Welcome to the resources section, a curated list of the tools, resources and websites I strongly recommend for building and optimising your online business.
I have used or tested every recommendation on this page.
Many of the resources listed here are crucial to the running of my online business and as I find more great tools that help me improve my own services I will add them to the list below in the hope that they can help you as well.
Feel free to bookmark this page and check back every now and again.
Before you start looking at the awesome resources that I know and trust, please read this important disclosure:
Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.
Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.
Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them and that you will use them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
I Am An Affiliate Marketer: Some of the links below are to free products & services and some are to paid for products & services.
In some instances I will earn a commission from some of the paid products & services, but not all. I fully believe in the products that I have listed here, or I wouldn’t be using them myself. – Steve
Getting Your Site Online
You’re going to need to spend a few bucks and get yourself your own website name. If you’re planning to work in Internet Marketing (IM), the general rule of thumb is to use your own name and build your brand.
This is what I was taught but, don’t feel compelled to follow the ‘rules’ because when you start networking in IM it doesn’t really matter that much.
If you’re working outside of IM then try and buy a name for your website that is relevant to the search term that is used by your would be customers.
And definitely try to get yourself a .com where possible
There are tons of places to buy domain names from, just do a google search and you’ll see what I mean.
I currently use GoDaddy and D9Hosting
GoDaddy have lots of offers and you can usually find coupon codes for even bigger discounts, unfortunately they do try to upsell you tons…just ignore those parts….Steve.
Getting Your Site Online
Once you have a Domain Name, you will have to get yourself a Hosting Account.
This is basically a piece of land on the internet, that you rent, which connects your websites many parts to the world wide web.
Most Hosting Companies have multiple plans that you can choose from. The trick is to choose a web hosting plan that provides you the features you actually need.
This is probably the most difficult thing a novice will be faced with when choosing a Hosting Company.
You’ll need to choose a plan that strikes an even balance between what you need right now and what you may need a month or two down the road.
Your website might remain the same size as it is today, but next year your site may be much larger & busier , requiring more space & resource.
So thinking ahead is a good idea…but again, you don’t know what you don’t know.
D9 Hosting is the hosting company that I began with back in 2009 and I still us them today.
Because like me they are based in the UK and they make it incredibly easy to get a new site up and running with their one-click automatic WordPress Blog installation.
They have great customer support, which I have used many times over the years. They have CPanel (which makes WordPress much easier to install), they also allow unlimited domains to be hosted on them.
You can use your D9 Hosting account to host multiple domains so there’s no need to pay more for hosting when you’re ready to start another website. Also, like me, they provide outstanding customer service!
My site started on D9’s Shared Hosting Plan, which is an easy-to-use and extremely affordable hosting platform. I currently use a Reseller Account and mange around 20 websites on them.
Steve Can Host Your Website Too
If you would like to take the stress away from setting up your hosting then why not get Steve to do it for you, using his reseller account.
At just $50 per year for the hosting and only $27 to set it all up and link to your domain name, it really is the bargain of the week.
Getting Your Site Online
WordPress is the Content Management System (CMS) that every single one of my websites is published with.
I definitely recommend using a self hosted version of WordPress so that you have full control over what you can and can’t do with the site.
Generate Press is my go to theme.
This is the theme that you see currently here on my site. I often get asked which theme I’m using… well this site is built using Generate Press, with the Premium Plugin. I also use Generate Blocks (Pro) and WP Show Posts (Pro), so now you know.
There are tons of other themes and great providers.
I also use the Genesis Framework and Studio Press Child Themes, and I occasionally use Divi
Building Your Mailing List
Not the cheapest, but they’re feature rich and won’t cost much until you get above 10,000 subscribers.
You need a place to store all the email addresses as you collect them. Aweber is where the email addresses go when someone opts-in on your blog.
Once you’ve got them, you can send out automated follow up email campaigns or use a broadcast email which allows you to email the entire list all at one time.
I’ve used Aweber since day one and I’ve always loved them.
The deliverability is great and their site is very user friendly. It’s pretty much the standard service to use in IM.
Camtasia Studio More than a simple screen recorder, Camtasia gives you the tools you need to truly customize and edit your videos. Record on-screen activity, add imported media, create interactive content, and share high-quality, HD videos that your viewers can watch anytime, on nearly any device.
YouTube is the best way for you to quickly get a video online for free. It’s worth noting that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. This will help as your videos will get indexed and searched more easily.
When you first get started you’ll probably be limited to around 15 minutes for the length of your videos. As your account becomes more established you’ll get more time. One downside is your videos will be branded with the YouTube logo.
Amazon S3 It’s better to store your videos on a robust platform when you host your videos, especially if you get a lot of traffic to them.
You need to store them somewhere that can handle large amounts of volume and also store large file sizes, a 20 minute video can become very large.
This is where Amazon S3 comes in. It costs pennies per month and you can have all your videos being hosted on the same servers that Amazon hosts their content on.
There is normally a 12-month free period when you first start using the service.
Payment Processors & Merchant Accounts
ClickBank I was a Vendor and Affiliate on ClickBank for around ten years.
ClickBank is fairly simple to set up (once you know how) but they have too many ways to eat in to your profits and a big pain point for me is trying to get a product and sales pages set up with their trust seal, which when you’re using WordPress, is a real pain the ass. Their Support was pretty useless too so I decided to ditch them in favour of other platforms.
On the plus side, as a Vendor they do take care of paying your affiliates for you, they also handle refunds for you, although as a vendor you can fall foul of the serial refunder. They also take care of sales tax for you, it’s pretty much an all-in-one solution for payments. Moving forward I will only use their platform as an Affiliate
JV Zoo I made the switch from ClickBank to JVZoo in October 2013 and I love using them. I think they are a far more Affiliate and Vendor friendly option than ClickBank, also gives you a really good option for you to pre-approve the affiliates that are going to be working on promoting your products. Lot’s of integration for your own list building too.
Warrior Plus I started using Warrior Plus in November 2012 and I love using them. I sell all of my PLR Products through their platform, which just like JVZoo is easy to use as both a Vendor and as an Affiliate
Stripe I use stripe when ever I set up a Membership site and integrate it with the WishList Member Membership plugin. You can start charging people for things on your site almost immediately. It allows you to do one off payments and recurring billing subscriptions. Super Easy and decent fees too.
Paypal With a simple PayPal payment button, you can start charging people for things on your site almost immediately. It allows you to do one off payments and recurring billing subscriptions.
Keyword Research Tools
I stopped using keyword search tools around 2017 and these days I go directly to Google and analyse manually.
I’m based in the UK and my target audience is often in USA, so I make sure to use a VPN (set to USA) and an incognito window in Chrome (search setting set to USA) this gives me the best chance of seeing what someone in America would see and is not a reflection of my own browsing history.
If you are blogging for yourself and you understand how to do both search and competition analysis you really don’t need any tools, especially the overpriced paid ones.
In the olden days I used to use:
Market Samurai – A good tool when it comes to automating keyword research. Very robust at both niche keyword research and competitive analysis. Can also search available domains and track rankings on your sites.
Google Keyword Tool – Straight from the source…allows you to manually check search volume, cpc, etc. for their AdWords advertising. You must have an AdWords account which is free to get.
Analytics & Website Health
Google Analytics – Google Analytics not only lets you measure sales and conversions, but also gives you fresh insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site, and how you can keep them coming back.
Google Search Console – I probably use Search Console way more than I used to. It gives great insights into the search phrases people are using when they click on your site. With the ever more challenging mobile first ranking criteria you also get decent info about what you need to improve to make your site more compliant with web trends.
Page Speed Insights – check out your website to see how well it’s been built, how it performs and see a list of improvements you can make.
I use Page Speed Insights more as it’s Google that send the traffic rather than GT Metrix. But in both cases, don’t fall into the trap of chasing test scores. Just make sure your website is fast loading, doesn’t shift around too much and is lightweight.
Stat Counter – You’ll be able to immediately see stats on the next visitors who come to your site; real time, no delays!
AW Stats – AWStats is a free powerful and featureful tool that generates advanced web, streaming, ftp or mail server statistics, graphically.
Ads and Affiliate Networks
AdSense – Allows you to place bits of code on your website where Google can then place relevant advertisers on your site and you get paid when those ads get clicked. They usually look ugly and the financial gain is not always great
Ezoic – Another Ad Network, which uses AI to help maximise revenue generation from the ad placements you have on your site. I know many people who are making good money with Ezoic. Their barrier to entry is much lower than MediaVine or AdThrive, which are considered by many to be premium services.
Commission Junction (CJ)- Huge affiliate network with plenty of affiliate programs for nearly every niche.
You decide which merchants to promote and how to promote them, and for all sites when commissions are generated, you can see your stats in real-time.
ShareASale – Mid-sized affiliate that many Internet Marketing tools use.
UpWork I found my App Developer on UpWork (back in the day when it was ODesk). It’s the first place I go to when I need code work written, they have some cool tools which allow you to manage your contractors more easily.
eLance – I’ve used eLance to find article and blog writers. Secure and helpful interface. I’ve always had a good experience. They are now owned by UpWork
99Designs – A contest-style site where you list the project, (designing a website, logo, etc.) list your price, and designers will send in samples to win the job. I’ve used them on multiple logos and websites and found the service outstanding…although it can sometimes be pricey!