So you got your basics: you registered your business, got a host and domain name “Weed-Whacker.com”, got your e-mail address, installed WordPress and set up your social media. It’s time to get moving. Here are 5 tools I’ve been using that will help get your site moving on to the next step.
Here are 5 Starting Tools to Get You Going:
Envato Elements is a subscription based service. It seems a little pricey, but trust me if you’re starting out you’re going have to spend a lot on graphics, fonts, templates, and infographics. Yes, it’s $30 a month, but from experience, graphic designers aren’t cheap and it’s really hard to get what you want. You’ll easily spend way more than $30 for small design work from them. With designers, there’s lots of back and forth and it’s hard for them to understand your vision because you don’t have much to show yet! So it’s best to choose from a bunch of designs that you like, THEN ask a designer to put it together. If you have the time to do it yourself then great, even better. I recommend using it for the first 2-3 months when you’re creating the most, then take a break. You can always re-subscribe again.
If the price isn’t within your range and you don’t need that many graphics, Envato Market allows you to choose which tool you need specifically and pay per item. The item I use the most is ThemeForest which looks for website templates, but I also highly recommend stuff like landing pages and hero pages.
2) Mail Chimp an e-mail subscriber list:
Most people know this already because they probably subscribe to someone else’s newsletter who uses MailChimp. However, this is a quick reminder that setting up an e-mail list as soon as you can for your website is huge. You’re collecting data, and in the early stages most people won’t come back. Finding ways to stay in contact with the people who visit your site is important. Setting up incentives for people to join your e-mail list is almost a must. Those who say “Sign up for our newsletters” don’t expect many results. When was the last time you thought “Hey I really want more newsletters in my inbox”? Give people incentives.
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These are pretty good when you need to pass files back and forth. Google Drive is pretty cheap, I think I’m paying about $3 a month for 100GB of storage. With Dropbox, you can build more space by having friends sign up. I actually use both to this day. You get more total space when you combine them. I find Dropbox a bit more user-friendly, since you can drag and drop with their desktop application. However, Google Drive has the better price and is integrated with other Google platforms such as Gmail. Like I said, use both. Just be careful if you use both desktop applications; it’ll start eating into your hard drive space.
Let me warn you right away, the stuff on here can be absolute shit. It’s a bunch of scammers looking to suck out as much money as they can from you. They’ll always try to upsell or request more hours needed. One guy actually quoted me $1100 USD to get some website work done that only took a proper designer 3-4 hours with a total cost of $150 USD. However, when done RIGHT, you can get decent work done. You have to make sure your task is VERY specific and minimal. Don’t offer someone too many things to do, i.e. “Can you fix my SEO on my blog?” There’s too much grey area to that. Each developer can create their own numbers concerning how long SEO will take. As well, if you ask something like that, they clearly know you have no clue. Another lesson I learned is, a lot of freelancers on this site will do a phenomenal first job to gain your trust, maybe the second or third time will be ok too, then they start slacking or taking advantage. Always give yourself leverage and challenge them, say a competitor is offering a better deal. This is a business deal, be firm, specific and don’t be afraid to walk away. Also if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. See something like “$5 will get you 1000 REAL followers on twitter”? Have common sense.
Start tracking right away. Online business is all about data and knowing your customers’ behavior. It’s about doing A/B Tests, seeing what works, what doesn’t work. What blogs people liked, what they didn’t like etc., etc… Start tracking your data as soon as you can. You’ll see more problems you can fix, and it’ll simply give you a better idea when you think of your business as a whole.
I’ll be working on some more advanced tools in a #5-10 list in the future, but for now I think these will give you a good start. Good Luck!
Having problems with something else? Or feel something was forgotten? Let me know!