Running an online business can be tough at times; so many tools, so many moving parts. I've created this page of resources so that you can see the tools that I use to organize and run Content Sparks. Some of these I use every single day, and others I've used in the past and recommend.
If you ever have a question about any of these products or services, just send me an email.
Tools for Content Creation
My go-to site for stock photos for my ecovers, blog posts, lead magnets, ads, and more.
Microsoft Office 365
Word, PowerPoint and Excel for documents, slide shows, slide videos, spreadsheets, and pdfs. I also use Adobe for pdfs, but it's not essential.
Screen capture, image editing, and creation of quick graphics. Perfect for step-by-step posts as you can add numbers, arrows and text quickly and easily. Snagit can also be used to record short videos and has simple video editing functionality.
The affiliate software I use in my affiliate program. This is one of the few affiliate tools that's beneficial for your SEO. They have excellent tracking to ensure your affiliates are happy.
While we use LeadPages for many of our larger sales pages still, and for many of our pop-ups, we use Thrive Architect (part of Thrive Suite) for designing product pages, blog posts, and other pages on our site. It's very intuitive and easy to build sleek, professional designs. This page is created in Thrive Architect.
Incredibly easy tool for creating videos from your blog posts. You can also edit an existing video to add subtitles, intros, outros, etc. Or upload your script or images to automatically create other shareworthy video content.
Free online platform for creating quick social graphics, coupons, ads, covers, You Tube thumbnails and more. The paid version of Canva includes images, the ability to make templates and social scheduling.
Thrive Quiz Builder
An extremely affordable quiz building WordPress plugin in the Thrive Suite that has more features than most of the expensive online tools. Great for lead generation, data collection, self-assessments, and more!
Easy eCovers that you can design yourself quickly and generate in a variety of 3D styles. I sometimes get 2D covers created on Fiverr.com and then use eCover Authority to create 3D versions. CLICK HERE to get an exclusive discount for Content Sparks followers.
High-converting templates for all types of landing pages – sales, opt-in, thank-you, webinar, etc. Easy to create 2-step ‘leadboxes' for pop up optins. LeadPages can host your lead magnets and landing pages for you, or there is a plugin or html code to do it yourself. This is probably the easiest option if you don't have experience creating landing pages, or you want to save time by using a pre-made template that's proven to convert. They also have drag ‘n drop page options for building your own page from scratch.
While some people love Trello for their project management, here at Content Sparks we love it for the checklists. And of course, we've used Trello to create digital action guides in some of our course expansion/bonus packs
Zoom is more than just a way to have calls face-to-face online. It's also a live video tool where you can record your room. This makes it easy to interview people, carry out discovery calls, and do live training. You'll wonder how you ever managed to do anything without it!
Our Top Website Resources
Hosting company with great customer service.
Managed hosting for WordPress sites. Amazing customer service, high security, faster speed, and all sorts of other benefits just for WordPress sites. I used to host ContentSparks here, and then had things like my affiliate program at Site5. One note, since you can't get email through WP Engine, I use Google Apps for that.
Domain name registration. Google their latest month's coupon code before buying anything.
Part of the Thrive Suite, this is a plugin for creating and testing opt-in forms – slide-ups, top ribbon, lightboxes, pop-ups, side bars, in content, widgets, etc etc.
For storing, managing, and embedding videos, images, and other media. Secure, fast, and affordable!
The shopping cart on Content Sparks. They have an ENDLESS number of options for extensions/plugins for adding whatever functionality you want.
The theme I used to use on my blog before I switched to Thrive Suite. A tried and true favorite for many people.
Our online course platform. I love Teachable because it's easy to use, doesn't overwhelm you with a billion options (but still has what I need), integrates with my email platform, and has great support (especially for Pro plan subscribers).
Our other online course platform. I love New Zenler for the multitude of features it offers (and is continually adding on). This is more of an all-in-one platform, even though I don't use all those options myself. It has a steeper learning curve than Teachable, but if you want all the bells and whistles and don't mind spending a little longer to set things up, New Zenler is a terrific option for you .
Daily Business Tools
The full-featured autoresponder and email marketing service I now use as my main tool. Easy to set up automations, segmentation, tagging, and more. Integrates with Woocommerce (via the ActiveWoo plugin) and other shopping carts and services.
For reliably sending emails to my customers and affiliates from both my WordPress site and my affiliate software. No worrying about the whims and potential security issues of shared servers on webhosts.
My important files in the cloud so I can access anywhere and share. I have it on my computers, iPad, and phone!
My online filing system for notes, clippings, emails, etc. I also have this on every device so that I can't lose any notes.
Online backup for my computer files
Computer antivirus protection
Pretty Link Pro
Create ‘pretty' affiliate and link redirects as well as tracking link clicks for you.
Webinar and Livestream Tools
I have yet to find a better livestreaming tool than Streamyard, and we use it all the time here at Content Sparks to multistream to Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. However, you can also stream to other locations, including embedding on a webpage, if you want. Aside from it's ease, reliability, and customer support, I love the fact that I can record my livestreams as videos and either use those videos elsewhere or even schedule them to go live in advance. A great feature when you're busy with other things!
I've been using Demio for years now and have always been impressed by their dedication to customer support and continuously improving their product. It's a great webinar platform for running both live and on-demand webinars, with all the features you need for integrating with email marketing. I love the simplicity, but also the ability to add resources for viewers and calls to action.
I purchased Big Marker more recently and have been delighted by some of the additional features they offer that aren't in Demio. Much is the same, but they also have the option to do breakout sessions, which is helpful for when you're running live classes with bigger groups.