The Tools, Plugins, & Services I Use to Drive Traffic, Build My Email List, and Get Ranked in Search Engines
“I think one of the things that really separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool builders.
I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. And humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing, about a third of the way down the list.
It was not too proud a showing for the crown of creation. So, that didn’t look so good.
But, then somebody at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle. And a man on a bicycle, a human on a bicycle, blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts.
And that’s what a computer is to me. What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, and it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.” — Steve Jobs
Tools amplify our abilities. They help us do things faster, more efficiently, and at a greater scale.
This is true offline and online.
I use different tools and services every day to amplify what I can do in my business. This page breaks down the best internet marketing tools I use and how you can use them as well.
Use the following links to jump to each section:
- Content Promotion
- List Building
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Email Outreach
- Website Management
- Business Management
Content Promotion Tools
BuzzBundle — BuzzBundle is the ultimate content promotion tool. You insert a list of keywords related to your content, and the tool will crawl social networks, forums, and Q&A sites looking for conversations related to your keywords. Then you can engage with these people directly from the interface and promote your content to them. I use BuzzBundle for a couple hours to promote each article I publish.
Buzzsumo — Buzzsumo is a search engine that helps you find the most shared content for any given keyword. I use it to search for content related to my articles. Then I click “View Sharers” to see the people who have shared that content, and I reach out to show them my own piece. This is the most effective email outreach technique I’ve come across.
Long Tail Platinum — Long Tail Platinum is a fantastic keyword research tool. The best keywords to target are ones with high search volume and low competition. I used to have to find these keywords manually and it would take me hours. I can do it in 10 minutes with LTP. It pulls keywords from Google’s Keyword Planner, but uses an specific algorithm to calculate competition scores for each keyword from 1 — 100 (1 being lowest competition). I simply filter the keywords by competition score and identify the ones with the lowest competition and highest search volume. Easy as that.
SEO Spyglass — SEO Spyglass is a backlink checker. In terms of the # of backlinks it pulls up, it’s around the top 1/3 of backlink checkers. But the reasons I love this tool are because 1) it’s a piece of desktop software with a one-time fee (most good backlink checkers are monthly subscriptions) and 2) it doubles as a backlink analysis tool. It gives you a ton of data about each link to help you determine the highest/lowest quality ones. Great tool if you need an affordable backlink checker.
Majestic SEO — This is my favorite monthly subscription backlink checker right now. It’s intuitive, they offer their Trust Flow and Citation Flow metrics which can be really helpful for determining a link’s quality, and their reporting is excellent.
Google’s Keyword Planner — The GKP is the ultimate free keyword research tool. I use it to quickly find head keywords to plug into Long Tail Platinum. Google’s Keyword Planner doesn’t offer competition scores or some of the more advanced features you would like, but it’s how I start most of my SEO campaigns to this day.
List Building Tools
SumoMe — I recommend SumoMe to every webmaster. It’s a suite of free tools you can use to grow your email and drive traffic, among a few other things. Their best tools for list building are List Builder, Smart Bar, Scroll Box, and Welcome Mat.
Content Upgrades PRO — Content Upgrades PRO allows you to set up two-step optin boxes within your content. And you can deliver a resource that’s specific to that article (rather than a site-wide lead magnet). This is one of the most effective lead generation strategies, because you’re giving readers more of what they came to your website for. With Content Upgrades PRO, you can deliver a specific resource with each content upgrade, and view your conversion data. My best content upgrade is converting at a solid 4.31%.
Thrive Content Builder — Following our one-time fee theme, I love Thrive Content Builder. It’s how I build all of my landing pages (like this one and this one). It comes with a TON of landing page templates that are already optimized for conversion. All you have to do is change up the copy. You can also edit your blog posts and pages to customize design and other attributes without needing to know a single line of code.
Social Media Marketing Tools
Social Quant — Social Quant is a Twitter marketing tool that grows your following on autopilot. You input a set of keywords, and Social Quant follows/unfollows people for you based on those keywords. I used to do this manually, and it worked but not nearly as well. And using Social Quant saved me a ton of time growing my following. I’ve also seen a noticeable increase in engagement. (I doubled my Twitter following in 75 days! They offer a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) and it’s just $25 after that.
Crowdfire — Crowdfire is another tool that you can use to grow your Twitter following, but I use it to drive traffic back to my blog. It lets you set up an automatic direct message that gets sent to each new follower. I combine this with Social Quant to drive traffic on autopilot.
Buffer — Buffer is an excellent service for automating your social media shares (and traffic). It lets you schedule shares to multiple social networks and using multiple accounts.
Email Marketing Tools
AWeber — I use AWeber to do all of my email marketing. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and simple. I use it to send professional email blasts and to build out my autoresponder sales funnel. I can add to it and rearrange emails in a matter of minutes, and their reporting is excellent.
Email Outreach Tools
BuzzStream — BuzzStream is one of the best email outreach tools. I use it to promote every piece of content, reach out to people for expert roundups, and reach out to any list of people I need to get in contact with. You simply upload a list of emails/names. Then create an email template that will automatically pull in the name, email, and any other information of the person you’re sending it to. Then you click send on one contact and it automatically moves on to the next and fills in those variables. It’s the easiest and fastest way to do mass outreach.
FatCow Hosting — This is the hosting company I first started with and still use today. For $3.15/mo it’s a solid deal. Their customer service has always been great and everything is intuitive. Once my traffic hits a certain point, however, I’ll probably move to WordPress-specialized hosting.
SiteGround Hosting — I love this hosting company. They’re relatively new, but their service is some of the best I’ve seen. They send you a weekly “HackAlert” that monitors you site for malware, and the speed is excellent for the price ($3.95/mo).
Sucuri Website Security — In a period of 3 months I had gotten hacked twice. I spent a couple hundred dollars to a security company to clean both instances up for me. It sucked, so I decided it was time to buy ongoing security and website protection. Sucuri has been EXCELLENT. Not even a hint of malware or any threats. And their support is intelligent and quick to respond.
Updraft Plus — After getting hacked and almost losing my entire blog, I decided it would be smart to back everything up. Updraft Plus is a free WP backup plugin. It backs up everything on Copytactics 4 times per day, just in case, and it sends every backup straight to my Dropbox account. Huge piece of mind benefits.
DropBox Pro — For $9.99/mo, this is pretty much unlimited cloud storage for me. I’ve been using Dropbox for many years and it will continue to be an integral part of my life for many years.
Mint — I used to use QuickBooks for my business accounting, but it overloaded me with features I didn’t need and it sucked at categorizing my expenses. Mint is great.
Slack — Slack is a team messaging app. It’s great for communicating with team members, affiliates, mastermind groups, etc.
Google Drive — Screw Microsoft Word, Excel, Pages, Numbers, etc. Google Drive (AKA Docs, Sheets) is the shit. I use it to do all of my word processing and spreadsheets and have all of my work on any of my devices.
Any tools I missed? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.