Making sure you use the right tools, software and apps can greatly increase not only your profits, but the ease of monetization on your offers and products. Pay particular attention to which resources that you already have are working so well, you don’t see the point in changing them. If you need to add more features, however, look at CRMS and tools that integrate with what you already have.
Here are twenty-one popular current choices to help you run your online digital business.
If you are still fairly new to web hosting, you do not need to pay nose-bleeding prices for a concierge-style web hosting plan. In fact, you could do no better than to start out with a web hosting company that has consistently drawn rave reviews from its very happy customers since 1998 – Reliable Webs.
Reliable Webs is very comfortable handling single-entrepreneur business. Their support rivals the top concierge web hosts and beats them for speed and courtesy. Take a look at their Support page to see what they will do simply as part of their services.
The other wonderful factor: Reliable Webs can grow with your business. In fact, if you start out with Reliable Webs you may end up one of those happy customers delighted to stay with this rock-solid web-hosting company.
PRICING: Plans start at $12.00 USD monthly for a single site; $25.00 USD monthly for Reseller hosting with unlimited domains. (Discounted rates available if you pay quarterly or annually.)
Security is the hallmark of this ultimate concierge web hosting company, who tailor their hosting exclusively to WordPress sites. In fact, they prefer to do everything for you — which means you install your own security plugins – but theirs are better and far more secure. In fact, they monitor for hackers 24-7.
If you have several sites or heavy eCommerce, and particularly if you’ve experienced problems with hackers before, this may be your first choice.
PRICING: Plans start at $35.00 USD and they can grow with you, all the way up to $290.00+ USD.
Both Reliable Webs and WP Engine offer free site migration.
The perfect place to start if you need a mini-site or you’re brand new to web-hosting. The same superlative Support service as Reliable Webs, plus MomWebs will set up your blog-style website for you, for free.
PRICING: Plans start at $5.00 USD.
WordPress plugins play an important part in contributing to the success of your monetization. They add functionality to your site in many areas: SEO, sharing, loading speed; all the way to allowing you to create membership sites. And one of the most important areas is security – protecting your customers (and your site) against hackers and spammers and keeping your data safe.
Wordfence is one of three top security plugins, endorsed by authority bloggers, developers and WordPress experts. Includes its own firewall and endpoint scanner, plus you can block countries notorious for spawning hacking attempts. If you invest in the premium version, you also have two-point authentication to protect you against comment spam. The down side? A learning curve as you select and customize all the settings. (Before you sign up with any web host, check to see if they can or will do Wordfence set-up for you.)
PRICING: Free through WordPress.org. Premium version starts at $99.00 USD for a single key (an activation code for one website) – but the more keys you buy, the more you save. And you can use your keys at any time.
Sucuri-Scanner is the second of the top three WordPress Security plugins gathering rave reviews right now. It’s easy to install and configure, and if you want more detailed recommendations, instructions for each function it’s capable of performing are broken down right on its WordPress.org plugins page.
PRICING: Free. Install via “Add New” in your website dashboard plugins section.
Our final WordPress security plugin top contender is also easy to install. In fact, although it has many bells and whistles, you can install it with just the default settings and experience strong protection. Its advantage for beginners is an installation wizard that walks you through everything, let you select what you want to learn more about – plus, you can choose to have iThemes configure it for you, if you wish.
You will want to share the word about your landing pages and offers. Create social posts driving people to your sites and preschedule them with Hootsuite. It has one unique asset that most other content management schedulers don’t: It allows you to add your Instagram account to your Hootsuite dashboard and schedule Instagram posts too. So, if you are an Instagram user, this is definitely the content management scheduler for you.
This content management scheduler is so much more. It allows you to create an unlimited library archive of all your past content, and you can set conditions allowing it to intelligently reschedule these posts for you on each of the platforms you’ve selected. When you sign up, you get account setup assistance, as well as a social media strategy call.
It promises that Instagram integration is “coming soon” – but right now, if you have Zapier, you can actually do this through Zapier. (It also promises that Pinterest integration is coming soon too.)
PRICING: $49.00 USD monthly.
Our third content management scheduling tool, Buffer just shines in the area of data collection and tracking. It’s easy to set up and use – and it provides detailed post performance analysis and presents the results in a format that’s even easier than Facebook’s Insights.
Plus… you can schedule to Instagram with it.
PRICING: Free for up to 3 social media accounts; Pro starts at $15.00 monthly. Business options start at $99.00 monthly for 25 social media accounts and 5 team members.
Leadpages® has become the go-to for all top marketers, providing hundreds of free and paid templates you can easily customize and turn into sophisticated, beautiful and eye-catching landing pages, sales pages, video sales pages, thank you pages, and more. You can customize your landing pages with an array of options, all with the click of a mouse. Add count-down timers – even run webinars from Leadpages®. Integration with Zapier. Plus, you can create effective and powerful pop-ups with their Leadboxes® feature. (You don’t even need a pop-up plugin.)
PRICING: Plans start at $25.00 USD per month, paid annually; or $37.00 USD paid monthly. (You can drop that rate down to $17.00 USD per month if you sign up for their 2-year plan.)
An alternative to Leadpages®, with many of the same features, including drag-and-drop customization. Many entrepreneurs say they find it even easier than Leadpages.
PRICING: $97.00 USD monthly for a basic plan. 14-day free trial.
Zapier is a SaaS that allows you to integrate all your web apps, easily and seamlessly, without conflict. The result? Automated workflows that free you up to continue doing what you do best and ensure there are no conflicts to drive people out of your sales funnels.
Works particularly well with Leadpages® and Infusionsoft.
PRICING: Free version for basic personal automation and testing. Plans run on a sliding scale, based on your needs, but can start as low as $20.00 USD per month, if those needs are not overly complex. (I.E. you can grow into Zapier as your business and income grows.)
This full shopping cart SaaS offers affiliate management capability, full campaign management, email list management – and, of course, product sales set-up.
Entrepreneurs who use it all seem to swear by it, but the truth is, it’s too robust and most likely too expensive if you’re just starting out and selling your first products. You’ll be paying for features you don’t yet need; plus, there’s a fairly large learning curve. Best for businesses already in full swing. It’s well worth checking out – but do yourself a favor and hire an Infusionsoft-certified expert to set it up for you. (Besides, Infusionsoft-certified partners can often get you a better price – so explore their services before you commit.)
PRICING: Starts at $199.00 USD per month for 2.5K contacts (full features: $399.00 USD per month). Note there is also a $1,000 USD set-up fee up front.
This Canadian-based online shopping-cart system is a wonderfully-inexpensive alternative to Infusionsoft. It’s especially good for online storefronts – plus you can sell on Facebook with Shopify. Create invoices, take credit cards, copy-paste and get selling straight away.
Create lead-generating and ideal customer-attracting visual quizzes and surveys with Fyrebox. Real-time statistics recording. Analyzes each respondent, allows you to create reports, and more. Quiz leads “enter your sales cycle automatically and start generating revenue”.
Integrates with “over 300 applications” – including Zapier and Shopify.
PRICING: Free for up to 5 leads per month. Paid plans with unlimited leads start at $29.00 USD per month.
If you’re interested in using quizzes to increase sales, leads and sign-ups, do yourself a huge favor. Read this eye-opening, helpful post in the Kissmetrics blog and learn real tips and tricks for maximizing your quiz strategies.
Kissmetrics is the powerhouse tool for behavioral email and Facebook marketing campaigns. Offering “push-button” integration, targeted customer behavioral insights, sophisticated segmentation and campaign generation, it’s best used by those who already have strong platforms and products.
PRICING: Starts at $500.00 USD for up to 50,000 people tracked; $100.00 USD per 50,00 after that.
A seriously inexpensive but top-rated tracking and analysis SaaS, Clicky monitors and analyzes website visitors in real-time. Boasts “best in the biz” bot blocking, downtime alerts, video analytics, Twitter analytics, heat maps, live visitor observation, and many more features.
PRICING: Free version available. Paid plans start at $9.99 monthly for 1,000,000 pages views. 14-day free trial with full features available.
Top-notch, easy-to-use Autoresponder – ideally suited to entrepreneurs, with powerful marketing-automation tools. Integrates with “all the major ecommerce providers”. Three advertising channels – Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns that work with Google remarketing ads to increase conversions.
PRICING: Free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Paid plans start at $10.00 USD per month.
Make engagement-boosting videos with a nice library of video templates, effects and features, using this easy, stand-alone software you can instantly download.
You can make promo videos, review videos, sales letter videos and beef up your slide shows using VideoMakerFX. And that’s just for starters. There are many extras like royalty-free music tracks, backgrounds, graphics, training guides and a year of full support.
PRICING: $67.00 USD (one-time-only purchase)