Starting an online business is not a small feat, especially if you don’t have any experience with how the web works. Chances are you might just run to a professional device and get them to run things for you. If you don’t have that kind of budget OR prefer doing things on your own, here are 6 essential tools for an online business that you can start with immediately.
Essential Tools for an Online Business
#1 Branding Tools
If you are a newbie, you might have heard some people suggest leaving branding later, but I think advantages are getting into the branding mindset earlier especially for business owners. It helps to visualize your goals and think ahead of your competitors.
First of all, to get started, you’ll need a domain name. SiteDomains is a reputable domain registrar that allows you to quickly search for domain availability. When you make a purchase, the package also comes with full privacy, domain protection, and email accounts.
The next one is LogoGarden. Now, most business owners are not born designers so having a nifty tool to help you create a free logo comes in handy. The software works well on the web and with a few simple mix and match, you can easily download the image logo and use it later for online or printing purposes.
With a great name and a fantastic looking logo, you are off with a good start in structuring your online business.
#2 Infrastructure Tools
In retail, you need a premise to open a business. On the web, you need a virtual space and this is usually made up of two components – a hosting and a publishing platform. Technically, it sounds like you need to go to two different places. However, with SiteRubix, you only need to go to one.
The platform is essentially a hosting service that comes pre-built with the WordPress publisher. So that eliminates all the technicalities of downloading the WordPress software like what most services would have you do. In just four simple steps, you can launch your website on a free subdomain OR use your custom domain.
Each new website is automatically installed with the All in One SEO plugin which will help you achieve better rankings on the search engines. Read my review here to learn more about how to create a WordPress website with SiteRubix.
#3 Content Creation Tools
One of the biggest factors that makes an online business excel is what they offer to the readers and that comes in the form of content. If you want to know what’s going within your niche, there are two places I would recommend that you use;
- Google News sends you daily updates on various topics in the form of news and blogs from all over the world.
- Quora is a great Q&A platform where experts and general users meet online to discuss various topics. It would be great to share your expertise on this platform as well as asking advice in starting your online business.
When it comes to writing content, my favorite would be the Jaaxy Keyword Tool. Unlike other programs, it doesn’t require you to interpret graphs/charts or navigate through layers of data just to get what you want. Just type in your keywords and it will come up with a comprehensive keyword list plus the search and competition level for each keyword.
The traffic light system indicator also gives you a quick impression of how well the keyword will perform in terms of SEO.
#4 Graphic Tools
Good content is never complete without a great visual. It makes your article more engaging and keeps readers longer on your page. Here are two tools that I love to use.
- Canva is a free designing software that offers a ton of stock graphics that you can use (for free) to create pictures for blog posts, social media, website headers, etc. The result is quite impressive even when you don’t have any experience in designing.
- Photopin is an image site where you can download pictures for free. All you need is to add an attribute on your page and you are good to go. My advice is to use larger pixel sizes because they are better for editing when you want to share content images socially.
#5 Social Out Reach Tool
By now, you should be aware that social marketing is important, but it can also be an overwhelming topic to grasp as a beginner. Fortunately, there’s a platform called Podium that can help you with the foundation. They offer 6 free courses that will walk you through the basics of setting up a good business profile, the different functions of social features, and important marketing techniques that you can implement to enhance your social presence.
As for social sharing, I am a big fan of AddThis because it provides such a great user interface for website owners as well as the audience.
#6 Online Training Program
I am very sure that one of your business goals is to make a good profit and it’s certainly possible to achieve in your chosen niche. Wealthy Affiliate, my recommended platform, is an established training program that teaches the step-by-step from setting to scaling a business online.
Whether you are a small business owner, an affiliate blogger or someone who wants to learn more about online marketing, you’ll gain extensive web skills and knowledge from the up-to-date tutorials, weekly video training as well as the active interaction from the members within the community.
The live chat and classroom features are also available whenever you need to ask specific questions about a topic. Many stay as members for a very long time, even after they finish their training because there’s always something new to learn in the forum every day.
Success Tools for Your Online Business
When I first started, I only spent $13 on my domain name and used all of these (almost free) tools to build my site. It struck me then that it is a lot cheaper to start an online business as compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar, thus paving an opportunity for someone like me to become an online entrepreneur.
These tools help me kick start my dreams effortlessly and I hope they will be helpful in yours too. Learn more about me if you like to know how I begin my time freedom journey.
Do you have any thoughts or questions about these essential tools for an online business? Which one do you like to use and why? Please share your comments with us below and I’ll get back to you.