I would like to share with you the 12 best, must-have tools for your online business. These are tools that I've personally used in my online business. Myself and my team have done ample research to ensure that they are the best of the best.
Keep in mind that the type of tool that you use depends on the type of business that you have. Moreover, some tools will be more relevant to you, based on what stage you are at in your online business.
I’m a big believer that any time you can leverage technology, you should. This will allow you to scale, grow, automate, and free up your time.
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Some if these tools are free, while others cost money. Keep in mind that advanced tools that cost money may not be necessary when you are first starting out. Below are the 12 best, must-have tools for your online business. Plus, all the headings are clickable so you can try them out yourself!
WordPress is a blogging platform that you can use to create a website on. I think it’s the best platform that is on the market. It’s an open source, meaning that there are other developers that can design themes and plugins.
Other platforms, like Wix, are a closed source, which means that you are limited in what you can do, in terms of SEO, customizing, etc. Newbies get marketed Wix or Squarespace because the technical aspects of WordPress overwhelm them.
Today, it's never been so easy to start a website. Invest your time and learn what it takes. I highly recommend WordPress. It is 100% free, but if you are going to use it, you will need hosting and a domain name.
For hosting, you can use Bluehost, which is an inexpensive hosting service option. The cheapest plan goes for $10/month. Bluehost gives you a free domain name and they have an easy WordPress install. You could also use GoDaddy for your hosting.
If you are getting over 50,000 visitors/month to your website, you may want to consider getting something called, WP Engine. It's more expensive, but it is awesome. This is what I currently use, and it is designed for WordPress hosting.
WordPress has different themes and layouts that you can use for free, or you can buy one to customize the look and feel of your website. There are also plugins that you can download in order to add additional features to your website.
2. Google Analytics
This is a free tool that gives you all the data for your website.
You want to start tracking data as soon as possible because it's important to know things like, (a) which of your pages people are visiting, (b) how much time people spend on your website, (c) what the flow and sequence is that they go through, (d) what keywords they are using, (e) what search engine pages they come from, etc..
3. Research Tools
It's important that you identify what keywords people are searching for in your market.
Google Adwords is an advertising platform. It’s free to download it, and you only pay once someone clicks your ad to visit your website, or calls you. In other words, when your advertising is working.
This tool gives you keywords that people are searching for in Google and other search engines. It is free, but there is a paid version as well.
Long Tail Pro
If you want to master SEO for your blog, this tool will give you deeper information with regards to Adwords data, metrics, etc. If you are a #’s person, this is a great tool for you.
With this tool you can put in a keyword and the website will give you all the top content relating to that topic. It will tell you which topics are the most popular, shared, and most liked.
This helps you as content creator, because when you know what headlines and topics are resonating with people online, you can then create epic content.
On any website, you need to collect email addresses of people that are visiting your website or that are consuming your content. A leadpage allows you to easily create landing pages, also known as squeeze or opt-in pages.
This tool enables people to come to your page, where you would offer them something for free, and then they would enter their contact info in order to subscribe to be on your email list.
If you want an example of one, view my free course, which outlines the 7 online business models that have made me an Internet millionaire in less than 3 years.
Leadpages are great for simple squeeze pages and they’ve got the best designs for that.
Aweber is software that allows you to collect emails, send broadcasts to your email list, and set up auto-responder emails. It integrates with leadpages and with WordPress. They all work together.
There are other email management softwares out there, however when you are choosing one, make sure that they are Internet-marketing friendly. It depends on what you are using it for.
It’s important to make sure that whatever software you use has high deliverability. You can collect a lot of emails, but when you are sending out email broadcasts, if the emails are getting sent to people’s spam folders, it wont be an effective software for you.
I like Active Campaign, but it doesn’t allow affiliate links to be in the emails you send out, so that is why I use Aweber. AWeber is reliable and they have been in the industry for over 10 years.
Keep in mind that this tool does cost money, and you should only use this software when you are getting traffic to your blog or website.
This will allow you to build a relationship with your subscribers and market and promote other services and products to them.
OptinMonster allows you to have opt-in forms appear on your website or blog, which makes a huge difference to the # of subscribers that you receive in your email list. Another bonus is that it integrates with WordPress and Aweber.
There is a one-time fee for purchasing this software, but it’s been one of my favorite tools that I’ve been using for the last few years.
This is software created by Russell Brunson that allows you to create funnel pages for your online business.
Every online business consists of funnels where people come to a sales page or landing page where they sign up, and you then offer them a product or service.
ClickFunnels makes it easy for you to create those funnels and put it all together. You can create landing pages for it, but for me, they aren’t as attractive or easy to set up as using leadpages are.
I like to use ClickFunnels more for sales pages. However, they suck with membership websites. If you have a really basic thing that you are selling, like an eBook, it can be great for that.
8. WishList Member
If you are creating a membership website where people are buying something from you, and they have a members area where they access products or services, I recommend using WishList Member, which is a WordPress plugin.
It has amazing functionality and cool features that are beneficial for your online business. Personally, I like to use ClickFunnels for my funnels, and WishList for my members’ area.
With WishList Member, there is another option called, Optimize Press, which has different themes for WordPress (landing pages, sales pages, membership themes, etc.).
I use Optimize Press for my members’ area. The design, look, and feel of it, is great. It is cheaper than using ClickFunnels, which you have to pay for every month. Ease and speed costs money, but if you want to do it yourself, use Optimize Press.
9. PayPal, Stripe, ClickBank, JVZoo
PayPal is great for receiving high transaction payments. It does have limitations, in that it doesn’t integrate with some of the other tools.
Stripe integrates with WordPress, ClickFunnels, and then when someone signs up and pays, you can set it up so that they immediately get access to the members’ area.
ClickBank is what I use to sell my products online. They have a great affiliate market. JVZoo isn’t great, but I like to have both in my business, for production purposes. You always need to have a backup.
Hootsuite and Buffer are great tools for driving traffic, increasing fan engagement, and saving time on social media.
Instead of manually doing it yourself, these tools allow you to schedule all of your posts on different social media platforms, in advance.
11. Meet Edgar
If you have a blog or website and you are spending a lot of time creating content, you want to make sure that it reaches as many people as possible.
I have 1000’s of videos and blogs. Some of my content is really good, but it’s hidden from my audience. With this tool, it takes content that you’ve published in the past and repurposes it on social media.
12. Crazy Egg
Crazy Egg is software that installs a heat map on your website and gives you information about how people are using your website.
An important component of an online business is split testing and optimizing it. You need to receive feedback from people that visit your website.
For example, Crazy Egg allows me to know how many people are visiting my website, where they are clicking, what parts of my website they are clicking on, etc.
Another software that I suggest is Visual Website Optimizer, which allows you to split test your sales letters and landing pages.
However, I don’t recommend this software much anymore because, if you are using lead pages, they already have built-in split testing capabilities.
These are 12 best, must-have tools for your online business that have contributed to my business success. If you can recommend other tools, please feel free to share.
Good luck with your online business!