Resources: Tools I Use to Earn More & Manage My Freelance Online Business

Note: I am an affiliate for the products and services listed here. I use / have used most of them for years and still do to this day. Read my affiliate disclosure policy for full details.

Who Do You Recommend for This? How Can I Get That? Should I Use Them?

People ask me all the time about various aspects of running a web business, eg: what web hosting company to use; who designed my website; which newsletter service provider I recommend; etc. So, I created this page as a handy reference guide.

Note: The gold stars indicate the resources you need to invest in right away if you want to be successful. You can add the others as your online business grows.

Web Hosting

This, my main site, is hosted with HostGator. I’ve been with them since 2010 and here’s why. FYI, here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog with HostGator.

I also have some sites hosted with Bluehost.

And, because I believe in diversification of web hosting companies and the above two are EIG-owned companies (info in this post on why this is important); I …

Recommend A2 Hosting.

Domain Name Registration

I have domain names registered with several companies (eg, Bluehost), but Namecheap is my go-to company of choice. I’ve registered dozens of domain names with them since 2007, when I first became a customer.

As of this writing, I currently have about a dozen domain names registered with them.

Domain names for just 88 cents!

I like them because they’re affordable, their control panel is easy to navigate, and you can pay quickly and easily via PayPal. They make managing domain names easy, in my opinion.

Email Subscriber List Management Service Provider

I use AWeber; have since 2009. Although the set-up of their forms can be a bit sucky, their customer service is second to none.

They once recovered almost 2,500 subscriber names I lost due to an outsourcer I used who sabotaged my account. For this alone, I will always be loyal to them.

FYI, here’s an in-depth tutorial on how to set up your AWeber account (with graphics).

Here’s another AWeber tutorial that shows you how to segment your email lists.

Grow Your Email/Subscriber List FAST

I use Udimi to buy solo ads from time to time. It costs, but is a quick way to start growing your subscriber list.

Web Design / WordPress

This site uses the Genesis framework, and is a WordPress blog. Here are some GORGEOUS WordPress themes to choose from to get a professional look. Mine was customized by my web designer.

Website, Blogging, Tech Help

Need help getting a website up and going — or anything related to it that you just can’t figure out, or don’t want to take time to figure out? Put this firm on speed dial! They’re the best in the business, and their rates are very affordable, especially for those just starting an online biz.

Sell Ebooks from Your Site

I use and recommend e-Junkie; have since 2008. I have something like 70 ebooks I sell via the site, and have never had a problem with them. Learn more about selling with e-Junkie.

Create & Sell Ecourses Online

In April 2017, I migrated all of Inkwell Editorial’s courses over to the Teachable platform. It makes the presentation so much more professional, and students can log in from any mobile device via their own secure portal 24/7/365. It’s awesome, and costs $0 to start! And, they have a very responsive Facebook group if you ever need help.

Need help with things like web design, social media marketing, etc.?

I use Fiverr to find giggers (the way freelancers are referred to on the site) to do stuff I either don’t know how to do (eg, design an ebook cover in PhotoShop), or that I don’t have time to do (eg, social media marketing for my ebooks/eclasses). It’s an ingenious resource.

Fiverr Warning: Be careful in giving out passwords to your website, email accounts, etc. I had a very bad experience once and would proceed with extreme caution where this was required. It may be necessary depending on the job you’re outsourcing, but don’t go for the cheapest provider. Look for those with lots of feedback, and be sure to change your password after the job is complete. FYI, you should do this after giving out your account info to anybody for anything.

Create Your Own Ebook Covers

I use MyECoverMaker to create simple ebook covers like this and this. I’ve used used them since 2010. For more complicated artwork like this (that required Photoshop), I hire someone from Fiverr because I never learned Photoshop — and have no desire to.

See the graphic in this post (the one with the honey on the lips)? Created with MyECoverMaker.

You see, in addition to creating all kinds of ebook covers, with MyECoverMaker, you can create banners, DVD covers, tablet covers, CD covers, iPhone and iPod covers, greeting cards, HDTV covers and so much more. And they can be laying down, standing up, twisted to the side, etc. So it’s not just for “ebooks.”

At the point in your freelance biz where you need to hire help?

I recommend Gina Horkey’s referral program for VAs to find someone with the skill set you need, and who you can trust.

Add Virtual Assistant Services to Your Freelance Writing Biz

Gina Horkey (from just above) has an excellent “becoming a VA” training program. She offers a free list of 150 services you can offer as a VA — starting today! And she also offers specialized training as a Pinterest VA, which is a very in-demand skill these days.

FYI, here’s another leading Virtual Assistant training program. Since 2008, this company has trained over 10,000 VAs in more than 40 countries. They also offer over 40 certifications, courses and workshops. Get started for free.

Create Passive Income as a Writer: Make Money in Affiliate Marketing

Blogger Who Earns Over $100,000 per MONTH! Who wouldn’t want to see how that’s done? I highly recommend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing ecourse, for all the reasons listed in this review — and more.

Get Paid Twice: FYI, ShareaSale is a great affiliate marketplace to start with. It has thousands of products and services across hundreds of niches you can start promoting right away. They’re super easy to sign up with and pay you in two ways — on specific products you promote, and on leads you send their way. Can’t beat that!

Make Money Blogging on a Topic You Love: Ever wished you could make money from a topic you’re passionate about, eg, pets, martial arts, gardening, travel, etc.? Then you need to know about AuthorityHacker.  The guys behind it founded a successful digital marketing (SEO) agency, and put their extensive knowledge to use to help niche bloggers start high-traffic, money-making sites — usually in mere months.

As a SEO expert myself — I’ve used my knowledge to sell tens of thousands of dollars of my own products and affiliate products — I know it works. The case studies on the site will blow you away, like the one where a guy built a site earning over $100,000 per year talking about how to help people become better dog owners. Yep, that simple of a concept earns him over six figures per year.

73 Ways to Make Really Good Money from Home

Besides the opportunities listed above (becoming a VA, affiliate marketing, blogging), here are over 70 more ways to make money from home that would make great mobile careers. Go through the guide, find one (or a couple of complementary ones) that interest you. Then, get started. FYI, the guide even lists 77 businesses that pay for the types of services listed.

Drive Massive Amounts of Traffic to Your Blog

Keyword research tool: Quickly discover hundreds of words and phrases that web surfers are googling (keywords/keyword phrases) to put in your copy and drive more traffic to your site.

Pinterest: It’s one of the largest drivers of traffic to many blogs these days. Learn how to drive 10,000 to 100,000 visitors per month to your blog.

BoardBooster: This is a great, free/cheap Pinterest automation tool that a lot of bloggers use. The looping feature is what makes it “magic!” All looping means is that you pin a pin one time, and Boardbooster will automatically repin that same pin to the board you specify automatically. So you only have to pin a pin once, and Boardbooster takes over from there. Saves a ton of time.

Tailwind: This is another Pinterest scheduling tool. It has a free, trial version to start as well. You can use it to schedule content on other social media sites too, eg, Instagram and Facebook.

FYI, Tailwind is an approved API (Application Programming Interface) partner with Pinterest. In my mind, this means they’re the favored pinning tool for this social media site. Most highly successful Pinterest users use both Boardbooster and Tailwind; one to schedule their own pins (Boardbooster); and the other to schedule the content of others (Tailwind).

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