In this blog post, I would like to share some of my favorite online business resources and tools. These are the tools that I use when I create my designs and for managing my art print and dropshipping business.
For those of you who are new here my name is Cajsa and I run the brand SelectedCrafts. You are currently visiting the SelectedCrafts blog. I also run the SelectedCraftsStore, a store where I sell the designs I make on the platform Etsy. I have set up my online business to be as low maintenance and passive as possible. That way I can focus most of my time designing and doing what I love.
Today I offer both digital and physical products in the store. I have a range of digital products such as clipart, digital downloads. In also offer physical prints and products through my amazing dropshipping partner Printful.
In this blog post, I just want to share my favorite small online business resources with you. These are the tools that I use to run my business.
A online design and layout tool for creatives. I love Canva and could not live without it. I use it daily to design everything in my business, including the products I make and sell, blog graphics and Pinterest pins.
Canva doesn’t have the same amount of features and functions as the entire Adobe Suite. I would say Canva is a mix of the most important features. I currently pay for Canva for work to get access to some additional features. But they offer a free version of the tool so you can get familiar with the tool.
Krita is a free drawing app for pc. I use it to clean-up and prepare the watercolors scans I make and sell as clipart in the SelectedCraftsStore. Krita can naturally also be used to make digital drawings. Krita is completely free to download and it offers the most common functionality you want from a drawing app.
For Mac users, I have heard that Procreate is equivalent to Krita.
Convertkit is the tool I use to send out my newsletters. It is great, intuitive and easy to get started with. I strongly recommend Convertkit to anyone who runs a creative business. I currently use a paid version of Convertkit, but they have recently launched a free version. So there are no reasons not to start using it straight away! A newsletter is such an essential resource for any business owner.
E-rank is a tool I use to keep track of my Etsy listings. E-rank is primarily a tool that helps with your SEO, but it offers a wide range of functionality. For instance, they have a spell-checker that makes sure you don’t have any misspelled words or tags in your Etsy listings. They also give actionable suggestions on how to improve your listings and store. It comes as free and a paid version, but I am completely happy with the Free version for now.
Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling and publishing tool. It comes with a free trial period and I would strongly recommend any creative business owner to use it. It lets you plan, public, share and repurpose your pins and content very easily. I drive most of my traffic from Pinterest to my blog and store, since most of the traffic comes from Pinterest Tailwind is absolutely essential to me. Tailwind also has an Instagram publisher that I have started to check out. If you are serious about driving your own traffic, Tailwind is what you need. So make sure to test it out.
Buffer is a Facebook post scheduler and publisher. Buffer also has really smart features for replying to comments. When I first started my Facebook page, I used Facebook’s own tool for pages… I hated it! It was slow, difficult to use and sometimes the posts I had carefully crafted weren’t even saved properly. It was horrible. That’s why I decided to start using Buffer and it works like a charm!
I still use the free version which lets you plan for 10 posts in advance. It is just enough at this time on my online business journey since I am still growing my business. Some day I will definitely start paying for the premium service.
Art printables on Etsy course -EvaKnows
This course was a lifesaver when I started my business. This is a step-by-step course on how to start an art printable Etsy shop from scratch. I can really recommend it to any creative who is thinking of starting to use Etsy. I still follow the youtube channel of Eva knows like its a bible. She has so much useful information for new online business owners.
So make sure to check out the full course here! Or check out her free mini-courses to see what she offers.
Traffic Avalanche – CreateandGo
This is a very in-depth course about Pinterest. You will learn the mechanics behind the Pinterest algorithms and SEO. More importantly, you will learn how to set up a Pinterest strategy. This is the perfect course when you have already set up your blog or business and are getting serious about driving traffic. Check it out here.
This blog, SelectedCrafts, is a WordPress blog. I knew from the start that I wanted to be self-hosted. In other words, I will pay to own my blog and domain name. Being self-hosted also means that I will be able to monetize the blog one day. I love WordPress, it is easy to use and to manage and there are a lot of help and tutorials out there. I also went the line and purchased a custom WP theme. That way I will always have the support and can focus my time in writing content instead of managing the blog.
Grammarly is a free spell-checking plugin for the Chrome browser. I use it daily and particularly for writing blog posts. Sadly it doesn’t find every error I make, but it definitely makes my writing better.
Bokio is the tool I use to do my bookkeeping, an essential resource for my business. It is sadly only designed only for Swedish bookkeeping and tax laws. But I still wanted to put the information here, if there are any other Swedish entrepreneurs or creatives out there. I have also heard that my friends from the US and UK use a tool called Quickbooks.
I could not run my online business without Google. I use my Google Drive to collect and structure everything in my business from ideas to tax-statements.
I use almost all Google features from time to time but here are some of my favorites:
Google Transcribe. I sometimes use the transcribe feature on my smartphone when writing blog posts. It saves me tons of time and I really recommend it.
Google One is a service I have decided to pay for, to get access to extra storage space. The great thing is that my family can also use that space until I fill it out with business-related files.
Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool for analyzing your traffic and SEO. It has a lot of different functions for trend analyzing, predicting and forecasting. I am just starting out and I am still learning but I am already convinced Google Analytics will grow to be an essential part of my business.
What resources do you use in your online business? Are you thinking about starting an online business of your own? Or do you have any great resources to share with me? Let me know in the comments down below!
If you found this interesting you can find my other business-related posts here.
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