Best Resources To Get Started Online

Most people start their journey like me, going in circles, figuring things out slowly along the way (and making a lot of mistakes, hair-pulling, and spending too much money).

And also because I analyze thousands of successful businesses, I observed repeatedly the best tools that I see successful businesses use and gravitate towards (because they work).

You can choose to learn from others' mistakes as well as their successes. These are in my view the best tools to get started. (affiliate disclosure)

Website / Blog

If you're starting a content site, your absolutely best bet (by a wide margin) is to use WordPress (it's free).

With 1-click installation, free domain name, reliability and affordability, I count on Bluehost each and every time I start a new site.​

Ecommerce Store

Starting an Ecommerce Store requires security (SSL), payment systems (credit cards, PayPal), inventory and order management.

A dedicated system is the best way to go, and the best way forward for 95% of beginners is Shopify.​

Online Courses

To run an online course, you'll need a way to charge and deliver your courses, protect content and downloads, and stream videos.

Don't make the mistake of focusing on the technical aspects, but rather, focus on creating and marketing your course. With Teachable, you'll do exactly that.

Email List

Email automation (sequential delivery of emails by day of sign up) is the best way to engage with your audience and the avenue to sell products.

Email is the lifeblood of an online business. ​But not all providers are made equal. ConvertKit is simple to use, yet has powerful automation that just makes total sense.

WordPress Site Cheatsheet

Since most of the sites that you'll start is probably a website, instead of fuzzing around the whole internet for tools, here's my consolidated "Wordpress Cheat Sheet" that will kickstart your journey without delay.

Best WordPress Themes

You'll want to invest in a premium theme to make sure you build your site for the long term. Spending a bit of money on a theme can save you a ton of headache figuring out what to customize. 

Without question, my favorite themes:

Divi Theme

The Divi Theme (by Elegant Themes) is a multipurpose, highly customizable premium theme. This is my default go-to option when starting a new site, because it is super easy to customize, making it look different on each of your sites.

Did I also mention, I'm using the Divi Theme on this very site?​

Extra Theme

The Extra Theme is another highly capable theme by Elegant Themes. It's multipurpose, and is built specifically with magazine sites and sophisticated blogs in mind. 


Themeforest: Outside of the Elegant Themes family, another great place to look for a theme is Themeforest. It does mean that you'll need to spend some time checking out the various themes, but this is probably the one of the most robust other place to get a premium theme. 

If you're just starting out, just go with Divi or Extra (you can't go wrong there), but for those of you who like to tinker, Themeforest is the other great place to check out themes.​

Best WordPress Plugins

Free Plugins

  • Security: I use Wordfence to protect my website against attackers. 
  • Backups: I use Updraftplus and Dropbox to save a daily backup of my sites, so I can sleep soundly at night. 
  • Cache: Caching speeds your your site. Period. Install W3 Total Cache to speed things up.
  • Lazy Load: BJ Lazy Load speeds your your site by loading your images AFTER your page loads. Speeds up your site a lot if it has many images.

Paid Plugins

Thrive Content Builder revolutionizes your blogging life by making it super easy to create your content. This page was created with Thrive Content Builder!

There are also great email marketing tools mentioned in the section below.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is the lifeblood of any online business. Start right by choosing the right provider will save you a lot of issues and headache when generating income down the road.

Email Service Providers

ConvertKit is possibly the best money you can spend on your business. Easy to build automated email sequences to provide value and sell products and ideas to your readers.

Mailchimp is the entry level email service provider. It works (somewhat), and has a free tier up to 2,000 subscribers. However, the free tier doesn't include email automation, so if you want to provide automated email sequences, you should just start with ConvertKit instead (and save the headache migrating lists).

Landing Page & Opt In Forms

Thrive Landing Pages is THE landing page tool that you should use. Super easy to use, drag and drop, it's the tool that I use to build all my landing pages with.

Thrive Leads is THE opt in form you should use on your site. Pop ups, within content, sidebar, exit intent, page filler - you name it, Thrive does it. Super easy to use.

Working with Images & Photos Online

Interested in working with images and photos? Check out my full guide here. (which mentions the tools below)

Favorite Books

Some of my favorite books: