Resources & Tools | Mark Of Approval Web & Marketing

Resources & Tools

WordPress Page Builders

Beaver Builder – This is my all time favourite page builder. Admittedly it has lost popularity over the years due to competition but I still find it strong, robust and user friendly.

Elementor – The new kid on the block of page builders. Elementor is open source and the free version provides a lot more value than the free version of Beaver. However, I would suggest going the paid version if you are developing websites for a living.

Divi – I don’t dislike Divi but I can’t say I’m a fan of using it as a theme. Still, the page builder component (also available as a plugin) is a favourite among Virtual Assistance because of its user experience and speed of drag n drop.

WordPress Themes

Astra – this is currently my favourite theme because it’s flexible enough for non-coders, like my clients, to make changes to fonts and styles. It also works extremely well with page builders including the 3 mentioned above + makes for an excellent ecommerce theme.

Genesis – I used to love Genesis and it will always have a place in my heart. But honestly it takes more programming knowledge to manipulate and thus takes longer to customise. Still, I dig the fact you don’t need a license key to update it.

OceanWP – I tried out this theme after hearing lots about it. It seems to have a similar approach to Astra in that it’s great and friendly with page builders. You do have to optin to get the free version – in my experience anyway – but it’s worth checking out as its free to start.

GeneratePress – Yet another great theme that has built in support for page builders like Beaver Builder. I haven’t used it for a while but you can check it out in the WP repository.

PLR

If you are looking to create an online course who find inspiration for your content marketing, why not start with Private Label Rights content. You can license someone else’s words as your own.

Unfortunately, quality PLR isn’t always easy to find so I’m giving you my shortlist.

Content Sparks – Doesn’t have a membership but sells premier content packages individually. Not the cheapest but really well researched content with an almost academic flavour on marketing, sales and business.

Coach Glue – Great quality content skewed towards service based providers, consultants and coaches. They also offer a VIP for access to all you can download for a year.

Earncome – I love this PLR. It is targeted more towards the digital marketer’s space and uses language traditionally associated with internet marketing. Teaches great strategies and systems for making money online.

Services

Getting help online is important if you want your business to grow. While it’s fine to start out as a one man team in the beginning, you’ll soon become overwhelmed.

My suggestion is to hire a VA if not for a few hours a month. Here are some places you can go to find Virtual Assisants or other freelancers.

VA Networking – This network is owned by Tawnya Sutherland and is the largest one around. Tawnya is a good friend of mine and has helped both VAs and those running online businesses. You can post a job to her board here.

Kat Birkett – Kat is the queen of organisation and has become an integral part of my community. She offers a great deal of services but particularly likes working on WordPress Maintenance tasks as well as thorough research and administrative tasks.

Kathy Anderson – Kathy has great attention to detail when it comes to document editing. She is extremely diligent, hard working and flexible. She has helped me create templates for powerpoint and is a Photoshop Wiz.

Erwin Maningat – Erwin currently manages the marketing aspects of my business. He is a wizard when it comes to SEO and video marketing and has been able to rank his clients sites in such a way that they remain ranked after years of algorithm changes.

Andrea Schloeder Williams – Andrea was one of my first VAs and helped me get a clearer vision for my own business with her consultancy services. She is currently offering website tweaking services such as adding content. She tracks her time in exact minute increments which is really cool!

Software, Tools and SaaS Solutions

Every business will need to invest in tools at some stage. While most of these tools are going to a subscription based, SaaS models; they are well worth the ROI if you keep up to date with them.

Here are a few I recommend:

Canva – This is a free tool but I used the paid version. The paid version allows me to have branding boards and magically resize my images in additional to downloading transparent backgrounds.

I love Canva for its premade designs. This tool has revolutionised the way we create banners, logos, ebook covers and a lot of other graphical stuff. It has so many professional templates which you just need to tweak.

Stock Unlimited – If you are looking for affordable images, look no further than Stock Unlimited. Although most of these images are business by nature; they are sharp and eye catching.

Dropbox – A well known cloud based storage service for keeping your files safe, uploading huge files and sharing them via a generated link. Did you also know with Dropbox that you can request files using an upload form? How neat is that!

OneDrive – Microsoft Office comes in a nice package which also allows for cloud storage. The storage may not be as sophisticated as dropbox, but you get the Office Suite with it for under $15 a month.

GSuite – It’s true you can get a free “Google Drive” for storage, sharing and collaboration. And I absolutley love it. But for about $12 a month, you can also get unlimited cloud storage plus access to Google’s apps, including advanced Calendar options.

I use GSuite to connect my business email to GMail which is a really cool webmail system with fast searching and filtering of emails. I also like using Google Drive to share and authorise access to documents among my team.

Asana – I use the free version but there is an upgrade available. The free version is still quite powerful for a project management system. It’s also very simple compared to others like TeamWork and Basecamp and has an intuitive interface.

Active Campaign – I use AC as my preferred autoresponder. It has useful automation rules and doesn’t charge you multiple times per subscriber per list. It’s a great deal for both starting out when building your list as well as scaling it.

Website Stuff

Siteground – Siteground has great hosting options. There’s a bit of a catch in that it’s affordable for the first payment then it triples for every other payment after that. But you will be hard pressed to find a better balance between quality hosting (managed WordPress) and price.

Namecheap – This is where I grab all my domain names from. I like to keep my domain registrations separate from my hosting company but you can also use Siteground for this. Namecheap isn’t necessarily the cheapest but doesn’t have hidden costs or deploy heavy upsell marketing tactics.

Training Programs

I don’t do as much learning these days as I did in the beginning. Still there will be a training program that will come across my desk that I’ll check out. I’m going to recommend a few to you that I know to be good quality because I’ve taken them.

Digital Marketer – This eye opening training center for Digital Marketers has really opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about how to market online. In fact, they have certification courses as well as elite workshops for a higher price per month.

LinkedIn Learning – This is how I acquired my tech skills online. In early 2004 I started learning through Lynda.com. It is now known as LinkedIn Learning and the course quality continues to amaze. I am not an active member at present but I can vouch for the outcomes and depth of learning. Grab a free trial.

WP Elevation – Troy Dean runs this membership site and its a premium go to training for those wanting to go from low paid website builders to high paid WordPress consultants.

UGurus – Brent Weaver owns UGurus. It’s an extremely high quality training at a premium cost but well worth it. It will teach you how to position yourself in order to sell high ticket websites.

LeanStack – If you are starting a new business or trying to picture your business at a higher level without creating a marketing plan; check out the Lean Canvas. This is a quick and free guide to get started with your business concept and validation. Beats creating a heavy business plan when you can’t see the future yet.

Coaches

Yes, there comes a point in every business owners life when they need a coach. Coaches can help you see things clearer or offer a different perspective. They can also guide you into places they have experience with, but is new ground for you.

Nicole Dean – Nicole is an excellent coach and works with both services providers online as well as other coaches. She is particularly adept at helping people monetise broken parts of their business as well as getting clear on what steps you should take next.

Susan O’Dea – Susan is a fellow Australian and in the same business of selling websites as I am. She took me on as one of her proteges and helped me understand the industry better. I was able to acquire a new client alone just through her advice on tweaking my website.

Justin Popovic – Originally I was in Justin’s circle of proteges when I was first starting out. I don’t believe Justin does much coaching these days but he’s patient, very knowledgeable and one of the few “internet marketing” niched coaches I know who keeps it authentic and real.

Angela Wills – Angela’s specialty is helping others create residual recurring income. She gave me a few suggestions and mindset tweaks as well as preached her “Build your list” mantra which holds true for all entrepreneurs.

Note some of these items contain affiliate links. That means if you buy through my link, I get a commission. Hope that’s cool with you! 😉

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