These are my favorite tools which I use when working online and which I would recommend to others.
Some are free and some are not.
Before investing in tools tools to help you with your online business, I recommend you consider the purchase. That sounds obvious – but there is such a thing as impulse buying and it isn’t healthy for you or for your business.
Before you purchase anything online I always recommend that you look at the tool and what it does, and consider the following factors:
Your Resources – Are you scraping for your last penny and you can only afford essentials? Or have you just earned a few hundred dollars online and you are looking for a way to invest it so that you can increase your earnings even more? Or are you somewhere in between. For example, if you have very little money to invest and you want to get started on earning money online, I would not suggest that you buy anything more than your Webhosting and a copy of Honest Riches. If you have more money to invest and you know you will really utilize your investment – then go for it.
The Need – Is this product something that would just be “nice to have” but which you could really do without? Or is it going to make a big difference in your potential for success? Will it help you do something which you would not have been able to to by yourself (but which can be made to be very lucrative) or will it save you hundreds of hours and pay for itself many times over?
Applicability – What projects are you working on right now? Will the tool you want to buy contribute to that project, or is it something that “might be useful later on.” And will the product save you 5 minutes every 3 weeks, or will it do a job which would have taken you hundreds of hours?
Quality – This seems obvious – but try to avoid investing in low-quality products. This is something I try to help you with, as I only recommend product which I have tried and found to be of good quality and useful. When in doubt, check to make sure that they at least have a good refund policy.
With that said, here are some of my favorite tools. In some cases I have written my own reviews of these tools, but where I have not yet been able to do this, you can review the websites I link to to find out more information about these products.
SEO and Traffic Creation
- Social Media Science and SYNDD – This is a recent addition to my list of favorites and is one of the best SEO and traffic generation tools I’ve tried. Have you ever imagined being able to spend 90% of your time building and improving your content, blogs, and websites – and only 10% of your time doing all of your offsite promotion and SEO? I highly recommend you download the free eBook which you can get from this page: Visit the Social Media Science Website Here.
- SEO Elite – This software is used to analyze your own websites or websites of your competition, to see what you are doing right and wrong in your Search Engine Optimization tactics. It also allows you to quickly find good potentials for link exchanges (websites with whom it would be valuable to exchange links).
Website Design and Creation
- Excellent WordPress Themes – There are some excellent WordPress themes out there but it can take time to find them all. You can find a list of some of my favorites at my Great WordPress Themes page.
- Web Media Toolkit – For one low price this package gives you an enormous library of stock photos, music, sound effects, and more which you can use on your websites. At the time of this writing it costs $47 and includes:
- 4719 Stock Photos
- 7048 Clip-art Images
- 1,500 Classic Pen and Ink Illustrations
- 1,200 Web-ready Business icons
- 7,387 Designer Fonts
- 75 Royalty-Free Music Tracks
- 101 Podcast Intros and Outros
- 2,500 Professional Sound Effects
Total: 24,530 Web Media Elements.
- Coffee Cup Easy Website Builder – A very inexpensive and easy to use website builder and html editor. I use this to format my own content with proper html code before I insert it into my blogs, Squidoo pages, etc. You can also use Coffee Cup to build entire websites. It is probably the best website building software besides Dreamweaver, but it costs under $50 at the time of this writing, and there are free versions as well.
- Dreamweaver Creative Suite 3. Design, develop, and maintain standard-based websites – If you are going to get serious about building websites, this is a must – but it is also pricey.
- Host Gator – Web Hosting – This is my #1 Recommendation. The best web host there is, in my opinion. I tried four web hosts! With Host gator I have not only had almost zero technical problems, but their customer support is the best of any company I have ever dealt with. They are extremely fast and routinely go above and beyond what they are required to do, in order to help you resolve any difficulties or issues you might encounter. (See also my Hostgator Coupon page.)
- Blue Host Webhosting – This is my #2 Recommendation. Bluehost also has a very good reputation but I still found Hostgator to be superior in speed and quality of customer support and service.
- Google Keyword Tool – A free but authoritative and reliable source of keyword research and information.
- Keyword Elite – This tool works allows you to zero in quickly on the best keywords for your website, or to help you find the right market or niche to get started in. The tool can compare hundreds or thousands of related keywords and help you find the ones you should use. You can use this tool to generate huge lists of keywords with related data as to searches versus competition, average monetary value of different keywords, etc. With this tool you can spend fifteen minutes doing work which would normally take you a week full-time. (An alternative to this tool, which is probably better but more expensive in the long run, is Word Tracker
- Keyword Discovery – Another very popular keyword research tool with free and paid options.
Online Invoicing and Time Tracking
- Freshbooks – Painless Billing – This service starts out free and is a lifesaver when it comes to billing, invoicing, and keeping track of work hours. It is extremely easy to use and is geared toward freelancers and small to medium-sized businesses.
Paid Training, Books, and Reference Materials
- Honest Riches – Basic to advanced training on Internet Marketing how to earn money online.
- One Week Marketing Plan by Pot Pie Girl – An excellent guide for beginner, Intermediate, and probably even some advanced Internet Marketers. Powerful bare-bones basics that are easy to overlook but very easy to implement when you don’t overlook them. This guide teaches you a simple one-week step-by-step plan of action you can take, to get started earning money online and continue doing so.
- The Master Plan – Intermediate to advanced SEO techniques. He teaches how to do SEO honestly without shortcuts, deception, or dishonesty.
- Adobe Dreamweaver for Dummies – Essential training for Dreamweaver, for beginners on up.
- WordPress for Dummies – I consider this a must-have for anyone who as a WordPress Blog! It will take you from complete beginner through more advanced uses of WordPress, or you can use it as a reference manual.
- Jack Humphrey’s Social Power Linking – A monthly membership site where you can learn about Social Networking and Social Marketing, inside out and upside down. If you want to get traffic and make your presence felt in the modern day Internet, understanding these subjects is a must. Includes easy-to-follow videos, eBooks, audios, and even some software.
Free Training, Books, and Reference Materials
- Jack Humphrey’s Authority Black Book – Learn a ton of useful information about social networking, social marketing, blogging, SEO, and more.
- SEO Made Easy – Learn the basics of Search Engine Optimization and this clear and easy-to-follow eBook.
- Adwords MadeEasy – If you are interested in using Pay-Per-Click advertising to promote your website, this eBook has some basic and essential information.
- 7 Ways to Turn RSS into R$$ – Anyone who is serious about promoting their website is going to have to get serious about RSS sooner or later. This eBook takes you through vital basics and key data you absolutely must know about RSS!
- Internet Marketing Sins – Learn about honest marketing with Integrity. The author also takes you through the worst sins being committed by Internet Marketers, and how to recognize and avoid them.
- Computer Security – Useful information on computer security and how you can maintain it.
- Scams Every Internet Marketer Should Beware Of – The title speaks for itself!
- See Also: My page on eBooks where you can find additional free eBooks for instant download.
Anti-Virus and Internet Security
- I am a big fan of Kaspersky Internet Security – doesn’t slow my computer down horribly like some other anti-virus programs do, or give me lots of problems, but still has good quality anti-virus and security features. I have been using Kaspersky for years and never looked back!
- I am an affiliate marketer and some of the links to products I recommend are affiliate links. When you buy products or services through these links, I usually earn a commission. I do not recommend products when I don’t consider, based on personal knowledge and experience, that they will actually help you. From time to time I remove links to products I have recommended in the past, if I decide that I no longer consider the product to be worthwhile or of a high enough quality. I also recommend some products with no affiliate link or commission involved, if I consider these products may be useful to you.