What Equipment, Software, and Services Do Trust to Sustain My Business Online?
During the first five years of my business online from 2011 to 2016, I wasted thousands of hours and dollars on ineffective equipment, software that made my life more challenging, and services that took my money while offering almost no true value. I hope sharing all of the equipment, software, and services I use on this one page saves you thousands of dollars and hours trying to figure this out yourself!
Will you please use the links on the page to research and buy what you need because you will feel great knowing that you are helping me to earn a percentage of the sale as an Amazon affiliate and partner for each product and service here?
Managed WordPress Website Hosting on the Google Cloud Platform!
Kinsta.com is the best web hosting solution I have found after 7 years of working online and trying a lot of different web hosts because I get the speed and reliability of Google managed by a company trusted by Intuit to provide peak performance at the lowest cost! Kinsta.com is ideal for a fast and instantly scalable WordPress host because Kinsta handles the WordPress connection with the Google Cloud Platform which empowers my website to run as fast and handle as many visitors as Google can! Discover more in the video below!
ActiveCampaign is what I am using to do my email marketing because it allows me to integrate smoothly with my Thinkific school and automate many more tasks than I could with MailChimp. After years of switching email hosts and deleting lists for six years, I am finally staying with ActiveCampaign and have about 10,000 contacts in the first year starting from zero!
Video Course Hosting!
Canon XA11 Professional Camcorder beautifully captures my face effortlessly at the highest quality for video tutorials and gaming live streams. I am grateful after years of using webcams, I finally upgraded to a professional camcoder and showed the difference in the video below!
Electro Voice RE-20 Cardioid Microphone is what I use to recording my audio along with the matching pop filter because it seems to provide the best sound quality in and allows me to use a pre-amp and processor to present professional quality audio directly into my computer in real time!
What microphone did I record most of my videos with on my Mac before 2017? The iRig HD mic is what I used to record the audio on most of my online course videos and daily inspirational videos. It works great plugged into an iPhone or an Apple computer. I had trouble getting it to work with a Windows machine.
What microphone did I use on my PC and Mac? Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Silver is what I used to record my audio on my Windows computer and what I used to make most of my gaming videos as well as live stream.
Sound Processing and Pre-amp!
DBX 286s Microphone Pre-amp Processor is what I use to increase the volume on my microphone and provide processing in real time to the audio BEFORE it even is received by the computer! This includes a compressor, de-esser, Low Frequency and High Frequency enhancer, expander/gate, and output gain all controlled in real time! To connect to the microphone, I use Microphone Cable, VANDESAIL® 3 Pin XLR connectors Male to Female Mic and Audio cable with Low Noise Gold Plated (0.9m-3ft).
USB Audio Interface!
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface is what I use to bring my audio from an analogue signal into my Mac Pro. The cable I use to connect with the pre-amp is UGREEN Gold Plated Premium 6.35mm Mono Jack 1/4″ TS Cable Unbalanced Guitar Patch Cords/Instrument Cable Male to Male.
Live Streaming and Green Screen Tutorial Videos!
Wirecast 10 Pro for Mac is what I use for doing a green screen live stream and recorded tutorial videos because it works on my Mac Pro and has deep features that allow me to effortlessly move my face around, add banners, stream to 5 websites at once, and more.
Business Income, Expenses, Profit, Taxes, and Finance!
QuickBooks Self Employed (QBSE) is what I use to track my business profit from income and expenses. I will soon be using this to create my public income reports for the purpose of showing you what works for me and helping me maintain transparency in my business. What I love about QBSE is the ability to automatically sync all of my transactions from three different business credit cards and two different business checking accounts. QBSE then allows me to categorize those transactions as business, personal, or split expenses which I then can directly import into TubroTax. See more in the video below!
Transcription and Closed Captions!
GoTranscript is what I use for getting my videos .srt caption files and producing transcriptions for use in blog posts and books because the turnaround is fast, the cost is lower than other websites I have used, and I like that transcribers on GoTranscript earn up to $0.60 a minute. When you want to join me on GoTranscript as a client, will you please use my link because you will love getting a $10 credit towards your first order and knowing that every order you place helps me earn a percentage of what you paid for the transcript?
Audible.com is what I use to listen to books and was essential in starting my business. Instead of having a bunch of books laying around the office for reference, I listen to books anywhere while doing housework, driving, traveling, and at the gym. Audible continues to be one of my most effective tools for learning. I think I started out with a 30 day free trial initially listening to books for fun and then moving to a gold membership for $14.95/month to listen to books about how to launch a business. I now have a 24 credit per year platinum membership and am publishing books on Audible! I love Audible and have been a member since 2011.
Spreadsheets, Collaboration, and Records!
Airtable is what I use to collaborate on projects such as getting videos transcribed to blog posts. Airtable is easier to share and use than Microsoft Excel with deeper features than Google Sheets making it ideal for collaboration even on the free plan which I used the first month.
Insured Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin Wallet!
Coinbase is what I use to buy and sell bitcoin online because they are insured in the USA and make it easy to buy small amounts of bitcoin automatically for price averaging. If you would like to signup for Coinbase, would you please use my link because when you buy or sell $100 worth of any cryptocurrency after signing up, we both get $10 in Bitcoin from Coinbase as their thank you for our collaboration?
Sennheiser HD 25 Professional DJ Headphone is what I use to listen to the music I produce with Ableton Live 10 and to listen to my videos on my Windows PC.
Gaming Monitor with HDMI Output!
BenQ ZOWIE 24″ Console eSports Gaming LED 1080p HD Monitor – 1ms Response Time, Head-to-Head Console Gaming (RL2460) is the newest version of the monitor I use to film my video tutorials on and what I used to play Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and League of Legends games on. It has 1 ms response time which reduces screen lag AND has an HDMI out port so I can stream without adding any display lag in the capture process! Out of all my equipment, this monitor has made the single biggest difference in my gaming ability and making it easy to stream.
Logitech C930e 1080P HD Video Webcam – 90-Degree Extended View, Microsoft Lync 2013 and Skype Certified is what I used for years to record my face on with Wirecast for use in my online courses, music videos, and podcast. Today the C930e is my backup camera useful for capturing my music controllers by making new songs!
ApexDesk VT60NWC-S Vortex Series 60″ Wide 2-Button Electric Height Adjustable Sit to Stand Desk, New Cherry is what I use as my desk because standing up makes talking and getting excited much easier along with reducing stress on my back and burning many extra calories compared to sitting down!
Square Perfect 4037 Professional Quality 10 x 13 Feet Chromakey Green Screen Muslin Backdrop for Photography and Video is what I use to block the video of my bed behind my videos and allow me the professional look of a green screen when using Wirecast!
GE Lighting 67770 Reveal 43-Watt, 565-Lumen A19 Light Bulb with Medium Base, 4-Pack are the light bulbs I finally discovered which help my face display the best on the green screen using the chroma key in Wirecast! For a light skinned body like the one I am in now, these help bring the color of our faces out without allowing the chroma key and webcam to wash out the color of our faces and make us look ghostly white!
Outus White Round Paper Lanterns Lamp for Birthday Wedding Party Decorations Crafts, 10 Pack are the paper lanterns I use to help take the edge off the bare light of the light bulbs I use which helps the chroma key and green screen to function ideally in Wirecast!
APC Back-UPS Pro 1500VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector (BR1500G) is what I use to provide an uninterrupted power supply to all of my devices. This battery backup allows me to run my entire system including three computers, 5 monitors, and my router all for up to 30 minutes through a power outage! These have saved my work SO many times through little power glitches and even big power outages like the morning I original wrote this where the power was out six hours! I even used the battery back up to open the garage for my wife so she could get the car out using an extension cord connected to battery backup. I got these after being so frustrated repeatedly with the power going out at my last office and wow they are nice! The peace of mind alone is worth the cost which is why I have two! Before the APC, I used a CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD Intelligent LCD UPS 1500VA 900W AVR Mini-Tower for three years until it started clicking too much during voltage spikes!
Musical Instrument Digital Interface or MIDI!
M-Audio Oxygen 25 MKIV | 25-Key USB MIDI Keyboard & Drum Pad Controller (8 Pads / 8 Knobs) is what I use to play instruments in FL Studio 12 and Ableton Live 10 Suite!
Screen Capture Recording and Screenshot Editing!
Camtasia is what I used in 2014 and 2015 on windows and Mac to record most of my online course videos and tutorials. I purchased it through the Camtasia/Snagit bundle which helps for clipping images and making banner ads. Today I still use SnagIT to capture and edit screenshots as well as Camtasia to on both Windows and Mac to help with bringing screenshots out of videos and quick editing.
GoDaddy is where my domain is registered because the commercials must have worked on me! I have chosen to stay with GoDaddy for my domain after trying several different domain hosts because managing more than one domain is easy on GoDaddy and the DNS changes go through rapidly when I need to point a domain to a new URL.
Enfold WordPress Theme is what I use to produce the layout of my website after trying a few other themes that I was not as happy with. When I wanted to learn how to put a like button on the top of the website, their support forums were very helpful. The theme is consistently updated and new features are being added that continue to improve functionality. Thank you to raymmar.com for showing me this theme which I then starting using myself.
Student Loan Refinancing!
SoFi is what I used to refinance my student loans from MyFedLoan.org through the US Federal Government after graduate school from 6.5% interest down to under 4%! When you join SoFi using my link you will get $100 for joining through me and SoFi will give me $300 for referring you which I will use apply directly to paying my loans down faster!
Free 2 Day Shipping for New Office Equipment!
Amazon Prime helps me get any equipment for my home office fast with free 2 day shipping on all of the home studio filming equipment listed on this page. I originally got Amazon Prime in grad school to order books faster at the student price and then discovered it was even more helpful for my business. Amazon is now offering a 30 day free trial on Prime which offers an ideal way to try it out. Amazon Prime comes with instant video also and has a library comparable to Netflix! If you are looking for a really cool gift, Amazon even allows giving Amazon prime as a gift!
Secure Online Passwords on Every Device!
LastPass is what I use to manage all of my passwords and logins. It saves a TON of time and makes passwords a lot more secure versus keeping them in an Evernote document. I am able to automatically generate nearly impossible to hack passwords using LastPass and even have them changed automatically. The best feature is sharing passwords with others. LastPass has a premium membership that I subscribe to and I think you might enjoy also! When you use my link, you get a month of premium free and so do I!
Fast Personal Loan for Starting a Business!
LendingClub is what I used to borrow over $20,000 to help keep my business out of bankruptcy and start creating my courses on online. Within a week or so of applying I had the money even though my credit was not perfect and I already had way more debt than I could handle. I got a rate of 8.5% or so APR and am grateful to be nearly finished with my payments. Check your rate without impacting your credit score!
Capture Card for Mac!
Magewell HD HDMI USB 3.0 Capture Dongle is the capture card I use to get the output from my main monitor into a format I can work with on my iMac and/or Mac Pro inside Wirecast and Camtasia.