Every self-employed renegade needs good tools and resources to help them run their empires. Here are some that I use and recommend to run my businesses. Hopefully, they’ll help you as much as they’ve helped me.
Full disclosure: Some of these resources are free, and some aren’t. Those that are paid resources are affiliate products or services, meaning if you buy them, I get a commission at no extra cost to you. Please know that I have personal experience with all of the following resources, which is why I recommend them.
My top four recommendations
These are the tools I keep coming back to over and over to recommend. They make my life easier and I’m confident that they’ll make yours easier as well.
Bluehost is my recommended hosting provider for 99% of people. It’s extremely flexible to start out, and let’s you do a 1-click installation of WordPress. This makes setting up WordPress much easier. You can use unlimited domains if you plan on having multiple websites.
LeadPages is the main tool I use for building my email list and growing my blog to tens of thousands of subscribers. It makes setting up squeeze pages, landing pages and newsletter pages a breeze. The best part is everything is easily set up and customizable for beginners.
Mailchimp is the primary tool I use for email marketing and autoresponders. It makes setting up your email list incredibly simple and straightforward. They by far have the best email deliverability over any service I’ve tried.
Gumroad is my favorite tool for accepting payments and distributing digital products. Their checkout process has dramatically increased my conversion and the happiness of my customers.
All in one solution
At some point you might grow to the level where you need a more robust, all-in-one solution. If you’re making a decent amount of money from your business and want everything in one place, I recommend Ontraport (formerly OfficeAutopilot).
This is what I use on Paid to Exist (my most complex business). It helps me keep my email marketing, product sales and delivery all in one cohesize place.
Writing and blogging tools
- Writeroom. This is my favorite writing app. It makes distractions simply disappear. I love the clean interface and old-school writing feel when using it.
- Mindmeister. What I use to mindmap all of my products, courses and projects before I create them. I also do business planning with Mindmeister. My favorite feature is that you can easily collaborate and invite others.
- Hotjar. Easily the best software I’ve ever used to get information about your visitors and improve your conversion process. Heatmaps, surveys, feedback pop-ups and even recording users interactions on your site is included in this awesome tool.