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All the Best Resources You Need as a Solo Entrepreneur

When you’re a one-person business building an empire, every little bit of help matters. Here is a list of all my favorite business resources for solo and small operations, broken down by category and with a short description of what it can do for you. 

Posts may contain affiliate links to products or services I personally use and believe are valuable for people reading my site. These links help provide revenue to run my site at no extra cost to you. You can learn more by reading my disclaimer.

Business Resources - Table of Contents


Paid Course resources

Create and Go 

A screenshot of the Create and Go course bundle

Alex and Lauren over at Create and Go have developed a stable of really phenomenal blogging related courses. As of June 2022, they’re offering four courses: Launch Your Blog Business ($297), Six-Figure Course Creator ($297), SEO Blueprint for Bloggers ($197) and Pinterest Traffic Avalanche ($197). What I love about these courses is that not only are they thorough AF, but they offer them individually, which is brilliant when you’re just starting out and money may be tight.

But if you can afford to grab them all at once, you can get all four for $797 in their Pro Blogger Bundle — that’s a discount of nearly $200, which is like getting a course for free. They also offer payments in installments if that works better for you.


Free Course resources

HubSpot SEO Certification Course 

If you’re looking for a crash course on SEO basics, the free course from HubSpot is brilliant. You’ll learn the fundamentals of website optimization, keyword research, link building, image optimization and more. This was one of the very first courses I took as I started getting my website up and I’m so glad I started implementing these SEO strategies from day one.
If you’re thinking about worrying about search engine optimization later, when your site has been up for a while, don’t — you’ll literally have to go through each and every page you’ve built, rewriting everything, adding resizing images and adding alt text to them, finessing your metadata, etc. And the more pages you have, the more this can add up. Take this free course now and set yourself up to thrive.


Google Workspace

I use the suite of Google programs every single day. Every day. For one thing, I subscribed to Google Workspace to have a more convenient way to access multiple inboxes for my business (along with Shift). You can port your URL-branded email addresses over to Google pretty easily, so that your email will be instead of (which doesn’t inspire trust, and can actually hurt your email marketing efforts).

I use Google Docs every day to write blog posts, create drafts of products before they go into the design stage, work on freelance assignments and organize my thoughts. I’ve been a professional writer since 2006, so I say this with extreme confidence—not only does Google Docs have everything that Microsoft Word has, it functions better. Microsoft Word gets glitchy and tends to lag when you have more than 10 pages of text, which is unforgivable. You have literally one job, Microsoft Word. I’m a Google Docs gal for life now.

Google Sheets is the alternative to Microsoft Excel, and it’s wonderful for tracking business expenses, marketing metrics, ad performance, etc., as well as organizing lists of keyword research, product data, links or email addresses of partners or vendors. Anything you want to store in a format where you can sort and filter to find what you need, Sheets is the answer.

Google Slides is great if you need to produce presentations — if you’re pitching clients for work or creating a deck to show a customer how you’ll tackle a project. It’s the PowerPoint equivalent, but 100x less annoying and glitchy. Google Forms lets you create easy surveys fast, which is great for doing market research with real people or collecting customer feedback.



A screenshot of a Gmail inbox in Shift

Shift is a program that lets you keep multiple email inboxes and quick links to other apps in one place. I have a personal email, an email I use for freelancing and three different email addresses for LRG Creative, all in Gmail. I was getting real sick of toggling between accounts, and Shift solves that problem perfectly.

The different accounts show up as thumbnails along the left rail, so you can switch between inboxes in one click. Below that, you can connect tons of other apps and services to streamline your workday — Instagram, Facebook, GChat, Canva, Zoom. They can connect to pretty much anything you work with and house everything in one central window. Lifesaver.

A Basic account for one email address is free, so try it out and see if you like it. Pricing for the Advanced membership is $99.99/year, which works out to $8.33 a month.


Creating your website

Hosting and Building resources


The learning curve on WordPress can be steep if you’ve never used it before. But there’s no other web builder that comes close to the capability WordPress has. Services like Squarespace, Weebly and Wix are really easy to use — and you sacrifice a lot of functions for the privilege. With WordPress, whatever you want to do with your site, whatever you can dream up, it’s possible. WordPress runs on plug-ins, which are like mini-apps you can add from within the WordPress dashboard to unlock new functions. I’ll talk about some of my favorites further down this list.



A banner advertising Elementor

One way to make WordPress vastly simpler to use is by installing the Elementor plug-in. It’s a drag-and-drop web building plug-in that lets you arrange your website easily, without needing to know any code at all. One of the functions I love the most is the Theme Builder, which allows you to program templates you can drop into a blank page to make them uniform across your site. For example, you could have a blog post template, a product landing page template, a header template and a footer template.

You can also build global components, which is a fancy way of saying you can build a section once—like a sidebar—and drop it into a dozen pages. Then, if you need to change something in it, you change it from the main global widget, and it updates everywhere the widget lives on your site. Imagine how much time that will save you—time you’re better off spending on actual business tasks.

The Elementor Pro Essential Plan is $49/year ($4.08/mo) and lets you build one website with more than 100 widgets, themes and global editing, and responsive editing that lets you optimize your site for people viewing on tablets and mobile devices.



An apple display screen with SiteGround Web Hosting pulled up on the screen.

I use SiteGround as a web host for my WordPress site, and I love it. It was so easy to get signed up, get set up and start building my site, and the price is definitely right. The basic StartUp plan starts at $3.99/month for your first contract, but I chose the GrowBig plan at $6.69/month for the term.

I wrote a detailed guide to setting up web hosting with SiteGround, so be sure to check that out if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed about where to begin.


Optimizing resources

Keywords Everywhere

This keyword research tool is a handy little add-on for Chrome or Firefox that lets you analyze keywords on competitive pages, see what related keywords people are searching for, track a keyword’s trend over time and more. It will show you which keywords are super competitive and which keywords may give you more bang for your buck. A lot of keyword-research services can be really expensive, but what I love about Keywords Everywhere is that you can buy 10,000 search credits for $10—so you can pay as you go and use it as much or as little as you need without getting roped into a monthly subscription.


Google Analytics

Google Analytics is pretty much a non-negotiable when it comes to running a website. It tracks the traffic to your site, how many unique visitors and how many separate page views you get in a specified time period, where people are coming from (how they found your site) and how long they stay, which pages on your site are performing the best and how many people come to your site and leave without taking any action (bounce rate). All of these metrics are important for a number of reasons. The more traffic your site gets, the more money you can make booking clients, selling ad space, with affiliate marketing, selling products, etc. Page views, engagement time and bounce rate are all factors that go into factoring your rankings for search engines, so optimizing your site to boost those numbers can lead to more traffic, etc.


Adobe Creative Suite

There are a ton of inexpensive services  out there to help you create assets for your business — images, flyers, ebooks, downloads, videos, etc. But in my opinion, nothing comes close to a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. I’ve been subscribed for years and routinely use Photoshop, InDesign, Acrobat and Premiere in the course of building my business.

You can choose to subscribe to one program of your choice, or get access to all their programs for $54.99/month (as an individual, different prices for businesses with multi-users). And check out this full list of programs:

  • Acrobat Pro (make, edit, sign PDFs)
  • Photoshop (edit photos, make graphics)
  • Premiere Pro (edit video)
  • Illustrator (create illustrations and vector art)
  • Adobe Express (create shareable content from templates)
  • After Effects (build motion graphics for videos)
  • InDesign (layout documents, booklets, pamphlets, ebooks, etc.)
  • Lightroom (edit, organize & share photos)
  • Audition (record, mix and restore audio)
  • Animate (design interactive vector animations)
  • Adobe XD (create UX/UI designs)
  • Dreamweaver (design websites)
  • InCopy (change copy in an InDesign doc without affecting layout)

Listen, I get it. $54.99/mo can add up, especially when you’re just building your business. But with the programs you’ll have access to, you can create graphics for your site, compress photos for site optimization, create social content with free templates, edit videos for YouTube, create custom video graphics, edit audio for a podcast or a how-to video on your site, sign contracts as PDFs, and a ton more.

If you signed up for the half a dozen separate programs you’d need to handle all that, it would cost a LOT more, I can promise you that.

And if you’re in a business where you’re doing creative work for clients, having all these programs at your fingertips can be a real lifesaver.



A customized ad for Canva

If all you need are simple graphics for your business, Canva is a great option that’s perfect for beginners, non-designers—anyone with straightforward design needs who wouldn’t feel confident with Adobe Creative Cloud. It lets you choose from pre-sized options to build Instagram posts and stories, Facebook group banners, Pinterest pins, business cards, postcards, t-shirts—just about anything.

There’s a free basic account that can get you started, but the pro account unlocks hundreds more options in templates, graphics, stock photos, etc., as well as the ability to pre-set your brand colors, logo and fonts, and you get 100GB to store all your designs. There’s a free 30 day trial, after which a pro account costs $119.99/year or $12.99/mo. You can invite up to 5 members, which would be perfect if you have a partner or delegate tasks to a virtual assistant.



If you have a web-based business, Pinterest is a great way to share content and find an audience. Although it’s centered around a visual medium, Pinterest is a search engine—and one that has 431 million users across all age groups, made up of 60% women and 40% men. It’s the perfect place to plug a blog, downloadable products, retail products, online services, courses, online workshops, etc., because 1) users can pin your content to come back to later and 2) Pinterest shows users more and more content like what they’ve expressed interest in. So unlike Google, where most people never look past the first page of search results, when a user searches on Pinterest, they might see hundreds of results—and keep getting served related content days later. Best yet—it’s totally free.



Tailwind is a scheduling tool that can upload pins to Pinterest on your behalf—as well as scheduling posts to your Instagram and Facebook accounts as well. Success on all three platforms is a matter of consistency and persistence, and the biggest benefit of Tailwind is that it allows you to schedule content ahead of time—you can sit down and schedule a day, a week, a month’s worth of content in one sitting and it will automatically get added to your channels every day.

A screenshot of the tailwind scheduler

Tailwind also has a wonderful catalog of communities you can join, where you can submit your pins and posts for other people to share, helping to grow your business a little bit faster. In return, you schedule content from other people that’s relevant to your audience—it’s like one big, social sharing group hug.

Tailwind has a totally free version which allows you to share 20 posts a month across one Instagram, one Facebook and one Pinterest account. But the Pro and Advanced versions are the real MVPs, allowing you to post 200 or 1000 posts a month across your channels (one each for Pro, two each for Advanced) and join multiple Tailwind communities (five for Pro, unlimited for Advanced) to grow your business. Pro is $119.88/year upfront ($9.99/mo) and Advanced is $299.88/year upfront ($24.99/mo), but for slightly more expensive monthly payments, you can pay month-to-month to fit your needs.



An image showing the Flodesk builder on a laptop screen

There are loads of email marketing tools out there to help set up your email cadences, and everyone has an opinion on what the best email marketing software is. MY opinion is that Flodesk is one of the very best, which is why I use it myself. It was founded by two women, Martha Bitar and Rebecca Shostak, and is entirely self-funded. Most startups take money from venture capitalists, which means there are outside parties who get to weigh in on the business and influence how it’s built or who it serves. But Martha and Rebecca built everything from scratch, staying involved in the day-to-day concerns, which allowed them to get really clear on what their customers needed. 
The service itself is incredibly elegant and seamless to use. They offer dozens of pre-designed templates for you to choose from to build sign-up forms and pop-ups as well as email blasts of all kinds. Everything you build is drag-and-drop, customizable and intuitive to use — you’ll never be confused about what to do next.
And they really demystify the process of creating, which is how you set up your emails to go out automatically at different triggers. For example, when a new email subscriber signs up, you can design a workflow to automatically send them a thank you email, or an email the next day helping them understand what your business offers. 
I’m sure it’s possible to create an ugly email or form through Flodesk, but I honestly think you’d have to work at it. All the options they present are gorgeous and ready to go, which means you can choose a beautiful template and spend your time doing what you do best, rather than tinkering over design details. 
Best of all, you can get 50% off a Flodesk subscription through my link, which is an enormous savings of $209 if you invest in the annual plan. Sometimes, you just have to bet on yourself and buy the very best tools you know you’re going to need for your business to succeed. Flodesk is one of the best email marketing tools around, and you deserve the best. 


Legal Templates From A Self Guru

When you own a business, you need to ensure you’re legally protected, and even having a simple website can put you at risk. I wrote at length about the three pages all websites need to have, which will get you up to speed on why you absolutely need disclaimer, privacy policy and terms + conditions pages. 

Grabbing free templates off the internet isn’t enough. For one thing, you don’t actually know if they’re legit or not. For two, you don’t actually know if they fit your specific needs or not. But buying templates from a lawyer can give you peace of mind that 1) you have the product you need and 2) the person who created them has legitimate legal credentials. 

I personally bought mine from Amira Irfan over at A Self Guru. Amira is a business lawyer and fellow entrepreneur, and she has legal templates for just about everything you could possibly need. Some of the ones you might need could be: 

She has so many more than this, too. If you’re looking for an affordable way to legally protect your business, A Self Guru is a one-stop shop for basically anything you’ll want to have. 


Business Formation Help From Nolo 

Nolo is a legal services company that’s been in business since 1971. They’re now one of the top legal websites on the internet, covering everything from how to form an LLC to how to get a divorce. 

Hopefully, you’re just in the market for help forming an LLC or partnership. (Although if you’re in need of a divorce, well, suit up!)

They offer a TON of articles for free, covering topics around business requirements and breaking them down state my state, so definitely check out their site for more than just products you can use to help set up your business. 

They also provide a nationwide directory of lawyers, in case you find yourself in hot water or you want to speak to a real person about any business concerns you may have. 

A white woman sitting outside, smiling at the camera.

Hi, I'm Lana.

I’ve spent 16 years in advertising, and now I’m using that knowledge to help creatives grow their own small businesses. Will that include you this year? 

Protect your business with legal templates

These are the legal templates I use and trust from A Self Guru. Read more about why you need them and why I chose them.


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