Running an online business takes a lot of work.
However, most of us are pressed for time. We fit our online business into the spare minutes we get in the morning before work and the few hours before bed.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of tools you can use to make blogging easier — while shaving off precious hours of repetitive tasks.
Now if you do a quick Google search, you’d find thousands of products to choose from. A daunting task, to be sure.
But in order to separate the must-have tools from those that you could live without, I spent countless hours reading about products recommended by top bloggers. Most of these products I then tried out myself for some first-hand research.
I’ve weeded out the products created by shady online characters, and offered cheaper alternatives to products that might be a little too pricey when you’re just starting out. Taken together, all the items on this list represent everything you could possibly need when building out your online propreties.
The list is quite comprehensive, but I hope you’ll find it helpful nevertheless.
Finding the Inspiration to Make Money: The Books That Will Teach You Everything You Need to Know
Before I get into the incredible tools bloggers use to make their job easier, let me share the one tool that I rely on most… even though I suspect you’re already a fan.
Whether you’re working full-time out of your home on an online business or you’re blogging part-time in the hours between your daytime career, the time you spend working online can be a lot easier with the jolty kick of caffeine.
My favorite coffee comes from Mystic Monk Coffee. I’ve been buying their Mystic Monk Blend for years now, and no other coffee I’ve tasted compares.
I know what you might be thinking — that’s a pretty neat branding tactic. But it’s the truth — the coffee is prayerfully roasted by real, live Carmelite Monks in Wyoming.
Even if you don’t believe karma might come your way by helping these monks do what they do, the coffee is otherworldly. Seriously. Put down your pre-ground Folgers blend for one day and try them out. I guarantee you won’t go back.
Mystic Monk Coffee sells both whole bean and ground, fair trade organic coffee, flavored brews, decaf, and many other things.
So if like me you need a little boost before you get to work, or to keep you focused while working on your online business (or maybe you’re simply looking for a unique Christmas gift), check them out and give their coffee a taste.
Now let’s start off with some books that will teach you all the basics you need to know.
Just as there are thousands of blogging tools, there are also thousands of books peddled by bloggers as “must reads.” Yet there are only a handful that actually matter and could meaningfully open your eyes to a new way of doing things.
So here are the books top bloggers have regularly mentioned as impacting their ideas, along with a few favorites I’m using to influence how I go about things in this space.
As I’m writing this, the idea just crossed my mind that it might be helpful in the future to do even more detailed posts (perhaps a series even) on each book, along with the key takeaways from each. Let me know in the comments if this is something you personally may be interested in.
First up is Tim Ferriss’ 2007 masterpiece The Four-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.
Its subtitle could easily be “The book that launched a thousand blogs.”
Tim shares a wealth of information on how to find your dream and live it, but the two points most applicable to making money online fall under the categories of “automation” and “liberation.”
Automation means finding a lasting sources of passive income. This is what our top bloggers are after — regular, recurring streams of money coming online properties that they invest a few hours of work into setting up.
Liberation makes the case for outsourcing — like using virtual assistants (more on this just below) — to cheaply and efficiently conduct your simple day-to-day tasks, thus freeing up your time for more important projects or recreation.
These two go hand in hand, and you can see why so many bloggers have admitted that this book really gave them the kick in the butt they needed to get up off the couch, find a solid business idea, and roll with it.
If you haven’t read it yet, you should.
Then, there are two books after that that’ll take you from being inspired into owning the practical knowledge to successfully set up an online business.
They are ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Moonlighting on the Internet: 5 World-Class Experts Reveal Proven Ways to Make Money Online by Yanik Silver.
Rowse’s book is more blog specific, going from how to choose a nice that interests you and monetize to some tips on how to drive traffic once you’ve set it up. Silver’s book will teach you how to establish an informational product that you can sell online, while also touching on affiliate commissions and becoming an online retailer.
Together The Four-Hour Workweek, ProBlogger, and Moonlighting on the Internet will teach you everything you need to know to get started — and motivate you to do so.
How to create content that people love and can use
Getting excited about making money online and figuring out how exactly you want to do so is easy.
The hard part is to write content that people will read, use, and keep coming back for.
My favorite book that explains how exactly to do that is written by brothers Chip and Dan Heath. It’s called Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.
In it, the Heath brothers go into detail on the six principles that make ideas “sticky,” or unforgettable: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories.
They share familiar anecdotes (like popular urban legends you’ve undoubtedly heard, as well as pop culture references like the effectiveness of Subway’s Jared campaign) to drive home exactly what it is about some concepts that forces us to remember them while we forget about others.
This is the only book you really need to teach you how to write content that your readers are craving.
The next book is similar to the Heath brothers’; it’s written by a world-renowned psychologist named Robert Cialdini. It’s called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
Why is this book so important? Because when you’re trying to build an audience, you must convince your reader that what you’re saying matters, you’re someone to believe, and that it’d be worth their time to return for more.
Obviously there are shady tactics that some folks use to trick readers into taking action — but those methods aren’t sustainable. To build a real, lasting audience, you must ethically persuade them with strong content.
Cialdini shares six principles to follow: reciprocity, scarcity, liking, authority, social proof, and commitment/consistency. While his book isn’t specifically tailored to blogs, everything he reveals can easily be applied to making money online.
Together, Made to Stick and Influence will get you thinking about coming up with blockbuster ideas and how to effectively share them with the world.
How go from an engaged audience to a long list of enthusiastic customers
If the last part was harder than the first, this final section is even more difficult. And that is learning how to go from having an audience of readers to selling a product that they will buy.
The easy way out would be to hire a professional copywriter who can handle the marketing of your product all by himself.
But I suspect that, like me, you prefer to do it yourself, and are interested in useful sales tactics that will be effective, yet still maintain the integrity of your online business’ image.
For this, there are three books that I — and many top marketing copywriters — recommend.
The first, The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells by Bob Bly shows you ways to makes your sales letters more effective, as well as how to even get readers to start reading in the first place.
The second, The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America’s Top Copywriters by Joe Sugarman goes through exactly how to build out a powerful sales pitch that will have customers lining up at the door.
From how to keep potential buyers reading, to the most powerful psychological triggers, this book reveals everything your marketing message will need to contain.
The last book isn’t as much a tutorial as the previous two, but it would be more useful on your shelf than a thesaurus.
It’s called Words That Sell: More Than 6,000 Entries to Help You Promote Your Products, Services, and Ideas and it’s by Richard Bayan. There’s a big difference between phrases like “How to Come up with Big Ideas” versus more effective slogan’s like Corbett Barr’s “Write Epic Content.” This book will also help you come up with strong titles for blog posts.
Together, these three books will form the foundation of everything you need to know about selling your products yourself.
So now that you’ve got the educational foundation, let’s get into the specifics of how to build a website and grow an audience.
Absolutely Everything You Need to Launch Your New Website
The first step is to come up with a domain name for your website — the part that will come after the www. The favorite among our top bloggers (and the one I use myself) is to register a domain name with GoDaddy.
You’re probably familiar with the provocative commercials aired during the Super Bowl or for advertisements featuring Nascar driver Danica Patrick, but you may have never connected the two with registering a domain name.
But they offer hard-to-beat prices (you can usually find promotions to register a domain for just $7.95 for a year) and impeccable customer service, so it’s easy to see why nearly all of our top bloggers recommend GoDaddy as the go-to source for securing a domain name.
After you’ve got a domain, you’ll need a place to host your website — a server where you’ll lease the space your website needs to operate.
There are many companies that offer this service, but the crowd favorite (and again, the one that I use) is Bluehost. For just $5.95/month, they allow you to host an unlimited number of domains, with unlimited storage potential, and an unlimited number of email accounts.
Bluehost makes what could be a technical nightmare very simple and understandable even for non-techies. They even have customer service reps staffing their hotline around the clock should you need it. Plus, installing WordPress (the publishing platform most bloggers today are using to run their sites) is as simple as clicking a few links.
Once you’ve got your site up and running and WordPress installed, you may want it to look more professional. Although there are thousands of free WordPress themes you can run, there are two frameworks that will give your site a boost — in terms of speed, SEO functionality, as well as aesthetics.
WooThemes is probably better if you have little design experience and no technical background, since it comes fully functional right out of the box and can easily be tweaked for a unique look (check out Corbett Barr’s recent video on how exactly to customize a WooTheme).
Thesis is also fully functional out of the box, but takes a little bit more work to get looking as professional.
If you’re like me, there will probably be a learning curve to using both (I still can’t boast I’ve mastered either), but it does give your site a unique, professional look that is much more attractive than the defaults.
Lastly, your site will be drastically improved with mages. If you’ve got a background in design, you may be able to do this all yourself. But if, like me, your Photoshop skills are lacking, you can add some visual flair to your sites by contracting out some work.
99designs is the best resource for getting professional designers to create a custom logo for your page or even a fully-customized WordPress theme. The way it works is that you submit your request, sharing what your site is about, your industry, what design elements you prefer, etc. and you will have anywhere from 30 to over 100 designers submitting proposals to win the job.
I’ve seen some incredible work come out of the designers at 99designs. And for a price that’s comparable to what you’d pay for just one designer to create what you need, you get to select the proposal you like the best out of a wide assortment.
Another resource to add some pictures to posts would be with a site like iStockPhoto. Here, you can either purchase credits to get royalty-free photos to use or pay for a subscription tailored to your needs. Either way, they boast nearly 10 million high-quality images, so you shouldn’t have a difficult time finding images that fit whatever topic you’re writing about.
Now for the single most important step to setting up your website.
And that is setting up a process to invite your readers to share their email address with you so that you can contact them in the future.
This is important because email is still the quickest, most effective way to get in touch with your readers. And down the road, it will make it much easier to sell any products or services you may offer.
Many bloggers miss out on this crucial element, and later admit that failing to capture email addresses at the beginning was the biggest mistake they made when starting out. Don’t let that be you!
The best service for capturing email addresses, sending emails, and managing your list (and the one that nearly all of the top bloggers use) is Aweber.
Aweber has hundreds of templates to make your emails look professional, tools to automate delivery, ways to easily segment customers to test the strength of different messages, as well as real-time performance tracking. Best yet, you can try it out all they have to offer for just $1. It’ll probably be the best dollar you’ve spent.
Because you can use one Aweber account for any number of lists, it can easily be the best money you spend setting your site up.
Now that you’ve got your site established, focus exclusively on writing content that is interesting, unique, and compelling. Build an engaged audience that consistently comes back looking for your newest posts.
Once you’ve reached a critical mass, then you may be ready to sell them a high-value product you’ve been working on all the while…
Monetizing Your Audience: Tools for Website Commerce
After developing a product or service you’re ready to sell, you may wonder how to collect money from your readers.
There are several merchants that will easily handle the transactions for you in exchange for a small cut. This way, you don’t have to learn the ins and outs of processing credit cards.
First and foremost is Paypal, a tool you’re probably familiar with if you’ve ever used eBay. But it’s much more than just a tool to pay for online auctions, it can also process payments for your business in a quick, secure, easy manner.
Another similar tool used by top bloggers is E-junkie. They charge a monthly fee, which allows you to process an unlimited number of sales and an unlimited number of downloads, with no transaction fees. In this way, it could easily be a much cheaper alternative to Paypal.
Then again, Paypal is a well-recognized name that most folks trolling the Internet will have no problem sending their credit card information through. So depending on your niche, you may need to give this some consideration.
Or perhaps you’d like for your product or service to have an even broader reach.
If this is the case, then in exchange for giving up a larger cut of your profit (in the form of affiliate commissions to those who promote your product), you can make use of affiliate networks.
Top bloggers use services like Clickbank, ShareASale, and Commission Junction. Each one allows online content providers to get a unique link placed on their site selling your product in exchange for a commission on each sale.
The next logical question, then, is how high a commission you should offer.
Tim Ferriss recently shared a story on his blog touching on this point. There he ultimately explains that the higher commission you offer, the more likely you are to have other folks sell your product. Some guys will even tell you to offer a 95% commission!
That sounds crazy, right?
It may, but it works. In fact, it turned Mike Geary into a millionaire! So here’s why it makes sense in the long run.
Most people who run sites hocking affiliate products really don’t care about your product. Sad… but true.
They want to make a quick and easy buck. So they’re inclined to link to products they can easily promote while making the most money from it.
So if there are 1,000 products in your niche selling for $99, they’re going to promote the ones offering 75%, 80%, and 95% commissions more often than they will those that offer a 25% cut of the sales price.
But this is still a good idea for several reasons…
First, it gives you a broader distribution channel. After all, if 100 websites are promoting your $50 product, each with just one sale, while taking a 75% commission, you’ll ultimately make a hell of a lot more than if just 5 websites are pitching your $50 product and have 5 sales each, but with a 25% commission.
What’s more, having more customers on the front end is really what you should be after, bringing us to the second reason why you should offer a high commission…
Assuming your product is strong, you have a whole new engaged audience of customers to sell back-end products to.
For example, let’s say the e-book you’re selling on one of these commission networks is about every last detail you need to know when buying a new fishing pole. In your first year, an incredible 10,000 people buy your e-book, netting you several thousand dollars.
Now, you have a list of 10,000 people you know are interested in fishing (after all, they paid money for your first product about it). But rather than just sit around, content with this impressive feat, you can take it a step further!
You can create another e-book of even greater value (therefore meriting an even higher-price) in that same niche — perhaps detailing everything they might want to know about buying a boat, boat GPS technology, basic boat motor repair, etc.
Then, directly sell your new e-book to those customers who bought your first e-book. And I bet you a round of drinks that you’ll end up making many times what you made from your first product.
This ability to upsell customers to an add-on product is really where the strength of affiliate commission networks comes from.
The shocking reality, though, is that not too many people in the online world have figured this out yet.
So if you’ve got strong ideas for a strong product that you believe fills a market need, this could be the online niche that puts you on the millionaire fast track.
Tools to Make Building a Niche Site a Breeze
If you follow Justin and Joe from Adsense Flippers or Spencer from Niche Pursuits, you may want to know how to make the process of building niche sites simpler and quicker.
This is especially true because one niche site usually won’t make you a ton of money — but a profile of 15-20 could easily bring in $1,000 or more each month.
First, you need to determine a niche you’ll be targeting. So how do you do that?
Well, you could go to the free Google Adwords keyword tool, which shares with you all the information you need to know about how many people are searching a particular keyword, and how much money advertisers are paying to target their ads to people searching for those keywords (a rough estimate of the amount of money you’ll make per click).
Google’s tool really is comprehensive in its data, sharing nearly everything you need to know.
But it’s lacking in several regards. First, it doesn’t let you save keywords you’ve searched (unless you’re manually exporting it into a spreadsheet). So it’s not easy to compare a keyword now with one that you researched yesterday.
Second, it doesn’t really give you any ability to assess the strength of other websites that may be targeting the same keyword. After all, if all the sites have thousands of backlinks each, it’s a niche you should probably avoid.
Long Tail Pro may sound familiar because it’s the product that Spencer from Niche Pursuits created to make his keyword research process easier.
But how are Long Tail Pro and Market Samurai different?
From what I’ve seen, Long Tail Pro is much quicker than Market Samurai. It also allows you to gather intelligence on multiple keywords at a time, something Spencer uniquely tailored to make his work easier. I suspect that many of the niche sites that Spencer builds out are often related long-tail keywords.
Long Tail Pro also enables you to quickly check the availability of domains related to the keyword, as well as quickly sort to find long tail keywords that do have available exact match domains.
Market Samurai, on the other hand, was the keyword research standard before Long Tail Pro came to market. So it’s a bit more robust, and has a responsive customer service department.
But it isn’t without its flaws (it had a bug within my first week of being a paying customer awhile back, preventing me from using it for several days).
It is notoriously slow in generating results and often sucks a ton of memory from your computer, meaning that while it’s taking a few minutes to pull data you really can’t do anything on your computer. I usually grab a cup of coffee when I’m trying to research keywords just to pass the time.
However what it lacks in speed it makes up for in comprehensiveness, especially in regards to SEO. Market Samurai makes it a breeze to quickly eliminate those keywords that simply have too high competition — as well as confirm niches that you’re confident you can easily rank for.
Whether you go the route of Long Tail Pro or Market Samurai, having one of these keyword research tools (or perhaps even both) will really make your job a lot easier, which is why I highly recommend you try out at least one of them.
The next most useful tool for building niche sites is a WordPress theme that has perfected the elegant placement of Adsense ads. It’s called the CTR Theme and after purchasing it you can use it on as many sites as you want.
What’s so great about it? First, it comes preprogrammed to place Google ads in specified site locations that representatives from Google have actually recommended for optimum click through.
Even better, you can randomize the placement of ads. Why is this important? Well if a visitor comes to your site several times, they may start to realize where the ads are and simple avoid even looking that direction. By randomizing the placement of your ads, the ads are always in a new location leading to an improved click-through rate.
Plus, you have the option to hide ads if you want. And you get 3 subthemes to roll out across your websites. The design is sleek, effective, and for just $67 (and the promise of a 60-day money-back refund if you don’t like it), you’d do well to try it out.
Next, we come to the topic of link building. In order to quickly move up in the ranks in Google, you need to have other high-ranking websites link to you. Which is what the next section will shed more light on.
Rank Higher in Search and Build Strong Backlinks: What Will Assist You with Your SEO Efforts
When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), the number one resource for expert information is SEO Moz Pro.
By becoming a member of their service, you’re able to track campaigns, research links, analyze competitors, ask questions to SEO experts, watch webinars, many other things. It’s the service used by Fortune 500 companies like eBay, Disney, and Best Buy — so it’s clearly an authority.
Unfortunately, that high level of service and information comes at a price. If your online empire is already quite profitable, the investment would probably make sense. And you can try it out completely free for 30 days to see if it’s something you’re interested in.
But if you don’t have a ton of cash to drop on SEO efforts, you could also use Google Analytics, completely free, for as many sites as you own to track incoming traffic coming from search as well as links.
Another option is Get Clicky, which provides a robust real-time tracking platform. Get Clicky will let you track one site completely free, adding more sites will cost anywhere from $29.99 to $299.99 per year.
But how do you even build backlinks?
Great question. You can spend hours upon hours emailing bloggers in your niche, asking for a link. You can wait for natural links to build.
Or you can take action yourself.
In this sense, you can submit articles to blogging networks and authority sites, containing links to your site for your targeted keyword.
Submissions themselves don’t necessarily cost money — you can submit to Ezinearticles.com and GoArticles.com completely free. But if this is your tactic, you should be creating unique versions of articles to send across these sites. To make this easier, I recommend The Best Spinner.
The Best Spinner allows you to instantly rewrite articles into “spun” versions. It provides natural synonyms so that your content is unique and duplicate versions of artiles don’t weaken your rankings in Google. Plus, it has a built-in spelling and grammar check to ensure that in your haste you don’t sound incompetent.
But maybe you do want to have articles published throughout the Internet, driving hundreds of backlinks to your page. In this case, I highly recommend two tools: My Article Network and Unique Article Wizard.
My Article Network will publish your content across 10,000 blogs. 60% of them are on the first page of Google for their niche. Unique Article Wizard is similar, allowing you to submit unique versions of articles (it’ll even do spinning for you) to over 20,000 directories, blogs, and websites over a staggered schedule.
To really add some link juice to your niche site, use all three of the above together.
Spencer recently mentioned that frequently he’ll spin an article, submit it to My Article Network, then later submit to Unique Article Wizard to slowly distribute to their network.
These services aren’t cheap, but the investment will be worth it on the long run when you’re on page 1 of Google for your target keyword and generating several times the expenses in monthly income.
Another network that some bloggers use is Build My Rank. This service will allow you to generate top-notch backlinks to an unlimited number of websites from aged sites that have Google Pageranks of 1 through 6. This high quality network promises that 95% of the posts across it will be indexed. It also offers a social bookmarking element.
But for the absolute best network, you should check out SENuke X (the favorite of Justin and Joe from Adsense Flippers). It’s expensive, but it is clearly the most comprehensive submission software, allowing you to diagram a strategy, schedule submissions weeks in advance, all across high-quality, high-ranking websites that will get indexed.
An increasinly important element to ranking high in Google is the social aspect — how many Facebook likes, Google +1s, Tweets, Stumbles, etc. your posts carry. But it can be quite time consuming to generate all this social traffic yourself.
Luckily, there’s a tool that can automate the process for you. It’s called Social Oomph and it lets you automate social signals like Facebook updates, Tweets, etc. I haven’t used this yet, so I can’t comment on its effectiveness or ease of use, but I have heard good things from a few bloggers.
Now we come to the topic of getting help when you clearly need it. There are so many hours in a day, after all, but your business needs manual labor in order to grow.
So where will you turn for help?
Finding the Help You Need at a Price You Can Afford: Virtual Assistants
Let’s face it — and the end of the day, you don’t have enough time to get everything you want done.
Maybe you’re trying to build an online business while working a career job during the day. Or maybe you still like to have enough time at the end of the day to play with your kids.
Fortunately, help can be had for a reasonable price in the form of a virtual assistant (VA).
These VAs are often internationally-based (labor is much cheaper in the Philippines), hence the “virtual” part. And although they carry the title assistant, you can often find folks who are capable of doing much more than just your simple tasks.
In fact, many of our top bloggers use their VAs for keyword research, building niche sites, tracking the performance of sites, etc. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to find a VA with design experience to create custom graphics and artwork for your site.
By now, you’re probably eager to get a VA of your own. The best place to find one (and the place most top bloggers using VAs get theirs from) is at Virtual Staff Finder.
There, you’ll pay a one-time investment to get you started. Then, you’ll provide the specifics of what exactly you need help with. Once you’ve completed this, Virtual Staff Finder’s team will get to work tracking down a candidate that meets your needs.
Once they’ve found a few candidates, they will interview them for you, complete background checks, and ultimately decide on three candidates for you to pick from.
Then you can interview your potential employees yourself via Skype. When you’ve decided upon the perfect match, you hire them and put them straight to work!
Obviously cost is important, but again, doing business abroad brings the costs down significantly. You can hire someone through Virtual Staff Finder for as little as $350 a month!
But what if you don’t need full-time help — just assistance with a small project?
Maybe you just want to find someone who you can pay to write a free report you’ll use to generate email leads. Or perhaps you need someone to customize some image files you’ve been working on, but just can’t quite get right.
For one-off projects, the best place to visit is Elance. There you can submit a project proposal, and multiple contractors will place a bid (offering a price they’ll happily do the work for).
Perhaps the best part of Elance’s site is that you can track past reviews of those bidding on your job (after all, if someone has been a sloppy designer for five jobs in a row, you don’t want to be mistake #6). Frequently, if you find a quality freelancer, you can contact that person in the future to help you out with additional products.
The broadness of Elance’s reach (it has contractors proficient in programming, marketing, creative, and administrative tasks) is quite impressive. So I encourage you to check them out if you’ve got a project or two you could use some help with.
But if you’re trying to build out a site with many articles — more than you can quickly produce — you can try Elance, but it might be expensive. One alternative (which Spencer of Niche Pursuits seems to have had a lot of success with) is Textbroker.
Textbroker charges on a per-word basis and based on the quality of the author you’re using. You should probably go for four- or five-star authors so that the content sounds like native English.
Then again, if you simply want someone to do the research and get an idea out there, you could probably go for a two-star author and rework it until it sounds right.
Another solid resource for finding online contractors is oDesk. They have a network of hundreds of thousands of “top-notch professionals, including web developers, software programmers, graphic designers, writers, customer service representatives and virtual assistants.”
As their site states, the average job size is around $5,000 so they cater more towards large projects that you want top-tier talent for. But with them you can pay by the hour, and ensure that the hour you paid for was actually an hour that your employee worked.
You may also remember from my post on top bloggers’ business models that a growing niche that you might be able to monetize is iPhone and Android apps. If you’re like me, the first time you hear that, you immediately write off the idea because you have no programming background.
But you don’t need a programming background!
Quoc Bui and Michael Moon (creators of the popular iFart app) wrote a wonderful e-Book explaining to you that you can create iPhone apps with no programming experience whatsoever. And it’s all through the power of finding help online.
The book is called How to Make iPhone Apps With No Programming Experience, and it shares everything from the specifications your developer will need to begin working on your app, to actually submitting it to Apple.
If you’re interested in getting into the smartphone app niche and don’t have programming experience or the time to spend learning the language, this is the one book you absolutely must read.
Wrapping It All Up
Wow, there are a lot of tools to use when building out an online empire, aren’t there? And there are easily 10-20 more that I could have included here as well.
I hope this post isn’t discouraging because these tools cost money, and, well, maybe you don’t have a ton of extra money laying around.
But it really isn’t as expensive as you think. To start off, just stick with the basics: domain name, hosting, email list. As your site starts to show some potential, maybe invest some more in it, with a premium WordPress Theme and logo.
As your empire grows even more, then you can hire a VA to help you out with your work.
Don’t forget — if you are running an online business, all of these expenses will come into play at tax time. So it’s important to keep track of them.
I’m planning to write a post in the next few weeks on the ins and outs of running an online business (how to set up a business entity, why it could be important, taxes and the online businessman, etc.), so stay on the lookout for that.
If you’re interested in learning about exactly what those complicated IRS rules mean as it pertains to making money from an online property, I encourage you to sign up for my email newsletter below. This way, when I publish that post, I’ll be able to immediately contact you.