Tools I Use

Here are some of the tools and resources I use (and highly recommend) to run my blogs.

Disclosure: Please note that some of those links below are affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and end up purchasing the products, I get a commission. You will pay the same amount for those products whether you purchase them through my links or not, so you will not be paying anything extra.

If you’d rather not go through my links, just copy/paste the name of the product and Google it. If you do go through my links and end up buying anything through me, please let me know so I can personally thank you :)

Blogging

  • BluehostBest Host for Serious Bloggers
    This is the host I use for both of my blogs, and their customer service is amazing. They give you UNLIMITED space for your blog and a FREE domain when you sign up. Most importantly, Bluehost has a 1-click installation service for WordPress, which means you don’t have to worry about doing any of the initial blog setup yourself. This is a paid service, so sign up with Bluehost only if you’re seriously considering blogging.
  • WordPress.comBest Free Option for Blogging
    If you don’t want to pay for a hosting service, but still want to blog, WordPress.com is the best free platform to use. I used it when I was first starting out with The Couch Manager, but then moved to Bluehost (which includes an installation of WordPress). Keep in mind though that you will have limited functionality with WordPress.com as opposed to Bluehost (for example, you will not be able to install any plugins with WordPress.com).
  • Genesis Framework + Theme –  For Advanced Bloggers
    I use this framework and theme for my Part-Time Webpreneur blog (but not for The Couch Manager). This is something I use in addition to Bluehost. I do not recommend using the Genesis Framework or Theme unless you’ve already been blogging for a while, because you’ll need to do some serious tweaking. The benefits you gain from Genesis are better SEO and better security. However, if you’re just starting out, then Bluehost or WordPress.com will have everything you need.
  • LeadPages – For Landing Pages and Opt-in Squeeze Pages
    I use LeadPages for creating opt-in landing pages for ebook launches, market validation and testing conversion rates. It’s a super-easy an online services that comes with a pre-loaded set of templates that you can just point-and-click on to create pages (including video landing pages, sales landing pages, opt-in pages, and thank you pages). It also guides you through what to write by providing sample copy guidelines. LeadPages also works really well with most email marketing services (including AWeber).

Ebook Selling & Design

  • E-junkieShopping Cart Software
    I use E-junkie as shopping cart software for selling my eBook  You can also use E-junkie to sell anything else that is downloadable, such as software or video files (or even tangible goods). E-junkie integrates nicely with PayPal, where it sends your customers an automated email with a unique (and secure) download link to get the eBook after they pay for it. This helps you avoid posting your eBook on a public URL where anyone can find it and download it for free. E-junkie is one of the best and most widely adopted shopping cart tools out there, particularly because it’s cheap and doesn’t put any limits on bandwidth or number of transactions.
  • BoxShotKingFor eBook Cover Design
    I use BoxShotKing to design the cool-looking 3D covers of my eBooks. You can also use it to design other 3D graphics, such as software package covers, CD/ DVD covers, iPad/ iPod screenshots and much more.  It’s super simple to use and you can create graphics in under 2 minutes without any technology or graphic design experience.

Email Marketing

  • AWeber The Best Email List Builder
    I use AWeber for building my email list on both my blogs.  Around 95% of the professional blogs I subscribe to use AWeber, and for good reasons. AWeber has great customer service, excellent email reachability and amazing statistics. On The Couch Manager, I use it as an auto-responder for subscribers to my “Managing Virtual Teams” newsletter. On the Part-Time Webpreneur, I use it to notify subscribers about my latest posts (and other important updates).

Hardware

  • Wacom Bamboo Pen TabletExcellent Tool for Freehand Drawing
    For all the drawings and sketches on both my blogs, I use a Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet. I used to draw everything using pens, paper and a scanner, but the Bamboo Tablet is much more efficient and creates better looking graphics. I also use it when I need to use an electronic whiteboard to quickly sketch my ideas out. This is an excellent tool to have if you are planning on drawing anything electronically.

I’ll be adding more tools and resources to this page in the future, so make sure you check back frequently. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.