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January 15, 2018

The best hack for achieving success is investing in knowledge. It’s the one investment that will give you returns as long as you have a ability to take action based on what you’ve read or learned.

Charlie Munger, the right hand man to Warren Buffet said it best:

In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero.

Below I have compiled a series of articles, books and resources that I’ve consumed or that I’ve seen come highly recommended. The resources here ones that I enjoy but are also compiled from mentors, friends and recommendations found on both Medium + Product Hunt. Two resources alone that every online entrepreneur should be considering as sites they visit on a regular basis for insight and knowledge.

I hope you benefit from reading this list. Take the time to save a podcast for listening later, bookmark a blog post for reading tomorrow or order a book for another day. Whichever you chose, recognize that I’m not getting paid for any of the things you click, order or listen to in this post. No affiliates. No deals.

The resources in this blog post are simply a compilation that I wish I had access to when I got started. Take this information and do what you wish. If you can even take the time to read one or two pieces in this list, I’m sure you’ll be better off because of it.

Let’s get to it shall we:

Getting Started As An Online Entrepreneur 

1. WP Engine

Your host is the foundation of your web presence. It’s the starting point for owning a website that you can customize, collect emails with, publish blog posts and host video. From Hustle & Grind to RossSimmonds.com – I use WP Engine as my hosting service because of their great customer service and ease of use.

2. WordPress.org

You should have saw this coming. I know this might seem obvious to the veterans of the world but WordPress is my #1. You can debate and argue as much as you’d like but I haven’t found a better content management system or community than wordpress yet.

3. SquareSpace

Want a site quick and easy? I have no choice but to agree that SquareSpace is probably the best choice.

4. ThemeForest

If you’re not looking to spend thousands on your website but are still interested in WordPress, I recommend checking out ThemeForest. It’s a site filled with different themes and designs that you can install to give your website a beautiful, sleek and usable experience.

5. Google Analytics

It’s a free embedded analytics tool and without question one of the first steps you have to have on your site from the beginning. Google Analytics tracks the number of people visiting your site and where they’re from.

6. SumoMe

If you’re looking for tools that will go to work for you as it relates to capturing emails, helping get shares and driving engagement – SumoMe is the best in the business. It’s used by some of the most successful blogs in the world ranging from Social Media Examiner to The Four Hour Workweek. I cannot say enough great things about SumoMe.

7. MailChimp

While lots of people scream that email marketing is dead, I’m screaming: DON’T FALL FOR IT! Email marketing is alive and well. It’s one of the easiest to use email marketing platforms and can be used for everything from automation to ongoing newsletters and sales campaigns.

8. Grammarly

Grammarly makes you a better writer by finding and correcting mistakes that your word processor would miss. It’s built right into the browser and also helps you craft amazing emails.

9. AI Summarizer

AI Summarizer is a freemium web-based tool that can help online entrepreneurs to shorten any type of content. It works to remove unnecessary words and sentences while key points remain intact so that readers can quickly understand it in a few seconds.

10. CopyHacker

From psychology to the fundamentals of copywriting – the Copyhacker blog is filled with information on crafting messages and stories that drive results.

11. ProBlogger

ProBlogger is one of the most influential blogs in the last 10 years as it relates to blogging. The archives on this site are filled with nuggets that taught me what I needed to get started.

12. Business Casual Copywriting

Joel Klettke is one of those guys who is simply filled with knowledge. His Business Casual Copywriting blog is a clear indication of that and one post in particular about content marketing lies is an industry classic.

13. Things to Do When Launching A Blog

Glen is both one of the best writers in the marketing world but also one of the brightest thinkers. He shares tons of thoughtful content on his website but this classic is one that I share with anyone getting started.

14. How To Get Your First 100 Email Subscribers

Landing your first 100 subscribers is the hardest. In this blog post, you learn 10 strategies that should keep coming back to when you’re crafting content and designing your website. And at the end of the post, you get a bonus section with plugins, scripts and tools that you don’t want to miss.

15. Tips for Dramatically Better Emails

This is a modern day swipe card. It’s filled with examples of ways to leverage email marketing to drive great results. From the usage of downloads to asking folks for replies; the tips here is plentiful.

16. How We Got 1,000 Subscribers From One Blog Post

It’s not easy to stand out when you first kick-start your blog.

In fact, it’s going to be really, really hard unless you have an impeccable launch by following the advice in this post. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to get influencers sharing your content – here it is.

17. The ConvertKit Blog

From blogging to email marketing, the ConvertKit blog is filled with marketing tactics and lessons from people who have turned their blogs into full time careers.

18. Virtual Freedom

Chris Ducker has created one of the best books on working with remote workers and delegation available. As your business grows, you need to be equipped with the insights you need to let certain aspects run on autopilot. This guide shows you how.

Establishing Yourself As An Authority + Expert

19. Zero to Launch

Of all the online entrepreneurs, Ramit Sethi is one of the most well known figures in the space. He’s a genius when it comes to personal finance and brilliant when it comes to email and content marketing. In this course, he shows you how to automate aspects of your business with ease.

20. Authority

Nathan Barry creates a book that goes into detail about the steps it takes to creating content and establishing yourself as an authority. Regardless of which package you order, the insights you’ll recieve from Nathan are going to change the way you do business.

21. Stand Out Guide

This book highlights everything I know about content marketing and has helped hundreds of people generate awareness for their brand through blogging, social media and other networks. If you’re looking for a guide on differentiating yourself from the crowd – this guide will do exactly that.

22. Social Triggers

Derek Halpern is one of the best online entrepreneurs on the planet. Bold statement, yes. True? Yes. He’s been featured or quoted on Forbes, Entrepreneur and more because he’s constantly delivering insights around human behavior and how to make money online.

23. Content Marketing Institute

This site is filled with some of the best expert tips and strategies for content marketing. It’s the global leader for content marketing and has some of the best guides in the industry.

24. The Sweet Science Of Virality

Upworthy has cracked the code when it comes to creating viral content. If you want to create content that is shared by the masses, you should understand how to create content that will resonate with them.

25. Mens With Pens

You don’t want to make the mistakes that hundreds of other bloggers do when it comes to maintaining their website. The team behind Mens With Pens offers up both a combination of (1) entrepreneurial advice and (2) insight around copywriting.

26. The $1000 Facebook Guide

Want to learn how to target a niche audience and drive results? In this blog post, you’ll learn how to target your ads to niche audiences for a reasonable rate and generate the results you’ve been looking for.

27. Viral Marketing

In this case study, you’ll learn how one entrepreneur was able to generate 17,584 unique visitors to their brand new website.

Building Rapport & Traction With Your Audience

28. Hootsuite.com

Don’t waste time managing all of your different social media accounts. Leverage Hootsuite to schedule your content in advance and keep track of the various conversations happening online.

29. Buffer.com

Buffer is another great option for managing your social networks and is a lightweight way to schedule content with ease. The Buffer Chrome extension and Image tool Pablo are great resources for any online entrepreneur looking to manage social effectively.

30. How To Develop Successful Relationships

Relationships are the backbone of quality businesses. If you’re not investing in relationships, you’re missing out on the biggest opportunity for you to grow your business rapidly. From referrals to promotion support – relationships are the key to success when operating an online business.

31. Content Curation vs. Content Creation

With all this talk about content creation and sharing content on social media, you may be wondering what the difference is and what’s the best approach. The best approach is a mix of both and in this blog post, you’ll learn exactly why this recommendation makes sense.

32. Email Hunter

No one wants to dig around websites looking for emails. Use this tool to find emails quickly.

33. Inbound.org

One of my favorite communities, Inbound is a forum for marketers and strategists who are constantly talking about how to utilize SEO, Social Media and other tactics to generate traction.

34. 279 Days To Overnight Success

There’s no doubt in my mind that when I read this back in 2009, it shook up my perspective. If you read this guide, I promise you it will inspire you to take action and arm you with insights you need to make this work. Some of the concepts are a bit dated but for the most part, the premise is still sound.

35. Trust Me I’m Lying

It’s one of the more controversial books on this list but it’s also one of my favorites. It’s filled with a look behind the curtain when it comes to media companies and the different ways you can capitalize on the industries processes to drive results for your own business.

Tactics For Getting Paid In Your Sleep

36. Beginners Guide To Online Marketing

Neil Patel is one of the marketing minds behind multiple online businesses and has a deep understanding of online marketing. In this guide he teams up with Ritika Puri to share insights you need to know about conversion optimization, email marketing, affiliate marketing and more.

37. Four Hour Work Week

When I think of entrepreneurs who have been able to achieve success online, Tim Ferriss immediately comes to mind. If you haven’t read the Four Hour Work Week, you’re missing out on a book that will change the way you look at business. No – I don’t think you’ll be working four hours a week after reading this but I do think you’ll see the world differently.

38. Mari Smith

She’s one of the best in the business when it comes to Facebook advertising and marketing. If you’re trying to stay up on the latest trends for social media, Mari delivers resources on the regular that go above and beyond the status quo.

39. Gary Vaynerchuk

One of the kings of online entrepreneurship – Gary Vaynerchuk has taken a YouTube series and grown it into an empire. He’s gone from wine guy to media mogul and his blog is consistently filled with information that people getting started and trying to stay ahead of the next trend should read.

40. Nathan Barry on Business

One of the most transparent bloggers on the web, Nathan Barry shares step by step tutorials around how to launch products and build an audience. You should spend time combing through his archives from 2013 and 14 for some amazing nuggets.

41. Sujan Patels Blog

So you want to create content that lasts? Sujan Patel outlines some of the best insights on building a reputation and gaining notoriety available. If you’re looking to grow your online business into a six figure company, Sujans writing can help you get there.

42. Social Media Examiner

One of the pioneers as it relates to social media, SM Examiner is a collection of thoughts from around the web delivering quality insights on the latest social media tools and networks.

43. The Convince & Convert Blog

From community management to content marketing as a whole, Jay Baer and the Convince & Convert team have built a platform that is deserving of all the accolades. It’s a collection of some of the most important thoughts on content marketing and social media on the web.

Getting Over The Struggle Of Entrepreneurship

44. It’s Lonely Being A Solo Entrepreneur

Single founder loneliness is real. It’s also brutal and shitty. In this post, Alex, CEO & Founder of Groove shares some of the ways to beat single founder loneliness.

45. The Struggle

Entrepreneurs always start with a dream of a thriving and successful business. But there’s no doubt that at some point, you’ll be met with the struggle. You lose a loyal customer, competitive battle, blog post falls flat or send a bad email. You’ll struggle. This is a great reminder that you’re not alone.

Making Entrepreneurship Work With Your Lifestyle

46. Live Your Life Like A Video Game

In this book, Steve Kamb shares the story behind how he transformed himself from wannabe daydreamer into a real life superhero. I’m not kidding you. This book is as ridiculous (yet awesome) as it sounds as he shows you how to use your favorite video games as inspiration for living the life of your dreams.

47. Chris Guillebeau

You don’t have to live like a referee. You can live life on your own terms. Chris’ blog and his books show you how you can run your business from abroad or from your home office. It’s a great resource for any online entrepreneur looking to see the possibilities.

48. James Clear Blog

From habits to health, James Clear writers about some of the most under appreciated elements of entrepreneurship but arguably the most important. On his blog he shares science-based ideas for mastering your habits and living an optimal life.

49. The Power Of Habits

As an entrepreneur, habits are so important to establishing long term success. In this book, Charles Duhigg talks about how habits operate in the brain, how companies use them and how brands use them to manipulate behaviors.

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor…

These resources and tools have the ability to change the way you operate and start your business. You don’t have to rely on all of them – you don’t have to read all of them. All I ask is that you consider using these tools and resources to help you be as successful as you can be.

As you noticed, these resources and tools aren’t just about marketing. It’s about creating a business that fits your lifestyle and living a life that you can be proud to call your own.

If you know a resource or tool that I missed, please don’t hesitate to comment below and share it with me and the entire Hustle & Grind community. Let’s work together on building a great list for the next generation of entrepreneurs and hustlers.

So let’s spread the word. Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even your Snapchat if you’re up for it!

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