Welcome to the Mazepress resoures area where you will find my curated list of tools, websites and services that I highly recommend for building and improving your online business.
Everything you will find on this page has been battle tested by myself and is either important in the growth of projects I work on or has been in the past.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. To find out more see my affiliate disclaimer page.
Here are some of the tools I use to manage my websites including where I buy my domain names, where I host my websites and the software I use to run my websites, blogs and eCommerce stores.
- WordPress.org - Open source Website Software with unrivalled possibilities.
- Genesis Framework by Studiopress, the best theme framework for WordPress, SEO friendly, flexible & fast loading.
- GoDaddy & Namecheap - Affordable domain names from companies you can trust.
- Bluehost - Affordable Shared Web Hosting. My ideal company for hosting new websites.
- WPEngine - Premium hosting for more serious marketers and more mature resource intensive websites.
- Shopify - Simple, hassle free eCommerce solution for small business owners with powerful tools.
- UpDown.io - Ping your websites perioditcally to ensure they aren't down and react quickly when they are.
- WebsiteSetup.org - Step-by-Step Guide on how to create a website.
- If you are new to blogging and the idea of running your own website we have created a simple step by step guide on how to do this using WordPress & Bluehost in under 10 minutes. Start your First Website or Blog.
The tools that are essential for any digital marketers toolkit. There are lots of services you need to manage and market a business online and growth hack. Autoresponder services like Mailchimp & Drip, social media automation software and tools to help you manage and grow lots of accounts with ease and search engine reporting and analysis tools to do the required keyword research, check onpage SEO health and then report on your progress.
- Mailchimp - Email marketing service that is free until you have 2000 subscribers and responsible for sending over 10 billion emails each month.
- Drip - State of the art visual email marketing automation system from Leadpages. Create intelligent email sequences.
- Leadpages - The number one tool for creating sales and landing pages. No tool is easier to get started using.
Social Media Tools
- CoSchedule - The best social media and content scheduling editorial calendar that works standalone or inside your WordPress dashboard.
- Buffer - An easy to use and affordable tool for scheduling social media posts from your browser.
- Hashtagify - Perform hashtag research to find out what's trending in your niche in social media.
- HootSuite - One of the best social media management tools for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Google+.
Search Engine Optimization Tools
- SEOMoz - One of the most renowned all in one SEO SaaS solutions. Features ranking tool,
keyword checker, backlink checker and more.
- SEMRush - An all in one marketing toolkit that allows you to evaluate competitors websites as well as improve your position in the SERPs.
- ahrefs - One of the most comprehensive toolsets for SEO professionals and marketers. A must have for anyone serious about improving their SEO and willing to invest the time and a bit of money.
- KWFinder - Easily find long tail keywords with low SEO difficulty and generate other keyword ideas that will perform.
- SpyFu - Perform competitor research and find out which keywords are performing best in for the market leaders in your niche.
- Panguin - Check your websites or Panda or Penguin penalties as well as any other traffic fluctuations with occur at the same time as an update to Google's algorithm.
- SEOReviewTools - If you are bootstrapping and on a budget then look no further than this free suite of SEO tools which allow you to perform lots of different scans including a range of bulk tools such as rank checker, website authority checker, keyword suggestion tool, Backlink Finder and a bunch of other things. These won't give you the in-depth insights you will get from ahrefs and SEMRush but for a free set of tools they are excellent.
- SupaGrowth - An incredible and free suite of SEO tools that will give you some serious weaponry for climbing those rankings, performing competitor research and much more.
- One of the best ways to learn and keep up to date with digital marketing is with podcasts. We wrote an article on The Best Marketing & Growth Hacking Podcasts
that I highly recommend you check out.
One of the best ways to make more money is to save money and when time IS money, improving your productivity by adopting automation into your workflow and optimizing the day to day processes involved in your business is a great growth hack to improve your bottom line. Today you can use tools to make your life a lot easier so it pays to learn how to put them into play.
- Asana - My number 1 tool for micro managing clients, projects and my day to day responsibilities in an organized and measurable fashion.
- Trello - A fantastic brainstorming tool that can also be used with different templates for different purposes.
- Evernote - Great bookmarking tool to save articles for reading later. Syncs with lots of other productivity tools also.
- G Suites (Formerly Google Apps for Business) - The best email solution that also comes with a plethora of business apps for Word processing, spreadsheets, cloud storage and more premium Google services.
- Slack - Organize and monitor your social streams and more in organized slack channels. There are many ways you can use slack to make your life easier.
- IFTTT - Automate and connect all of the services in your life for free. If This Then That is a powerful service.
- Zapier - Another automation tool that allows you to connect API's and webhooks similar to IFTTT but with paid options and more integrations available.
- Clipboard Managers (Ditto for Windows users, CopyClip for Mac users, everyone else can get a life.)
- VyprVPN - Browse the internet privately at home and while travelling with a company you can trust.
- Dropbox - Affordable world renowned cloud storage solution, store videos, images and documents to access anywhere.
- The Great Suspender - Automatically suspends unused tabs to free up system resources (Chrome Extension). A must have for any chrome user with a tab addiction.
These are some of the tools I use to improve my writing and make the whole process easier. Everything from how to better plan and research my ideas and subject matter, the contextual spelling and grammar check tools to spot my typos before my readers and tools to improve my writing abilities.
- Grammarly - Contextual spelling and grammar checks will change your word and improve your writing ten fold.
- Hemmingway - Remove the clutter from your writing and write like Hemmingway with this web based writing editor.
- AnswerThePublic - Need content ideas? Answer your customers most common questions by finding out what people want to know.
- MindMeister - One of the best MindMap plugins, ideal for planning your writing out in a visual format to list all of the micro-topics you want to cover. Coggle.it is another alternative which is visually very attractive. Both are free to begin
- Ditto - Ditto is a clipboard manager. This means instead of hitting copy/paste and only having access to the last one item you copied you can pull up a list with the last 1000. This is possibly my favourite productivity hack for anyone who works at a computer all day. Ditto is Windows only but 1Clipboard appears to be a good alternative that works on Mac as well as PC.
- SkyScraper Technique - Learn how to apply this technique to 10X your content quality.
- Pomodoro Technique - Increase productivity and reduce procrastination with the Pomodoro.
If you are bootstrapping your online business then you are probably doing most of the design work yourself too. Sometimes this can compromise quality unless you have the best and in most cases easiest tools to use. Here is an inside look at the design tools and software I use to bootstrap all of my own websites with high-quality visuals.
Graphics tools for social media content, graphic editors, logo and branding tools, image compression and a few tools for when you do want to outsource your design work for the most professional results.
- Canva - The fastest tool to create professional graphics for your blog posts and social content.
- Pablo - Another great tool for creating social media images from the people at Buffer.
- Flickgraph Create your own Cinemagraphs to use on your website, social media or Facebook ads to command attention.
- Plotagraph - An incredible tool that allows you to create cinemagraphs from still photos.
- Adobe Photoshop - The creme de la creme of photo editing and manipulation.
- Gimp - The best free Photoshop alternative for those not looking to invest in expensive design software who want to make simple or advanced edits.
- TinyPNG - Losslessly reduce your image sizes before uploading to your website for a faster loading web page. Vital for SEO in 2017.
- Pexels - The best website online for royalty free stock photos and textures you can use in your websites, videos and other content. Read our full guide on the Best Free Image Websites.
- Paletton.com - The best tool for working out a color scheme for your website or finding colours that will compliment your brands primary color and theme.
- 99Designs - The best place to get affordable logo design and be blown away with 10 or more high-quality professional logos to choose from.
- TailorBrands - A very affordable automated tool for creating a simple but attractive brand for your new website app or any kind of business.
- MyeCoverMaker - A tool for creating eBook & Book cover designs and then allows you to also convert them into 3D eCovers for use in your marketing kit.
Video marketing has become a major part of the digital marketer's wheelhouse over the past couple of years as internet speeds improve and video content is becoming the best way to keep a visitors attention video marketing isn't just for video producers anymore.
Digital marketers, web designers and social media influencers are all self-publishing video content online to engage their audience and it's well worth learning some of the tools so you can add video content to your arsenal of sales tools.
- DJI Drones & Cameras - Drones & Video cameras are essential for any modern marketer and DJI creates great products without costing a fortune.
- Filmora / Wondershare Video Editor - Not the most famous but easy to use video editor with lots of effects for those who didn't go to film school. A great video editor for beginners to video content creation.
- Adobe Premiere - The creme de la creme of video production suites. Definitely for more advanced users who feel they have outgrown the more basic tools.
- Animoto - A great tool for taking photos and short video clips to help you create your own professional video ads. Use on your website, social media or in advertising campaigns.
- Renderforest - Another great tool for creating short form video content for use on social media and digital marketing.
- Biteable Creat explainer videos and animations with this low-cost video app.
- Explaindio One of the best tools for creating whiteboard animation videos and explainers for your website.
- Viddyoze 2.0 A video intro maker that allows you to add lower thirds, transitions and other effects to your video content.
- We have created a guide covering video tools in more depth you can see at The Ultimate Video Content Marketing Toolkit.
eCommerce is one of the most reliable and profitable sources of income online and an area I have been actively involved in for nearly a decade. Here are some of the hottest tools you need to be aware of if you are interested in using eCommerce as an income stream for your online business.
- Amazon FBA - Send your inventory to Amazon and let the professionals take are of delivering your products to your customers on time always whether you are at home or sitting on a beach.
- WooCommerce - One of the best eCommerce platforms in the world, extremely flexible and runs within WordPress.
- Shopify - The easiest eCommerce platform to setup and maintain by far with lots of powerful tools.
- Oberlo - Automatically import products from AliExpress to Shopify and run a dropshipping operation in a matter of hours.
- Alibaba & AliExpress - Two great websites for product sourcing. Alibaba owns both, one website for bulk orders and the other for smaller unit orders
- Storeya - Add all of your WooCommerce products to your Facebook fanpage on a Facebook store.
- PayPal - Still the easiest way to get paid around the world.
Learning online is one of the biggest growth areas on the internet today and if you follow Gary Vaynerchuk you will know what he thinks about going to university and college these days! It's a waste of money if you want to learn something that you can self-study online for either free or a fraction of the cost of getting a degree.
College is good for those that need to study law or medicine but if you want to be an entrepreneur, writer or digital marketer then you are far better off online, the only other ingredient that is absolutely necessary is motivation.
- Skillshare - An online learning community for creators with online video classes that can be created by anyone who just wants to teach.
- Udemy - One of the premiere online learning platforms for professionals looking to add more skills to their resume.
- TeamTreehouse -Another learning management system with a focus on digital industries and skills such as development, design and digital marketing.
- Lynda.com - Arguably the most famous online learning website, Lynda was formed in 1995 and features video courses on software, marketing and business by industry experts.
- JVZoo Academy - A course for people who want to master affiliate marketing and explore the JVZoo affiliate platform and create, launch or promote software and marketing products.
- YouTube - Never underestimate YouTube and the hundreds of thousands of high-quality content creators and educators that are producing educational videos around the clock allowing you to learn pretty much anything if you just put in the time and dig through the noise.
- Best Marketing Podcasts - Podcasts are one of the best ways to learn online. See our article covering the best marketing and growth hacking podcasts to subscribe to.
Over the years I have tried and tested most of the general methods online for making money and the different ways to monetize a website. Below are some ways you can earn additional income from your website and online presence across social media promoting products, reselling or creating your own exclusive items to sell.
Some offer a higher profit margin than others, some are more scaleable but all of them are opportunities that may or may not tie in with your business, website and skillset and are worth exploring.
- Freelance Online - Upwork is our pick of the bunch for finding freelance opportunities online as a web designer, programmer, graphic designer or any other remote worker. Another option for both freelancing, offering unique services and for outsourcing is Fiverr.
- Dropship Anything - Another popular online business model is dropshipping which has been made a lot easier thanks to websites like AliExpress, the little brother of Alibaba.
- Amazon FBA - Read our Beginners Guide to Amazon FBA to find out how you can use Amazon Fulfillment to make selling products online a breeze.
- Become an Affiliate - Low risk and easy to get started. Promote products as an affiliate via one of the many affiliate networks like JVZoo.
- Design Your Own T-Shirts - Use Printful to design your own t-shirts and other merchandise including iPhone cases, Pillows, hats, mugs, tote bags, leggings and even dresses and skirts. Then have the whole process dropshipped for you.
- Legit Ways to Make Money Online - If you want to read a comprehensive list then head over to our make money online guide.
- Buy Bitcoin X - I recently launched a new educational website about Bitcoin, Cryptocurriecies, Alt Coins & the blockchain as I expect this to be the biggest disrupting force we have seen since the Internet & Smartphones.
It is important to have a constant stream of new content and learning materials each week to ensure you remain on the cutting edge of digital marketing. SEO and the marketing industry evolves rapidly and utilising the latest ideas is a great way to leverage growth before the competition.
Even today the best way to subscribe to this kind of content is via email in my opinion, just ensure to filter your emails to keep things organised.
Just some of the books I recommend to anyone who is an entrepreneur, looking to start a business or involved in internet marketing. This is an ongoing list of books that offer a lot of value to anyone who is running their own business, freelancing or just interested in tech, sales, marketing and the internet.
All of my essential resources that I have written up a review of and gone into more detail explaining the benefits and why these tools are so useful. Some of these products and service pages contain affiliate links.
What do you think? Are you a digital marketer, eCommerce store owner, web designer, SEO consultant or social media strategist with tools that you think I might have missed from my list? Please get in touch and I so I can review your ideas to see if they are tools I haven't tried before and if they are worth including in my resources.