My Favourite Digital Tools
I’m a full time, freelance ‘digital strategist.’ That means I’ve got my feet in lots of camps: web design, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, online branding … and just about anything else my clients throw at me.
A girl’s only as good as her tool box. So here’s the resources I return to again and again to succeed in this digital world.
Everything below is vetted and highly recommended, whether you’re hoping to start your own freelance practice, you’re a small business owner looking to take charge of your digital presence, or you’d just like to blog for fun. Whatever floats your boat!
And please note that like elsewhere on this site, some of these links are affiliate links. That means, if you click on the link AND make a purchase after doing so, I get a small cut. No extra charge to you – and I’m sure you’ll love these resources as much as I do.
If you want to build a website or blog, WordPress is usually your best option. And if you use WordPress, you should use a versatile, easy-to-use and dynamic theme. Thankfully, Elegant Themes has 87 themes, including two (Divi and Extra) that make customization really simple. Plus their support is great. I built my first-ever client website using Elegant Themes, and I’ve never looked back.
If you want to be able to use a custom WordPress theme like Elegant Themes, and if you want to have full control over your website, then you want to use an independent host for your website. This is where all the files that build your site are ‘hosted,’ or located, and it’s important that you have a good one.
I’ve recently made the switch to Green Geeks, a relatively young host that so far has been reliable, offers great support, and beats the price of many competitors. And they’re call ‘Green’ Geeks because they’re, well, green: they use wind power credits to replace 3 times the amount of energy your website will use. Pretty cool!
Canva (for free custom graphics)
Canva, Canva, Canva. What is not to love about Canva? Canva is a web-based tool that lets you easily create beautiful, custom graphics and documents. Like, I’m talking ‘looks-like-you-made-it-in-Photoshop’ beautiful. I use the free version to make custom graphics for social media, mailouts, even in web design. It’s really helped me step up my digital freelance game, and my clients always love the result. So easy to use – if you haven’t checked it out yourself yet, do!
Unsplash (for free images)
Another great, completely free resource. Sourcing free-to-use images can be a real pain. And so wanting gorgeous photos on your website often leads to a life of crime – stealing images you have no business actually using. Sure, maybe you won’t get caught, but that’s a bad habit that leads to some serious bad karma. That’s where Unsplash comes in – with high resolution, free photos you can use in whichever capacity you want. Their collection of free photos is growing nicely. Every now and then it’s hard to find what I need, but usually (and especially if you’re creative), there are lots of gorgeous options.
Yoast SEO (for free SEO support)
If you’re building a website, then you’ve probably headed down the SEO Rabbit Hole (that’s ‘search engine optimization, or how to improve your Google search rankings, for the uninitiated). SEO is really important, but it can get confusing.
You can spend a lot of time researching seo and a lot of time fretting. Or you can go the simple route – install Yoast SEO, a WordPress plugin. Easy to install and setup, there are multiple options – I install the free version on just about every site I build (including this one!).
Yoga with Adriene (for free yoga!)
OK, OK, so Yoga with Adriene isn’t technically a digital resource. But a great thing about working for yourself, from home? You can bust out some yoga moves whenever you need a pick-me-up. What Adriene likes to call ‘this little diddy‘ is less than 10 minutes and it’s a great boost for when you’ve been staring at the screen too long!