My top recommended tools and resources for success!
I'm sure everyone has their own preferred suite of marketing tools they use. Some more common and mainstream than others. No matter which you choose, there are a few basic things you're going to HAVE to have in order to run an online business.
I'll list these in order of priority… sort of how you would go if you were setting things up from scratch. Then further down I'll list some others that, while not absolutely necessary, sure make things easier ; )
While there are some upfront costs to get going, once you are set up and have purchased the right tools, you're only looking at about $25 per month to run everything. Anyone can do this!
NameCheap – A domain name is absolutely necessary to work online. You can choose a domain from many reputable companies online and most are about $10-$12 per year. Did you get that… per year. They are CHEAP and there's no reason not to have one. You'll need at least one to start, but you'll find with a little experience, you'll be buying more for different purposes.
I own about 25 myself and use a company that probably most people have never heard of. I stay there because they're all in one place, but if I was starting out, I would go with NameCheap. The have some of the best pricing along with some very cool features that most others will charge extra for. You can also get a domain name FREE when you sign up for SiteGround hosting which I recommend below.
SiteGround Hosting – This is really where it all starts. In order to have a “presence” online, you'll have to create a website. Almost no one uses static HTML websites anymore, everyone has moved to WordPress. So you'll want to find good WordPress hosting that's affordable along with great support. And when I say support, I mean I want live chat support 24/7, so if anything goes wrong, help is just a click away.
SiteGround is known for both incredibly fast WordPress hosting AND world class support. You can register a domain with them for FREE when you sign up and they'll literally do whatever you need to get started. If you have an existing blog that needs transferring? No problem, they'll do that to. Their service is super affordable and I walk you through the signup process on video here.
Once you have your domain registered and hosting accounts set up, you'll want to install WordPress. I created a video tutorial to show you how to install WordPress with SiteGround hosting here.
Magazine Pro WordPress Theme – Once you have WordPress set up, it's time to add a killer theme. You want something modern, easy to work with, and jam packed with all the SEO features needed in today's competitive world of internet marketing. You want to be able to set it up fast, add a few key plugins (I cover that in this video), and then just add quality content. Just like you see on my blog here at TrainWithSwifty.com.
The theme I use and recommend is from StudioPress. It's called Magazine Pro and I think it's beautiful. It's bright, modern and takes very little setup to have a very professional presence online. One you can feel proud to send people to and announce the world. You can get a snazzy logo created at Fiverr for around $20 bucks and start branding yourself right away. You can view my full video review of Magazine Pro here.
Aweber Autoresponder Service – If you've been online for anytime at all, you know almost everyone uses an autoresponder service. This is a service that sends out messages automatically to leads anytime someone fills out a form from one of your lead capture pages. You do know what a lead capture page is right? If not, no worries, we'll cover that too.
Aweber is one of the oldest, most established autoresponder companies on the planet. They lead with features that many other services don't include. You can sign up for a measly $1 for the first month to “kick the tires” and decide if it's right for you. Aweber is THE choice for most professional internet marketers and their reputation for reliability and deliverability is unmatched. You can set up your 30 day trial here for just a $1.
Lead Capture Page WordPress Plugin
Instabuilder 2.0 – This is a WordPress plugin that creates lead capture pages, funnel pages, webinar pages, and more. You name it, Instabuilder 2.0 can do it! I would say more than any other software or product I've ever used, Instabuilder is probably responsible for more of my success than anything else.
It's feature packed, easy to use and will have you creating beautiful, stunning pages in a matter of minutes. There is a slight learning curve to it, but once you master it, you can create pages in minutes with ease. You'll be ready for anything with the ability to create pages on the fly for any situation. I can't say enough about how much I LOVE this plugin. It does everything the more expensive monthly services do and you own the content you create. It's not stuck in someone else's system. You can check out my full video review of Instabuilder 2.0 here.
The tools I list above are part of my main arsenal
of marketing tools. You can literally run your
entire business with just these.
Below are some other very useful tools and resources I personally use
Wordpress Plugins used on TrainWithSwifty.com
Bullet Proof Security – This plugin to secure your WordPress blog is bad ass! I looked long and hard to find the very best protection for my WordPress site and Bullet Proof Security is one of the best! Once installed it literally walks you through the setup, step by step until your site is completely secure.
I can feel confident knowing that all my hard work and content is protected from “evil doers” out there who love hacking into peoples blogs. I run BPS on all my blogs and highly recommend it! If you do install it and run into any problems, just give me a holler, I'm glad to help.
Ninja Popops –
Pretty Link –
SocialBox – You can see this in the right sidebar. It keeps count of your social followers and allows people to share your content. A little “techy” to set up, but they provide all the instructions right inside the plugin settings.