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Tools I use to run an online business

Here’s what I use or recommend as the best tools to run your freelancing business. I’m not going to lie, a few are affiliate links (so I get paid a tiny amount if you sign up), but I 100% stand behind every single recommendation. Each one is the best at what it does. I’ve also managed to snag exclusive discounts for some of these services – my gift to you.

Note: These tools all have affiliate links. Meaning: there’s a discount for you and a small kick-back for me. That said, I use every single one of these tools on a daily basis.

I’ve also done my best to secure exclusive discounts on most of these tools, just for my audience.

Newsletters – MailChimp – $30 credit for your account

There are lots of newsletter software companies out there, but MailChimp is one of the biggest and definitely the best. It can do pretty much anything ConvertKit can do and more (ConvertKit doesn’t let you create website “goals” for things like cart abandons). My entire business runs on MailChimp and it generates almost all my revenue.

Learning MailChimp – Chimp Essentials

I created this course because I saw a massive gap between using Mailchimp and actually using MailChimp the right way. The “right way” meaning, organizing subscribers better, automating better, seeing higher delivery rates and really: using MailChimp to make money, instead of spending money on MailChimp.

Hosting – Flywheel

getflywheel.comthecreativeclassorig gets you 3 months free on any plan.

I’ve used Flywheel for years (all my courses are hosted here). Their hosting is great, their support is great and what each plan comes with for free is great: local development, SSL and staging sites.

Domains – Hover – $2 off any domain.

They aren’t misogynistic elephant killers like GoDaddy. But also, their support is great, their company is easy to deal with and their domain registration and renewal process is the easiest I’ve seen. There aren’t 1,392 upsells either – you just buy a domain and you’re done.

Webinars – Crowdcast – use pauljarvis to get 10% off forever

This is the software I use to do every single one of my live events, from webinars to Q&A calls to private events for my course students. It just works, and it works well.

Mailing list plugin – MailChimp for WordPress

My entire business runs off my MailChimp account, and this plugin is what powers every single website, course and marketing site for software I’ve got. It lets me update users instead of having to add them to multiple lists (and get charged twice).

Online courses – Restrict Content Pro

restrictcontentpro.comPJRVS gets you 10% off.

I’ve tried almost every online course platform, from hosted ones to WordPress plugins. Restrict Content Pro is by far the best for three reasons: it’s easy to setup, it’s easy to use and their support is the best I’ve experienced.

Affiliate programs – AffiliateWP

affiliatewp.comPJRVS gets you 10% off.

This tool makes it easy for people to sell your products and make money doing it. It works with everything from Restrict Content Pro to EasyDigitalDownloads to WooCommerce, to ZippyCourses, to Sprout Invoices. You get to set the referral rate, who gets to be an affiliate and how you pay them.

Lesson Completion – WPComplete

wpcomplete.coPJCOURSE gets you 30% off

Yes, I created this plugin, but I created it out of a need that if you run a course, you want students to actually do the work and finish the lessons. By allowing them to mark lessons as finished and see their overall progress, this propels them to the finish line.

Google Webmaster Tools – Free!

Google Webmaster Tools lets you track your site’s performance with Google (so you can increase visibility, click-through rates and rank higher). It also helps show you if something is wrong with your site, so you can fix it quickly.

Google Analytics – Free!

Google Analytics is the industry standard for website statistics. It helps you see who goes to your site, from where, in what numbers and also helps you track things like goals and ecommerce (once you set those up). Get the data you need to make informed decisions about your site.

Last updated on Jan 05, 2017.