Here are the tools that made me successful with my online businesses. These are all highly recommended and have all been used by me at some point during my career. By signing up to one of the services/tools listed below I may receive compensation but you’ll help support me by creating more useful content.
I break down the recommended services into these categories. To jump to the section, click on one of the links.
- Web Hosting/Email Services
- Link Shorteners/Cloakers
- Mailing List/Email Marketing
- Lead Gen/Landing Page
- WordPress Plugins and Themes
- SEO Tools
- Shopping Cart/Checkout
- Social Proof
Web Hosting/Email Services
Your choice in a web hosting provider is the cornerstone of your business. It’s important to pick wisely as saving a few dollars in web hosting can be pennywise but pound foolish.
It is best to manage your affiliate links in one central location than to manually insert each affiliate link on your website. Affiliate links can change often and outdated links can cost you thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
Also using an affiliate link manager allows you to cloak links so they are cleaner plus allow for conversion tracking. It’s highly recommended you start off using one of these services today before placing any affiliate link on your website.
Mailing List/Email Marketing
Even though email isn’t as popular today as it has been previously, it is still one of the best ways to stay engaged with your audience. I recommend creating a mailing list immediately.
Lead Gen/Landing Page
With any web site, you need to build your audience of visitors to your mailing list and promotions.
You cannot improve what you do not measure. These tools help track the source of your traffic and how visitors use your website.
WordPress Plugins and Themes
Why reinvent the wheel with your WordPress based site, when you can download an existing plugin to make your website more useful. Keep in mind not all plugins are created equal. Unfortunately many free plugins are designed poorly (they are ahem free you know..).
I’m a big fan of paying for commercial WordPress plugins. While there are many great free plugins some of the best plugins available are commercial. Don’t be afraid to pay for a plugin. In most cases, the amount spent will save you time and/or generate more revenue in the long run.
- BackupBuddy – Don’t rely on your web hosting provider to make backups of your site! Make sure you are in control and have off-server backups.
- PixelYourSite Pro – While I’m more a fan of Google’s Tag Manager, PixelYourSite is an easy to use plugin for adding tracking to your site for remarketing campaigns.
- WP Mail SMTP – A MUST have plugin if you are sending out any emails for your membership site. Avoid your important emails from going into the spam folder.
- MemberMouse – A powerful membership plugin that integrates with ThriveCart.
- UTM Tracker – Of course I’m going to recommend my own plugin for tracking UTM parameters.
If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound? One of the primary ways people will find your information is via search engines like Google. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a way to research, monitor and improve the ranking of the content you create.
If you are selling services or products online you must have an online shopping cart of some sort. These shopping cart systems are flexible to handle either digital products or physical products.
Use ThriveCart or SamCart if you are selling digital products like courses, ebooks, or software. Use WooCommerce if you are selling physical products, though it can also handle digital goods.
One of the more powerful tips mentioned in the book “Influence” by Robert Cialdini is the use of social proof. Showing what others have done, shows to new visitors how valuable is your service.
I’ve always been about constant small the 1% improvements. Over time a 1% improvement every week, can yield huge gains after one year. Constantly improve your website and use some of the tools below.
- Slack – A great tool to help keep in contact with your team members.
- Microsoft Advertising – The often-overlooked alternative to Google Ads. From my experience can do just as well if not sometimes better in ROI.
- Vimeo – Much better than hosting on YouTube. Great for membership sites and with the latest features great for VSLs (Video Sales Letters). Protect your content from others stealing it using their service.