Ein Blick hinter die Kulissen werfen

Take a look behind the scenes at how I made this.

In 2013 I began this business with exactly one client over Skype. My, how things have changed! And grown! Here's a look at software I use (or used to use), books, and ideas I've found particularly helpful in developing this business.

Disclaimer: This page includes plain and affiliate links to various sites, which means that if you click through that link and make a purchase, you may anonymously support GermanWithNicole.com. You'll see (Affiliate link) where there is such a link. (Read the full disclaimer here.) Danke! 

Website, Email Marketing, and Private Client Site: All-In-One with Simplero

(Affiliate link)

In 2019 I was extraordinarily frustrated with my limited web design capabilities. I don't know how to code, nor did I want to learn how to code, and it was time to find a different platform. Joomla (plain link) had been my website program of choice for years, and I was very sad to leave it. If it hadn't been for Joomla, this business wouldn't be where it is today. And neither would I.

Then I discovered Simplero (Affiliate link). Calculations estimated that I would save at least 40 working hours per year by switching to Simplero, as opposed to running my own website. Simplero is an all-in-one platform for people like me who run a business with the help of a website. The all-in-one part means that all of the components are there and ready for use. It includes:

  • the website, including the blog and page builder,
  • email software so I can send the weekly E-Post and the weekly client email,
  • easy payments and subscriptions, including coupon codes,
  • as many membership sites as you'd like, I have one for all clients in classes and private lessons,
  • and a whole lot more, like excellent, personalized customer service.

I'm a HUGE fan of Simplero, especially because the crew at Simplero doesn't work fast, they work well. Simplero is a good influence on me and if you're interested in running an internet-based business, I think it would be a good influence on you, too. (There's even a free trial.)

Check out Simplero

(Affiliate link)

Fastmail - Fast, private email that’s just for you.

Several years ago I switched to Fastmail, which was ridiculously easy, and I've never looked back. At Fastmail you are the customer, not the product, and Fastmail doesn't use your data to make (even more) money.

This is KEY for protecting your data and for protecting your future. This another way I protect my business and my clients' information.

Get 10% off your first year here. 

(Affiliate link)

Learn How to Create and Continue a Podcast

"Starting a podcast is soo easy" said no one ever. Most podcasts don't even make it past the 7th episode. Because it's hard. As of this writing, I've just published episode #104.

I took the Podcasting Workshop, which used to be run by Akimbo (I was in POD8), and is now run independently by the Head Coach of that workshop, Steve Heatherington. Steve is also really good at providing podcast creators with reflection exercises which help you shape your podcast as you continue to create it over time.

It's also *really* helpful to have contacts who are learning to podcast. As we said in my workshop:

"Show up and make it matter. Any pace will do."

Check out the podcast workshop. (Unpaid referral link)

Recording and Editing Products and Software

For recording audios, podcast episodes, and such, I use a variety of software, depending on what I need:


https://www.audacityteam.org/ (plain link) free and open source sound recording and editing

iZotope RX

https://www.izotope.com/en/products/rx.html (plain link) - I still use version 8, it's now up to version 11 as I write this. iZotope RX 8 plays better with my microphone (see below), thus I use RX 8 to record single tracks, de-click and normalize them, and then I put things into Audacity as needed.

Microphones & Headsets:

I use a variety of microphones and headsets, mainly so I can continue to move throughout a class. Here are the three I use, with a description of why I use each one. You can find newer models of these at the companies' and their distributors' websites.

Shure MV7

Hands-down one of the smartest purchases I've ever made. 

Logitech H800

This headset might be ancient, but I was able to replace the disintegrating foam ear pads for $10 and I'm so glad to have it as an option! While the sound quality of the Shure MV7 is higher, the boom on this headset gets the microphone really close to my mouth. When we work on pronunciation, I use this headset.

Sennheiser Presence

This over-one-ear model works very well in classes with a USB dongle, plus it's noise cancelling, so any noises around me stay out of the classroom. It also has a bluetooth connection, which I use on my phone for phone calls when I want to move, and regular earbuds would be constricting.

Project Management Software

(Affiliate link)

After several years of working with a competitor, I switched to ClickUp in 2020 for project management and it works much better for me. I use ClickUp for:

  • reminding myself of recurring weekly tasks,
  • collecting ideas in one document (oh, so many ideas!), and
  • logging quarterly and yearly tasks like tax payments and filing the annual report.

ClickUp has a steep learning curve, however if your ultimate goal is to keep things simple, you can still do that with ClickUp. There are free and paid plans available.

Check out ClickUp

(Affiliate link)

FocusMate - Virtual co-working for getting anything done

It's May 2024 and I've just subscribed to FocusMate Plus, as in the first 24 hours I had used up my 3 complimentary sessions and I practically threw my credit card at the website to sign me up. For the first time in over a decade, I no longer work alone.

  1. You book a specific time and are paired with someone to work virtually, silently, with someone who could be anywhere in the world.
  2. At the beginning of the session (25, 50, or 75 minutes) you tell your co-worker what you are working on. You both go on mute and work.
  3. At the end of the session, you tell each other how it went.

It's simple, which makes it powerful, and people at FocusMate are there to get things done.

If you click through this referral link, you'll get a free month of FocusMate Plus, and if/when you subscribe, I'll receive a free month, too.

Check out FocusMate

(Paid referral link/Affiliate link)

Simple and Inexpensive Bookkeeping

After a long search I discovered that Moneyspire (Affiliate link), which was created for personal finances, has a pro version with invoicing. I left that big, expensive, clunky, pain-in-the-keester program that sucks up all your data (I also avoided all of the cloud-based programs) and bought Moneyspire.

I used to use it for my personal finances, and now I use the pro version for my business. It's easy to learn, quick to use, and it has recurring transaction features, automatic transaction entry, copy+paste for transactions, and more. You can purchase it new every year with the new features and improvements, or you can simply use the version you buy.

 (Simply use it for your business. It's eeeeasy. Affiliate link.)

4 Highly Influential Books

N.B. All of these books are linked through to Alibris, the premiere marketplace for Books, Music and Movies sold by millions of Independent Sellers. I buy used and new books for work and for personal use at Alibris.


icon1. Start Finishing

stopped me in my tracks at the book store simply because of its color. And it has been an important catalyst for me to get some serious work done:

  • I cut business costs by over $500 in one year,
  • I efficiently moved my entire website from Joomla to Simplero,
  • I rebranded the business,
  • I stopped doing things which didn't matter very much, and
  • I continue to make the business even more efficient.

Click the image to view the book on Alibris.

(Affiliate link)

2. This grammar book

(For teachers and tutors only!!) was the first and primary resource I had when I started teaching and tutoring German. I frequently refer to it as my "German grammar bible."

Deutsche Grammatik: ein Handbuch für den Ausländerunterrichticon (Affiliate link)

I must repeat, this is NOT a book for German learners, it is a resource for teachers and tutors only.

3. Women Don't Ask


iconThis book helped me understand how deeply I'd been conditioned against asking for what I want and need, and that despite having studied feminism in college.

Moreover, it helped me understand why men (and also women) sometimes have really negative reactions when I negotiate.

It's crucial that women negotiate more, and this is an excellent place to start.

Click the image to view the book on Alibris.

(Affiliate link)



4. Ask For It

icon"Women Don't Ask" (above) is the history and the theory, and Ask For It guides you through the practice of learning how to ask for what you really want.

You might find this book (or "Women Don't Ask," for that matter) with a variety of different covers,icon but don't let that stop you. Negotiation makes a huge difference in a woman's life, from the price of rent to salary, and from small tasks to large projects.

You can negotiate time, energy, and/or money, and it's best if you negotiate all three.

Click the image to view the book on Alibris.

(Affiliate link)

That's a look into how I made this business, however it wouldn't exist without my outstanding and dedicated clients and YOU, reader!

Beste Grüße
Frau Warner