Disclosure: Note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and are no additional cost to you. I may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. However I only recommend them because they are great tools and companies who I have experience with and because I feel they are beneficial. Only buy them if you believe you need them or if you feel that they will help you achieve your goals.
My Top Tools
Aweber Email Marketing
: Aweber is simply amazing! I have tried MailChimp, iContact, and so many others and nothing compares. Aweber has stats that are fantastic, great customer support, and great terms of service (MailChimp doesn’t allow certain industries like make money online). Start building relationships from the start. There are other cheaper email marketing services for smaller lists, but if you have to migrate in the future from someone else – most of your users have re-subscribe and you can lose your customers! Aweber is the way to go from the beginning – get it right.
: are both great starter hosting companies and I’ve had both. Actually I had half of my sites on one and half on the other network at one point incase there was downtime. If you are just getting into building your website they have a simple solution to setup WordPress based websites. As your needs evolve (meaning you get a ton of traffic or have multiple websites) you may need to evolve to a VPS or a dedicated server. I went with a custom solution with LiquidWeb
(see below) because it was a smaller company at the time and was very customer oriented for higher-end servers.
: As you improve your website traffic or have multiple sites and require a hosting company that is more customer focused with power – Liquid Web is the place. Look at the video of their servers, call them and see how fast you can talk to someone… It’s all great. 3+ years I’ve been with them with very little issues. Their shared plan is a bit expensive if you are first starting out, but if you need a VPS or Dedicated server then they are phenomenal! I can’t recommend them enough.
Website & Blogging
: I buy my domains from GoDaddy. For less than $10 bucks you can register a domain – what more do you need? I do not host with GoDaddy due to my website and server requirements. I can only recommend them for their domain service.
: If you have more than one WordPress website and you find yourself going back and forth between the administrative areas often – then this tool is a great time saver. It has a great dashboard where you can add and manage multiple WordPress sites from one singe dashboard area. Very effective for those that are in the dashboards often.
Gravity Forms Plugin
: I have spent hours trying to find a great contact form plugin. I’ve tried free ones, paid, and even custom designed some. This plugin saves you hours coding web forms for your WordPress site. It allows you to quickly rearrange things, change fields, and more. It is a must have WordPress site owner.
: HootSuite is great for managing your social media notifications and messages. The Pro version is fantastic to pre-schedule Tweets, Facebook offers and quotes so you don’t have to continuously post. Do it all in one day and save a year of posting. I use this in addition to the BufferApp together for my social media management.
: BufferApp is a fantastic way to add things to share on your social media profiles. As you add things it puts things in your “buffer.” Unfortunately there is no bulk scheduling tool like HootSuite – but BufferApp allows me to quickly right click images or websites with the Chrome extension and add them to by buffer without re-uploading photos like you have to do with HootSuite.
: When you have a large social media presence and require a superior management tool then Sprout Social is the one to go for. If you are just starting out it is a pricey – so start with HootSuite and/or BufferApp at the beginning. However, if you need something more advanced because you have a large social media presence then this is a great tool!
Print & Design
: If you are not a savvy designer but need a logo, book cover, or business cards this is a great place to get dozens of people to work on your project. With the crowd designing for you – all you have to do is give your feedback and select a winner. It’s a great way to get design work and ideas from many designers instead of just one individual.
: This company is my go-to company when it comes to printing. I usually pre-plan most of my printing months in advanced so I watch their specials. Print quality is amazing. Just always ask for combined shipping in the notes to save on shipping if you order 2 sets of something (but it must be the same quantity and the same type of item).
: For T-shirts, mugs, and custom printed goodies that you only need a low quantity of (for example five t-shirts for your team with your logo on it or shirts to give to your best customers) then CafePress is where I get them printed. It is always more expensive to get shirts printed in low quantities, but if you need only a small batch when you are first getting started then this is a great place to do it.
Dragon Naturally Speaking
: If you are looking to save MASSIVE time on writing your books, blogs, or content
then this is a must-have tool! I probably write 80% of my book content with this tool. I speak and it types. It can even convert audio files from your videos to text for your blog. Takes about 30 minutes to setup and train, but once its set I can write 200+ pages in a matter of a few weeks rather than months!
: Great for independently publishing your book as the company is owned by Amazon. When you list your book it automatically gets listed on Amazon
. This makes it very efficient and the price per copy is unbeatable for printing especially in black and white.
Kaspersky Lab Anti-Virus
: My favorite anti-virus program I have ever used. Used all the others and got viruses. Turned to the Russian developers at Kaspersky and have had no viruses for over 6+ years! I love it!
: The best project management tool
I have ever seen! Better than Basecamp 10x in my opinion. It’s great because you can start for FREE if you are an individual
. As things grow you can increase your plan. Even at $12 bucks a month it’s quite cost effective for managing projects, Gantt charts, and collaborating with others. I even use it as a to-do list – and the phone app is fantastic!
Sasha’s Book Club
Here are some of the books that I enjoyed, recommend, or have read. These are the categories I typically stay in. Please understand that even if you are in marketing and sales you may be tempted to stay in the marketing category. However at times it is beneficial to study human psychology books to understand selling principles more. This applies with anything you learn in the future and not to just marketing but think of stock trading; if you study behavior and psychology books you can broaden the mind and be better at the field or category you are focused in. Broaden your learning into other categories.