Resources

BTA CONTENT CREATORS RESOURCE PAGE

 

On these pages, we will focus on resources you can use in your content creator business and also as a business in general. We will also showcase travel resources and information from research in the Black travel industry. Please note that we either use some of these resources here at Black Travel Alliance or our Board Members use them and/or recommend them. Some of these recommendations are affiliate links, which means that our organization will receive a small commission if the items are purchased using the links.

Email Marketing

There are many offerings in this category. Sadly, most creators use price s a deciding factor initially, and then down the road, your business grows, and then you have to make a painful switch. It’s why we chose Convertkit from the get-go at Black Travel Alliance.

Convertkit

This is the software we use for our email marketing campaigns. It’s really a gold mine as it gives you all the tools to be a successful marketer for your business.

One of the main features is segmenting your audience; this helps you to send the right email to the right customer.

The amount you pay changes as your business grows and you acquire more subscribers. So you may be saying, well, how does the list pay for itself? And that’s a fair question.

You should try to send offers for your products to the members of your list. Encourage them to follow you on social which will increase your presence there and make you more attractive to a brand as this vanity metric is still an important one to some brands.

If you have advertising on your website, having your own email list can increase traffic to your posts as you can let your subscribers know when you have a new post active. Our board members, Lauren and Nadeen gave a talk about monetization here.

If you have a product/service and you should, you can promote this service in your newsletter.

You can promote affiliate products such as software, as we do on this page, plus hotels, cruises, flights, beauty products, books, etc. This will help to pay for the cost of the newsletter.

So as you see, there are many ways to monetize your email list so it pays for itself.

Head over to Convertkit now and choose the plan that suits your business.

 

ActiveCampaign

Is a great tool that allows you to build newsletters, create campaigns, and send targeted emails to your audience. With ActiveCampaign, you can quick and easily create automations, segment your subscribers, personalize emails. Then analyze the metrics to improve your content strategy.

OptinMonster

Can help you grow your email list, it’s a WordPress plugin that you use to create pop-ups/call-out boxes, enticing readers to add their email addresses. With OpitnMonster you can create visually stunning offers, by choosing from their many pre-built templates designed for maximum conversions or start from scratch. Plus, you can customize all the details you want on your call-out box with their easy to use drag-and-drop builder – no code needed.

Mailchimp

Is not as sophisticated as the other email making tools above, but it is great for beginners who want to start growing their email list and engage with their readers. Mailchimp is free up to 2000 email subscribers.

 

Web Hosting

This area has many companies providing services as well. Regardless of who you choose, ensure that the customer service is key and they are available 24 hours. Without these two factors, it won’t work at all. We will continue to add more choices as time goes on.

Siteground

 

We use SiteGround as our hosting service. They have different levels of service to match your business. We recommend starting with the mid-tier so you can add more sites as your business grows. Plus you can always upgrade when you need to. As your business grows, you may want to get off shared hosting, i.e. get a separate server just for your business. This does cost more, but your business is making more so that shouldn’t be an issue. And your customer will thank you as your website will not be slow when accessed.

One thing to note here is that after the first year, your rates will increase to the regular rates as the first year is an introductory rate. So please read the terms and conditions of the agreement before you buy. This is typically true for most hosting services.

Head over to Siteground and choose the hosting level that is right for your business.

 

BLOGGING PLATFORMS

 

WordPress.ORG

WordPress is open-source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app. 40% of the web uses WordPress, from hobby blogs to the biggest news sites online. This is the platform most bloggers and business use to run their websites.

Squarespace

Is an all-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website. This platform is excellent if you fear coding and want a simple drag and drop website. I find that Squarespace is a fan favourite for visual storytellers and content creators like photographers and YouTubers.

SITE THEMES

 

Thrive Themes

Allows you to create the WordPress site you’ve always dreamed about, select from the hundreds of pre-designed sections and templates to customize your site. Their themes have been built to be optimized for speed, are responsive, great for creating sales funnels, and adding advertising.

Divi (Elegant Themes)

Divi is more than just a WordPress theme, it’s an entirely new website building platform that replaces the standard WordPress post editor with a vastly superior visual editor. Divi gives you ably to design every aspect of your website, exactly how you’d like it.

Envato Theme Forest

Offers a library of fast, responsive themes. Their themes are easy to install, fast and customizable. You’ll also have access to regular updates of your theme once you purchase it.

Astra

If you are looking for a WordPress theme that’s fast, stylish and customizable, as well as SEO friendly and compatible with major page builders. It’s got to be Astra, it also a favourite amongst bloggers.

TOP PUGLINS

 

  • Akismet – Is a free plugin to help keep spam out of your comments.
  • Thrive Leads – is a plugin which helps you build sign-up forms and pop-ups to help you convert readers into email subscribers.
  • Thirsty Affiliates – Great, free plugin for storing all your affiliate links.
  • Wordfence – Is the top plugin for protecting your blog from an online attacks and malware through frequent security scans.
  • W3 Total Cache – A free plugin to help speed up your site via caching.
  • ShortPixel – Helps with the speed of your website by resizing your images.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS

 

Tailwind

This is a scheduling tool for Pinterest. It schedules pins to go out on Pinterest. It is also handy for finding out best times to pin, and your best boards.

Planoly

Helps you create a cohesive social media feed from your computer and phone by allowing you to plan and schedule Instagram posts.

Buffer

A simple social media tool that helps you schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

SEO

 

Keysearch

Is a go-to tool for keyword research if you are looking to rank in Google and increase organic traffic to your site.

Keywords Everywhere

Is a browser add-on for Chrome and Firefox that shows search volume and CPC. You can even see the trend chart in Google and YouTube. Its $10 for 1000,000 credits.

Ahrefs Webmaster Tools

This free tool from Ahrefs helps improve your website’s SEO performance and get more traffic from search. Once connected to your google console, you can see your backlinks, organic traffic and organic keywords your site is ranking. You can also do a site audit using the tool, which will show you any broken links, redirects, large images and more.

TOOLS FOR WRITING BLOG POSTS

 

Grammarly

A writing app to make your online writing clear and effective. The app helps you improve your grammar, word choice and sentence structure on any article. I run my blog posts through this app before I hit publish.

Hemingway Editor

Helps your writing become clear, by highlighting lengthy, complex sentence and common errors.

PHOTOGRAPHY TOOLS

 

Abode Creative Cloud

offers various tools for all of your creative needs. The ones I use most frequently are Lightroom and Photoshop. To edit all of my photos and keep them looking cohesive and professional.  There is also a free Lightroom version on mobile

Appsumo

This resource is a major one as the founder, Noah Kagan, works with software as a service (SaaS) companies that are launching their products. As a matter of fact, if you have a SaaS of your own, it’s a great place to market your service.

There are paid services as well as free tools that you can acquire once you become a member. The free tools are not crappy tools either, they are things like roadmaps on how to set up your business and fully working software as well.

Usually, software pricing starts at $49 depending on the product, but instead of paying that amount monthly, it’s usually a one-time payment sometimes for the life of the product or a year or six months. Seriously, this is a good deal and it is highly recommended that you peruse the offerings and see if you can find something for your business.

Here are some of our favorites:

By the way, when you recommend Appsumo products and someone signs up, they give you a $10 credit towards your future purchases, so it’s a win for all.

Head over to Appsumo now and check out some free and paid tools for your business.

General Tools

 

Formidable Forms

Sometimes, you need a form to be able to collect data from your customers. Then you also want to display that data to your readers. Well, Formidable Forms is currently the only forms tool out there that does both. The key here is that you can view the information that you’ve collected from the form with little or no edits. You can see the view in action here. You can also format the page in any way you desire. We use this tool on our own website.

If you’re looking for a Forms building tool, head over to FormidableForms.com.

WPForms

If you don’t want the sophisticated features that Formidable Forms has, then you can try WPForms. The only thing missing here is the ability to view the data you’ve collected. We use this tool on our own website.

Head over to WPForms when ready for a form building tool.

OptinMonster

Ever wanted a tool that you can use to better serve the information your audience needs when they visit your site? Or pop a message on a particular page or even pop a message when they are leaving your site? Well, OptinMonster is a tool to consider for all of these tasks and more. It’s the perfect tool to capture leads on your website.

Head over to Optinmonster.com to see if this tool can help you with your marketing.

Research

Here are some information on research that’s been done either by Black Travel Alliance or in partnerships:

 

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