This is a list of resources that I would recommend to you to help you be successful online, these are all things that I use or have used and would recommend to anyone.
Inbound Marketing made easy – Marcus Sheridan – 230 page free ebook! Marcus is amazing, this is a great book.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – Gary Vaynerchuk – Great how to guide to better at using social media to market your business
Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki – Teaches you a better mind set to manage your personal finances
Four hour work week – Tim Ferris – Teaches you how to be more productive and make more money
WordPress.com is the very simple easy to use version of wordpress. You not need to have any technical knowledge to set up a blog here. They provide free hosting (with adverts) or a paid ad-free version. After a while it can be a little frustrating with the limitation that it has to make it so idiot proof. It is better than not having a blog but try to get your head around setting up self hosted wordpress.org site first. Only use this if you are a real technophobe.
WordPress.org is the self hosted version of WordPress. You download and install the WordPress software onto a server which you pay for. A server is basically someone else’s computer which anyone can access the information on. Although slightly more difficult to set up initially it is just as easy to use once it is up and running. The big benefit is that you can customise the blog much more to make it look and function better. You can turn a WordPress.org blog into any thing such as e-commerce site, social network, community forum and lots more with the use of plugins. It also allows you to use Google Analytics and Goole Webmaster tools.
My site is built using a custom Genesis theme. WordPress is like the engine of a website and a theme is like the chassis and paint job. I have customised my own version of Genesis but you can buy one of their off the shelf theme to suit your needs and tastes.
Google Analytics is what I use to understand more about how many people come to my website and what they do on it.
Google Webmaster allows you to understand more about how Google sees you website and it can give you information about how it performs in search results. It also lets you know who links to your site and sends you messages if Google sees any problems with your site which may affect its performance in search results.
Buying a domain name
I use Go Daddy to manage all of the domain names I have, they are very reasonably priced and I have found the customer service very good.
You can also buy domain names through Bluehost and 123-reg which can remove one step in the process to setting up a blog (telling the domain name where you website is hosted). However that is not that difficult with all the support articles out there and Go Daddy have a wider selection of types of domains to buy (such as .co which is great choice if you can not buy the .com you want) . They are also the cheapest place to buy
For most people I would recommend Bluehost as it is the best performance hosting for the money. Their standard shared hosting packages are dirt cheap and very fast. I had no problems with their customer support, they have great live chat technical support who have always helped me out.
I host some of my sites on 123-reg because they have servers in the UK which offer a slight benefit for sites based in the UK that rely heavily on appearing at the top of Google search results. The 123-reg basic shared hosting package is very slow and I wouldn’t recommend it. I use the Virtual Private Server (VPS) which adds a layer of complexity which I would recommend you avoid if possible. The support is good but when you have your own server they expect you to be able to understand the technical server side as well which although I got there in the end, nearly fried my brain. A VPS is like buying a car from a car showroom and asking them to tell you where to drive it and how to get there. A shared hosted site comes with a sat nav so you do need to know every road in the country. If you do want a higher performance website and you think you can get your head round the server side management, 123-reg is pretty good option.
I use Mailchimp to build my email subscribers and to send out my emails. It is free to use if you have less than 2000 people on your list and send less than 12,000 emails a month. Above that and then then you start to pay. When building a blog, growing your list should be one of your top priorities. The more people on your list the more people will read your content when you publish new content on your site who may share it or after reading it take the appropriate call to action eg come to you event, join your webinar, buy your stuff etc.
Setting up a podcast is a bit more technical than setting up a blog. Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income breaks it down with this simple (and free) six part video series.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. This helps me cover the cost of running this site and keeping the information on this site available for free. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies/products, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.