The selection of internet marketing tools and techniques is practically unlimited, with new tools being released every day, so choosing the right tools for the job can be daunting. The tools discussed in this article are just a small sampling of highly effective software packages and services that I use and recommend. You may decide to use the same tools, or go on and create your own internet marketing toolbox. The important thing is to have an internet marketing strategy, and consistently work on implementing that strategy without chasing hottest trend and tool that comes around.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission if you decide to use the service (there is no additional cost to you). Be assured that I only recommend services that I have tried and were happy with.
1. Keyword research tools.
Google keyword tool is the best free tool for researching your keywords. You will need to sign up for Google Adwords account first. Combine that with SEO toolbox for Firefox (a free browser), and you can analyze practically any niche in terms of effective keywords and potential traffic.
2. Web design and web building tools.
You need tools to build and edit your web pages and blogs. There are many software packages that make building websites super easy. However, if you want to make your job even easier – and save lots of time on learning how to program and build pages, I advise you to learn how to build websites using WordPress.org free, open-source platform. All reputable hosting companies (I use Hostgator and Bluehost) provide one-click WordPress installations, so it literally only takes a few minutes to install a WordPress site.
So, in just one afternoon you can have your own website, complete with registered domain, installed WordPress, and some content added. Adding posts, images, and multimedia files is a breeze – all can be accomplished from your internet browser window, no need for additional software.
You will still need to register a domain name and open a hosting account. Cost: about $10 per year per domain name registration, under $80 per year for hosting.
Note: The notion of having to build your own website may seem scary to some of you. With all the tools available today, it’s not as hard as it may seem, but if you feel you truly cannot do it yourself, you can always hire someone to help you build your first. Just look on freelancing sites such as odesk.com or elance.com, post your project details and price you’ll be willing to pay and choose the best offer. You can also contact me if you have questions or need help.
3. Email/newsletter services.
A big list of subscribers is probably the biggest asset you can have in an online business. To build a list and then manage all the addresses and email, is complicated and time consuming. Fortunately there are many excellent services that will do it for you. These are called email or autoresponder services. I use Aweber. I’ve also heard good things about Mailchimp.
Cost: about $20 per month.
4. Squeeze Page, Pop-Up Window or Opt-in Box creation tools.
Squeeze page is simply a dedicated page created to with the main goal to solicit opt-in email addresses from prospective subscribers. You can use a dedicated squeeze page, or use a pop-up window or opt-in box. I use pop-up window plugin on many of my sites. Opt-in box is another effective option, that some people find less intrusive (but it’s also considered less effective, i.e., you will most likely be getting fewer subscribers with an opt-in box than pop-up window)
5. WordPress Themes
There are many free themes available on the WordPress.org website, but if you expect quality design and support that will provide answers to your questions, I recommend you purchase your theme template from a respected source.
My suggestions for best theme templates are (these are affiliate links):
** Elegant Themes I really love these themes for their design. There are so many unique designs you can choose from, and the backend interface is the same, so you can switch between the themes easily.
** Thesis Theme from DIY Themes (this site uses Thesis theme). I really love the flexibility of this theme, especially the fact that you can adjust the site width and number of columns. This comes in handy when you are trying to fit in many widgets and ads.
** StudioPress themes.
**I’ve also used themes from Themeforest.
6. Email Templates
You can send your subscribers text emails, which is the easiest option, but if you really want to impress them, it’s worth to invest a bit of time and money in setting up a unique design for your email campaign that matches the look of your website. I purchased mine on Themeforest. It took me a while to set it up and put together the design, but it helped me promote my ebooks more effectively.
So, what are your favorite tools in your online marketing toolbox? Write about them in the comment section.