Tech Tools & Resources


There are a lot of software products and services, books and courses out there to help you get started with building your web platform.  It can be overwhelming to say the least.  I’m a firm believer in “just-in-time” learning or at least ensuring whatever tool or product I’m about to invest in is directly in-line with my immediate goals.
By focusing on the essentials, you can create a habit of becoming consistent towards achieving better results in everything that you do over time.
In today’s fast-paced technology driven world, it can be very easy for us to try and take on too much but the reality is that in order to achieve success you must learn to focus on one thing at a time, understand it, then move on to the next thing.
Here’s a list of tools and resources that I’ve found to be extremely valuable over the years in helping me build my online brand.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you purchase through them, there’s a chance I might earn a commission or compensation in some form at no cost to you. Of course, you’re under no obligation to use them but just wanted you to be aware.  Please note that these are ALL resources, tools, etc., that I’ve used in the past or currently in my toolset. They’ve helped my business tremendously and I know they can do the same for you. So, if you do go through these links, thank you!

  • Phase #1 - I'm ready to start building my brand
  • Phase #2 - I've Got something in the Works
  • Phase #3 - I'm ready to become a Recognized authority


Tools for Phase #3

Personality Test - Know Your Strengths

16 Personalities

If you don't know what your key strengths you have to offer, then you will find it difficult to serve others to your full potential. This test is freakishly accurate and will help you unlock your true potential.



Pressidium® Managed WordPress Hosting
Web Hosting - My Top Pick for Any Phase

Pressidium

I’ve used several hosting providers over the past 10 years and Pressidium beats them all by a long shot. With backups, security, performance and simplicity of use baked into this WordPress managed hosting solution powerhouse, you can finally focus on spending your time more efficiently and effectively by engaging with your audience and creating new content for your brand, helping you minimize the amount of tech stuff you need to do to keep your site up and running. It requires a little bit more of a budget, starting at $21/month, but well worth it in the time savings and less frustration trying to manage your security, performance and backups on your own.

web hosting
Web Hosting - My Second Pick for Any Phase

SiteGround

My 2nd choice for hosting. I’ve been using SiteGround hosting for the past 2 years for a few of my sites and highly recommend it as an extremely affordable & reliable hosting service. Their customer support and site availability uptime is top-notch amongst budget-friendly hosting providers. Plans start at $3.95/month

studiopress themes
WordPress Hosting + Themes - My Top Pick for Any Phase

Genesis Framework/

StudioPress Themes

Have a self-hosted WordPress website and need an awesome mobile responsive theme? Look no further…

Notable internet business owners and developers alike agree that the Genesis Framework is one of the best in breed. Along with StudioPress Premium themes, you’ll get a high-quality WordPress solution to deliver beautiful, fast and SEO optimized content to your audience, leaving them wanting to come back for more!

Better WordPress Content
WordPress Visual Editor - My Top Pick for Any Phase

Thrive Architect

One of the best WordPress page and post builders out on the market. With its fresh new update from it’s predecessor, Thrive Content Builder, Thrive Architect makes is super easy to build stunning looking content that converts without having to be a web developer or design master.

Build Your Mailing List Faster
WordPress List Building Plugin - My Top Pick for Any Phase

Thrive Leads

One of the most powerful plugins for list building out on the market. Thrive Leads allows you to easily create and customize different types of opt-in forms that would best suit the layout of your website. It has a very user-friendly drag and drop editor with multiple design templates that you can use to create your form. It also allows you to set up when and in which areas of your site a specific form or offer is shown for better targeting. All in all, a very powerful tool, especially if you’re just getting started with building your email list.

email list
Email Marketing - My Top Pick for Any Phase

ConvertKit

Built for smart content creators who want to leverage automation with speed. ConvertKit is my current email marketing weapon of choice. With killer automation rules and auto-responder courses, built in lead magnet delivery, and gorgeous landing page templates, this email provider let’s you segment and tag your subscribers on auto-pilot while delivering high conversion rates to targeted subscribers. It has a solid development team and excellent support while frequently adding new features.

As an awesome BONUS, you can join the super helpful Facebook group (The ConvertKit Family) full of both new ConvertKit users and veterans that help each other along the way to email marketing mastery.

Although it costs slightly more than other services like Aweber/Mailchimp and GetResponse, it’s completely worth it by how easy it is to use it alone. 

Screen Recording - My Top Pick for Any Phase

ScreenFlow for Mac

ScreenFlow  I use this to record videos for my blog and digital courses. Hands down my favorite video recording & editing software. I’ve tried a lot of them but as a Mac user, Screenflow just makes sense. It’s design is minimal with easy-to-use recording and editing features, Screenflow makes recording and editing on-the-fly a breeze. What makes this so awesome is that you can directly export your videos to Google Drive, YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, Dropbox and Facebook! I’m also a big fan of GIFs on occassion and you can now create your own GIFs using ScreenFlow! Check it out.


Audio Recording 

Blue Yeti Mic

Blue Yeti Mic Affordable & high quality, this is the microphone that I use to record my YouTube screen tutorials, course training videos, 1-on-1 calls and interviews. 


 


There are a lot of software products and services, books and courses out there to help you get started with building your web platform.  It can be overwhelming to say the least.  I’m a firm believer in “just-in-time” learning or at least ensuring whatever tool or product I’m about to invest in is directly in-line with my immediate goals. By focusing on the essentials, you can create a habit of becoming consistent towards achieving better results in everything that you do over time. In today’s fast-paced technology driven world, it can be very easy for us to try and take on too much but the reality is that in order to achieve success you must learn to focus on one thing at a time, understand it, then move on to the next thing. Here’s a list of tools and resources that I’ve found to be extremely valuable over the years, not only in building several online brands, but also a healthier lifestyle. These links will be updated as new ones are available.  Bookmark this page (Ctrl + D on PC / Cmd + D on Mac) for quick reference! Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you purchase through them, there’s a chance I might earn a commission or compensation in some form at no cost to you. Of course, you’re under no obligation to use them but just wanted you to be aware.  Please note that these are ALL resources, tools, etc., that I’ve used in the past or currently in my toolset. They’ve helped my business tremendously and I know they can do the same for you. So, if you do go through these links, thank you!

My Products

Master Your Workflow:  Content Creation and Automation for Personal Brands (Coming Soon! Sign-Up to get notified for Early Access!) – This step-by-step framework based on agile best practices will teach you exactly how I never run out of content ideas while saving countless hours each week using smart automation and virtual assistants to build the ultimate content strategy for my websites. Perfect for any vlogger, blogger or online content creator looking to stay consistent and scale up their content library, affiliate marketing campaigns or online courses without wasting weeks and thousands of dollars on unnecessary staffing. It’s how I’m able to publish content every week in multimedia format to increase engagement and build an audience without spending a ton of time and how you can too! Master Your Productivity: 5 Days to Personal High Performance – A FREE 5-Day productivity bootcamp to help you get laser F-O-C-U-S ‘ed on getting things done. Sign-Up for your spot today! You can’t afford to miss this!

Recommended Ebook Publishing Training

Kindle Money Mastery – Are you interested in learning how to make a little supplemental side income? I started out learning the basics of digital marketing and making money online through creating and selling books with Kindle Publishing. In fact, not only did I make my very first online dollar this way, I went on to making over 5 figures in a single month! If you’re just getting started with making money online, this is a great place to start. It takes some work, I won’t lie, but Stefan’s commitment to high quality training in this space shows and he keeps adding new things as the publishing world changes.

Kindling – This is hands down the most comprehensive training focused on fiction ebook publishing. Geoff Shaw (the instructor) has put together a no-nonsense roadmap to publishing your very first eBook on Kindle, what to watch out for when it comes to self-publishing, along with inspiring content to help you take action!

Blogging & Hosting

Genesis Framework/StudioPress Themes Have a self-hosted WordPress website and need an awesome mobile responsive theme? Look no further…Notable internet business owners and developers alike agree that the Genesis Framework is one of the best in breed. Along with StudioPress Premium themes, you’ll get a high-quality WordPress solution to deliver beautiful, fast and SEO optimized content to your audience, leaving them wanting to come back for more!

Thrive Architect  One of the best WordPress page and post builders out on the market. With its fresh new update from it’s predecessor, Thrive Content Builder, Thrive Architect makes is super easy to build stunning looking content that converts without having to be a web developer or design master.

WordPress.org – The standard and #1 Blogging/Website platform for building an online content-based business. I use WordPress on several niche sites. Combined with a great hosting provider like Bluehost or Siteground (see below), WordPress will take your self-hosted platform to the next level. Perfect for anyone just getting started.

Pressidium – I’ve tried out a lot of hosting providers over the past 10 years and Pressidium beats them all by a longshot. With backups, security, performance and simplicity of use baked into this WordPress managed hosting solution powerhouse, you can finally focus on spending your time more efficiently and effectively by engaging with your audience and creating new content for your brand, instead of trying to do all of the ‘techy’ administrative work needed to keep your site up and running. It requires a little bit more of a budget, starting at $21/month, but well worth it in time savings and less frustration trying to manage your website administrative tasks.

SiteGround – My 2nd choice for hosting. I’ve been using SiteGround hosting for the past 2 years for a few of my sites and highly recommend it as an extremely affordable & reliable hosting service. Their customer support and site availability uptime is top-notch amongst budget-friendly hosting providers. Plans start at $3.95/month.

BluehostAnother excellent hosting provider for anyone looking to get started with website hosting. This was one of the first hosting providers I used and I recommend Bluehost as an extremely affordable & decent hosting service. With “One-Click” WordPress Installation, it has a super easy dashboard to manage single or multiple websites along with great customer support and availability. Plans start at $3.95/month.

NameCheap – Extremely affordable, secure and easy to manage, I only use NameCheap to register all of my domain names. They also provide web & email hosting services as well, although I recommend going with G-Suite for dedicated email hosting.

Digital Marketing

ConvertKit – Built for smart content creators who want to leverage automation with speed. ConvertKit is my current email marketing weapon of choice. With killer automation rules and auto-responder courses, built in lead magnet delivery and gorgeous landing page templates this email provider let’s you segment and tag your subscribers on auto-pilot while delivering high conversion rates to targeted subscribers. It has a solid development team and excellent support while frequently adding new features. And, as an awesome BONUS you can join the super helpful Facebook group (The ConvertKit Family) full of both new ConvertKit users and veterans that help each other along the way to email marketing mastery. Although it costs slightly more than other services like Aweber/Mailchimp and GetResponse, it’s completely worth it by how easy it is to use it alone. Aweber – A great solution for those on a budget or just starting out with building an email list. It’s easy drag-n-drop email builder lets you quickly draft emails to broadcast or send via auto-responder sequences to your subscribers. I still recommend Aweber as a go-to email service provider if you’re just getting started with email marketing. Clickbank – The #1 Global internet retailer for digital products. Clickbank allows you to sell your own information products or become an affiliate of a large selection in their marketplace. Google Analytics – This is what I use to track stats for all of the traffic for my websites, including geo-location, the number of visitors & different sources from where traffic is generated from. Kindle Direct Publishing – This is where I made my very first $1 online. I publish my non-fiction ebooks here to build niche brands online with Kindle Publishing. CreateSpace – In addition to ebooks, I use this print-on-demand service to diversify my income offering print copies of books. CreateSpace handles the ordering, printing and shipping direct to the customer, so there’s no additional work that has to be done on my end once the book is initially uploaded to their website.

Pretty Link Pro – If you’re looking to create easily memorable, human readable links to pages on your website, this plugin is my “go to” tool. Simple, yet powerful, Pretty Link Pro can help you manage your affiliate links to your site, eliminating hours of manual link management in minutes. If you’re just starting out, the free/lite version is all you need.

Project & Task Management

MindMeister – Super-charge your brainstorming, planning and project execution with this brilliant mind-mapping web application. Collaborate easily with your team on upcoming projects and when you’re ready, instantly assign tasks to MeisterTask by leveraging it’s 2-way synchronization that allows you to keep all of your task data in-sync. MeisterTask – Easy to get started. Fully functional with a slick design. It’s hard to find visual task management style apps that meet all of this criteria while making it enjoyable to use. Mindmeister enables you to streamline your project and daily operational workflows with ease while focusing and tracking tasks that matter to you and your team. With integrations to popular apps such as Slack messenger & Google Apps along with task relationships and time tracking, this application will help you drive projects and tasks to completion, on-time and on-budget. It also integrates seamlessly with MindMeister. Trello Free to use and similar to MeisterTask, Trello is another visual task management application that let’s you create the ideal workflow for your needs. Using a minimal design with drag-n-drop task features, move tasks towards completion effortlessly. Trello also integrates with Zapier so you can create endless automation possibilities into your workflow. G-Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work) – From custom branded email to match your web domain name using Gmail to collaborative sales spreadsheets & shared project documents, Google Apps enables your team to be organized, super-efficient & well-managed. It simply has too many benefits to list right here. You can get started for free today! They also offer more Bonuses as you scale your business up in their G-Suite affordable plans.

Outsourcing

Upwork Fantastic place to find affordable virtual assistants and freelancers to help you run your daily business administrative tasks or to hire out specialized work like website design, graphics creation, video/audio editing, and so much more! Search for your All-Star virtual assistant today. Fiverr – I’ve used Fiverr to get my YouTube channel intro, podcast intro/outro, graphics work and ebook covers designed. Never hired someone before? No problem. Fiverr makes it super easy and affordable to get a logo design, podcast intro, landing page creation, ebook covers and just way too many kinds of tasks to list. Highly recommended and with such a low cost you can hire multiple gigs to perform the same job to find out who the best freelancers are to work with in the future. 99Designs– Looking for a professional logo for your brand? I’ve used this service to design kindle publishing niche website brand logos as well as blackbeltentrepreneur.com. What’s awesome is that you can create a global contest where designers compete for your business and send you mockups that you can choose from. You can even share the designs on social media to get public feedback on which designs people prefer. There’s no risk on your end so you get the best design possible at an affordable price.

Video & Podcasting Tools

ScreenFlow  I use this to record videos for my blog and digital courses. Hands down my favorite video recording & editing software. I’ve tried a lot of them but as a Mac user, Screenflow just makes sense. It’s design is minimal with easy-to-use recording and editing features, Screenflow makes recording and editing on-the-fly a breeze. What makes this so awesome is that you can directly export your videos to Google Drive, YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, Dropbox and Facebook! I’m also a big fan of GIFs on occassion and you can now create your own GIFs using ScreenFlow! Check it out. Camtasia – If you’re using a Windows-based PC, this is the best video editing software comparable to ScreenFlow. I’ve used it to put together technical training videos at previous companies that required me to use a Windows computer. Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone– This is the microphone that I use to record my YouTube screen tutorials, course training videos, 1-on-1 coaching calls and interviews. Auphonix Pop Filter – Great microphone screen filter made for the Blue Yeti. It reduces the hard ‘popping’ sounds that some words make during recording. Logitech Webcam – I use this webcam to record both onscreen picture-in-picture tutorials as well as interviews. Tripod stand w/ Bluetooth Remote Shutter – For when I’m mobile,  I use this stand for taking great photos and videos from my iPhone. It also works with Android devices, can be used as a selfie stick and comes with a remote shutter so you can get the right picture at the right moment.

DIY Design Tools

Designrr – This is my favorite tool for designing beautiful, professional looking eBook and lead magnet designs. I’ve searched high and low all over the internet for something like this to help me repurpose content from my blog so that I can use it to make an awesome free checklist, reference or other type of digital content to attract new email subscribers. Adobe Photoshop (Creative Cloud) – Although it has a steeper learning curve, Photoshop is still hands down the #1 most powerful professional photo editing tool on the market. Starting at $9.99/month it’s more affordable than Canva for Work and has advanced capabilities when creating graphics for your digital content. Canva – I couldn’t do business without this kick-ass tool. It’s fast and easy to use. Not only that, you can use it for FREE. Although limited in its features compared to Photoshop, Canva does the job without wasting a ton of time learning how to use it. Period. Check out my Facebook fan page cover image for a live example. (And don’t forget to like the page…thanks!) PicMonkey – Another FREE photo editor that you can use to create professional looking graphics for your website. It has some things that Canva doesn’t, including design overlays and effects that work great with headshots. I use PicMonkey to create transparent images when I need them to look great on top of a background image.

Finances

You Need a Budget (YNAB) – I’ve been using this financial income and expense tracker for the last 4 years. Both for my personal and business finances. It’s core focus is on helping you budget for expenses so you don’t overspend, save more and stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. Mint.com – I use Mint mainly for getting a real-time snapshot of my overall profits and losses, which allows me to keep a real-time pulse on my current cash flow. Quickbooks – I use Quickbooks for correctly categorizing my business related expenses, so that when tax time comes around, everything is calculated automatically. This is a big relief in both time and stress every year.

Health & Fitness

Omega Vert 350 Juicer – After watching a food documentary back in 2011 called “Foodmatters”, I decided to get serious about my health. As a former smoker and couch potato, I can tell you that watching your parents and other family members lose their lives to cancer was a big wake up call, especially as I got older and started a family of my own. 5 years later, I still have this juicer and it is one of the most sturdiest and most used kitchen appliances I own. Not to mention, I had a few parts that needed replacement due to normal wear-and-tear and they honored the 10-year warranty with fast turn around time to receive my replacement parts. The greatest thing about this juicer is that it slowly pulverizes the juice with minimal heat in order to preserve as many healthy enzymes essential to natural healing. Nutri Ninja Blender – When I’m looking to grab a quick healthy dose of green leafy vegetables, frozen berries, bananas and mangoes or just a simple post-workout protein shake, this blender rocks. CAUTION: The blades are like Katana swords…with the 1500-watt system, there are 6-razor sharp blades for the main blender…be very careful…especially when cleaning them. It’s called the NINJA for a reason! Athlean-X – This is the 1 and only workout program I’ve been able to stick with and keep motivated. I’ve been using it since 2012 with great results. Created by Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS who served as both the Head Physical Therapist and Assistant Strength Coach for the New York Mets during the National League East Championship 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons (source athleanx.com), these programs are motivational, functional and designed to get you in the best shape of your life while exercising the right way to avoid injury. At 39 years old, I need to be more careful each and everyday. Naked Whey – If you’re working out hard, you need proper nutrition to repair and nourish your muscles to grow in size and strength. After becoming more aware of what goes into supplements and processed food, I couldn’t help but notice even the supplements claiming to be “free from banned substances” and “all-natural”, still had so many artificial sweeteners and flavors that are harmful to your body. This protein can’t get any cleaner than it already is. Just pure whey along with essential amino acids. Cool thing is, you can make just about anything with it since it’s unflavored. But don’t let ‘unflavored’ fool you…this stuff tastes great with almond milk…as is! They have a whole line of products I’m looking to try out in the future…especially the micellar casein protein. Power Blocks Elite – I don’t go to the gym anymore. Instead, I built a simple home gym consisting of a door-frame pull-up bar, simple adjustable Marcy bench, exercise bands and this universal dumbbell set. It goes perfect with any dumbbell workouts, especially Athlean-X. Seems expensive upfront, but the money I’ve saved in monthly gym fees in addition to the time driving to and back from the gym I only wish I’d done it sooner. Inversion Table – I suffered from back pain a lot, and more so as the years go by, that is until my wife found this awesome piece of equipment. I use it every morning to stretch my back muscles and relieve any pressure from sitting at my desk throughout the day. As with any health product, whether it’s equipment or ingestibles, make sure to consult your doctor before taking part in a supplemental health program. This product isn’t for everyone, but for those that find it useful it can do wonders for your health. Chinese Cooking – As the son of a Chinese restaurant owner and chef, I love to cook whenever I get a chance. From Indian-to-Chinese, (I’m notorious for posting pics of Dim Sum on Instagram), homestyle food is part of my DNA.

Books on Business, Mindset & Motivation

The 4-Hour Workweek – Like many other digital entrepreneurs, this was the book that started it all. Just a month after getting married I was burnt out from my tech job for an insurance services company in Jersey City, NJ. I stumbled upon this book while browsing through Barnes and Noble one day looking for tech training to try and get a better job. This was the gateway drug to the online business world. Ever since then I’ve been learning, studying, testing and implementing different ideas online and never looked back. The War of Art – Everybody struggles from time-to-time. Especially, when trying to create something out of thin air, such as writing a book, blog article, recording a video or anything creative. Steven Pressfield packs a powerful punch in this short read with inspiring words to help you get back “in the zone”. I reach for this book every time I feel resistance and procrastination try to work its way into my life. The Lean Startup – This book helped me get back to basics on what it means to be “lean” in business. The idea of “build it and they will come” couldn’t be further from the truth and a waste of time and money. Eric Ries covers a lean approach to building a business that can be applied not only to tech startups, but to those trying to build a personal brand online. Find your audience, identify what it is they want, ask for the sale and then build the product. If they don’t buy, then you keep refining the idea until they do. Virtual Freedom – Trying to do everything yourself doesn’t lead to happiness or great results. Chris Ducker reveals some golden nuggets in this book on learning to let go of things in your business that enable you do focus on doing what it is you do best. The Law of Success – The big take away of this classic piece of business mastery advice…Mastermind. Napoleon Hill is one of the age old masters of teaching the ways that lead to ultimate success. One of the older books in this list, it’s teachings have held true to this day. Everyday Zen – A modern approach to coping and handling stressful situations. This book helped me a lot whenever I felt hopeless about life. Everyone feels stress, anxiety and not so pleasant feelings from time-to-time but this book helped me find simple ways to change my way of thinking to handle situations with more control over managing my emotions and external pressures around me.

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