10 of the best illustrators' tools this March

We round up the best new tools to help you get your illustration work noticed online.

Is it March already? This is the perfect time to dust off your portfolio and get your work shining for spring.

In this month's round-up, I've decided to focus on getting your work out there and sharing it. I'll start off by looking at some of the best portfolio and website builders. Then, once you have something for folks to look at, I'll go over some ideas to help get your work noticed. And no list would be complete without a couple of extras, right?

Online portfolio builders

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01. Squarespace

$12-26.00/Month

If you're looking for an online space to call your own, but you're not interested in maintaining something like a WordPress site, Squarespace is a great alternative. With its drag-and-drop capabilities, and heavy emphasis on design, it's the perfect place for an online portfolio. Thanks to what seems to be an endless supply of design templates, Squarespace gives you the ability to make your portfolio unique.

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02. Carbonmade

$6-18/Month

Another option is Carbonmade. Its interface is simple and the cost is reasonable. The only downside here is the limited number of templates. But if you're easily overwhelmed by too many options, this will be a great fit.

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03. Format

$6-44/Month

Likely one of the best options out there, Format is geared toward the creative professional. It offers a lot of templates from which to choose. You're even able to change fonts and colours. As an added bonus, you can download its free Format Galleries App, which lets you update your galleries right from your phone.

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04. Fabrik

£5.75-15/Month

Another portfolio site builder with the creative professional in mind is Fabrik. What I like about Fabrik is the simplicity of it all. When you first create your portfolio, you're given a few options based on different industries. After you make your selection, you're presented with templates to match.

Marketing tools and books

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05. HooteSuite

Free-$69.99/Month

Nowadays, if you're not on social media, you're missing out on a lot of ways to market yourself. But with all the various options like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, how can you possibly keep up? Well, with HootSuite, things just got a little easier. Not only can you schedule updates and track metrics, but you can also manage all your accounts from one dashboard. Sweet!

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06. MailChimp

Free-$199/Month

Experts say the mailing list is the most valuable tool for any business. I agree. MailChimp is an email marketing service with 15 million customers. When you have a list, you'll be able to keep your subscribers up-to-date on the latest happenings with your art. Going to a conference? Cool. Let 'em know! You might be surprised at how many folks just need that monthly reminder.

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07. How to sell your art online

$14.99

Look: It's no secret that selling products online can earn you some serious cash. But with so much competition out there, how do you get your art noticed? In How to Sell your Art Online: Live a Successful Creative Life on Your Own Terms, Cory Huff, founder of TheAbundantArtist.com, will show you just that.

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08. Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market 2017

$34.99

I'm sure I don't need to tell you about this one, but I felt like I'd be doing you a disservice if I left it off the list. The Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market 2017 book is what some might consider the be-all-and-end-all of reference books for illustrators. That having been said, the team do offer a lot of free resources on their site Artist's Market, so you may want to skip the book if you're on a budget.

Other tools

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09. Google Drive

Free-$99.99/Month

As a Dropbox user from the way back, I recently switched to Google Drive and I love it. Not only can you store your artwork in the cloud, but you can also use its tools to collaborate with other professionals.

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10. Slack

Free-$12.50/Month

While it's not exactly an artist's tool, I do find Slack to be invaluable – especially as a professional that rarely leaves the house. Using Slack, you're able to connect with others in your field. Not only is this a great way to make new friends, it's handy for forging professional connections. There are a lot of great public Slack Channels. One of the best ones around is #Launch.

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