Starting an online business can be confusing, especially around the tech you need to get started. There are so many tools for bloggers it can be overwhelming.
Trust me I know.
As a newbie, there’s a massive learning curve. So, it’s important that when it comes to the essentials you keep it simple and get exactly what your business needs.
For each of the tools I’m going to tell you about below, there are various levels, for various expertise on the market. Some are super simple perfect for newbies others are extremely techie.
I’m going to give you my go-to company for each tool. All the tools I use are simple to use therefore quick to learn and perfect for newbies.
The 5 Essential Tools For Bloggers
First up you will need a website and for a website you need three things, a domain, hosting and the website platform.
Your website will be your online home.
The domain is your website address and should be your business name.
Think of hosting as a plot of land that you build a house on.
The website platform you use is the structure of the house and foundation that you build on.
As far as I’m concerned you have two options WordPress or Squarespace.
WordPress is industry standard and with the latest updates have become easier for the less techie person to navigate.
If you want to be able to customize your site to exactly how you want it then WordPress is the way to go.
Squarespace is easier to learn and get up and running but there is also less customization.
If you know what you want to do with your business, it will be easy to choose which platform to go for. Also, it depends on how tech-savvy you are and how much time you have to give to building out your website.
With Squarespace, you don’t have to worry about hosting, and you can buy your domain name via them, so that cuts out the extra work.
You will need to purchase your domain separately if you go for WordPress.
Once you’ve chosen a name for your business, head over to either Namecheap or Godaddy and search for your domain to see if it is available.
Side note: make sure you buy privacy along with your domain, this stops your personal details being available for people to find online.
For Hosting I recommend Siteground. I have used Hostgator in the past but have been using Siteground for a year now with no site downtime. So Highly recommend Siteground.
Once you’ve purchased your domain, you can then install WordPress to your website.
Once you have your website ready, you’ve selected your theme and have your content uploaded, you need some way of getting potential client email addresses to start building your mailing list.
#2: Email Management
As you continue with your online journey you’ll hear one mantra over and over again. “The Money is in the list.”
What list you may ask?
Your Mailing list!
This is why investing in an email management system should be a priority when starting your online business.
An email management system will help collect email addresses and help you to automate emails to new members of your tribe.
I recommend MailChimp if you have very little budget for setting up your business. However, if you have some money to put towards starting your business I recommend you start with Convertkit. They are super simple and user-friendly as well as extremely effective.
My final recommendation is Getresponses. They’re great for newbies as they are much more than email marketing, they give you an entire marketing suite with email management, landing pages and the ability to do webinars.
#3: Landing Pages
In your online business, you’ll need 3 types of landing pages, an opt-in page to promote your freebies and get people on your list, a sales page to sell to potential customers and a thank you page to start the process of indoctrination for new customers.
You’re landing page is at the top of your funnel, getting potential customers to sign up and buy, so is another essential tool.
Using landing page software makes creating a landing page super quick and easy. You can also create highly optimized pages based on the template they provide that have been tested by thousands of their customers.
The landing page software I highly recommend is Thrive Themes Architect. It plugs into WordPress and you can create pages either using your theme or landing pages based on their templates.
Other top landing page software out there is Leadpages and Sunnypages. They are super easy to use for any newbie to the online game.
Another way to collect email addresses is through having a popup on your website. It’s a great way to offer your freebie to someone already interested in what you do because they are on your website.
#5: Design Tools
You’ll need to use design tools throughout your business, from logos, social media post, blog images, and opt-ins.
The 2 tools I recommend are Canva and PicMonkey.
They are both super simple to use. Canva has a comprehensive free version and PicMonkey is super affordable. It all depends on which tool you like. I suggest you try both and then decide which works best for you.
I use both for different purposes. I tend to use Canva for all my free content images and PicMonkey for anything I’m selling.
The Right Tools for The Job
Using the right tools right from the start will help you grow your business and also keep you stress-free.
Invest in your business and your business will support your life.
The Tools mentioned in this post is just the basics to get your business up and running.
For a more comprehensive list of further tools and resources for everything from social media management to financial management head over to the Resources page.