Tools of The Trade
Running an online business is hard. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle. I like puzzles and figuring out the best tools to get stuff done. My criteria are usually nice design, easy to use and affordable. I pay for quality, but I like free or cheap best. This page is a list of everything I use (some more than others). It’s always changing.
I participate in the Amazon Associate Program and I also take part in affiliate programs of other companies or brands that I really like and think make good products or services. Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, which means I may receive commission from the company at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products or services that I use and love or that I think will be helpful to you. The affiliate partnerships allow me to maintain the website and keep creating and sharing content to help both of us move forward in business and in life.
Designed with love by Mike. Sold through Amazon.
BlueHost is web host of all of my websites. I know there are many to choose from, but I have been happy with Blue Host from the start. Their customer service is responsive and friendly and my website is always up and you can get started for $3.95 a month to host multiple websites. What more can you ask. Happy with BlueHost and I recommend them.
Shopify is a very easy way to create an e-commerce website or store. The templates are really nice right out of the box and adding products and customizing the site is really easy. Pricing starts at $29/month and there is a ton of add-ons that may get expensive, but if you make money, isn’t it worth the investment? If you need a dedicated store, consider Shopify.
Freshbooks is the easiest way to invoice and manage your expenses and track your time. Make getting paid easy, use Freshbooks. It’s going to cost you $25/month which is tough at first, but it’s so worth it to not have to stress about sending invoices. I’m a fan.
Design & Graphics
Creative Liveis up there with Lynda for online education for me. Awesome classes and instructors. The Alex Blumberg Podcast Class was surprisingly great for me as I am not a storyteller, but I picked up a lot from this class. If it’s on Creative Live, it’s good. Simple.
Camtasia is my screencasting tool of choice. This is my primary tool for making tutorials. The new Camtasia 3.0 is all fancy and slick and really makes screencasting simple. I’m a fan.
Screenflow is the screencasting tool I used for a long time. It works great, but I find the interface a little confusing and not as fun to use as Camtasia. I still use it for some purpose and it has some features I like better than Camtasia, but it’s now my #2 screencast tool.
Lynda has been my #1 girl for almost 10 years. I owe most of my tech & design learning to Lynda. When you are serious about learning, Lynda is the place. College level learning. The best. Really.
Wirecast is a professional live broadcasting and live-streaming tool made by Telestream, the company behind Screenflow.
Udemyhas a ton of great classes, but in all honesty, I use it for my courses to earn revenue. There is opportunity to make a good living on Udemy selling courses and it also has tons of classes.
Big Resource List
1Password: Password manager. Would be locked out of everything without it. Game-changer.
Asana: Another great project management tool.
Backblaze: The best cloud backup solution I have used. Unlimited backups $5/month!
Baron Fig: Notebooks that make me feel creative and smart.
Buffer: I think I’m in love with Buffer.
ByWord: Great markup writing tool.
Calendly: Very cool scheduling tool. Integrates with Google Calendar.
Dropbox: No explanation needed. A must-have
Evernote: Oh how I try to love you. We’re making headway.
Google Apps For Business: If you do one thing for your business, install Google Apps.
List.ly: Make & share lists with the world.
Medium: Write & publish articles. Love Medium.
Scrivener: Trying to make this my default writer.
Slack: Communication tool. Eliminate emails.
Trello: My favorite organizer. Trello keeps track of everything.
Workflowy: So awesome! Forget to use it, but love for long lists!
Libsyn: Where I host my podcast files
BluBrry: I use PowerPress WordPress Plugin to generate RSS Feed.
Soundcloud: I like Soundcloud, but do not recommend you host your podcast with them.
Spreaker: Spreaker is a one stop shop for podcasters and I really like their whole vibe. I want to be more active with Spreaker as I really like everything they have going on.
PodBean:The pricing is good and people generally have good things to say about Podbean.
Audible.com:Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
CreativeLive: A staple in my world
KelbyOne: I owe a lot of my design & photoshop skills to Scott Kelby.
Lynda.com: The cream of the crop for online education.
Skillshare: One of my new favorites for tutorials.
Udemy.com: Massive library of courses
Audio & Video (Editing)
Adobe Audition: The best audio editor. Period.
Adobe Premiere Pro: The tool I use to edit video.
Audacity: In the browser editor. Looks ugly, but works.
Auphonic: A bit of magic. Upload a file and it spits out a really good quality file. Impressive.
Camtasia: Very similar to Screenflow. Better annotations.
GarageBand: Oldie but goodie for making music and editing audio.
Hindenberg Pro: Online Editor that is very popularReaper
Screenflow: Powerful, easy-to-use screen recording and editing software for Mac.
Wipster.io Good for proofing with clients
Wistia.com: One of the best video resources around for tools and learning video.