Tools & Resources I Use
I have compiled this page to detail all the tools and resources I use to establish multiple profitable businesses online and offline. These tools and resources have helped me establish multiple successful businesses that generate thousands of dollars online each month. You can look at my earnings here.
Many of these tools are focused on establishing successful online businesses because that’s how I generate most of my passive income. It’s also the best way in my opinion to start a business today as the cost and risk involved are almost non existent.
I’m always tweaking this list as I learn and experience more. I hope you find this information helpful in growing your business. I will be referring back to it every now and then as needed, but I recommend you bookmark this page for ease and your reference at any time
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links which pay me a commission each time a purchase is made through them. This DOES NOT increase the cost of the product to you. Almost each and every product or service I recommend is one that I have personally tried and tested over time. I am recommending these because they have worked effectively for me. Please don’t purchase these tools if you don’t feel they will help you in your business, or simply because you are not comfortable. Feel free to email me if you have any questions that will help you decide.
Quitting Your Job & Trying Entrepreneurship Full Time
- Profitably Engineering Your Own LayOff – You will never hear me advocate quitting your job to start a business full time immediately, but if you’ve given this enough thought, and you fit the ideal profile (for many aspiring entrepreneurs this is the right way to do it) and have already made up your mind, do not quit without reading this excellent resources. This book teaches you how to profit from your separation from your employer. I am not talking about basic severance and unpaid vacation. I am talking about several months of pay and healthcare coverage outside of the severance and unpaid vacation time you already have.
Website Domains (Your Web URL or WWW Address)
- GoDaddy – The first and only place I ever bought/buy domains from. I love the robust customer support and willingness of the staff to hold my hand and walk me through any and all problems in plain English and easy to follow step by step instructions. They clearly have this right.
Hosting (Where Your Website is Hosted on the Internet)
- BlueHost – Although most of my websites are hosted either on GoDaddy or Site Build It!, I also like Bluehost, most particularly the ease by which one can get started with blogging using WordPress. Bluehost has a one click quick WordPress installation function. I use Bluehost for a few of my more recent / newer websites. Highly recommended for blogging.
- GoDaddy – Read my thoughts on GoDaddy above. I love their service. They also keep sending discount coupons to ensure I am never overpaying. GoDaddy and BlueHost pricing is very similar.
- Site Build It! – You can read more about Site Build It! under niche sites below. SBI is more than just a host, although its is also superb. It is the only web hosting platform that automatically pings hundreds of engines each time you make a change to your static website, whether you are adding, deleting or simply editing content, thus giving you maximum exposure on search engines. It is also the only hosting services that automatically generates a sitemap for your website and submits it to the big three (Google, Yahoo and Bing) to ensure all your webpages are indexed on search engine listings. Some of my most profitable websites are hosted on this platform. Highly recommended if you want to build a solid, long term and sustainable business online.
Keyword Research (Get More Visitors to Your Website)
- Site Build It! – You can read more about Site Build It! under niche sites below. SBI is more than just a keyword research tool, although it includes the WordTracker keyword tool included in the package.
- Google Adwords Keyword Tool – A pretty good tool that is free to use. It’s really meant for those who advertise using the Google Adwords program, but you can use it to research keyword search demand. Although you can research ad competition for the keywords, you cannot research the keyword supply competition (number of websites online competing to rank for the keywords).
- Market Samurai – The best and most affordable keyword research tool in the market. You can use this tool to make money online without owning a blog or website. Simply research a profitable keyword in 2 minutes, write a short article and submit to article sites. Read more about Market Samurai below under the Niche Sites section. Read more on how you can use Market Samurai to make passive money online without a website or a blog.
I make the bulk of my money online through a portfolio of websites that I have established over the years. This article details the tools I use to build and market my websites.
- Site Build It! – The single best, all inclusive and most comprehensive suite of tools you need to research, plan, establish, market and monetize a niche website. Don’t blog blindly and build yourself a sold sustaining business. My first few and most profitable websites were built using the Site Build It! (SBI) platform. You literally don’t need to purchase any other tool on this list if you purchase SBI. Read my review of SBI here.
- Niche Profit Classroom – This is a comprehensive and effective niche site training course that I have been through. You will learn how to research profitable niches and capitalize on them. Read my review of Niche Profit Classroom here.
- OnlyWire – This is a social bookmark aggregator that bookmarks any given URL to multiple social bookmarking sites. Instead of logging in to 25 different sites, you can use this tool to easily and quickly bookmark your pages on all your social networks and sharing sites. They have a free as well as a paid version. Many use this to bookmark new webpages they create to avoid duplicate content penalties when they start marketing their niche websites. Read my review of OnlyWire here.
- Market Samurai – This is the single best stand alone keyword research tool in the market. You can use this software to research profitable niches as well as all the profitable keywords within those niches. The tool also researches the overall competitiveness of the niche. Further, you can track how each of your targeted keywords / webpages are performing on the internet. Read my review of Market Samurai here.
- Google Adwords Keyword Tool – This is a free keyword research tool provided by Google as part of the –Adwords program. You can manually research profitable niches and keywords using this tool. The tool works very well, especially considering that it is free. However, it is not nearly as effective nor efficient as Market Samurai.
- The Best Spinner – This program is highly effective in spinning articles quickly, enabling you to create numerous spun versions of the same article for marketing purposes. It’s not perfect, but it is the best one I have tried. I use this to spin my articles when engaged in article marketing. It’s a huge time saver and you won’t have to worry about duplicate content penalties when you use it.
- Unique Article Wizard – This is one of the most effective tools I own and one that I pay quite a bit for. After trying one article submitter after another, I found this to be the best in the market. Each article is manually reviewed to ensure top quality. The price is a bit steep, but you totally get what you pay for and MUCH more. Read my review of Unique Article Wizard here.
- Easy PLR Private Label Articles – This is a turnkey service that provides you with quality articles that are ready to go. You purchase the articles, optimize them to your liking and then post them on your website or for marketing purposes. This is one quick way to grow your website. Read my review of Easy PLR here.
- WordPress – Read more about this under the blogging section. Since many are now using WordPress as their niche site platform, I have also included it under the “Niche Sites” section.
- Traffic Travis – This is an excellent search engine optimization checker tool for blogs and websites based on WordPress. You can read more about this under the blogging section. You can read more of my thoughts on Traffic Travis here and here.
- WordPress – I don’t even know if there is another blogging platform anymore out there. This is the best blog publishing platform that is open source, meaning anyone can customize it and enhance it. WordPress is likely here to stay. It has evolved a long way and will continue to adapt to the latest and greatest trends online. Best of all it is free! This blog is a WordPress blog.
- Thesis – Thesis is my favorite WordPress blog theme which this blog runs on. If you are serious about your Blog SEO I highly recommend Thesis. It has SEO integration like non-other. The best part is that all the work is done for you. You simply upload and start blogging. It’s a drag and drop, easy and intuitive theme to use. They also have one of the best support forums. Read why my blog’s SEO is so good with Thesis here.
- Woo Themes – I tried two of their themes (or designs) out on 2 of my niche sites and they look great. Woo Themes does a fantastic job of “professionalizing” the look and feel of a blog.
- Traffic Travis – This is the best blog SEO tool to ensure your posts as are optimized as possible to get the maximum benefit from each.
You can read more of my thoughts on Traffic Travis here
E-Books / Self Publishing
Self publishing eBooks is one of the most turnkey and effective ways to generate long term passive and residual income online, particularly given the popularity of widely popular online platforms such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Google, each of which has a massive following you can tap into each time you release an eBook.
I have written a 25,000+ word comprehensive series on eBook, from researching a profitable topic, writing the eBook, creating it, publishing it, marketing it and successfully monetizing it. You can start reading the series here.
Here are three solid FREE resources that can help you with eBooks. I have read each of these at least twice over. These books used to cost money but are now offered free.
- Make Your Knowledge Sell – if you don’t believe that you can write a profitable eBook yet, this book will turn you or anyone else into a believer. You have got what it takes to take what is in your head and turn it into financial success.
- Make Your Content Presell – this book is about the concept of “preselling” – how to effectively “warm up” your reader and building the trust factor. This is a must if you intent to sell anything in your eBook or website. This is a solid resource for copy writing in general.
- Make Your Words Sell – this book is all about mastering the art of compelling your reader to take action, whether that is buying from you or following your recommendation. I highly recommend this for every internet entrepreneur who is doing business online.
Images You Can Use On Your Website or Blog
- iStockphoto – Hands down the best and most economical option to procure pictures for your blog or website. Although I do not use that many images on my blog, my niche websites are full of photos I bought from iStockphoto for pennies (check out their bulk option). I have found photos for pretty much any niche or topic all at a very affordable price. The quality is also excellent. With iStockphoto, you can be assured that images bought are yours and yours only. There are alternatives to iStockphoto, but none worth mentioning because none come close to what you get for your buck in my opinion.
SEO Checker Tool (To Get More Visibility & Traffic Online)
- Site Build It! – SBI has a built in SEO checker that grades each webpage you write. If you don’t achieve a 100% score, it will tell you what changes to make. You can keep regarding until you achieve a 100% score before publishing the webpage. I like this tool because you don’t have to have a website on SBI to use it. As long as you have an SBI subscription, you can upload other HTML pages from other websites and grade them as well. I use this quite a bit. Read my review of Site Build It! here.
- Traffic Travis – This is a SEO checker tool for blogs. Similar to what SBI does for static website pages, Traffic Travis does the same for blog posts. I use this before I publish my blog posts to ensure I am getting the maximum SEO benefit from my efforts. You can read more of my thoughts on Traffic Travis here and here.
Social Bookmarking Tool
- OnlyWire – This is the best mass social bookmarking tool I have come across. I use this to immediately bookmark newly published content to 1) get them indexed in search engines and 2) avoid duplicate penalties if I were to market the content later on. You set up the system once with all your logins to various social networks and the tool does the rest of a fairly automated basis. Read my review of OnlyWire here.
Email Marketing / Autoresponders
- Aweber – The best email list builder / newsletter service I have tried. I tried Constant Contact and one other before setting my heart on Aweber. I absolutely love the innovation they continue to produce to adapt with an ever changing internet landscape. I currently use this as my email newsletter service. You can read about the various uses of this tool here.
Increasing Opt Ins, Sign Ups / Growing Your Email Lists
Affiliate Networks / Programs
iPhone Applications Without Programming Experience
In early 2011 I got involved with iPhone application development. The following resources have been a tremendous help in my success in establishing this additional stream of passive income :
- Free the Apps – A very detailed guide to developing iPhone apps for non programmers from a true inspiration. You don’t need to learn how to code. All sorts of resources included as well.
- Elance – I have found the best application programmers to work with on this platform. I use Elance for several other tasks as well that help me with my online business endeavors.
- AppifyWP 2 – The best WordPress Theme specifically designed for for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Mac App Developers. My smart phone application websites are all on this WordPress theme.
Advertising on Your Website
- Google Adsense – I make a big chunk of my money from Google Adsense through various niche websites. Google automatically places relevant ads on various pages of your website where you have their code.
- Chitika – A nice alternative to Adsense, but it doesn’t have to be. Adsense only allows three ad impressions per page, but you can use Chitika to supplement your ad efforts. Adsense allows the use of Chitika on the same pages as its own ads. I use Chitika on several of my niche websites parallel to Google Adsense. Read my review of Chitika here.
Advertising For Your Website
Website Analytics and Stat Monitoring
- Google Analytics – I have tried several paid solutions earlier in my internet marketing days, but unless you are running a multimillion dollar business and need to get really sophisticated in web traffic tracking and analysis, Google Analytics is a free web based tool that will get the job done for you. No matter what you are doing online, the least you can do is implement Google Analytics quickly so you can learn more about your visitors and your website’s performance on the internet.
- Google Optimizer – Like Google Analytics, this is also a free tool provided by Google through which you can split test different changes to your website. The tool helps you track the results of tweaks you make to your website to help you develop the most “optimized” layout that brings you the best results.
E-commerce / Shopping Carts / Product Delivery & Payment Systems
In 2007, I sold an e-commerce business I started in 2005 for $250,000 to one of the top ranking Power Sellers on Ebay. Today I successfully sell over 20 e-books online. The following tools will help you if you are interested in e-commerce activity.
- BlueHost Shopping Cart – If you are going to sell something online you need a shopping cart. The BlueHost hosting service comes with a built-in shopping cart, another reason why I like this hosting service provider. You can read more about them above under the hosting section.
- Charge.Com Merchant Account – When your business grows, it makes sense to get your own credit card processor instead of using services like PayPal because of the significant cost savings and security measures involved. Charge.Com not only provides a merchant solution (credit card processing), but also a free shopping cart that you can easily integrate with their payment system. This is a two in one solution, one that I used in my e-commerce business. They have been in business for well over 15 years. Read my review of Charge.Com here.
- Clickbank – My favorite e-book selling platform because I don’t have to worry about collecting payments, shopping carts, merchant accounts, product distribution and affiliate program management. They do it all for me for free. All my e-books are on the Clickbank platform. What’s more is their superior affiliate program. There are thousands of Clickbank affiliates waiting and ready to promote your products for a commission that you decide on. It’s like having your own sales army. You don’t pay unless and until you get real results. It’s a win-win situation for all. E-Junkie is another platform similar to Clickbank, but I personally don’t like their fixed fee structure and the quality of their affiliate program when compared to Clickbank. Read my review of Clickbank here.
- Google Adwords – This is a Pay-Per-Click advertising platform where you bid on relevant keywords in exchange for showing up high in search results for those keywords. You pay Google each time a visitor clicks on your advertisement. Many merchants employ this strategy, especially when first starting out in order to get a quick rush of traffic.
- Google Checkout – A payment processing system hosted by Google where your visitors / buyers can easily pay and check out from your website.
- PayPal – A quick way to implement a payment collecting mechanism on any site. You can use PayPal to collect money from anyone, including your friends, family, website visitors / customers. PayPal can also be easily integrated with most shopping cart solutions.
Outsourcing Work You Don’t Want To Or Can’t Do
- Odesk – Best place to find freelancers, particularly virtual assistants and programmers. I have hired two long term salaried virtual assistants from Odesk and have used it several other times for various projects.
- Virtual Staff Finder – If you are interested in full time affordable help, you need to check out this service. This is a customized virtual staff finder service that matches you with the right candidate for your needs. The staff is very professional and high quality.
- Elance – Another good place to find freelancers, writers, developers, designers, pretty much anything you need. I get a lot of my writing done through freelancers found on Elance.
- RentACoder – Good place to find technical help such as designers, programmers and developers. I use this service for my design and development needs.
- Logo Tournament – If you ever need a brand established / a logo designed this is the place to be. You detail out exactly what you want and a bunch of designers will start working on it for you for free. You don’t have to pay anyone until you select one you like. When you decide you like it, you only pay that one person. I love this service and have used it repeatedly for my niche sites. Read my review of Logo Tournament here.
Get Paid To Do Stuff
Get Paid To or GPT programs and those that pay per action such as taking surveys, reading emails, trying out products and services. Although these programs are a viable solution to making a few extra bucks every week in your spare time, the real revenues come from referring other members to the program. I have made a good amount of money from these through one of my lead generation niche sites. You can see some of my earnings here. You can also read more of my GPT articles here. The following are the best and highest programs in their respective areas:
- Cash Crate – Get paid to try products. You get to keep them for free too. Here is my detailed review.
- Hits4Pay – Get paid to read email
- Toluna – The best site that pays for taking paid surveys. I used to like Vindale but Toluna is much better now. You can read several of my articles on paid surveys here.
Legal – Incorporation / Copyrights (Forming Your Own Company)
- Socrates – Personally I like this one better than Legal Zoom for establishing an LLC or any other type of corporation. It’s a pretty good and easy to use services.
Real Estate Investing
- Creative Real Estate Help – A very good soup to nuts, end to end real estate investing system.
- Charrissa Cawley’s Real Estate Power Investor Program – I have met Charrissa personally and this lady is quite amazing and such an inspiration. I love her comprehensive system and DO IT YOURSELF style. The program does a very good job training a newbie on how to walk the real estate ropes.
- Austin Davis’ Commercial Real Estate Course – Great resource for acquiring commercial real estate regardless of your income, experience or credit status. I do recommend getting your feet wet with residential rental real estate first however before diving into commercial.
Stock Market Investing
- Online Trading Academy – This is the oldest and most reputable stock trading academy. Historically they’ve only taught students live in class. Unfortunately not everyone can afford live training. They have made their training programs more affordable and available to everyone in the recent years by opening their online self study courses. I have taken a couple of these myself and they are very effective. I also personally know someone who works as an instructor for OTA in one of their trading schools in Texas.
- Morningstar – There is not a more credible, reputable, reliable and comprehensive trading and investing education tool out there than Morningstar. This is my investing bread and butter and I have had a subscription with them for as far back as I can remember. No matter what trading platform you use, you need quality information on which to base your trading and investing decisions on.
Small Business Information
Retail Discount Portals
These are hands down the two best out there. My wife and I are big consumers of both. Never pay retail price again for goods and services you like to consume. Set up alerts so the deals find you and come to you directly in your inbox.
- Groupon – Read how I specifically buy my Groupons to save 15% more on top of the original 50%+ savings here.
- Living Social
Cash Back Credit Cards
Discover is the most lucrative cash back credit card I use. Cash is King and I’d rather get cash back each time you use it as opposed to miles or points. Read how my wife and I made $4,220 in just 2 hours from cash back credit cards here.