Below are the best resources that I use daily. Now you can too!
I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that you can always come to for all your online regional business 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 at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. 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 or that they will help you achieve your business goals.
Website, Hosting and Blogging Tools
Virtually all my websites are hosted on Crazy Domains. They are easy to use, offer 1-click WordPress installation and have good customer service. I highly recommend using Crazy Domains for your first site. They also offer a really simple process for securing your ".com.au" domain too!
Once you have your domain and hosting sorted you will need to choose some kind of theme or skin for your website. There are lots of great free themes out there, but premium (not free) themes often offer much cleaner and feature rich layouts. Themeforest where I go first to find any theme I'm looking for. They have an immense range of themes available.
Noah Kagan and the guys/girls over at AppSumo definitely know a thing or two about online strategy. Straight from their office to you comes an amazing suite of free tools to help grow your blog and increase traffic. I use them on several sites and you should too!
Lastpass is my password manager of choice. It offers a free plan (or a premium plan for $1/month), bank level encryption, password audits, and ability to share passwords between users. Since using Lastpass my life is easier, faster and more secure.
Hemingway is a free online tool that helps you write better. It checks how hard your words and sentence structure is to read, prompts you with improvements and rates your overall readability.
Email Subscriptions and Marketing
- CampaignMonitor: Is a great option if you are sending regular or one-off emails to your database. It's simple to use, highly customisable and has some great analytics in the back end to help you work out who, when and what your audience responded to. With options to pay monthly or just pay per email it's flexible enough to suit most businesses.
- GetResponse: If you really want to nurture your email list and put each person on a tailored campaign of crafted emails (such as the 20 most common mistakes people make when buying from your competitors) then a higher level email marketing program is important. GetResponse is the system that Regional Business Toolkit uses and I think they rock (I've personally used over half a dozen different email providers to date).
Information and Cloud Storage
- Dropbox: Where would I be without Dropbox. Not only is it probably the worlds easiest online cloud storage solution, but it's where I store almost all my business files on a day-to-day basis so I can access it anywhere on any machine. Dropbox give you your first 2GB of storage free (which is tonnes) and has some great plans above that if you're a heavy user.
- Evernote: Remember everything is Evernote's tagline... and it does. I use Evernote as my digital notebook to capture, sort and store almost every idea I've had, the notes on the meetings I attend, sketches or clips of websites that I think will be useful and almost everything else. As a funny story I once walked into an optometrist with my mobile phone and ordered new glasses with the script scanned into Evernote.
Online Graphic Design
- Canva: Canva makes graphic design super simple. With literally just a few clicks you can walk away with an image that looks like it's been professionally designed. I use Canva almost daily and couldn't live without it.