Hello, and thank you for visiting this page!
我will keep the introduction here short and sweet – I’ve put this together to showcase all of the tools, software, and equipment I use to run my businesses.
For each item in my toolkit, I will talk briefly about what it is, and how I’ve used it to help grow my companies. I will also discuss the item’s pricing (if there is a fee for it)
The goal here is that as I discuss each thing and what it’s used for, you’ll find a few that you could benefit from as well.
For each purchase, I’ve spent a good amount of time comparing each of these to their competitors, and decided that these choices were the best fit forme.但是，这并不意味着它们将最适合每个业务，您的里程可能会有所不同。
我mportant note – many of the links on this page will beaffiliatelinks. This means that I may earn a small commission for referring you to the company if you go on to buy. This costs you nothing extra, and just tells the website that I’m the one that referred you.
与许多其他人不同，我不会根据哪种产品来选择最大的促进产品。放心，知道我实际使用并推荐allof the products mentioned in this document.
Finally, if you have any questions about anything mentioned in here, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You’re always welcome to send me an email at[电子邮件保护]，，，，and I’ll always try my best to get back to you as soon as possible.
Without any further ado, let’s begin!
– James McAllister
Let’s start with the things I actually use to power my websites.
iWebFusion Dedicated Server
Most of my websites are currently running off of one of iWebFusion’s dedicated servers. As none of my websites individually use enough to require a server on their own, most of my companies’ websites run off of this same dedicated server.
我t’s important to keep in mind that most people won’t require a dedicated server, especially if they are only running one website. One of Hostgator’s shared hosting plans (which is what I started out with) is more than suitable for most people, at least for a while.
我f you’re interested in something a bit more powerful, I’ve used and recommend WPEngine. It’s arguably the best hosting for somebody running a WordPress site, which is what I recommend using unless you have another reason not to.
我t’s a bit more expensive per month though, coming in at $35 a month for their first plan. Still, this comes with a Genesis theme (which I use and recommend below) a built-in CDN (which will speed up your site) and they’re quite accommodating of sudden traffic surges, which is important when articles gain any sort of virality.
另一方面，Hostgator的共享计划只需关闭您的网站，直到流量消失为止 - 他们必须这样做以保护所有其他人也使用同一共享服务器。
Still, it can be a decent option starting out. Just be prepared to move to something bigger later on if you start out with a shared plan!
GoDaddy Domain Name Registrar
My domain names are typically registered through GoDaddy.
Updating any of the information regarding the domain has always been easy and because it’s so popular, there are a lot of guides available when you actually need to make any sort of changes.
我’m terrible at naming things, and have had times had to consult a company that aids with this.
My only note about Ink And Key you should be aware of is that it will require quite a bit of back and forth – giving feedback on suggestions you like, and what should be changed. Still, I’ve always got names and taglines that I’ve been happy with.
Even the least technical people can operate WordPress with ease, and there is very little reason not to use it for most people.
Genesis Framework by StudioPress
我use these themes because they are easy to work with and extend upon, they’re very lightweight (meaning they load quicker), they’re mobile-responsive, and highly customizable.
Currently, JamesMcAllisterOnline.com is running the ‘Generate Pro’ theme. The old version of the site, HelpStartMySite.com, was running the ‘News Pro’ theme.
综上所述，这些都是付费主题，尽管我认为这项投资值得。不过，如果您刚刚起步，不要太挂在设计上了 - 您生产的内容更大。
MemberPress + Affiliate Royale
All paid content on my site is managed through MemberPress, which uses Stripe as a payment processor.
MemberPress handles all aspects of creating and gating paid areas, so only people with access can actually view the pages.
Additionally, there are plenty of additional features that make it a wonderful option for hosting paid products, such as a buyer’s dashboard, account setup, automatic email notifications, a comprehensive analytics dashboard, and more.
Additionally, the top tier of MemberPress comes with an affiliate program plugin called Affiliate Royale, which I use to power my affiliate program. It covers just about everything you’d want an affiliate program plugin, and I’ve never had any problems with it.
Allows commenters to share links to their newest articles, as well as their Twitter handle. Unfortunately, it looks like this is no longer being supported by its developer.
For making regular backups of the site.
Revive Old Posts
Regularly posts articles from my blog’s archives to my Twitter page. Settings can be customized to your liking, and it’s free!
为了使更好的外观链接。例如，//www.iparf.com/go/getResponseinstead of some huge, long, affiliate link.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
Displays related posts after each blog article I publish. Great for reducing bounce rate and improving engagement!
Link Whisper scans articles as you write them, and displays suggestions for internal links. It’s a great SEO tool and I’ve really enjoyed it! Click here to read myLink Whisper Review。
Broken Link Checker
我use this to quickly scan and fix / remove broken links on my website, including links in comments.
WP Fastest Cache
Caches your page so they load much faster for visitors. If you don’t know what caching is, I highly recommend reading about it and how you can benefit from caching.
For my eCommerce stores, I utilize Shopify as my primary system.
对于大多数人来说，这只是最好的选择 - 让商店启动和运营以及管理它确实非常简单。还有很多插件可以扩展功能。
Larger stores may benefit from a system that is easier to extend upon, as I’m told Shopify isn’t the easiest for software developers to work with.
However, for most people, it will work just fine.
ActiveCampaignis arguably the most important marketing tool that exists for my businesses, because they manage all of my email lists.
我utilize my email lists to move prospective buyers deeper down my sales funnel, providing value to them and building trust over time in a personalized way,which I’m not able to do quite as effectively through my website alone。
A very large percentage of my buyers do so after opening a targeted email from me.
ActiveCampaignallows you to set up autoresponders – series of emails that occur at specified intervals (such as 7 days after a person opts-in to a list, for example), as well as allowing you to segment subscribers into specific categories, and send emails to all of them at once.
我t also allows me to get extremely specific with my targeting and tracking, meaning that I’m able to deliver the right messages to the right leads at the right time.
Needless to say, it’s pretty powerful, and everyone should be building their email list from the very beginning.
All of the social sharing buttons are powered by a plugin I use called Easy Social Share Buttons. This includes both the share buttons used at the end of each post, and the follower counts displayed on my website’s sidebar.
我t’s pretty powerful! With tons of customization to both functionality and design, as well as a nice analytics dashboard, I found it to be the best option out of everything I’ve tried so far.
Advanced Ads Pro
我run banner display ads on my site for many of my products, and many of these ads are displayed through a plugin called Advanced Ads Pro.
我t has far more options than I currently utilize, and I highly recommend checking out their website for a full list of all of them.
However, a few of my favorites include:
- 减肥广告的能力在这些广告组s, so some are shown more often than others. Great if you’re trying to give additional exposure to certain products.
- Display conditions.
- The ability to show different ads based on the visitor’s location. Great for tailoring ads to specific countries / regions.
- Split testing of ads and ad groups.
这不会是一个很好的适合所有网站,但我wanted to list it here because it’s been so useful for me personally.
OptimizePress currently powers all of my non-Shopify sales and landing pages, and for good reason:
- 我t’s simple to make sales pages look great, and includes tons of drag-and-drop elements that are highly customizable.
- Built in split-testing functionality makes it easy to improve and optimize sales and landing pages over time.
- There are plenty of templates built into it, to get you up and going quickly.
That being said, I also used one of their main competitors, LeadPages, and enjoyed that on about a similar level. It’s perhaps a bit more versatile than OptimizePress depending on your use case, but if you’re just looking for something to utilize within WordPress, OptimizePress is a fantastic choice.
我t’s a great resource for eCommerce sites in particular, as well as those relying on any sort of sales or landing pages to bring in revenue.
All live chat support is handled through Tawk.to, due to its large amount of features, and its incredibly low price of $0.
There are better live chat solutions available, but Tawk.to is free and makes delivering awesome customer support as easy as possible – which, you know, is kind of the point of a live chat service.
Content Upgrades Pro
Content upgrades on my site are powered by the plugin, ‘Content Upgrades Pro.’ If you’re unfamiliar with content upgrades, they’re essentially an extra bonus, usually tied to a specific article, that you give readers in exchange for opt-ing into your email newsletter.
My only downside is the customer service for this plugin is terrible – as in it’s completely non-existent. The few times I’ve needed to contact support, I’ve gotten no reply, even after following up with them.
OptinMonster is perhaps my favorite plugin for boosting email signups, and I primarily use it for it’s pop-up feature.
弹出窗口dowork when they’re done correctly, and OptinMonster makes this easy.
The forms look great, are easy to customize, and the built in split-testing features work flawlessly. Additionally, you can get extremely specific with what triggers the pop-ups.
例如，我may trigger different pop-ups, with different lead-magnets depending on the category of the site the visitor is on, how long they’ve been on the site, what traffic source they came from, their country, etc. It can get very complex!
Currently, other than pop-ups that are targeted for specific visitors like that, I have my pop-ups set to appear when the visitor is about to exit the page – click the back button, or the ‘X’ in their browser.
Because of the detailed analytics and split-testing feature, I’m able to optimize everything over time, which has led to steadily increasing opt-in rates!
我also segment contacts based on where they’re at in the outreach cycle – things like not contacted yet, contacted with no response, declined my proposal, negotiating, deal in progress, etc.
However, I do not automate the sending of emails like others do, and still prefer to review everything manually prior to sending. Still, the functionality is there.
尾风is responsible for 95% of my Pinterest and Instagram scheduling and management.
Their platform makes it very easy to schedule out posts at optimal times, and post them automatically to both platforms.
我’m also particularly fond of Tailwind’s hashtag suggestion tool, which has helped to generate tags I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. You’re also able to save your own lists of hashtags as well, to add to your posts with the click of a button.
我f you’re serious about either platform, this will really speed up the process of publishing quality content on the platforms.
Currently, this is only multi-image posts, which Tailwind does not seem able to schedule yet.
For Facebook and Twitter, I use and recommendHootsuite Pro。
Hootsuite Pro(as well as the regular addition of HootSuite) helps with overall social media management for these two platforms, allowing you to autoschedule posts well in advance.
例如，我may have a Twitter steam open to look at blogging discussions, internet marketing tweets, and tweets about eCommerce all at the same time. It’s nice, because you can quickly browse discussions to jump into as they happen.
Finally, to close out this section, I recommend SEMRush for anybody who wants to invest a bit of money into improving their overall SEO strategy.
SEMRush is packed with tons of features, but here are some of my favorites:
- The ability to monitor the keywords your site (and competitors’ sites) rank for, and how these rankings change over time.
- The ability to be notified whenever your brand or website is mentioned somewhere else on the web.
- Keyword research – volume, analytics, and how difficult it would be to rank for.
- 我nsight into the ads competitors are running, and how they may be performing (generally speaking, ads that have been running for a long time are profitable for that company.)
- Content analysis, and SEO improvement suggestions on an article-by-article level.
There are far more available, and more are being added all the time. The price is a bit steep at $99 / month, but if your site is a bit established and improvements in SEO will cover the cost, it’s well worth it.
Video / Audio
Next, let’s move into the equipment and software I use to manage all of the video and audio content that I produce.
Shure SM7B Microphone
Unless I’m traveling, I currently use theShure SM7B为我的播客,电话,和课程视频。任何澳大利亚io in which I’m not also appearing on camera is done using the SM7B.
我t requires an audio interface to run, as well as a gain booster (such as theCloudlifter CL-1) to bring the audio up to acceptable levels (since it requires so much power to run.) These two things together bring the price up to about $570.
Audio-Technica AT4053b Microphone
For the rest of my audio, I use this microphone. Any time I’m appearing on camera and want to keep the microphone out of shot, this is my microphone of choice.
At $600, it’s certainly not cheap – but it allows me to have professional quality audio to accompany the videos that I publish on YouTube. I keep the microphone just out of shot using the K & M stand mentioned below, and this microphone does an incredible job at blocking out all background noise.
This makes editing quick, and allows me to publish videos far more quickly. I love it.
While the SM7B is probably the better value if you aren’t going to appear on camera, the AT4053b will always be one of my favorite microphones.
Scarlet 6i6 Audio Interface
As previously mentioned, the Shure SM7B requires an audio interface to run properly. An audio interface is a hardware device that improves the audio capabilities of the computer, and allow you to connect XLR microphones (and other audio devices) to it.
K & M Microphone Stand With Telescopic Boom Arm
The SM7B is a heavy beast, and it took me 3 microphone stands to find one that can hold it without tipping over.
我’m not sure if this is the best microphone stand on the market for the price, but it works great with the SM7B and makes it easy to put it in any position I could ever want.
Panasonic G85 Camera
This is my main camera for videos now. It’s believed to be one of the cameras that holds the greatest value for content creators, and shoots stunning 4K that is far beyond what most of us will ever need.
摄像不是我的专业,我和机会’m not utilizing this beast of a camera to its full potential. Whether recording interviews, talking-head videos, documentaries, or something else entirely, I’m certain this camera is up to the task for 99% of businesses out there.
Logitech BRIO Webcam
Currently, I use theLogitech BRIO HD webcam录制视频，当我无法使用相机时。
Honestly, it is more than enough for 99% of people doing talking-head videos in a non-professional setting. It records in 1080p flawlessly and the video quality is great. I have no problem taking it with me when I travel and overall, I’m very happy with it.
This webcam also records 4k video, but is a bit choppier than what I’d like. Because 4K isn’t a huge priority for me right now, I’ve opted to record at the much smoother 1080p instead.
TheLogitech C920is a cheaper alternative that I’ve also enjoyed in the past!
Limostudio Lighting Kit
A good camera with great lighting will always look nicer than a great camera with poor lighting.
这款来自Limostudio的廉价轻型套件is a great investment if you plan to do a lot of video in the near future!
Glide Gear TMP100可调节的远程编译器
Even if you don’t want to script things out word-for-word, teleprompters come in handy. Especially if you’re recording content where your exact phrasing matters, such as sales videos.
The TMP100 is a compact teleprompter that comes in at just under $200. I use it with an iPad and the PromptSmart Pro app. The PromptSmart Pro app will listen to you talk through the iPad’s microphone, and automatically move the script as you progress through it. It will also stop if you go off script, which is really nice for content creators that want to be a bit more natural while on camera.
我highly recommend it!
For hosting video that’s only meant to be accessed by certain groups of people (usually customers), I use Vimeo Pro.
Vimeo Pro allows me to restrict video to only be playable on my own domain, customize the playback options, and overall, allows me to make the videos appear exactly the way I want them on my pages.
- Adobe Premiere CC, for editing video.
- Adobe Audition CC，用于高级音频编辑（必要时）。
- Adobe Photoshop和Illustrator，用于图形编辑 /创建。
- Adobe Acrobat, for working with PDFs.
Cheaper alternatives include Vegas movie studio for video, Audacity for audio, and GIMP for photo editing.
Education is something I still invest very heavily in, as I believe it gives a higher ROI than anything else available for purchase. I spend as much time as possible each month consuming new information, and thinking about how I can use that to build my businesses and improve my life.
Needless to say, this saves a ton of time each week and allows me to quickly find the articles I’m actually interested in reading, without having to check a ton of websites out each week.
Pocket Casts is my podcast player of choice, as it improves in many ways over the default podcast player that comes with iPhones.
Additionally, their web player is so much easier to use than iTunes, and includes numerous other features – my favorite being playback speed control.
The two apps sync flawlessly with each other and it’s just overall, a better solution in every way over the default apps.
我loveaudiobooks, which makes an Audible subscription well-worth it for me. Currently, I’m signed up to their 2 credit / month plan, but still buy extra credits if I’m able to go through the books quick enough to warrant more.
Audiobooks are great because you can listen to them while you do other things, such as driving, exercising, or even playing video games. It completely eliminates the ‘I don’t have time to read’ excuse and there truly is a fantastic selection of books to choose from each month.
For courses on popular topics, I recommend Udemy, as the prices are unbeatable – the site runs $10 sales all the time.
Through Udemy, I’ve learned skills such as:
- Computer programming
- Adobe CC applications – Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Premiere
- And much more!
Udemy really shines with courses on these massively large topics, that have a very large base of potential buyers.
这是因为它是一个市场，这使其具有固有的竞争力 - 顶级讲师构成了收入的大部分，因此顶级教练会尽力使他们的课程最好。我只为其中的许多人支付10美元而感到内gui！
That being said, Udemy isn’t always the best place for more specialized courses, that may have a lower buyer pool. This is because it’s not really worth it for instructors to make great courses there when they only make $5 a student.
Udemy also has a lot of other restrictions for instructors, which is why I’ve chosen not to make Udemy the primary home for my courses.
我periodically go back through my own courses to reinforce all of the information and think about it in new ways.
This also gives me an opportunity to see if anything has become outdated, and immediately update the course accordingly.
Additionally, going back through my courses allows me to spark up ideas for new lectures that I may not have thought about the first time around.
Consider going back through the content you’ve put out – you can truly learn a lot from it!
Microsoft Office Suite
You probably already know what Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are. The reason I pay for a subscription to these is that theyaremuch more powerful than their free counter-parts. Especially Excel.
Sometimes when power isn’t an issue and I need to collaborate on documents with multiple people, I use Google Drive, and Google’s set of office tools.
These have the added benefit of being automatically stored in the cloud and accessible from anywhere.
我f you’re unfamiliar with Dropbox, it allows you to share files seamlessly by putting them in a specific folder on your PC (or by uploading them through their website.)
Similar to the way I use Google Drive, my team and I occasionally use Canva for quick graphics work, as long as the work is simple.
画布没有那么强大的Photoshop,但是it’s quick and easy to use, and for small graphics, it’s more than enough!
As entrepreneurs and business owners, it’s very important to practice proper password security.
Best of all, the free plan will work for most people!
Finally, Bench Accounting handles most of the bookkeeping work for my companies.
Because our accounting needs are not particularly complex, Bench is able to handle everything with ease and take the headaches of this off of my mind.
我n the meantime, they take care of everything you’d want out of a bookkeeper – categorizing your transactions, preparing reports and financial documents, as well as tax documents at the end of the year.
我f you want to outsource your bookkeeping to a team of professionals, I highly recommend checking them out!
我hope you have found this list of tools and resources helpful.
Remember, these are only tools I’m actually using at this very moment, and may not be a complete list of everything I’ve tried and recommend.
Additionally, this list will be updated over time as the tools and resources I use change. Going forward, I will archive everything I’m no longer using, when these changes do occur.
– James McAllister