First -- What's Your Platform?

Attention Newbies: If you're just getting started -- then read this before scrolling! It will drastically simplify all the different tools you're about to see...

The first step in launching your business is choosing the right platform...


Your platform is the foundational infrastructure that runs your business. Platforms are a big reason why it's constantly becoming cheaper & easier for new entrepreneurs to find success. So picking the right one is important!


You've probably heard of many different platforms already: WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify, BigCommerce - there's a ton of these things popping up. And it can be confusing when you're getting started...


So let me simplify. Here's the platform you'll want to use for your specific situation - 

  1. Amazon: Do you want to start selling on Amazon? Then Amazon will be your platform.
  2. Shopify: Do you want to start your own ecommerce store? Then Shopify will be your platform.
  3. WordPress: Starting any other business that needs a website? Then WordPress will be your platform.

While platforms like Wix & SquareSpace are easier to learn, you'll quickly become frustrated by the lack of power and flexibility as your business starts to grow. So stick with WordPress or Shopify -- or ignore both of them (for now) if you're starting an Amazon business...


Once you know the platform your business will launch on -- scroll down and find the best tools for the job!

Selling On Amazon

Product Research & Selection

Use these tools to identify profitable products you can source & launch on Amazon

(Or check out my full guide on Amazon Product Research & Selection)

Freemium Version

Helium10 X-Ray

Use this free chrome extension to view historical sales & pricing graphs directly inside Amazon product listings. Also provides free listing analysis, profitability calculator, and more!

15% Off for Life
STARTUPBROS

Market Intelligence

The most accurate and data-rich Amazon Product Research tool -- used to quickly identify the most profitable or fastest growing products you can launch (among many other things).

Up to 30% Off
Use Secret Link

JungleScout

Slightly cheaper alternative to Market Intelligence that provides you with similar data & insights. Perfect for newbies on a lower budget (but you should upgrade eventually).

Keyword Research & Rank Tracking

Use these tools to identify profitable keywords (search terms) to target with your listing & marketing

(Want to know more about Amazon keyword research? Check out this guide)

15% Off for Life
STARTUPBROS

Keyword Research

Optimize your product to sell using the search terms & keywords your target customers are using to buy on Amazon. Best option for newbies launching their first product on a budget.

10% Off for Life
STARTUPBROS

Helium10

Use this suite of keyword research tools to expand your keyword research and find new opportunities. You can also reverse-engineer your competitor's current keyword ranking strategy.

20% Off for Life
BROS

Seller.Tools

The most accurate keyword research & rank tracking tool. Use this to track the actual search ranking for your products on Amazon, and also cross-reference keyword data from other tools.

Amazon Listing Creation & Optimization

Use these tools to craft the perfect product listing before launching your product

20% Off
stubr20

SnapUPC

You'll need a new GS1-Certified UPC Code for each new product you launch on Amazon. SnapUPC has been my main source for years!

50% Off Your First Poll
STARTUPBROS

PickFu

Run listing optimization split tests off Amazon (or before you launch). Quickly poll your target customers to optimize packaging, images, and more.

25% Off First Month
Use Secret Link

Splitly

Use this to run split tests and tweak your product's price, sales copy, and images to drive higher conversion rates and more sales.

25% Off for Life
AMZBRO25

AMZ Alert

Use this to monitor & protect your successful listings from hijackers, blackhatters, and infringement. Even sends automatic Cease & Desists!

10% Off
STARTUP48

Kenji ROI

Get high-converting product photography & sales imagery engineered to win on Amazon. Best for newbies and those on a budget.

Results Imagery

Highest quality product photography - however, you will need a graphic designer to turn it high-converting Amazon sales imagery.

EcomVids

Affordable product videos & commercials designed to increase sales. Perfect for adding video to an already successful product listing.

Marketing Words

Provides the highest quality & best performing Amazon copywriting services (your product title, description, bullet points, etc).

Data & Analytics Tools

Make sense of your Amazon traffic & sales data with these tools.

20% Off
Use Secret Link

HelloProfit

Your main Amazon business intelligence tool. View real-time sales and profitability data for each of your products/variations inside a slick interactive dashboard. Gives you the ability to export accurate reports detailing profitability/ROI, fees. payouts, promos/sales, and much more.

Manage By Stats

Business intelligence tool similar to HelloProfit, but with some powerful upgrades for advanced sellers. Allows you to export & append customer data (giving you their email & mailing addresses), lets you send email blasts out to previous customers through the Amazon email system, and much more!

Amazon Feedback Management & Customer Support

Enhance your customer experience & drive great reviews with these tools.

50% Off First Month
Use Secret Link

FeedbackWhiz

Most powerful feedback follow-up tool. Use this to send automated emails to your Amazon customers and drive more reviews.

20% Off for Life
startup20

Feedback Genius

The original Amazon feedback follow-up tool. Not as powerful, but the right choice if you ONLY need to send follow-up emails.

14-Day Free Trial

xSellco eDesk

E-Commerce Help Desk built for multi-channel sellers. Pulls in messages & order data from all different channels (Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc).

21-Day Free Trial

FreshDesk

Cheaper alternative to xSellco, but no native integration (you'll need ChannelReply to integrate your 3rd-party channels).

Product Launches & Giveaways

Use these tools to quickly drive sales & reviews into your Amazon products (grey area of Amazon's TOS).

15% Off
BROS-LAUNCH

Last Launch

Boost your ranking with quick & effective product launch rebates & giveaways. Last Launch keeps your products more private (and drives better results) than most alternatives.

RebateKey

Another battle-tested platform for boosting Amazon sales & ranking through discount product giveaways. Great value, but does leave your products visible to other sellers.

ZonBlast

Most advanced (and expensive) giveaway & rebate service, consistently on the cutting edge. Hands-off, concierge approach to drastically boosting keyword rankings.

Amazon PPC (Sponsored Ads) Tools

Use these to optimize & automate your paid advertising on Amazon.

30-Day Premium Trial
STARTUPBROS

Prestozon

Use this to optimize & automate your Amazon PPC (Sponsored Ads) Campaigns. Allows you to set simple ACoS/bid triggers/rules across campaigns, keeps track of changes you make over time, , and helps you scale up your paid ad campaigns easily & efficiently. Saves you a TON of time!

15% Off for Life
STARTUPBROS

Kinetic PPC

This new Amazon PPC Automation tool is quickly becoming my new favorite. It does everything Prestozon does, but also has some new features that could prove particularly powerful for more advanced sellers (such as dynamic bidding). Best for more advanced sellers (it can be expensive for newbies).

Amazon Landing Pages & Feedback Funnels

Use these tools to quickly launch Amazon-specific coupon & review funnels.

LandingCube

Create landing pages designed specifically to boost your organic sales & ranking. Automatically distributes one-time use coupon codes to customers in exchange for their email.

14-Day Free Trial

AmzPromoter

Another great Amazon landing page builder with slightly different design themes. Includes MWS integration & FB Custom Audience features more advanced sellers may find useful.

20% Off for Life
STARTUPBROS

Pixelfy.me

Whenever you're sending external traffic to your listings or landing pages, use this to pixel each visitor with your retargeting pixel. Not necessary for new sellers, but becomes important as you grow.

Logistics, Inspections & Freight Forwarders

Use these service providers to ensure your inventory makes it from the factory to FBA safely.

Your Factory > Product Inspection > Freight Forwarder Ships > Middleman Warehouse Preps > FBA Warehouse > Your Customer

Free to Compare Rates

FreightOS

Compare freight quotes from hundreds of companies. Even when using your own freight forwarder, FreightOS helps you negotiate better rates.

$100 Off First Shipment
Use Secret Link

FlexPort

Book & track your shipments from an interface similar to FreightOS. Better with FCL shipments sent direct to FBA (for advanced sellers).

Forest Shipping

Full-service freight forwarder & prep/logistics company. Extremely reputable and popular among Amazon Sellers.

WorldCraft Logistics

Full-service freight forwarder & prep/logistics specialized in moving Amazon inventory. Extremely popular among Amazon Sellers.

Qima

You'll need to get your products inspected before it leaves the factory floor. Qima is the largest inspection company in Asia.

V-Trust

More in-depth (and slightly more expensive) inspections in Asia. Worth it for complex products with moving parts or multiple pieces.

10% Off Processing Fees
STARTUPBROS

FBA Inspection

The middleman between your factory & Amazon's warehouses. They'll receive, prepare, and forward your inventory into FBA itself.

River Source

Another great middleman warehouse between your factory & Amazon FBA. Cheaper for higher-volume sellers, but less helpful.

Arbitrage & Flipping

Getting started & building cash with arbitrage & flipping? Use these tools to streamline & grow.

(Check out my guide on Getting Started with Retail Arbitrage)

30-Day Free Trial

InventoryLab

Scan barcodes & find profitable products w/ Scoutify, then list & manage inventory w/ InventoryLab.

$20 Off
STARTUPBROS

RevSeller

Displays critical product info for online arbitrage & flipping directly on Amazon listings.

Extended Free Trial
STARTUPBROS

Tactical Arbitrage

Filter hundreds of online store catalogs & find the arbitrage products that match your criteria.

Extended Free Trial
Use Secret Link

OA X-Ray

Similar to Tactical Arbitrage, but less learning-curve. Finds different opportunities than TA.

14-Day Free Trial

Bqool

Use this Repricer to automatically optimize product prices for arbitrage & wholesale products.

Amazon Finances & Accounting

Pay minimal fees & save money with these services.

Free First Transfer
Use Secret Link

TransferWise

Use this to send wire transfers (not your bank), and also receive Amazon payouts in foreign currencies (to avoid their fees).

OFX

Tends to be cheaper than TransferWise for sending wire transfers over $15,000, so compare transaction fees here before sending!

$500 of Free Transfers
Use Secret Link

Plastiq

Allows you to fund wire transfers & checks from a credit card. Useful for racking up huge amounts of credit card points.

30-Day Free Trial

TaxJar

Drastically simplify your e-commerce sales tax reporting via direct integrations & automated tax filings. Highly recommended!

Other Recommended Tools & Services for Amazon

$50 Free Worker Credits
Use Secret Link

FreeeUp

Hire experienced remote workers & freelancers to outsource parts of your Amazon business.

Trademarks

Use this lawyer to get quick & cheap trademark filings (necessary for Amazon Brand Registry).

SatiSupp

When you're ready to expand into Amazon EU, SatiSupp does it all. Setup, launch & ongoing management!

Thompson & Holt

Use this if your Amazon account is ever suspended for quick & affordable account reinstatement.

10% Off for Life
STARTUPBROS

Refund Genie

Use this to audit your refunds & make sure Amazon doesn't owe you money (included with Helium10).

Building WordPress Websites

Domain Names & Web Hosting

Use these to purchase domain names & web hosting for your websites.

NameCheap

The best tool for all your domain registrations. It's cheap, easy, reliable, and they don't trick you with upsells. I personally buy & hold all my domain names through NameCheap.

70% Off First Year
Use Secret Link

SiteGround

The best web host for beginners. SiteGround is cheap, offers incredible customer support, and can handle traffic spikes once your site starts to grow (unlike BlueHost or HostGator).

3-Months Free
WPE3FREE

WP Engine

My preferred web hosting service for all WordPress sites. Offers premium security & security, and ultra-high performance. Worth it for any money-making WordPress site.

WordPress Design Tools & Themes

Use these to make your WordPress website beautiful & effective.

Marketers Delight

My favorite WordPress Theme for any content-driven website. All my major websites run customized versions of this theme.

Thrive Themes

An entire suite of world-class marketing add-ons (and some great themes). All my websites use their page builder (Thrive Architect).

Divi Theme

The most popular WordPress Theme in the world. It's powerful, well-maintained, and easy to learn. Perfect for beginners.

Free w/ WP Engine

StudioPress

My last recommendation for high-performance WordPress Themes. You get all their themes for free with WP Engine hosting.

WordPress Plugins

Use these to add powerful features to your WordPress site.

Thrive Plugins

We use the Architect, Comments & Headline Optimizer plugins included with Thrive Themes

30% Your First Year
GET30

SocialSnap

Use this to drive more social media backlinks, traffic & engagement via smart social share buttons.

Free

Yoast

Essential SEO plugin for every WordPress site, instantly enabling you to drive more organic traffic.

25MB Free to Start

Imagify

Instantly speed up your website (and get more traffic) w/ automated image compression & optimization.

Extra 20% Off
IMAGIFY20

WP Rocket

Unbelievably powerful speed optimization plugin. Includes lazy loading, caching, pre-loading, and more.

15% Off
WOORKUP

Perfmatters

Use this to disable loading specific scripts on individual pages of your site (to speed them up even MORE).

Free / 14-Day Free Trial

ThirstyAffiliates

Use this affiliate marketing link management plugin to shorten & redirect all your affiliate links.

Extra 25% Off Annual
NOEXCUSES

Podcast Player

Do your visitors need to listen to podcasts directly on your site? This plugin is the best for that (by far)!

LearnDash

Use this to build & manage online courses inside your Wordpress site (the actual module/lesson pages).

Memberium

Manage membership & access settings within Wordpress (great when used with LearnDash).

Order Processing & Checkout Systems

Use these to quickly start accepting customers & processing payments.

Free to Start

Teachable

Quick & easy platform to start selling your online courses fast. MUCH simpler than setting up LearnDash, Memberium, and payment processing systems / checkout pages.

Lifetime License
Use Secret Link

ThriveCart

Use this order processing system to sell your digital products. Gives you high-converting checkout pages and lots more (upsells, subscription management, etc). Lifetime license is a killer deal!

14-Day Free Trial

PayKickstart

More powerful order processing system to sell digital products. Gives you beautiful checkout pages, a fully functioning affiliate program, and tons of flexibility (compared to alternatives).

Building E-Commerce Websites

Platforms to Build Your E-Commerce Store

Use these to build beautiful, high-converting ecommerce websites.

14-Day Free Trial

Shopify

Unbelievably simple platform to launch your ecommerce store. Gives you a beautiful functioning website, the ability to instantly accept payments like the big boys, and tons of useful integrations.

14-Day Free Trial

Zipify Pages

Landing page builder with native Shopify integration, enabling tons of high-converting marketing features you can't get with any other builder. Highly recommended for all Shopify stores.

15-Day Free Trial

BigCommerce

You should probably just use Shopify, but BigCommerce is the only viable alternative. Sometimes necessary for more complex stores with huge catalogs. Check out Shopify first though!

Tools for ALL Websites

Tracking, Analytics & Optimization

Use these to track visitor behavior & give your customers what they want.

Free

Google Analytics

Install this on every website you run to track essential data about who's visiting your site & what they're doing. It's free, easy to set up, and incredibly useful. Your main analytics tool.

Free

HotJar

Visual website analytics gives you creepy-accurate tracking to optimize & make more money. Includes heatmaps, funnel analysis, and even straight-up recordings of visitors using your site.

30-Day Free Trial

Visual Website Optimizer

Next-level A/B Testing & Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Platform. Navigate to any page on your site & drag-and-drop to run proper split tests within minutes. Expensive, but awesome!

SEO & Link Building Tools

Use these to drive more organic traffic from search engines.

7-Day Trial

Ahrefs

The Ultimate All-In-One SEO Tool. Use this to reverse engineer your competitors backlinks, find new opportunities to grow organic traffic, and get detailed SEO analytics.

7-Day Pro Trial

SEMrush

SEMrush was superior at reverse engineering competitors backlinks, but Ahrefs recently released a better tool. SEMrush is still a better research tool when running Paid Search Ads.

15% Off for Life
STARTUPBROS

Ninja Outreach

Use this outreach platform to find influencers & content creators to drive various marketing campaigns (Guest Posts, Podcast Interviews, Link Building, Influencer Mktg, etc).

Landing Page Builders

Use these to build landing pages & marketing funnels.

14-Day Free Trial

Click Funnels

Best landing page & funnel builder for newbies, allowing you to build fully functioning sales funnels fast. Even gives you payment processing, digital product fulfillment, and much more!

14-Day Free Trial
Use Secret Link

Instapage

Dedicated landing page builder with more polished designs than ClickFunnels or LeadPages, but a lot fewer overall features. For more advanced marketers. Worth checking out.

14-Day Free Trial

LeadPages

This was the original landing page builder, but has fallen behind over the past few years. They still have some unique templates that perform well, so worth checking out.

Email Marketing & Marketing Automation

Use these to engage your audience & manage customer relationships.

14-Day Free Trial

ActiveCampaign

Ultimate email marketing, marketing automation, and sales CRM platform. One of my favorites.

14-Day Free Trial

ConvertKit

More lightweight than ActiveCampaign, built for personal brands. Perfect for new content creators.

Free to Start

Klaviyo

Ultimate email marketing & marketing automation tool for Shopify stores (incredible integration).

Free to Start

MailChimp

Lower-budget email marketing for newbies on a budget. Not much automation, no sales CRM. Upgrade ASAP!

Free to Start

NeverBounce

Use this to verify & clean your email list affordably. Keeps your deliverability high to increase visibility.

Lead Generation & Sales Tools

Use these tools to move prospects down your funnel & convert them to customers.

Extra 20% Off
VIP20OFF

OptinMonster

Use this to create & manage email optin forms, exit intent pop-ups, and tons of other lead-gen campaigns across all your different websites. Highly recommended for everybody with a website.

10% Off for Life
provesource-10off-for-lif

ProveSource

Inject small doses of social proof at optimal times to enhance credibility & increase conversion rates across your entire website. Easy ROI if your site is consistently making money.

93% Off
Startup Plan

Drift Chatbot

Best conversational chatbot for your website, incredibly effective at pre-qualifying & driving leads. Search for the Startup Plan hidden on their pricing page for 93% off.

14-Day Free Trial

Deadline Funnel

Allows you to create authentic urgency within your marketing with real deadlines & countdown timers synced to your email mktg CRM. Guaranteed to boost conversions when used properly.

$100 Off + 2 Mo. Free
Use Secret Link

EverWebinar

Use this to take your best sales presentations and make them work for you 24/7 by turning them into automated webinars! Not great for live webinars however.

Free to Start

Zoom Webinars

Use this platform to host & record live meetings and webinars. Zoom is a relative newcomer who quickly dominated the webinar scene. Highly recommended if you run webinars!

Social Media Management & Marketing

Use these tools to boost social media traffic & engage your audience.

Extended Free Trial
Use Secret Link

SmarterQueue

Ultimate social media management tool. Use this to schedule & automate your content posting schedule across all your different social media assets. A huge time saver!

Free to Start

ManyChat

Use this to engage & convert your audience with Facebook Messenger Chatbots. If your audience is primarily using Messenger, then this tool is essential! Free to start.

14-Day Free Trial

AdEspresso

Use this to run Facebook ads at scale. Gives you a slick dashboard to quickly create hundreds of ad variants, run controlled multivariate tests, and micro-optimize to enhance ROI.

Other Marketing Tools

ClickMeter

Use this to manage links & analyze traffic as you scale up your affiliate & inbound marketing efforts. Only useful for higher-traffic websites (start with ThirstyAffiliate or Pixelfy.me).

$20 Amz Gift Card
Use Secret Link

BuzzSprout

Want to start a podcast? Use this to host your podcast and get it listed in all major podcast directories. Includes the most advanced analytics possible for podcasters.

Free to Start

Gleam.io

Use this to create viral marketing campaigns like contests & giveaways and drive your choice of countless results (YouTube views, social backlinks, email optins, etc).

Business Management Tools

Basic Productivity Tools

Use these tools -- period...

Free

LastPass

Use this to create & manage all of your passwords across all of your devices. Not using LastPass today is like not using the internet - today. You can't function productively without this.

15-Day Free Trial

Snagit

Use this lightweight app to grab screen captures & recordings then quickly share them with others. Every employee I've ever had gets Snagit on day one! Becomes more valuable as you grow.

20% Off First Year
G6HH36UNVE7YJT7

G Suite

Allows you to use Google apps to power the backend of your business (Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, etc). Sign up when you need to create an email address under your domain name.

Communication & Project Management

Use these tools to communicate & collaborate with your team.

Free + $100 Credit
Use Secret Link

Slack

Best tool for internal team communication. Eliminate email chaos, instantly improve your company culture, and make your team more productive with limitless integrations.

Free

Trello

Best project management tool for startups & new entrepreneurs. Extremely lightweight & easy to use. One of the most used tools in all my companies. And it's free!

$50 Account Credit
Use Secret Link

HelpScout

Best shared email inbox system for startups & small teams. Great for both customer support & sales / engagement. All the perks of a help desk without the heavyweight ticketing system.

Remote Teams & Outsourcing

Use these to hire & manage your team.

99 Designs

Launch contests and get world-class graphics from hundreds of premium designers, then only pay for what you keep. Great for logos, web design, packaging, and just about anything else!

14-Day Free Trial

HubStaff

Time tracking & productivity monitoring to keep your staff accountable. Great for all employees, but particularly useful for remote & part-time workers (it can automate their payouts).

$100 Amz Gift Card
Use Secret Link

Gusto

You'll want a separate payroll system for full-time salaried employees you hire within the US. Gusto automates nearly everything -- running payroll, payroll tax filings, benefit management, and more.

Organization & Systems

Use these to keep your team organized & efficient.

50% Off for 3-Months
Use Secret Link

Quickbooks Online

You don't need bookkeeping when getting started, but every successful business needs clean accounting! Quickbooks is the only accounting system I'd recommend!

500MB Free Bonus Storage
Use Secret Link

Dropbox

Centralizes all file storage for your business on the cloud, making it easy to upload & share files with anyone fast. Becomes even more valuable as your team grows.

30-Day Free Trial

Vimeo

Video storage & hosting gets crazy expensive as your viewers increase. Vimeo offers affordable video hosting that your audience will love. High-quality, fast, and unbelievably cheap.

Free

AirTable

Spreadsheets on steroids -- the perfect upgrade to Google Sheets. Keeps your team & data organized. Confused me at first, but has proven extremely valuable across all my companies.

Free

Klipfolio

Use this to build KPI & Business Intelligence Dashboards. We use this to build dashboards like this one. Highly recommended as your company grows and becomes hard to keep track of.

20% Off First Year
Use Secret Link

Process Street

By far the best process & workflow management tool that exists. Use this as your 'human automation system' to systematize & proceduralize your business. Incredibly powerful & valuable.

Other Tools I Use Often

1 Free Share of Stock
Use Secret Link

Robinhood

Commission-free stock & options trading within a beautiful app. Use this to trade inside brokerage accounts (unfortunately no tax-advantaged accounts yet). And get a free share of stock for signing up!

Free

Zapier

Use this to integrate your tools together to automate your workflows and become more productive. Provides 3rd-party integrations between 1,000+ different apps. Extremely useful.

80,000 Bonus Points
Use Secret Link

Chase Ink Preferred

Use this credit card to get 3% bonus points on all your PPC ad spend, then transfer them to Chase Sapphire Reserve & turn them into 4.5% -- a massive advantage for your PPC campaigns.

New Members Get $20
Use Secret Link

Personal Capital

Use this to track your personal finances & net worth. Unifies all your financial & investment accounts into one slick dashboard & analytics system. Helps you become wealthier, faster.

$10 Cash Reward
Use Secret Link

Rakuten (Ebates)

Use this chrome extension when shopping online to automatically use the best coupon & cash-back rebates. Highly recommended for anyone who likes money! Better than Honey.

$10 Off First Order
10RAISEAF

Raise

Use this secondary marketplace for gift cards to save even more money. Useful for personal purchases (30%+ off movies & restaurants), but especially useful when sourcing arbitrage inventory.

Get Battle-Tested Tips

See how new entrepreneurs can quit their jobs

>
Copy link