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Tools I Use
In order to simplify things, I’ve collated all the sites, tools, and resources that I use to create niche sites, perform SEO tasks, keyword research, hosting, and others. For internet marketing related books, visit IMBR.
Most of the items listed below are affiliate links, so if you do decide to subscribe or purchase these items, I’ll be receiving a small commission as an affiliate. The list contains tools I actually use and recommend, I’ve seen them work and are incredibly helpful for me achieve specific tasks that I need to accomplish.
Domain and Hosting
- HostGator- I moved my main site to Hostgator after Bluehost failed me for 3 consecutive weeks due to a server attack and Fatcowcouldn’t even keep their servers up in my short 2 week stay with them.The Hostgator servers are much faster than BlueHost according to my main site’s server load times (used to be 4-6seconds on Bluehost, 0.3-1 sec on Hostgator. That’s all I need to know.INSTANT DISCOUNT COUPON! Get 25% off your hositng! Just enter LNMSAVE25NOW during checkout!
- Namecheap – All of my domains are purchased through Namecheap. Their prices are great plus their control panel and checkout system is very simple to use and they won’t keep trying to upsell you with things you don’t need.
- WordPress (Self-Hosted) – If you’re planning to start a blog, I strongly recommend you purchase your own domain and hosting and install WordPress as a self-hosted system. If you hosted your blog on the free WordPress.com, you will not be allowed to place any monetizing elements on the free site.
- Squidoo (Free Host) – Technically not a blogging platform but for our purposes of running Amazon affiliate offers, it’s a great platform to be in. Read my post about Squidoo for Amazon Associates here.
- Blogger (Free Host) – Blogger is owned by Google so you can expect many Google applications to work well on their system and you’re also allowed to easily integrate Google Adsense ads and affiliate ads on their site. Blogger.com is free and tends to be indexed pretty quickly, however, as with any free hosting site, you’re at the mercy of their corporate decision. If Google decides to suddenly disallow ads or shuts it down completely, you’ll be left high-and-dry.
Mailing List and Autoresponder
- Mailchimp - The reason why I used Mailchimp is their ease-of-use and the eternally free service if you have less than 2,000 emails in your list. For most of us starting a new blog or site, this is a big money saver. Their interface is very, very easy to use and I like it quite a bit.
You can always upgrade to their multitude of paid service options when your list gets bigger. A word of warning however, Mailchimp is VERY strict in banning subscribers when it comes to violating their (rather vague) terms of service. Because of this, I moved all my big list to Aweber.
- Aweber – This is pretty much the most used mailing list and autoresponder service right now, and it’s not hard to see why. Great service, very intensive set of tools all point to a top-notch product and their user-interface is very intuitive.
They offer a $1 trial for 7-days and you can cancel anytime. Their monthly rates are very affordable and competitive as well.
- Market Samurai – Market Samurai’s has pretty much taken over the internet marketer’s world by storm and became an almost-standard tool for extensive keyword research.
I often start off with Niche Finder (see below) with some keywords and if they’re worth searching for, I’ll move on to Market Samurai for a complete report and analysis.
- Brad Callen’s Niche Finder – Niche Finder by Brad Callen is a very, very straight-forward tool to use for keyword research, while not as complete and robust as Market Samurai, Niche Finder allows me to quickly and accurately search for keywords as well as generate long-tail keyword phrases.
The software checks if domain names are available your chosen keyword(s) instantly. I use this tool most of the time.
- Google Adwords Keyword Suggestion Tool – The Google Adwords Keyword Suggestion Tool is a free, web-based site for ADVERTISERS to do market research for their paid-per-click Adwords campaigns.
However, as a publisher and for keyword research, this free tool is invaluable as you can see which keywords have advertisers paying for ads, how much global and local searches there are, and best of all, it throws you hundreds of related keyword phrases that visitors actually typed into Google search that you can use to further target your niche!
- Social Monkee – Social Monkee gives you 25 unique backlinks per day for each URL submited. They rock because it’s effective, low-key (drip links), and best of all, it’s FREE!
There’s a paid option of $47 (one-time) if you want to upgrade to 100 links per day automatically, but you can also just refer 12 people to sign-up to Social Monkee and get your upgrade account for FREE as well! Don’t you just love that word – FREE!
- Bulkping- Bulk Ping is a powerful and free website for you to submit your website/RSS feeds in bulk for pinging. They also have an awesome bulk backlink service that’s totally free, creating up to 3000+ backlinks for your site. You can read about my backlinking strategy on this post.
- PayPal – PayPal is pretty much the standard payment system for small credit transactions. You’ll need a PayPal account to pay and receive payments for most affiliate programs.
- Google Adwords – Use Google Adwords to create an ad campaign. When you see all those small ads that appears when you type a search string on Google or those graphical ads you see when you visit a blog, those are all ad campaigns created by businesses through Google Adwords.
If you’re planning to launch a product or service, Adwords pay-per-click campaigns are very effective if executed correctly. You can create a free Adsense account using your Google login account.
Be very careful though as Google has a tendency to ban accounts pretty quickly and for newbies who don’t know how to get around the complex system, a bad ad campaign could mean an instant ban.
- Google Adsense Program – Google Adsense is the counterpart of Google Adwords. While Adwords is for the person CREATING an advertisement, Adsense is for the person creating sites to DISPLAY those Adwords ads. You can create a free Adsense account using your Google login account.
- Adbrite – Adbrite is the closest thing there is for me to Adsense and they work very well. While the ads are less abundant than Adsense, I feel that it throws less ‘junk’ ads as well with minimal fuss and tinkering. Best thing with Adbrite is, you can set a minimum price in the ad units. So let’s say you want Adbrite ads to appear only if their ads pay more than Adsense, you can do that. It’ll show your normal Adsense units until they find an ad that pays more, thereby giving you more earning potential.
- Chitika – Chitika works much like Google Adsense but offers many contextual products in the ads directly, much like a ‘product recommendation’ ads. Both Adsense and Chitika has its place on blogs and affiliate sites, experiment on both and see which works for you.
- Amazon Associate – Amazon’s the web largest retail store right now and they offer an effective affiliate program that may make you a significant amount of income.
That’s what Learn Niche Marketing is all about, being an Amazon Associate.In a nutshell, if a customer enters your site and clicks on an Amazon affiliate link, they’ll be redirected to Amazon’s product page.
The beauty of this is anything they buy in Amazon within 24-hours earns you a commission between 4-8.5% of the sales price.You’ll get a commission to anything they purchase, even if it’s unrelated to your original link!
- Clickbank - If you’re looking for electronic media products to promote and sell, Clickbank should be your first stop.
With thousands of products available waiting for you to promote, you’ll bound to find one that will fit your niche.Same goes if you’ve created a product and would like people to sell your item for you, then you can use Clickbank as well as an advertiser.
Testing and Metrics
- Google Analytics - Google Analytics is a very comprehensive tool to track your website’s performance. Everything from your visitor’s statistics, which page is doing well, your bounce rate, your unique visitors, etc. Every single detail you need to track your site performance and identify problems.
- StatCounter – StatCounter is an excellent site tracking tool with a bunch of features available in a very simple user-interface.
- Majestic SEO – This is an awesome site, so awesome that tools like Market Samurai and Niche Finder both use their report results in their product. Check everything from backlinks, keyword density, search engine ranking, etc.
- SEScout – A wonderful, free search engine ranking tracker allowing you to use up to 10 keywords per email sign-up for free. The charts show the daily movement of your URL per keyword. Very useful when tracking SERP changes.
Books and Resources
- Tim Ferris – 4-Hour Work Week – Honestly now, has any Internet Marketer or non-traditionalist entrepreneur NOT read this book? It’s awesome, inspiring, and inspired so many online businessmen/women that they attributed their success to Ferris’ book.
- Seth Godin – Everything, just get everything. The insights, the unique perspective, the practical application, the motivation. It’s all there, Seth’s the man!
- Moonlighting on the Internet by Yanik Silver - I bought this book a couple of weeks ago and it’s just filled with inspiring stories of real-world people who ‘made it’ online. The book shares 5 different ways to make money online, each written by an industry-respected author and testimonials from regular folks like you and me.
- The Online Copywriter’s Handbook : Everything You Need to Know to Write Electronic Copy That Sells - Robert Bly’s copywriting experience translated to fit the online marketplace. This book is very comprehensive and easy to follow. I guarantee that you’ll write better online copies after the first chapter.
- Internet Marketing: An Hour A Day – If you’re just tired of information overload and want someone to hand-hold you through a step-by-step procedure learning, this is the book for you.Not too dumbed-down but not boring either.
There are 600 pages worth of information just for internet marketing, it’s a great book for everyone. When you want to concentrate more on specifics such as affiliate marketing and such, there are similar books from the same series that can help you.
- EzineArticle – Pretty much the most recognized article directory site. I’ve had great results in terms of link juice and moderate traffic referrals through Ezinearticle.
- InfoBarrel – If you’re good with writing articles, Infobarrel may be the site for you to make consistent passive income. Infobarrel gives you a 75% in Adsense advertisement income generated through your submitted (and approved) articles.
- Epinions- I’ve had success with epinions in the past when I was writing car care product reviews back in the early 2000s. The issue I have with epinions is it works best if you’ll consistently publish reviews and get your earnings up to the payout threshold as soon as possible.
If you’re not based in the USA like me, you’ll have a minimum payout of $100 before you can encash your earnings, however, the double-whammy is your earnings expire if you haven’t touched it for a certain period of time. It does work, however.
Websites for Inspiration
- Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn – Pat’s podcast made me see through the hype and doubts in making money online. His transparent presentation of everything he does just inspires you time and again.
- Problogger by Darren Rowse – One of the most successful and renowned professional blogger, Darren’s tips, ideas, and lessons are pure gold.
- Think Traffic by Corbett Barr – If you need help with generating traffic, look no further. Corbett’s blogging style and lessons are highly useful yet easy to understand.
- Four Hour Work Week Blog - Tim Ferriss’ blog, practically a supplement and continuation of his great book mentioned above.