The Business of Blogging

I get a lot of questions about the tools I use for This Custom Life, so I’d like to share them with you here.

Disclosure: Some of the links here are affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. This Custom Life is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to All opinions expressed here are my own. I will never recommend something I don’t believe in!



This blog is using the Avada theme. I had a great web designer who set this all up and made it easy for me to post and update. If you’re looking to set up a website, I highly recommend her! Click here to check out her site.


Siteground – Siteground has been a great partner in making sure my site is running smoothly and securely.

Leadpages – I’ve used Leadpages to create most of my sales pages and it’s both powerful and easy.


ConvertKit – I was super scared to start a newsletter and waited until I had been blogging for about six months. I wish I had started earlier! ConvertKit made it easy to set up my email list so I can stay in touch with my readers.

Grammarly – This spelling and grammar checker won’t catch 100% of your mistakes, but it will catch most of them. It’s a fantastic tool for editing.


I try to use a lot of my own photos, especially when I travel. I love photography and have a fairly decent eye for a good shot. But when I can’t get that perfect photo myself, I use stock images from Depositphotos.

Shutterstock is another great option for stock photos. I haven’t used it, but I know plenty of online businesses that have.

Social Media

Let’s be honest, social media takes a ton of time. And I have several full-time jobs already! So I schedule a large majority of my posts ahead of time. Tailwind has been hands down the most valuable tool I’ve used. It’s helped me get more views and followers on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.


I have used my iPhone X for many of the blog photos – it’s amazing the quality you can get from an iPhone!

I do have a digital SLR: the Canon EOS 60D. A more current version is the Canon 80D – it is a lot of camera, but if it’s anything like the previous version that I won, it will do all you need and much, much more. If you’re looking to start with a high quality, but not all-the-way professional SLR, ‘starter’ SLR was the Canon Rebel. I used that camera for some phenomenal photographs for several years before upgrading.


QuickBooks Online – The best tool for small business accounting, you can sign up here.

Canva – This is what I use to create the products and designs I use throughout my business. It is an amazing tool and makes graphic design simple and intuitive.


Running an online business is not easy. There is a lot involved and it’s way more than just writing blog posts that you hope people will be interested in reading. Trying to get your information and resources out to readers is very involved – and not necessarily intuitive.

That being said, it’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. I have had a number of really great instructors along the way (and I continue to learn every single day!).

If you’re thinking of starting a business, please check back here – I’ll update this list with the courses and instructors that have really helped me.