Often I’m asked about what resources I use for my website, blogging, email marketing and autoresponder, and other tools that help me organize, plan, and make money. This page lists my favorites that I use every day and recommend.
If you’d like more information on what I have tested, and my experience with those resources, you can learn more under my reviews. There are so many resources you can choose from, many proven and effective, some that will hurt your performance, and damage your reputation, and new ones come out every day.
My advice is to find what’s most effective, reputable, and fits within your budget, and focus on growing your business and income, while avoiding the distraction of bright shiny objects. Don’t try to fix something that’s working for you, or you’ll lose progress and income.
Website Blogging, and Email Marketing Resources
WordPress Platform: There are other blogging platforms out there, and WordPress is free and the industry standard. Simple, and the most effective, and by the way it’s free.
Domains: DirectNic.com – When I first started internet marketing in 1999 and purchased my first domain, I was referred to DirectNic by one of the leaders in our network marketing organization. There are other popular choices out there like GoDaddy.com, but I prefer DirectNic hands down over GoDaddy because of their reputation, simplicity, and that DirectNic doesn’t fill your email inbox with sales pitches and junk several times a week.
Hosting: HostGator.com – To get started online you need two things. First, a website domain, which is your “real estate” or property in the online world. Second, your hosting, which is how people “access” your website and where information is stored on your website. I have tried others over the years, but settled on HostGator eight years ago because of reliability, simplicity to use, and afforability. I have over 40 websites that I own hosted through HostGator, and spend less than $10 a month for all 40 of them. Not $10 per website, but $10 total for all of them combined!
WordPress Themes: Genesis and StudioPress – Once you purchase your domain, set up your hosting and install WordPress you need to choose a theme, which is what gives your website its design, layout, navigation menus, and colors. There are many free options available, but I have found they limit what you can create, and the functionality. Within a few days after I began using WordPress I did some research, and found that the Genesis platform by StudioPress was the best reviewed, affordable, reliable, and offers many theme options that are kept up to date. They also release new themes each year, if you want a new look and feel anytime. This website was the StudioPress “Outreach Pro” theme installed on the Genesis Platform. Get Genesis here, and choose your theme.
Graphics: Canva.com – Canva allows you to create all kinds of photos, graphics, eBook covers and so much more.
Photo Editing: PicMonkey.com – is the best all around free photo editing software. Also, the logo on this website was created through PicMonkey!
Email Marketing, Follow Up and List-Building: Aweber – When I am teaching new Network Marketers in my primary business, and Internet Marketers in general my emphasis is on list-building. No matter what industry or business you’re in, even if it’s a restaurant, a salon, insurance, a veterinarian, or in the direct selling or network marketing profession… your list IS your business. Your product or service is not your inventory. Your true inventory is your list of contacts. Income is earned by offering a product, or service to people that they perceive as valuable to them. People purchase for two reasons only; for something that brings them pleasure, or to eliminate something that is causing them pain. Think about the previous two statements about inventory, pleasure, and pain.
Without the list of contacts you currently know when you launch your business, or the new people you meet daily and add to your list of contacts, you have no business at all. All businesses have prospects, which are your potential customers for your product and service. You need a way to stay in touch with them, and over time convert them into customers, or clients. You also need to leverage your time. You don’t want to have to pick up the phone, or send out a postcard through the mail every time you have something to share, or offer your potential or current customers. Email marketing allows you to leverage your time, and communicate with everyone on your list with the click of a button!
In 2001 I switched from the company I had been using for the previous three years, to aWeber. My reason at the time was because email marketing was really catching on, and email service providers were beginning to block emails, or filter them heavily into spam folders. What good is your list, and your email message if no one receives it, or knows it’s there? I was in search for the company who had the best email delivery rates, and also one that was affordable. After countless days, and hours of research I knew hands down that aWeber was the right choice, and after over fifteen years they remain the right choice.
Through aWeber you’re able to capture the email address, name and phone numbers of people who visit your website through a webform. You then automatically send them an email message with information about their interest. Then send them pre-written emails spread out over time to follow up about their interest, and periodically send them announcements and updates through broadcast emails to your list of contacts. I also have instructions and follow up messages send to my customer lists, and training and announcements sent to my team of distributors in my Networks Marketing company.
Aweber has amazing free tutorials to teach you everything you need to know to use their service, grow your list and make money. They also have great analytic reports to know who is opening your emails, clicking on your links, and this offers you insight on who to follow up with. Get started with aWeber today!