This resource page gives you an overview of the “tools of the trade”, resources that are going to help you build your platform, grow and audience and get results with your website.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. These are the tools I am using and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please don’t spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals. In case you decide to purchase something through these links, I would like to say ‘Thank You!’
I had heard of CoSchedule for a while, before I finally decided to give it a try. I haven’t looked back since!
CoSchedule allows you to save time in creating your editorial calendar (it takes me about 20 minutes to create two month’s worth of content), assign tasks to members of your team and schedule your social media posts right from your WordPress dashboard or CoSchedule platform. If you’re serious about your blog, CoSchedule should be a MUST.
Price: Plans start at $15/month
Thrive Leads is my go-to resource to create opt-in forms and grow my email list. Thrive Leads allows you to get a conversion boost by showing highly targeted content to visitors and lets you A/B test, so that you know which forms and content are performing the best.
Looking to an easy way to design opt-in forms, add them to your site and get analytics that will help you grow your email list further? Then Thrive Leads is for you.
Price: $67–$97 (one-time payment), depending on the license
The reason why I L-O-V-E Socialoomph so much is that it allows you to schedule your content once and create a powerful content marketing machine that runs on auto-pilot. With scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, you have to manually write a tweet and rewrite it, in case you want to repost it (and by the way, you should!).
With Socialoomph you put in the work at the beginning, writing the tweet. You create a so-called queue, a “library” that includes your scheduled tweets (you can have multiple queues) and set up how often you want Socialoomph to tap into it, pick and share a tweet. This can literally be every 5 minutes, every hour or every day, it’s up to you.
And that’s it, no more worries. You can even choose to have queues running indefinitely, which means that your content will be promoted even if you aren’t in front of your computer!
If you have content to promote, whether that’s podcasts, blog posts, videos or infographics, Socialoomph is going to help you save a bunch of hours every single week.
I always want the best for my websites, and that’s why I rely on Bluehost. It’s the same web hosting service used by many a-listers and, by signing up (for just $3.95/month), you get unlimited domain hosting – which means that you can have as many domains as you like on a single Bluehost account – and can install your WordPress site in just a couple of clicks. And if you have problems, you can rely on top-notch 24/7 support.
As a gift for signing up, Bluehost rewards new users with $200 in advertising offers, including a $50 Facebook credit and $100 worth of Google AdWords!
If you have read Invisible Selling Machine by Digital Marketer founder Ryan Deiss and Russell Brunson’s DotCom Secrets, you know how powerful automation and email marketing funnels can be.
That’s why I have recently started implementing funnels myself, with the goal of providing highly-targeted, highly-valuable content to those who subscribe to my email list. I had been managing the newsletter and its subscribers with AWeber, but I have now started using ActiveCampaign…and man, is it a AMAZING tool?!?
It allows you to automate your email marketing efforts, create funnels, and manage your customer relationships. Whether your email list has 5 or 50,000 subscribers, I really recommend you check ActiveCampaign out.
WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for building websites. It is free to use, is constantly improving and has a thriving global community.
WordPress (WordPress.org, NOT WordPress.com) is the platform I use for all of my sites. If you want to learn more about it, I recommend you check out this interview with Creative Live teacher and web design teacher and author Janine Warner.
Building a great-looking website, and not just building a site, has never been this easy! Divi Builder, brought to you by the Elegant Themes crew, lets you create incredible-looking sites using an intuitive and easy-to-use “drag & drop” tool.
If you have no knowledge of html and css but need a website, Divi Builder is for you. On the other hand, if you know your way around coding and want to use a powerful tool that will help use build websites faster, you have to give Divi Builder a try.
I have been building websites and trying different builders for years…I have finally found what I consider to be one of the very best ones!
Price: $69-89/year or a one-time payment of 249 to get access to Divi and Elegant Theme’s entire library of WordPress themes and plugins
Here’s the thing. There’s plenty of platforms out there, that you can use to get WordPress themes and plugins. What I really like about Elegant Themes is that for an affordable price, you get access to a bunch of high-quality themes, plugins, and my beloved Divi Builder (of course!). You pay once (a year or once for lifetime access) and you get immediate access to all these resources.
It’s a no-brainer!
Price: $69-89/year or one-time payment of $249 to get access to Elegant Themes entire library of WordPress themes and plugins
ThemeForest is a sort of online shopping mall for WordPress themes, graphics, audio files and pretty much every multimedia element you can think of. I recommend signing up to Themeforest (it’s free), so that you’ll get access to the monthly FREE goodies – audio files, images, banners, etc. – that are shared with its users.
Price: free to sign up
The SumoMe crew does so many great things that I don’t know where to start from! Simply put, they created SumoMe, a collection of tools that you can use to grow your website’s traffic.
Used by popular sites such as Social Media Examiner, Airbnb and the Art of Manliness, SumoMe is a toolbox that features tools for growing your email list, social media shares, and check which sections of your website users interact with the most.
The tools have both a free and premium version, which means that you can start growing your blog’s traffic regardless of the budget you have available. If you’re serious about blogging and content marketing, SumoMe is a MUST!
Price: free, $10/month, $100/month (depending on the plan you choose)
I’m a big believer in content curation (I have even created a course on the topic). If you’d like to leverage content curation, Quuu is a must. Sign up (for free), choose relevant categories and get hand curated content sent to your Buffer account – so that it will only take you a couple of clicks to share it.
Price: Free or $10/month (depending on the number of curated posts you want delivered to your Buffer)
Start A Fire is a free tool that allows you to get more traffic and brand visibility by adding a branded page to every piece of curated content you share. When you share an article, your badge will drive traffic to your own content, increase brand awareness and grow your audience.
If you’re tired of stock photos and you don’t want your website to be just like all the thousands you have seen, that use the same pictures, you’re going to LOVE Death to the Stock Photo. Sign up (for free) to get a fresh pack of images delivered to you inbox each month, all while the Death to the Stock Photo team gives back to the people who provided the pictures.
In alternative, you can go for the $15/month premium plan, which gives you access to the entire library plus a bonus monthly photo package.
Price: free or $15/month
Similarly to Death to the Stock Photo, Unsplash brings you amazing high-quality pictures submitted by people from all over the world. It doesn’t require any sign up, which means that you can download and use these images for your blog (though if you do sign up, you’ll get 10 new photos every 10 days).
DepositPhotos gives you access to millions of high-quality royalty free stock images and high-definition video. I used it a few times, for the fact that I like to use and customize vectorized images.
Price: €19-94/month (depending on the subscription plan you pick)
Canva is an incredible tool, which lets you create amazing visuals – even if you aren’t that much of a creative person. You can either upload your own images, use some of Canva’s free library or even purchase some from its premium library.
Canva is going to help you with pretty much all things visuals, whether that’s creating an image for your Twitter header or Facebook cover, crafting an artwork for your podcast, cover for your book or a business card. If you enjoy working on the go, you can even use the iPad app.
As if all this wasn’t enough, they’re about to launch a platform with enhanced functionalities: Canva for Work!
PicMonkey is a web-based visual content creation and editing tool, and an excellent alternative to Photoshop. Simply upload your photos and touch them up using the multitude of effects and visual elements provided by PicMonkey.
This tool not only is free, but also requires NO sign up process!
PicLab is a free app that lets you add typography and artwork to your images. With this powerful tool, available for both iOS and Android, you’ll be able to also apply stunning filters, photo effects, create visually-cool visual content and share it on your favorite social media platforms.
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Screenflow is not only the #1 software for screen recording (excellent for tutorials and trainings!), but it’s also a valid tool for basic video editing. It enables you to record your screen or your camera and edit everything you have recorded.
You may think it’s a bit pricey, but if your serious about using video, Screenflow is a must! If you’re on a pc, you should go for Camtasia.
Wistia is quickly becoming a juggernaut, a very popular resource in the online marketing world. The free plan allows you to host up to 25 videos (for FREE!) and gives you basic features.
Overall, Wistia is for you if you have a blog that relies on video and you want to get specific information on your audience’s behaviour.
Price: free (for the first 25 videos), $25/month (for 100 videos), $100/month (for 1,000 videos), $300/month (unlimited)
As the name suggests, Reflector works as a sort of mirror, it reflects. What this great app does, is allowing you to share your smartphone or tablet screen with a laptop or desktop computer.
Let’s say you wanted to teach an Instagram course. You could easily display your Instagram profile on your computer screen, thank to Reflector, and record it with Screenflow or Camtasia. Speaking of Screenflow, its latest version features mirroring too.
How can you get started with video marketing, even if you don’t have a camera? The answer’s in your pocket – or in your hand, if you’re reading this using your smartphone.
MoviePro is probably the most powerful app for recording high-quality video, with a wide variety of features you can use. There’s plenty of apps for film making using a smartphone, but my #1 recommendation is MoviePro – no doubts!
When launching your podcast, you’ll need to host your audio files on a separate media hosting – so that your site’s page load time doesn’t increase. Libsyn is my #1 recommendation, for the fact that its plans start from only $5 a month and makes it easy to publish a podcast and keep track of all the stats related to both the show and individual episodes.
Price: $5-75/month (depending on how much storage you need)
If you host an interview-based podcast, you have to check Zencastr out. This web-based tool allows you to record your guests in top quality directly from the web or by using Skype or Google Hangouts.
Once the recording is finished, you’ll get separate audio tracks – yours and your guest’s – as mp3 and wav files, and you’ll be able to download everything or to even upload it to Dropbox.
I initially used eCamm Call Recorder as my go-to resource to record interviews on Skype. I have since been using Zencastr as my #1 recording option, but I still use eCamm as a backup.
eCamm Call Recorder is the most-used recording tool (by podcasters on a mac), especially because it’s incredibly easy to use. By using eCamm, you’ll get audio tracks of interviews recorded on Skype.
Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, but powerful audio editing software. It’s the tool I use to edit all of my podcast episodes and to record the solo sessions. The fact that it works with both mac and pc, it’s a plus!
If you have a podcast, SPP is a must (it’s not difficult to understand why it’s the #1 choice for A-Listers like John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire and Amy Porterfield).
Price: free, $12/month or $97/year (depending on the plan you choose)
If you’re a podcaster, you can’t ignore Soundcloud! It has recently partnered with Twitter, which means that people can now play audio files (your podcasts!) embedded from Soundcloud straight from Twitter. It also lets you embed audio files on your blog in just a couple of clicks.
Price: free, €4/month (or €35/year), €9/month (or €99/year)
Talking about an app that makes life easier! Forget about sending a bunch of emails to schedule interviews and appointments. With Calendly, you create your schedule and simply share its link with other people.
They’ll be able to see your openings and schedule an appointment. When they do, they’ll receive a notification email (you’ll receive one as well). Calendly automatically syncs with your Google Calendar and shows only days and times you actually have free.
Price: free, $10/month (or $8/month paid annually)
Evernote is one of those resources that don’t need much of an introduction! It’s like a Swiss army knife to get the most out of your work online, whether you’re looking to collect images and web content or simply take notes (and organize them logically!).
Price: free, €19.99/year or €39.99/year
Pocket is without a doubt one of my favorite apps! You can install it as web browser extension and use it to saved interesting articles and content you find online. This content is then saved and available onto your Pocket dashboard. In case you download the Pocket app on your smartphone or tablet, you’ll be able to access the saved content even offline.
If you’re looking for an easy way to save content and organize it, Pocket should be your #1 option.
Price: Free – $4.99/month (depending on the plan)
Trello is a free app that makes it ridiculously easy to organize anything with anyone. Whether you need to gather your brainstorming ideas or assign specific tasks to members of your team or virtual assistants, Trello does it all!
Price: free, $5/month (or $45/year)
Boomerang is an interesting tool, for the fact that it allows you to schedule emails sent from a Gmail account. This is perfect, especially if you have to contact someone between a specific time period (for example someone with office hours).
If you were to take care of every single aspect of your business yourself, you’d burn out. Hooray for outsourcing! Seriously though, outsourcing specific tasks to freelancers and virtual assistants can save you a bunch of headaches.
Price: free sign up
Fiverr is a great alternative to Freelancer and similar services, especially if you’re just starting out or are on a budget. You can get pretty much anything done, for a starting price of just five dollars.
Price: free sign up
Sometimes we need things done quickly. But how can you get freelancers to do that for you, if you’re a solopreneur? Welcome Speedlancer! On this platform, you can assign tasks such as blog writing, transcription, data entry and design to freelancers, who will deliver their results within 4 hours.
Price: free sign up, $29-39/task
Keyword research is one of those things that can literally change your business (for good or bad!). That’s why, when it comes to something so important, I go with nothing but Market Samurai.
Browse popular keywords, check domain authority and get all the stats you need to grow your business.
Tools like Market Samurai are great for checking which keywords people use in their Google searches. But, what about social media? What if you could know what kind of content is being shared the most on social media, so that you can create something that goes in that direction?
Buzzsumo helps you exactly with that. Simply type in the keyword you’re interested in, and let the tool work its magic. In a matter of seconds, you’ll see the number of shares the most popular posts (related to your keyword) have had on the most popular platforms.
Price: free, $99-299/month (for Buzzsumo pro)
Google Analytics is Google’s free website tracking and analytical tool, a must-have, especially if you’re starting out. You need to know how many visitors your site gets, which are your main sources of traffic, and so on. Google Analytics will help you with all that and much more!
Have you ever wondered what happens on your site? What gets people attention? What do users click on? What do they completely ignore? Well, you can stop wondering now and see for yourself, thank to Heat Maps!
Brought to you by the SumoMe team, the same I mentioned before, gives you heat maps of your webpages and shows you where users click when visiting your website.
Price: free, $20/month (or $192/year)
OptimizePress is my go-to resource to easily build membership sites. That’s not the only feature of OptimizePress though! In fact, when you purchase your OP license, you will also be able to create high-converting landing pages and add opt-in forms to your website.
Price: $97-297 (one-time payments, price varies depending on the license you purchase)
WishList Member is a popular tool used by many A-Listers to create membership sites. It’s an excellent choice for putting up a “wall” for your premium content or for having the freemium model – the combination of free and premium content – on your site.
Price: $197 for a single site or $297 for a multi-site license
Share A Sale is a marketplace that brings together product creators and digital marketers. If you have a product and are looking for affiliates to help with its promotion, ShareASale is perfect for you.
If you’re looking to monetize by promoting other people’s products as an affiliate, Share A Sale provides you with plenty of products – from a variety of niches – to choose from.
Price: free to sign up
Clickbank is another popular platform that, just like ShareASale, lets you become an affiliate marketer or helps you increase your sales by making your product available to their network of affiliate marketers.
Price: free to sign up