On this page you’ll find the products I use and recommend.
These all revolve around online business and making money. I use other products too obviously, but I won’t include them in this list.
Most of you are focused on improving yourself and making money.
These are great goals and these products will help you reach them.
Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you order after clicking on them, I receive a commission. I appreciate you supporting this website, but I would recommend all of these products even if I weren’t getting paid.
Knowledge is power.
That’s why I’m a huge fan of reading all types of books. (Self-improvement, business, How-To books)
I’ve already got a post with my favourite books. That’s why I won’t include them here.
Just check the two posts I’ll link below if you’re looking for a great book to read.
These are the best books for men (or at least the best ones I’ve read).
If you’re looking for the best copywriting books, click here.
Internet Business Tools I Use
Starting an online business doesn’t cost much.
A domain and hosting is all you need to get started with your first site.
As your business grows, you’ll want to invest in certain paid software. This allows you to optimize your workflow, save time and increase your income.
Let me be 100% clear…
You do not need more than web hosting and a domain to get started. Spending money on advanced tools as a beginner reduces your chance of success in my experience.
Just focus on getting the basics right first. When you start making money, upgrade accordingly.
The Essentials: Domain + Hosting
I don’t know whether they are the best web hosting provider, but I’ve never run into any problems with them.
Make sure you get their Baby Plan because it allows you to host multiple sites on the same hosting account. You don’t want to spend money for every new niche site you create.
NameCheap is where I buy all my domains.
They have an excellent customer support team if you ever have any issues.
Tools For Expanding Your Business
These aren’t really advanced tools. Nonetheless, I recommend you get your business working without these extra features first.
You’ll spend too much time setting everything up otherwise. For a beginner, that time is better spent creating new content.
I use Aweber to run my email campaigns.
They have an excellent platform with all the features you need.
I used MailChimp for a while, but don’t necessarily recommend it. MailChimp has the advantage of being free until you have 2000 subscribers.
This attracts many new bloggers (my past self included). Unfortunately, you don’t get access to autoresponders which I believe are a very efficient way to use email marketing.
Of course, you could upgrade and get access to all these features with MailChimp. But that would defeat the purpose of going with a free provider in the first place.
They are so much better than Genesis and you get the added benefit of having a more unique site.
The plugins that come with Thrive are worth the price of the package alone. As your business grows, you’ll start using landing pages, split-testing headlines and growing your email list.
Thrive Themes makes all of these far easier.
Sure, you could pay for specialized tools for each job. However, that would cost a serious amount of money (the best business tools aren’t cheap).
Keyword Research Tools
I’ve tested a couple of competing keyword research tools for this blog.
SEMRush is considerably more expensive and not a worthwhile investment for me at this time.
The monthly cost is too high compared to the potential return.
Market Samurai on the other hand, doesn’t charge a monthly fee. You pay once and get unlimited updates for as long as the product exists.
I have to admit…
Market Samurai looks a little outdated in 2016. Having said that, it’s a great keyword research tool once you get the hang of it.
I highly recommend you check it out by clicking here.
Alright, I know I’m biased in this regard.
Full disclosure: I am the owner of RoutineWriting.com.
This is my software and I couldn’t be more proud of it.
It will help you create a habit of daily writing. It’s a simple tool, but Routine Writing makes blogging a lot more fun.
You’ll create more content and therefore, make more money in the long run.
A pretty good investment if you ask me.
I use Routine Writing every day. In fact, I developed it because I wanted a plugin like this for myself.
Freelancing is probably the quickest way to make money online.
You’re still working for someone else, but at least you get to choose where and when you work.
I don’t do any freelancing right now because working on my own projects is more profitable, fun and better for my long-term development.
Having said that, I benefited a lot from my short time doing freelance copywriting. I learned how to get clients and more importantly, practiced my sales skills.
Those skills carried over to building my niche sites.
Copywriting is especially useful for guys who still see sales as evil. You’ll get over this misconception quickly when you start freelancing for small, local businesses.
Upwork is where I made my money as a freelance writer. I’ve also used them to hire a developer for my WordPress plugin.
I regularly use Fiverr to get small design jobs done. My logo set me back a total of $10 (+tip) and I’m delighted with it.
Fiverr is great for this type of design work. It’s totally worth spending $5-10 to get a nice logo or product cover.
Free Tools I Use
Google Webmaster Tools – Track your site’s search stats
Google Analytics – Track website traffic (amount of visitors)
WhatsMySerp – Track your rankings for multiple keywords and websites
SumoMe – Collect emails and analyse visitor behaviour
Yoast SEO – Gives you suggestions to improve on-page SEO and readability
Pretty Link – Mask ugly affiliate links and manage them all in one place