There are so many tools on the internet for your business that it is just so easy to hit information overload. And I am not the biggest tool addict out there either. I pay for very few tools on a regular basis and prefer to use a few that do what my outsourcers can not achieve and leave it at that.
But I pay for very few and I am sure it will surprise many of you to hear that I am rather frugal when it comes to my personal and professional life and all my recurring business costs minus my email marketing subscription at Aweber all come in at under $300 a month.
Though this is mainly because when a paid tool is not working out or not doing what I want it to do then I ditch it!
Its just like the gym membership. Whenever there is a recession on we are always told to ditch our gym membership first as the thing that we are expected to get value for money out of the least. So why don’t more of us do it with their online business.
Interesting thought isn’t it?
So with this in mind below you will find the top 10 essential tools I use for my internet marketing business in 2013. Some paid some free and why I use each of them to create a successful online business.
Where would I be without Socialoomph? It is actually the first tool I ever used and it was such a long time ago it was then called Tweet Later or something similar. Back then it was a free tool and now it is paid but I wouldn’t go without it.
I use it just for sending out a direct message to my new followers telling them where to grab my free ebook and also as a fantastic automated way to build my mailing list. I checked earlier this year and this one tool has added a huge 10,000 subscribers to my mailing list over the last 3 years from me doing absolutely nothing.
This has to be list building gold doesn’t it?
2. Stat Counter
I love Statcounter.com and its one of the few services I am a paying customer of. I used to have a free account for many years but I soon realised I was much better off as a paid customer. Not only does the adsense vanish but I get a much bigger keyword search facility. I pay $19 a month and it shows all of my traffic results over the last 4 weeks. So I can look up recent keyword activity, recent came from and I can also see which of my Clickbank affiliates are bringing me in the most traffic.
It also serves as my tracking for when I am doing solo ads as I can see where my customer went and what they did.
Finally I can also see the type of traffic I am bringing in like the chart below that is taken from my weight loss blog:
I have tried Google Analytics in the past but have found that it has never been as reliable as Statcounter plus with the Google webmaster tools I don’t need analytics.
I have been a late developer as far as Hootsuite is concerned and only just started using it earlier this year. But I am making up for lost time and really enjoying using it. But what I love is how much faster it makes my social media campaigns. I have gone from hiring assistants to spend five hours a day working on my social media to about 10 minutes of do it yourself social media.
You can add your social media message and have it sent out to:
- Linkedin business pages
- Facebook groups
- Facebook page
- Linkedin groups
- Google Plus page
All at once – actually you can do more than this, but this is what I personally do. So imagine if you are a member of Facebook groups and the total is one million group members and that is without your other followings. Then you post to them your blog posts as you do them. You could easily add 1000 visitors to your blog post each week without any great effort and get yourself a lot more blog readers.
You are probably sick to death of me talking about social media but here is another one! In fact this really is a life saver especially if you have been overloaded with spammers on Twitter.
I have recently signed up for their services a couple of weeks ago and was shocked to discover that 20% of my following is mainly taken up by spammers and it needs a thorough cleaning out. So I have taken advantage of the services of my 12 year old before he goes back to school. And he has been using Tweepi to get rid of the rubbish from my account and in the last week has wiped 11,000 Twitters off my account.
Which I have found has made it a lot more responsive and I plan to keep using it in the long term for regular maintenance.
I have used other similar tools in the past but they have never gone as far indepth as this one.
Now this is the best software I have ever signed up for and is the home of my passive income streams. We all love to list build and the features Aweber have are brilliant. I have 90 follow up messages stored in my Aweber account and each one of them on autopilot sends out an email to my mailing list.
You always here the saying that the money is in the list and IT IS!
You can read more about how I got started with Aweber and how good it is for your business via my Aweber Review.
This is the only Plugin that I pay for on a subscription basis and that is because it is the creme de la creme of WordPress. Before I upgraded this I would get 500 spam comments per day going into my approval folder. Where as now they all go directly to spam and I may just have 1-2 spam comments head to my inbox. Something I am sure you will agree is a BIG difference.
Its only $5 a month and well worth the price and the time that it saves you.
7. Blog Vault
If you have a blog you need blog vault. We pay $19 a month for this on two of our sites and it gives us brilliant peace of mind. You can’t escape products at the moment telling you about the dangers of hacking and how they have been personally hacked.
I have never been seriously hacked though for a while I did have new contributor usernames added to one of my WordPress blogs and it did worry me.
But remember the internet never sleeps so while you are sleeping people from around the world will be trying to hack into your site so it is a very good idea to have your site constantly backed up so that if anything goes wrong you have a copy.
How many times do you hear people say that they have lost their entire content? And its important to look after your work after all if you owned a newsagents you wouldn’t go out and leave the door unlocked would you?
8. Exit Splash
I have been using Exit Splash for a few years now and it is great way to use those visitors that are leaving your site and turn them into regular paying customers.
I have it set up on a few pages where I have a squeeze page and then those that are leaving instead of adding their email address they can then purchase a product instead.
I also use them to upsell products to people that have previously purchased.
From using it over the last few years I have increased my sales by about 15% so if you feel you want your profits to increase then give Exit Splash a go!
9. Google Alerts
I love Google alerts and they have benefits for a number of reasons:
- you can track yourself for brand awareness
- you can track when your content is getting linked in Google
- you can check information on keywords you are targeting
- you can see what your competition is doing
There are so much more than this that you can do but I am sure you get the idea. I use it mainly to see which of my content is getting indexed in Google so that I can keep improving my SEO.
I also use it to keep up to date with what people are talking about in my niche so that I am always kept up to date with the latest information and it is by far one of the best tools for internet marketers.
10. Open Office
Open office is a great asset to any internet marketers business and I would be lost without it. Many of my writers don’t have Word and will send the work to me in open office but the best feature is that it converts pdfs for you which is essential for ebook writers.
I also have a netbook that doesn’t support Microsoft Office so when I am on this I use open office and it works like a dream.
Plus many internet marketers when they start out cant afford Microsoft Office so this is a fabulous free alternative.
I am sure many of you are going to jump on board and mention another tool that I have not covered which will be great to hear what you use and I know there are many other tools too but these are the top 10 that make a difference in my business right now.