Hi!  Mike here to let you know that this page contains online business resources and tools that should prove useful and valuable to you as you increase your working knowledge and improve your blog and online business.  Since my goal is to increase your digital marketing “IQ”, I want you to know about several items I recommend.

First a disclosure that I mention certain products and include links to those products on this site and that I’ll earn an affiliate commission for any purchases you make using the links I provide (there is no extra cost to you for using the link on my site).  Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Bottom Line:  There are a ton of products and/or services online that make money for affiliates, but it’s a dis-service to you if I promote anything I haven’t used and/or researched thoroughly.  You need to get value out of the resources you choose to buy. I believe these recommended products or services will provide that.

By the way, I haven’t received any free products, services, or anything else from these companies in exchange for mentioning them on the site. The only consideration is in the form of affiliate commissions if you should choose to buy from my links.

I strive to keep these links up to date.  If you have any questions or find a link that isn’t working, please let me know.


To a smarter you!

Mike

These are some great tools and resources for you as you start your blog or home-based internet business! Click To Tweet

 

Online Business Resources


Web Hosting

SiteGround – One of my two favorite WordPress Hosts! In fact, it’s the one I use on this site. Great support, easy WordPress setup, and I’ve had no issues at all since signing up, and it’s delivers a great user experience.

Web Hosting

 

BlueHost – The first WordPress host I used, and still do for my hobby website (which I started long before my business).  BlueHost is known for great prices, good user experience for starting out, and used by tons of bloggers.


KeyWord Research

LongTail Pro – There are a number of keyword research tools out there, but one of the features of LongTail Pro I like the best is their built-in Keyword Competitiveness (KC) metric.   Along with presenting multiple key metrics, the MC score allows you to see a single number that grades the chance of being competitive.  It’s a simple 0-100 score using their proprietary algorithm that brings ranking metrics together into one easy number.  I use it, I love it.

Keyword Researcher Pro – Very clever and easy-to-use keyword discovery tool. It emulates a human using Google autocomplete.  It repeatedly types thousands of queries into Google and each time a partial phrase is entered, Google tries to predict what it thinks the whole phrase might be. The software will save this prediction and when done for every letter of the alphabet (A-Z), you’re left with hundreds of great Long Tail keyword phrases.

keywrod researcher
keyword researcher

 


Email Marketing and List Building

MailerLite – It’s the one I use.  I became convinced about MailerLite when I compared it to other services, especially it’s applicability to building a new business.  After a few support/sales chats and emails, I was ready to join.  They’ve been there every step of the way and their platform has an excellent user interface.  And… it’s free for the first 1,000 subscribers.  This is a no-brainer.  Of course, if you outgrow the free plan you can upgrade, but you can’t beat 1,000 subscribers for free!

MailerLite Email Marketing for Small Business
ConvertKit – This is a provider delivering many options that the other providers don’t have, and is well-respected among content marketers.  One of its strong selling points is the ability to segment your email subscribers into groups; this allows them to get content tailored specifically to their needs.

ConvertKit

 

AWeber – One of the best, most well-known and used providers.  AWweber’s been around since 1998.  Today, more than 120,000 small and midsize businesses, entrepreneurs, agencies and nonprofits are making the most of AWeber’s sophisticated segmentation and analytics capabilities, extensive template libraries and industry-leading deliverability and live support.


Start Your Free Trial Today
Start Your Free Trial Today

 


Books I Highly Recommend

 

Will It Fly?  (Pat Flynn)

Stop rushing into businesses. ‘ Will It Fly? ‘ can help you make sure you’re really ready. Will your idea work, will it resonate with the market you need to reach? Pat’s book is full of practical suggestions, action-based exercises, small-scale tests, and real-world case studies.  Pat’s the real deal, his book will serve you well!


Your Best Year Ever (Michael Hyatt)

Your Best Year Ever is about living a life that matters and reaching your full potential. Day to day life can impede progress toward our big goals. Author Michael Hyatt says it doesn’t have to be this way and assists you in connecting your dreams with reality, based on proven, research-driven ways to set and achieve goals.


The GPA Game (Sean Fesko)

The GPA Game is both a tool box and a practical, personal storybook. It maps out a path forward if you’re struggling to do well in college or are about to step onto campus for the first time in your life. It can feel impossible for students to maximize their grades! How can you possibly do everything? Here’s the good news: you don’t have to. You can play the GPA Game instead. The GPA Game is a short, easy to read manifesto for anyone looking to maximize their grades and work efficiently through the college years. You’ll learn how to…

  • Take clean, easy-to-review notes
  • Study leaner and meaner
  • Slay quizzes and exams
  • Give an A+ presentation
  • Knock out the perfect paper
  • Manage your time
  • Choose the best classes
  • Maximize the amount of points you can earn
  • Set yourself up to get the job of your dreams

 


The Millionaire Fastlane (MJ DeMarco)

The Millionaire Fastlane helps you distinguish between the financial plan of mediocrity — a dream-stealing, soul-sucking dogma known as the Slowlane, and the Fastlane, an alternative road-to-wealth; one that actually ignites dreams and creates millionaires young, not old. MJ DeMarco points out that the mainstream financial gurus have sold you blindly down the river to a great financial gamble and provides an alternative; an expressway to extraordinary wealth that can burn a trail to financial independence faster than any road out there.


Launch (Jeff Walker)

Jeff Walker in another “real deal” kind of guy. His book “Launch” will build your business—fast. Whether you’ve already got a business or you’re itching to start one, this is a “recipe for getting more traction”. Since 1996 Jeff has been creating hugely successful online launches. His book will introduce you to his masterful formula for product launches that “will change the future of your business and your life”.


Let Go: Expanded Edition (Pat Flynn)

An updated version of the very successful “Let Go”, this expanded edition continues Pat’s story by exploring the act and art of “letting go” as an integral part of human growth. It follows and parallels Pat’s eight-year online business journey and provides you with ways to learn apply to your own journey. It contains eight new chapters and is a must-read. You may not know what to let go or how to let go in order to pursue your own path, but “Let Go” will help you.


The $100 Startup (Chris Guillebeau)

Chris Guillebeau has visited more than 175 nations – and yet he’s never held a “real job” or earned a regular paycheck.  He has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and this book distills this into one easy-to-use guide. Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that group he’s chosen to focus on the 50 most intriguing case studies.


Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People 2nd Edition

As director of the renowned Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop, Professor G. Richard Shell has taught thousands of business leaders, administrators, and other professionals how to survive and thrive in the sometimes rough-and-tumble world of negotiation. His systematic, step-by-step approach comes to life in this book, which is available in over ten foreign editions and combines lively storytelling, proven tactics, and reliable insights gleaned from the latest negotiation research.


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business  (Charles Duhigg)

A New York Times BESTSELLER  — This instant classic explores how we can change our lives by changing our habits.



 

Courseware

Teachable – This is a top-of-the-line platform for building your own online courses.  It’s very easy to use, produces really slick and professional courses, and no coding is required to set things up!

Each week there is a 7 Steps webinar that will show you how to get started; or to see what all the fuss is about, checkout their homepage.


Podcasting

Smart Podcast Player – This is Pat Flynn’s invention, the one you’ve seen in action.  It is top-notch, with the following features (from Pat’s website): This WordPress plugin is one of my own products! Many of your podcast listeners will stream your podcast directly from your website—but most web-based podcast players are dumb. Not the Smart Podcast Player! This player keeps users on your site longer, is better looking, and has better social sharing. 

(Disclaimer: As an affiliate of the Smart Podcast Player, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link. I wouldn’t be sharing this amazing podcasting tool if I didn’t think it would  benefit you, your podcast, your podcast listeners, and your business.)

Smart Podcast Player is the ONLY podcast player that allows you to capture your listeners’ email addresses… It’s True: Grow Your Email List Directly From Smart Podcast Player

Smart Podcast Player
Click the image for more information!

Video Creation through Screen Capture

CAMTASIA® from TechSmith – Camtasia combines the power of best-in-class screen recording with top-quality, easy-to-use video editing to create a video solution that is unmatched. Camtasia allows you to easily capture everything on your screen and turn it into a polished video to train, educate, and engage your audiences. Create professional-looking videos from scratch or from what you already have, including PowerPoint presentations, webinar recordings, video clips and images, and the knowledge that you or others already have about a product or process. Camtasia allows non-video professionals to easily create engaging and eye-catching videos

Screen Capture

SNAGIT® from TechSmith – TechSmith Snagit 2018 is the only screen capture tool with built-in advanced image editing and screen recording. So, you can easily create high-quality images and videos all in one program. Snagit’s image and video capture is powerful, but not complex. All-in-One Capture® grabs your entire desktop, a region, a window, or a scrolling screen. Grab any webpage or application — all with a single hotkey or click.

Call Blocker

If you have a home (or a home office), you need this!  I was a little skeptical about these but got it just before the mid-term elections and was blown away by how good it worked. This is the new CPR V10000, it has 10,000 know spammer numbers built in and you can add another 2,000 of your own at the press of a button. It will let you white list and black list as well as block groups like “Unknown”, “Private”, “Out of Area”, and VOIP/IP. What a pleasure it is pushing that big red button! I recommend this for your business or home.