Let me take you “behind the scenes” so to speak and share the tools I use to run an online business. This page will be updated regularly as my team and I continue to to make helpful tutorials regularly for YouTube as well as full length blog posts.
*Please note that affiliate links are used whenever possible. That means I may earn a commission from qualified purchases at no additional cost to you. You can help support the production of our free content through some of the links below.
You need a website or online store at a minimum. To do that you’re going to need a quality web host for that. Anyone who’s watched my tutorials videos know I have a few go-to recommendations.
Best hosting for starting a blog with WordPress. Beginner friendly, good hosting, good pricing and a free domain name.
My current host. They are a managed WordPress host ideal for high traffic websites. They provide reliable hosting, great support and staging for design work.
One of the best web hosts I’ve used for launching an ecommerce website using WooCommerce and WordPress.
Website builders are a fantastic, all-in-one options for anyone not wanting to deal with the technical aspects of setting up and managing a self hosted website using a web host.
I use Ghost for my own personal blog. It’s a blogging platform with a strong focus on paid subscriptions and email marketing.
If you’re wanting to create a paid subscription content website you’ll love Ghost.
Shopify is an ecommerce website builder. They provide all the features you need to create and grow an online store.
Squarespace is a “do everything” website builder. You can build any type of website, sell products and do email marketing. A great alternative to WordPress.
You need a domain name in order to have a website, blog or online store. While you can get a domain name through a web host or website builder, I do use and recommend Namecheap because their domain name prices and renewal rates are cost effective.
Low prices on domain names, low renewal rates, free WHOIS protection and good support. I use Namecheap for all my domains.
To scale a blog you need to hire writers. You have two options, either use a writing service which is great for mass produced content (but you’ll have to do a lot of edit) or develop your own hiring process and bring on a team of writers you find yourself (much more expensive and time consuming, but if you can dial it in it’s a huge advantage).
In addition to hiring professionals to write content I also give them access to AI writing tools which I also use to help produce better content faster.
This is an AI writing tool that helps myself and any writer I bring on to create quality content more quickly. A total game changer in my opinion and worth the price of entry.
A high quality, managed writing service for long term projects. Find great writers without needing your own onboarding process setup (which is what you’re paying for).
My go to spot for finding high quality writers for long term projects. You’ll need your own process to setup and manage writers.
A great service for generalist content. If you’re needing something super technical look elsewhere. They have a long turn-a-round however.
Income School trains a bunch of college students on how to write blog posts. A good service for mass produced, generalist content.
Cult of Copy
A great Facebook group for finding quality writers. Don’t waste your time here if you’re not willing to pay at least $100 an article as these are professional writers.
Use this platform to find the contact info of writers and content managers. You’ll need your own hiring process and you’ll have to do email outreach.
Email marketing is how you turn a blog and YouTube channel into a business. Make more money through selling your own products, driving target traffic to affiliate offers and just helping people achieve their goals through your helpful content.
My preferred email service provider of choice. Advanced funnels, clean user interface, great looking landing pages and an incredibly helpful tagging feature.
Create pop-ups with customized offers per blog posts. Drive traffic to an affiliate offer or grow your email list.
Set time sensitive offers that actually expire. I use DF on my one time offer pages that people who subscribe to my email list see.
I use this tool to create landing pages to grow my email list and one time offer pages for selling products to new subscribers.
No you can’t just “wing it” and create whatever content you want. You must have a keyword research process to find content topics people are actually looking for.
A good, “one time price” keyword research tool. You can do Ubersuggest and do competitive research and basic keyword research.
The best keyword research tool available today but costs an expensive monthly fee. Get backlink profiles, your competitors top content, YouTube video keywords and a deep dive into keyword research.
The best on-page SEO tool. It breaks down what your writing compared to what’s ranking and how best to improve your content.
A Chrome plugin that gives you suggested, related keyword searches. You’ll have to take the suggestions and plug them into Ubersuggest or aHrefts to see the potential volume however.
Answer the Public
Another freemium keyword tool I like, it’s helpful for finding long tail questions to answer. Recently acquired by Neil Patel of Ubdersuggest.
Creating videos changed my life, not even an exaggeration. While depending on what you want to do will determine the specific tools you need, here is what I’ve found quite helpful.
I do edit my own videos usually. I’ve tried a lot of editors and I personally like Vegas for my workflow. I can create and edit a 2 hour+ tutorial video in an afternoon.
Open Broadcast Software
OBS is what I use for screen recordings. It’s free, you can record at a high framerate, connect external audio like a USB mic and even use a mirrorless camera as a web cam.
This is my go-to video collaboration platform of choice. When you hire a video editor you need some way to communicate on the end product. Frame is made for this task.
I use Powtoon to create motion graphics and animation for my videos.
Great for more attractive power point style presentations for videos if you’re on Windows. Optional, but if you want something that looks better than Google Sheets then this is it. If you have Mac then just use Keynote.
A cheap, and very good screen capture tool. While I usually use OBS, I love how fast Snagit is and how it uses a variable frame rate so your files are small and efficient. I use this for client work primarily.
Site authority is based on a lot of factors, one of the most important are backlinks to your website. You want to get high quality, difficult to get links from real websites. You do this primarily by building relationships and writing guest posts for high traffic, authoritative websites. However there are a few services I can suggest you checkout.
A platform that connects bloggers and publishers for guest posts. You can find legitimate, high quality sites to promote your website on.
Niche Site Builders
This is an agency option to help you promote your website as you’re paying them to do the work for you. The outreach, emailing, and even the content creation.
Not cheap, but if you don’t want to do it yourself this is the best option I’ve found.
Running multiple websites and managing a YouTube channel starts off simple enough but will eventually grow into a proper business. Here are the essential tools I need to help me stay focused, organized and on top of everything.
Workspace is the paid version of a free Gmail account. You get an add free experience, professional email accounts that you need for business and email marketing, and content management tools.
You’ll need Quickbooks as your business grows. It helps you manage your income, profit and loss and makes tax season stress free.
Windows 10 and 11 come with a great little to-do app I use to plan what tasks need to get done. It’s simple and a great way to stay focused.
A great project management tool for small teams. Overwhelming if you’re a solo creator, but very helpful if you work with 3+ people regularly.
Canva is my “Photoshop” alternative. With it you can make YouTube thumbnails, blog post feature images, ebooks, presentations, infographics, banner images and more. I would be lost without Canva.
Selling Digital Products
Doing affiliate marketing and running paid ads is a great way to monetize a niche website . But what if you’re trying to build a profitable personal brand based around your knowledge and experience? Selling products and courses adds another revenue stream to your business.
Website Creative Pro, my online course website is powered by Teachable. Good landing pages, cross sells, coupon codes, your own affiliate program and a great UX. Can sell ebooks, memberships, coaching offers and of course, online courses.