This is a list of the tools and resources I use in my online business. I only recommend stuff that I’ve personally used and found to be worth the money or worth using. Some of the links below are affiliate links, but like I said, I don’t recommend anything that I haven’t personally used and found to be well worth the price. If you decide to purchase anything through my affiliate links on this page, and you want to know my exact strategies of how I use the service or product, just email me and I’ll be more than happy to help you get started.
The Tools I Couldn’t Do Without:
If you’re are going to put any time and effort into building an online business, you owe it to yourself to setup your own hosting and domain. Using free blogs like Blogger will not only make it harder to get them ranked in the search engines, but they could be deleted at any moment. There a ton of other reasons as well, but I’ll leave it at that.
These are in order of importance….
Hostgator: I used to recommend Bluehost for hosting, but I'll give you a small tip so that you can avoid the problems I ran into. To give you the short explanation, Bluehost is only shared hosting, so when one or a few of your sites starts getting a lot of traffic (and not that much, really), Bluehost will close down your hosting account unless you move your account. You can avoid that hassle by just starting with Hostgator because they offer everything from shared hosting all the way up to a dedicated server so that when you need to upgrade, you just upgrade and you don't have to figure out how to transfer your sites and files. Hostgator is cheaper anyway... so I don't even know why I started with Bluehost originally. Use the coupon code: "1cent" and your first month of hosting is only 1 penny.
Optimize Press 2.0: I use OptimizePress on all of my sites and it is a marketer's dream. With 2.0 it now comes with a built-in membership plugin, so you don't even need an external plugin like Wishlist Member or DAP to protect your products.
It let's you quickly and easily create high-converting sales pages, opt-in pages, and membership portals. My favorite function is the extremely useful and conversion-boosting page elements it gives you. Things like Johnson boxes, feature tables, pricing tables, progress bars, order bars, and much more.
Oh... and it automatically makes all of your webpages mobile-optimized, even your membership pages. This is absolutely huge for today's websites.
If you purchase OptimizePress 2.0 through my link, email me your receipt at nate (at) strayblogger.com and I'll send you my "Squeeze Page Cheat Sheet" report that has 10 of my favorite fill-in-the-blank headlines, and it teaches you how to make any squeeze page irresistible to your prospects, no matter the niche.
It also exponentially builds the traffic to your website, and when you throw an effective auto responder sequence of emails into the mix you have automated traffic and income.
GetResponse is the best auto-responder service out there... Read this post to see why...
If you sign up for a paid GetResponse account through my link, just let me know and I'll send you my "Email Marketing Quickstart" report that will give you the framework for your first auto responder sequence, as well as how to write subject lines and emails that get opened and generate sales.
The 3 Step Business Model That Works
Probably the most frustrating thing for you has been all of the different methods, software, plugins, and "blueprints" to choose from... and knowing where to start and what "plan" to follow.
Here is my exact model boiled down into 3 steps that will build you a repeatable, long-term online business:
1) Write a Kindle ebook and put it up for sale on the Kindle store. You'll earn money from the book sales obviously but you'll also link to a high-converting squeeze page that you've built with OptimizePress. On this page, you're giving away some sort of bonus report for your readers. When they opt-in, they'll be added to your GetResponse subscriber list.
2) You'll setup an auto responder sequence with your GetResponse account that delivers content emails that engage, educate, and inspire your readers, and you'll also occasionally send promotion emails for other Kindle books you publish,or higher-priced information products.
3) You'll keep publishing new Kindle books, new content on your site, and maybe even your own information products. When you do, you simply send a broadcast email from your GetResponse account that let's your subscribers know.
Your website and your Kindle books will have a mutually beneficial relationship. When you send traffic to your Kindle books using your site and your GetResponse list, you'll see a spike in sales as well as an increase in your Kindle rankings.
When you link to a squeeze page from your Kindle books like I mentioned, these spikes in your Kindle rankings will also result in a spike in your subscribers, and this whole process just starts to snowball.
If you want detailed training on every step of this process, that's exactly what you'll find inside of StraybloggerTraining.com.
- Long Tail Pro: LTP is my go-to keyword research tool.
- ServInt: I now host my sites on an upgraded VPS server with ServInt since I had to move from my shared host. ServInt has been an absolute dream, and if you’re at the point where you’re thinking about upgrading to a super fast VPS server, I can’t recommend ServInt enough. If you’re just starting out I still recommend Hostgator because you can start with their super-cheap shared hosting and you can seamlessly upgrade to a VPS later on when you need to.