This page covers tools, services, and other things I use and regularly recommend.
Hover — I have purchased and dealt with domain names at most of the major registrars over the past several years (GoDaddy, Namecheap, etc). I like Hover the best — straightforward, no upselling. They have all of my domains now.
MDDHosting — Michael Denny (CEO) personally responds to my support requests when I work over holidays. They host this website, and I use their reseller hosting too.
Bluehost (for newbies) — If you’re new to this, start with Bluehost. They’re huge, so if your website goes down, so will half of the internet. Support is available 24/7 via phone, chat, and email — something smaller hosting companies can’t afford to do.
Elegant Themes (Divi) — This website is built on Genesis from StudioPress, but Jake and I took our digital marketing agency from basically $0 to $10k monthly recurring gross profit with Divi from Elegant Themes. If I were starting out now, I’d go straight to Divi.
Duplicator Pro — Easily move WordPress and push development websites live.
UpdraftPlus — Automate external backups. Hope you never need them.
Google Workspace — Offers a lot more than email. Worth it as a professional email service alone.
Mailchimp — Standard for email marketing. Don’t do anything shady.
AWeber — I like Mailchimp, but Mailchimp doesn’t like affiliates. I’ve never had a problem with AWeber. Their service is simple and straightforward.
Canva — Fast, professional image editing for social and display ads.
Paint.NET — Watered-down Photoshop or Microsoft Paint on steroids? Either way, I love it. When Paint.NET dies I’ll learn GIMP. Until then, this is my default image editor.
TinyJPG / TinyPNG — Quickly shrinks image file sizes to improve page load times. Use it before uploading images to WordPress and stop relying on plugins like Smush.
Stripe — The best solution I’ve found for automating invoicing and payment processing for digital marketing agencies.
Ontop — Pay international team members safely and legally.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini — A classic that marketing and advertising textbooks reference but few people ever read. This is Marketing 101.
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser — Half of copywriting is writing, and the first half of this book is gold. Forget everything you were taught about writing in school and read this.
Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz — The hype surrounding this book is legitimate. It is dense. If you try to take notes, you’ll end up rewriting the whole book.
The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert — Letters from prison by a father to his son about life and copywriting. Bury what you learned in On Writing Well. Write to sell. It’s slow to start and politically incorrect. Still, worth it.