Resources for Bloggers + Freelancers

This page contains links to some of my favorite tools, apps, and services. Some of these links may be affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you make a purchase. I wouldn’t recommend a service I didn’t love and this is just another way I make money as a creative entrepreneur. You can read the full disclaimer here.

Web Hosting

I love Kinsta because they are so knowledgeable about WordPress and you know you’re in good hands. This is completely managed hosting with super fast speeds and top-notch security.
Completely managed WordPress hosting that takes care of backups, speed, and updates so you can focus on building your brand.
Affordable domain names but also amazing customer support. They also have extremely affordable hosting. I’ve used them for years and never have a problem!
My web host of choice that I use and love. Super fast speeds, free SSL, and amazing support. My site has never went down once! See all the reasons why I love SiteGround.

Domain Names

Simple and no fluff, get your domain straight from Google. Also includes custom email with G Suite.
Affordable domain names but also amazing customer support. They also have extremely affordable hosting. I’ve used them for years and never have a problem!

Email Marketing

An amazing do-it-all email marketing plugin for beautiful opt-in forms, advanced targeting, detailed stats and analytics plus it’s incredibly easy to use.
Makes creating content upgrades and a resource library so easy! Make favorite part is there is no password, they just need to put in their email.
An amazing plugin to build not only popup forms, but embedded forms and other types. You don’t need any expertise to use this plugin as it has an easy to use form builder.
My absolute favorite free email marketing platform. You get automation, landing pages, web forms, and more! See why I moved from Mailchimp to MailerLite.
The leading email marketing tool in the blogging industry. CK has more advanced features than other tools like sequences, tagging, and even link triggers.

WordPress Themes

An easy to use free and premium theme that works great with page builders, loads quickly, and is coded properly. This is becoming my theme of choice when using page builders!
Easily the most popular drag and drop builder/theme around. Although I’m not totally in love with it, I do see the benefits of using it if you’re a beginner or need to put a website together quickly.
WordPress themes that are clean, simple, and elegant. Perfect for bloggers and business owners alike!
Gorgeous feminine WordPress themes for female bloggers and entrepreneurs. Easy for non-coders to use and there’s a perfect theme for everyone, including online shops.
Custom developed plugins and themes by the amazing Ashley Evans. The Tweak Me V2 theme is one of my favorites for a highly customizable WP theme.
Designed and developed with the female entrepreneur in mind, these themes are great for growing your list, selling products, and showcasing your blog.

Page Builders

Elementor is my favorite page builder to use! The free version is jam packed with all kinds of modules, elements, and customization options to use. It will really change your website!
Hands down the best page builder for WordPress. This plugin is compatible with any themes and makes building your pages and content super easy without needing to know any coding.
Not a theme but affordable landing page templates that work with any theme. They are affordable, include popular templates, and tutorials to get started. Great alternative to LeadPages!

Social Media

Social sharing buttons that boost your traffic and make marketing your website so much better. I love that you can hide your Pinterest images!
The official scheduler of Pinterest. I use this to make pinning a breeze, drive traffic to my website, and build my Pinterest following. This has been a game-changer for my biz!
Make a library of content to be shared across social media. You have tons of options to pick from including a calendar, different networks, autocreating tags, and much more!
Connects with nearly every social media site so it’s great to use for your business. The free version is a bit limiting but allows scheduling and rescheduling your content easier.
I use this plugin to share my blog posts to my social networks without having to lift a finger. It has totally helped automate my social media!

Business Tools

20% off with code shayleesmith

Amazing CRM and business management tool that takes care of contracts, invoices, jobs, forms, workflows, and just about everything to run your biz.
Get access to business tools like Gmail, Drive, Docs, and more. It’s very affordable and is a real asset to running a business.
For time tracking I use Toggl, it’s free and really simple to use. Plus it integrates well with other tools like Asana!
I use this free tool to manage all my tasks, to-do’s, and client / business projects. It requires a bit of getting used to but a great resource.

Contracts

Tons of contract templates, privacy policies, and other legal documents for entrepreneurs and bloggers of all sorts of niches! 
I use this plugin to create contracts on my website and send them to clients to get signed. You create templates and just fill in the blanks! I love that clients can automatically pay after they sign (and it saves me an extra step).

Finances

Advanced accounting features and invoicing for freelancers and small businesses. Becoming the most recommend accounting tool for entrepreneurs. Get a free trial when you sign up via that link 
The number one free tool for accounting and income / expense tracking. It syncs up with Paypal and you can even do your invoicing with it.

Automation

If This Then That is similar to Zapier, it let’s you automate simple tasks on triggers. Really simple to get started with ready to go applets and you can do some cool things with it.
Automate your business and streamline your processes. Setup zaps that happen on different triggers so you can focus more on your biz.

Courses + Digital Products

Pinterest marketing has blown up and my friend Kimi has flourished on Pinterest with beautiful graphics and smart strategy that gets her traffic and subscribers.
A bundle of ebooks, lists, videos created by Ana of The She Approach. This bundle is perfect to learn the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and start making easy money!
A comprehensive membership website for designers and developers who want a better business. Lots of information, workshops, and tools plus support and community.

Graphic Design

A great free graphic design tool perfect for bloggers or freelancers who don’t have the skills or programs for more advanced design.

WordPress Plugins

A quick and affordable solution to your WordPress speed issues. Alexei is all things WordPress optimization and does great work!
A premium but affordable speed optimization and caching plugin for WordPress. Easy enough for non-developers to setup but powerful!
One of my go to places to find high rated premium plugins. If you can’t find a free plugin for your needs check here for something affordable.
My form plugin of choice and what I use for my contact forms. They have a great free version plus tons of add-ons if you need more functionality or integrations.