We USE everything we recommend below.
Some of these are free, some are not. Those that are not use affiliate links. What this means, and it's a learning opportunity for you, is that we (Gig Economics) get a commission if you purchase a product or service we recommend here.
YOU won't pay a higher price. The vender gets a smaller net profit if we make a sale. They do that because they get more sales from affiliate referrals–it's completely worth it for them to do that.
You can rest assured, we not only like getting a commission for recommending the products and services below but we actually PROFIT from using them because they are GOOD.
In short, the resources below are what we use to run Gig Economics.
Without further ado, here they are.
Getting Started Online
You don't absolutely have to have a website to work in the gig economy. If you're an Uber driver, for example, you need a car and a smartphone and a bank account.
But for many other gig-based businesses, you really do want to set up a website, if only a small one-pager showcasing your services.
We have been using Namecheap for over a decade. As their name indicates, they are cheap. But they're also easy to work with and rock-solid when it comes to doing what you pay them to do.
We always recommend getting the cheapest, smallest, and least complex web hosting plan at first. Then grow into your site. As traffic builds and you need more horsepower, upgrade.
That said, you don't want to build a site on a webhost that you can't grow with.
That's why we wholeheartedly recommend, and use, A2 Hosting. You can start with a very small investment (less than $5 a month) and upgrade as your needs dictate, all the way to virtual servers and dedicated servers.
Themes and Plugins
You can build your website with Wix, WordPress, Joomla, or a bunch of other “platforms.”
We recommend, and we do this ourselves, self-hosted WordPress. It's super easy to set up and you can use free, off the shelf themes and plugins to get done 99 percent of what you want to get done.
When you need more, but don't want to hire a programmer, you install a custom theme framework like Thrive Themes (which we use here–Gig Economics is built on it) and purchase some plugins that do the heavy lifting.
We use Thrive Themes plugins for our lead capture. We use them on this site. They make building opt in forms and landing pages super easy.
Stuff you'd need to hire a developer for to get the look you want.
Email Service Provider
You may think, “I already have an email service provider,” but that's not what we're talking about here.
The very first thing you want to incorporate into your online marketing efforts is lead capture. That means you want to get people to sign up for your email list. Email Service Providers (ESP) store your leads database (aka your list) and send all your emails out to your list.
You could do that with WordPress, but there are severe risks with doing that. The biggest risk is getting your domain blacklisted by ISPs, so any emails you do send out won't get delivered to your leads. They will not even make it to their SPAM box. ISPs will just send them into the either.
So you want an ESP. The one we use and recommend is Aweber. We have used them for over 10 years and they offer top-notch service. You can get a free trial here.
Sign up for these services
Optional but highly recommended services
Webinar Ninja. If you're going to do webinars, you want a system that was built from the ground up as a webinar platform. WN is that platform.
It offers a whole lot of features at a very competitive price.
BeLive and/or StreamYard. Pick one. BeLive can stream to Facebook or YouTube while StreamYard can simultaneously livestream to five places (so, for example, a Facebook group and page, and three YouTube channels).
We have not used StreamYard extensively yet. But we have used BeLive and recommend it, especially if you're just starting out. You can always switch later on.