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Ultimate Listing of eCommerce Resources for Store Owners

In this section, you’ll have access to our ever-growing list of resources, recommended services, tools, software, and more, that we use to run our businesses… Every single day.


 My Most Recommended:

If you look at nothing else on this page, these are the ones that you should know about, first. I find myself recommending these resources again and again, in emails, on videos, and on podcasts. I use them because they make my life easier, and I’m confident you’ll agree too.

  • Bigcommerce: If you’re looking to sell more than 5-10 products in your online store, then I HIGHLY recommend taking a look at the BigCommerce hosted shopping cart.  Its extremely easy to use, flexible, can be customized, and the templates look great.   Its the shopping cart platform that we use to build ALL of our new stores.  CLICK HERE to setup your new store for free..
  • Bluehost: If you’re looking to setup a WordPress blog (which is HIGHLY recommended) for your eCommerce site, you should checkout my favorite hosting provider,  Bluehost.Why? Because it’s incredibly easy to use with 1-click automatic WordPress installation and excellent customer service – via phone and via chat. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using Bluehost for your first site. Also, you can use the same hosting account for multiple domains if you plan on creating more websites. Click this link to get a special discount off the regular price!
  • Dropbox: This is the most awesome online service EVER, and I use it exclusively to backup my important files to the “cloud” + it sync’s all of your files to ALL of your computers + you can use it to share documents and folders with your staff/outsourcers.  You get 2gb for free, and then can upgrade if needed.    CLICK HERE TO GET ACCESS FOR FREE!
  • Evernote – This is a free organization tool that is truly “must-have” for any online entreprenuer.  There is a web version, smartphone app, and tablet app as well.  Definitely will want to upgrade to the paid version as the features you get are definitely worth the small cost
  • Jing – Free video screencasting software that allows you to record up to 5 minutes AND hosts your videos for free.  We use this tool all-day-long to record videos for our outsourced providers, internal team members, and training.  Will definitely want to upgrade to Screenflow for Mac (see link below) or Camtasia for PC for longer recording times or more “bells and whistles”.
  • LeadPages: Continuing on the easy-to-use theme, this is far and away my favorite tool for easily creating high-quality landing pages and squeeze pages. LeadPages will help you convert viewers into subscribers or buyers. Best of all, it works both with WordPress and non-WordPress sites alike.

Blogging:

  • WordPress: The #1 Blog Publishing Platform. Free and easily customizable with wonderful support. All of my blogs on my eCommerce stores use the hosted version of WordPress (NOT wordpress.com’s version).
  • Woo Themes: Great resource for premium looking WordPress themes.

Web Hosting:

  • Bigcommerce: If you’re looking to sell more than 5-10 products in your online store, then I HIGHLY recommend taking a look at the BigCommerce hosted shopping cart.  Its extremely easy to use, flexible, can be customized, and the templates look great.   Its the shopping cart platform that we use to build ALL of our new stores.  CLICK HERE to setup your new store for free..
  • Bluehost: If you’re looking to setup a WordPress blog (which is HIGHLY recommended) for your eCommerce site, you should checkout my favorite hosting provider,  Bluehost.Why? Because it’s incredibly easy to use with 1-click automatic WordPress installation andexcellent customer service – via phone and via chat. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using Bluehost for your first site. Also, you can use the same hosting account for multiple domains if you plan on creating more websites. Click this link to get a special discount off the regular price!

Shopping Carts for Information Products:

  • E-Junkie: Simple shopping cart best used to sell products like eBooks, reports, etc.. It’s compatible with Paypal Standard, Paypal Pro, Google Checkout, Authorize.net, TrialPay, Clickbank & 2CheckOut. Works like a charm, very low price to use. Also, comes with a decent affiliate program for your products.
  • Clickbank: Another digital products retailer. Probably the most popular. Decently priced, but comes with an amazing affiliate program for your products.
  • Paypal.com: Paypal is just ok for selling your own products through them, but you’ll need an account anyways to configure with and accept payments from the above shopping carts.

Keyword / Market Research:

  • Google Keyword Planner – This is the Google keyword tool that we use to do quick research on a market.  You will need a free Google Adwords account to use this tool.  Highly Recommended.
  • Market Samurai: The number one tool for advanced keyword research available, hands down.
  • Seo Book Keyword Suggestion Tool: Another fantastic keyword research tool, with even more information and numbers to compare and select the perfect keywords.
  • Micro Site MastersAn excellent tool to keep track of the keywords you’re working on. Excellent interface and really easy to use.

Images and Photos:

  • The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Using Images on Your Website: This is a post that will show you everything you need to know about using images on your website. You can’t just pull any ol’ image from the internet and use it – you could get in trouble! Read this to stay safe and worry free.
  • iStockPhoto: This is where I typically purchase royalty-free images that I use on my sites.
  • Flickr Creative Commons: This is where you can get free images for your website, but there are some rules that go along with it. Read the post in the first image & photo resource above to make sure you know how it all works.

Landing Pages:

  • LeadPages: Continuing on the easy-to-use theme, this is far and away my favorite tool for easily creating high-quality landing pages and squeeze pages. LeadPages will help you convert viewers into subscribers or buyers. Best of all, it works both with WordPress and non-WordPress sites alike.

Pay-per-Click Advertising:

  • Google Adsense: Make money by placing relevant ads on your website that are generated from advertisers using Google Adwords. This is free to use, but you have to register for an account.
  • Google Adwords: If you want to begin advertising on Google, you can select keywords and locations and you pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement.

Testing / Analytics:

  • Google Analytics: Google’s free website tracking and analytical tool. A must have for anyone with any type of website.
  • Clicky: Clicky is just like Google Analytics, except it’s easier to use, and you can view how many people are on your site (and what they are doing) in real time! Your first site is free.

Website Security:

  • Sucuri: My websites are my business…and my livelihood! I don’t want any intruders, so I pay a yearly fee to make sure that if anyone tampers with my sites, it’ll be taken care of right away, with alerts/notifications letting me know what’s up. Sucuri is definitely great for peace of mind, if anything.
  • Limit Login Attempts (WordPress Plugin): Install this plugin to limit the number of times someone can attempt to login to your WordPress admin panel before getting blocked. This helps to stop those who keep trying to break in by logging into your website with different passwords (and there are tools to help speedup this process).

Outsourcing:

  • Elance: Hired service for just about anything you can think of.
  • Odesk: Another outsource website for freelancers, IT companies, programmers and web designers from abroad.
  • 99Designs: This is a unique website that you can use if you need a logo design. It’s in a contest format. You submit the description of what you want, and designers will compete against each other to win money.
  • Fiverr – Awesome site to get thousands of tasks done for $5.  Invaluable resource.

Legal Stuff:


 

Accounting / Bookkeeping:

  • FreshBooks.com: Accounting can be frustrating, but not with FreshBooks. FreshBooks makes accounting needs like time tracking and invoicing a breeze. I believe in FreshBooks because it’s specially designed for small business owners like us. If you use the highlighted link, you will enjoy a 30-day free trial—no credit card required.

Video Screencapture / Screencasting:

  • ScreenFlow (for Mac users) – the screen capture software I’m currently using.

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