I have spent countless hours and days combing the internet for useful and relevant resources to start an online business, and I know how frustrating, time-consuming and brain-frying it can get.
Which is why I took a day to put this page together for you, a compilation of all the resources that I use and have benefitted me in one way or another so that it saves you time and effort.
So you can focus and go straight to what matters; doing stuff that produces the results you want, and of course most importantly, turn your passion into profits.
So, what can you expect on this page?
- Recommended Tools
- Recommended Writer's Resources
- Recommended Courses
- Recommended Reads
With so many email autoresponder services in the market, choosing the one that fits your needs suddenly becomes a massive project.
I did massive research and comparison, especially since I am a one-woman-show, at least for now, my time is limited and I need to use my budget wisely.
Just to name a few of the solutions I've researched on:
From free to paid solutions, I've read up whatever I could land my hands on.
But I decided to go with ConvertKit. Why?
- Simply put, "Email marketing for professional bloggers". Simple to use and affordable. Best thing, it's also scalable when you grow your business & team.
- Extremely informative and practical webinars
- Extensive knowledge base with guides for you to get started
- Generous with useful and valuable content before you even get started!
Don't buy my word for it, in fact, experience it for yourself.
If you're still shopping around, it's ok! In the meantime, you can download this free guide, "The Complete Guide to Email Marketing", sent straight to your inbox - for free.
Actually, it's funny how I chanced upon UpViral.
Believe it or not, I was (again) consulting my best friend, Mr. Google, on a few topics:
- Traffic Generation
- Lead Generation
- Customer Generation
I can't remember the variations of keywords I have searched, but I am pretty sure one of them is "viral marketing" since it's the trending phrase right now.
Then of course the cookies allowed the ads to appear on my Facebook feed. And it keeps appearing again and again. That got me interested and I watched most of the videos. I even contacted Wilco, the founder of UpViral. And he replied me!
So what's UpViral? It's a holistic lead generation tool based on the proven concept of referral marketing; in other words, it's word of mouth marketing online. Which is why UpViral calls itself, the ultimate viral marketing system.
Find out more about why you should bother about UpViral and its success stories by clicking the button below.
Previously, I had my sites hosted by a friend who's a web designer, and it didn't work out because I had to deal with Cpanel and when things go wrong, it's a pain in the arse. Then I had to get my own hosting and I was using WPEngine for about a year because apparently they are good for WordPress sites. To be honest, it was pricey and not cheap at all. For me, I didn't see the value.
Then someone recommended DreamHost and given how affordable it was, I decided to just give it a shot. Their usability won me over. Their customer service? SUPERB. I can't even count the number of times I sought help from their customer service officers because I messed up... But guess what, they do whatever they can to solve my problems... In other words, I am a super happy customer.
100% value for money and you get a free domain for the first year when you sign up!
ENJOY US$50 discount when you sign up here!
To be upfront with you, as an affiliate with DreamHost, I get a one-time US$97 rewards payment when a customer signs up through me. So this US$50 discount I am offering you, comes out of my US$97 one-time rewards payment.
And I think it's only fair to DreamHost, to you, and me, a way of sharing some of my rewards with the people I am referring to, and my way of saying thank you to you, for trusting my recommendation.
Recommended Writer's Resources...
All writers, no matter what you are writing about, should read.
And encourage others to read!
So these 3 resources are related to reading and writing.
So what is Buck Books?
Basically, it's an email list where you will receive emails on ebook offers that will not cost more than a dollar.
It's a great way for you to feed your voracious reading appetite, read what other writers are inspired by, without burning a hole in your pocket.
It's free to sign up, so just click on the button below and be updated with the latest book deals!
Another cool email list where you receive latest deals and offers on writer-related resources. Instead of having to comb the internet for writing-related software, courses, publishing services etc, have it delivered to your inbox.
The cool thing is... signing up is FREE. Also, as soon as you sign up, you'll receive a 12-email writing course worth $47 delivered directly to your inbox for FREE!
Digital Marketing: How to Generate Sales Leads in 2017
"How We Earned £482,793 Using These Step-By-Step Online Marketing Tactics. You'll Create a 60 Page Marketing Plan."
Actually, I wasn't enticed by the above at all.
So what was it that made me decide to enroll for this course?
I saw it as an option on Singapore's SkillsFuture website; in other words, it has to be of some substance in order to appear on a Singapore government website.
- For Singaporeans, you can claim it using SkillsFuture. Meaning, it's free.
- Even if you can't claim it, it's really affordable to learn digital marketing "step-by-step".
Free HubSpot Inbound Certification Course
You'll learn how SEO, blogging, landing pages, lead nurturing, conversion analysis and reporting come together to form a modern inbound marketing strategy."
Unlike Digital Marketing - How to Generate Sales Leads in 2017, HubSpot Inbound Certification focuses more on the Inbound Methodology.
In other words, what's beautiful about Inbound is that its approach doesn't require you to go and fight for attention. Instead, it's an approach that focuses on attracting customers "through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful."
This free certification is perfect for writers, and anyone who is new to online marketing.
Free Content Marketing Certification Course
Or you're new to online marketing, the idea of online businesses, and you wonder how can you write or create content that turns into a profitable business without having to sell, sell and sell?
Then you need to sign up for this free content marketing certification course by HubSpot.
The best part is that because it's a HubSpot course, by default, it uses the Inbound approach.
What I love about Inbound...
"By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, inbound marketing attracts qualified prospects and builds trust and credibility for your business."
Free Email Marketing Certification Course
This free email marketing certification course will help you understand WHY you should be using email marketing if you still haven't.
Or if you are already using email marketing, how can you get the best out of your campaign efforts, and make email marketing work better for you.
"2.4 million emails are sent every second worldwide, but most of them are never opened. This advanced email marketing training course will teach you how lifecycle marketing, segmentation, email design, deliverability, analytics and optimization come together to create an email marketing strategy that grows your business, and your career."
If you're wondering, but I am new to this whole thing, and I am not too ready for an advanced course, then start with this free guide, "The Complete Guide to Email Marketing" by ConvertKit.
On Writing, Stephen King
"Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have."
This is one book that kept my dream as a writer alive.
Notice I didn't say my dream "to become" a writer, but "as a writer". So stop trying to become one, you're already one the moment you decide to roll up your sleeves and get down to writing.
On goodreads, Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, has a rating of 4.3 out of 5.
Before you think that's not that big of a deal, it's an average of 145,456 ratings.
In other words, 145,456 people have already read this book.
And I love this review most, "Don't bother if you don't want to be a writer. - Joan"
The Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr.
"The original edition of the most trusted writer's guide to American English, this is the book that generations of writers have relied upon for timeless advice on grammar, diction, syntax, sentence construction, and many other writing essentials."
There's mixed reviews on this one.
But I personally recommend it, and I can explain why using the reviews below:
The essential guide to HOW to write! How much better to start with a guide to achieving an effect you're looking for. - Richard Derus, rated 5/5 on goodreads
The gold standard. No more need be said than to quote Mr. Strunk's thoughts under the headline "Omit Needless Words":
"Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the reader make all sentences short, or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell."
And every word of Mr. Strunk's (as updated and expanded by the brilliant and self-effacing E.B. White) indeed does tell.
Don't touch your keyboard without reading this book! - Kenny, rated 5/5 on goodreads
It is very good for what it does, which is advise on how to write clearly and concisely. But generations of writers have completely misunderstood its purpose and used it as a Bible of Good Writing. It's not. Linguist Geoffrey Pullum has famously gone on something of a crusade against The Elements of Style, and while he makes good points, it may be a little unfair to blame S&W for the fact that writers don't realize the original authors were addressing an audience of barely-literate college students. If you are a fiction writer, S&W's advice should be taken with a very large grain of salt — if you try to write novels using The Elements of Style as your guide, you will probably write very cleanly and correctly but very badly. - David, rated 4/5 on goodreads
Most people treat reference or guide books like bibles, forgetting that there is no one-fits-all formula even when it comes to writing! It's a useful book to have, especially if you struggle with the stylistics of language.
Writing That Works : How to Communicate Effectively in Business
"Writing That Works will help you say what you want to say, with less difficulty and more confidence. Now in its third edition, this completely updated classic has been expanded to included all new advice on e-mail and the e-writing world, plus a fresh point of view on political correctness."
This book is my personal favourite when I decided to venture into copywriting.
Easy to read and apply, it has helped me grow as a copywriter; brushing up on my communication skills through writing. It strips away all the unnecessary BS so that you get to the point -- effective communication through writing at its best.
Effective writing skills are invaluable in today's business world-- but they're also in short supply. In this concise book, Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson offer an abundance of practical tips for helping your written and oral communications get the results you want. -- William C. Steere, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Pfizer, Inc. Clear, concise communications that make the right point will launch your career or business to new heights. This book will show you how. -- Robert Seelert, Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi PLCIn advertising, the challenge is to find the one simple, inspired thought that makes a consumer buy a product. This book helps all of us in the business world use the same discipline when we communicate our own thoughts to each other. -- Peter Georgescu, Chairman Emeritus, Young & Rubicam Inc."Ken Roman and Joel Raphaelson's "Writing That Works" works. Whether you arewriting a brief e-mail, or a lengthy report, it provides clear and concreteideas for improving your written communications!" -- Jay W. Lorsch, Louis E. Kirstein Professor of Human Relations, Harvard Business School
Persuasive Writing: How to Harness The Power of Words, Peter Frederick
As a copywriter, you know most of the times the bottomline of any campaign is sales. So your copy may have different objectives, be it to educate the readers to take care of their products, to guide readers on certain things, but the end goal, most of the times, is so that there are customers.
Your writing has to persuade them on many levels, it could be for them to buy a new product, or for potential customer to become a paying customer.
And this book gave me a clear step-by-step idea of how to harness the power of words. Especially if you're depending on your words to get paid.
We can do with some added power to the weight of our words.
"Developed from powerful techniques consistently proven in the world of multi-million pound commercial bid writing, Persuasive Writing reveals the most efficient and effective ways to make your words work, time after time. Discover how to: Transform any document into something truly compelling and persuasive Understand what your reader really wants to hear and use this to get what you want Combine logic and emotion to convince even the most sceptical reader Whether you're writing for business or for pleasure, the longest document or the shortest email, with these and many more proven techniques, Persuasive Writing will ensure every word works for you."
Contagious, Jonah Berger
How can you not just create content week after week, hoping that people would read and share it? And if it doesn't go quite viral, why?
Contagious looks into what makes products or ideas go viral. Of course we know the power of word-of-mouth marketing, but what are the elements, or what Jonah Berger calls "share triggers" that can help your content go viral?
If you want to find out how to create contagious content that spreads like a virus, that you've to read this book.
Writing Tools: 50 Essentials Strategies for Every Writer, Roy Peter Clark
One of the biggest fears any writer have is... running out of ideas. Harsh critiques leaving us battered but not knowing how we can pick ourselves up and improve our craft. Not so the critics will be full of praises of our work, but what are doing wrong, or right?
We need answers. We need feedback. We need help. We need guidance, and yes, let's face it. We need strategies even in writing.
And this book comes in real handy, sharing 50 strategies.
"Tools Not Rules' says Roy Peter Clark, vice president and senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, the esteemed school for journalists and teachers of journalists. Clark believes that everyone can write well with the help of a handful of useful tools that he has developed over decades of writing and teaching. If you google 'Roy Peter Clark, Writing Tools', you'll get an astonishing 1.25 million hits. That's because journalists everywhere rely on his tips to help them write well every day - in fact he fields emails from around the world from grateful writers. 'Writing Tools' covers everything from the basics (Tool 5: Watch those Adverbs) to the more complex (Tool 34: Turn your notebook into a camera) and uses more than 300 examples from literature and journalism to illustrate the concepts. For students, aspiring novelists and writers of memos, emails, PowerPoint presentations and love letters, here are 50 indispensible, memorable and usable tools."
Practical English Usage, Michael Swan
Then it hit me how little I knew about the language itself. Well I didn't major in English Language, but it's no excuse if I am a writer. I don't necessarily need to be a grammarian, but I need to know enough to express ideas and concepts clearly in my writing.
And this book, is like a saviour.
"Practical English Usage answers your questions about the English language - and the questions your students ask. It is organized as an A-Z dictionary of over 600 problem points in the English language, all explained with practical, clear information. Now in its third edition, Practical English Usage has sold over two million copies and is a world best-seller. Practical English Usage is available in some countries as a Pack with Grammar Scan (diagnostic tests to accompany Practical English Usage)."
It comes in handy whenever you need someone to rescue you from the writing gremlins.
A big thank you for reading or browsing this to the end.
Sure hope this page gave you some insights or ideas on the tools and resources you would need in your business and of course, your craft.
Do feel free to drop me a message at The Write Motive Facebook Page if you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts and ideas with me. More than happy and grateful to be able to help you out in anyway.