Here’s a bunch of the stuff I actively use in my blogging and internet business endeavors. I paid for all of this stuff myself, think it’s awesome, and wholeheartedly recommend it. And yes, these are affiliate links :)
Thesis is a premium WordPress theme. I freaking love it. I’ve been using it for a few years now and can say that it’s probably the single best purchase I’ve made as far as blogging and internet business goes. The greatest thing about Thesis is the bazillion blogs and other resources online that are dedicated to it. If you can search for what you want and then copy and paste some code, you’ll be able to more or less fully customize the appearance of your blog. I used Thesis to customize Blogging Bookshelf, The Aloof, and TristanHigbee.com. Though all of those three sites look significantly different, they were all created by me with Thesis.
After Thesis, this is the single best purchase I’ve made in my blogging career. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for keyword research, sizing up your SEO competition, tracking your blog’s Google (or Yahoo! or Bing) ranking, and way, way more. My only regret is that it took me so long to buy the freaking thing. Seriously, it’s awesome.
AWeber is what I use to manage my email list. It’s easy to set up and very user friendly. The best part is that AWeber has been around since 1998; they’re not some here-today-gone-tomorrow company. Moreover, all the biggest names in blogging and internet marketing use AWeber. It’s also compatible with tons of other plugins and apps that let you integrate your website or blog with your newsletter. In short… This is really the only way to go, in my opinion.
I use this great WordPress plugin to 1) insert a newsletter subscription form to the end of ever post in m RSS feed, 2) auto-fill the newsletter opt-in form in my sidebar with the person’s name and email address (if they’ve left a comment), and 3) run the little opt-in check box by the comments.
This is the WordPress theme I use for my membership site, Infographic Academy. That’s the only site I’ve used it with so far, but I like it. It looks really professional and has all sorts of pre-made templates for membership sites, sales pages, squeeze pages, and so on.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone – If you want a pro-quality USB microphone for under $100, get this one. It sounds amazing.
Olympus ME-15 Lapel Microphone – If you want a more portable (and affordable!) microphone, check out this little guy. I also recommend a mono to stereo adapter (I bought mine for a few dollars at Radio Shack) because this microphone is mono, not stereo. I love this little mic!
Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera – This is a fantastic little video camera that I use for video blogging. The HD quality is great.
These are some great books that I love and recommend.
Amazon Kindle – Ok, so this isn’t really a book, but this is the
The Art of Non-Conformity – I love this book. It’s pretty much the book I’d write if I wrote one about lifestyle design.