When it comes to running a successful business online, it’s easy to quickly go down the rabbit hole into an endless list of tools and resources that will help improve, streamline or automate tasks.
That being said, you don’t really need a ton of fancy tools to make your business life easier. While the tools and resources I’ve used over the years has often changed, I’ve cut down on the number of tools I use in order to keep things affordable and more importantly, to simplify the process.
Here are my must-have tools that I couldn’t live without:
For General Business:
Designing Landing Pages & Sales Pages: Thrive Architect
I was thrilled when I finally bite the bullet and purchased a copy of Thrive Themes because not only does it make it drop-dead easy to create webpages, sales pages, squeeze pages and even membership or product pages, but they’re all 100% responsive, meaning they look great on mobile devices!
Thrive takes the headache out of having to master a design program or fiddle around with code and is designed for use with your existing WordPress website.
Keyword Research Top Tool: Publisher Rocket
I use this for my low content publishing business and also my self-publishing (fiction/romance) business. It helps me scout categories, identify keywords and spy on the competition. 😉
Domain Registration: NameCheap
I have a grandfathered account with NameCheap which gives me a major discount on all newly registered domains, however even if you’re a brand new user you can snag a domain for less than $15.
Hosting: Site Ground
I’ve been with many different hosting providers over the years but SiteGround is one of the most affordable and professional providers online. They’ll even move your entire server/sites over to a new account and install SSL certificates for free!
Zipping Utility: YemuZip
For my Self Publishing & Low Content Publishing Business:
Template Design: PowerPoint
I use PowerPoint to design my interior templates & printables. It’s easy to use and by subscribing to the Office 364 suite, I can gain access to all of Microsoft Office’s tools for one low price, including Word (the tool I use to write my books!)
Shopping Cart System: Thrive Cart
I really like Thrive Cart’s simplistic interface and how easy it is to set up. It also makes it easy to offer coupon codes to my buyers and to run an affiliate program without having to host anything myself.
While it definitely has it’s downside(s), I use it on my printable and interior shop because it’s simply easier and very reliable. Thrive Cart is a tool I could easily replace but at this time I do use it on all of my shops.
For my Self-Publishing (fiction / romance) Business:
Book Formatting: Vellum
I save a lot of money formatting my own books with Vellum. Just upload the Word file and Vellum goes to work producing a professionally formatted print and eBook version.