Essential software tools for online business

Below are the best business and marketing software tools required to start and 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.

Web Hosting

Want to create a self hosted website or online store? You’re going to need a quality webhost for that. Anyone who’s watched my tutorials videos know I have a few go-to recommendations.

Bluehost

Best hosting for starting a blog. Beginner friendly, good hosting, good pricing and a free domain name.

WPX

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.

SiteGround

One of the best web hosts I’ve used for launching an ecommerce website using WooCommerce and WordPress.

Website Builders

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. Here are my top choices:

Ghost

I use Ghost for my own personal blog. It’s a website builder and CMS with a strong focus on blogging, paid subscriptions and email marketing.

If you’re wanting to create a paid subscription content website you’ll love Ghost.

ghost cms orb

Squarespace

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.

Shopify

The industry leading ecommerce website builder. Powerful and feature rich for creating high traffic online stores.

shopify logo

Writing

To scale a blog you need to hire writers. In addition to hiring professionals to help create content I also give them access to AI writing tools which I also use to help produce better content faster.

Conversion AI

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.

Problogger Jobs

My go to spot for finding high quality writers for long term projects. You’ll need your own process to setup and manage writers.

Writer Access

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).

Email Marketing

If you sell paid products, create YouTube videos and high quality blog posts you’re crazy to not leverage email marketing. Particularly if you have a personal brand like I do.

Convert Kit

My preferred email service provider of choice. Advanced funnels, great looking landing pages and an incredibly helpful tagging feature.

convert kit logo

Domains

If you want to create a self hosted website, online store or you want to use a website builder you’ll need a domain name. Namecheap has much lower prices and renewal rates than any host or website builder.

Namecheap

Low prices on domain names, low renewal rates, free WHOIS protection and good support. I use Namecheap for all my domains.

Money

They say you never work a day in your life when you love what you do. Not true. The days you need to do book keeping and taxes is not fun and is work. Quick books makes this process easier and less stressful.

Quickbooks

You’ll need Quickbooks as your business grows. It helps you manage your income, profit and loss and makes tax season stress free.

Keyword Research

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. These tools help you do that:

Ubersuggest

A one time price keyword tool that tells you the potential search volume a keyword could get as well as the blog posts that get traffic to your competitors.

aHrefs

I find that aHrefs has the best backlink research tool. Useful for finding websites that link to your competitors.

SEM Rush

SEM Rush has the best competitive research. Find the content and keywords that are actually driving traffic to your competitors.

Keywords Everywhere

Hell bent on using a free tool? Well I use Keywords Everywhere when using Google and Chrome to find potential, under-served keywords.

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 adds another revenue stream to your blog, YouTube and email list.

Teachable

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 and of course, online courses.

More? More!

This is a high level overview of what I suggest first looking at when making a purchase decision in each vertical. You can also take a look at my detailed blogging tools guide linked below: