My income is generated through my creativity, my love of words and ability to share the human experience with vulnerability and brevity. I have created a world where I can share my gifts and talents by giving everything I have away, by constantly learning, growing and evolving as a human being, and sharing everything I’ve got. My love, my tears, my travels, my experiences. I place them all out into the open for you to relate to, to enjoy, to be entertained by and to learn from too.
And none of this would be possible without the magic of technology and the Internet. So with several years of online business blended with my need to be creative and simultaneously help people, I’ve learnt a thing or two about what it takes to make it all work. I lieu of my recently published eBook: The Gypset Recipe Book, I thought I’d share some of the websites that make my life and business flow and grow. As you may remember from the post 22 IPad Apps That Run My Life + Business, I do most of my work off my tablet. This is the long-awaited follow-up with the websites that I love, use and recommend.
I use Sellfy to publish and manage my ebooks like The Gypset Recipe Book and the Build Your Own Business Blog Guide. Sellfy are super-user-friendly and understand the need to make transactions easily and simply, both for me and for you. They don’t have an app readily available at this time however their online version is easy to use.
Being an international gypsetter (read: writer, life coach and creative), means that I work with clients from all over the world, and World Time Buddy helps me make sure I schedule my coaching calls and meetings at times that suit everyone involved. This website is free to use and I can check across four time zones at a time. They do have an upgraded version which costs something, however I’ve never needed to use it so far.
I am a bit of a mad-fan-girl when it come to WordPress. Mostly because when I first started this site, I had ABSOLUTELY no idea what I was doing, and I was pretty sure I was never going to figure it out. Until I met WordPress. Ok, so it wasn’t love at first sight, but it was warm gentle flame that grew and grew as we got to know each other, and now I couldn’t imagine life without.
But remember, my sweet budding writers and entrepreneurs, you want a WordPress.org site, not WordPress.com. Why, you ask sweetly? Because the .org version allows you to build it onto any domain name and hosting you wish, whereas .com restricts you and takes away your freedom to change and grow. Which I eloquently explain in the Build Your Own Business Blog guide.
If you want to observe the results your posts are having, what kind of audience you are reaching, and where in the world people are reading your site, then google analytics is the tool for you. Personally, I find it a bit boring and just check it out once a month when they send me the report, but do sometimes use it to gauge what people are searching for when they find me. I also use google Analytics for my media pack, when sponsors what to know some facts and figures, and want to find out if I’m a good match for their PR and marketing campaign.
Personally, I prefer to use Jetpack, which is a plugin that you can download onto you WordPress site, which is similar but much prettier.
Yes, sometimes you just want your friends and fans to be able to share your message with one simple click. Click to Tweet does exactly that. Write your profound statement of 140 characters or less, and then follow the instructions. Easy!
I have used Bluehost as my domain hosts for 4 years now, and can only say really positive things about them. I know there was a lot of negative reviews when they had an internal-server-melt-down issue a few months ago, which must have been very embarrassing, but I was not affected, which is lucky, and I still only have good things to say.
Their customer service is amazing; whenever I have an issue or problem, I simply email them and they get back to me within hours and sometimes even minutes. Amazing!
I’ve only ever done one survey in my business life so far, and I used SurveyMonkey to do it, because all my blogging-friends recommended them. They are simple and straightforward to implement, so I recommend them to you too.
Ah, MailChimp is another one of my digital romances. I use this program to collect and maintain my subscription lists and to send emails to my very exclusive list of subscribers, and tell them the dirty secrets of my private life. Ok, so, I am joking. But I do actually share more intimate stories and explorations in my emails from MailChimp and I absolutely love their system. It’s visually attractive, digitally intuitive and they give you compliments after each email is sent out like “Well done! You deserve a raise!” (Why thank you, I think I do too!) and “You rock!”.
PayPal USED to be amazing. And now they’ve grown so big that they’ve put systems in place that they’ve become a bit of a pain in the ass, however they are world-wide the most reputable payment system available and most people have a PayPal account which means they can pay using this system. PayPal is the most useful one around right now, but I have a feeling that there’s about to be some very, very string competition popping up soon in the cyber-sphere, which will improve online payment processes dramatically.
If you are looking for PR opportunities to get your message heard and out there, and to grow your blog and business, then Sourcebottle should be your go-to resource. They provide daily listings of magazine and other publications who are looking for articles and leaders in their respective fields whom they can feature. You have to remember that we live in a content-hungry world and all your wisdom and knowledge is valuable in the hands of the right people.
For those of you who ask, I have created every single element of my website myself, using Headway Themes, which is the skin, or the ‘look’ and layout of your visceral viendamaria.com experience. It took me a long time and lots of research to decide how to create this site, and in the end Headway Themes won out, simply because I found their building systems intuitive, without having to know much coding. Since then, I’ve learnt how to code a whole lot more, and so have increasingly more freedom in how I design my site.
As I’ve written about previously HERE, I did B-School with Marie Forleo in 2011, because I knew I wanted to have my own business, but had absolutely no idea how to get started. Not only did this course give me the tools to forge ahead, above all, it gave me the confidence and a strong community of like-minded women to do it with. Every week Marie puts out an entertaining and informative video for women entrepreneurs, that can really help in those moments of oh-what-the-fuck-am-I-doing!
The Power Path is a school of shamanism and I absolutely adore their monthly forecasts. They’re incredibly on-point, useable and insightful, without any of the en-vogue hippy-speak or irrational generalizations that some astrologist have. The site could do with some TLC but the message is well worth reading. I’ve subscribed and receive their monthly forecasts directly in my email.
Notes from the Universe are something I look forward to, every single day. Mike Dooley is the creator of this incredible idea, where he shares positive thoughts and messages, as well as positive ways to live life, through a spiritual lense, 365 days per year. With over half a million subscribers, he’s clearly doing something right! I love reading my daily message received early each morning in my inbox, which is always filled with wisdom and reassurance that I AM living my dream. I just have to open my eyes and realise it.