With so many software tools available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right ones for your business. But selecting the right tools can make all the difference in your success.
I’ve spent years experimenting with various online business platforms to find the ones that can truly elevate your side hustle. These are the essential tools that I currently use and highly recommend.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: PLEASE READ BEFORE PROCEEDING
I’m a proud affiliate for some of these products and services, meaning if you click a link to make a purchase, I can earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
These recommendations are based on my own research with these companies and their products, and if I recommend them it’s because they are genuinely helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I may receive.
Please don’t spend any money on these products unless you believe they will help you achieve your goals.
Before I jump straight into the software list I want you to know change can be difficult. If you are using something that you already like and it is working then stay with it.
If you’re starting out, to avoid headaches while still allowing for growth these are my recommendations.
Domain and Hosting
A domain is a website address that is used to identify a specific website on the internet. It is the address that people type into their web browser to access your site. For example, “google.com” is the domain name for the Google website.
Hosting is a service that allows a website to be accessible on the internet. When you create a website, you need to have a place to store all of the files and content that make up your site. This is where hosting comes in. A hosting provider will store your website files on a server, and make it possible for people to access your site by typing in your domain name.
So, to have a website, you need both a domain and hosting. The domain is the address that people use to access your site, and the hosting is the service that stores your website files and makes them accessible to visitors.
Click here for recommended Domain and Hosting service.
Website and Page Builders
I use WordPress and a few different themes. I recommend you start off with a free theme from Kadence.
A WordPress theme is a collection of templates and stylesheets that determine the appearance and layout of a WordPress website. WordPress is a content management system that is used to create and manage websites. It is open-source software that is free to use, and it is one of the most popular platforms for creating websites.
Themes control the look and feel of a WordPress site, and they can be customized to suit the needs of the site owner. There are thousands of free and premium themes available for WordPress, and users can choose the one that best fits their needs. Themes can be changed at any time, and they can be customized with colors, fonts, and other design elements to create a unique look for a website.
Using a WordPress theme is a simple and effective way to create a professional-looking website without having to know how to code. You can use a theme to quickly set up a website and then customize it to your liking.
Click here for recommended WordPress theme.
The themes I use are minimalistic to stay on brand and also to allow me to get most from my Ad Network ad placements.
Sales and Opt-in Pages
For creating high-converting sales pages and opt-in forms, I rely on two powerful tools – Clickfunnels and Sendfox.
Clickfunnels is a platform that allows me to easily create and design professional-looking sales pages and opt-in forms. It offers a wide range of templates and design elements that can be customized to fit my brand and message. With Clickfunnels, I can create pages that are optimized for conversions and help me increase my sales and email list.
Once I have my visitors on my opt-in pages, I use Sendfox to automate and manage my email marketing efforts. Sendfox is an email autoresponder provider that allows me to create automated email sequences, segment my email list, and integrate with other email marketing tools.
Together, Clickfunnels and Sendfox are a powerful combination that help me to grow my email list and increase my sales
(If you want to learn more about Clickfunnels, I suggest you try out their funnel challenge to have an idea of what you’re getting into.)
Click here for recommended Sales Pages builder
Click here for recommended Email Autoresponder
Design and Content Creation
When it comes to designing content, Canva is my go-to software. I have the paid version and it’s worth every penny. Canva makes designing simple and efficient. I also use templates from Creative Market that I tailor to match my branding.
For videos and live streaming, I use a combination of OBS on my Mac Mini and vMix on my PC laptop. I find OBS to be great for recording and live streaming on my Mac Mini, and I like that vMix is portable and can also be used for screen recording. Once I finish recording, I export the files to my Google Drive and begin my video editing process by importing them onto my MacBook Pro or Mac Mini.
For video editing, I’ve found that Screenflow (MacOS) works well for me. It’s simple to use and gets the job done. If you’re using a PC, Camtasia is a great option for screen recording and Filmora for video editing.
It’s worth noting that I’ve also used Adobe Creative Cloud and Affinity Designer but found that Canva works best for my needs. If you’re comfortable with Photoshop, Illustrator, or similar software, then there’s no need to change.
In addition to the tools I’ve mentioned for creating content, there are a few other miscellaneous tools that are important to my business and could be helpful for others looking to start a blog or online business.
First, I use Sendfox by App Sumo for my email marketing. It’s a cost-effective alternative to other email providers I’ve used in the past like Aweber and Active Campaign. Sendfox has all the features I need at a fraction of the cost.
Next, I use Zoom for my monthly video calls with my audience. While this is optional, I find it to be a valuable tool for connecting with my audience.
For payment processing, I use Stripe. It’s easy to set up and integrate with Clickfunnels and my Shopify store.
Finally, for cloud storage, I pay for Google Drive and use it daily, but for specific documents that I want multiple people to have access to, I use Dropbox.
These tools have been instrumental in building and growing my blog. If you’re looking to start a blog or online business, these tools are more than enough to help you get started.
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