Blogging Resources For Entrepreneurs And Creators

From my desk to yours, with love 💙

Free feminine styled stock photos

You know you need better photos to make your website look dreamy

And pretty. And legit. And far from boring.

How do you do that? Well, you can download a FREE stock photo bundle with a selection of photos from my stock photo collections.

Free Canva templates for bloggers and creators

Want to create a course workbook? Or course slides? Or pins graphics? What about Instagram posts and stories? For free?

Yes, that’s right. For free, on the house. Go get your templates and get the work done today.

Business resources for entrepreneurs

All the tools and software to help you grow your creative business 💙

Psst! This page contains affiliate links, which means that I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. By doing so, you’re helping me pay my biz bills (and to drink coffee; lots of coffee, & to keep buying design books and art supplies, which I love). Learn more in my Affiliate Disclosure.

Before I tell you what business tools and software I use to run my biz, I want to have a coffee chat with you. Ready, girl? Good. Let’s talk then. ☕ ☕ 

When I was deciding how to run my business and what I had to do to start, there was this time when I thought that I absolutely needed certain tools.

Kind of like:

“Use these tools or die!” said in a knightly voice. ⚔️

But when I made my numbers, the amount that I had to pay to just start my business was overwhelming, mostly because I was bootstrapping it with my part time job salary. (For the record, I work for myself nowadays.)

So in the end, I decided to use a combination of free tools, one-time fee tools, and monthly paid tools.But how did you decide that, Giselle?” you say, with your cup of coffee in your hand. ☕ 

It’s so good that you asked! I was about to tell you that.

These are the questions that I ask myself before deciding what blogging tools & software to use:

  • What problem does it solve in my business?
  • Does it help me save time and concentrate on other tasks?
  • If I use this tool/ software, do I need another one to complement it? Or does it run alone?
  • Is there a similar tool I should consider as well? If the answer is yes, I ask the same questions for that tool as well.
  • Is it worth the price? Tricky question, and each one of us will have a different answer for that, based on what we’re looking for.

And most of all, remember this:

You’re the boss in your own business. You decide how you’re going to run it.

So here’s my list of software, tools, and business resources to help you run your business.

(Psst! Don’t have time to read this now? You can pin it for later. If you also want to share this page, I’ll deeply appreciate it.)

Website Domains

Namecheap

Namecheap is a domain name registrar that offers affordable domains, SSL certificates, and shared, VPS, dedicated, and managed website hosting for WordPress.

Namecheap also offers business emails connected to your website domain. If you already have a domain name, you can transfer it.

This is what I use to manage my domain name.

Domain.com

Domain.com is a domain name registrar where you can get a domain name for your website, choosing from 300 available extensions (so instead of “.com” or “.co”, you could select “.blog”, “.store”, “.me”, “.net”, to name a few), and SSL certificates.

Domain.com also offers website hosting services for WordPress. You can choose plans for 12, 24, and 36 months. All the plans include pre-installed themes and plugins, unlimited storage, scalable bandwidth, and a customized control panel. 

You can also get a custom business email from Gmail Workspace, to match your domain name.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Purchase a WordPress hosting plan with my affiliate link and get a bonus

If you purchase a hosting plan on SiteGround, Lyrical Host, Kinsta, Rocket.net, or Elementor Hosting with my affiliate link, I’ll give you my Canva Download Instructions Template (value $39) for free.

To claim this bonus, you’ll have to send me a screenshot of your purchase to hi@soulfulgirls.com. Once my affiliate commission is approved, I’ll give you a 100% coupon code to get this template for free.

WordPress hosting bonus. Canva download instructions template. Dreamy collection.

SiteGround

SiteGround offers managed web hosting services for WordPress websites and WooCommerce.

All the hosting plans include free SSL, free WordPress installations and migrations, free domain for the first year, unlimited subdomains, free email, free daily backup, free CDN, WordPress auto updates, enhanced security, caching, and e-commerce enabled.

If you need a step by step tutorial to help you create a hosting account on SiteGround, I have a blog post for you.

This is the hosting service that I use for my website on WordPress.

Lyrical Host

Lyrical Host is a managed hosting service designed by bloggers, for bloggers (it’s an independent hosting company).

Lyrical Host offers anything you need in your hosting plan, without upsells: SSL certificates, email addresses, automatic daily backups, automatic WordPress core updates (on WordPress plans), and one-to-one developer-grade support.

If you’re creating a website on WordPress for the first time, or if you’re still new to WordPress, Lyrical Host offers free resources, free masterclasses, video tutorials, and guides.

Also, if you book a free migration, the Lyrical Host team will move your existing website and email addresses, even if you have a website on Blogger or WordPress.com.

Use my coupon code SOULFULGIRLS10 at checkout to get 10% off on any hosting plan.

Rocket.net

Rocket.net is a managed WordPress hosting service that helps you have a fast and secure website.

If you need a step by step tutorial to help you create a hosting account on Rocket.net, I have a blog post for you.

Rocket.net hosting plans include free migrations, free SSL certificates, CDN, web application Firewall, hack and malware removal, pre-configured speed and security optimizations, automatic WP Core, theme, and plugin updates; free staging installs, file manager, 24/7 live chat and email support, optimized Google fonts, multi-user support, automatic daily backups, and on-demand backups.

Kinsta

Kinsta is a managed hosting service powered by the Google Cloud Platform, which means that your website will load faster.

All their plans include full page caching, free CDN, SSL, and Staging, Cloudflare integration to protect your website, free hack fixes, custom-designed dashboard, multi-user access, free premium migrations and 24/7 support.

I have a step by step tutorial on how to create a hosting account on Kinsta.

Website builder & themes for WordPress

Elementor Pro & Elementor Hosting

If you want to use WordPress and have a professional-looking website, a good option that you have is the Elementor Pro Plugin, which also offers website kits. You can easily design your website and blog without the headache of writing code.

Another option that you have is Elementor Hosting, which includes website building (with a license to use the Elementor Pro Plugin), hosting, free SSL certification, support, and templates.

Royal Elementor Addons

Royal Elementor Addons is a plugin that gives you a lot more options to design your website on WordPress with the Elementor Plugin.

I used this plugin mostly to automatically create the blog archive, the prior and next post section in every blog post, and to style my contact forms.

Divi

Another good option that you have for a self-hosted WordPress website is Divi, a visual website builder by Elegant Themes. It allows you to design your website without coding and see how it looks in real time.

You can easily design your website, blog, testimonials, gallery pages, and call to actions, among other things, with their website elements. They have literally tons of customization options.

Bluchic

If you want to use a theme for a self-hosted WordPress website, you can choose one from Bluchic, which offers feminine WordPress themes, landing page templates, and Instagram landing pages. 

The good thing is that they also offer bundles with graphics, templates, and lead magnets with the same style as the WordPress themes, so you could get one of the bundles and customize the whole kit to your branding and your website easily with Canva.

My affiliate bonus: If you purchase one of Bluchic’s All-in-One Bundles, I’ll give you $75 Gigi Cash (that’s a coupon for my business) to get any product from my shop. 😉

Squarespace Templates & Plugins

Station Seven

If you want to use a template for Squarespace different from the ones offered by the platform, Station Seven has beautiful and elegant Squarespace kits that you can use without needing to code. You can get an additional install and demo setup to make things easier for you.

They also offer design kits for branding, social media, mockups, and lead magnets.

Ghost Plugins

Ghost Plugins is a platform where you can find free Squarespace plugins (they have more than 500 free plugins), premium plugins, and Squarespace templates, so that you can build a beautiful website easily, without looking like a typical Squarespace website.

Email service provider

Flodesk

Girl, I’m in love. Do you know how many hours I spent googling, trying to find a solution for pretty emails without tinkering with code? Thousaaands, I tell you.

I’m a photographer. Images are my thing. So having emails with ugly text wasn’t the answer for me. But with Flodesk? I design beautiful emails in minutes, with a system that I understand and that also works.

Another thing that I love about Flodesk is that you have access to all their features for the same price (like the link in bio page), no matter how many subscribers you have. And now there’s also a Checkout plan, which helps you sell your products online.

If you sign up with my link or with my Flodesk promo code SOULFULGIRLS, you get 50% off in your monthly or yearly subscription, during your first year. That means that you will pay $19 per month instead of $38, or $29 per month if you choose the email + checkout plan (valid for the first year).

My Flodesk bonus: If you purchase a Flodesk subscription with my affiliate link or my discount code SOULFULGIRLS, I’ll give you one of my media kits and rate card templates of your choice (there are three different styles: Dreamy, Boho, and Editorial). Value: $19

To claim this bonus, you’ll have to send me a screenshot of your purchase to hi@soulfulgirls.com and tell me which media kit you want. I’ll give you a 100% coupon code to get that media kit for free.

This bonus isn’t valid for free trials.

Flodesk bonus. Canva media kit and rate card template. Get one of my media kits for free.

ConvertKit

If you want mostly text based emails, you can try ConvertKit. I tried it, but to be 100% honest with you, I wanted software that would allow me to add images easily. 

(Psst! If you have no idea how to start with ConvertKit, Elizabeth Goddard has a free mini course called “A beginners guide to ConvertKit”.) 

The good thing about ConvertKit is that they now have a free plan that allows you to create unlimited landing pages, so you can start building your email list before you launch your website, and manage up to 1000 subscribers in the free plan.

Another great thing about ConvertKit is that you can now sell your digital products directly through ConvertKit Commerce, even with the free plan. This means that by using this tool, you don’t need to pay for ecommerce software. Have in mind that this feature isn’t available everywhere yet.

The cost is a 3.5 % and $ 0.30 processing fee per transaction, and you can use it even if you’re on the free plan. That means building your email list while earning money as a blogger.

If you’re just starting, have in mind that you would still need a professional email (as in, an email like hi@yourdomain.com) and a privacy policy.

Get Response

Get Response is an email marketing platform that helps you create your email list, send and automate emails to your subscribers, and build landing pages.

It also includes a website builder and, depending on the plan that you choose, you can host webinars, offer promo codes, and send transactional emails.

If you’re building your email list from scratch, you can start with a free account, which allows you to send emails to up to 500 subscribers. If you have less than 1000 subscribers, you can start sending emails for $19 per month, or save when you purchase a 12 or 24 month subscription.

Online Shop

Payhip

Payhip is an ecommerce platform where you can create your own shop with an affiliate program, coupon codes, and upsells for free, and customize it to look similar to your website.

If you don’t have a website yet, you can purchase a domain on Namecheap, connect it with Payhip, and start selling your products and services for free today. You can also sell online courses and memberships.

This is what I use nowadays to sell my digital products. I was looking for a platform that would manage and pay EU VAT for me, and that’s how I found Payhip.

If you collect payments with Stripe and/or PayPal, you can start with the free plan, with a 5% commission for every sale that you make (plus the usual fees from Stripe or PayPal).

You can choose a free plan, or you can use my coupon code SOULFULGIRLS10 to get 10% off on all Payhip paid plans.

SendOwl

For the first two years of my business, I preferred SendOwl to sell digital products (this website was on Squarespace at that time).

If you’re wondering why, these are some of the reasons why I chose SendOwl:

  • It’s pretty easy to set up preorders to validate your products before creating them (super important!)
  • You can send the actual product on launch day for those who preordered.
  • You can offer upsells, coupon codes, drip content, and subscriptions.
  • You can have an affiliate program without paying for a third party.

If you’re just starting selling digital products, SendOwl has a Starter Plan available that’s free for the first free months.

SamCart

SamCart is an ecommerce platform that allows you to sell your digital products easily. You can sell ebooks, online courses, memberships, coaching packages, consulting, and more.

You can design your sales pages with their drag and drop builder, or customize one of their pre-designed templates. It supports multi-currency, digital wallets (like Apple Pay and Google Pay), one-click upsells, order bumps, and pay what you want. You can sell unlimited products, host your own affiliate program, and more.

Samcart supports subscriptions and pay plans, and free and paid trials. That means that if you want to offer a limited-time free trial for your membership, you can do it with Samcart.

Online course & membership platforms

Podia

If you want to build your website, sell digital downloads, memberships, coaching, webinar, workshops, and online courses, all in one place, you can use Podia.

You can also create your own community and, depending on the plan that you choose, you can set up your own affiliate program to get more sales through your affiliates.

The free plan has an 8% transaction fee, but the paid plans have 0 transaction fees (you do have the additional fees from Stripe or PayPal for processing payments in both free and paid plans).

Teachable

Another option that you have for selling digital downloads, coaching bundles, and online courses is Teachable.

They have a free plan with limited features that charges you USD 1 and 10 % fee for every transaction, plus the additional fees from Stripe or PayPal. However, if you offer free courses, they won’t charge you anything. They also offer a 14 day free trial and no credit card required.

Have in mind that unless you’re using their professional plan and have your own payment gateways set up, you won’t have access to your payments right away.

Creative Writing

Meat And Hair

Do you know who’s the creator of Meat & Hair?

Ash Ambirge. 

If I don’t have to say anything else, the sign up is right here. 🤣🤣🤣

If you don’t know who Ash is and want to learn how to write creatively, where have you been?!

Meat & Hair delivers a daily email on weekdays with examples of creative writing found all over the web and social media.

This is, for real, one email that I wait for every day (yep, it’s that good), and I receive many emails per day… 🙈🤣😱 The writing examples are gold.

Did I mention that you get this for free?

Small Investment Courses For Bloggers And Entrepreneurs

Crack the tech stack code

In this $9 training about choosing your online business tools by Elizabeth Goddard, you will learn how to decide which are the best tech tools for your business.

Remember this: There are no perfect tools, and you’re wasting time and money trying to find the “perfect” ones.

Small but mighty $9 offers

In this $9 mini training about small offers by Elizabeth Goddard, you will learn the origins of her $9 offers, the benefits of having them, what makes them great, and more.

That Black Friday feeling

In this paid training about Black Friday, you will learn how to map out your Black Friday offer, including planning your Black Friday dates, 8 types of Black Friday offers that you can create, pro tips from Lizzy to get more sales (also affiliate sales), and more… all for $9.

Credit to your business

In this paid mini course from Elizabeth Goddard, you will learn how to create your own currency for your online business… for only $9.

This is the course that I’ve used to set up my own voucher for my online shop, called “Gigi Cash”, which I sell as a limited time offer to those who are on my email list only. 😎

Pinterest marketing courses & ebooks

Pinterest Primer (free course)

If you want to learn how to optimize your business account on Pinterest, how to design pins that convert, and how to schedule your pins, this is a good free Pinterest course to start.

Get paid to pin (ebook)

Want to start making money from affiliate marketing on Pinterest? I had some affiliate sales on Pinterest applying the strategies explained in this ebook.

Pin it better: a blogger’s guide to Pinterest

In this course about Pinterest marketing, by Margaret Bourne, you will learn:

  • Pinning strategies that help you build your presence on Pinterest, while generating traffic to your website.
  • How to create attractive pins.
  • How to use Ideas pins to position yourself as an expert in your niche.
  • How to pin in a smart way, with pinning best practices in mind.

Project management

Notion

This is, by far, one of my favorite apps ever.

When you use it for the first time, it may seem a bit daunting. That’s because it has many functionalities and it takes some time to get used to the app, so you may need to watch a tutorial, like I did. 😅

Notion is like a mix of Asana, Trello, Air Table (I’ve tried them all; I still use Trello), and a basic website builder with a drag and drop interface.

What I like about this app is that I can create many workspaces. For example, I have: content calendar, digital product creation, yearly goals, and money mindset (which is basically a page with inspirational phrases and images).

When you discover the possibility of having templates that you can add with a simple click in any entry in your tables (and automatically duplicate your to-do list and annotations), this app becomes pure gold.

One thing that I never do on the app? I never add a due date on anything.

Why? Because if I do that, say on Trello or Notion, a unicorn flies over the moon on that day and I don’t get anything done… KIDDING.

But seriously, I have a thing with time.

I stopped wearing watches when I was 20, I think? Anyway, more than 20 years ago, that’s for sure.

So I learned that if I want to get anything done, I can write the tasks one by one, no problem with that. But I should never, ever, write a due date, because that’s when I mess up. 😅 😅 😅