Welcome readers of The Entrepreneur’s Tech-Free Guide to Create a Web Site for Your Side Hustle and Build an Online Presence for your Business. As promised, I have a listing of all of the website resources, with links to help you find them.
In case you didn’t link over here from my book or eBook, The Entrepreneur’s Tech-Free Guide to Create a Web Site for Your Side Hustle and Build an Online Presence for your Business is a book written by me, Kimberly Eddy. The book was written based on my experience creating and configuring websites for clients over the last fifteen years.
Below you’ll find the resources mentioned in my book, with links so you can find them more easily.
Clear as Mud?
My goal in writing my book was to be as helpful as possible for anyone considering taking their side hustle online. If there was anything you didn’t feel was explained clearly enough, please let me know so I can improve upon my book.
I want this to be a help to solopreneurs like you! Thanks
Resources for Market Research
The easiest way to conduct a little Market Research is with Typeform, which is a freemium service. I like to use Typeform’s free version to create easy to use polls to test my ideas with my target audience.
You can also use services like Google Forms, which are also free.
Google Analytics helps with market research by showing you the patterns of traffic coming to your website. Google Analytics lets you look at the behavior of your visitors as they come to your website, and what they do once they get there.
Resources for Content Creation
When writing, here are some tools that make the job a little bit easier.
Evernote App is great for writing on the go and organizing your ideas. Evernote works across different platforms, meaning you can work on the go and then work at home, with access to all of your content.
Hemingway App is an app that grades my writing to make sure it’s easy to read. We want our content to be easily understood, right? I don’t always take all of Hemingway’s advice, but I find it helpful to tighten up my posts.
Grammarly is an app that has paid or free options. It works as a spell checker and grammar checker. Grammarly can also check for plagiarism.
Google Drive is also an easy way to create and store content on the go.
When it comes to managing my time when creating content or doing any other sort of work, I use Pomodone. This app works with the Pomodoro method of time management (working in 20 minute bursts then taking a 5 minute break), and it syncs with Evernote.
Resources for Domain Names and Web Hosting (and More)
I currently recommend Namecheap for web hosting packages and domain names. They are affordable, reliable, easy to use, and their support has been top notch. Use my affiliate link here, and I’ll earn a small commission, and be thankful to you.
In the past, Hostgator has been pretty great too, but Namecheap is still the most affordable option I’ve found.
Resources for SEO and Keyword Research
In my book, I talk about the importance of finding the best keywords you can use in the content of your website. This will help your target audience find you easier. As I mentioned, there are many great resources to make this easier. Here they are:
Google Keyword Research Tool is designed to help you research keywords for buy ads. It can still work for content keywords too, of course. It takes a little more work to use it, but it’s free. Free is good. 🙂
I prefer to use a paid tool called Longtail Pro. You can read more about how it helps me here.
Google’s Webmaster tools can be helpful as well. Google wants good content for the internet and wants to help website owners like you achieve this. Their webmaster tools will also alert you to errors on your website. Google has also created this handy, detailed guide to SEO, which they keep up to date with changes in their practices and algorithm.
Because of the broad scope of SEO and search engine marketing, I was only able to touch on it briefly in my book. If you’d like to learn more in more detail, there are some great courses available at Udemy.
Advertising on Your Website
Here are links to some of the advertising and affiliate programs I’ve used in the past.
Google AdSense is a great way to get started with Ads on your website. You’ll need a Google account, and from there Google will walk you through the process.
Take the ad code and paste it into your theme or have a web developer do it for you.
Like Share a Sale, Rakuten Marketing (LinkShare) is an affiliate program with hundreds of merchants you can promote for a small commission.
You can earn a small commission by promoting products on Zazzle too. Zazzle is a print on demand marketplace with hundreds of products that can be customized.
You can also make a small commission per sale by promoting products on Amazon.com.
Recommended WordPress Plugins
When using WordPress some Plugins (free or paid) can help you extend the functionality of your site. These Plugins add to what WordPress already does for you by customizing your site’s capabilities.
There are Plug-ins that do pretty much everything for WordPress, and most of them are free. Yay! You can browse plugins over at WordPress.org. Just make sure you find plugins that has been updated fairly recently (so that it isn’t “orphaned”, and has good reviews from other users. All of these plugins are user-submitted, so they are not all equally helpful or easy to use for a non-techie.
So, this is just a brief overview of the ones I have either used personally or have used for clients whose WordPress site’s I’ve configured. The easiest way to install them is to search them by name in your WordPress dashboard under plugins > add new, then click “install” and “activate”.
The JetPack plugin helps you to more easily link your social media, google analytics, and search engine webmaster accounts to your site all in one place. It also provides an attractive “related posts” feature at the bottom of your posts.
One of the things Google wants website owners to do is submit a sitemap to them. This handy free plugin will automatically generate a sitemap for you. The sitemap can also help visitors find things easier.
This plugin makes it easy for your readers to contact you. It’s also easier for you to customize your forms to meet your needs. There are additional related plugins that allow Contact Form 7 to work with newsletter signup forms like MailChimp.
Yoast SEO is the main plugin used by WordPress users to help them streamline their SEO for their sites. Yoast is pretty easy to use and helps me remember different steps to take to optimize each post and page for the best possible search engine rank, helping people find me easier.
BCTT lets you easily create “tweetable” content for you or readers to share on Twitter right from your site. This way you are offering the content of your choice, as a short quote, for your readers to tweet to their followers. Additionally, the BCTT boxes help break up large blocks of text, making your content more readable.
Nelio Content is the only plug-in I use the paid version of, although the free version is also helpful. With Nelio, I can schedule social media shares across many platforms, as I write and publish my content.
WooCommerce is a free e-commerce/Shopping Cart plugin for WordPress which allows you to sell anything beautifully. There are over 20 pages of additional plugins that also expand the function of WooCommerce, allowing it to function with different payment gateways, set up an affiliate program, and more. When using WooCommerce, find a WordPress theme that notes that it works well with WooCommerce if you’re not experienced with customizing a theme.
Stock Image and Image Editing Website Resources
The right image can make a huge difference on your website. Here are some mostly free resources that are easy to use and helpful to solopreneurs.
Unsplash has thousands of FREE stock images that you can use as long as you give photo credits when using it. I appreciate all of these talented people sharing their photos.
Creative Market has all sorts of graphic artwork, icons, backgrounds, patterns, printables, and more. This is also a great place to sell your stuff. Every week, there are freebies available (see banner in my sidebar –>)
Free Images is like Unsplash. I’m not as crazy about their images but they have been around longer. I have found some gems on there.
Iconsepedia has free icons and icon packs you can use for your project, if needed.
Canva is an image editing software and app that many bloggers swear by. Disclosure: I use Adobe PhotoShop as I’m a graphic designer, but Canva does seem to do a good job for free. There’s a paid version too, as well as mobile apps.
Google Snapseed is a free Android app for editing your photos on your smartphone. I used this often, and enjoy many of the presets. It works similar to PhotoShop but with fewer extras.
A Color Story is an app for iOS and Android that also edits your photos on your smartphone. This is a free app with paid extras (filters, textures, and tools). I flop between Color Story and Snapseed based on what I need for the photo I’m editing. They are both flexible and hey, FREE! Woot!
Can I Help You Get Started?
I provide some very affordable packages to get solopreneurs and side hustlers started online with their own website and other graphic design needs.
These packages include:
- Logo Design Services
- No-Obligation Consultation with me about your project, to help you figure out what you need (and don’t need)
- Basic Installation and Configuration of WordPress
- More Advanced Configuration of a WordPress Website
- Custom Website Design
- E-Commerce and Shopping Cart Set Up and Configuration
Other Helps for Solopreneurs
When creating an online business, here are some other resources that I’ve found useful. These aren’t just website resources, but more general resources.
The first of these is QuickBooks Self Employed for accounting. If you used to use the older version of this, it was awful. I freely admit it. Unless you had a degree in accounting and bookkeeping, you were probably as lost as I was. No more. The new version is flat out awesome. It automatically records all transactions by syncing with my bank account, then I can edit the transaction to categorize it properly. After a while, it uses my past actions to automatically label transactions. So easy. Finally, it seamlessly imports everything into Turbo Tax for tax time. Easy peasy.
Square is an app and service that can be used as a merchant account. A small device plugs into your smartphone or tablet to scan credit cards in person, and payments can also be made online. I’ve used this at art shows and when selling services in person.
Paypal is one of the easiest ways to pay and be paid online. There are also various merchant account options available with Paypal too, so you can accept credit cards on your website without Paypal branding associated with the transaction. This is helpful if you run into customers who hate Paypal.
Next up, if you do anything on your website or in your business that requires the use of tech support or customer service, you may want to try out Fresh Desk .
If you need to hire out for small tasks (known as “gigs”), Fiverr has oodles of freelancers at your service for pretty much any kind of gig imaginable. All gigs start at just $5, thus the name. My recommendation: read reviews first 🙂
Google Fonts has many great free fonts that can be used on your local computer or on your website easily.
Here are some affordable courses you may find helpful when starting an Online Side Hustle
Note, with Udemy courses, most of these will go on sale a few times a year.
The Complete Digital Marketing Course
2018 Complete SEO Bootcamp
SEO Training 2018
Get Free Traffic to Your Website with SEO