Powerful Tools of the Trade for Online Entrepreneurs

Below you'll find many of the tools I use every day to manage and grow my business. Because I only recommend platforms I know and love, this list is relatively small. I'm quite proud to share each of these companies with you. Good luck on your journey!

“The right tool for the right job.”

Words of wisdom from the son of an engineer…

 

My father is fond of this phrase, and so am I. And, while you may not be building bridges like my grandfather, building a business does require a well-kept toolbox. Why not have a peek into mine?

We’re thankful for each of these companies, and proud to be affiliates for many of them. Channel partners if you will. So, if you go on to use them as we do, we both benefit. Me in the form of a commission from them that costs you nothing, and you in the form of a wonderful tool that helps drive your business. Then, once you fall in love as I have, you should do the same and partner-up. It’s the way business works. Have fun!

Most Recommended Tools

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Media Temple | #1 For Website Hosting

Media Temple is the only domain provider and hosting service I ever use.

MediaTemple has been my go-to service provider for domains and website hosting since 2013. And, because I’ve been running web properties since 1994, I know what the good ones look like. I love Media Temple because it’s affordable, the support is unsurpassed, and their tech documentation makes doing advanced work simple enough to where you don’t have to hire outside help. Oh, and the one-click WordPress installs are great too… P.S. Pretty much everyone offers that so don’t be fooled by others that tout that as unique (I’m looking at you Bluehost.) 

$ This is an affiliate link.

Kartra | #1 For Marketing Funnels & Membership Sites

Quite simply, the only online marketing tool you need to launch and thrive.

For years I dreamed of a solution that would allow me to get more out of my ten million ideas for businesses. Kartra finally delivered that capability to me. If you have a product you’re ready to move out the door, their done-for-you campaigns, funnels and membership sites allow you to get up and going fast. Plus, with legendary copywriter Frank Kern supplying much of the copy, you start off from a place of excellence. Other than Canva (linked below), Kartra is THE only tool I’ve ever used that allowed me to complete a project within its free trial period. Most free trial programs are basically a sucker-punch into at least one month of service. Two before you feel as though you’ve wasted too much money. IF you have a product ready, and know a little about email and copywriting, Kartra can fuel your growth like crazy.

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WPMU Dev | #1 WordPress Maintenance & Support

WPMU makes it so I never, ever, get stuck with WordPress tech problems. EVER.

Wouldn’t it be great if when you ran into a problem with WordPress you could get it fixed right away? With WMPUDEV, that is precisely what your new world will look like. As a premium customer you get access all of their amazing plugins, 24/7 help desk, automated backups, installations… it’s incredible. They are absolute magicians. I love them, and imagine you will as well—particularly if you have more than three websites to manage. I have dozens on a single price plan!

$ This is an affiliate link.

Elegant Themes | #1 For WordPress Themes

Divi, from Elegant Themes helps me stay productive at scale. It is the only theme I use and recommend.

Productivity Wins. And, when you’re creating more than one website at a time for your side hustles, one of best ways to do that is to leverage the same technology over and over again. That’s why I use Elegant Themes’ Divi theme for all of my websites. They have hundreds of templates that use the same drag and drop functionality making assembly as near dead simple as it gets. Plus, they’ve got the best online video and text documentation out there. That way, when you happen to hit a snag you’re not too long in the weeds. Combine Elegant Themes with WPMUDEV, and you’re golden. 

$ This is an affiliate link.

Mailchimp | #1 For Building Email Lists

The legend, and still the best. Still free to start as well. 

If you’re looking for a best-in-class email marketing and CRM solution, look no further than Mailchimp. There are a ton of other solutions out there, and I’ve tried at least a half dozen. I use Mailchimp because it’s extremely effective (although not always simple), and because it’s used by the vast majority of companies conducting email marketing. Why is that important? Because if you use Mailchimp, as you learn, you’ll also build yourself into a valuable asset to other companies, perhaps allowing you the opportunity to brand yourself as a Mailchimp partner, and then consultant. Another side hustle for you!

Canva | #1 For Beautiful Images & Design

Canva changed my life and made me look like a designer. Simple to use and worth every penny.

Ask anyone who has ever sat within grumbling distance of me the last 20 years, and they’ll tell you how much I couldn’t stand design programs. Infinitely complicated. Zero worthwhile help documents. The worst. Canva has changed design forever. No matter how weak your skills are, you’ll be able to use the tool. You’ll develop an eye for design that will surprise both you and your visitors, and in no time flat you’ll be signing up for their professional version. Get in free… kick the tires, then when you’re ready, go big. You won’t regret it for a second.

$ This is an affiliate link.

CoSchedule | #1 For Content Marketing & Project Management

CoSchedule is another dream tool for me. The only place I put all of my ideas, and schedule all of my content. 

Too many ideas? Forgetting most of them? Not following through on your content marketing? Your projects? With CoSchedule, all that angst goes away. Schedule out everything in advance and win. CoSchedule is a top-teir program used by Fortune 50 companies because it’s a rock star in the project management space. It’s robust and can be of assistance to you whether you’re running a solo show, have employees, or are running a distributed team. Another tool I dreamed about for decades and am so happy is now available.

$ This is an affiliate link.

Animoto | #1 For Video Production

Animoto makes creating videos a breeze. Their drag-and-drop video maker, makes putting together in-motion picture presentations or full on book trailers magical. Add royalty free music, moving text, voiceover—anything you can dream up almost. I love their one year plan because of the huge discount they offer. Another tool I can’t live without for my marketing projects.

$ This is an affiliate link.

Digital Marketer | #1 For Online Marketing Training

Real training from real marketing experts. The absolute best out there.

There are many things you can learn about digital marketing. Nearly all are worthless. Most of it is regurgitated SEO fodder that is more about paragraph alignment than detail. With Digital Marketer, you’ll pay for training that will set you ahead of the curve in a vast number of areas related to email marketing, membership marketing and management, SEO. It’s endless really. It’s not cheap. But if you’re already running a website, selling a product, or a marketer at a company looking to up your game, it’s a wonderful investment.

Kraken.io | #1 For Image Optimization

Want a fast, optimized website? Kraken.io will help you get there…. fast.

Eye-popping design is a wonderful thing. But the best photography in the world doesn’t matter a hoot, if the files are so big they slow down your website to a crawl. Visitors disappear. Google may favor related sites over yours. And the worst part is you may not even know it’s happening. If you use Kraken.io you can slim down images for free and speed up your site to stay competitive and in full public view. Give it a try. It’s incredible. Best part? They have both a paid and a free version. Go!

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