This resource page gives you an overview of the “tools of the trade” you might need, whether you are an artist, club owner, festival director or jazz fan with a hobby or business. I will add to it as I learn more, so I recommend bookmarking this page for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. These are the tools I am using and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please don’t spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals. In case you decide to purchase something through these links, I would like to say ‘Thank You!’
CREATING A WEBSITE OR BLOG
WordPress: The #1 Blog Publishing Platform. It’s free, easily customizable and has a vibrant community always ready to help others out.
Themeforest: The ultimate resource for premium, sharp-looking WordPress themes. Sign up to its newsletter to get updates on special deals and ‘free files of the month’.
Mojo Themes: Another great place to find premium WordPress themes, I recommend it because of its bundles. Every now and then, Mojo comes out with limited-edition bundles, special deals that gives you the chance to purchase a series of themes for a relatively cheap price.
WooThemes: An international platform that provides a wide selection of premium themes, definitely worth checking.
Bluehost: A web hosting service is like the foundation of a house. That’s why I have been using Bluehost for the Jazz Spotlight and other websites. It’s cheap, easy to use and it lets you automatically install WordPress with just 1-click.
OUTSOURCING/GETTING HELP FROM OTHERS
Freelancer.com: Hire a professional to help you with about anything you can think of.
Elance: Another international outsource marketplace that features freelancers, IT companies and web designers from all around the world.
Fiverr: Do you need something but you are on a budget? Then you might want to check out Fiverr. This platform offers more than 1.3 million services – ranging from logo design to promotional video making – starting from as little as 5$.
IMAGES & PHOTOS
iStockPhoto: Browse through a wide selection of royalty-free images that you can use on your site.
Canva: Create incredible designs for web or print with little or no design skills! You can create pretty much everything, from blog graphics and presentations, to Facebook covers, flyers and posters.
Share As Image: A great tool that turns your images or text into viral, eye-catching content that you can share in just a few seconds.
PROMOTING YOUR MUSIC
Spotify: The popular software that easily lets you bring your music to millions of users around the world and monetize whenever they listen.
Soundcloud: With its popularity on the rise, Soundcloud is probably the hottest platform for showcasing your music. Its basic version enables you to upload up to 2 hours of music completely for free!
MANAGING SOCIAL MEDIA
HootSuite: The “Swiss army knife” for social media, HootSuite lets you schedule your social networks posts, tweets and messages. If you are not using it yet, you should give HootSuite a try. You will be impressed.
LeadPages: The best tool for easily creating high-quality landing and squeeze pages (coding skills NOT required!) for both WordPress and “non-WordPress” sites.
EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS & MARKETING
AWeber: There’s plenty of services out there, but AWeber is probably the internet’s most powerful email opt-in and email marketing service. This is what I use to build the Jazz Spotlight newsletter.
MailChimp: I used MailChimp in the past, it’s a valid alternative to AWeber.
Google AdSense: Monetize your website or blog by placing relevant ads that are generated from advertisers who are using Google AdWords.
Google AdWords: If you are planning to start advertising on Google, you can select keywords and location with Google AdWords and pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
Chitika: If you are looking for an alternative to Google Adsense, you should probably check out Chitika.
CHECKING STATS & TESTING RESULTS
Google Analytics: Google’s free website tracking and analytical tool, a must-have for anyone with any type of website.
Piwik: A great website tracking and analytical tool I have recently started using. It’s free and its popularity is on the rise. Definitely worth checking.
Clicky: Similar to Google Analytics, but easier to use. It lets you view how many people are on your site and what they are doing in real time.
Crazy Egg: Have you ever wondered where users that navigate on your website click? Crazy Egg enables you to see which elements of your websites are clicked the most, helping you placing the most relevant content in the best position possible. It has a 30-day free trial, which means that you can play around with it for a WHOLE MONTH!