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Recommended Tools

As a guy who has been in this business for over 19 years, I'm constantly amazed at how the technology and tools have evolved. What used to have to be done manually (if at all) can now be built with a few mouse clicks! It has never been easier to build a truly professional website.

As awesome as it is, it can also be confusing to wade through all the products, tools and services which are available.

This page is a fully curated and tested list of those tools and resources which I personally recommend. Every single item on this page is something I have personally used in my own business.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission should you purchase. There is no additional cost to you. My promise to you, however, is that I only recommend those products that I use personally and have fully vetted. I also encourage you to do your homework and not make a purchase until you feel that solution is what you need and will help you grow your business.​ You can read my full disclaimer here. 

The Essentials

Siteground Web Hosting

Lots of "gurus" out there recommend Bluehost. And they're OK. But trust me when I say Siteground is better. I personally had a site hacked on Bluehost and their support was lackluster. Siteground is a better run operation, their support is stellar, and it is a higher value for your dollar.

Thrive Themes

Thrive Themes is the best game in town now for marketing-focused themes. Their Content Builder provides infinite flexibility to create any kind of page you want. Their landing pages are conversion-focused. I now recommend Thrive Themes as the "best bang for your buck" in terms of both themes and landing pages.

Aweber Email Marketing

I have been using Aweber for over a decade. They are tried and true, integrate with pretty much everything, and they are a great home for your valuable email list. While I no longer use Aweber for the Blog Marketing Academy (you'll see what I use below), I still use Aweber for another project and continue to recommend them to people first starting out.

What I Use For My

Email Marketing

Drip Email Marketing

Drip is an email marketing automation platform owned and operated by the folks at LeadPages. It is incredibly powerful and highly cost effective for business owners who need more than a standard email broadcast service like Aweber. You can build full, custom workflows with Drip in a very user-friendly interface.

What I Use For My

Web Hosting

WPEngine - Managed Wordpress Hosting

WPEngine is my primary web host and while they're not the cheapest game in town I find their feature set to be totally worth it for something as fundamental to my business as hosting. Simply put, WPEngine makes my life much easier and they've removed a lot of the technical hassles of dealing with Wordpress installs, performance and more.

NOTE: For people just starting out, WPEngine may be priced too high. For that reason, I recommend Siteground for people just starting. Plus, you can grow with Siteground and they have WP hosting, too.

What I Use For My

Membership Site

MemberMouse

The entire membership portion of Blog Marketing Academy is built on top of the MemberMouse platform. This is simply the most robust membership plug-in for Wordpress I've seen and used.

What I Use For My

Wordpress Plug-ins

  • Social Warfare - A very robust social media sharing buttons plug-in for Wordpress. Highly recommended.
  • Advanced Custom Fields Pro - I use custom fields for various internal things and the ACF plug-in allows me to take total control. This plug-in has functionality that I was giddy when I discovered it.
  • Gravity Forms - All the various forms used on this website are built with Gravity Forms. This is Wordpress forms perfected.
  • Nested Pages - If you use a lot of pages (not posts) in Wordpress, this plug-in allows you to easily drag and drop pages to change ordering. Really handy for organizing course content.

What I Use For My

Podcasting

What I Use For My

Videos

What I Use For My

Backend Operations

  • Slack- Internal team communication. We use it primarily instead of email.
  • PushCrew. I use Pushcrew for push notifications. It is an additional communication platform to supplement my email list.
  • Deadline Funnel. A countdown timer on steroids. Feels weird to pay monthly for such a thing, but there's no doubt this one is easiest to use and puts way more money in my pocket than it costs me. So, it's a no brainer.
  • Trello. Internal project management. I've tried a bunch of them and this one just seems to "click" with me the best.
  • Evernote - I use Evernote as my data repository.
  • Helpscout - This is what we use for our support desk. Really simple to use and most like email.
  • ScheduleOnceThe web app I use so people can book consultations within my availability. 
  • Quickbooks Online. I don't love everything about Intuit, but QBO offers the best balance of features and cost for my accounting.
  • Google Apps. We use Apps for company email addresses and use Google Drive for company documents and procedures.
  • Cyfe. I use Cyfe for my stats dashboard to compile key performance indicators from many difference places into one screen.