Below is a list of tools and programs we use and recommend. Some of the links are affiliate links which means if you sign up we get rewarded in some way. But don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you anything extra.
Email Newsletter: ConvertKit
Plentiful integrations, easy to use, excellent support. ConvertKit is subscriber-centric rather than list-centric, which takes a mindset shift but works well once you get there. ConvertKit has all the modern features you would expect from a newsletter service.
Newsletter Referral Program: SparkLoop
I haven’t yet implemented SparkLoop but it’s coming. If you want a referral program like those you’ve seen on MorningBrew, give SparkLoop a look.
Membership Management & Affiliate Program: MemberPress
One of the single most robust and mature membership plugins I’ve very used (and I’ve tried many of them). MemberPress is flexible but easy to implement. It also has many extensions covering almost any membership-based site need you may have. Blair and the team also offer excellent support.
WordPress Themes: StudioPress
I’ll admit bias here, I’ve been a StudioPress user since 2008. The Genesis Theme Framework which underlies all StudioPress themes is second to none. StudioPress is solid, fast, and mature software for running your WordPress-based website.
Form Builder (Plugin): Gravity Forms
I’ve also been a Gravity Forms user for many years and appreciate the broad capability they offer. They offer many extensions allowing Gravity Forms to work with a large number of third-party services. As form builders go, Gravity Forms is top-notch.
- automated backups with easy restore
- multiple environments
- redirect rules
- top-notch security
- and a whole lot more.
When it comes to editing and crafting clear, concise text, Hemmingway App is my killer app and it’s totally free. I typically shoot for a score of 9 or less but usually end up at a 4 or 5 (lower is better).
I’ve bounced around between a lot of SEO tools over the years but I’ve always come back to SEMRush. It’s scaled with me as my SEO knowledge and practice has improved but was also easy to use in the beginning.
For doing market and audience research, SparkToro is the tool you never knew you needed but can’t live without. I’ve found that Rand Fishkin (founder) is very helpful on Twitter and his examples have paved the way for finding even the most difficult to pin-down audiences you want to reach.
Training & Newsletters
7-Figure Small is a free 6-lesson audio course by Brian Clark (founder of Copyblogger & Unemployable) that lays out the fundamentals of what’s currently working for bootstrapped and 1-person businesses that are doing 7-figures (and more).
While VSELLIS focuses on tactics, we apply those tactics in the context of strategy. 7-Figure Small will help you develop that strategy.
Contrarian Thinking is a newsletter from Codie Sanchez that challenges you to think differently about business and income. She has some brilliant ideas and is one of my must-read newsletters each time it comes out.
GrowGetters is a growth hacking newsletter also from Codie Sanchez along with partners Olman Quesada (Head of Business Development at AppSumo) and Ilona Abramova (Head of Content at AppSumo). If you’re looking to grow your newsletter audience, GrowGetters is a must subscribe.