Online Business Platforms
When I started my first online business on December 15th 2012 I had no idea what the heck I was doing! I knew I needed a website but options were limited. As I gained more experience and repeated failed over and over again I learned a few things along the way. I actually started my business with Wordpress and then moved on to Teachable and a few others. Below is a list of the resources I've tried along wit ha brief description. Please note that all links are affiliate links so if you sign-up through a link I will get a small commission! So thank you if you do! Anyway, let's get on with the show shall we?
Before you can build your online business you need a domain name right? I mean if you don't have a .com address no one can browse to your site, consume your content and buy your online courses.
Now GoDadddy is the most popular option out there for buying a domain name but Namecheap is the cheapest. If you want to get started with the least amount of friction possible you should check out Namecheap today.
Do you know why I've been a New Kajabi customer since 2016? Did I find New Kajabi easy to use? Yes, but other platforms are easy to use too. Was it because New Kajabi was cheaper than everyone else? Nope, they are actually one of the more expensive options. I chose New Kajabi because their customer support team is awesome and it's the gold standard for beginners who want all the moving pieces in one spot.
By the way, you don't need New Kajabi to build an online business but I've customized the training on this website to work with Kajabi. So without Kajabi it might be hard to follow along.
This site covers 29 weeks from nothing to a fully functioning business. If you want to shortcut the process to 28 days, you can start my 28 day challenge too.
I started with these guys back in the day when I was following Melyssa Griffin's blog. I knew she was using Teachable. Then Pat Flynn jumped on board and it was clear: Teachable has something going on. One of the biggest advantages is price. So if you can't afford New Kajabi Teachable may be a viable alternative for you.
I would also do your research to see how Teachable stacks up against New Kajabi.
These guys honestly a viable alternative to New Kajabi. I think it's only $40 bucks a month to get started and you get a lot of stuff but you'll miss out on premium Kajabi features such as quizzes, assessments, membership communities and site flexibility.
That being said - always do your research!
Oh man! Yeah, I remember the first time I used Ontraport I was blown away by everything I could do. I ran a classic product launch on the platform and had all these complicated systems setup to tag buyers send me notifications... it was awesome but also took me weeks to setup! If I could do it all over again I would have just went with Kajabi but Ontraport does have it's advantages. If you're a control freak and want to control every little aspect of your business and have the time to learn a powerful business platform then I suggest starting an Ontraport trial.
I'm just going to be real with ya. ActiveCampaign is for marketing geeks. If you're a techie type who loves flow charts and logic and rules - well then Active Campaign is for you. I would say it is definitely an advanced tool. And although their customer support team is as good as New Kajabi's, the product is so difficult to use that I would only recommend it for seasoned internet marketers. If that's okay with you you should jump into a free trial! .
ConvertKit is the baby of the bunch. They are the new kids on the block. But one of the reasons I used them for email marketing was because I wanted something simpler than ActiveCampaign but with the ability to send multiple emails on the same day. This is crucial during a product launch because it helps you build anticipation and control the direction of your launch. ConvertKit is actually pretty good. they are affordable and the software is really easy to use. If you're interested you should check them out today.
As one of the oldest email marketing service providers on the web, AWeber is the grand daddy of all internet marketing tools. These guys have been in this space for ages. AWeber's appeal is that you are getting an email marketing platform - and that's it. Nothing more, nothing less. If you don't care about payment processing, landing pages, webinars, membership courses and all that jazz.. then AWeber is a great starter application for emerging entreprenuers.
Okay, honestly - who hasn't heard of Leadpages? These are like the landing page guru's of our day. They make some of the world's highest converting landing pages on the planet and offer integrations with tons of marketing tools. I was using Leadpages back when I started my fixedbyvonnie.com blog. Since then they've made prodigious changes to the product which have ushered it into a full-featured customer management solution. Even if you don't care about Leadpages I think it is still prudent to at least check these guys out because they will most likely have something you can use.
Stop Learning. Start Doing.
It's time to break out of the procrastination, perfectionism, analysis-paralysis, death by learning and never doing trap! After all that's the purpose of this website - to get you results because what you need isn't just more information or more tools you need a careful, step-by-step system for turning your dreams in a reality. Are you ready for change?
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Content Creation Tools
Oh yeah! This is where the fun lives. So here's the thing: yes I love making money online (who doesn't) but do you know what I enjoy even more than that!? It's making the content! I love recording the videos, and Power Point slides, and buying the lighting equipment and cameras and all that fun stuff. The recording tech is amazing and that's why I'm going to give you a list of all the resources I've used to build my online business on New Kajabi.
Camtasia + Snagit
Camtasia is to recording the content for your online course as Microsoft Word is to writing text documents. Camtasia is incontestably the number one software tool for recording screen narration. I've been using Camtasia for years and the one thing I really like is how easy it is to use. I'm not a video editing professional but I've used Adobe Premiere and let me just tell you - Premiere is what professionals use to edit movies! It is overkill for recording basic videos for online courses.
The other awesome tool you should use is Snagit. It's the industry standard screen shoot tool that lets you crop, edit and share images.
I want to be honest with you here: I think this is the only resource on this page that I haven't personally used. So I can't personally vouch for it but I've heard from tons of reputable entrepreneurs such as Amy Porterfield and Pat Flynn that they offer an excellent MacOS alternative to Techsmith's Camtasia called ScreenFlow. So if you have a Mac you can check these guys out (by the way I believe Camtasia works on MacOS as well so you don't need to use Screenflow).
Canva is what I like to call "The Poor Man's Photoshop". I say this because Canva gives you everything you need to build the art creative for your online business but nothing more. You get the power of Adobe Photoshop with the simplicity of basic art creation software tuned for entrepreneurs. There are also thousands of pre-built, fill-in-the-blank templates you can use to get started.
Oh Microsoft! Who can forget you!? You are everywhere!
You really only need two paid Microsoft tools to build the content for your online business: Word and Powerpoint. I use Microsoft word to edit all my blog posts when I post into New Kajabi and I use Powerpoint to build my course slides and webinar slide decks. Most people have the trial version of Microsoft but you'll need the paid version if you're serious about building your online business.
Blue Yeti Microphone
You don't need a fancy camera to start an online business. In fact, you don't even need a camera. You can do a slide narration where you just narrate a slide deck. These have been hugely successful in the past. But the one thing you can't skimp on is audio quality. Using your built in laptop mic isn't going to cut it. I've been using the Blue Yeti for years and have nothing but good things to say about it. It's built like a freggin' tank, sounds awesome and connects to your computer via a plain old USB cable. You should check it out today.
"Make Your Life Better" tools
Being an entrepreneur is tough. Not only do you have to fight your own perfectionistic antics you have to deal with negative noise from your family, friends, and co-workers because no one really understands what you're doing. It's no wonder most entrepreneurial hopefuls give up before they reach their true potential. That's why I wanted to list my favorite resources to help you stay in the game longer. .
This is not something you will need as you start building your business but a year or two in you will definitely want to make use of some kind of scheduling software. Acuity is the leader in this space. It is basically an online assistant and scheduling tool. You can take appointments, slot customers into your schedule an handle all the nitty grity logistics - automagically with acuity. :)
Once upon a time Gotowebinar used to be the leader for entrepreneurs looking to monetize their online businesses using webinars. In recent years this has changed because Zoom offers almost everything Gotowebinar can do at a fraction of the cost. Gotowebinar is expensive. the other advantage of Zoom is it is 100% compatible with New Kajabi. You can create webinar pipelines in New Kajabi that hook into Zoom. for these reasons I strongly suggest using Zoom to build your business.
I'm going to be honest with you here - you don't need SurveyMonkey to have a successful online business. You really don't. In fact, I was able to get by with Google Forms just fine. That being said, the advantage of SurveyMonkey is it offers more question options, templates, branching and conditional logic and dynamic collaboration. Both Google Forms and SurveyMonkey have free version though so you don't have to immediately jump into the paid offerings.
I relied on Evernote when I spent over three months completing my immersive research before building this website. All my market research went into Evernote where I was able to search through keywords and export my results to a PDF or HTML file. Evernote is an awesome too to help you stay organized. If you don't have it installed, why not take a second right now to get it up and running?
Basic Web Hosts
I almost didn't even include these guys because well, this is no longer a modern option. When I got started building my online business Wordpress was like the only thing out there. Today, Wordpress is a dinosaur. But I decided to include some basic web hosts for completeness and in case you want to learn how to build a website without all the fancy fluff that the online business platforms provide.
Yes! Talk about old school! Let's face it! Almost every entrepreneur in the world got started with Wordpress. I mean, the software is just fun to use and with hundreds of thousands of plug-ins and themes you can basically make your website look and do whatever you want. If you want 100% control of your website, down to the molecular code level that keeps your website alive, Wordpress might be a viable choice for you.
In my pre-NewKajabian days, me (and everyone else in the world) needed three things: a domain name, a web host to store the content and a content management platform to manage all that content. Wordpress is premiere content management platform for anyone who doesn't want the advanced features Kajabi offers. And Justhost is the place where I've hosted the content for my old school blogs since 2012. Even though I use Kajabi for my money making online businesses, Justhost is still a great web host for anyone who wants to start building everything from scratch.
I just had to add these guys on here for laughs. When I started my blog I was pretty sure my wife wasn't going to buy into my whole internet dream idea so I needed a free ramp toward success. After Googling around for a while I found 000webhost. The reason I liked them is because they hosted my Wordpress site for free and without any ads. It was amazing! The downside is that once my little blog began to grow it crashed hard under the traffic load. So there's always a balance right!. Anyway, if you want to learn how to code or develop your website using PHP then I highly suggest checking out these guys as you have nothing to lose because well.. it's 100% free.
You Don't Need More Information.
Google. Udemy. Youtube.
We live in a world of information overload so I wanted to do something about it. Instead of throwing more stuff at you, I have carefully, and deliberately hand-picked key topics that are designed to get you results. Because at the end of the day - that's the only thing that matters.
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