Tools Of The Online-Marketing Trade
When it comes to the internet marketing tools and resources used to make money online, there are some that have added tremendous value to my online business. There something to be said about the ones I use currently, because they are the result of years of trying dozens of various products and learning, by trial and error, which ones are actually worth their salt. So, in the same way that “the wheat is separated from the chaff”, the best money-making tools seem to rise to the top, while the so-so ones just disappear.
This page was built to show you the tools and resources that I use to make money online today. Some are absolutely “mission critical” while others are used to supplement and add additional value. Either way, these are the cream-of-the-crop as far as I’m concerned. Also, please note that this page may change from time to time. Just because I am happy with the current contents of my online toolbox does not mean that I quit looking for better alternatives. When and if I find something that I feel is an improvement over an existing tool, I’ll update this page to show you my new discovery.
Ben’s Top 5
If you asked me to pick ONLY 5 tools that I absolutely couldn’t live without, I’d go with these…
Wealthy Affiliate: This one has a special place in my heart. These guys are my “Swiss Army Knife” of online marketing. Honestly, I could quite possibly say that I owe my success in online marketing and money-making to this one singular resource. When I started off in this business, I was doing more things wrong than I was doing right, but the thing is that I didn’t KNOW I was doing things the wrong way until I got plugged into this invaluable resource. Take a minute and read this in-depth review I wrote on these guys.
Elegant Themes: For the longest time I just used the free wordpress themes for the different website I was building. Eventually though I reached a point where I just needed more flexibility in how I could design and lay out my websites. I began the search for a purpose-built premium theme. I tried a lot of different options, but eventually got lucky and came across Elegant Themes. Currently I’m using their “Divi” theme on this website, and I just think it’s amazingly flexible – I just wish I could have found it 5 years ago!
MadMimi: Having the ability to keep in touch with your prospects is very important for any business – especially one that is 100% online. For this task I use MadMimi. They have a funny name, but they are the best. In the past, I’ve used many other email marketing services, but for me, MadMimi has the best balance between features and pricing. Check them out – they just plain rock.
NameCheap: Here’s where I get my URLs and Hosting. I’ve found these guys to be the most cost-competitive, and also the most stable. Honestly – I was using GoDaddy for years and experienced some problems with the stability of their hosting platform. That’s what prompted me to search for something better. I found what I was looking for with NameCheap, and I’ve been happy, content, and impressed ever since. They get my recommendation for sure.
SemRush: This one is awesome. I’ll admit though, there’s a little piece of me that feels a bit sneaky whenever I use this tool. Essentially, this tool allows me to spy on my competitors. I can see what keywords they are ranking for, I can see what terms that are using for PPC – heck, I can even see how much they are spending on their Adwords campaigns. Hehe – I love it. The purpose of this tool is to allow you to have a gauge on what is working and what’s not in the world of SEO. It’s invaluable, really. They do offer a Free Trial is you want to see for yourself.
I’ve always had better results by writing my articles around keywords that I target strategically. The only way to do this is by using some sort of keyword research software. For this purpose, I use Jaaxy. From my experience, this is easily the best tool on the market, and I think it’s years ahead of it’s time. Don’t just take my word for it, give it a quick test drive by dropping a seed term into the search box below, get a free account, and enjoy 30 free searches. Cool stuff.
Website Related Tools
Here are other tools that I use for all of my websites and blogs.
WordPress.org: WordPress is where it’s at. This is what I use on all of my blogs and websites. It’s user-friendly, capable, flexible, and stable. Also, best of all… it’s free.
NameCheap: Anytime I need to purchase a new domain, I go through these guys. Yes, there are plenty of other places to buy domains, but I’ve always found NameCheap to have great service, simple process, and cheap prices.
Elegant Themes: If you are going to be building websites using WordPress, I can’t imagine another theme package that would give you more bang for your buck than the Divi theme from Elegant Themes. Not only do you get 80 themes for the price of 1, but you also get an awesome set of premium plugins as well that really make your website shine and look super-professional.
Monarch Plugin: This is a plugin that comes with the Elegant Themes license. It’a great. This is the sliding social sharing button group that is attached to the left side of the website. There are loads of customization options so you can set it up just the way you like it. I’m really happy with this one.
W3 Total Cache: To tell you the truth, I’m not really sure about how this one works, but I know that it just does. You can use this free plugin to help optimize the speed of your website. This is really important for keeping your visitors happy and to also be sure your website ranks well with the search engines.
All In One SEO Pack: Use this one to be sure that your articles and blog posts are SEO optimized with all of the search engines. There are loads of other plugins that are built around helping you with SEO, but I’ve found this one to be the most straight-forward and user friendly of them all.
Email Marketing Tools
Here are the tools I use in my email marketing efforts.
MadMimi: I found these guys in 2012 and ever since, I’ve been completely satisfied with my email marketing platform. After trying a half-dozen other options, this is the one that worked the best for my uses and I have no intention of changing to another provider anytime soon. AWESOME customer service.
Bloom: This is a cool one. Have you ever noticed those little windows that pop up from time to time on different websites? Well, this plugin lets you create and configure those pop-up windows, Yes – I know those can sometime be annoying, but the truth of their effectiveness is in the numbers. These pop-up boxes just plain work. I really like this particular plugin because is so flexible in how you can set it up. Also, you can even set up more than 1 campaign on your website so that you can test 2 different forms to see which one converts better.
This one comes free with the Elegant Themes license. Also, that’s the only way you can get this one because it’s not sold separately outside of the license. In my opinion, I think the value that you can from this plugin alone is justification for the cost of the Elegant Themes license.