Resources for writing, life and entrepreneurship

 Updating regularly, check often…

lick on an image, enter your best email for immediate access to my best time-proven secrets, processes and scripts for getting your story written and published, marketing, social media and making bank – while creating a MASSIVE IMPACT!

DISCOVER HOW to Soar with YOUR STORY... to making an IMPACT (and money).

 The following are resources and tools that have been carefully curated based on my own use and research. Some of the resources below are free and will be noted as such.

(Those marked with an asterisk * are affiliate links, which means that your choice to buy the service or product will result in a commission for the Writer Insider  – at no extra cost to you. You can review our policies here.)

RECOMMENDATIONS

Knowing where to start is the toughest part, and looking at a page filled with options can sometimes make the process of building your author, speaker or business platform seem even more daunting.

There are hundreds of options available, however those on this page are hand-picked and used by me! I recommend these products or services as you start or continue on your entrepreneurial path.

My Go To PEEPS, PLACES and PRODUCTS…

These are my go to people, places and all things writing, business and life. Just to be clear, if you click on an image, you may go to a site where I am an affiliate. That means I will get a small lil bit of commission if you choose to purchase a product or service using my link. 

 The resources…

WEBSITE HOSTING / DESIGN / NAMES: 

* BLUEHOST –  One of the 20 largest web hosting companies, Bluehost is a reliable choice and makes getting set up with WordPress super easy. Customer support is excellent, and you can be up and running in minutes! For more information on self-hosting, WordPress and Bluehost, check out this post on how to Set Up Your WordPress Blog in Under 15 Minutes.

* ELEGANT THEMES: Premium looking WordPress themes without the big price tag. Stellar designs, advanced features and great support.

GODADDY – You’ll need a domain name if you don’t have one already. Search for the one you want and purchase it at the click of a button. Get affordable prices and stellar support at GODADDY. 

WORDPRESS.ORG – The #1 blog publishing platform. WordPress has the greatest variety of themes, plugins and services of any blogging platform. It’s free and easily customizable with wonderful support. This is the selfhosted version of WordPress, not the hosted wordpress.com version. You are in complete control over how you use it, and what to install. Most importantly, you’re in control of your data instead of some other bigger entity who can change the rules at any time.

SQUARESPACE – An all-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website. There is no selfhosting option; you use SquareSpace with a domain you purchase and that is it. They offer visually stunning, mobile-responsive designs that make your site look professional. Not as easy to customize or rank for SEO with your blog. 

GOOGLE ANALYTICS – Google’s free website tracking and analytical tool, gives you the tools you need to better understand your site visitors. You can then use those business insights to take action. A must have for anyone with any type of website

WEBSITE MAINTENANCE / DESIGN / SEO:

EMAIL MARKETING/ LIST BUILDING/ FUNNELS / AUTOMATION: 

* CONVERT KIT – You can never start building your email list too early. There are several good options available for on-line creatives and business owners, but the stand out email opt-in service and email marketing/broadcasting tool is Convert Kit. You can send out broadcast emails to your subscribers as well as automatic follow-up emails set at varying intervals. Send automatic blog updates, test emails before you send them, choose from loads of well designed email opt-in forms, monitor who signs up.

* LEADPAGES – Want to create landing or sales pages, but struggling with tech overwhelm? Me too – until I found this: you can have a published landing page in less than five minutes with LeadPages. They have engineered the simplest landing page builder in the industry, so you can create, edit and deploy your next high-converting page without touching a single line of code.

CLICKFUNNELS – Create high converting landing and sales pages, complete membership sites and ‘websites’ in minutes. The platform is robust. There is a bit of a learning curve, they are constantly adding How To videos making it a SNAP to get online and making money fast! 

CREATION / DESIGN / IMAGES / TEMPLATES: 

* CREATIVE MARKET – If your project calls for something a little fancier than you can create in Canva, give Creative Market a try. They have free downloads each week so you can stock up on the cheap!

UNSPLASH – A great resource for free, high resolution photos. (Developer Arthur Weill has created a simple way to search these images, here.)

CANVA – Canva makes design simple for everyone. Search for the best graphics, photos, and fonts, or upload your own, then use Canva’s drag and drop tool to create a design. Free and pro options available. If you have a team, PRO is the best solution. 

PICMONKEY – An online photo editor that allows you to add text to photos, resize, crop, frame and even create collages. If you want your images to show your creativity, your style, your spot-on brilliance, PicMonkey is a great resource.

WRITING / EDITING: 

SCRIVENER FOR MAC / PC – A word-processing program designed for writers that allows the user to keep track of notes, concepts, research and whole documents for reference. Organize chapters before downloading into a complete document. 

* GRAMMARLY – An online proofreading tool allowing you to quickly check grammar, punctuation, and style. Its powerful contextual checking provides useful suggestions and descriptions.

* PROWRITING AID – An alternative to GRAMMARLY for quick proofreading. You can add to your CHROME extension. 

ONETAB – If you have dozens of tabs open while you research a piece of writing, you can click on the OneTab icon and it will save all of your tabs into a list in a single tab. You can then export the links or restore them singly or in bulk as you need.

 

MARKET / BOOK / AUDIENCE RESEARCH: 

AUDIENCE BUILDERS

TYPEFORM – A versatile data collection tool, and makes asking questions, and getting feedback from your readers. I use for BETA reviews. 
GOOGLE FORMS – Create and analyze surveys right in your mobile or web browser—no special software required. You get instant results as they come in. And, you can summarize survey results at a glance with charts and graphs. Use for BETA reviews, launches and so much more. 

KEYWORD / COMPETITION

* KDP ROCKET – A premium keyword research tool created by Dave over at Kindlepreneur. I absolutely love Dave. He is responsive and always looking for ways to improve his program and the information he gives to others. It can find keywords that readers actually type into Amazon, discover bestselling book categories in seconds, and more.

And if you want to learn how to add more Amazon book categories to your book, check out Dave’s video here*.

AMAZON – Search by keywords to find similar books. Using this method, simply go to Amazon’s search bar for books and type in keywords related to your market or genre.

Search by Amazon’s bestseller list categories to find similar books. You can browse the bestsellers lists on Amazon for related categories of books. This will allow you to find all the top books in your genre or sub-genre after you find the best bestseller category.

SELF-PUBLISHING TOOLS: 

AMAZON KDP – You can publish and print paperbacks and eBooks on demand, subtracting your printing costs from your royalties. That means no upfront costs or carry any inventory. You can order proofs and author (wholesale) copies of your paperbacks on KDP. To distribute your paperback through bookstores, online retailers, libraries, and academic institutions, you can also enable Expanded Distribution.

AUTHOR CENTRAL – Set up your Author Page on Amazon. This provides a handy place for readers to learn about you. Helping readers get to know you is an effective way to introduce them to—or better educate them about—your books. On the Author Page, you display your essential information—including bibliographies, biographies, author photos, and even feeds to blog posts.

* BOOK DESCRIPTION GENERATOR – The Kindlepreneur team created a book description generator that anyone can use, without having to know HTML. This tool will help you to create beautiful descriptions with just a couple of clicks of a button.

BOOK PRINT / DISTRIBUTION: 

INGRAMSPARK – A print on demand tool. Best for self-publishers who require color in the interior of their book, hardcover or want to focus on external sources other than Amazon.

CALIBRE – A free tool for converting eBooks to any format from .mobi to .epub and more.

EBOOK LAUNCH – A professional eBook formatting service for self published authors and small publishing companies.

AMAZON ASSOCIATES AFFILIATE PROGRAM – By registering, you can add a special link to all your book promotion links and posts. The big bonus with Amazon affiliate links is that you can earn a commission on other items that people buy on the Amazon site. For a 24 hour period after clicking on your link, you can earn a commission on any other product they buy on Amazon! I add to all my blog posts and emails. 

BOOKBUB – A coveted promotion site for little investment if your book is selected.Read through their guidelines to maximize your chances of landing a spot.

PODCAST / VISUALS: 

AUDIOBOOK CREATION EXCHANGE (ACX) – For producing and distributing audiobooks, hiring narrators, and more

SOCIAL MEDIA: 

HOOTSUITE –  In addition to offering scheduling, social listening, and analytics, this tool also makes it easy to coordinate your social media, manage contests and curate content.

* TAILWIND – Your brand and author solution for winning on Pinterest and Instagram. Discover content, schedule posts, monitor conversations, amplify reach, and analyze results – all with one tool.

GOOGLE ALERTS: Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries. You can monitor a developing story, keep current on industry news, and more.

BUZZSUMO – One of the best tools I’ve found for discovering new, fresh, or popular content on the web. Plug in a topic or a selection of keywords and find a breakdown of some of the most popular posts in those categories, as well as a list of influencers who are sharing that content. An excellent way to learn new ideas for your content marketing and social media campaigns, as well as to identify influencers in your industry who can help you grow your following, visibility, and reputation.

BUSINESS / PRODUCTIVITY / TASK MANAGEMENT: 

LASTPASS –  Keeps all your passwords in one place, safe and secure, and helps you create super-secure passwords with the click of a button. Can reduce your risk of being hacked dramatically. If you lose your secure login…good luck getting it back (only downfall). 

GOOGLE DRIVE – Creating a Google account not only gives you access to Drive, but Gmail, Google Play, Google Docs, and a range of third-party applications. FAVORITE!!! 

EVERNOTE – Evernote is an app that makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using it across all your platforms: phone, laptop, desktop. 

* TRELLO – a task-management app that uses boards, lists and cards. A very nice solution if you like a more visual approach.

ASANA – Make every project a success. Map out each step and organize all the details of your work in one place using this business management app.

BIT.LY –  A free tracking link service. It’s great if you want to find out what links readers are clicking in your books, what links are leading to traffic to your website(s) or Amazon book pages, and more.

PRETTY LINKS – A plugin for WordPress that will enable you to shrink, cloak, track, organize, share and test all of your links on your own domain and server.

MEMBERSHIP / COURSE CREATION: 

* PODIA – Quick and easy online course creation. Seamless. My preferred platform. 

* CLICKFUNNEL – All-in-one membership, funnel, affiliate platform. There are two main membership levels. 

* TEACHABLE – Create and sell beautiful online courses, online coaching, workshops, membership sites or even products with Teachable.

LASTPASS –  Keeps all your passwords in one place, safe and secure, and helps you create super-secure passwords with the click of a button. Can reduce your risk of being hacked dramatically. If you lose your secure login…good luck getting it back (only downfall). 

If you’re looking for more of my services or want to get in touch, please hit me up on the channels below.
EMAIL: susan@susanrkiley.com
Would you like to help promote the Writer Insider? Send me an email with “PROMOTE” and I’ll send you the deets and benefits. 

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