AutoResponders / Email Marketing / Lead Generation
One of the best ways to build a business online is through email marketing. To do this, you’ll need an autoresponder system that manages all of your email campaigns and allows you to perform scheduled, automated email broadcasts. The system that I highly recommend is Aweber. If you’re new to email marketing, make sure that you check out this free course.
If you’re planning to have a website, you’ll need a web hosting account to save your web pages, images, and for a database. One tip is that I would stay away from Windows-based servers if you’re plan is to focus on internet marketing. The majority of marketers use Linux-based servers and it’s what powers the majority of WordPress blogs out there.
After using dozens of web host providers, here are my suggestions:
1) Managed blog service:
If you’re not a techie or new to building websites, the easiest option is to start a blog using a managed service. They will do all the tough techie work for you as far as setting up and managing a blog is concerned. You don’t have to worry about server optimization, server load issues, hacker attacks, or installing scripts. The one that I recommend is Siteground’s WordPress Hosting. If you’re not so WordPress-focused, you can try out a free blog at Wix.
2) Shared hosting:
If you want rock-solid hosting, I highly recommend Siteground. They provide shared hosting, as well as quick start WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, dedicated servers, and a lot more! A few other web hosting services that I highly recommend are A2 Hosting (with CPanel) and Dream Host (they use their customer panel).
3) Cloud/VPS hosting:
This is for advanced users. If you want to use SSH and install/configure your web server (ie. Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP) then use this option. It provides a lot of flexibility without the high cost of getting a dedicated server. The ones that I recommend are Dream Host, Siteground, and A2 Hosting. If you’re new to cloud hosting, I would recommend Dream Host VPS because they offer a highly scalable, stable, and managed platform at an affordable price. These features will allow to to focus building your business than having to spend time managing your server.
In order to find your files on your web host, you’ll need your own internet-based address. This is called a domain. The one that I highly recommend is called Namecheap. While they do offer other services besides domains, I only recommend them for domains and SSL (secure certificates). I rarely use GoDaddy and other popular domain registrars.
If you’re doing search engine optimization (SEO), then using a keyword research tool is a necessity. I’ve tested well over a dozen keyword tools and the one that I recommend is called SEO Powersuite;
If you’d like to accept payments securely, you’ll need a merchant processing account. I highly recommend Paypal and Stripe. If you’re trying to promote home-business related products, then go with SolidTrustPay.
Free Email Account
If you’re looking for a way to send and receive email for free, I highly recommend Google’s Gmail. I’ve used Yahoo Mail for close to a decade before I switched over and I’m totally satisfied. Even the email accounts on my own domains get forwarded to my Gmail account since they have an awesome spam blocking system.
You can capture your computer desktop into video using a tool called Camtasia. This is a great tool if you’d like to offer video training for free or for sale.
If you’re doing direct mail and promoting your own offers, you can use toll-free numbers for phone responses. The company that I highly recommend is called Kall8.
Learning How to Code Websites
Text and Website Editors
There are 2 types of text editors that you can find for code websites. WYSIWYG’s (what you see is what you get) and code editors. If you’re new to websites, then a WYSIWYG editor is recommended. You can get one called Blue Griffon and it’s totally free. For a code editor, I personally use and recommend Notepad++. You can also add extra plugins to boost functionality.
Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations and More
If you’re looking for a free alternative for Microsoft Office, then check out Libre Office. There are other great alternatives, but Libre Office has a huge user base and a lot of add-on extensions to extend the functionality of the programs.