While building my online business, I’ve used a ton of different tools and resources along the way. Of the ones I’ve found most helpful, I’ve listed them here on this page to serve as a resource to you. Some of these resources cost money, while others are free.

Some of these links below are affiliate links, meaning I’ll earn a commission if you end up purchasing when you click through the links. If you do use one of my affiliate links, thank you! I really appreciate your support. 

Bluehost | Web Hosting (Affiliate Link)

The most important part of creating an online presence is having your own website. It is your “home base”, the place where your audience will be discovering all the great content you’ll be creating. In order to have a website, you’ll need to buy hosting. Hosting services actually store your website on their services and serve it up to everyone who types in your web address. Over the past ten years I’ve used a few different hosting providers, and I really like Bluehost. They are very reliable, easy to work with, and I really like their friendly interface. Bluehost makes it really easy to build and maintain your website. (If you purchase hosting through my affiliate link, I’ll earn a small commission from the referral at no extra cost to you.)

Mailchimp | Email Marketing

As you start to build an online business, you’ll want to stay in touch with your followers by asking for their email address and sending them updates. This is going to become your most valuable asset in your online business. This is your most direct link to your potential customers.

You might think you can get away with just saving their email addresses in your address book and just sending out a bulk email. An email management service, like Mailchimp, offers a ton of valuable features, including segmentation, subscribe/unsubscribe management, automated email management, and more. The best part is, Mailchimp is free for your first 2,000 subscribers.

Olark | Live Chat (Affliate Link)

What if someone is on your sales page and they have a question about your product? How great would it be to be able to chat with them, in real time, to help convince them why they should buy your product? I use Olark on my sales page, and it’s super easy to implement, looks great, and even lets people leave a message for you when you’re not logged in.

Productivity tools

Trello is an awesome "project/task management" service that helps you organize your life. There are so many uses for Trello, I use it daily. They have an app too for your tablet or phone, so you can keep everything sync'ed across all devices. It is a great collaboration tool too!
LastPassLogo-150x150I use LastPass to create and organize all my passwords. It will generate highly secure passwords anytime I need to create a new account, and it will autofill whenever I arrive at a website. They have an app as well, that lets you fill in passwords on your phone. You'll save time, and your passwords will be more secure.
bufferI use this app to help me maintain a social media presence, and to tackle social media posting in bulk, saving me time. When you have something you want to share, you add it to your Buffer queue, and it will send it out to your Twitter, Facebook, and Google + at a preset scheduled interval.

Camtasia | ScreenCasting

Camtasia – TechSmith

Whenever I capture my screen for a video tutorial, I use Camtasia. I’ve found their tools to be so intuitive, fun, and fast, that I’ve completely given up on using advanced video software such as Adobe Premiere. I’ve found that I can get through producing a video tutorial almost twice as fast in Camtasia, than when I try to do it in Premiere. Camtasia was built specifically for screen casting, and they’ve done a fabulous job at it.

GetDPD | Digital Product Delivery (Affiliate Link)

When I created my online training packages for my 3D modeling site, I needed a way to enable customers to buy my products and download them. At first I used E-Junkie, but there were so many things I can’t stand about E-Junkie. Thankfully, I found I Love DPD! It’s the best digital file delivery system out there, and their customer support is amazing. I’ve asked for new features, and within a week they were implemented. I also love how you can create “bundles” from your products. No per transaction fee. Affiliate program management included. Works with PayPal, Stripe, and more.

LibSyn | Podcast Delivery

If you’re planning on launching a podcast, you’ll need a place to host your audio files and deliver them to your subscribers. Libsyn is the service I use to host my podcast.

WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins are like apps on your smartphone. They can add functionality to WordPress to help you save time, and automate certain tasks. But just like your phone, the more plugins you install, the slower your website will be. These are plugins that install on most of my websites.

AkismetThis will probably install by default. This is really helpful in combating spam comments on Wordpress.
Pretty linkThis is a great way to create short URLs that forward to other links. It provides a click counter so you can see how many people have clicked the link. I just use the free version.
TablePressIf you'd like to insert tables into an article (much like this one), TablePress makes it very easy.
Mailchimp FormsMakes it easy to insert signup forms for your Mailchimp mailing list.
Under ConstructionWhen you're first starting to build your website, it's a good idea to make it only visible to you, until you're ready to launch.
Yoast SEO pluginThis provides insight into how optimized your articles are for SEO. It also makes Google Analytics integration much easier.

Favorite Websites

There are some really great resources out there on internet marketing. These are the people who have really helped me grow my business, and I know you’ll find them to be very helpful.

Smart Passive IncomePat Flynn, from SPI is the guy who inspired me to start the website that eventually replaced my full time income. He's a straight forward, kind, down to earth, REAL person who is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable about online marketing and building a brand. His Podcast is fantastic.
EmpireFlippersJustin and Joe from Empire Flippers are experts at creating systems and automation to create websites that earn money. While their approach has shifted more towards brokering websites other people have built, there podcast has some of the best, most actionable advice I've heard.
Jon LoomerJon is the FaceBook marketing expert. He goes into many advanced techniques in Facebook paid marketing.
Social TriggersDerek Halpern loves to dig into the psychology of marketing as it pertains to online business. He frequently invites professors and scientists on his podcast to talk about case studies and how they can be applied to your business.
Niche PursuitsSpencer Haws is the creator of LongTail Pro, and he documents his journey through various website projects. He shares many tactics and strategies on how to get your website to rank in search engines.
Internet Business MasteryJeremy and Jason have a great resource for online entrepreneurs, and are actually the guys who got Pat Flynn started on his path to success. I recommend adding their podcast to your playlist.
Amy PorterfieldAmy is a social media expert, specializing in Facebook marketing.
David Siteman GartlandDavid Siteman Gartland is the creator of the Rise to the Top. His energetic, enthusiastic personality is refreshing, and the quality of his advice is top notch.
Ronnie BincerIf you're trying to figure out how to do Google Hangouts, Ronnie is your guy. He is on top of all the latest features of Google Hangouts, and you'll typically find him testing out new functionality on his Google Plus page.