The world of online business can seem like a vastly complicated place if you’re a beginner.

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It’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever be able to wade through everything required to become successful. A costly mistake many people make is thinking that everything needed to run a successful business can be found online for free. Sure, there are plenty of free options to get yourself off of the ground. There has to come to a point when the only option for growth is to invest in your business.

Here we’re going to talk about several of the services that every online business owner should use. Going the free route will end up costing you much more money in the long run than what you’re spending. The services listed below vary in cost and so will their impact on your business. The most valuable service you can buy online is access to information.

It’s also one of the things people view as the least important. You can skip some things, but the information is one thing you should never skip out on. You need something to base your decisions on, and gut feelings are often wrong. Everything you do needs to be backed up by statics, or you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and money.

Shopify:

Let’s kick things off with one of the services that most of you are familiar with. If you’re selling online, then you need a place to sell. Shopify is the solution that many online sellers are choosing these days. They offer a free trial, and you can learn the ropes by taking advantage of it. You’ll immediately see why so many people are using Shopify as the platform for their online store.

The learning curve with Shopify is rather low, and it’s a flexible solution for people selling a wide variety of products. It’s a favorite amongst drop shippers and people who have other types of stores as well. You can also have a blog at your Shopify store, and that will get organic search engine traffic if you do the proper SEO.

Asana:

Do you farm out many of your tasks to different freelancers? If so, then you know how difficult it can be to keep track of all of them. You have to keep detailed spreadsheets about who has what tasks need to be done. The way you simplify the entire process of freelancing is by using Asana. It gives you the ability to assign tasks and talk directly to your freelancers without having to jump through a lot of hoops. Asana allows you to manage all of your freelancers using one dashboard. Anyone who has quite a bit of people working for them online will be able to make good use of this service.

MailChimp:

There are quite a few email services out there for you to choose from. A popular service is called MailChimp. You’ve already heard millions of times online how important it is to run your own mailing list. You need a service to send your emails out for you. It’s not possible for you to send them one by one. You’ll want your list to grow in the thousands of subscribers, and at that point, anything short of automation won’t work.

WooCommerce:

WooCommerce is an excellent option for those who love WordPress and don’t want to migrate away from it. The same people behind WordPress make WooCommerce. There is a free version, and you can poke around with that and give it a try. If you go that route, it may be best to set it up on a dummy site and play around. Many of the features that you want will cost money and so does support. But, this is an excellent option if you’re going to support the WordPress community and have your store on the CMS that you love.

The top two heavyweights of keyword and marketing discovery

There has been a debate for years over which is better SEMRush or Ahrefs. We’re not going to even attempt on setting foot in that debate. You need to give both a try and see what you think about them. Each one has it’s own benefits and disadvantages. They are both priced the same, so it’s more about performance than anything else.

SEMRush:

The strong point of SEMRush is its ability to help you do keyword research. No one does a better job of keeping track of keywords than SEMRush. It will help you find precious long tail keywords with very little competition. These are great for new sites that are working to build up their authority. You can also use SEMRush to study your competitor’s backlink profile and to see where they’re getting their traffic from.

Ahrefs:

Ahrefs is an all in one tool that can be used to study the marketing of your competitors. You can see what keywords they rank for and who links to them. Some say that Ahrefs doesn’t do as good of a job when it comes to keyword selection as SEMRush. They have improved over the years, and the gap has closed. It’s a great all-around tool to see what you’re competitors are doing and for doing keyword research.

Buy both if you have the money

If you have the money, then get both SEMRush and Ahrefs. Yes, it’s a little costly per month to get each of them. But, if you’re doing keyword research daily, then you’ll use both every day. They are invaluable tools when it comes to getting the most traffic as possible from search engines. You’ll make your money back with the information they provide. You’ll be able to find guest posting opportunities, resource pages for links, and find keywords that you can easily rank for.

Jungle Scout:

If you sell on Amazon with their FBA program, you need Jungle Scout. There is no way that you can sell on Amazon without it. Well, yes you can sell on Amazon without using Jungle Scout. You can also drive a car without wearing a seatbelt. It’s not a good idea to not do either, and anyone who takes selling on Amazon seriously needs access to this fantastic tool. As we spoke earlier, information can make or break your business. You’d be surprised by how much information Jungle Scout puts at your fingertips.

How do you know how many items per month a product sells? How can you quickly figure out the profit margin of a product without having to break out a pen and paper? All that and so much more than be done with Jungle Scout. We’ve already talked in quite a bit of detail about what this service can do. Check out our other articles for more information. Trust us; you’ve got to have this tool in your back pocket if you have any plans on making money on Amazon.

Buffer:

How much time do you spend posting to social media? What if you could streamline the entire process? You can do just that with Buffer. You can schedule up to a whole month’s worth of social media posts. That means you can work a day scheduling all of your posts and not have to worry about it again for up to a month. There is no easier way to manage posting content to your social media sites. They have different plans, and you’ll want to pay close attention to how many posts you can schedule with each. The cheapest plan that costs $15 a month allows you to schedule up to 100 posts while the $65 per month plan will enable you to schedule up to 2,000 posts.

Take advantage of free or discounted trials

Many of the services we listed above have either free or discounted trials. You shouldn’t blindly pay for a month or even a year’s worth of services without trying it out first. It’s always a good idea to kick the tires and see how well the service works.

Quite a few of these services also have a learning curve, and you’ll want to watch some videos or read a few tutorials on how to use them. You will not know how to get the most out of them right out of the box. Services as complex as Ahrefs or Jungle Scout have so many features that it’s hard to poke around for a few minutes and learn them all.

You shouldn’t get frustrated during the trial if you don’t understand how everything works. It’ll take you several months before you know. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to use SEMRush or the other services right away after you purchase them. It means that to get the most out of it, you’ll have to do quite a bit of learning.

Making money online is a constant learning process, and it never ends. That’s why there are people who have been in the industry for years, and they still take courses. The education process is ongoing, and it never ends as long as you are alive.

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Identify the tools that are must-haves for your industry

If you plan on having a Shopify store, then there’s no need for you to get Jungle Scout or WooCommerce. You should make a list of the things that you need and then prioritize them. If you’re on a tight budget, get the tools you need first and gradually get the others. If you’re in doubt, then find a forum or meeting place where other people make money online and ask them.