easier? Even if you think it is something everyone knows about please share — it may be known in your niche but not in another.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Destri

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim May 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Really helpful stuff and thanks for the support! Xoxo

2 Seanna Lea May 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm

My online photo editor of choice is Pixlr. It is quick, and does pretty much everything that basic photoshop can do. I love it.

I find with Picmonkey that I am tempted to use all of the fancy pants features and they are all extra.

3 britt May 23, 2013 at 7:52 am

i also use picmonkey. great for photo manipulation and collage making.

i just found squarespace.com and love it so much more than wordpress. you don’t have to get plug-ins. nice, simple, beautiful templates for business or blogs. easy to set up shop and make blog posts. i just moved over there from wordpress.org after spending a month trying to get everything set up on it the way i was sort of happy with. but one day of work on squarespace and i was done! found it through etsy.

i have been reading through etsy’s seller handbook and find it very informative.

also really like oneprettything’s resource page. full of info about business related topics.

4 Grace May 23, 2013 at 11:06 am

I love this list! Thank you so much! I am about 10 months in to starting this business of mine and with a 4 month old baby in my arms I never have the time to learn and grow the business part of my business as much as I need to, and having these resources all in one place really helps! One question – I have been hearing from all sorts of people that wordpress is better than blogger, which I started with, and I want to switch, but is there a way to transfer over my last 10 months worth of blogs? Will I lose my followers?

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