Online Business Resources 101

Below is a curated list of the top tools and resources that I personally use or reviewed. They will help you start and your business no matter what your budget is. Keep it simple and focus on the outcome, not the tool.

Planning

  1. Decide what you want: Do you want an online job or online business. If you want a job, apply for jobs, if you want a business then start educating yourself on the right business models.
  2. Pick a business model that does not require product creation, storage, shipping and handling i.e. digital or information products. Once you know what you are doing, you can expand to other options.
  3. Use services like ClickFunnels to build your marketing pages. With click funnels, you won’t need to worry about hosting or what theme to use for your site. This is the one area most businesses struggle with and waste a lot of time trying to figure out how to do it.
  4. Pick a good email marketing provider to start building and growing your list (Your email list is your most important business asset. Start building your list as soon as possible)
  5. Outsource, outsource, outsource! Don’t waste precious time doing this yourself when you can get someone who is far more skilled and talented to do it for a very low hourly rate on sites like 99Design, upwork.com and fiverr.com
  6. Just get started! If you wait, the time will pass anyway.

If you need any help getting started, contact me.  I am here to help!

Using the right online business model is one of the most important steps but many skip this step because they are eager to get started or simply because they are not aware of the options. That is why many end up struggling for a long time before they see any tangible results.

CLICK HERE to watch this free training on how to make the internet work for you!

No matter which business you start with, you’ll soon find that one of the best ways to increase your income online is to focus your time on becoming an online marketing pro. 

If you are new to the online business world and still not sure where to start, I recommend you start with products that allow you to earn while you learn. Once you know how to generate leads and get customers to buy from you, you can move on and apply that knowledge to any industry, niche, services or products you like.

Your Websites

Once you have your online business model sorted out, you will need to register a few domain names even if you have no plans to build a personal or business website or blog just yet. A domain name, which is a web address like www.hwayda.com. Domain names can be used for:

  • An address for personal or business websites
  • An address that forwards to another location like an affiliate link
  • An address for marketing and sales funnels

Many web hosts allow you to register a domain but not all of them let you manage advance options. Choose a company that that allows you to register and control your domain even if you  don’t plan to host your website with them.  Some of the top names in the USA and Canada are Netfirms, Bluehost, Hostgator, and GoDaddy.

View tips on how to pick a domain name.

Once you have your own domain name, you need to decide where it will point to.

Your ideal hosting services will depend on what type of business you plan to build. That’s why it’s important to have a clear plan before you start. The type of business you want to build can determine which platform you use to host your business.

Some of the popular platforms include:

WordPress: WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for building websites. It has lots of plugins that work just like apps on your phone. The more features you want, the more apps you can add. Netfirms, Bluehost, Hostgator, and GoDaddy provide hosting with a variety of options but I use WPengine as it specializes in WordPress, has daily backup and is also more secure than other hosts.

WIX: Easy to use click and drag type of website. Ideal if you only have a few pages. Cons, you cannot transfer the site to another vendor if you don’t like working with WIX. You’ll have to build your site all over again to move it.

Squarespace: Add text

Shopify: Add text

Vilusion: Add text

There are many ready made templates and themes you can buy for your website so you don’t have to build everything from scratch.

ThemeForest  has a wide selection of ready made templates you can buy for your website and they support different platforms. I have bought many WordPress themes from there and also one for my Shopify store.

This website is currently using the AVADA Theme which is very powerful, responsive and very easy to use. I highly recommend this theme.

Marketing Automation

Designing highly effective and converting lead capture pages/squeeze pages and sales pages are key to grow your mailing list and boost sales. Top resources to create your sales pages are:

ClickFunnels: ClickFunnels is one of the most popular tools on the market right now. It is easy to use and has various levels you can choose from to fit your business needs. Comes with 14 day free trial.

LeadPages: Easy to use online platform that allows you to create sales pages, pop up optin boxes and make any link into a registration box. It is very affordable too.

Kartra: Kartra is a very powerful platform that has many advanced features you can’t find on other platforms. If you needs something more power that can allow you to create sales pages, build a membership site, have an email list and a CRM at the same time, Kartra is for you.

OptimizePress: OptimizePress is a WordPress theme that is specifically designed for marketing purposes. It allows you to create a membership site and also create custom marketing and sales pages. It also comes as a plugin. So if you have a different theme on your site, you can still add the plugin to create one off sales pages that you send your ads to.

To grow your business you will need to build a relationship with your clients and prospects. One of the best ways to do this is by emailing them on a regular basis and keeping them up-to-date on what is going on in the industry and what promotional offers you have for them.

When you are new, the best options to start with are AWeber and MailChimp. They are supported by most hosting services. As your business grows, you can look into more advanced platforms that offer more advanced customer relationship tools and other features.

Branding & Design

Create Your Own Logo Online

There are many tools that allow you to create logos online. The platforms use generic shapes that you can add text to and create a logo on the fly. This is a good option if you want something fast but don’t mind if it looks like other logos. With so many icons and fonts to choose from, your logo can still unique.

LOGO MAKER: Create & design your logo for free using an easy logo maker tool. Choose from hundreds of fonts and icons. Then just save your new logo on to your computer!

CANVA: Canva is one of my favorite online graphics tools. It’s free to join and you can design your logo and so much more. There is a large section of templates to choose from with some free and paid elements to bring to your logo to life.

SMASHING LOGO: Create your own and unique logo in minutes. Very intuitive platform that generates more ideas based on the ones you choose as favorites.

FREE LOGO SERVICES: The #1 Online Logo Maker used by 25M+ businesses to create a professional brand. Instantly browse 1000’s of Logo Designs, customize text, fonts and colors.

LOGO JOY: Artificial Intelligence makes it fast & easy! Only pay if you’re 100% happy. Very Easy To Use. 100% Ownership Rights. No Design Skills Needed.

TAILOR BRANDS: Create a beautiful, unique logo for FREE. Enter a few details about your business and our online logo maker will design the perfect logo for your brand. Once your logo is ready, you can use the same site to create your company style guide, business cards, presentations and more all using your logo and custom colors.

NOTE: Make sure to get a “Vector” file format which is scalable and editable. If you only get a JPG, PNG or GIF, you will not be able to edit the file or print it in large format. 

Outsource

To get something more unique and customized you can hire a designer on platforms like upwork.com, Freelancer.com and fiver.com. A designer will be able to manipulate the font and icons and create something unique to you.

If you use a designer, make sure to get a signed release for transfer of copyright. If you don’t get a signed release, they will still own the design and can come back and ask for portions of your profits if the logo appears on any merchandise you sold. Make sure to get a legal release!

That’s why I like to use 99Design for logos. With 99Design you can put on a competition for a logo and you will receive multiple design options to choose from. Depending on how much you bid, you can get as many as 50 to over 250 designs to choose from… all custom made for you and you only pay for the one you end up buying! 99Design has all the legal paperwork in place allowing the designer to sign over the legal copyright of the design to you.

There are many sites dedicated to rights managed and royalty free images.

  • Royalty free means you can buy a photo once and use it as many times as you like for many applications.
  • Rights managed has a restrictions on the amount of use and geographic location. If you want an image that not many people are using, you can pay more and get a rights managed images.

Below are some sites that offer both options.

When you are starting out and have a limited budget, you might be tempted to just pick images from google and other search engine sites to use on your blog, presentations and other marketing materials.

DON’T!

Unless you have a blog that is for personal use and you are using the image in an editorial format to report on a topic, all images used in your business need to have the proper licensing that allows you to use them for commercial purposes.

Luckily for you  there are now a lot of resources online that allow you to do just that. Search for images that fall under “Public Domain” or “Creative Commons”. In many cases the photographer might require some sort of attribution and link to their public profile. There are many new sites that allow you to get images for free with no limitations on how you use them no attributions are required. Some of these sites include:

When choosing images, check the license to see if you need to add attribution.

Video

Video Editing Tools

 

Video Hosting Platfroms

The same company also offers Royalty Free videos at VideoBlocks.com. If you are creating videos for your marketing, you will need the occasional footage to enhance them. Video footage can be very pricy usually over $50 at least on the typical royalty free sites, but at videoblocks.com, you are basically getting unlimited downloads for the price of one video!

There are many sites dedicated to rights managed and royalty free images.

Recommended Reading

Video Editing Tools

 

Video Hosting Platfroms

The same company also offers Royalty Free videos at VideoBlocks.com. If you are creating videos for your marketing, you will need the occasional footage to enhance them. Video footage can be very pricy usually over $50 at least on the typical royalty free sites, but at videoblocks.com, you are basically getting unlimited downloads for the price of one video!

There are many sites dedicated to rights managed and royalty free images.

Copywriting

Video Editing Tools

 

Spelling and Grammar

Grammarly: This free grammar checker instantly eliminates grammatical errors and enhances your writing. Grammarly is trusted by millions every day.

The same company also offers Royalty Free videos at VideoBlocks.com. If you are creating videos for your marketing, you will need the occasional footage to enhance them. Video footage can be very pricy usually over $50 at least on the typical royalty free sites, but at videoblocks.com, you are basically getting unlimited downloads for the price of one video!

There are many sites dedicated to rights managed and royalty free images.

Productivity Tools

Video Production

 

WIRECAST

Telestream’s Wirecast® is the only cross-platform, all-in-one Live video streaming production software that enables capture, live production, and encoding of live streams for broadcast to multiple servers and platforms simultaneously. The perfect webcasting tool.

CAMTASIA

This is the software that I use to record screen capture videos for some of my videos and online courses.

 

 

Video Hosting Platfroms

The same company also offers Royalty Free videos at VideoBlocks.com. If you are creating videos for your marketing, you will need the occasional footage to enhance them. Video footage can be very pricy usually over $50 at least on the typical royalty free sites, but at videoblocks.com, you are basically getting unlimited downloads for the price of one video!

There are many sites dedicated to rights managed and royalty free images.

Outsourcing

Video Production

 

 

 

Video Hosting Platfroms