One of the biggest advantages of working online are the resources at your disposal, from market research tools to domain registrars. One of the biggest disadvantages of working online are all the resources at your disposal because there are simply so many of them and only ever 24 hours in any one day. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve invested into learning tools or buying products only to find they were less than sufficient for myself or my business.
For this reason, I’ve created this list of resources which only contain tools I use and continue to use to grow my income online. This includes setting up a website, market research tools, entrepreneurial books and more. I’ll continue to add to the list as I pick up better tools but you can get access to my own toolbox by looking below.
Disclaimer: So you know, some of the tools listed are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase them. I strongly encourage you to research whether these tools are right for you by visiting first, then making a decision as to whether it could help you, second. Just because I love these companies and tools for the freedom they’ve afforded my business, doesn’t mean it’s a one-size fits all approach.
Also, if you have any questions about how I use the tools listed below, don’t hesitate to contact me directly to ask about them : )
- WordPress – Free blogging platform I’ve used for every site I own. Easy to use with huge support across the blogging community.
- GoDaddy – Really cheap domains, pure and simple.
- Bluehost – A reliable service I’ve used for the last three years without fault. 24/7 chat support and extended phone support as well as great cPanel features to manage email, domains, email spam and more. Bluehost also makes it easy for you to install a WordPress blog with a few short clicks using Fantastico!
- THESIS Theme – Powerful framework for setting up a site which is simple to use, make broad changes to and that comes Search Engine Optimized right out of the box….or shopping cart…you get the point. ps. This is also the framework JoshRoa.com was built on.
- Aweber – Email Marketing company I use to manage my own, as well as my client, sites. Simple to use create and customise auto-responder & broadcast messages which you can send to your list.
Finding a Product to Sell
- Amazon Associates – Amazon’s affiliate program whereby you get a (debatably small) percentage of every sale. Still, very easy to set up.
- Clickbank – Marketplace for products, most of which are digital i.e. online training, software, ebooks, etc..
- Commission Junction – Similar to Clickbank but also deals with a greater volume of physical products like appliances and online services i.e. hosting, domain registration, etc..
- Google Adsense – Google’s advertising partners program. Adsense allows you to display ads on your site and get roughly 60% of the revenue generated. Refer to the Adsense 100k Blueprint ebook in the books section below for more information.
- Google Adwords – Adwords program lets anyone run an ad campaign advertising their business on both Google search results pages and Google content network sites. Refer to The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords ebook in the books section below.
Payment Gateway & Shopping Carts
- E-Junkie – I’ve promoted a number of products using E-Junkie and can definitely attest to the simplicity of it all. I’ve yet to sell a product through it as I’ve exclusively stuck to Clickbank but things could change…
- Paypal.com – A must have if you’re wanting to take and make online payments. With a little programming, you can set it up as the gateway for you site though some situations may require that you set up a 3rd party shopping cart like E-Junkie or Foxy Cart.
- Painless Prospects – Snazzy little tool for quickly getting 100’s of pre-qualified leads for the purpose of direct mail. This is a great web app for pulling the company names, addresses and phone numbers from Google with about 3 clicks.
- Replace Myself – Website that provided training on managing a virtual assistant, building systems and growing your online business. Learn more about ReplaceMyself.com and it’s owner by listening to the exclusive John Jonas interview.
- Elance – Great place for finding virtual assistants, developers and designers.
- vWorker – Previously ‘Rent A Coder’, vWorker is the same as Elance, whereby you can post a project and have people bid for it.
- Fiverr – Cool site where people post services they are prepared to offer for $5 or less. Great for video production, distribution, social bookmarking, etc..
- Mechanical Turk – Amazon is behind this particular site and it’s similar to Fiverr in that it offers very cheap services. One thing you should be mindful of is that for tasks like article writing and other advanced tasks, the quality may not be the best. However, for tasks like dictation and kinetic word videos, this place is perfect.
Screen Capture Software
- Jing – Free app created by Techsmith, the guys behind Camtasia. This allows you to record your voice and screen and is the perfect companion to any feedback you send clients or virtual assistants. After you’ve created the video, you can either email it in SWF format or share it via your screencast account. From that point on, you can share the url with whoever you want. Two things to be mindful of when using Jing. The first is that you have a 5 min limit (which stops me from running my mouth) and that you can’t upload them to Youtube unless you convert the SWF file to a Youtube-friendly format. Great for recording Microsoft Powerpoint presentations if you don’t have Camtasia Recorder too!
- Camtasia – Powerful screen/webcam capture software which I use for all my presentations and pitches. Has the ability to import audio and layer multiple files on top of one another. This is ideal for those who want background music as they speak. Bit pricey though so if you can get away with it, stick with Jing.
- Teamviewer – This is incredible when you are speaking with clients or are away from your main computer. I rely on this program nearly every day when I’m away from my desk and need to check whether an automated task (like article submission) or when I have to get a document sent through. It is a free remoting app that lets you log onto your computer from another one and perform tasks as you would if you were normally there. I’ve found it perfect for logging on from my Android phone. Be mindful that there are two options when installing so if your running a blog, select personal, otherwise there is a business option too.
Internet Marketing – Keyword Research
- Google Keyword Tool – This tool makes it easier for you to search for the local and global traffic of a particular keyword. You are also able to search for the term in a Broad, Phrase or Exact sense.
- Market Samurai Free – Great Internet Marketing tool that makes it really easy to search and filter for suitable keywords to target or optimise your site with. It also provides a way of tracking website ranking, looking for suitable products to promote and content publishing. This is one of my most frequently used tools that makes up a large part of my internet marketing arsenal! Download a FREE copy so you can see exactly how easy it really is.
Internet Marketing – Link Building
- Dragon Naturally Speaking – I’ve included this in link building because it is a great tool for quickly dictating what you want written down. Some people find it faster to type words when writing articles but I find it more expedient to simply talk into the microphone. This approach comes in really handy when you sign up for a premium service like BuildMyRank and need to quickly create a lot of content and given it takes me 6-8 minutes to dictate 100o words, I’m grateful for it. Again, not the cheapest program out there and you do have to train the program to understand your speech but the time you save in the long run is priceless.
- Text Broker – I’ve used Text Broker for writing articles, press releases, blog posts and lists. They are great and very affordable but the key is to know exactly what you want (to the smallest detail) and stating it implicitly when you create a new task. Text Broker has been great for me because it means I can get a 500-word article for roughly $6, which I can then spin into several different variations with The Best Spinner.
- The Best Spinner – After using tools like Magic Article Writer and Article Marketing Robot, I finally chose a program that makes spinning an article very, very quick and effective. A plus is that there is a shared synonym database amongst all the users which ensures that you get more specific synonyms when editing the spin syntax of an article. Obviously, you’re able to nest it as well but the truth is, this is the best spinner for my specific back-linking needs.
- BuildMyRank – We all know about private networks being a great way of getting high quality back-links to our websites and BuildMyRank appears to be no exception. The catch is, however, that you are posting 100% unique and original content NOT spun content. You also have a really simple way of seeing where your posts are distributed and what the Page Rank of those sites are. The best part about BuildMyRank is that there is a barrier to entry (creating original content) which limits the number of people that use the service (my take) and most importantly, gets me the results I need for my sites.
- Article Demon – Article Demon has proved invaluable in making it easier for me to distribute articles via the internet. Combined with social bookmarking, this makes up the meat & potatoes of most of my link-building campaigns nowadays. One suggestion I would make is to ensure you’ve properly planned which emails are to be used for the accounts and how you plan to organise them across your many accounts, email addresses, pen names, etc. Though there is a fair amount of set-up (as with any of these tools), there is a huge relief in knowing that it is another cog positioned in the machine that is my link building system.
Analytics & Tracking
- Google Analytics – Track how many visitors your site receives each month and create goals to monitor how well your site is converting, whether it be for email subscribers, ad clicks, product sales or enquiries.
- Kissmetrics – Another awesome tool for getting analytical data about your site. It also has a unique heat pattern feature which allows you to see where on your web page, users are looking at the most. Really ingenious design.
Social Media Tools
- Social Traffic Lab – I met Simon & Kevin at Joel Patterson’s Webinar Summit and these guys are smart. Kevin created a number of tools to help grow your business on Facebook specifically, some of which I continue to use to this day. I highly recommend these guys as I can see the value in a lot of what they do to increase like’s, engagement and sales on Facebook.
- Tweetadder – My #1 tool for managing multiple twitter accounts at once. Integrated with Facebook, this is a strong tool for generating more followers, fans and a larger email list.
- Hootsuite – I’ve used this tool to auto-reply to messages for my twitter accounts as well as queue facebook posts and given that it’s free, you can afford to accustom yourself to it at your own pace. Check it out and see if it’s the right fit for you.
- Jim Rohn – One-Of-A-Kind Self Development and Business Philosopher. Jim Rohn was also the mentor of Tony Robbins so if you listen to anyone, listen to Jim (after your parents of course).
- Affiliate Marketing For Beginners – This program, by my good friend Corbett Barr, is a great foundation course in understanding the basics of affiliate marketing. To learn more about how Corbett came to create the course, check out the exclusive Corbett Barr Interview I had with him.
- Micro-Continuity – Excellent training course on building membership sites. If you have a service to offer people, spread over time, you need to learn about this course and find out how to build a membership website that will provide recurring income on a monthly basis.
- Google Sniper – One of the first training courses I picked up when I started online. This is truly timeless too as the fundamentals still hold true today. There have been changes to how Google treats a lot of the backlinking tactics presented in this course but I still highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about niche marketing.
- Think & Grow Rich – One of the first Self-Development publications ever written. One of the best books I’ve ever owned too.
- The Richest Man in Babylon – This book is different from most in that it marries sound principles for becoming self-sufficient with well-written parables. It’s also special to me because Jim Rohn referred to it as the book that changed his life. I’d second that statement and challenge anyone to read it without feeling the same.
- The Alchemist – Written by Paulo Coelho, this is an incredible tale of one boy in the pursuit of his treasure as he journey’s to become an Alchemist. Highly recommended as a book to read or even listen to (who doesn’t love listening to Jeremy Irons…) as the underlying message should be every entrepreneur’s mantra.
- The Art of the Start – Incredible book on learning how to start a business and craft an irresistible pitch for investors.
- E-Myth Revisited – This book helped me to better grasp how and why a system-run business should be created, as opposed to a me-run business. It’s a great base for anyone who considers becoming an owner of their own business.
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Another great book that my dad wanted me to read when I was 18. Only problem was I was 18 and girls and clubs were higher than financial freedom on the priority list back then. Things have changed and I consider this another highly recommended book for anyone wanting to learn more.
- The Small Business Marketing Bible – Written by my good friend, David Frey, this is a great foundation for any small business owners struggling to show their significant others that they can really succeed at business. Worked for me.
- Adsense 100K Blueprint – The most comprehensive guide to building made-for-adsense websites. I’ve found it really helpful in understanding the fundamentals of succeeding with adsense.
- The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords – This ebook was recommended to me by a friend and has proven invaluable to me. From learning how understand the exact type of person my ad is selling to, right through to how I should organise my ads for optimal performance, this book is a must-have. Perry is also fairly approachable – given he is considered a guru at Google AdWords.
- Joseph Archibald’s 40-Day Challenge – An ebook which gives the account of how Joseph Archibald of JosephArchibald.com, took a fairly competitive term and ranked #1 in Google within 40 days.