Resources We Use
So you are ready to start building your online business! Great. When I started I didn’t have a clue where to start. I’ve spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to develop a team of partners and services that I trust and which provide good value. Here are some that I personally use and recommend to you without reservation …
Where To Get Your Website
Do you need a website and don’t know where to go or what to do first? You could go to a web designer. The advantage is that you have a pro designing your site. The disadvantages are that: a) it can be expensive, b) it can often be a lengthy process, and getting small changes done can be both #a and #b; c) you really should learn to do some web changes yourself. I often want to change my copy or a price, or perhaps put up a “Special” for a special occasion. If you can do it yourself you are miles ahead.
We use a lot of “minisites” to quickly put up websites to sell our products. They are simple, uncomplicated sites designed to sell just a few products. We get dozens of high-quality templates from EZminisites.com. They are easy to modify and they provide a wealth of online video tutorials and a really handy forum. We definitely recommend them as an inexpensive way to quickly get a simple website up and running smoothly. You can see an example of a successful site we built on one of these templates here. Click the link above to learn more about EZminisites.
When you need something more than a simple, one-page template, you needn’t look further than Template Monster. They offer thousands of templates, including CMS templates for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and others. It is really an enormous selection. Check them out below:
We use Adobe Dreamweaver to build and modify our websites. You can get a free trial of Dreamweaver 8 by clicking here.
We use Adobe Photoshop extensively to prepare graphics and photos for our website. Learning to use Photoshop is one of the essential tools of a web designer/entrepreneur. You can learn more and download a free trial by clicking here.
Where To Host Your Website
We have over 40 different websites, all running on one “Reseller Hosting Account” at HostGator.com. This type of account gives me the capability to sell web hosting to others, just as if I were a big independent web hosting company. I could even brand it myself any way I wish. I don’t promote that service to the general public, although I could (I just don’t want to provide technical support to a lot of people at all hours), but I do sell enough hosting accounts to friends and business associates to cover hosting all of my own sites for free and return several hundred dollars per month in profit. You can’t beat a deal like that. Managing a hosting account is easy and for me – just plain fun. I very highly recommend HostGator.
Where To Get Beautiful, Inexpensive Images For Your Website
You want beautiful photography and attractive graphics on your website. Where do you get them? We buy a lot of professional photos for our many websites and know what a huge impact good photos have (both Rick and Kim have degrees in photography). Some stock photography agencies charge a fortune but you can get good photos for only a couple of dollars each at Dreamstime.com.
How To Host Videos For Your Website
You can put videos on your own website. We have done that a lot and it has worked fine. However, when you reach a certain amount of traffic you may have problems. We now store our video files on Amazon’s S3 storage system. You can get an account with them directly. It is a very inexpensive way to host your videos and other files and server them robustly, all over the world. To put your files on Amazon S3, we use and absolutely love a service called EzS3. It makes putting your files up there and managing them super easy. I highly recommend you give them a try.
Shopping Cart Software
Are you looking to setup your shopping cart but don’t know where to start? Or are you frustrated by trying to get your shopping cart and autoresponder system set up and working the way YOU want it to work? If so I have the answer for YOU! There’s a way for you to learn exactly how to get your shopping cart and autoresponder system set up and customized for your business… WITHOUT having to wait for a webmaster, WITHOUT having to pay through the roof for expert help, and WITHOUT having to mess around with hard-to-understand help menus and user guides. You see Christina Hills (The Shopping Cart Queen) took out all the guess work and made a 5 step tutorial for you to get your shopping cart setup and customized specifically for you quickly and easily. Click The Link Below To Get Started.
What are “keywords” and why do you need them? Find out here …
Keywords are how potential customers will find you in the search engines. You use them in your own advertising to target just the customers you want clicking on your ads. Here is a really cool tool that I’m using to spy on my Adwords competition, and come up with more keywords I can use for my campaigns. It’s It installs right into your web browser and I can’t even tell it’s running when my browser’s open. It is a great way to “spy” on your competition to see what keywords they are bidding on in Google Adwords. Visit PPC Web Spy to learn more.
Add Amazing Animated Slide Shows To Your Videos And Web Pages
Animoto is just the coolest thing! Turn a folder full of photos into a mind blowing slide show video that your clients will love. They will think you are a genius, so don’t spoil that magic by telling them that you made it in minutes with Animoto. If you are asked to produce video slide shows for wedding receptions, anniversaries, birthdays… you will go crazy over it. You just have to try it.
Printing Your Direct Mail And Advertising Pieces
Direct mail is not dead and it is a very important component to any good marketing plan, from your business cards to product packaging and brochures. Print Place is our “go to” place for quality, inexpensive printing. We use them regularly and have always been completely satisfied with the quality of their work and the prices are really a bargain. Tip: get good business cards and hand them them out freely. (Maybe get some images from Dreamstime.com mentioned above – that’s where we got ours).