I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that you can always come to for all of your needs to help you escape the rat race. I’ll add to it as I learn more, but you’ll notice that in the future I will reference this page quite often. I recommend bookmarking it for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
In the Bonus Section I have included a PDF version of this entire resource guide. As an additional bonus I will show you how you can easily profit from this massive online resource guide.
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Table of Contents
Domain Name Registration
Images & Photos
Landing Pages – List Building
Social Media Management
The first step in having an online presence is to register your own domain name. Every domain name must be unique. Your domain name will have a suffix added to it which is known as the TLD (top-level domain). Traditionally there were only 3 TLDs that you could use in registering your domain name – .COM, .NET and .ORG. Recently the number of available TLDs have expanded dramatically with more than 50 new options available.
When you register your domain name your information including your name, address and phone number is available for anyone to lookup. Many people do not want others to know they own a domain or how to find out their personal contact details. To resolve this concern, you can add WHOIS protection to your domain name. With WHOIS protection, the company who registers your domain will act as a proxy for communication of registration details. This protects your privacy.
It used to be that you had companies that were dedicated to registering domain names. Once your domain was registered you would have to get another company to host your domain. Today almost all companies that offer domain registration will also provide website hosting. Dealing with just one company for domain registration and website hosting can be appealing. Some hosting companies will provide you with a free domain name when you sign up for their hosting services. Be aware that the free domain name is only free for 1 year or 2 years top. After that time you will have to pay an annual fee to continue your domain. When you register your domain name it is usually valid for only one year. Though you can register a domain name for more than one year. After the period is up you will have to pay an annual fee to renew your domain.
Namecheap – is a very reliable source for registering domain names. Namecheap provides Whois guard free for the first year. Whois guards provides privacy so people cannot see that you own the domain. Namecheap allows you to register domains using the new TLD (top-level domains) quickly and easily. With the free WHOIS guard for the first year, Namecheap has the best value in registering new domains.
NetFirms – Netfirms is a solid site for registering domain names. They will frequently run sales so you can sometimes register a domain name for less than you can anywhere else. They do not provide free WHOIS guard for the first year like Namecheap. They do support registration of domains using the new TLD (top-level domains). They offer website hosting too if you want to have your domain registered and hosted at the same location.
Hostgator – As mentioned below in the Website Hosting section, most people just starting out will use Hostgator for their website hosting. If you are going to use them for hosting your website, you might consider using them also for registering your domain name. Since they provide the entry point for website hosting, they have become one of the larger domain registration sites. They are not knowing for having the best quality service and it can take up to 45 minutes to get a representative when doing their live support chat.
BlueHost – Bluehost provides slightly more stability and server uptime than Hostgator which I detail in the Website Hosting section below. They provide both domain registration and website hosting. Their domain registration process if very simple and easy to complete. Bluehost does not handle the volume of service that Hostgator does but they still provide a very reliable and secure domain registration service.
GoDaddy – is well-known for their “interesting” TV commercials. Most people starting out will use HostGator, BlueHost or GoDaddy. Several times a year they will run a promotion where it costs only a penny to register a new domain name. GoDaddy is one of the largest domain registration companies. GoDaddy has very good support. If you call them you might have to wait 15 minutes to speak to a representative but their representatives are very technical and can answer almost any question.
Once you have registered your domain name then you will need to have website hosting. Let me explain some terms you will see with hosting:
Shared Hosting – Shared hosting allows for multiple websites to use the same server. With the sharing of server resources it provides the lowest cost. The downside is you are sharing the same bandwidth with hundreds of other websites and if one of them is sending/receiving lots of traffic then your website will suffer. Shared hosting is the first type of hosting people will use due to the low cost.
VPS Hosting – VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. VPS hosting provides a step up from shared hosting in that you are no longer sharing server resources with hundreds of other domains. VPS hosting will carve up a servers resources – memory, disk storage and bandwidth – and will provide your website with those dedicated resources. As your website grows in size VPS is usually the next step up from shared hosting.
Dedicated Servers – For the largest websites you will want to have a dedicated server. Unlike VPS hosting where it might carve up the resources of one server among 5 different VPS accounts, with a dedicated server you get access to the whole server yourself. Dedicated servers provide the fastest and greatest access to server resources. It is also the most expensive type of hosting.
Hostgator – This is the hosting company most people starting out use simply because of price. They offer a “Hatchling” and a “Baby” plan. The difference is the Baby plan allows you to host up to 100 domains in your account while the Hatchling plan allows only ONE domain. If you think you will ever have more than two domains in your life then go with the Hatchling Plan. This was the first place I used for Hosting. Hostgator is shared hosting.
BlueHost – BlueHost is now owned by the same company that owns Hostgator. Despite that BlueHost seems to have more uptime than HostGator. Recently HostGator was having issues with servers being down and for that reason many people abandoned HostGator for BlueHost. If you are just starting out and want more uptime in your website then consider using BlueHost over Hostgator. BlueHost is shared hosting.
GoDaddy – GoDaddy offers three different entry-level shared hosting accounts allowing you to pick the one that best fits your needs. If you pay for the hosting in one annual fee they will give you a free domain name. They claim to offer DDoS (denial of service) protection which most other hosting companies will charge extra. If you need to move up from shared hosting to a VPS or dedicated server, GoDaddy has a partnership agreement with Media Temple to provide this service.
Namecheap – With all the recent downtime with Hostgator and somewhat with BlueHost, Namecheap has quietly been sneaking up on them by providing very reliable hosting. Namecheap built a reputation on being a solid place to register a domain name. It can be convenient to use the same company for both domain registration and web hosting. In 2013 Namecheap was voted #1 Web Hosting Company. They offer shared hosting, VPS and dedicated servers which allows you to easily migrate upward as growth to your website increases.
WPEngine – claims to provide the fastest website hosting available. In fact they will not let you install any caching programs on your website to increase speed because they claim their server configuration provides much faster speed. Because of this speed they are more expensive than traditional shared hosting or even some VPS hosting. They limit the number of domains in your account. If you want speed, then you should consider WP Engine. With their recent growth WPEngine has suffered some in customer service but they are working to improve this.
KnownHost – When your website grows you will want to move away from shared hosting to a VPS (Virtual Private Server). VPS hosting provides you with dedicated resources of a server that is not shared. One of the best VPS hosting sites is KnownHost. They answer support tickets in minutes.
LiquidWeb – is a step up from VPS hosting. They offer private cloud servers. If your website sees a huge spike of visitors in one day they can immediately scale your server resources to handle the spike. If you are doing huge product launches then you want to have this service. The cost is much more expensive than using either shared or VPS hosting. But if your business depends on your website being accessible then it is worth the cost. Like KnownHost they answer support tickets usually within 5 minutes or less.
Keyword research is a practice used by website owners to find and research actual search terms people enter into the search engines when conducting a search. Website owners research keywords in order to achieve better rankings in search engines.
Most websites are built upon one niche keyword. The objective of keyword research is to generate, with good precision and recall, large number of terms that are highly relevant yet non obvious to the niche keyword. Traffic can be generated for the website by ranking highly for the niche keyword as well as all relevant keywords.
Keyword research tools help in determining the best niche keyword as well as relevant keywords. Most keyword research tools include the number of searches made for each of those keywords. This information is then used in order to select the correct keyword depending on the SEO goals of the website. It is a good practice to pick keywords that have little competition and high amount of searches.
Market Samurai – has been the industry leader in keyword research. The breadth and depth of information that they provided is easily heads above any other program. They do offer a free trial version of their product for you to test out before purchasing. If you want the best tool for keyword research then this is it. Market Samurai works on both Windows and OS X.
Long Tail Pro – is an up and coming keyword research tool. Many people are using Long Tail Pro instead of Market Samurai due to its ease of use. The product was created by Spencer Hawes of the Niche Pursuits website. Spencer at one time had hundreds of websites targeting niche keywords. He developed Long Tail Pro to help him in managing his own websites. Long Tail Pro offers a free 10 day use to try out the product.
Keyword Planner – is a free tool offered by Google. Keyword Planner recommends keywords based on a keyword you enter or a URL you have the tool analyze. It has a traffic estimator feature which shows the estimated bids prices and ad clicks for the top ranked AdWords ad. Allows you to check for [exact match], “phrase match”, or broad match. You will need to have a Google AdWords account (free to create one) to use this tool.
SEOBOOK Keyword Tool – is a free tool that offers rough suggested daily search volumes by market for Google and the Bing Yahoo! search network. SEOBOOK is a legend in the search engine market research arena. SEOBOOK was founded by Aaron Wall. If you want a tool by the master himself then you should use this tool.
UberSuggest – is a free tool. UberSuggest takes any keyword you give it and immediately gives you an almost unlimited list of alphabetized and numerical keyword variations of your original keyword.
Every successful website takes advantage of using photos and images to enliven their website. You should definitely use photos on your website. Most people will search Google for an image and then use it on their website without getting permission first. As a result many website owners have been sued successfully in court for the use of images on their website that were used without permission. For that reason you want to make sure photos and images that you use are royalty free giving you permission to use them on your website.
iStockPhoto – is a marketplace for royalty free photos that you can use on your website. They provide photos, illustrations and videos. The pricing model is based on of number of credits. You deposit money into your account and get credits that you can use to purchase photos. Pricing is more than PhotoDune.
PhotoDune – is a marketplace where professionals provide royalty free images that you can purchase to use on your website. There are over 5 million images on PhotoDune. If you cannot find a photo on this website then the photo does not exist.
Membership Sites allow access only to approved members and the general public does not have access. Generally members pay some type of fee to join the site. It could be a monthly, annually, or lifetime free. The main advantage for the affiliate is the recurring income from the site.
Wishlist Member – is a powerful, yet easy to use membership solution that can turn any WordPress site into a full-blown membership site. Just unzip and upload the plugin, and within minutes you’ll have your own membership site up and running… complete with protected, members-only content, integrated payments, member management, and so much more! Over 51,589 online communities and membership sites worldwide use Wishlist
MemberMouse – is an easy to use WordPress membership plugin that allows you to sell products, subscriptions and memberships, setup a password protected member’s area, offer 1-click upsells and downsells, manage customers, automate customer service, track critical retention metrics and more. MemberMouse gives you everything you need to easily manage a successful online business. It provides a flexible platform that you can quickly shape to your business, with absolutely no programming required. Provides a free 14 day trial.
DAP – Is A Premium WordPress Membership Platform To Create A Fully Automated, “Buyers Only” Site With One-Time Payments, Recurring Subscriptions Or No Payments At All (free members). DAP has a built-In ContentResponder (to drip content), Email Autoresponder and Broadcast system, Shopping Cart with Coupons, Dime-Sales and 1-Click Upsells and an Affiliate Program That Instantly Turns Your Members Into Your Own Private Salesforce! It is probably the most robust of all the membership sites but it is very challenging to learn and to setup.
Amember – allows you to accept subscription payments, manage customer profiles, deliver digital content, integrate with your blog, forum, or CMS, send opt-in newsletters, run your own affiliate program. If you are technically challenged you will want to take advantage of their free installation program where their professionals will install the software on your website.
Kajabi – Unlike all the other membership programs, Kajabi does not require you to have your own website or to use WordPress. Instead Kajabi is an easy-to-use platform that lets you quickly create beautiful membership sites, right in your web browser. Nothing to download or install. No hosting necessary. Since you don’t have to worry about setting it up, configuring and maintaining the software, you can focus on creating great content for your membership site.
File Sharing is the practice of placing important files on a central server that can be accessed from any computer worldwide. Files can be accessed by the owner or can be shared with others. Most file sharing services allow access to files from a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Besides file sharing, these services can also be used to backup files on your computer in case of a crash.
DropBox – DropBox is the Cadillac standard for file sharing. The best part about Dropbox is they offer a free account that provide you with 2GB of online storage. If you need more space you can upgrade to the Pro Plan which provides 100GB of storage.
Google Drive – is a cloud storage service that allows you to store your documents, photos, videos, and more online. From Drive, you can also use Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other applications to create and edit various types of files. Google Drive and Docs. Google Drive provides 15GB of free storage space.
The absolute worst that can happen to a website owner is to have someone crack your password. When this happens they can easily take over your website and could possibly delete your website contents causing you to lose everything. Hackers are able to easily break into websites because most owners will use the same password on multiple systems. To protect your website as well as access to any website that requires a userid and password, you should use a password management software. A password management software program is a vault of all your userids and passwords for every site you access online. This program can generate very difficult to guess passwords this making your website much more secure.
RoboForm – is the largest password management software. They provide a free version that you can use to secure your website. If you want to sync all your passwords to an online account that you can access from any computer in the world then you will have to upgrade to a paid account.
1Password – provides the exact same functionality of RoboForm. They too offer a free account and a paid account. The only feature that 1Password has over RoboForm is that it gives you the option to reset all your passwords if you had given access to your systems to a Virtual Assistant (VA) or Employee that is no longer with the company. If you are not using a VA or have employees, there is no difference between 1Password and RoboForm.
LastPass – is another password management software. It provides a free version that will provide the ability to safe keep all your passwords. If you want to add unlimited use of the mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, more multifactor options, and added features for power users then you can upgrade from the free version to the premium version.
There is a famous quote by Derek Bot that goes “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” The best thing you can do is to spend money on yourself to learn a new skill or trade. For that reason I have made a point to list the training courses that I recommend that cover a wide range of skills that you might want to learn.
Start a Blog That Matters – this course was created by two guys that have combined created multiple successful blogs. In fact they earn their full-time income from their blogs. This is a create place to learn how to start your own blog.
Live Off Your Passion – is a course created by Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend blog. He was able to quit his day job and do what he loves to do which is writing. He now travels the world and shares with others how you can find your passion and make a living off of it by building your own blog.
How to Make Your First Dollar – is a course created by Noah Kagan. Noah was employee #30 at Facebook and left to become employee #4 at Mint.com. He founded his first company, KickFlip, which became the #1 game processing service on Facebook. In 2010 he founded AppSumo which has over 700,000 active subscribers. Noah knows something about making money online and he shares his knowledge in his course that teaches you how to make your first $1,000 per month business.
SEO – Link Building
Point Blank SEO – The goal of any website is to rank high in Google – preferably #1 – so that people can find your website. There is an art to SEO (search engine optimization) so that you rank highly in Google. Building backlinks to your website is part of the strategy. This course provides detailed instruction on building backlinks to your website.
How To Start A Podcast – If you are interested in starting your own Podcast then you need to watch this free tutorial produced by Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income. It provides you With a Quick and Easy overview of what it takes to start a podcast.
Create Awesome Interviews – course teaches you how to literally create awesome interviews on your podcast. When you look at the number of people who have completed this course and gone on and created very successful Podcasts of their own, you will see this course has been very successful.
Podcaster’s Paradise – is a premium course created by John Lee Dumas of the award-winning Entrepreneur on Fire. John produces a daily podcast that has been featured on iTunes, Entrepreneur Magazine, NBC and CNN. He easily earns over $100k each month from his Podcast. His course is the course all other podcasters learn how to podcast.
The overwhelming majority of websites today are running WordPress. WordPress is a free CRM platform. It is estimated that 25% of all websites are running on WordPress. WordPress provides a very easy user interface allowing anyone of any skill level to manage their own website.
Once you have WordPress installed on your website then you will need to install a WordPress Theme. The Theme will dictate the appearance of your website. There are literally thousands of free WordPress themes that you can install on your website. You can find these free themes at WordPress.
The disadvantage of using a free WordPress theme is the limitation of the amount of control you have over customizing your website design. Premium WordPress themes provide for much greater customization, support and upgrades. Here are the best premium WordPress themes.
Thesis – provides control over every last detail of your website and design with three revolutionary features you won’t find in any other WordPress theme: boxes, skins and site tools. With the traditional WordPress theme and child theme architecture, the only way to edit templates is to get your hands messy with code. Thesis avoids this with their revolutionary design. Because it is different from traditional WordPress themes, it can have a steep learning curve. Once you understand how it works, this has to be one of the best WordPress Themes available.
Genesis – provides a framework and child theme design. You must first install the Genesis Framework and then install any of their premium children themes. Most of the themes have responsive design allowing it to auto adjust based on the size of the screen. Over 112,000 website owners use the Genesis Framework and themes on their website. Genesis has an active forum where owners can ask questions on how to customize their themes and get answers within a day or two.
Elegant Themes – is a collection of 67+ WordPress themes. Instead of charging per theme like Genesis, Elegant Themes provides you access to EVERY one of their themes for one low price. If you have multiple websites in different niches, Elegant Themes provides the most cost-effective method of creating custom themes for these websites. Elegant Themes provides free updates and support for their themes.
ThemeForest – is a marketplace of custom WordPress themes created by authors throughout the world. The marketplace has 4,400+ WordPress themes currently for sale. You can search through the themes and find one that provides the exact look and feel for your website and purchase it. Prices range from $28 to $63 per theme. Each WordPress theme developer provides support for their theme. You can ask questions of the WordPress theme developer before purchasing any theme.
outsourcing is the contracting out of a business process to a third-party. Outsourcing can offer greater budget flexibility and control. Outsourcing lets organizations pay for only the services they need, when they need them. It also reduces the need to hire and train specialized staff, brings in fresh engineering expertise, and reduces capital and operating expenses. If you want to grow your online business then you will eventually need to use outsourcing.
Elance – allows you to hire freelancers for a single project or for an ongoing basis. You can select to pay the freelancer by the project or by hour.
Odesk – provides the same functionality as Elance. You can pay freelancers by the project or by hour.
There are two ways that you can make money with advertising. The first way is to get paid every time someone clicks on links on your website. The second method is to run ads and get paid every time someone click on your ad.
Google Adsense – allows you to place ads on your website. You are paid every time somebody clicks on the ad.
Google Adwords – is Google’s program that allows you to advertise on Google
If you’re running an online business, brick-and-mortar small business, or ANY kind of business, you NEED a way to stay in touch with your prospects and customers. And since every single person in the world has an email address, building an email list is one of the cheapest, most cost-effective solution for doing that. You would have to be an idiot if you are not building an email list.
The easiest way to build your own email list is to place optins on your website. The process of designing an optin list is beyond the technical skills of most website owners. To make the process easier you can use applications that greatly simplify the process of creating optins for your website. Software that goes beyond creating just optins will actually create a landing page that you can use to collect emails. Landing pages provide more functionality than software that is designed solely to collect email addresses from optins.
LeadPages – bills itself as the Internet’s easiest ‘Next Generation’ lead generation platform. They have 70+ templates that you can use. You can install the templates on your own website or they provide self-hosted services for you. They claim to have 14,000+ happy customers which is easy to see since LeadPages has to be the best lead generation program available on the market.
OptinMonster – is the best lead-generation plugin for WordPress that allows you to create attention grabbing optin forms that convert. Imagine having the power to turn your website visitors into subscribers and customers. OptinMonster enables you to create professionally designed optin forms without writing a single line of code in 60 seconds flat. OptinMonster is a lower cost option to LeadPages.
Epic Squeeze – is a wordpress plugin that generates amazing landing pages. It only takes a few minutes to create your squeeze page using this plugin. You can create both horizontal and vertical landing pages. It integrates with top industry leading autoresponders. It has 10 sizzling call to action visual effects. It allows for geo-targeting to instantly localize your page. It can dynamically create scarcity for your offer.
OptinSkin – is a WordPress plugin that captures leads from your website. It comes with 18 built-in templates that you can customize for your website. You can split test your optin templates to determine which one is capturing the most leads. You can place your optins anywhere on your page and even have them fade in to be less obtrusive. You have the ability to create your own custom optin template if you don’t want to use any of the default templates.
Optimize Press – was originally created to create an easy way for entrepreneurs, coaches, online marketers, small businesses owners, speakers and professionals around the world to build marketing pages. With its ability to create squeeze pages, sales letters, landing pages and more, it is easy to see why Optimize Press has become an industry leader. OptimizePress loads as a theme on your WordPress website.
Everyday in the news there is a story about some company whose website has been hacked and passwords and other personal information has been stolen. If it can happen to a Fortune 100 company it can definitely happen to you too. The only way to protect your website from malware from hackers is to have website protection.
Sucuri – will provide protection for your website in case it is every hacked or has malware on it. It will also provide a firewall to protect against anyone being able to hack into your website.
Social Media refers to websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.Social media differ from traditional or industrial media in many ways, incto maintain an online presence. With the vast array of different website provide Social Media, you might want to use software to control them.
Hootsuite – manages social networks, schedule messages, engage your audiences, and measure ROI right from the dashboard. They offer both free and paid accounts. 9+ million professionals use Hootsuite for their Social Media management. Hootsuite was the first social media software and is the standard that all other programs aim to match. Hootsuite manages the connection to more than 35 popular social networks. If you want to go with the first company that made a reputation for Social Media Management then go with Hootsuite.
Buffer – helps you manage multiple social media accounts at once. Quickly schedule content from anywhere on the web, collaborate with team members, and analyze rich statistics on how your posts perform. The offer both free and paid accounts. Buffer now serves more than 1.4 million users every day. Buffer has employees worldwide which allows them to provide support for their customers 24/7. Buffer is one of the leading Social Media management software available today.
SproutSocial – is a management and engagement platform for social business. SproutSocial was designed for larger companies. They offer a 30 day free trial. SproutSocial helps you to create an exceptional brand experience across networks. Sprout’s collaborative environment ensures smarter, faster and more efficient social communications. SproutSocial helps you with engagement, publishing and analytics.
If you ever start an email list then you will need an autoresponder. An autoresponder will allow you to send emails directly to your list.
Aweber – is the oldest and most established email autoresponder service. The price for their service varies based on the number of users that you have on your email list. They allow you to try out their service for the first month for a penny. You can setup autoresponders that will automatically email your list on a schedule you set. 120,000+ marketers use Aweber for their email marketing. They provide very good customer support.
GetResponse – is the second most popular email marketing service behind Aweber. The biggest advantage offered by GetResponse is lower pricing compared to Aweber. GetResponse provides email automation features that Aweber does not have. The only downside is they have recently been hit with DOS (denial of service) attacks that have caused the server to be down. Despite this GetResponse has been growing in size every year.
MailChimp – More than 6 million people use MailChimp to design and send email marketing campaigns. If you are just starting out this might be a very viable option because they provide a free account for up to 2,000 subscribers. Above 2,000 subscribers you will find their pricing just lower than most of their competitors. Their features are not as robust as Aweber or GetResponse. They have a reputation of shutting down accounts for people who are in the affiliate or internet marketing areas.
ConstantContact – was created primarily to provide beautiful looking HTML email templates that you can use to send to your list. Unlike other email services, ConstantContact does not charge you based on the number of subscribers on your list. Instead they charge a flat monthly fee. If you want to have the ability to create landing pages and to have detailed tracking analytics then you will need to pay to upgrade to a more expensive account. Limited in functionality compared to Aweber and GetResponse but cheaper in cost if you have a very large list.
In the Bonus Section I have included a PDF version of this entire resource guide. As an additional bonus I will show you how you can easily profit from this massive online resource guide.
Get Your Bonus!