This is a collection of the resources we use and the blogs we read. The resources are a mixture of free, freemium, and paid services. Along with the entries are short descriptions and personal experiences from Robert Hacala.

Everything on this page we have either used ourselves or trust to be of great quality and value.




• I’m a totally grateful lifetime member of the Internet Business Mastery Academy. Jeremy and Jason have taught me so much about setting up an internet business. Their practical content is so easy to digest and motivates you to take action.

This audio/video training course starts you from zero and guides you step-by-step to build your own business with next to no cash. And having access to the hugely helpful member community is simply wicked. The members are always answering each other’s questions and sharing opinions. Get full access, risk free, for 90 days.


• Do you want to learn why LinkedIn is the most powerful social networking site for your business and will most likely double your results over any other site? Check out this page to learn why. Trevor Turnbull put it together, and it will no doubt add value to your business. He’s the go-to guy when it comes to LinkedIn.

This course shows you exactly how you can use Linkedin to drive tons of traffic to your site and get qualified leads, successfully network with high-profile individuals, get a steady flow of job offers, and lots more. You can get full access with a 60-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked.

Themes and Templates



Elegant Themes offers beautiful responsive WordPress themes with easy-to-use theme options. Some offer drag-and-drop page builders, too. Elegant Themes has a super efficient team behind their customer service, ready for any questions, issues, and even DIY customization. I’m using Elegant Themes for a few of my websites. Get the entire collection of 87 themes for only $69! And if you don’t like what you get, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.


Themeforest is jam-packed with all kinds of site templates and themes. They’ve got WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal themes, eCommerce themes, PSD templates, HTML5/CSS3 templates, even Tumblr themes. Choose what you want with on-demand purchasing and read reviews before you buy.


Northeme designs utterly beautiful responsive WordPress themes with styling options and extensive documentation. The themes are slick, simple, clean, and ideal for personal, photographic, and design-related websites.

Template Monster emphasizes affordable web design. They currently have the internet’s largest web template library, with over 20,000 web designs. They add about 450-500 new designs each month.

Books on Branding



The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand. I highly encourage you to pick up this book and read it cover to cover. It’s an easy 272-page read that’s insightful and thought-provoking. It’s makes the concept of branding accessible to even beginners. It contains many important principles and practical tips for building your brand and keeping it alive.


The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design is very straightforward and easy to understand. Marty Neumeier labels it a “Whiteboard Overview” with good reason. It’s laid out in a concise manner, with short yet profound bursts of knowledge on business and branding. A classic, and definitely worth a read.

Productivity and Automation



ManageWP is a must-have tool if you have more than one WordPress site. From a single secure dashboard, you can take multiple actions with all of your sites at once, like update plugins and WordPress versions, publish content, reply to comments, schedule backups, and clean out your spam. ManageWP even monitors your uptime to see when your sites have been inaccessible and for how long. Their support is available 24/7 and they have a phone number you can call.

There’s a 14-day free trial with all the features. Pricing depends on the features you want and how many websites you run. For example, the standard blogger package with 5 websites is only US$0.80 per website per month! It’s a fantastic tool that saves so much time and provides so much value.

Buffer App logo

Buffer is an efficient way to schedule your posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Set your preferred times to post, fill up your slots, and then let it go. Put a buffer button on your website. Add to your buffer straight from your Twitter feed. You can check your analytics and recycle posts back into your time slots with drag-and-drop. The free account gives you ten time slots, and when someone else signs up with your referral link, you both get an extra slot.


IFTTT is a tool that truly made my day when I found it. It lets you set up automated actions across the web by linking various apps and services. The things you can do are really limitless. You can load up Buffer with posts from RSS feeds… save your Tweets to a Google Drive spreadsheet… or receive an email when it’s going to rain tomorrow (I do all three). Just like they say: “put the internet to work for you”. You can even share these “recipes” publicly and browse the ones other people have shared.



Double Your Traffic in 30 Days

Written by Neil Patel and Sherice Jacob via Quicksprout

• Free article/course that takes you through 30 days of advice and actions for increasing your traffic. Neil is the guru that increased TechCrunch’s traffic by 30% in 60 days. (The article is also beautifully designed with fantastic illustrations.)

Reputation Management


The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Positive Brand Image for Online Reputation Management

Written by Neil Patel via KISSmetrics

• It’s quite the headline, but it’s also quite the blog post on keeping your online brand positive and noticed.

Design Resources



Designmodo is an online magazine with resources, tools and informative materials for graphic and web designers. Check out the wickedly designed vector icons, UI kits, and infographic elements. The blog offers more, with tips, tutorials, freebies, and inspiration.


• The Startup Design Framework is a recent release from Designmodo. It’s a simple-to-use framework that helps designers, developers, and companies build beautiful websites and presentations. There’s now a WordPress version, too.



Web Icon Set is exactly what it sounds like it is—a resource with icon sets for the web. It even includes some free icon sets, available for commercial projects. There are business icons, e-commerce icons, social icons, browser icons, weather icons, transportations icons, flag icons, mini icons, minimal icons, and so much more.

Notes and Cloud Storage


Evernote Logo

Evernote is a wicked tool to increase your productivity, on the job and off. You can save notes, files, photos, audio, and websites You can sync your notes across all of your devices and share with others.

I use it mainly to write and organize my website content and blog posts. Once a post is finished and uploaded, I simply move it into a different notebook, so I know what’s finished and what’s not.

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Dropbox lets you sync your files across all your devices. Use it just like any other folder on your computer. Share folders or files with others. You get 2GB of free space for signing up, or up to 1000GB for paid services. It keeps a one-month history of your files, changes or deletions can be undone, and starred files can be accessed offline. Supported by Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. I use it with my design clients to send and receive large files that can’t be emailed, and for collaborative editing work.

Publishing logo is a great web tool for starting your own automated digital newspaper, daily or weekly. It curates customized content from Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. Filter by people, lists, groups, and keywords. Visitors can share or subscribe to your newspaper for email updates. There’s also a browser button so you can install so you can easily add any page or site.



Branding Strategy Insider – Founded by Derrick Daye and Brad VanAuken as an extension of their brand consulting: The Blake Project.

Copyblogger – “Content Marketing Advice and Solutions That Work.” Multi-author blog founded by Brian Clark, ranked #3 of the 100 Most Influential Online Marketers of 2009 on

Duct Tape Marketing – John Jantsch has been called the World’s Most Practical Small Business Expert for consistently delivering real-world, proven small business marketing ideas and strategies.

Chris Garrett on New Media – “Build your business by sharing what you know.” Chris Garrett posts tips, thoughts and advice on the business of new media and online business.

Convince and Convert – “Social & Content Accelerators.” Jay Baer is a hype-free digital marketing strategist, speaker, and author.

Chris Brogan – “Grow a Successful Business Channel.” Chris Brogan is a New York Times best-selling author of books like Trust Agents (co-written with Julien Smith), Social Media 101, and Google Plus for Business.

A Clear Eye – “Life is change. Growth is optional.” Tom Asacker is an acclaimed author and renowned speaker on the concept of belief and how it relates to building more dynamic relationships between organizations and their audiences.

John Morgan – “Changing Marketing One Brand at a Time.” John Morgan is known as the Chuck Norris of branding and is the author of Brand Against The Machine.

More Than Branding – Founded by Maria Elena Moré. “To discover what lies beneath excellent (and sometimes not so excellent) marketing performance.”

Brand Mix – “Branding Stories, Ideas, Thoughts, and Observations.” Founded by Martin Bishop, a brand strategist specializing in brand architecture and portfolio strategy.

The Marketing Blog – “Turning Entrepreneurs Into Marketers.” Founded by Jay Ehret, who serves as Dean of Marketing Know-How.

Drew’s Marketing Minute – “Create a Love Affair With Your Customer.” Founded by Drew McLellan, a 25+ year marketing agency veteran.

Logo Design Love – “Devoted to the design of logos and brand identities.” Founded by David Airey, author of Logo Design Love (the book).