Keen for some new tools to help build your business? or do you just want to know what I’m working with?
Here are some of the tools and services that I use myself or at least recommend using.
This is what I use to create passwords, handle my login credentials and access my online accounts.
The browser extension creates strong passwords, remembers your login credentials and automatically logs you into whatever site you want to go to at the click of a button.
Everything is safely secured within the 1Password vault:
Not only will your passwords be bulletproof and safe from brute force attacks, but you’ll be able to log into your online accounts without the hassle of having to remember and type in your login credentials.
There is a reason why it’s called 1Password, it’s because you only need to remember one Password.
1Password costs $2.99/month. They also currently have a 6-month free trial.
Building an online business starts with choosing a brand name – which comes to be your domain name (website address).
Namecheap is the place where you claim ownership of a domain name. It’s where I registered MLMwarfare.com.
They also provide web hosting. However, I only use them for domain registration, as I like to keep my domain names separate from my web host.
All domain registers work the same and pretty much have the same going rates (about $10/year).
However, Namecheap (unlike other domain name registers) doesn’t hammer your inbox with a bunch of useless promotions. They also have a clean and easy to use interface.
This is the web host that powers MLMwarfare. They are one of the best hosting providers in the business.
I used to be with HostGator (over 4 years) but ended up making the switch to DreamHost. I’ve been a happy customer ever since.
DreamHost has been going strong since 1997 and has won numerous awards within the hosting industry. They are even recommended by WordPress themselves.
They offer a 97-day money back guarantee, have 100% up-time (or your account gets credited), and their support, knowledge base and community forum are top-notch.
The basic shared hosting plan (recommended for when starting a new website) costs $9.95/month.
WordPress is a CMS (content management system). It’s the most popular platform for creating both websites and blogs.
In fact, WordPress powers over 20% of the web. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn. Ebay and many other big brands use WordPress.
It’s easily my favorite tool on the list. The platform itself is my primary base of operations:
WordPress itself is free, but, to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog, you need a domain name and web hosting, both of which are inexpensive and easy to get going.
Most hosting providers (including DreamHost) have one-click WordPress installs. This makes it quick and easy to get a WordPress website up and running.
The Thesis Framework
This site is rocking the Classic Responsive Skin powered by the Thesis framework.
It’s a rock-solid WordPress theme.
the Thesis theme is designed to perform well for both Google and visitors, it’s well-optimized for the search engines (no need for any SEO plugins), mobile responsive and has blazing speeds.
Thesis also has a private forum where paid experts and community members answer questions and help other Thesis users build their websites:
It’s a premium theme, but it’s totally worth it.
The basic option costs $87 (one-time). However, if you’re going to run with Thesis, then I recommend the pro option.
Long Tail Pro
Long Tail Pro is a keyword research and competitive analysis tool. It’s one of the most widely-used keyword research tools on the market.
You enter your main keyword and it will dig up a bunch of related keywords and show you how many people per month are searching for it on Google along with other useful data
The competitive analysis gives you a good idea on whether or not it would be easy to rank high in Google for whatever keyword you want to check out:
They have a $1 trial for 10 days and they also have some excellent training on how to rank in Google and get traffic with keyword research.
Grammarly is a web-based app that checks for potential grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes.
It picks up mistakes that Microsoft Word and other applications miss:
The browser extension works with any online text editor. It checks social media posts, email messages, and it even checks content within the WordPress post editor.
The premium version unlocks a bunch of awesome features, such as plagiarism checker, view definitions and synonyms, vocabulary enhancement suggestions and much more.
Though the free version still works wonders.
Snagit is a screen capture and image editing software. It’s my secret weapon for crafting images that make my blog posts stand out.
Every image that you see on the site, even if it’s not a screen capture, will go through the Snagit editing program before getting uploaded to the blog.
There are lots of cool things that you can do in here:
Images are underrated in the blogging world. But I reckon they make content 100x better, which is why I go all out on them.
Creating lots of engaging images is key to great content and Snagit is the ultimate tool for the job.
The software costs $49.95 (one-time), and they also have a 15-day free trial.
Firebug is a free browser extension that shows you the HTML and CSS behind whatever website you want to inspect.
Whenever you stumble across a site that has a cool feature or design that you want to implement on your own site, then you can use Firebug to find out how it’s done.
For example, the “More Details” buttons that you see on this page was something I had seen on someone else’s site. With Firebug, I was able to inspect the CSS and HTML that was used to pull it off:
Of course, there are plugins that will do just about anything without you having to deal with any code, but I generally like to learn how to do these things without having to install plugins.
Usually, if I can’t figure something out with Firebug, then I’ll hit up the community forum at DIYthemes. If the worst comes to worst, then I’ll resort to installing a plugin.
I also use Firebug to make adjustments on websites for the sake of taking a better screen capture image.
Google Analytics is a free service that provides you with a wealth of information about your website.
The basic “Audience Overview” shows you the number of people who have visited your site, the average time they spend on it, and the percentage of visitors who leave after viewing only one page (bounce rate).
Other useful stats include “Traffic Sources,” which shows where your traffic is coming from (search engines, social media, forums, etc), and “All Pages.” which shows your most popular pages and how they perform.
The amount of data you get can be overwhelming, but just a couple of the easy to understand stats can get you working smarter and help you improve the overall user experience of your site.
Google Webmaster Tools
This is another free service from Google that gives you some valuable insights about your website.
The tool will point out any errors that you may potentially have, such as broken links, duplicate page descriptions, and titles. It will also let you know if your site ever happens to get infected with malware.
GWT also provides some useful data, such as “Links To Your Site,” which gives you a list of websites and blogs that link to you, and “Search Analytics,” which shows where you rank on Google and for what keywords.
GTmetrix grades the speed and performance of your website.
You paste your URL into the web app and it will show your PageSpeed and Yslow scores. It also gives you recommendations on what to do to improve on it.
I ended up going through the suggestions and was able to kick the site off with some blazing speeds:
Nailing your load times will not only stop visitors from ditching your site but will improve your overall search engine rankings, as Google favors sites that load fast.
Most of the recommendations from GTmetrix are hard to understand and implement. It gets pretty technical in there.
Though there’s still some simple recommendations that you can do to improve your load times.
TinyPNG is a free tool that will optimize your images.
Image optimization will reduce bandwidth and dramatically improve site load times. It’s one of the recommendations that you’ll notice from GTmetrix.
You drop or upload your image(s) into the web app and it will go to work reducing the file size. It does affect the quality, but it’s hardly noticeable. The extra speed is worth the sacrifice.
They also have a WordPress plugin, Tiny Compress Images, which will optimize your images on upload as well as the images that are already in your media library.
Cloudflare is a CDN (content delivery network) and web security service that can speed up and protect your website.
Using a CDN is another recommendation from GTmetrix. It can dramatically increase your site speed and is pretty quick and easy to set up.
Many hosting companies (including DreamHost) are partnered with CloudFlare, so you can easily connect your site from within the control panel of your web host. Alternately, you can head over to CloudFlare and signup.
CloudFlare is a free service. In fact, they are the only free service that provides CDN.
FB Groups Poster
This is what I use to promote my blog posts within Facebook groups.
Facebook is the largest social network on the web, it’s where most network marketers hang out at.
Posting in groups is an easy way to drive traffic. The FB Groups Poster will get the job done on a large scale and with ease.
The software allows you to join an unlimited amount of groups and automatically post to them:
It’s a great marketing tool to have in your arsenal.
Most premium Facebook group posters charge recurring fees (usually around $10/month), and the problem with free ones is that the developer never keeps them updated.
FB Groups Poster, on the other hand, is a one-time payment of $49, and the developer always keeps it updated and makes improvements adding in new features.
It comes with a library of training videos that show you what each feature does and how to effectively use it.
You also get free lifetime updates and great support.
IBO Dominator is a marketing tool used to generate traffic and leads on IBOtoolbox.
IBOtoolbox is a large social network for network marketers and home business owners.
IBO Dominator allows you to automatically send friend requests, messages, wall posts and much more. Automating these tasks will also quickly build up ad credits, which can be used to advertise throughout the platform.
IBO Dominator costs $47 (one-time) and comes with free lifetime updates, training videos, and support.
MassPlanner is an all-in-one social media marketing tool. It’s currently one of the top social media tools on the market.
The software automates and manages your social profiles across the most popular social sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Everything is managed in one easy to use interface:
MassPlanner has all the standard features that you’ll find with any other premium social media tool. But one of the cool features that sets it apart from others is the ability to auto follow and unfollow.
MassPlanner costs $9.95/month or $44.95/6 months. They also have a 5-day free trial.
BuzzBundle is a social media management tool that is mainly used for conversation marketing.
The software scans the internet looking for conversations about your brand, product, business opportunity or whatever keywords you want it to look for.
It pulls up conversations from various sources and you can reply to them right from the user interface:
You engage in the conversations, provide value and link back to your website, blog post or whatever you like. More posts you do, more traffic you get.
There’s a bit of a learning curve with BuzzBundle and it can be difficult finding conversations to post in, but once you get the hang of it and use it to its fullest potential, you’ll get some awesome results.
The free version gives you access to 30% of the data that it pulls up. But you need the premium version to get the most out of it, which will set you back $199 (one-time)