I figured you would be interested in knowing which products and services I have had the best experiences with for building and nurturing online businesses. Many of these resources will literally save you hundreds of dollars, not to mention, hours of your time.
I will continue to add new products as I discover them, so please feel free to bookmark this page and check back often.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if choose to purchase the product or service. I have had positive experiences with all of these resources and am recommending them because they are useful, not because of the small commissions I may make should you choose to buy something. I urge you not to spend any money on these products unless you have fully considered the value they can offer in achieving your own business goals.
MY MOST RECOMMENDED
If you look at nothing else on this page, these are the five that you should know about. I find myself recommending these resources again and again in conversations with online business owners, entrepreneurs and startups. I use them because they make my life easier, and I reckon they are likely to make yours easier too.
99% of my websites are hosted on A2 Hosting. Why? Because the 1-click WordPress installation is incredibly easy. And their customer service via phone or chat is excellent. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using A2 Hosting for your first site and beyond!
TRY A2 HOSTING
Every single one of my website domains is purchased at GoDaddy. They are the most reputed domain registrar on the web, they offer competitive pricing and unrivalled customer service in the domain registration sector. I WOULD NOT CONSIDER ANY OTHER DOMAIN REGISTRAR besides Godaddy, and recommend that you use Godaddy to purchase your first domain name, and every domain thereafter to protect your precious business name!
Drip has solved all of my email headaches. It’s easy to use and filled with powerful features like list segmentation, automation, tagging, and reports. It’s perfect for bloggers like me. I love it!
Shopify is the only ecommerce platform you should ever consider! It takes all of the complexity out of setting up an online store, including simple and elegant solutions for inventory management, shopping carts, payment gateways and everything else you may ever need for your online store. It can’t be beat!
Gleam is, hands down, the most innovative and delightful platform for running competitions and growing your email lists and social following. It’s super easy to setup a competition in minutes and achieve amazing results!
WEBSITE HOSTING AND BLOGGING TOOLS
- A2 Hosting: 99% of my websites are hosted on A2 Hosting. Easy to use, 1-click automatic WordPress installation and excellent customer service. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using A2 Hosting for your first site.
- Studiopress Themes + the Genesis Framework: This is the WordPress theme and framework that the Barefoot Passive Income Blog runs on. The Genesis framework promises out-of-box search engine optimization, faster page load times, maximum readability to engage and hold reader’s attention, and point-and-click design and font controls. The Studiopress range of themes are first-class, professional and highly customisable.
TOP ‘START A BUSINESS’ COURSES
- Yaro Starak: Blog Profits Blueprint 2017 and How to Buy & Sell Blogs and Websites for Passive Profit are two of my favourite online training guides, both created by successful Aussie entrepreneur Yaro Starak.
PRODUCT DISTRIBUTION & SHOPPING CARTS
- Shopify: Shopify is, in my humble opinion, the only ecommerce platform you should ever consider! It takes all of the complexity out of setting up an online store, including simple and elegant solutions for inventory management, shopping carts, payment gateways and everything else you may ever need for your online store. It can’t be beat!
- Paypal.com: Every online marketer needs a Paypal account. It will come in handy for issuing and receiving payments for goods & services of all shapes and sizes. Even if you don’t see any immediate need, I encourage you to sign up for one as you’ll need almost certainly need it eventually.
- E-Junkie: A shopping cart and digital delivery service that is particularly great for selling ebooks on. It’s compatible with a huge range of payment options including Paypal Standard, Paypal Pro, Google Checkout, Clickbank & plenty more. The platform is seamless and works well, with a low flat price to use, and comes with a decent affiliate program for your products. If you are selling ebooks, get on it.
- Clickbank: Another digital products retailer allowing product owners to sell their products and digital marketers to promote them. Probably the most popular. Decently priced and comes with an amazing affiliate program for your products.
KEYWORD RESEARCH & SEO
- SEM Rush: Leading keyword research tool. Gives you the best chance of swiftly identifying the most profitable keyword opportunities for your website or blog, and monitoring your progress.
- Ahrefs: The best tool available for analysing competitors backlinks to create your own, even better, backlinking strategy.
- Moz Open Site Explorer: Measure the Domain Authority (DA) of any website for free (limited to 3 uses unless you sign up to a Premium Account). A really handy resource now that Google has decommissioned their PageRank tools.
- Screaming Frog: An invaluable desktop tool that allows you to crawl and analyse your website for onsite SEO factors. Site auditing tool that allows you to find broken links, missing meta tags and lots more, like a boss! Free version is pretty good, the $100 outlay for the pro version is money well spent if onsite SEO is a priority for you.
IMAGES & PHOTOS
- iStockPhoto: This is where I purchase royalty-free images that I use on my sites.
- Unsplash: My favourite free repository of arty and modern imagery, all with the creative commons license (in other words, totally free for commercial use!)
EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS & MARKETING
- Drip This is what I currently use to build my email list and send broadcast and autoresponder emails. It’s built by internet marketers, for internet marketers, and I love this tool because it’s extremely powerful and intuitive and offers capabilities that tools 10x the price offer. It has powerful list segmentation, automation and tagging tools so you can deliver better, more specialised content to specific segments of your audience.
- Gleam Gleam is, hands down, the most innovative and delightful platform for running competitions and growing your email lists and social following. It’s super easy to setup a competition in minutes and achieve amazing results!
- Gsuite If you need all of that expensive and time-consuming business ‘stuff’ like a reliable email address, calendar, document creation and storage then you can’t go past Google’s suite of cloud-based business apps called Gsuite. Gsuite offers a very cost-effective set of intelligent apps including Gmail, Docs, Drive and Calendar to connect the people in your company, no matter where in the world they are.
WRITING & NOTE TAKING TOOLS
- Google Docs: This is the distraction-free, cloud-based word processor that I use to write anything – from blog posts and meeting notes to scripts, presentations and ideas from brainstorming sessions.
- Evernote One of the handiest cross-platform apps I have ever had the pleasure of using. I have it on my phone, my tablet, my laptop and my computer and it allows me to record notes, website snippets, photos, voice snippets and even hand-written sketches all within one simple interface which can be accessed across all your devices. Think of it as the best notebook you’ll ever have for recording ideas and inspiration, with the convenience of being searchable.
- Google Adsense: Make money on autopilot, simply by placing Google Adsense on your blog or website. Adsense will display relevant ads on generated from advertisers using Google Adwords. Adsense is free to use, you just have to register for an account and receive approval for your website from the Google team(to ensure it genuine and passes their content guidelines) before you start displaying ads.
- Google Adwords: This is the platform to use if you want to begin advertising in Google search results. With Adwords you can select keywords and locations and you pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement.
MEASURING YOUR SUCCESS
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics (fondly known as GA) is a free website tracking and analytical tool. It’s an absolute must-have for anyone who owns a website or blog.
- Sucuri: Website security services are like car insurance – it doesn’t seem important until you have an accident and it’s all too late! If you are like me and don’t want to run the risk of having any unwelcome intruders interrupting your progress and revenue stream, pay the yearly Sucuri fee for peace of mind. I have comfort knowing that if anyone tampers with my sites, it’ll be taken care of right away.
GETTING HELP FROM OTHERS / OUTSOURCING
- Freelancer: My go-to marketplace for finding a freelancer to assist with the completion of Wordpress website enhancements, data collection, data entry and graphic design. Listing a job on Freelancer is free, you simply write a brief outlining your requirements, post it on the Freelancer website, and freelancers will rapidly respond with theirs ‘bids’ for your job.
- Fiverr: Ideal as a platform to outsource basic humorous or gimmicky tasks (for example, we once used Fiverr to create a custom Star Wars-inspired voice over to celebrate a team member’s special occasion!). It can be lots of fun if your expectations of quality are not too high.
- The 4-Hour Work Week: Tim Ferris started a movement when he published this book, and years later it is still one of the best entrepreneurial references on the shelves. This will provide you with ideas and concepts that will stick with you for life and help you succeed not only in business, but in your personal life, by allowing you to become more aware of what is actually important to focus on (and what is not).
- Content Machine A super actionable book by Australian entrepreneur Dan Norris, taking you through the paces of creating a content strategy and 100% actionable plan for your blog or website, so that you’ll never have writers’ block again. You aren’t just buying a book when you purchase Content Machine, you are buying a system and a set of tools which will set you up for success. Extreme value for money, particularly considering it comes in at under $10 for the Kindle version!
- ThirstyAffiliates: If you are planning to generate an income by promoting affiliate offers on your WordPress blog this plugin is invaluable. Not only does it allow you to store all of your affiliate links within the admin section of your WordPress site, but it allows you to insert them in an instant into any post or page. The free version is great, the paid version is even more robust.
- YoastSEO: Yoast is the bee knees for assisting with content optimisation, helping you to maximise the chances of your blog being visible in search engines. It’s free and it’s awesome (there’s a premium version too which I’m yet to try).
- Limit Login Attempts: Install this plugin to limit the number of times someone (or a bot) can attempt to login to your WordPress admin panel before getting blocked. Also completely free.
LOGO AND COLLATERAL DESIGN
- Canva: The leading online design toolkit for setting up a new business in a flash. Canva allows you to create everything from logos to Facebook header images in the cloud. Heaps cheaper than the cumbersome desktop alternatives such as the Adobe suite (and way more convenient). The logo of most of my websites (including The Freedom Chaser) was designed on Canva.
- Coinbase: After trialing many, Coinbase is my cryptocurrency wallet of choice (and it’s free to get one).
- Bitcoinget: If you want to get off the mark with your cryptocurrency nest-egg but don’t have any cash to invest, give Bitcoinget a go. It’s a rewards-based system that offers members the chance to earn Bitcoins in exchange for tasks such as surveys, polls and watching videos.