So you want to start an online business, but you need the right tools for the job. You've come to the right place! Here is a list of tools I personally recommend for helping you create an online business that will help you kick that 9-5 job to the curb!
I've broken everything down into various categories. There may be multiple options for each and I give my opinion of the pros and cons of each. I will update this page every so often when I find a new tool you may like.
Just a heads up. Many of the links provided here are affiliate links. This means if you click my link and sign up for a service I get a small commission. Don't worry you won't be paying extra. You can still visit the site directly and sign up for a service if you prefer. It's just a thank you from the company for helping them find a new customer. Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. Check out one of my posts about it here.
All suggestions are listed in alphabetical order in each category. Without further ado let's begin!
Let's start with the BIG one. Email marketing is where it's at! If you're not using email marketing in your business you're losing out on a TON of revenue! With email you can build an ever growing list of leads you can promote various products and services to for years to come!
Heck, I love it so much I created a FREE 3-part mini course for you with Email Jumpstart!
You can build your email list for free, or pay for advertising to bring them in, but once on your list that lead is yours for however long they decide to stay. You don't have to constantly pay to re-engage with them. That is how multi-million dollar revenue streams are made!
You cannot just use your regular Gmail, Hotmail, or internet provider email. You must use a proper email marketing provider. The good news is you can start for free! Different providers offer different features, so let me help you choose the one that's right for you!
Aweber has been around for a LONG time and is probably the most widely used email marketing service provider around. They have an intuitive interface for creating lists and setting up automated email sequences. They've also got some great automation features.
Though I no longer use them, they are a great provider and will one of the best ways to build a list. One word of warning though, if you have the same subscriber on multiple lists they will charge you as if they were separate subscribers!
One of the best reasons to use them is their integrations. Since they have been around so long and are so widely used they have easy integrations with almost every other service you may end up using!
Benchmark is a fairly unknown email marketing provider, yet they've been around forever. They have a nice clean newly updated interface which makes them easy to navigate.
One of the best things about them is you can create a list of up to 2000 subscribers for FREE! If money is tight they are a great option for getting started. And unlike Mailchimp (who also offers a similar free account) Benchmark is affiliate marketing friendly.
ConvertKit has only been around a few years but it's gaining steam as one of the premier email marketing tools around. It's designed to be super easy to use while providing a great deal of information in a way that won't overwhelm you.
You can create lists and segment them in all sorts of ways. They even provide a simple landing page builder which can be a nice cost savings.
If you follow Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income you will know he is a huge proponent of this service.
Drip is email marketing on steroids! It allows you to manipulate your list in some pretty mind boggling ways! You can segment people based on what emails they've opened, links clicked, people who have made purchases and so much more!
This means you can speak to each specific audience directly and not have to worry about cross-talk. This makes Drip a true powerhouse in email marking. And it's not overwhelming to set all this up!
One of the best things about them is you can get started free for up to 100 subscribers. A small number, true, but it gives you a good feel for what is possible with email.
GetResponse is very similar to Aweber. It's been around forever and is one of the most popular email marketing providers. It's simple, and has fantastic integrations with tons of other services.
It is also one of the few that offers a basic landing page creator, which again can save you a bit of money. This is another great autoresponder service you should consider.
Sendlane is another fairly recent email marketing provider that is making some waves. It was built by marketers for marketers. It has some great features like easy automatons and segmentation. They are also one of the few that has a built-in landing page builder.
I've been using them for a while and I have to say I'm impressed. They've been steadily improving things and making it easier and better. The landing page builder is a real help. My one complaint is they don't offer many integrations with other services. Otherwise it's a fantastic service!
Build A Website With WordPress
So you want to build a website? Then WordPress is they key! WordPress is a platform that lets you create almost any type of website you can think of. It doesn't matter if you want to start a blog, create landing pages, or an ecommerce store, WordPress has you covered. You install themes and plugins to make it look and work the way you want. While WordPress itself is free, you will need to get a domain name and web hosting.
- Domain Name: This is what you type at the top of the browser, the URL. Something like "Google.com" or "Amazon.com". This is your websites address. It is how people find your site on the internet. Always try to get a .com domain. If not then .net and .org are ok too. Anything else doesn't sound very professional and might scare away visitors.
- Web Hosting: Web hosting is a server where your website lives. It's a dedicated computer just meant to store and serve websites to the world. All of your website files live on this server. While technically can host your website on your own computer it's not very practical. Better to leave that to the professionals.
Here are some of my recommendations.
Domain Name Registration
GoDaddy is the name your probably most familiar with in regards to registering domain names. They've been around forever and have had some quite interesting TV commercials. Regardless they are a fantastic place to get a domain name.
Namecheap is another great domain name registrar. As their name says you can get domain names cheap! They're prices are usually a tiny bit cheaper than GoDaddy. And many people like their interface better.
Bluehost is a big name in the web hosting biz. They've been around for a while and offer really great prices for starting out. In fact you can get started for as little as $3.95/month with a FREE domain name! That's dirt cheap for good hosting!
HostGator is another giant in the industry. Plans start at just $4.95/month. They are an excellent provider with good customer support. In fact they are who I used until recently.
SiteGround is a fantastic web hosting company. They are well known for incredible speed and their great customer support. Plans start at just $3.95/month and the best thing is every plan includes FREE SSL! That means your site is extra secure from the get-go and will rank higher in Google because of it. SiteGround is the host I'm currently using.