Resources

I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that you can always come to for all of your passive income needs. I’ll add to it as I learn more, but you’ll notice that in the future I will reference this page quite often. I recommend bookmarking it for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!

Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.  Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

My Most Recommended

If you look at nothing else on this page, these are the four that you should know about. I find myself recommending these resources again and again, in emails and on podcasts. I use them because they make my life easier, and I’m confident you’ll agree too.

bluehost-logoBluehost: 99% of my websites are hosted on Bluehost. Why? Because it’s incredibly easy to use with 1-click automatic WordPress installation and excellent customer service – via phone and via chat. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using Bluehost for your first site. Also, you can use the same hosting account for multiple domains if you plan on creating more websites. Click this link to get a special discount off the regular price! 

leadpages-logoLeadPages
: Continuing on the easy-to-use theme, this is by far my favorite tool for easily creating high-quality landing pages and squeeze pages. LeadPages will help you convert viewers into subscribers or buyers. Best of all, it works both with WordPress and non-WordPress sites alike. (Click here for a FREE Webinar Replay that demos the software and shares rapid list-building tips for your email list. You won’t be disappointed!)

optinskin-logoOptinSkin
My biggest blogging regret is still how long I waited before collecting email addresses. Glen Allsop from Viperchill.com created OptinSkin, a fantastic tool to help us more easily embed email opt-in forms into our websites. I use it specifically at the bottom of my posts and I love it. Click here to read my review post, which comes with an add-on bonus!

podcast-tutorial-logoPat’s Step-by-Step How to Start a Podcast Tutorial: Here is my 6 video, completely free step-by-step tutorial that will help cut down the learning curve so that you can you get your podcast up and running as soon as possible. Several people have used this tutorial to get their first podcasts on iTunes.

wpcurveZippy Courses – by Derek Halpern: Want to create online courses to sell to your audience in a flash? This brand new software from Derek Halpern of SocialTriggers.com is the ultimate solution. Create and sell multiple courses, with modules and lessons right from the convenience of your WordPress Dashboard.

SPI Sponsors (and Deals for You!)

I’d like to welcome a few special sponsors into the SPI family!

For full transparency, I do receive payment for mentioning these companies. I’ve carefully chosen them because I use them myself, they love and appreciate the SPI community, and they offer extra value to you as a fan and follower of SPI. I wouldn’t allow them to be sponsors otherwise because you matter the most to me!

99designs99Designs.com: I get a lot of questions about where to find a good designer. At 99designs, dozens of talented designers compete to deliver the best design for your creative needs—from logos to business cards to full website concepts. If you click this link, you can easily launch your design contest with an exclusive, free Power Pack Upgrade valued at $99. How cool is that?!
lyndaLynda.com: Lynda.com offers video tutorial courses in an amazing breadth of topics, including topics close to my heart: audio and video editing, online strategies like SEO, and web development tools. Find the topic you need to level up your personal and professional skills. Try out all of Lynda.com’s courses for free for seven days.

Website Hosting and Blogging Tools

  • Bluehost: 99% of my websites are hosted on Bluehost. Easy to use, 1-click automatic WordPress installation and excellent customer service. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using Bluehost for your first site. Click this link to get a special discount off the regular price! 
  • The THESIS Theme: This is the WordPress theme and framework that the Smart Passive Income Blog runs on. Thesis promises out-of-box search engine optimization, faster page load times, maximum readability to engage and hold reader’s attention, and point-and-click design and font controls.
  • SumoMe – Free Tools to Grow Your Blog: From the creative minds of AppSumo comes an amazing suite of free tools to help grow your blog and increase traffic. Over 10,000 blogs (and counting!) use these free tools.

Top Start a Business Courses

  • How to Make a $1k/Month Business – This is a software (yes, a software – but like a course too) by Noah Kagan from SPI Podcast Session #71, one of the most popular episodes I’ve had to date (with over 625 comments!), that he’s built to help anyone get started with building a business that will help you get your first dollar and they’ll work with you every step of the way.
  • Earn $1k On The Side by Ramit Sethi – This is Ramit Sethi’s most successful course helping people earn money on the side. It’s called Earn $1k, however many of his students have earned much more than that! Ramit was featured here on the SPI podcast in another top-downloaded episode.

Product Distribution & Shopping Carts

  • Gumroad: My favorite digital product distribution system. I use gumroad to manage sales and distribution of my products at FoodTruckr.com, and I also use their licensing feature for products sold on SmartPodcastPlayer.com. Super cool company – say hi to Ryan and Jessica for me!
  • E-Junkie: The shopping cart I use to sell my eBook at GreenExamAcademy.com. It’s compatible with Paypal Standard, Paypal Pro, Google Checkout, Authorize.net, TrialPay, Clickbank & 2CheckOut. Works like a charm, very low flat price to use. Comes with a decent affiliate program for your products.
  • Clickbank: Another digital products retailer. Probably the most popular. Decently priced, but comes with an amazing affiliate program for your products.
  • Paypal.com: Paypal is just ok for selling your own products through them, but you’ll need an account anyways to configure with and accept payments from the above shopping carts.

Keyword Research

  • Long Tail Pro: This is a top-of-the-line keyword research tool that many claim to be better and more user friendly than Market Samurai. I’ve tested it myself, and it’s hard to disagree. I personally know the owner, Spencer Haws, have interviewed him on my podcast as well. He’s a great guy who is always looking to improve this piece of software for his users. Click this link to get a special discount off the regular price!
  • Market Samurai: The number one tool for keyword research available, hands down. You can view my tutorial videos about Market Samurai here.
  • Keyword ResearcherOne of the best tools to find popular long tail keywords for your niche. Watch the video on the homepage, I promise you’ll be impressed.
  • Seo Book Keyword Suggestion Tool: Another fantastic keyword research tool, with even more information and numbers to compare and select the perfect keywords.
  • Seo Keyword Ranking: An excellent tool to keep track of the keywords you’re working on. Excellent interface and really easy to use.

Images & Photos

  • The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Using Images on Your Blog: This is a post I wrote with everything you need to know about using images on your website. You can’t just pull any ol’ image from the internet and use it – you could get in trouble! Read this to stay safe and worry free.
  • iStockPhoto: This is where I purchase royalty-free images that I use on my sites.
  • Flickr Creative Commons: This is where you can get free images for your website, but there are some rules that go along with it. Read the post in the first image & photo resource above to make sure you know how it all works.

Landing Pages

  • LeadPages: The best tool, hands down, for easily creating high-quality landing and squeeze pages. Works with WordPress and non-wordpress sites. (Click here for a FREE Webinar Replay that demos the software and shares some rapid list-building tips for your email list. You will NOT be disappointed!)

Email Subscriptions & Marketing

  • Aweber: The internet’s most powerful email opt-in service and email marketing/broadcasting tool. This is what I use to build my email list and newsletter. For a free step-by-step tutorial, check out The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Newsletter.
  • InfusionSoft: Once your business hits a certain level and you’re ready to level-up your email marketing, you’ll want to get involved with InfusionSoft. Tag and segment your audience based on certain actions that they take, and deliver the right emails to the right person. You may notice that a lot of email lists you’re subscribed to use Infusionsoft, and there’s a reason why. It’s awesome.
  • OptinSkinA tool created by Glen Allsop from Viperchill.com to help us more easily embed email opt-in forms onto our website. I use it specifically at the bottom of my posts. Click here to read my review post, which comes with an add-on bonus!

Advertising Stuff

  • Google Adsense: Make money by placing relevant ads on your website that are generated from advertisers using Google Adwords. This is free to use, but you have to register for an account.
  • Google Adwords: If you want to begin advertising on Google, you can select keywords and locations and you pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement.

Testing Results

  • Google Analytics: Google’s free website tracking and analytical tool. A must have for anyone with any type of website.
  • Clicky: Clicky is just like Google Analytics, except it’s easier to use, and you can view how many people are on your site (and what they are doing) in real time! Your first site is free.

Site Protection

  • Sucuri:  My websites are my business…and my livelihood! I don’t want any intruders, so I pay a yearly fee to make sure that if anyone tampers with my sites, it’ll be taken care of right away, with alerts/notifications letting me know what’s up. Sucuri is definitely great for peace of mind, if anything.
  • Limit Login Attempts (WordPress Plugin): Install this plugin to limit the number of times someone can attempt to login to your WordPress admin panel before getting blocked. This helps to stop those who keep trying to break in by logging into your website with different passwords (and there are tools to help speedup this process).


Getting Help from Others / Outsourcing

  • Elance: Hired service for just about anything you can think of.
  • Odesk: Another outsource website for freelancers, IT companies, programmers and web designers from abroad.
  • 99Designs: This is a unique website that you can use if you need a logo design. It’s in a contest format. You submit the description of what you want, and designers will compete against each other to win money.
  • SpeechPad: This is the service I use to get transcripts done for my podcasts and videos.
  • Virtual Staff Finder: I just recently hired a full-time VA and this is where I got him. Virtual Staff Finder is the best and quickest headhunter service on the web if you’re looking for high quality VAs for anything you want done by someone else for your online business. It’s run by my buddy Chris Ducker and I highly recommend it.

Legal Stuff


Books

  • Let Go – My #1 Best Selling Small Business and Entrepreneurship book! It accounts all of the details of how I lost my job in 2008 and how I became a full time entrepreneur. I’ve shared my story a lot before, but never in this much detail.
  • Join my Book Club to get Other Book Recommendations! – Over on my personal site, PatFlynn.com, there’s a book club you can sign up for. Each month, I share a new book that I’ve been reading, both non-fiction and fiction, and I share why they might be a good read for you too!
  • The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss, Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich: Pretty much the most awesome book in the entire world. I reference this quite a bit in my posts.
  • ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse: The best book about blogging from the number one online blogger, Darren Rowse.
  • The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau: My latest book addition to my resource page, and for good reason – this book rocks! It’s a sweet blend of The 4-Hour Work Week (but more realistic), and Rework (but more actionable).

  • Video

    • ScreenFlow (for Mac users) – the screen capture software I’m currently using.
    • Camtasia for PC (Camtasia Studio) – for screen captures
    • Omnidazzle – to draw on your screen (free)
    • Bamboo Pen and Tablet - This is the pen and tablet I use to make drawing on the screen extremely easy.
    • SplashEO (for Awesome Intro and Outro Graphics): If you want professional looking intros and outros for your videos, this is the place to go. Gideon Shalwick, the owner, is a good friend and I was totally blown away from the quality and turnaround time. Check it out!
    • Canon Rebel T4i (The Camera I Use): I’d recommend starting shooting videos with your smartphone, but if you’re getting serious a DSLR camera like this one will do the trick. This is the camera I use for my videos, which I like because of the auto-focus feature (in video mode while recording, which is rare), and the flip out screen so you can see yourself and make sure you’re where you want to be on screen.

    Podcasting

    • Pat’s Step-by-Step How to Start a Podcast Tutorial – My 6 video, FREE step by step tutorial that will help you get your podcast up and running as soon as possible! Several people have used this tutorial to get their first podcasts on iTunes.
    • The Smart Podcast Player (One of my own products!) – A lot of people who listen to your podcast listen directly from the web, however most web-based podcast players are dumb. Not this one! This is a solution I built for myself that I’m happy to share with the world, and so far the response has been amazing! More traffic, more sharing and better looking – what else could you want from a web-based podcast player?
    • Music Radio Creative – This is an AWESOME company (I met them in person) where you can get a high-quality, custom intro and outro for your podcast. You can choose from a whole bunch of different styles and voices. The intro to the AskPat podcast was created by Music Radio Creative. :)
    • Podcast Editing by TwentyFourSound – Need someone to help you edit your podcast and audio files? The services offered at TwentyFourSound.com are what you’re looking for! If you’re not confident in your technical know-how, or just don’t have the time to edit your show, check ‘em out!

    iPhone Applications


    Niche Sites

    • The Niche Site Duel Hub: This is where I and 18 other people share the journey of building a niche site from scratch and doing our best to rank #1 in Google and make money. Check out how I got my niche site to #1 and earning an income in about 2 months!
    • THE Backlinking Strategy That Works: One of my most popular posts which goes into detail about my backlinking strategy and how I was able to climb a brand new niche site to #1 in Google. This is an up-to-date version (2014) of one that was originally written in 2010.