My Tool Box
I am asked quite often about the tools that I use to write (both my blog and my books). I wanted to share some of them with you if you are looking to get started building your own platform, writing a blog, writing a book, and so forth.
Be informed that these are affiliate links. Should you decide to purchase one of these valuable resources, I will make a small portion of the sale, just as someone else did when they let me know about these tools. I do not recommend anything that I do not personally use.
Getting Started: Michael Hyatt’s Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World was invaluable as a starting point. Hyatt, the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, set out to launch his own platform and conveniently took notes of his journey. The result is Platform, which provides great motivation and direction, practical direction for getting started, and an invaluable resource that I consult again and again.
Getting Organized: I’m a self-confessed starter who has a hard time seeing a project from beginning to end. Completing my first book was a huge accomplishment for me. My partner who kept remembering what might have otherwise slipped my mind was Evernote, a free app that syncs across my computer, phone, and Kindle. A random thought during an inopportune time to stop for long was captured by Evernote. It’s like an external hard drive for the brain. However, I had deleted the app three different times because I really didn’t know how to use it. Brett Kelly’s Evernote Essentials helped me make the most of this powerful tool.
Getting Hosted: I cut my teeth as a blogger on Blogger.com and eventually moved over to WordPress.com. Everything I read said that self-hosted WordPress.org was the way to go, but I’ll admit that I was scared to make the move. I have no coding skills, but I was quickly frustrated by the lack of options on WordPress.com, so I decided to make the move. Michael Hyatt recommends Bluehost, so I gave them a try. I bought a three-year hosting package that saved me a lot of money over that span and also solidified my commitment to blog long-term. Oh, and WordPress.org has been MUCH easier to navigate than I expected!
Getting the Word Out: One of the most valuable products that anyone producing any kind of online creative work is an email autoresponder. I am able to send out updates and product information quickly to those who have already engaged in my message at some level. Whether someone has signed up online, at a book signing, or at a speaking event, I am able to stay in touch and deliver values storying content to those who have already shown an interest. I use AWeber for my autoresponder emails. I love the choices of templates and color schemes and the ability to integrate into my WordPress sites.
Writing Books: I have written my last two books using Scrivener. I am still just touching the surface of what this powerful writing took can do, but I love the organizational tools within the program. Well worth the investment of less than $50.