What software do you recommend for email marketing? Which one for building a website? I've seen people asking questions like these all the time, so I decided to give you my personal recommendations regarding tools and resources that you may need on your way to succeed in the online world.
Every tool I recommend below I have used it myself (otherwise it wouldn't make much sense to suggest, right?).
Basic Website tools
Start from here, as without a website you can't do much in the online world.
Hosting is where your web pages, files, and documents are stored. Your website must be hosted somewhere or it cannot be viewed by anyone. I love SiteGround, because it makes your website load super fast, it's relatively cheap, it provides you with a business email address and you can also register a domain name through it.
WEBSITE/CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
It's not the most used content management system without a reason. With WordPress you can have a basic platform that you can build on and turn it into a goldmine. If you want a CMS that gives you the most control, ownership, flexibility and freedom to do whatever you want, then WordPress is a no brainer.
One you have a website up and running, it's time to start attracting online visitors to it and eventually build an audience that follows you. Here's what you need for these:
PAGES BUILDER/LEAD GENERATION
With Thrive Themes you get a drag-n-drop web page builder, forms that capture email addresses, a quiz builder, a powerful system to collect and display client testimonials and the ability to create online courses. In other words, all the tools you need to turn your website's online visitors into buying customers.
With ActiveCampaign you can create an email list of subscribers, send newsletter campaigns to them and create powerful email automation series. I prefer this tool over other email marketing pieces of software, because of its easy-to-use interface and its advanced automation and A/B testing capabilities.
The 3 tools below help you become more productive and efficient while you work in a secure way.
During the era of hacking and cracking it's not safe anymore to use a single password to login everywhere neither is it too smart to write your passwords on a piece of paper. LastPass is a great tool that can help you store your passwords online in a secure way. It also shows you how to be more secure online by giving you great tips.
FILES CLOUD STORAGE/COLLABORATION
Another great tool provided by Google that helps you store your files (documents, images, videos etc.) online. It's also suitable for collaboration, as you can invite other people to edit your documents (word documents, excel sheets, power points). It also saves you some money, because it can act as a substitute of Microsoft Office (for which you need a paid license) and its free plan gives 15 GB of storage, which is quite generous compared to what similar cloud storage services offer.
PROJECT & TASKS MANAGEMENT
Have you ever tried to start working on a project, but you suddenly realized that you don't know where to start from? Trello helps you start from somewhere. On Trello you can create projects and divide them into small tasks by adding timelines, checklists and columns. You can also collaborate on projects with others by creating Teams. A perfect tool for both business and personal projects and tasks.
Website Monitoring tools
You can't just build, create, execute and not know what is going on with your website... You need to get feedback from your website's visitors.
You don't need Google Analytics right from the start and you definitely don't need it, if you don't know how to use it. With that said, it's not the toughest tool to use and at some point you'll definitely want to know what happens on your website. Are people visiting it? How long do they stay on every page? Do you have visitors who come back for a second time?
The ultimate tool that helps you find out why people are leaving your website, which buttons are mostly clicked and more... With Hotjar you actually get to watch recording of your visitors' sessions on your website. This way you can observe patterns and take corrective actions. You can also find out whether your website is truly mobile responsive.
Digital Product tools
The tools below will help you accepts payments on your website if you want to sell digital (or physical) products and memberships.
CREDIT CARDS PROCESSING
Stripe is the leading solution for accepting credit (and debit) cards payments on your website. It is fairly priced and supported in most countries. Most importantly, it's easy to set up, integrate with your website and use it.
DIGITAL PRODUCT DELIVERY
SendOwl is a tool that helps you sell digital products (e.g. online courses). Specifically, it lets you create a membership program where your clients can pay you in a subscription model. It also takes care of you EU VAT tax compliance and its coolest feature is that it automatically creates a simple affiliate program for your products.
If you have a team of people in your business then you need some tools to help you stay efficient and work productively as a team.
Email is always a good option when you want to formalize something you want to say. However, when you want to instant message someone from your team and get something sorted fast then you can't rely on emails (not on Facebook Messenger either). A great tool that allows private messaging, group chats, channel discussions and audio calls is Slack.
ADVANCED PROJECT MANAGEMENT
When you manage a team of accountants, writers, bloggers marketers or anything other than software developers then you can use Trello. However, if you have a team of software developers then you need something more advanced, a tool that can integrate with things like GitHub, Zendesk etc. In this case, you can use Jira, as it's meant for software developers and their complex work flows.
Must Read Books
These are my personal favorite books and some of the most inspiring books ever written.
The Holy Bible
This is the word of God in written form. It contains the Old Testament that talks about the creation of the world, the story of Moses and the prophecies of the prophets. Its second part is the New Testament which is the story of Jesus Christ through the Gospels and the epistles of the apostles. The best book for those who feel lost in life and can't find satisfaction in the modern way of living.
Out of the Devil's Cauldron
As the subheading of this books says: This is a journey from darkness to light. In other words, this autobiography talks about how John Ramirez went from being a high priest of Satan all the way to become a Christian evangelist. This is a great read if you want to know how you can protect yourself against the dangers of the underworld.
Made in America
In his book Sam Walton tells the story of Wal-Mart, one of the most successful companies of the 20th century. Through his words you get to understand all those factors and decisions that helped the company succeed. You'll learn huge business lessons from this book regardless of your industry.
The 4-Hour Work Week
Tim Ferris supports in this book that you can be free and enjoy life even with making 30K per year. How? By working only 4 hours a week and living anywhere (e.g. in an exotic place with low cost of life). He also talks about 2 other principles: eliminating inefficient activities and outsourcing tasks that you don't like to do in your business. This book has changed the life of many people.
The Case for Christ
Lee Strobel was a journalist specialized in criminal cases. At one point his wife became a Christian and he noticed amazing positive change in her. Therefore, he decided to go into a personal investigation to find out whether Jesus was who he claimed to be (i.e. the son of God). This book describes his interviews with specialists like theologists, doctors and psychologists who shine light into the case for Christ.
Early Retirement Extreme
JACOB LUND RISKER
The main concept described in this book is simple: You work for 10-15 years while living a frugal life with minimum expenses. After this time you have made enough to live the rest of your life without having to work. Even if you don't want to follow a life plan like this, this book will help you eliminate consumerism from your life until the last bit.