Here you will find the resources that I recommend for various things online. Everything from hosting, autoresponders, WordPress templates and more that I recommend will be on this page. Keep an eye on this spot because I will be updating it often as I find more awesome resources or better ways of doing things. Make sure you bookmark this page because I will update it with new cool things frequently that will make your life easier.
Just as a disclaimer… Some of these products and services are free and some are paid. In most cases, if it’s a paid product, I’m probably using my affiliate link and will get a little cut of the sale if you purchase. However, this does not effect the cost of the product to you and, in some situations, will actually be at a lower cost to you because I’ve negotiated special discount links. These are honestly products and services that I use myself and are not here for the sole purpose of generating income for me.
Getting Your Site Online
WordPress – This is the platform that every single one of my websites is published with. I obviously recommend WordPress and have an extensive training course on the subject.
HostGator – This was the hosting company that I began with. I absolutely love them. They have the best customer support, they have CPanel (making WordPress easy to install), they allow unlimited domains to be hosted on them, and they are pretty cheap as well. Most of my sites are still hosted with them and I couldn’t recommend them enough. (Coupon code LearnToBlog gets you 25% off)
NameCheap – Every single domain name that I own (pushing 100 domains now), I’ve registered through NameCheap. They are cheap, you can usually find coupon codes for even bigger discounts, they don’t try to upsell you 700 times (take note GoDaddy), and they’ve got really good customer support. I’ve never had an issue with them.
BigFoot WordPress Theme- This is the theme that you see currently here on Business and Blogs. I get asked constantly what theme I’m using… Now you know.
Building A Mailing List
Aweber – You need a place to store all the email addresses as you collect them. Aweber is where the email addresses go when some opts-in on your page. Once you’ve got them, you can build out automated email followup sequences or email the entire list at once. I’ve used Aweber since day one and I’ve always loved them. They deliverability is great and their site is very user friendly. It’s pretty much the standard in the industry these days.
Optin Skin – This is a cool WordPress plugin that adds a beautiful little opt-in box to the bottom of your blog posts. Not only does this make your opt-in box look amazingly professional but it captures people that read entire blog posts and, in most cases, enjoyed what you were teaching and want more.
Popup Domination- I recently removed this off my blog but it works extremely well for building a mailing list fast. Basically, it adds a really professional looking opt-in overlay on your website when someone first visits. So they will hit your site, and a couple seconds later, a box pops up offering them a free gift to opt-in to your list. I simply stopped using it because I didn’t want to interrupt the reader’s experience. For most types of sites, this method works extremely well and I still use it on many other sites of mine.
YouTube – Tried and true… YouTube is how you quickly get a video online for free. YouTube is also the second largest search engine in the world. So you can create videos for YouTube and they will get indexed and searched. Most accounts, however, limit you to about 10-15 minutes of video. You also have to deal with a YouTube branded video player for your videos. I still put many of my videos on YouTube today though when I want them to get found and indexed quickly.
Easy Video Player - With Easy Video Player, you don’t have any limitations to how long a video can be. You add it in to your EVP account, EVP gives you a code and you’re ready to put it on your site. It’s much more professional because there’s no branding on the player and you get some really cool features like the ability to add opt-in boxes and buy buttons right in to the video as well as split test videos, add social sharing buttons, and a ton more cool little tricks. Most of my videos go online using Easy Video Player.
Amazon S3- You don’t want to use your own hosting account like HostGator to host your videos when using something like Easy Video Player. You want to store them somewhere that can handle large amounts of volume and large file sizes. This is where Amazon S3 comes in. It literally costs pennies per month and you can have all your videos being hosted on the same servers that Amazon hosts their content on. Pretty reliable, I’d think…
Clickbank – I pretty much run every product that I create through Clickbank now. It’s simple to setup, they pay affiliates for you, they handle refunds for you, the take care of sales tax for you, it’s pretty much an all-in-one solution for payments. Their per-transaction fees may be slightly higher than other processors out there but it’s worth it for all the other stuff they take off your plate.
Paypal - You practically can’t do anything online without a Paypal account. With a simple Paypal payment button, you can start charging people for things on your site almost immediately. It’s real simple, it does the trick, and it’s what I used for the first 3-4 months that I had The WordPress Classroom online.
The Publishing Business
Kindle Direct Publishing – This is where I recommend starting with publishing. It’s really quick and simple to get your first book online in Kindle format. There’s no upfront costs and the site is actually pretty intuitive and self explanatory once you get inside.
CreateSpace – Once your ready to take your book from Kindle version (or even your PDF ebook) and make it in to a physical book, head over to CreateSpace. They are owned by Amazon and, at no extra cost to you, will create a physical version of the book. They handle all the printing and fulfillment. So there’s no stocking inventory, no processing payments, and no paying the printer out of your pocket. When someone orders your print book, CreateSpace prints, ships it, takes a cut of the sale, and sends you the rest. Simple as that.