I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that you can always come to for all of your start-up needs. I’ll add to it as I learn more, but you’ll notice that in the future I will reference this page quite often. I recommend bookmarking it for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you). These are all things that I have experience with that I am recommending because they are helpful and are companies that I trust, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products. Please do not spend money unless you feel it’s for something you really need and will help you reach your goals.
- WordPress: The #1 Blog Publishing Platform. Free and easily customizable with wonderful support. All of my blogs use WordPress.
- Woo Themes: The ultimate resource for premium looking WordPress themes.
- The THESIS Theme: This is the WordPress theme and framework that the Smart Passive Income Blog runs on. Thesis promises out-of-box search engine optimization, faster page load times, maximum readability to engage and hold reader’s attention, and point-and-click design and font controls.
- How to Start a Blog That Matters: My top recommendation for educational material if you’re looking to start a blog from scratch (via Corbett Barr of ThinkTraffic.net)
Domains and Hosting:
- Host Gator- : 99% of my websites are hosted on HostGator. Easy to use, 1-click automatic WordPress installation, and excellent customer service. Highly recommended for your first site.
Product Distribution & Shopping Carts
- Clickbank: Another digital products retailer. Probably the most popular. Decently priced, but comes with an amazing affiliate program for your products.
- Paypal.com: Paypal is just ok for selling your own products through them, but you’ll need an account anyways to configure with and accept payments from the above shopping carts.
- E-Junkie: The shopping cart I use to sell my eBook. It’s compatible with Paypal Standard, Paypal Pro, Google Checkout, Authorize.net, TrialPay, Clickbank & 2CheckOut. Works like a charm, very low price to use. Comes with a decent affiliate program for your products.
- Market Samurai: The number one tool for keyword research available, hands down. You can view my tutorial videos about Market Samurai here.
- Long Tail Pro: Another FANTSTIC keyword research and SEO analysis tool I’ve only recently discovered, but tested and highly recommend. This is more geared toward the beginner, so if you feel Market Samuari may be too complicated, this is the software to use when scoping out niches for possible websites.
- WordTracker Free Keywords Tool: Spits out a number for the popularity of a keyword of your choice. Search volume numbers can be compared to find the perfect niche, or to choose keywords for your blog posts.
- Google Adwords Tool: A tool to help you decide what keywords to use for your Adwords campaigns. You can also check to see the popularity of certain keywords and the competition for ads for those keywords as well.
- Seo Book Keyword Suggestion Tool: Another fantastic keyword research tool, with even more information and numbers to compare and select the perfect keywords.
- Seo Keyword Ranking: An excellent tool to keep track of the keywords you’re working on. Excellent interface and really easy to use.
Email Subscriptions & Marketing
- Aweber: The internet’s most powerful email opt-in service and email marketing/broadcasting tool. This is what I use to build my email list and newsletter. For a free step-by-step tutorial, check out The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Newsletter.
- Google Adsense: Make money by placing relevant ads on your website that are generated from advertisers using Google Adwords. This is free to use, but you have to register for an account.
- Google Adwords: If you want to begin advertising on Google, you can select keywords and locations and you pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement.
- Google Analytics: Google’s free website tracking and analytical tool. A must have for anyone with any type of website.
- Clicky: Clicky is just like Google Analytics, except it’s easier to use, and you can view how many people are on your site (and what they are doing) in real time! Your first site is free.
- Google Optimizer: This is another free tool from google where you can test different webpages of the same content, only changing one or two things, so you can see which one works/converts best. It’s basically a website optimizer testing tool.
- Elance: Hired service for just about anything you can think of.
- Odesk: Another outsource website for freelancers, IT companies, programmers and web designers from abroad.
- 99Designs: This is a unique website that you can use if you need a logo design. It’s in a contest format. You submit the description of what you want, and designers will compete against each other to win money.
- SpeechPad: This is the service I use to get transcripts done for my podcasts and videos.
- Virtual Staff Finder: I just recently hired a full-time VA and this is where I got him. Virtual Staff Finder is the best and quickest headhunter service on the web if you’re looking for high quality VAs for anything you want done by someone else for your online business. It’s run by my buddy Chris Ducker and I highly recommend it.
- LegalZoom: Easy online incorporation or LLC creation.
- The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss, Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich: Pretty much the most awesome book in the entire world. I reference this quite a bit in my posts.
- ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse: The best book about blogging from the number one online blogger, Darren Rowse.
- Moonlighting on the Internet by Yanik Silver: I also own this book and it’s really what inspired me to go full time working online. I finished it in 1 day because it’s so good.
- Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson: I reference this book a lot here on the Smart Passive Income Blog because there are so many gems in this book that I model my business from.
For Capturing Video and Screencasts
- ScreenFlow (for Mac users) – the screen capture software I’m currently using.
- Camtasia for Mac - Another option for screen captures
- Camtasia for PC (Camtasia Studio) – for screen captures
- Omnidazzle – to draw on your screen (free)
- Bamboo Pen and Tablet - This is the pen and tablet I use to make drawing on the screen extremely easy.
- How to Create iPhone Apps With No Programming Experience: The most extensive (and motivating!) eBook guide to getting your iPhone app ideas from your head onto an iPhone, without ever touching code! Tons of free bonuses to go along with it.
- The Niche Site Duel Hub: This is where I and 18 other people share their journey of building a niche site from scratch and doing our best to rank #1 in Google and make money. Check out how I got my niche site to #1 and earning an income in about 2 months!
- THE Backlinking Strategy That Works: One of my most popular posts which goes into detail about my backlinking strategy and how I was able to climb a brand new niche site to #1 in Google.
- The Best Spinner: The #1 Article spinning software that saves a ton of time by allowing you to easily reword articles that you’ve already written so you can submit them to multiple directories online without worrying about duplicate content.
- Unique Article Wizard: The tool that I use (along with The Best Spinner, above) that generates hundreds of thousands of backlinks. Check out the video about how it’s used in The Backlinking Strategy That Works (above).
- BuildMyRank: The new weapon in my backlinking arsenal! This piece of software creates high quality (high PR) backlinks directly to your niche site. Everyone I know who does niche sites for a living now uses BMR, which is why I decided to give it a shot. This replaces my previous recommendation of a similar service called Blog Blueprint because: One, the results are that much better, and two, the links are actually on real high PR websites, which you can see and check yourself (plus they give you a nice report). Highly recommended.