Online Resources For Your Business
I started promoting my electrical & security businesses online in 2008, and so I’ve built a base of resources that I find invaluable in building my websites and products. Below you’ll find the sites and blog resources I work with and use to varying extents throughout my business.
It’s only fair to tell you upfront that some of the services below I receive a small gratuity for referring you to them, so I hope you don’t mind too much. If you do, well you still get the benefit of knowing who I use and trust so you can go to their site directly.
You should know that I’m inclined only to refer you to resources that I trust and believe provide the quality you need to operate successfully online, so go ahead and check them out below.
Running Your Business
The Business of Blogging is important. It means placing structure around what you are doing and making sure you get paid and manage finances. If you don’t like that side of things then get a manager who will do it for you.
Jobber Field Service Management Software. Manage your guys, jobs, sites and clients easily
Shopify eCommerce platform. Sell products related to your service easily all in one place
Freshbooks Account Software Manage your invoicing and accounts functions
Sumup Mobile Payments. Get paid on the go with the Sumup application
Ninja Outreach. Outreach software to allow easy communication with prospective clients
Select the right hosting platform for your website. The below are various grades of hosting from the two that I use currently; WP Engine and Blacknight. Bluehost is good if you are starting out. WP Engine is the best and most reliable.
WP Engine provide managed WordPress hosting and very fast delivery of your site with awesome support. (The one I use)
Bluehost Bluehost managed and standard WordPress hosting. This is where all your website data will be stored.
Blacknight Shared website hosting for .ie (Irish Domains) and many international domains.
SiteGround is a reputable and reliable provider of WordPress website hosting and other services
Landing Page Service Providers
Landing pages are specific pages on your site designed to offer a single call to action from your visitor. Use Landing Pages as sales pages and email optin pages.
ThriveThemes landing Page Software. (The one I use).
LeadPages landing page software provider.
Instapage landing page software provider
Keyword & SEO Research
Researching your article headlines and content before writing and publishing is the cornerstone of good SEO. Use the tools below to formulate good Keyword and Long Tail Keywords in your posts.[/teaser]
SEMrush is an invaluable tool for anyone serious about keyword research and SEO. (I use this tool extensively)
Google Search. That speaks for itself. A great free resource of information
Google Keyword Planner a great tool for searching for KeyWord ideas and estimated traffic comparison.
Google Trends What’s happening currently in the world of search. Get niche business ideas here.
WordPress SEO by Yoast. The only SEO plugin worth talking about.
Buzzsumo.com is a great resource for finding out whats popular on the social media front and other great info too
Getting your design right is of vital importance. If you do not have a design eye then your site will not look good. Build yourself with these resources or hire a designer.
Canva.com is a site I use to create custom images for posts. It’s essential to the work I do online.
99 Designs Graphic Design Service
Graphicriver for stock graphic files
Iconfinder for Free and paid icons for pretty much everything you’d need.
Iconion free icon generating software. One I use a lot! You’ll find it very easy to work with it
Adobe Phototshop Elements 10. I use this software constantly, to create and optimise images and logos for my sites.
Great Reading Material
I’ve read some great books over the years and these books are some of the most influential ones. Definitely put these titles on your reading list.
The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. What a book! This transformed the way I think.
Inspired Destiny by Dr. John F. Demartini. I’ve seen this man speak a couple times, he’s a real guiding light.
The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles
Selling The Invisible by Harry Beckwith
Email Marketing For Beginners by yours truly.
Basic resources for WordPress related information and learning
WordPress.com The flexible and easy to use beginner WordPress platform.
WordPress.org The powerful and fully customisable professional WordPress platform.
WordPress.tv for WordPress training videos
If you are new to WordPress then you should make time for learning from those who’ve been around the block a few times. Here are some links to resources I know to be reputable and that I trust.
Get Started using WordPress
Here’s just a few Theme providers that I recommend. I use several of the ones listed below and have purchased from these providers several times. Whatever you do, always buy from good sources or they could break your site!
Thrive Themes offer a whole suite of tools for your WordPress website
ThemeForest Themes You get a huge selection of themes from many theme developers on ThemeForest
MySiteMyWay make great easy to use themes for WordPress. It’s what I built this site on!
Elegant Themes is a reputable site for providing great WordPress themes.
Theme Isle is a small but good theme provider
WooThemes are the creators of WooCommerce, probably the most downloaded eCommerce software out there.
WPMUDev are another option for you, but not as good as the top two. They are better with plugins really IMO.
Here’s just a few plugins that I recommend. I use several of the ones listed below and have purchased from providers on the list. Whatever you do, always buy from good sources or they could break your site!
Plugmatter Email List Building header optin box
Thrive Themes offer email marketing plugins for your WordPress website
MAXCDN speeds up the delivery of your website.
W3 Total Cache Plugin is another one of those speed your site up plugins but is different from MAXCDN
ThemeForest Plugins from many developers. Look for highly rated and well established providers who offer support.
Theme Isle does plugins also and in particular, “Revive Old Post” which posts to twitter automatically at a frequency you set. Great for reposting old posts in your blog. I think it’s great and use it too.
Elegant Themes Plugins are best suited to Elegant Themes themes, but should work well with any WordPress site.
WPMUDev plugins. I use several of their plugins on various sites.
Email Service Providers
Your email list is where your gold is, so building your list should be your priority. Here are the more commonly used email newsletter and marketing providers online.
Mailchimp email autoresponders and newsletters (The one I use)
Constant Contact email automation and newsletters
Aweber email automation and newsletters.
Good copy sells. The ability to tell a story, draw your reader in and solve their problems is vital if you are to sign them up. Here are some trusted resources for Copywriting online.[/teaser]
CoSchedule Editorial Calendar. I use this to help me schedule my work
Copyblogger is probably the most looked to source for bloggers seeking better copywriting techniques. I love their stuff.
Henneke Duistermaat is a copywriter and well respected blogger. She knows her stuff.
Sonia Simone is a Copyblogger writer and founding member I do believe.
David Ogilvy is said to be the Grandfather of modern marketing. Here’s a post from Kissmetrics outlines 7 of his tips for copy that sells
Google provide some great services to help online business owners market online successfully. Listed below are just some of them that I use regularly. Check it out below…
Google Analytics invaluable analysis of the activity of visitors on your website.
Google Adwords a great tool for searching for KeyWord ideas and estimated traffic comparison.
Google Adsense is a platform that allows you to create adverts specific to your business and place on your website.
Google Trends What’s happening currently in the world of search. Get niche business ideas here.
Google WebMaster Tools is a free service that helps you monitor and maintain your site in Google Search results.
Visuals go a long way to draw a reader in to your post or page so it’s important to stand out. Grabbing images from Google might be tempting but you can get in hot water for doing so. I’d suggest you always get royalty free images from reliable sources like these.
Unsplash offer a very wide range of probably the best quality stock photos out there, for free!
Photodune for royalty free stock photography
Fotolia for royalty free stock photography, illustrations and icons. I use this one quite a lot
iStock Photo for royalty free stock photography.
Learning and broadening your skills is vital at anything you do. Although I have not used all of the below, I have used Udemy and the course I did was well put together. Research as much as you can before deciding on a provider.
WordPress Books and learning materials from Amazon. There’s a ton of stuff in here to help you.
99 Designs Graphic Design, Logo Design, etc
Udemy online courses for pretty much everything you’ll need online. Be very selective, some courses are not good! (Cheap is expensive)
Tuts+ online courses for all things creative online. This has some free tutorials.
W3Schools is a Free online resource for learning about coding
Lynda.com is much like Udemy and Tuts+
[teaser]Outsource your requirements to people all over the world. There are a host of people waiting for your request on a host of platforms. The only trouble is finding the right one for you.[/teaser]
99 Designs offers a host of Freelance Designers ready to design your brand. Kind of like Freelancer.
oDesk for all types of freelancers from all over the world. Be careful though, there are a broad range of people in there!
Freelancer just like oDesk there is a wide range of abilities so thread carefully. But you can score great people there too.
Freelancer getting started guide from Mashable
Producing video for online can be a bit tricky. The resources here might help you demystify things a bit. Like everything else in life, if you can put the time in you’ll get it, and get better at it.
My Cannon 600D that I use for recording. I love that bad boy!
ScreenFlow 5 Screen recording and video editing software. This is what I use to create my videos for YouTube
Videohive.net for royalty free video files
Videvo Free stock video footage
Splasheo Video, effects, intros, outros, one-thirds, transitions etc.
Movie Tools Free video loops
Gideon Shalwick the main man online for creating online videos. You should check him out!
Audio production can be just as tricky as video if not more so. The resources here might help you demystify things a bit. Like everything else in life, if you can put the time in you’ll get it, and get better at it.
Audiojungle for royalty free audio files
Music Radio Creative for audio intros, outros, transitions, jingles and other radio type stuff
Audio Blocks Royalty free stock audio files
Podcasting is not for everyone, and there’s a bit of getting to grips with the process. Pat Flynn give a great series of videos on the subject and you should definitely check that out.
How to start a podcast from scratch video tutorial series from Pat Flynn
PodcastFast Podcasting Tutorials
Podcast Equipment Complete rundown on all the equipment necessary to get your podcast going
Rode Procaster microphone great microphone for Podcasting (The one that I have)
Call Recorder for Skype lets you record your Skype calls to your computer
Libsyn for hosting your Podcast recordings. You don’t want to host them on the same server as your website!