HeyMalc’s Best Internet Marketing Tools

HeyMalc’s Best Internet Marketing Tools

by on 18/12/2013

Internet Marketing Tools
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Here are the best Internet Marketing Tools you should be using every day to run your business. I do!

I love finding new tools: so I have shared the very best here – to save you time and get you more efficient. If you need a tool for a new job you have to do come back to this post. It is updated most weeks – either to update it, or to add a new tool I’ve found.

Some of these tools are free: some are paid-for. Where possible I give you both options. If you know any better options than the ones I give, please post in the comments.

BTW: I have a PC, so my HeyMalc’s Internet marketing tools are PC-oriented πŸ™‚

Money Making Systems

98% of people try to make money online – and fail. Success is much more likely if you follow an established money-making system and stick to it.

I have searched high and low for some good systems I can recommend and vetted them carefully. If you have not had success online yet, these systems will increase your chances of success – dramatically.

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Chris Farrell Membership – Top money making system on IM Report Card. Chris spends tons of time helping his members. < $5 trial > < HeyMalc Chris Farrell Membership review >

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Gain Higher Ground -A solid money making system from a personal friend who I know to be decent. < $5 trial >

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Six Months From Today– A martial arts expert, Chad Hamzeh teaches CPA expertly in this powerful program. < $4.95 trial >

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Site Build It – Very highly respected, Ken Evoy teaches IM from the ground up – in a very easily learnable fashion.< $29.99/month >

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This HeyMalc post will help you further to choose the best money making system for you.

Amazon Training Academy – A very practical course from Englishman Gaz Cooper on making money from Amazon products. $4.95 trial

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More Great Training

There is some training which is just brilliant. For example, James Wedmore on making video is just unsurpassable. And Amy Porterfield on Facebook has no peer. I’ve gathered together my very favourite training here.

Facebook: FB Influence – Amy Porterfield is the best known FaceBook trainer anywhere. Get up to speed fast. $97

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Reel Marketing Insider – Reel Marketing InsiderΒ  is a “must have ” training for anyone who wants to make, videos. Brilliant. $49.95/month

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Affiliate Products

Product vendors list their products on “affiliate sites”. You can sell any of those listed to get a commission for each one sold.

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Clickbank – The big daddy of electronic affiliate product listings. Internet marketers sell most products through Clickbank. Clickbank is still a popular affiliate platform from which to find products. The main problem is its poor search facility – which is why I recommend CBEngine, which makes things ten times easier.

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JVZoo – continues to gain in popularity as vendors list/launch products here rather than on Clickbank.

RapBank – their “100% commission” system puts off some vendors and affiliate’s. But there are a few products here.

Paydotcom – “guru” Mike Filsaime’s affiliate platform set up to rival Clickbank. Worth checking.

Comission Junction – established affiliate network catering mainly for big companies. More admin than CB – eg applying to individual vendors.

Amazon – selling just about everything under the sun. Low commission: but rises nicely with volume.

eBay – easy to sell for: though with a lower reputation than Amazon. Many affiliates make good money.

Nanacast – Not widely used by vendors because it’s quite user-unfriendly.

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Affiliate Tools

Here are some online marketing tools which help you find and manage your affiliate links.

CBEngine – This website makes searching Clickbank tools much easier, by filtering them exactly as you want.

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Redirection – Use this WordPress plug-in to “cloak” (mask) your affiliate links.

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Hosting

Tools to help you build websites and get them looking the way you want to enhance your web marketing efforts.

You need to decide: do you want to pay for website hosting, or use free? I you choose paid hosting then you need at least one domain name. You buy those from a domain host.

Then, once you have your website you will want to make it look good with images, maybe video and audio. These are the topics covered in this section.

Domain Hosting – buying your domain names

Webmaster7 – I usually use Webmaster7 for my domain hosting. They are the cheapest I have found.

Namecheap – A bit pricier than WM7. See if you like their control panel – I don’t.

*Godaddy* – I suggest you avoid them: control panel – dire: owner – sexist: horror stories abound.

Web Hosting

To have your own website you need to rent space on a web host’s computer.

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General Website Hosts

To get started you need a basic hosting account which provides excellent support, 24/7.

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Siteground – My top choice for entry-level hosting at a low price – $3.95/month

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MDD Hosting – My second choice for entry-level hosting. Still a good price – $6.38/month

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Specialised WordPress Hosting

WPEngine specialises in optimising their hosting for WordPress sites. $29/month

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High Spec’ Cloud Hosting for Powerful Web Marketing

Storm on Demand – Cloud hosting gives advanced, flexible features for those with big demands. $35/month

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Free Websites Hosts

You can make money online without it costing you a penny – by using a free website.

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WordPress.com – This is the “hosted” version of WordPress which is pre-installed on a free website for you.

Squidoo – Squidoo has an active community who you can invite to look at your Squidoo “lens” on a particular topic.

Hubpages – Another free site which allows you to add limited range of functions effortlessly.

Blogger – A free blog platform owned by Google.

Tumblr – A very popular free blog site which has recently been sold to Yahoo.

“Self Hosted” WordPress

This WordPress is the version which is installed on your own website, which means you own it. Owning your own website is the very best web marketing possible.

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WordPress tutorials

To make a WordPress site look how you want it to, familiarise yourself with its settings.

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Creative Bloq – A good, free set of beginner WordPress tutorials which will give you a great start. Work through these one or two at a time as you set up your WordPress site.

WP101 – Well organised video training. They promise to get you up to speed in a few hours. The training is very clear. Join the monthly membership for a couple of months until you feel more confident – or sign up for a year for a bargain price. There is a good support forum. $15/month .

Website Performance

You need to check that your website can be seen ok by your visitors. This is how.

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Browser previews

Check that your site looks fine in all browsers – not just your favourite.

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Browsersnaps – My favourite preview site. Easy to use, multiple browsers and free.

Browsershots – The biggest range of browsers, but it’s pretty slow in use.

Netrenderer – Only shows Internet Expolor – but, then, that’s the browser most likely to mess up.

Site “Uptime”

What percentage of time is your site actually available – and what percentage is it “down”?

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Uptime Robot – Checks your site every 5 minutes to make sure it’s “up”. Checks up to 50 sites. $Free

Pingdom – A similar service but you only get one site monitored for the free price. From $Free

Monitis – A great service that monitors your site from multiple locations around the world every minute. Great reporting. $Free Trial

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Monitor.us – Monitis’ free website monitoring tool, monitoring your uptime every 30 minutes, instead of every one minute. $Free

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Website page-load time

The speed your site loads at soon becomes important and is a key factor in your income.

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Yslow – You can use YSlow independently – but you might as well use GTmetrix which also includes PageSpeed.
PageSpeed – Is a Google tool which highlights factors – additionally to Yslow – slowing your site.

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

Speed up your website around the globe, by hosting your content on multiple servers.

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Cloudflare – A popular CDN with a free, entry-level option. Why not compare a “before and after” with http://pageload.monitis.com $Free

MaxCDN – One of the best known CDNs. Monthly rates let you test the results of MaxCDN against Cloudflare. From $90 pa

Other CDNs – Good summary of CDNs, which will speed up both WordPress and any other type of site.

Online Learning

Online learning can now offer you training from University level professors for little or no cost.

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Edx – $Free courses designed specifically for interactive study via the web, provided by MIT, Harvard and Berkeley.

Coursera – $Free online classes from 80+ top universities and organizations including Yale and Stanford University.

Udacity – paid and free online classes taught by “top instructors and industry experts”. Take courses at your own pace.

Udemy – also offers a variety of free and paid courses and claim to be the “world’s largest destination for online courses”.

HTML/CSS

You will definitely need to fiddle around with a bit of HTML and CSS code now and again. So, if you haven’t already, I recommend you schedule in a bit of training for yourself and learn it to a moderate standard slowly but surely. My favourite resource for this is W3Schools.

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W3Schools – A great training ground for HTML and CSS. Very helpful and clear – and it’s free.

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Audio

Most people want to use audio either to make podcasts, or to accompany video. It really helps your audio to have a semi-decent microphone ($50-$80?) with a stand and a “pop filter”. And, for software, the free Audacity is cutting edge.

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Audacity – Audacity is THE audio recorder of choice, and it’s free. It’s all you need.

Audio Jungle – A huge range of high-quality audio clips. Good, but relatively pricey.

Free Stock Music – If you are on a budget get a small range of high quality audio clips here.

IB Audio – A good range of audio tracks which you can buy one at a time for around 10 or $20 a pop.

Video Blocks – Sign up for 7 days of free audio clip (and video clip) downloads. Wide range. If you sign up to Video Blocks then cancel within the 7 days free trial, they then bombard you with cut-price subscription offers. So if you want some more clips, I’d sign up for a month after you get one of these offers.

Images

I recommend: build up a stock of great images in your niche using Deposit Photos, Fotalia and Big Stock.

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Deposit Photos – From $0.72 Over 20 million images. An excellent range of images on this site. No attribution necessary.

Fotalia – From $0.80 26 million images. An excellent range of images on this site. No attribution necessary.

Big Stock Photos – From $Free 13 million images. Free trial for 7 days – 5 images a day. Cancel any time.

Images – Free but Small Range

You can find sources of free photos online. But always check the terms of use.

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FreeRangeStock – 1 million images. Free, non-attribution photos for business/personal use. They are OK for free: just not a massive choice.

RGB Stock – 100k images. Free, non-attribution photos for business/personal use. They are OK for free: just not a small variety.

Morguefile – Caution: Usually, you can only use these if you modify them. See terms for each image.

Stock Exchange – Caution: free images, attribution “may be required” – check carefully but be cautious – see the additional information.

Images – Free trial

Here are two sites which have a free trial, then paid monthly fee. I only mildly recommend these sites – you just might find a few images that suit you.

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Quality Stock – 138k images. $4.95 a month for unlimited downloads. (Though only 138,000 images – cf BigStock: 15 million). Limited 7 day trial

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Kozzi – 1 million images. Sign up for a free trial 7 days, 5 images a day, then $14.95 a month.

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Icons – small images

“Icons” are simple images which you can use in your artwork. They can be free.

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Icon Archive – From $Free – 350,000 icons available – many free. You should find some you like!

Icon Finder – From $Free – 500,000 icons – many free. Organised into sub-categories.

Memes

A “meme” is one of those amusing pictures you see around with a caption added.

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Memestache

Meme Center

Meme Crunch

Free Blog Images

There are various ways to get free images for your blog relatively easily. I talk about a few of those here.

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Tagul – Turn any text you have into a tag cloud. This makes a great blog post image. $Free

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Cooltext – Makes a really snazzy image from three or four main words related to your article or post. $Free

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Screen Capture

Capture a picture of your screen, or part of your screen for various purposes using these utilities.

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Snagit – Pricey – but the best. A massive range of features for screenshots, text capture, video capture, editing. Free trial, then $50

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Jing – Jing is Snagit’s little brother. It is pretty useful and free, video and image. $Free

Windows Clipping Tool – Built in to windows, if you need a basic tool this is fine. $Free

Clarify – Easy clipping and then it presents you with fields for easy annotating of each one. $30

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Faststone Capture – My favourite after Snagit. Captures scrolling window, full window, or rectangular region. Easy-to-use editing. $20

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Skitch – A free screen cature utility from Evernote which works on any platform. $Free

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Video

People love watching video. So getting good with video is a big bonus for any marketer.

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Screen Video Capture

“Screen Capture” means while you do something on your computer, you “capture” the screen and your voice.

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Camtasia Studio – The industry standard – and one I have used for years. High quality, fully featured, user-friendly, quite extensive editing capabilities. For PC – $299

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Camstudio – A free alternative to Camtasia Studio. However, it lacks the extensive editing capabilities of the latter. It has none! $Free

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Debut – A free alternative to Camtasia Studio. Limited editing capabilities. But it’s free again! $FREE

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Jing is good to make a quick video (< 5 minutes) or screenshot. $Free

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Powtoon – lets you make short, attractive videos using cartoon characters. It’s a unique service. From $Free

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Prezi – A unique type of presentation software. Very interesting – check it out. From $Free

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Video Editing

Once you have recorded video you will want to edit it to make it look good. You can go ‘basic’ or ‘comprehensive’.

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Windows Movie Maker – Windows free Movie Maker. Use for basic editing if you have captured video with CamStudio or Debut. $Free

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Sony Vegas – Power-editing for the PC. Relatively easy to learn (compared to Adobe Premier), very high quality output. Around $100-$400

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Adobe Premier – Power-editing for the Mac or PC. Tougher learning curve.

Final Cut Pro – Very serious power users on Mac only. Has been used to edit commercial releases.

Video Training

Reel Marketing Insider -Reel Marketing Insider is a “must have ” training for anyone who wants to make, videos. Brilliant.
$49.95/month

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Learn Camtasia – Not cheap – but very comprehensive. Learn Camtasia will get you up to speed fast. $397

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Techsmith – free camtasia training. Camtasia’s own training is in bite-sized chunks, so good for help on a specific feature.

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Video Clips

Video clips and sound effects can make your videos that much more interesting – and impressive.

Stock Footage for Free – If you’re on a tight budget and want a video clip this is one for you. $Free

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Video Transcription – It’s good to have transcriptions of any videos on your site. And this is the place to get them.

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Video Blocks – If you sign up, you get 7 days of free downloads of video clips/audio clips/ sound effects.

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Video Playback

If you want to play video on your site you have a few options.

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Youtube shortcode – The plugin I use to embed a YouTube video on my WordPress site. It’s simple to use, and works well.

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Easy Video Suite – Best for embedding video if you want “tweaks”, eg overlaying a clickable affiliate link on the video from 10 minutes in, to the end, etc. Brilliant.

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Download/Convert Videos

Sometimes it is useful to be able to download videos whether for education or entertainment.

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Video Download Helper – A great Firefox add-on to download most videos. $Free

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Savefrom.net – A very cool utility that lets you save YouTube vids by putting “ss” after the “www.” in the url. $Free

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AVS4You – converts video into virtually any other format. The suite also includes video editor and recorder. Works well, user friendly. From $39

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Applian Director – A great suite of media utilities, including video capture, video converter, and Skype conversation recorder.

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Applian Video Recorder – If you just want the video catcher utility, this will capture ANY video you can see/hear on your computer.

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Sales and Squeeze Pages

They shouldn’t be hard to create: but, like signup forms, sales pages and squeeze pages can take ages to create. And even longer to look nice. Then tweaking them is a pain!

For signup forms on WordPress use the wonderful Hybrid Connect. The equivalent software to make creating sales and squeeze pages easily – well, as easily as is possible – is listed here. It’s a boon.

Lead Pages – launched later than OptimizePress and better in some respects, eg tested templates, some A/B split testing.

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OptimizePress – the original “easy page creation” WordPress plugin that combines good function with great design.

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Hybrid Connect – the best solution for signup forms for building email lists. It’s brilliant.

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Design Software

Adobe Creative Suite – get an old version of Creative Suite on eBay and that may well be enough. I still use CS3 and it’s 7-8 years old: it’s fine for me. From $200 for “CS3”

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Adobe Photoshop – you can get by without Photoshop but it’s easier if you’ve got it. Get an old version. From $200 for “CS3”

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Gimp – this is a fully featured, $Free Photoshop substitute, consequently with a steep learning curve. Tutorial.

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Paint.net – this has all you will probably need in a design program and is easy to use. $Free

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Adobe Illustrator – the industry standard program for creating vector-based single page graphics, flyers, posters et cetera. From $200 for “CS3“. Tutorial.

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Adobe InDesign – similar to Illustrator, but has “pagination” – you can make multi-page documents, like newsletters. From $200 for “CS3”.

Inkscape – is a $Free, fully-featured Illustrator substitute. Tutorial.

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Dreamweaver – the best all-round HTML editor program, even though it requires a little study. From $200 for “CS3”

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Outsourcing

To make the best use of your time, sooner of later you will outsource your work.

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99Designs – is my favourite site for logo or web page design because of the way the competition process works.

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48 Hours Logo – is my second favourite design site. It’s a bit cheaper though the competition process is not quite as well arranged.

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General Outsourcing Sites

All the three major freelance sites I give here work in roughly the same way.

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oDesk – This is my general freelance site of choice. You can get just about anything done here. oDesk Training

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eLance – is an alternative to Odesk. It’s perfectly good but it’s just gone out of fashion a bit in the last few years.

Fiverr.com – is the top cheap, cheap, cheap site for outsourced jobs of all types. 3% of them are even quite good πŸ™‚

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SEOClerks – is a nice site – very similar to Fiverr but with many “gigs” in the $10-$30 range.

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Managing Outsourcers

You can manage one outsourcer without project management software. Two and it becomes very desirable!

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Teamwork – Probably the best project management software. And a cheaper entry level. From $5 for 5 projects

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Basecamp – Good, but missing some features you might want, such as recurring tasks. From $20 for 10 projects

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Email Marketing

The 3 ways to do email marketing: 1. Doing it badly. 2. Using Aweber or GetResponse in a solid way. 3. Using Office Autopilot!

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Aweber – A good email autoresponder service to start off with.

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GetResponse – Another good autoresponder service to start off with.

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Mailchimp – Not a great service: but free – with sub 2,000 subscribers and sending sub 12.000 emails a month. From $Free

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Ontraport – The joy of Office Autopilot for email marketing is its ease of use and its many features. $297 a month

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Keyword Research

Best Keyword Research Tool – The starting point for website creation should be: find keywords to rank for, and “optimise” your pages for them.

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Super Suggester – A great tool which does one thing: scrapes 4 “suggest tools”, Google, Bing, Yahoo and YouTube. $47

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Google Keyword Planner – Can be useful. Just remember it’s only giving you about 10% of the results it has available. $Free

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Market Samurai – I only use this for checking search volumes for known keywords. From $Free

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SECockpit – Probably the only comprehensive keyword research tool which it’s worth paying for. From $66 a month

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Ubersuggest – A free Google suggest scraper for “keyword + a-z”. Handy for brainstorming. $Free

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HideMyAss – Genius utility allowing you to change location – either to a different IP address or a different country. From $12

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Google Global Firefox / Chrome – addon for if you want to see Google results as if you were in a different country.

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Backlinking & Traffic Generation

Here is some great training on backlinking and traffic generation. It’s the best I’ve found.

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Link Building Course – Point Blank SEO – This is a brilliant course on building links. I read it through hungrily from beginning to end. It’s well worth paying for. $67

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Quick Sprout – The best training I know for backlinking and traffic generation. Make a coffee and read this right through! $Free

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Advanced Backlinking

You won’t go wrong reading everything these people write on backlinking, traffic and Google.

Learn about exactly how you can tweak backlink from those who are in the trenches. (These guys are the furthest possible from from BS “gurus”.)

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Matthew Woodward – Everything Matt writes is worth reading πŸ™‚ Matt has extensive experience in corporate-land. Tesco, Orange, etc. Oh – he’s 25 πŸ™‚

Jacob King – A “black hat” gone all informative – he wants to share. Not quite sure why – maybe BH just got boring! Anyway, great info.

Charles Floate – God of SEO – This whippersnapper’s been doing SEO since he was 12. He’s now 17. Very knowledgeable.

Brian Dean – “Backlinko” – Excellent, clear, simple to apply backlinking strategies to rank your sites. A “must read” for any website owner.

Jon Cooper – Point Blank SEO – The full panoply of how to get backlinks! Excellent page of methods with filtering cleverly built in.

 

Matt Woodward Link Building – My pal Matt’s classic tutorial on “tiered linkbuilding”. To show it works, it’s number 1 in Google for “tiered link building”, LOL.

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AHREFS, Majestic, SEO Spyglass compared

Matt Woodward compares AHREFs, Majestic and SEO Spyglass. A great comparison by Matt Woodward. (AHREFs wins by a mile.)

 

Scrapebox Tutorials

Scrapebox is excellent for anyone doing SEO. See under “Other Backlinking Tools” above.

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Jacob King – The definitive Scrapebox tutorials – brilliant. The best.

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Loopline – is Scrapebox’s creator. Check out his YouTube channel.

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Wolfpack Beginner & Wolfpack Intermediate – Good tutorials – use them to supplement Jacob and Loopline.

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Backlinking Tools: Harvesters

Tools which aim to “harvest” the backlinks a site has – yours, or a site of interest

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AHREFS – finds the most backlinks of any of the backlink checkers. Free trial

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Majestic SEO – Second best backlinks finder. Allows site analysis to find out why you, or your competitors, rank. Free trial.

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SEO Spyglass – Third best backlinks finder in terms of numbers. It does find some the others miss. Free trial.

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Open Site Explorer – Pulls out some backlinks, maybe half as many as SEO Spyglass. Limited free version.

BacklinkWatch – Free tool, powered by ahrefs, returning around 10% of their links. Free.

 

Going beyond mere harvesters, these tools perform other essential tasks for backlinkers. Master these and you have mastered Google.

Scrapebox – is, at heart, a harvester, but has tons of advanced features making it unique – and indispensible. $57.

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Ultimate Demon – is a great choice of auto-posting/auto-site creation software. Low-cost and highly effective. $47/month. Tutorial.

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GSA Search Engine Ranker – Top software for building web 2.0 and similar sites on autopilot. $99

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Backlinking Support Tools

SEO Powersuite – A very useful set of 4 tools to analyse your sites, and identify quality backlink opportunities. Free trial.

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Link Assistant – Identifies high-quality sites who actively want backlinks. Manually review and approach the most promising ones. Free trial.

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InSpyder Backlinks Monitor – If you have harvested a list of backlinks, InSpyder Backlinks Monitor will analyse every one in detail. Free trial.

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Netpeak Checker – Usefully checks loads of domain factors – including Page Rank – and many others – for $Free.

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HideMyAss – Genius utility allowing you to change location – either to a different IP address or a different country. From $12

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Proxies – Hide Your IP Address

A proxy is a substitute – in this case, for your computer’s IP address. There are paid proxies and free ones.

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Free Proxies or Paid Proxies?

If using software making multiple Google requests you get 10x-50x results by using private proxies.

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Buy Proxies – If you use Scrapebox, you will want fresh “private proxies” every month. I get 20. From $10/month.

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Squid Proxies – If you use Scrapebox, you will want fresh “private proxies” every month. I get 20. From $24 a month.

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Time Management

Timology – my time management system – How I apply Getting Things Done using Evernote to great effect for time management.

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Getting Things Done – Probably the best system ever invented for managing your time… once you’ve got your head around it.

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A summary of Getting Things Done

Evernote – A fantastic place to store any notes, images lists, and a central part of my own personal time management system.

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Computer Productivity

Certain utilities I have, I use 50 times a day and help my productivity tremendously. I love these programmes, and I strongly recommend them all to you.

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Chamaeleon Folder – 5* A great way of accessing all your commonly use folders in a couple of clicks. I use it 20 times a day. $Free.

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Clover – 5* A lovely utility to open subsequent Windows Explorer folders in tabs. $Free

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Ditto – 5* A clipboard extender. Everybody needs one. $Free

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Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 – 5* This dictation software has now come of age. A real time saver. $40

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Everything – 5* The best hard drive search out there. $Free

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FSL Launcher – 5* If you want to know where the most used 20, 30, 50, hundred programs are on your hard drive you need an organiser. $Free

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X1 Search –Β 5* The best desktop search utility. It searches every document, including emails, on your computer and indexes every word. Free trial then $50

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Virtual Box – Free utility if you want to run a computer within your own computer. $Free

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ExcelCampus – Really useful for setting up hot keys for commonly used Excel formatting settings. Avoid RSI! From$Free

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7Zip – Free unzip utility. Enables unzipping with a double click and has more features than the built in Windows utility. $Free

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Frog RAR extract – Sometimes zipped filed are in RAR format. Here is a free RAR extractor. $Free

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Tynt’s CopyPaste – Get a link back automatically if someone copies and pastes content from your site. Backlinks for nothing, folks! $Free

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Excel Formatting Shortcuts Lite Addin – If you keep apply a certain formatting repeatedly in Excel – cut the RSI and install this. $Free

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Team Viewer – Share someone else’s computer – eg to help them fix it. Or to help them fix yours! $Free for personal use

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Daemon Tools – Allows you to “mount” a disc image file so your computer thinks it’s an actual CD/DVD. From $Free

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HideMyAss – Genius utility allowing you to change location – either to a different IP address or a different country. From $12

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Writing Tools

Microsoft Office – Google it. Get Office 2010 or Office 2013. Not having Microsoft office will cost you lost time in the end. So when you can afford it, get it.

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OpenOffice – If you need to save cash then use OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office.

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LibreOffice –Β OpenOffice and LibreOffice started out with the same, open source code. There is not much to choose between them. $Free

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UltraEdit – This is the “super Notepad” text editor that I use to create simple text files. Free trial.

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Notepad ++ – Free “super-Notepad” text editor.

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Microsoft Office Tutorials

Tutorials – Microsoft provide some comprehensive, reasonably priced training in how to use Excel, Word and Powerpoint. From $15.

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Excel Pivot Tables – If your data stored in Excel is getting a bit complex, view it in different ways using Pivot Tables.

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Planning Tools

I find myself returning to “planning” mode with IM repeatedly. These are my tools of choice.

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Mind Mapping

Mind maps are great for planning projects because they work in the same way as your brain – randomly, but in an organised fashion.

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Mind Manager – This will always be my favourite mind mapping software – but it is pricey! $349

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Xmind – A brilliant and free mind mapping software for PC, Mac, Linux. The free version has very many features. $Free/$79/$129

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Freemind – A cheap looking mind mapping program – use Xmind for creating mind maps, it’s much better.

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Tony Buzan’s website – The site of Tony Buzan who invented mind mapping. Yes – it’s that recent!

Flow Charting

Flow charts are great for organising data which is in a set sequence.

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Smartdraw – The best flowcharting software but it’s pricey. $197.

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yEd – Lovely and free flowcharting software. Brilliant quality and value.

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Lovely Charts – A very nice flow charting program which is free to try, but then $59.

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Outlining

Microsoft Word – The outline view in Word is absolutely brilliant for planning.

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Computer Maintenance & Backup

These utilities are stop your hard disk filling up with junk in one way or another, and then to make sure everything’s backed up – double (or treble) backed up!

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Ccleaner – Cleans tons of rubbish off your hard drive – the many temp files, cookies, unused registry entries which just accumulate over time. From $Free.

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Glary Utilities – This cleans up the many orphan links which are constantly popping up in the Windows Registry. From $Free.

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Revo Uninstaller – I love this uninstall utility which deletes all the rubbish the normal program uninstall leaves behind. Free trial.

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VisDir – Creates a visual representation of the data on your hard disk in pie chart form. $Free.

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Monitor Memory, CPU and Registry

Running a computer is a little like running a car: it needs tuning up now and again.

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Windows CPU meter – This comes with Windows 7 and enables you to see the proportion of your PC’s processor and memory are being used in real time.

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All CPU Meter – An alternative CPU Meter to Windows’ own ‘gadget’. Works for Windows 8.

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Autoruns – A powerful Windows utility for scanning and disabling autostart code which programs insert.

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Regscanner – Use this to rapidly search the Windows Registry. Then double click any time to open it in Regedit.

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Anti Virus Software

Virus attack can come without any notice at all. When it does you’ll be pleased if you’re well prepared. Antivirus reviews.

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What antivirus/anti-spyware should you get? – Set yourself a scheduled task to check for the best one once a year.

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Bitdefender free version – scores well in PC Magazine’s tests now: but check for the current recommendation.

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Malwarebytes – A second antivirus program, which is highly recommended. Run this in addition to your primary antivirus.

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SuperAntiSpyware – This, and MalwareBytes will pick up nearly every piece of malware you are likely to come across.

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Fixme Stick – An extra security measure to buy – quickly – if you do get hit by a virus.

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Acronis True Image – Takes a complete “image” of you hard drive while you sleep. Complete virus protection. $40

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Backups

Most people only get serious about backups too late – when they have lost data.

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Disk Image

Acronis – I used to use Norton Ghost: now I use Acronis. Use Google to see which current version has best user reviews.

Norton Ghost – I used to use Norton Ghost: now I use Acronis. Use Google to see which current version has best user reviews.

File Copy Utilities

There are a load of file copying utilities with not much to choose between them.

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SmartSync Pro – I use this to make a second backup of my files to an external hard drive. It works well. $45

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Dropbox – Because dropbox will sync all your files to its servers, this can serve as an offsite backup.

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Rich Copy – A fantastic, fast, syncing utility created by Microsoft engineers.

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A Second, “Redundant”, Hard Drive

Once a duplicate hard drive is installed, you can forget about hard disk crash concerns.

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WordPress Backup

Don’t rely on your host’s (probable) once-a-day backup: have your own independent backup.

WP DB Backup – This plug-in can be set to send you a scheduled backup once a day. $Free

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Vaultpress – An excellent “set it and forget it” backup utility for real pros. From the makers of WordPress itself. From $5

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  • JOETTA HELMER

    Good article, Thanks!

  • LAKEISHA KANG

    It’s fantastic to see such a useful post. I also can share my experience in files merging. Just look at the service https://goo.gl/V8DJP9. Its pretty easy to use.

  • Ron Starc

    FTP Manager Lite is one of the best free FTP and SFTP client software. The clean interface is super easy to use. It will perform your files transfers quickly and efficiently. It also supports FXP for superfast server to server transfers.
    http://www.deskshare.com/ftp-manager-free.aspx

  • Jennifer Ferguson

    Fantastically useful tips and info, as per usual! Just one thing, Bring the Fresh no longer does the $7 trial as far as I can see?

    • Hi Jennifer – yes, thanks, you are right – they’ve pulled the $7 trial. In fact, I am not comfortable with BTF any more because there are some complaints about too many upsells to other Kelly Felix products once you get in. If I get more positive feedback I might reinstate it: but for now, BTF won’t be a HeyMalc recommendation.

      Possibly Kelly Felix has gone a bit rogue since Mike Long left in 2013. Possibly.

      Anyway, for now, I am leaning more towards Chris Farrell, Rob Cornish and Ken Evoy’s Site Build It in my recommendations: http://heymalc.com/a-good-money-making-system

      Thanks again!

  • Nhora

    Thank you for helping with such list of useful tools. I’m checking some of them thought it is time consuming.

    • Hi Nhora – Cool – just check out the best ones for you right now πŸ˜‰ The others will be there when you need them!

      Cheers

      Malc

  • Alex

    Got a lot of helpful ideas and new tools – thanks for the extensive and well thought out list!!

    • Hi Alex – I’m glad you found it useful. I’m still working on making it easier to use – for example, adding an index at the top – and I’ve got other resources to add. It’s over 150 already, and heading towards 200.

      Let me know any resources here you find particularly useful – or any other feedback.

      Cheers, Malc

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