Welcome to my resources section, a curated list of tools, books and websites that I have used and can personally recommend. Many of these resources I use every day and are crucial to running my business.
Before looking through my resources I know and trust, I have an important disclosure:Some of these links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to purchase from these links I will recieve a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I will only ever recommend products and services on this page that I have personally used before and trust. I only recommend these as I have had positive experiences with them in the past and I think they would be useful to you, not because I get a small commission. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or they will help you achieve your goals.
I spent many years hopping around web hosts until I found one that was reliable and not too expensive. Switching web hosts was painless as I registered my domain with a seperate registrar which meant I didn't have to move that as well.
I like to keep my domain names seperate from my hosting. It means all my domains are in one place no matter where the websites are hosted and I can move hosting easily.
Namecheap also offers free dynamic dns, which means I can easily hook up a domain to my Raspberry Pi (if that is the sort of thing you are into).
I highly recommend using Namecheap for managing your domains.
I have used a lot of web hosting companies in the past. I find myself moving around a lot becuase they suffer from downtime, poor performance or bad customer service (or all of the above).
The team at SiteGround however have great customer service and their servers are the fastest and most reliable (99.996% uptime) I have used so far. They also include free SSL and daily backups on all their plans. A great choice for Wordpress or Perch CMS sites.
Whether you are running a blog or SaaS you need to be building up your email list and have a way of contacting your customers. At the moment I am using Drip for this. It is free up to 2,500 subscribers and has great email tracking and automations.
One of the most sustainable ways to get traffic to your blog or business is with content marketing. With content marketing you can build up a steady stream of traffic from search engines and be able to promote your business in a non-spammy way by providing value to potential customers. These are the tools I use to help with that.
You can waste a lot of time writing content that nobody wants to read. However, if you use BuzzSumo you can find out what articles are trending in your industry or which of your competitors posts get shared the most.
The paid plan is a little out of reach for most bloggers at $99/month but you can get quite a lot of value out of the daily free searches.
Trying to come up with ideas for content can be hard. Answer the Public is a fantastic free visual tool for bloggers and marketers that can help you find tons of topics to write about.
For example typing in "blogging" comes back with 813 topics!
UberSuggest is a great free tool for keyword research. Now owned by Neil Patel, it will not only give you keyword ideas but also search volume, cost per click as well as competitor analysis. You can also get this data from Google's Keyword Planner, but UberSuggest is nicer to use.
Next time you are about to write a blog post, it is worth finding out the best keyword to target so more people are likely to find it.
I am an avid reader and get through quite a few books in a year. I read a lot of books about startups, entrepreneurship and finance. These are the best of the bunch and well worth adding to your reading list
If you are thinking of launching a startup this book is a must read. This should really be the bible for developers starting a startup. Written by Rob Walling who is a serial entrepreneur himself, this book really relates to developers and covers topics such as our tendency to want to build something before seeing if there is a market for it.
Market, Marketing, Aethsetic, Function, read it, you can thank me later.
Think of this book as a crash course for your finances. Although mainly aimed at the American market there is great advice in here for us Brits too.
The best advice in here is about automating your finances. I still use this method today and it has served me well. You will also find really good advice on investing, work and retirement.
If you haven't heard of Ramit before then his blog is a great read.
Another great book if you are thinking of starting a business. Pat Flynn goes through step by step how to validate a business idea and see if it is worth pursuing.
Pat made most of his money through affiliate marketing and has since gone on to create software and online courses. He blogs over at Smart Passive Income.
All of Tim Ferriss' books are great and Tools of Titans is now exception. Filled with over 100 interviews from top performers this book gives a great insight into the tools recommended by the best.
Tim recommends you use this book as a reference manual as it is a pretty hefty read however I think it deserves at least one read through from the start.
I tend to suffer from SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome). It is the tendency to move from one thing to the next without giving each thing your full attention.
I would like to think of myself as a serial entrepreneur but parallel entrepreneur would probably be a better description. This book covers how to focus your attention on The One Thing that is going to have the most impact to your life, business, health. Think of it as the 80/20 rule on sterioids.
Many of the other books I have listed here give you advice on how to validate your idea before you build it. This book turns that approach on its head. In reality, no matter how well you research your niche or target market you won't know if you have a viable business until customers start paying you.
The advice in this book is clear, build it first but do it fast. You can always improve it when you have found the demand is there.
I have so many more books on my shelf that I still need to read so I suspect this list will grow. If you want updates on good reads or other business advice you can subscribe to my newsletter.
Computers would be pretty useless if you didn't have software on them. I have tried out a lot of different software but these are the ones that I use regularly.
I spend 90% of my day in Visual Studio Code so it had to be at the top of my list. Heck, even this blog is written in React using GatsbyJs so even my blog posts are written using VS Code.
I used to use full fledged Visual Studio but after moving to a Mac I can't say I miss it. It is great having one editor for all my programming.
I used to buy lots of Moleskine notebooks and later upgraded to the LEUCHTTURM1917. These were great except I ended up having to flick through hundreds of pages to find my scribbled down notes and diagrams.
I now use an iPad Pro for all of my notes and settled on Notability as my app of choice. Not only can you easily group all your notes it has handwriting recognition so I can search through my notes as well. There is also a Mac Desktop app as well so I can have my notes everywhere.
If I find something worth reading I used to bookmark it and then never go back to it.
Pocket has replaced my cluttered bookmarks completely. I now add interesting articles to pocket which then get downloaded onto all my devices. Now when I have a bit of downtime I go on pocket and always have something interesting to read.
Courses can be a great way to skip the trial and error period and learn from someone who has done it before. However, there are a lot of so called "gurus" who don't know what they are talking about. I have bought a lot of courses in the past but there are only a handful I can honestly recommend.
If you are looking to getting into blogging then there is no better course than the billionaire blog club. It is run by a guy named Paul Scrivens, he really know his stuff and runs three 6-figure businesses himself.
The course covers everything from niche selection, affiliate marketing, pinterest, email marketing, Google Analytics, and more.
Got something to teach? Why not start your own online course. David Siteman Garland is an expert when it comes to create online courses and helping his students create successful businesses.
His course coves everything you need to build an audience and work out how your course should be structured.
If you are thinking of starting a business then you can't go wrong by learning from Pat Flynn. This guy makes over $100,000 a month from his various ventures.
His course Smart From Scratch covers developing a business idea, validating it and determining if it is viable to pursue.
I love gadgets, what can I say I am geek. It is easy to waste a ton of money on gadgets that you aren't going to use. However, spend the money correctly and they can really pay off in increased productivity. These are the gadgets that I use everyday for work and fun.
I used to be anti-Apple products, with their cult like status and lack of customisation. However, after cursing at Windows laptops for many years I decided to take the plung and go with a Macbook Pro.
For developers they are fantastic, super fast and you get the linux experience without the headaches.
I have the 13 inch model as I like the portability, it is fantastic and I wouldn't be without it.
For my dual monitor set up I originally had multiple cables plugged in. I had wires everywhere! I knew I needed dock but I couldn't find one that would allow Dual 4K monitors on a Macbook Pro.
I finally found this one made by Belkin and it works flawlessly. It manages to power my two 4K monitors no problem. It also works if you have the laptop open but the second monitor looses the 4K resolution.
I have quite large hands and find a lot of mice uncomfortable to use for long periods of time. If you search for mice for big hands you will see the MX Master 2S mentioned a lot.
The MX Master 2S was perfect for my large hands and even comes with Logitech Flow, which lets you move the mouse between different devices. I love the scroll wheel which adapts to your scrolling speed.