Few people talk about this great productivity tip…
You will reach your goals faster and easier if you’re willing to learn from others. Using brilliant, well-crafted resources created specifically for online entrepreneurs improves your online productivity.
Below I have a long list of resources, most of which I’ve used myself. The rest come highly recommended from my mentors and online business friends.
Enjoy the list. Pick a resource that will help you be more productive. And get something awesome done!
I’ve arranged the resources from those helpful to beginners to those suited to more advanced entrepreneurs. Feel free to ignore the order if you want to.
The links to these resources are not affiliate links. I don’t make a penny if you buy one of these. In fact many of these resources are 100% free. I recommend them simply because they’re useful and will help you be productive and successful.
Helpful from the word go…
If you’re new to online business, you’ll find value in the following resources.
Before you can blog, collect email addresses or sell anything, you need a little piece of real estate on a reliable web server. I’m a big fan of Bluehost.com. I host Productive Entrepreneur with them.
I’m hoping that no one laughs at this resource recommendation. It is super-obvious that a self-hosted WordPress install is the way to go for successful blogging these days. Enough said?
Today web design is easy. Even for people with zero coding and design skills. Grab the Genesis framework and a sharp looking child theme. Your blog will look like 4,000 bucks and attract more traffic due to the built in Search Engine Optimization features of Genesis.
Productive Entrepreneur is running the Genesis framework and the Prose child theme.
Shortly after you have a blog, you want to set up an email database and blog broadcast with a reliable service provider. And there’s no one who quite compares with AWeber. Due to their strict sign-up requirements, they get more email delivered than any of their peers. Open your AWeber account today… you won’t regret it.
Copyblogger.com is where you learn about content marketing. Subscribe. Make yourself at home. Get settled in. You’ll be reading this blog for many years to come. And if you’re smart, you’ll eventually be using most (if not all!) of their helpful products.
This blog is all about professional blogging — the art of making money from your blog. And Darren Rowse offers some helpful resources. More about some of those below. Be sure to subscribe to Problogger.net!
Johnny will help you set up a blog, make you laugh, and possibly make you frown at some of his word choices. But he will blow you away with helpful, inspirational posts and products.
Naomi Dunford is another blogger not shy to express herself in powerful language. I don’t mind. Do you?
If so, get over it and subscribe to her helpful blog. You’ll soon fall in love with her likable tone and expert advice.
The best thing about Ittybiz is the free marketing courses written with specific online vocations in mind. Ittybiz offers courses for service providers, bloggers, coaches, designers, and writers. Take your pick and start receiving some helpful advice.
IMFSP is a podcast by Copyblogger Media. Subscribe to it through iTunes and listen to it while you drive. You’ll want to drive further, slower and longer! And you’ll become a smarter Internet marketer and online entrepreneur in the process.
There’s never a better time to get productive than right when you start. ZTD is a simple productivity system created by Leo Babauta of Zenhabits.net. Read the book. Learn great new habits. Get productive!
Chris Garrett is my favorite online teacher. And MMP is his productivity course. Allow him to help you finish what you need to finish. Everything done by Chris comes with a “Highly recommended!” stamp.
The Tao of Awesome is an over-delivering email course created by Johnny B. Truant. It’ll help you make sense of your to-do list and optimize the use of your time. Even better, it’ll help you work on important tasks and neglect merely urgent ones.
Writing good blog posts begins with writing good headlines. And who better to help you learn the art of headline writing than blogging legend Jon Morrow?
Jon uses his expert knowledge of English language and the art of copywriting to show you which headline formulas work best and why. Grab the free report now.
This popular book by Stephen King will sharpen your writing skills. It will make you feel all warm and fuzzy about being a writer. And that’s never a bad idea if you plan on making a living with your laptop. Read it!
Up and running…
Okay. So now you’re up and running… making some progress. Yet, you don’t have thousands of unique monthly visitors just yet, and you’re still struggling to get your email subscriber numbers up to three figures.
Here are some resources that will help you get more traffic and increase your blog’s exposure.
Darren Rowse’s helpful blogging book will deliver on what it promises — a better blog in just one month.
I regret not discovering Jon Morrow’s guest blogging course earlier in my online business quest. This course is like a bachelor’s degree in blog writing and insanely clever and effective online marketing. Thing is, it’s much easier to get through than a degree course. And it will mean way more to your online business than any degree ever could.
If there’s one resource you try after reading this post, let it be this one! It could be the difference between 100 blog subscribers and 20,000 blog subscribers.
This is Jon’s latest venture. It hasn’t launched at the time of this post (October 2011). But if Jon’s writings and other projects are anything to go by, it will be huge. Be sure to subscribe.
Glen Allsopp’s free video course will get you off the ground running. Glen is all about making a living online, and his writings and products are excellent. Also, be sure to subscribe to his ViperChill blog.
Did I mention that Chris Garrett is my favorite online teacher? Oh, I did! Sorry.
Chris’ Authority Blogger course will show you how to become an authority in a worthwhile niche. He’s one of the best-known and best-loved online entrepreneurs. He’s a real authority when it comes to social media and blogging.
His course will help you get more visitors, convert more visitors to raving fans, and make more money from your online ventures.
If you are in constant need of topics for your blog, why don’t you try suggested topics by one of the most popular bloggers on the planet? Chris Brogan’s blog topics will keep you writing one excellent post after the other. And one of your posts could just be featured on one of Chris’ blogs.
It is important to learn what makes people “tick” online. Derek Halpern teaches you how to use psychology to turn random traffic into loyal subscribers, persuade people to buy your products, and encourage people to share your content and website. Be sure to read and subscribe.
Does the phrase Search Engine Optimization (SEO) make you want to run? Don’t fear! It’s no longer necessary to spend hundreds of dollars and dozens of hours learning this obscure and difficult art.
Scribe SEO is a WordPress plug-in developed by the clever people over at Copyblogger Media. It helps you optimize every page and post of your WordPress (or Joomla, Drupal, or pure HTML) site for Google et al.
The result? More targeted and free traffic, subscribers and fans courtesy of the search engines.
Ain’t life grand?
Ben Eadie and Chris Garrett bring you the basics of Video Blogging — at no cost to you. If you want to utilize the power of video to bond with your audience, this resource is a must.
Your site is coming along nicely. Daily unique visitors and subscriber numbers are approaching four figures. You feel like you have good momentum.
Now it’s time to sharpen your skills, and start giving your loyal fans some life-changing products to invest in.
This is a free report by yours truly. The report provides you with simple, practical advice to complete your next big online project. It doesn’t matter if it’s an ebook, an autoresponder or a 100 lesson online learning experience… If you have trouble finishing what you start, then this little productivity booster is exactly what you need.
It’s time to subscribe to Chris’ blog, read his helpful advice and take your understanding of the online business realm to the next level. Actually, this should be higher up the page. You should start reading Chris’ advice immediately.
As I said, everything Chris does comes highly recommended.
Men with Pens is an insightful blog for entrepreneurs. Subscribe to it. Read it.
They also design great sites and do super-converting sales copy. Hopefully one day I’ll have enough money!
This writing course by James Chartrand, founder of Men with Pens and writer extraordinaire, will help you master the fine art of writing for your online business.
It launched recently, and if you missed it, you missed out. Be sure to get on her waiting list though. It’s worth every penny.
Some bloggers don’t publish anything before a professional copy-editor edits it. And the editor of choice for most of the people I look up to is Shane Arthur. Use him before you hit publish. Your work will shine. You’ll sleep easier.
Writing and launching an ebook is a good idea at this stage of the race. And Dave Navarro and Naomi Dunford’s course will show you exactly how to research, create and sell your ebook. It starts with the idea and ends with the cash. And in between you’ll learn many blogging and Internet marketing tricks.
This book will help you be brilliant more regularly. Not many online entrepreneurs think of themselves as the creative type, but writing one good post after another, and creating one helpful product after another takes a lot of original creativity.
Allow Todd Henry to help you be brilliant, prolific and healthy. Read his book!
Getting exposure to other smart online entrepreneurs is a good idea. And there’s no better place for smart online entrepreneurs to learn and interact than the Third Tribe. You can ask tough questions, learn from the pros, and mingle with like-minded folks.
I’m not sure if it’s open for new members at this stage, but try and get onto a waiting list, or just keep your ears on the ground. If an opportunity to join comes around, grab it with both hands.
The first thing Jon Morrow advises his students to do is to study copywriting. It’s number 32 on my list, but that does not make it any less important.
There comes a time in the every entrepreneur’s life when he has to learn to write with business results in mind. This book will help you get into that mindset fast.
As soon as you have a free product to give, or a paid product to sell, you need to learn how to convince people to take you up on your offer. In The Ultimate Sales Letter master copywriter and entrepreneur coach Dan Kennedy shows you how to write a sales page that will convert.
Here’s another book by Dan Kennedy. This one will help you adopt a no B.S. attitude when it comes to protecting your time. Time is money. Protect it, use it wisely and grow your business.
If you don’t have $2,000 to $7,000 to fork out for a professionally written sales page, this self-help guide by Amy Harrison will guide you to produce a sales page that works. Follow her advice and you’ll be selling in no time.
I recently followed her cookbook approach, and our page is converting nicely. This ebook is worth every penny!
With your sales page all written and ready, it’s time to publish. Copyblogger Media’s landing page tool will help you do just that… with style! Like they always do, with Premise they over-deliver by giving you access to some awesome, bonus copywriting lessons and videos.
Authority Rules is where Chris Garrett and Copyblogger Media meet. What an intersection!
This course contains interviews with experts from all corners of the web. It helps you Attract new visitors and subscribers, Engage your subscribers to turn them into fans, and then Convert these fans into paying customers. Makes sense right?
Sadly you’ll most probably only be able to grab some free stuff now. They’ll only reopen their doors in 2012.
For the Kick-Ass Online Entrepreneur
One day you will start feeling like you are over the hump. You have thousands of fans and you are looking to maximize the value you offer them, and your financial return.
It’s time to really shine.
Here are some resources to help you at this level.
Not another Copyblogger Media product?!
Yes. Another one.
In fact I now have all Copyblogger’s products listed here (I think). And I’ll have to update this post as soon as they release something new (!). I warned you their products are remarkable!
Teaching Sells is a comprehensive, one-stop course that teaches you how to make money through online learning. They’re calling this the online business for the 21st century. It is not cheap, but the possible return on investment is huge.
I recovered my lifetime membership fee shortly after joining the program simply through implementing their helpful and thorough advice. And my monthly income is recurring!
It’s time to engage your audience through some helpful webinars. Do an interview with a well-known blogger. Teach something live. The opportunities are endless.
GoToWebinar might be a tad expensive, but at this stage that shouldn’t bother you. It’s the right tool for the job.
Webinar Bridge is a neat WordPress plug-in that adds the emails of registrants for a webinar to your AWeber or Mailchimp database. This allows you to offer a webinar, build some serious buzz about it, and grow you email subscriber list — all at the same time.
Dave Navarro recently stopped selling his products online for personal reasons. Yet, he was kind enough to make them available free of charge in return for a donation, should you feel like making one. And there are some real gems here!
Go check it out, and make a donation if you find it useful.
Kitchen Table Companies is a group collaboration initiative by Chris Brogan. For a monthly or quarterly fee you can find quick answers to your small business questions from other successful people and a panel of experts.
Online Business Coaching
Finally, let’s look at a couple of coaches who will take your online business efforts to the next level.
Yes. Coaching is not really a resource… But hey, what the heck? If it’s helpful, I feel inclined to mention it here. Cool?
Chris Garrett’s coaching has been invaluable to me. Much of my progress and understanding has to be attributed to his wisdom. If you need someone to teach you the ropes, take your business further, and keep you accountable, Chris is your guy.
I think Jon Morrow’s coaching is only available to students of his Guest Blogging course. And you don’t get to talk to Jon too often. But it’s still well worth it! Jon is a generous genius, and his advice is sure to take your blog and online business in the right direction.
What would a long list like this be without at least 8 bonus resources? Although I have no personal experience with the bonus resources listed here, they come highly recommended from my peers.
Take a look. It might just be worth your while.
Sean D’Souza’s The Brain Audit is useful for helping you understand how you customer’s mind works. If you are struggling to close the deal, read this and learn how you can succeed in landing the sale without being pushy.
Ed Gandia of the International Freelancers Academy provides this free teleseminar. It’s pretty comprehensive, and it showcases 22 freelancers and self-employed service providers who turned their businesses around in a tough economy. It also shows you how they did it.
It includes a full transcript and a PDF workbook, plus MP3 audio for those who prefer that format. It used to sell for $79, but it is free now.
If you want to learn Pay-per-Click marketing in just five days, then this is where you need to go. Sometimes we need to speed up the process of getting clients and getting sales, and if the math makes sense we can buy some advertising. Here’s a good place to learn how to do exactly that.
If you want to utilize video in your Internet marketing efforts, it helps to learn from a pro. Sign up for this free 20-part course to get a great head start and avoid costly mistakes.
If you are wondering what to charge your customers without feeling like a cheat, but you also realize that you shouldn’t sell yourself short, this might be the guide for you. Linda Lopeke’s 74-page guide will get you to your perfect price.
Rapportive is a plug-in for Gmail (which is another highly recommended resource!) that shows you rich contact profiles. It basically shows you everything about your contacts right in your inbox.
Apparently it also plays nicely with AWeber.
This kit by Chris Guillebeau helps you build a meaningful lifestyle business in one year by doing one thing every day. It is not a get rich quick scheme, and seems to be built on solid, sensible foundations. In fact, it sounds so awesome that I’m thinking about giving it a try myself! Why not join me?
I have already purchased this, but it’s only launching on 16 October 2011 (Hurry!). I will hopefully be able to give it a more solid recommendation after that. But from what I’ve seen, Ainslie’s stuff is awesome. I’m sure this will be an amazing and helpful little course. And it’s affordable too!
Use it wisely
At least some of the resources mentioned above have the potential to make you more productive and more successful.
Don’t ignore this list. Try them out. Experiment. Go nuts…
I hope you find something here that contributes to your personal productivity and your online success!
If you’re aware of an awesome resource for online entrepreneurs, even if it’s something you created yourself, please add a comment with a description and a link below. Let’s build the list. Maybe we can make it something more official and formal in the future…?
Please also spread the love by telling your friends and your followers about this list. Blog about it, tweet about it, or add it to Facebook and Google+. Please!