There are some tools that are essential when working online. I am always being asked what I personally use, or what I would recommend. I decided to make a page listing some of the essential tools that I use every day – some are free and some will cost money. Depending on where you are in your business, or what you are planning to grow your online activities, you can decide what you need and when you need it.
I will give you my honest opinions about the following tools I use. I have been working online for quite a few years now, so I do believe I have learned what works and what doesn’t. I have bought products that were not what I needed, and I have spent a great deal of money learning on my own. Hopefully, I can help you to get started on the right foot, without having to spend the time or money that I did
**Disclaimer** As you all know, I make some of my income through affiliate marketing. When people purchase through my link, I get a percentage of the sale. Some of the links below will be my links – meaning that if you go ahead and purchase through my link, yes, I will get some money for it. However, I want you to know that it will not affect what I am recommending. There are other products out there which I could recommend which would make me more money – but I will only offer the ones I personally use and believe in. You are free to go directly to the site I mention and not use my link if you would rather. Some products are free and I won’t be getting anything in return for recommending them other than knowing I am helping someone else out!
So – here goes:
Namecheap: I use Namecheap to register all my domain names. I have learned along the way never to host your domains on the same site as your hosting them. So, I don’t use them to host my sites – just to register my domains. They are very easy to use and I have never, ever had a problem with any of my domains with them. Every new domain you register will normally have a coupon code that will take the cost down around the $8 mark. All I do, is type in the current month, and “namecheap coupon code” onto Google, and there will be sites that give the code for that month. When you go through the checkout, you put in the code and get your discount. And – forwarding your domain is very simple once you have done it a couple of times.
Hostgator: I have used other hosting companies over the years, and by far, hostgator is my favorite. It is the one I use now for my sites – and I have been very happy with them. I have had to contact them a couple of times about problems, (which normally end up being something I have done!), and they have been fast, courteous and very helpful in sorting things out. I highly recommend them for hosting your sites – they will be secure and you get everything you need. The plans are inexpensive and you will be very happy with them.
Aweber: Everyone always says “the money is in the list”. I am still on the fence with this one. I am sure it is if you are in a high spending niche or if you are really good at sending out a lot of emails. I admit that I am not great with it – I have a list of subscribers who I do keep in touch with – although nowhere near as much as I should! But, I do know that having a list is very important to any business. It is nice to be able to send out a quick email if you have something on sale, or if you have something coming up you want to mention. And, I have used other email systems, but Aweber is definitely one of the best. Everything is so simple to use and set up – and you don’t have to worry as much about spam complaints (which unfortunately are a part of doing business online!).
Filezlla: This one is a freebie – but at some point you are going to need to be able to transfer files onto the internet, and Filezilla has been the one I have used for a long time now. I tried other ones – even a paid one, but have always come back to this one. It works – and I am all for free as long as it works!
E-junkie: If you are selling anything online, especially digital products, don’t overanalyze how you are going to set up a shopping cart. Trust me on this one! I did that for way too long – and I ended up buying things I didn’t need to use, and really messing things up. I had heard about e-junkie, but I thought that there was just no way something so cheap could work. I was wrong. E-junkie is easy to use, they store digital products securely, they provide the download page so you don’t even have to worry about that. They send the download link immediately after payment, and you can set up how long they have to download and how many times. It is very simple and works great.
Micro-Niche Finder: OK – this isn’t something you need right away, unless you can afford it. But, if you are serious about affiliate marketing or finding keywords that you can use for your websites, this piece of software is incredible. There are higher priced softwares out there that people will be recommending to you – but this one does everything you could need, and it is much more affordable and user friendly. I have used it for a long time, and I have always been happy with it.
Earn1KADay: Yes, I know that you all know about my love for this membership site – but it is for good reason. This site is responsible for me being where I am today. The community is helpful, and the resources you get inside the membership can’t even be described. It is worth every penny I have spent for the past 3 years – and it is a site I will remain with as long as it is there. If you want to learn and stay on top of new ideas and resources, in a place where you won’t ever feel “stupid” for asking a question, then I wholeheartedly recommend this site.
(By the way, when you go through this link, you will get to try out the membership site – with full access to everything inside – for 10 days for $2.95! You can’t beat that – and I am sure that once you get in, you will want to stay!)
Other products I use, which you will likely want to take a look at include:
WordPress – I use wordpress to build all my sites. It is easy to learn, and you can do so much with it. And, with the tons of themes out there, you can do amazing things with your sites! This is the self-hosted version – which is very easy to install if you have a hosting company with cpanel (which Hostgator does!). You click a couple of links and your site is ready!
And – some great sites to get premium wordpress themes: