Marketing Resources For Web Entrepreneurs
“It takes a lot of resources, tools, and services to make an online business hum like a canary. Over the years, I have spent tons of money trying and testing resources that I “prayed” would help improve my business. Some were great. Some weren’t the right fit, but good. Others just stunk! Many of the better resources that I have used, I found through other experienced online business owners. So I thought it was only fitting that I pay it forward and list all the resources that I use in my business with links that let them know that I sent you…”
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all things that I have used in my own business and am recommending because I love the product/service and trust the companies, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products. Although if you do order from one of my links, thank you, and know that a portion of the proceeds goes towards autism awareness.
Submit Your Article
After you’ve written your wonderful articles, the bigger question is how do you get them out in front of as many people as you can? The answer is using an article submission service that submits your articles to high-profile directories and top tier, well-ranked 3rd party publishers – NOT junkie directories or spammy blogs. This is the ONLY service I recommend for high-quality, effective, multiple article submissions.
I have never recommended an article spinning software program to my clients until now. The reason why this article spinner passes the grade and clearly surpasses all of their predecessors is because it “understands” what you have written in your articles and can use appropriate synonyms to create totally unique & well-written versions of your articles.
If you are serious at all about building visibility on the web for your business, you need a blog. WordPress is the #1 blogging platform, it’s free, and I use it on all of my sites. It’s very user friendly. For a free step-by-step tutorial on how to create a SEO friendly WordPress blog in 15 minutes flat, click here.
Thesis WordPress Template
Using Thesis as your WordPress blog template will give you a big advantage in your niche. Your articles will be optimized for the search engines effortlessly! This is the theme that all my sites run on and I have the search engine rankings to prove it’s power.
Make your WordPress Thesis blog “pretty” when you use a ThesisAwesome skin. No graphics designer necessary! I use the Avenger skin on my blog.
I use a zillion wordpress plugins but this is one that I thought deserved placement on this page. It’s actually not easy to create a form on a WordPress blog, so this plugin takes the guess work out of it and creates simple or advanced forms very quickly. Think “contact us” or “coaching session” forms.
Get your site listed at this directory if you publish a WordPress blog or you are a WordPress consultant, designer, etc. Great backlink to have.
This one blog community really changed my approach on how I build traffic to my sites. It’s essential to build relationships with other like minded bloggers, entrepreneurs, etc. who will spread the word about your content & vice versa. Members (including the wonderful owner) here will tweet, like, share, G+ and comment on your articles which directly impacts the traffic to your site. I highlighted them in an article I wrote on traffic generation over on Problogger.
I use this service to help promote my articles via Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Users earn credits for promoting each other’s content via social networks. I see an increased amount of traffic to my site, an increase in Twitter followers, and a raise in my Klout score from using this service.
I have used several webhosts over the years and this is the company that was able to handle all of my sites, had a user friendly admin interface, and superior customer service — plus they run on 130% wind power. You gotta love that! I HIGHLY recommend using Hostgator to build your first WordPress blog.
This is an alternative to Hostgator for web hosting that is also very good, highly reputable, and has great customer service.
SEO Domain Hosting
I purposely choose keyword rich domain names and like to pay as little as possible for them! That’s why I use and recommend this company to secure my domain names. I have a lot of ‘em:)
PAYMENTS & SHOPPING CARTS
This low-cost shopping cart solution is the best for securely purchasing and delivering digital products like ebooks. You can try it out for free and after the trial period, it’s only $5 bucks a month. Plus there is a built in affiliate program for people to promote your products.
I really like the #1 industry leader Clickbank as a digital product and 3rd party payment solution, but I love them for their huge affiliate marketplace. I get sales everyday from people who promote my products through Clickbank and they handle all the affiliate pay outs. I don’t have to “think” about any of that which is nice. I use Clickbank for a lot of my niche products.
You can use Paypal to process major credit cards for payments made to you for products and services. I use them in conjunction with my shopping cart system because it is a trusted brand and many people have Paypal accounts these days. You could use it as your sole payment solution or as a payment alternative.
EMAILS & NEWSLETTERS
There are a few power players in the ezine/autoresponder market. I have used them all. I finally found one that was dependable, upheld industry standards so that your emails actually get delivered, and have a lot of functionality – this is Aweber. Most of the pros use this email solution and they are still very affordable, so I highly recommend them. One word of advice: make your decision and then commit to it because moving your email list from one provider to another is a nightmare because of CAN-SPAM laws! (Just go with Aweber:)
This is a WordPress plugin that creates really beautiful and robust email capture forms for your blog. Integrates with several email marketing tools — I use it effortlessly with Aweber to convert more readers into subscribers every single day on my blog. You can seen my optinskin examples on my home page, at the bottom of every post, and some of my pages (about & start here).
It’s very important to get your keywords “right” when creating content that people can find and want to view. Market Samurai is the #1 tool on the web for getting it done. All the pros use it, it’s affordable, and worth every penny. I use it before I create any piece of content.
I’m really loving this new keyword tool that is lightening fast and is key to me finding longer keyword phrases that will bring my sites traffic on a daily basis over the long haul. It’s these long keywords that will end up sending the most traffic to your site vs. your “main” or “dream” keywords. I highly recommend it.
Google Adwords Tool
While this is a tool to help you select keywords for your Adwords campaigns, you can also use it to find new keywords and to check the popularity and the ad competition for keywords for your content as well.
Another fantastic keyword research tool, with even more information and analytics to compare and select the perfect keywords.
IMAGES & LOGOS
If you want to create a logo for yourself or just need some nice photos for some of your blog articles or information products, this is my absolutely favorite site for finding photos. *Tip – for most content you only need to download the smallest version of the images on stock photo sites.
Flickr Creative Commons
Want to automatically add Twitter followers, unfollow folks who aren’t following you back, and auto-send Twitter messages? This affordable software just may be what you are looking for! It’s the only social media tool that I use everyday. Check out my video tutorial on how I set up Automatic Retweets using Tweetadder.
The Warrior Forum
This is a VERY active internet marketing forum. Whatever you may be looking for in respect to your site, you could probably find and outsource via folks you find on this forum. You can also make your own offers to the community here as well.
I have an entire backlinking strategy that I use for my sites and part of the system is to obtain backlinks from relevant directories. This service will help you do it semi-automatically so that you can submit to relevant directories with good ranking that will give you an optimal backlink to your site – raising your relevance in the search engines.
This site is great for building backlinks. Write content on any topic and link it back to any website you own.
Find someone on this site to do just about anything you need done. I hired someone from here to help me develop my first WordPress plugin.
Another great outsource website for freelancers, IT companies, programmers and web designers from abroad.
You can go do 99designs looking to post pretty much any sort of design job you want and then choose your favorite design from hundreds of designs submitted. It’s like a virtual contest for the winning job. I love it because you get a variety of designs to choose from instead of depending on only one designer to really “get” what it is you want.
You can outsource a lot of things on Fiverr for only $5 bucks a pop. This is where I went to get my cool new avatar done for five bucks! Unbelievable.
Digital Access Pass
I tried several of the big membership site platforms and ended up going Digital Access Pass because it was powerful at an affordable price point. PLUS it was created FOR WordPress – so integration was easy. If you own a WordPress blog and you want to limit some or all access of your content to members only – then this is the membership platform for you.
WordPress Guest Post
Running out of article ideas? It may be easier to have readers and fans of your site generate content for you! Accept your own guest posts easily without having the writers logging into your WordPress blog as a guest (I don’t like that!) Download this WordPress plugin for free: http://WordpressGuestPost.com