Part of the beauty of blogging at a site like EntreResource is that I get to test out all of the fancy new software products in the name of science and discovery!
Here are the ones I started using (or really starting to use more seriously) in 2021 that are worth checking out.
#1 Swipe bucket
Swipe Bucket was a product I found on AppSumo in July.
9 out of 10 times I buy something on Appsumo, I don't actually even remember to redeem it (don't judge me, you probably do it to!) but this one was different.
Swipe Bucket allows you to build a swipe file of things you find across the internet so you can reference them later. This can be anything, but is mostly things like...
- Ads that inspire you
- Content you want to read or share later
- Kindle highlights you've taken (syncs automatically)
It's a really well done piece of software.
Yes, you can do this with other tools like Evernote or Google Drive, but this is next level.
Also, it has a Chrome extension and mobile app so you can save anything you want at any time.
Lasso is a WordPress plugin that makes it easy to create beautiful looking product callouts
Here's an example (using Lasso as the example)...
Lasso makes it easy to create attention grabbing product call outs. This box you're looking at right now was made with it!
It's a little pricey so if you're not getting a good bit of traffic, it might be hard to justify. Definitely bookmark it to check out later (maybe with SwipeBucket!)
Ok, adding this one was a mild stretch because I first signed up for SEMRush about 5 years ago. However, I quickly transitioned to using AHREFs and KWFinder almost exclusively and SEMRush got left behind.
However, in 2021, I could no longer ignore the siren's call of the 2nd most popular SEO tool on the planet (behind AHREFs).
SEMRush has improved tremendously since I used it last. Also, it's more affordable than AHREFs. Definitely worth checking out if you're on the fence with AHREFs or just want extra fire power (like me).
#4 Text Sniper
This is one of those "how did I live without this?" types of tools.
Text Sniper is a Mac based app (sorry PC folks) that lets you take screenshots of text and copy them for pasting. This is valuable when you have things you want to copy that you wouldn't normally be able to just highlight and grab.
You can grab text from images, PDFs, parts of web pages, anything really.
If that doesn't make sense, here's a GIF showing it in action.
See how it takes a little screenshot of the picture and then pulls the text out so you can paste it? Once you have it installed, you'll think of hundreds of possible, awesome ways to use it if you pay attention.
Circle.so is a program that allows creators to build their own membership communities from scratch. The interface is professional and the branding is focused on your program NOT Circle. It will look like you spent $1,000s on your own custom membership area.
The learning curve is shrunk thanks to the free "Circle for Circle Creators Community" that teaches us how to use the tool effectively (while actually demoing the tool in the process!) It's very meta.
Anyone who is earning money by maintaining a community can benefit tremendously from Circle, but there are some drawbacks and alternatives to consider first (so read on...)
#6 Thrive Apprentice
I've always paid a premium for my course creation software but I felt like I had to give Thrive Apprentice a chance since it came with my membership AND a lot of my readers use the Thrive Suite so this would be super valuable to them.
Although it's a little bit clunky compared to other, more expensive products like Thinkific, Thrive Apprentice will leave you with an end result that is even more appealing than anything I've ever made with premium course creation software.
Check out some of my Thrive Apprentice based mini courses here to see what I'm talking about.
I finished my new book in 2021 and BookBolt was a tool that helped me with the finishing touches.
Although it's more useful for writers who are focused on creating a lot of low-content books, it has value for anyone who wants to publish with Amazon KDP.
Notion is Evernote's more attractive and articulate older brother. I don't know why it doesn't get more attention but it's absolutely amazing if you're willing to really put in the work to using it consistently.
Here's what my Notion looks like currently.
I use it to...
- Store ideas
- Keep a database of contacts for link-building
- Store my Mandarin Chinese lessons
- Compose blog drafts
- Store commonly used brand assets
- And more...
You get what you put into Notion. I highly recommend it if you aren't keeping notes and projects organized with something you really enjoy using.
Sources and Links
- Swipe Bucket
- KW Finder
- Text Sniper
- (AHREFs Keyword Research Tactics) https://entreresource.com/ahrefs-keyword-research/
- (Complete Lasso Review) https://entreresource.com/lasso-affiliate-marketing-plugin-review/
(How to Use a Swipe File) https://entreresource.com/how-to-improve-your-copywriting-with-a-swipe-file/