20 Online Business Tools

This article contains affiliate links.

Are you looking for tools to help you build and grow your online business? Well I am. So after looking around the internet and reaching out to some other entrepreneurs, I’ve put together this list. Some of which I use, some I have not. Some I plan to. These range from tools for social media marketing, project management and e-mail marketing to webinars, graphic design and creating landing pages.

If you’ve recently decided to start and grow a side business at the same time as working a day job, these will prove even more useful as you can manage and use your time much more effectively.

It can be expensive to hire writers, marketers or graphic designers early on especially once you consider that once they’re hired, you also need to manage them.

If you’ve ever read the four hour work week by Tim Ferris (great book, by the way I highly recommend it.) Then you know he is a an advocate of outsourcing a lot of the work in order to make your business as passive as possible, which is great. If you have the money to hire people. Granted you can outsource work very cheaply on sites such as fiverr (Click here to go to fiverr) But if you don’t have the money for this, not so great.

Fortunately for us, there is a large amount of software around these days specifically made for businesses, whether it is to help organization or automation.

I’ve organized these recommendations into categories such as marketing, graphic design etc. to help you more readily find what you’re looking for. With all of these great tools, services and platforms at our disposal, we shouldn’t have an issue being effective in our business endeavours.

This post does contain affiliate links. This does not affect your cost at all and I only use affiliate links for things I’ve personally used.

So lets get into my picks of 20 tools for online business.

Web Hosting

1.WordPress

WordPress is a great way for beginners to start a website or blog of their own (This one is obviously hosted on WordPress, for now) it’s very easy to use and set up even with no previous experience but can also be used to create some fantastic websites by more experienced users. Not to mention the endless number of useful plugins (Maybe I’ll write about some of those in the future).

WordPress is a great place to start and can easily be scaled as your business grows. There are a huge amount of resources out there created by users, both written and video tutorials. A lot of it is free and can have you up and running with a nice looking site in less than a day. You could even have a very basic site up and running in minutes. Later on you” probably want to check out the more complex plugins and themes to take advantage of the more advanced features.

2.BlueHost

Although this site is not hosted on BlueHost(Yet, at the time of writing.) I have used it in the past. They have very nice, affordable hosting plans starting at $3.95 per month with a variety of plans to cater to your hosting needs. Their cheapest plan should be more than enough for any ones first website even if your business isn’t just starting out. It is one of the quickest and easiest hosting services to get up and running especially for beginners. I have written briefly about BlueHost in another article (Found here) and have a full tutorial on how to get your domain set up (Which can be found by clicking here)

3.OptimizePress

OptimizePress is the premier theme for creating conversion-optimized websites. It has a very simple lived editor as well as a library of nice templates to help you quickly build your site whether you want to make a blog, create member portals so that you can have gated content or great landing pages that most importantly convert.

Pages created in OptimizePress, much like WordPress itself are already optimized for mobile or tablet use meaning that people can access your website regardless of platform and it even offers integration with a lot of other online business tools. With regular updates to their features as well as functionality improvements this is a great place to start and they even have a customer support team to help you get started and overcome any issues you may encounter.

4.Shopify

Shopify is a platform for building stores in ecommerce. If you’ve spent any time looking into the online business sphere, particularly on YouTube, in my experience. Then you’ve probably heard about “shopify dropshipping” a phrase that is like nails on a chalkboard to me now simply because I hear it so often.

It is a very easy to use platform where you can host your own custom domain where you can build stores to sell products online. Whether this is through drop shipping (shipping directly from supplier to your customer) or physically shipping them yourself, Shopify is a great platform with integrated payment processing and can even allow you to sell your products directly through Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

Shopify has a low monthly cost, cheap domains and very low transaction fees. It is very easy to set up and use and I have done so in the past.

E-Mail Marketing

5.Boomer Extension for Gmail

Boomerang is an extension for Gmail that enables you to trigger automated follow up emails, schedule them to be sent at a later time or even resurface previously received e-mails if you wish to follow up with them on a specific date. As you can imagine, this is incredibly useful when it comes to responding to business related e-mails or content distribution and outreach. If like me you often read an e-mail and think “I’ll follow up with that in a couple of days” only to then completely forget about it or more commonly in my case, have to spend 20 minutes looking for it again, this is incredibly valuable in helping not to forget about or lose track of said e-mails.

6.MailMunch

MailMunch is a great tool that takes a lot of the hassle out of building your e-mail list. Which means you can focus on creating the content to send to the previously mentioned list. It is essentially a lead generation platform which gives you the tools you need to turn your visitors into subscribers and customers. It is very quick to set up, less than 10 minutes (probably more like 5) On top of being very quick to set up, it is easy to use and they provide some nice customization options for their tools enabling you to create personalized landing pages and forms for your readers.

With the ability to create and customize forms, landing pages as well as email campaigns. MailMunch is a very useful tool. You can even use it to split test these which means, for example you could create two different e-mail campaigns to send out to your mailing list to see which one people are more responsive to.

7.OptinMonster

As most Online Marketers will tell you. Your number ONE asset is your e-mail list. So growing your subscriber base, and thus, this list, is essential to monetizing your online business and increasing your growth and revenue. Like MailMunch, OptinMonster comes with the ability to split test your e-mail campaigns so you can optimize them and find the most effective ones. OptinMonster also has an easy to use WordPress plugin, meaning you can integrate it nice and easy.

SEO & Marketing Research

8.Ahrefs

If you’re just starting out and are new to SEO and Link Building and particularly if you don’t have money to pay for a lot of these tools. I highly recommend Ahrefs. Ahrefs has a free account option which you can use to keep track of your websites ranking metrics. It keeps track of a large number of site metrics such as your traffic ranking, best performing content and more. As well as including how many backlinks are pointing to your website and which pages. Having backlinks increases your sites “authority” which means it will rank better in google.

9.Wordable

Wordable is a fantastic tool that enables you to easily draft your blog posts (or anything else you’re writing) in a google doc beforehand and with just a few clicks import them directly into your WordPress backend and have then posted. Often times if you just try and copy paste from a google doc (or anywhere for that matter) Into something else, it can be a little janky. The formatting will usually be completely especially in regards to headers, images in places you don’t want them, that’s if they’re even there at all.
Well, Wordable fixes this issue. What more is there to say?

10.Headline Analyzer

This tool enables you to quickly do any SEO analysis of your headers and their potential rank from 0 – 100 and will even recommend words and phrases to help you effectively boost its SEO analytics.

11.Yoast

No list of SEO tools would be complete without Yoast, its legendary within the SEO Industry and their optimization plugin for WordPress definitely lives up to this grand reputation. Just fill in the meta-data. Title, description etc, put in your target keyword and Yoast will look through your content and give you recommendations on how you can optimize your content to rank well.

If you’re relying on free traffic (and even if you’re not) , especially when starting out Yoast is a great way to get your site ranked and get more eyes on your site.

12.Google Trends

And just Google itself. A great way to gauge what people are looking for is to simply start to type something into google and see what autofills. Of course you need an idea of what direction to point. Simply start with a common question within whatever subject you’re writing about. It could even be a question you’re asking at the time. Once you’ve Got a question, keyword, long string keyword simply go to google trends and check the search volume to see what people are searching for.

This is more time consuming and not as effective as some of the actual software designed to do this for you but is useful and more importantly free alternative if you don’t mind putting in the time to do it yourself. You may learn a few things.

13.Pingdom

Pingdom is a free troubleshooting tool to help you figure out why and more importantly fix, slow load times on your web site. It’ll show you the specific elements, such as images, CSS or HTML code that is causing the slow down and even checks how fast your pages load and will send you alerts if your servers are down.

Graphic Design

Just the term “Graphic Design” sounds a bit daunting. To me anyway. But it sounds much more difficult than it is. Not to discredit any graphic designers out there. it’s not easy by any means. Tut there are a lot of software applications out there which can enable the most artistically ungifted of us to create half decent graphics and images.

14.Venngage

One of the most common communication barriers people face is explaining complex concepts and processes. It can be easy to miss steps, and it can be difficult to connect points effectively.

A mind map is the perfect way to visualize any topic that has many steps, nodes or subsections. Simply start with a central idea and then branch off into connecting points. Not only is a well-made mind map easy to follow, it’s more visually engaging than a boring report or step-by-step list.

Create an engaging and effective mind map with Venngage’s online mind map maker!

Venngage is easy to use and lets you create professional looking graphics such as reports, infographics, proposals and presentations. You can preselect a colour palette and then its as easy as dragging and dropping the elements where you want them. It shouldn’t take long to learn to use this one.

Venngage has a couple of plans, one of which being their business plan (right) which comes with a “My Brand Kit” tool which enables you to upload all of your own custom images and logs and have them automatically applied to templates enabling you to have consistent branding across your products without needing to hire a graphic designer.

15.DesignWizard

Design Wizard is a graphic design tool that is great for anyone starting a side business they have a around 1.2 million images you can use as well as 25,000 professionally designed templates to create graphics to a professional standard without hiring a graphic designer yourself. They even have a library of premium HD videos that you can pull from to add that bit of extra polish to your own videos. If your new boot-strapped side hustle involves graphics such as print-on-demand or anything else you might put some designs on to, then you can even sell variations of these. One of the things that set this tool apart are its ease and speed of use meaning you can create the graphics you need effectively and efficiently.

16.Infogram

Infogram lets you create high quality, sleek graphic representations of your data with incredible easy and a wide array of charts, graphs, infographics and tables

17.Adobe Photoshop

The original king of graphic design software, and probably still the number one tool when it comes to truly infinite image editing and customization. You can rely on photoshop to do exactly what you want it to do, provided you’re willing to learn it. But if you’re into design, you likely are and will probably already have this. But in case you don’t, there are a ton of tutorials out there on how to use Photoshop both free and paid. There are many free and more importantly good photoshop tutorials on YouTube.

18.Canva

Canva is a great free and very easy to use tool for making graphic images for your business. The image for this post was made using canva. In fact. It took all of around 30 seconds. Granted it’s very simple and by no means the extent of what can be done using canva. It has a lot of templates available for use. You can add graphic icons to images, filter photos and design awesome graphics using its simple drag and drop elements. Great for creating social media posts as it has templates for them already built in.

the option within the poorly drawn circle was used to create the above image.

Content Creation

19.Teachable

Teachable

Teachable is probably the easiest tool to use if you’re thinking of creating and selling your own course on a subject you’ve mastered. It is a great content delivery platform at an affordable price.

Teachable lets you create written and video lectures, as well as create worksheets for your students to complete in order to progress with your course. You can create your sales page and connect with your paypal or bank account and begin accepting payments from your new students. Teaching is a good way of understanding the knowledge you have better, as you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively. If you’ve mastered a set of skills then passing on this knowledge and educating others is a great way to make some money, not to mention how fulfilling it can be to see others reach their goals knowing that you helped them along the way.

20.ZippyCourses

Zippy Courses is a wordpress plugin, something akin to teachable only it is a plugin for your WordPress site rather than being its own platform which you can use to create timed releases of course modules, create quizzes and accept payments, Both one-time and subscriptions.

Of course there are many more than this depending on what your business is, but also within the categories above. These are tools that I’ve found that are (and will be) useful to me. There will likely be more to come as I grow and require more of them!

Advertisements

One thought on “20 Online Business Tools

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s