What do You Need To Start An Online Business? 10 Essential Tools You Must Have
Being an Online Entrepreneur can be fun and easy as long as you have the essential tools. But what do you need to start an online business and be successful?
I have been doing this for over a year now and even though it wasn’t always easy, I finally start to see the fruits of my work and the money are starting to come in daily and on a constant flow.
When I first started I didn’t know anything, and it’s not easy to make it without a mentor to guide you through the steps.
Feeling confident that I gained a lot of experience, today I want to share with you what do you need to start an online business and hopefully help you achieve your goals and dreams like I did mine.
In this post I have listed 10 essentials tools that I believe anyone should have if you want your online business to succeed, – whether you are a blogger or a website owner or you have your online shop or are an affiliate marketer – if you are serious about your venture and you want to make it your main source of income, many of these tools are indispensable.
Why Do I need These Tools?
Like with every business you start, you always need a set of tools to achieve the purpose you set out to do.
If you are a carpenter you will need tools, and if you are a plumber you will need others, so running a business online is no exception.
Make no mistake having the right set is essential if you want to achieve success more efficiently.
The list I prepared is made on tools I have used and I am currently using; I have tested them so my opinion is based on my own experience on them.
Some are available completely free and some come with free trials while some others do require an investment.
I will leave the link to Access all the tools and you are free to test them and see what you think.
I will also underline which of the tools are free so that you don’t have to spend any money, since, at the beggining, we don’t always have a big budget at hand.
Anyway, I hope this will be helpful and it might get you a step closer to where you want to be.
No Money To Spend?
When you first begin a new business, especially online, people are very careful where they are going to put their money into.
There are plenty of scams out there that makes you wanna be extra careful.
I was the same and if I could, most of the time I would try any free offer or anything that was allowing me a free trial before signing up.
To this day ( must be my being a mom thing) I try to use as much as I can, free tools.
However, I have to say, there are also things I have invested money into and when you are serious about a business you will eventually have to do so.
But I always try to keep it a minimum
The 10 essential tools I am going to list here are mostly free or offer the free trial option. None of them is expensive tools.
I don’t think when you begin your venture, you are ready to spend the big money and I know that you will want to get a feel of the business before your mindset is ready to properly dive in
Getting started tools
One of the first things I learned with Wealthy Affiliate University, which is the course I took to start my online venture and learned all I needed to become a successful entrepreneur, was that to succeed online you always need:
- A way to connect with your future clients in the form of a website
- You need to be able (unless you are already an expert – to follow the step, tutorials and training of someone that can guide you in the right direction
- A tool to help you in the research for the right keywords that will play an important part in the SEO of your website
- The right Niche on which you will base the development of your entire business
- Commitment and perseverance in developing your skills and your future career
Nothing will happen if you lack any of those things, and I will probably underline the last one the most, because you can have the best website builder or the perfect niche and the right keyword search tool but if you lack the commitment on your side and understand that things will not happen overnight then you might as well find another way to make a living and not online.
I am not saying there are not some exceptions to the rule, where you have had individuals that did reach great success in a very short space of time, but I still have to meet one in person, and even the ones I happen to know that are really successful entrepreneurs online and are literally making 6 figures income on a monthly basis, they did not make it in a month or two, they worked for it, persevered with it until their goals were reached and now are enjoying the fruits of that work.
No, I am not trying to put you off from following your dreams; I have achieved mines, on the contrary, I am just trying to give you a clear and real picture of how things are in reality.
Tool Number 1 The Website and Hosting platform – FREE OPTION
To keep in touch with your customer base you need a website and a hosting platform to rely on for your site.
Whether you have a blog or an online shop or any other type of website we all need a platform to build it and a host to go live online.
Since the beginning, I have used SiteRubix.
With SiteRubix I had both website hosting and website building services in one platform which made everything easier for me especially since I was new to the whole procedure.
SiteRubix lets you build in a matter of a few minutes your own website by choosing a template ( there are many to choose from ) and with a few clicks and zero knowledge of CSS or Coding
Besides Siterubix, you can find many other web hosting companies but the reason I went with them is, they have a fantastic support team and every single time I run into a problem I email them and in a matter of 30 minutes tops they have answered me with a solution.
Siterubix also offers some excellent Free Tools which are aimed to make your own site work well and the tools in questions are Site Speed, Site SSL, and Site Protection.
So you don’t only have a website, but the website should run at an optimized speed with all the security codes and safe for your future clients as well.
Tool number 2: The Training -FREE STARTER PACK (IDEAL FOR NEWBIE)
Now assuming that you are like me and have never done this before knowing how to properly work the online business can be a hard thing to crack on your own.
You could waste a lot of time and money trying to succeed with no direction to follow, so that’s why I feel the training is the second most important/crucial tool to have if you want to seriously succeed
After many various attempts and wrong choices, a little over a year ago I stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate Platform and that’s where I learned everything I needed to launch my business and be successful online.
(a little note here, I feel is required: Yes I am promoting Wealthy Affiliate, I am actually an affiliate of their program and part of my making money online comes from them as well. If you want to try their Basic Starter Pack, it is free, if you ever decide you want to have more, I would make a commission but my promoting them comes from a complete belief in a system and community that have not failed me in delivering what they said they would and that is my only reason why I am completely at ease in vouching for them and recommending them to other people)
Why did I go with them?
Well, first of all, I did tons of researches, and read opinions about them and I couldn’t find anything really negative plus they were, (still are) offering the possibility to Sign Up with a Basic Starter Pack for Free without having even to put a Credit Card down.
I guess I liked that; I had become so sceptical about everything that even the thought of putting my details down somewhere was not really something I was looking forward to.
But I have to be honest, it wasn’t just the Free Starter Pack that got my attention, Wealthy Affiliate offered much much more.
- The training was exactly what I needed, a Step-by-step Training ideal for someone that had never done this before
- All the tools needed to launch a business were included in the platform so I did not have to buy some extra hosting somewhere else, or a website builder from another Company or even a keyword search tool.
Everything is within the WA platform and even the Basic Starter Pack includes that
- I can’t forget to mention the Fantastic Community that is behind WA and that makes the platform so special and different from others. I have experienced first hand the support ( not just the technical support which is great) but the emotional support we all need one time or another to keep us going that extra mile, to not give up when things aren’t going like you want them to go, to continue to pursue your dream.
It might not be technical, but this type of support is as important as the first one. Knowing that you are not alone in the journey makes a huge difference in how far you are going to get.
Tool number 3: the Keyword Research – FREE TRIAL
Part of being successful with your website and build a solid foundation for the business is making sure that Search Engines like Google will be able not only to see your site but to promote it on the first page.
How do you do that?
Well, it’s not easy to get to the top and it takes some time an effort but remembers being at the top means a lot of organic traffic which at the end is free traffic for your site without any need to spend any money in advertising.
That’s when the keyword tools become important.
Finding the right keyword to be able to beat the competition or go around it and find your Little spot in the top pages, that’s what everyone wants and that’s why you need to use a keyword search tool
I use Jaaxi, that is another tool within the WA Platform, so once again no need to spend extra money somewhere else because the tool is already there in the program and you have access to 30 free research for keywords in the Basic Starter Pack that is free.
After that, if you want to use Jaaxi you would have to upgrade to the Premium Membership of WA which is still very very reasonable considering all the material that you get with the Upgrade and there are no more Upsells or extra surprises.
Now if you are not ready or don’t want to upgrade there are also some excellent free alternatives that you can use for your keyword research and one of them is Google Keyword Planner
Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool offered by Google; all you need to do to use it is create a Google account to sign up for Goggle AdSense and you will find Google Keyword Planner within Google AdSense.
Besides the fact that it is free, it is also a very accurate tool but the numbers shown are not as detailed as you would find in Jaaxi.
Tool number 4: The Niche
The Niche is at the base of your business.
You can receive all the training you want and have the best website site and hosting program you can find but ultimately everything would be empty if it wasn’t for your Niche.
My suggestion here is to find something you are truly passionate about, make that passion your business, find an angle where you can turn that love for dogs, or yoga, or cars, or paintings and make it into your own profitable business.
No one can tell you what should be your niche and no one will know better that you what you want the next chapter of your life and your business to be all about.
If you decide to write a blog, write a blog about what you know, what you love what you would like to share and even a Blog is a fantastic way to make an income.
If you have your own products to sell it’s even better or if you have a service that you want to offer is also great.
Even if you have nothing to sell and no products to advertise or to monetize with, you can always find and use relevant affiliate products to promote on your website.
Products that are relevant to your Niche
There are plenty of Affiliate Platforms out there that are free to join and can give you the products that you need to make your site a profitable one.
Amongst the most known platform online for Affiliate Network, you can find
They are all Free to join. Simply create an account with them.
There are many Affiliate programs out there, all you need to do to find one is type, in your search browser “products+affiliate and that should bring up a lot of affiliate options for you to join
Some will ask to review your site before you are accepted, some will accept you automatically.
My suggestion is not too rush in signing up for many but build your site first before you apply for any of them or you run the risk of being declined.
Tool Number 5: Google Analytics – FREE
Google is the main search engine in the world. If you want to be seen, get ranked well and get huge organic traffic to your website, you must first understand what Google wants from you.
Google gives you some free tools to use in order for you to develop your site and understand what direction you need to take. One of these tools is Google Analytics.
When you use Google Analytics you can track all the useful information and statistics regarding your website.
It can help you see if what you are doing is really working, if your audience visits your site, if they stay and read some of your posts or if they click off after less than a minute.
You can also see what type of devices are mostly used to Access your site, where the majority of the traffic is coming from, the gender and even the age group.
If you are wondering why do you need to know all that, the answer is pretty simple: you need to know in order to see which part of your website is going well, which one is getting no traffic and where you can improve
Tools number 6: Google Search Console – FREE
This is one of the first tools I used from the start.
– Before I forget to mention, in order to use all the Google Tools you only need to sign up once and use one account for all of them –
With this tool is Google getting help in understanding your website.
Google needs to understand your website first before they can index and rank your pages at suitable places and rankings.
As we know in order to get Organic Traffic we need to be on the first page of Google and to do that Google needs to understand our site. Through Google Search Console you can submit automatically Sitemaps of your website, check for errors on your pages, submit new URLs, all part of your getting ranked process.
I know a lot of this stuff seems really complicated but, trust me, it’s not; WA gives a wonderful tutorial about each step making the tasks easy to perform.
So, if you are not using Google Search Console, it’s definitely a lot harder for Google to understand your site and give your site decent attention .
Tool number 7 Google AdSense – FREE
I am pretty sure you have come across before sites that had different advertising on their pages. If you have ever clicked on one of those adverts, someone, somewhere around the world has made some money.
That’s what Google AdSense is all about. It allows you to monetize your site by advertising on your website pages and having people clicking on your adverts if they are interested in what they see.
Please, thou, don’t get too excited because the amount is very small if you don’t have huge traffic you’re only paid a few cents per each click.
Now if your traffic is huge, then that’s a totally different story and you can certainly make quite an income from it.
Like some of the Affiliate Programs even Google AdSense will want to approve your site before they start putting ads on your pages, so build your content and mostly offer content with value if you want AdSense to even consider you as a form of advertising
Tool number 8 Free Stock Images – FREE
The look of a website is important and part of the appeal of a page or a post is determined by the images you are using.
Remember the old saying a picture is worth a thousand words? So images are a must for your site to be inviting unless you are creating an encyclopedia but even then some photos áre still a good idea.
Now, here you have to be careful because many photos online are actually copyrighted and you need to buy the right to use them.
Luckily you have also images that are Free, these are called “Free Stock Images”. And you can do with them whatever you want without the need to spend any money.
What I tend to use most are images from
You can find some excellent images in any of these sites and they are all free to use without restrictions.
Of course, there are many other sites with wonderful photos out there. I am sure you heard of
Just to name a few, but be careful these are not Free Stock Images, these are Royalty-Free Images which means there is a price to pay in order for you to use them
Tool number 9 Canva – FREE
THIS IS WITH NO DOUBT ONE OF MY FAVORITE TOOLS. I SIMPLY ENJOY USING IT
Besides being fun, Canva is a great FREE graphic design tool which allows you to create your own graphics for your website and Social Media Posts.
It’s extremely easy to use and even thou there are some features that are for the PRO level and do require payment I have never paid for anything done with Canva and I have created really cool blog posters, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest images. What I love about Canva is that it gives you the exact image size you will need for each individual Social Media, so you never have to guess and the image created is always perfect.
Tool number 10 Crowdfire – FREE WITH SUBSCRIPTION OPTION
I don’t know about you but Social Media has always been one of the things I really hate to do. Not so much the scrolling through posts and likes and comments but more on posting side of stuff. Remember to post here, and there, checking if the post is gone through, see who follows, unfollows you, send you any requests and so on…sometimes I just get lost in it.
Crowdfire is a tool to help you manage and grow your social media accounts making the job easier for you
Some people use Hootsuite for scheduling their social media posts but Crowdfire does more than just scheduling. It actually helps you sort out what content to Like/Share and who to follow/unfollow simply by analyzing your accounts and your settings.
They do offer two options a Free version and a paid one, paying $9.99 per month.
Do you need anything else?
At first, you will feel like you never have enough and there is always something else that could be useful.
Truth is, there are many things you could get but start with the basic and move forward at your own pace
There are many things that you will find useful for your site and others that you will get and later on leave aside because they don’t suit the purpose or you simply found something better.
An Email Autoresponder provider will be eventually something you will need to get and there are many on the market today with AWeber being one of the most common and popular ones.
Personally, I’ve used MailChimp and AWeber
I liked Mailchimp at the beginning because they offer a Free option ideal for beginners to try things out.
If you’re a little bit more experienced, you will need a more advanced ESP and AWeber is a decent tool that is enough for most bloggers and marketers.
And to finish our list, for now, a Plugin: YASR
Is a plugin I see almost like a toy, fantastic tool when you want to write a review of a specific product
YASR allows you to add rating stars into the review but what’s more important it tells Google that this is a review page.
The benefit of this is that it can potentially improve your rankings in Google.
So there you have it, a first glimpse of what you will need to get your business online started.
I know what you are thinking: do I really want to do this?
Let me tell you for as hard or complicated it might initially look there is an excitement, a joy, a satisfaction when you get that first email saying “Congratulation you made a sale” and it only reinforces the belief that you are doing exactly what you want to do.
Don’t do it because someone else is doing it, don’t do it because they told you, you have to do it, do it if you believe you can, if you have a strong desire to change what you are doing today, right this minute and make your future something better, something you can look back at with love and pride
If you feel like that then: go ahead!
If you’re just starting out online, you can get started at absolutely no cost to you!
Let’s recap what you are going to need:
- First a Website
- Second Training & Support
- Keyword Research Tool
- A Niche
The last two things are on you, the first three you can get today by joining the Free Starter Pack the way I did with WA.
What you will get by Registering is :
A FREE Subdomain Website (SiteRubix)
FREE Starter Membership at Wealthy Affiliate
Keyword Tool provided in Wealthy Affiliate Membership
Access to the first course of basic training offered by WA
Remember Inaction will lead you to failure