I generally like to keep things as simple as possible, but there are quite a few invaluable tools that I use in my day to day activities. In this article, I am going to quickly cover the key tools that I use to create content, sell digital products, and promote my work.
Writing is at the core of everything I do, and it is important to me that I can “just write” without having anything get in the way. I don’t want to worry about tedious formatting or complicated tools, I just want to focus on the writing.
This is why I do all of my writing (and coding) with Sublime Text. Sublime Text is primarily a code editor, but the simplistic interface makes it great for writing with Markdown. If you are unaware of what markdown is, it is basically just a style of syntax that allows text to be converted into HTML.
For example, writing a typical blog post in markdown format might look like this:
## Some Heading This is some writing, this is **bold** and this is *italic*. '''html <div> Code blocks look like this </div> ''' and links can be created [like this](https://www.google.com).
Once I’m done, I can just paste all of this into WordPress and it will handle all of the formatting automatically. Since I write so many blog posts, proofreading and editing my work would take a long time, so I solve this problem by… not doing it. Since I have been writing a lot I have become pretty decent at writing decent copy the first time, but I also use Grammarly to help pick up any typos or obvious grammatical errors that I have made. This allows me to just quickly scan my post after I paste it into WordPress and fix any of the errors.
I use a self-hosted WordPress installation as the CMS for my blog. I use a VPS (Virtual Private Server) from Linode to host the website. I get my domains and SSL certificates from Gandi, although I have started using LetsEncrypt for SSL. I also use CloudFlare to speed up the website with caching and other performance tools, and it also helps to configure the behaviour of the website as well (like redirects for SSL).
The main marketing tool I use is ConvertKit which is what allows me to email my audience, but it also provides a lot of tools to help segment email lists and create clever automations. I use Buffer to help automate social media posts, and I use Google Analytics to help provide insights about the traffic to my website and campaigns that are responsible for creating sales.
I use SendOwl to facilitate the hosting and sales of my digital products. As well as providing a range of tools to help manage the products you are selling, SendOwl integrates directly with Stripe and PayPal to make the processing of payments extremely easy.
Finally, of course, backups are extremely important! I always make sure to enable the backup options with my website hosts, and I also use Time Machine for local backups, and Arq for automated remote backups.
There are a few other tools that I use, but these are the ones that are most critical to doing what I do. If you’ve already started creating content and blogging, what tools are you using?