Two questions I get asked often – “How were you able to recover from losing a child and create something positive from a tragedy?” & “How did you build such a beautiful website?!” Truthfully – neither task was easy (and neither one is complete yet…) But I did have some help along the way, and that came in the form of finding the right resources. Here’s a list of the tools I personally use and recommend.[callout]Please Note: While many of these resources are free, some cost money. Some of the resources that cost money are affiliate products or services – meaning if you buy them, they send me a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend resources which I have had personal experience with – I hope you find them helpful![/callout]
Books and Courses:
- The Grief Recovery Handbook. The proven, time-tested method for experiencing meaningful, lasting recovery. It’s the program that helped me personally, and the methodology I teach. If you’re serious about taking the correct steps toward recovery, start by grabbing a copy of this book.
- When Children Grieve. From the same authors of the Grief Recovery Handbook – although the focus is similar in nature, this book deals more with how to help you guide children toward making healthy emotional choices. And it’s not just useful for equipping you to help kids in the process – I found it just as (if not more) useful than the Grief Recovery Handbook.
Web Hosting & Domains
- Bluehost. 100% of my websites are hosted on Bluehost. They are extremely easy to use, very user-friendly, provide top-notch customer service, and offer 1-click automatic WordPress installation (which is what this site is built on). If you’re just getting started with a blog or website, there are free services to get you going – but you should really consider purchasing your own domain name and hosting account. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ll set up your site for free (and provide step-by-step video tutorials so you can maintain your site once it’s up and running). Speaking of snagging your own domain name…
- Namecheap. I’ve purchased domain names from a few other providers – none of them were as simple and easy to use as Namecheap. Oh, and their customer service team is pretty cool too.
- Free WordPress Website Setup. Mentioned earlier, this is a service I offer for those who want to get started with blogging on a self-hosted WordPress site, but don’t know where to start. This is especially helpful for busy professionals, artists, or anyone else who wants to get a website online, but doesn’t have the time.
Blogging Tools I Use
- WordPress.org. A “big brother” to the free version (WordPress.com) but with way more customization available. You have to come with your own domain name and hosting plan, but it is super easy to use and the “industry standard” when it comes to professional websites.
- Get Noticed! WordPress Theme. This professional theme was built from the ground up by Michael Hyatt’s team and it’s what I’m currently using on my site. Love it.
- Elegant Themes. These folks offer tons of WordPress themes and extremely useful WordPress plugins that allow for true drag-and-drop functionality for setting up your website. The time you’ll save using their powerful set of tools and ePanel is well worth the initial investment.
- Genesis Framework. Similar to Elegant Themes, Genesis Framework is the WordPress framework that many professionals use. I’ve built many websites for clients on the Genesis Framework and they never disappoint.
- Compfight. 95% of the images on my site come from here – they pull in royalty-free images from Flickr, which are 100% free to use (as long as you give credit where it’s due).
On Writing & Finding Your Tribe
- Tribe Writers. This is an online course/community offered by Jeff Goins – and it’s the only one I recommend. It helped me immensely in finding my writing “voice” and connecting with others on a more intimate level. If you’re searching for your writing find your own voice and have your message reach your tribe, this is the course you should start with.
- Platform: Get Noticed In a Noisy World. A must-read book by Michael Hyatt for anyone with something important to say.
- Aweber. There are a few other services out there to send an email to a lot of people. But this one makes it simple to do the most important thing: connect with you.
- Jetpack. This is a plugin for WordPress with a ton of useful functions (including email subscription) and is free. Easy to set up too – I include it on all sites I build for my clients.