I get asked all the time about what products, services and tools I use in my day to day life as an affiliate marketer. You’ll find a list of my favorite products below (and yes, I use affiliate links if they have an affiliate program). Some are free, some are paid. I’ll do my best to keep this list as updated as possible (when I either find new great products or change my opinion on one I used to love).
- WordPress – Free blogging CMS.
- Genesis – My preferred premium WordPress theme. You can see my full review on Genesis or read why I changed from Thesis to Genesis for further details.
- Themedy – Genesis comes with a ridiculous amount of skins, but if you’re looking for more, Themedy produces skins for Genesis (as well as the Thesis theme).
- Photospin – Stock photography for your blog posts at an affordable price. You can check out my full review of Photospin for more details.
- Traffic and Trust – eBook by Nick Reese on how to get traffic and make money as a blogger by building a brand. You can see my full review on it here.
- WordPress SEO Plugin – The best plugin for optimizing your WordPress blog to do well in the search engines – and it’s free.
- MyReviewPlugin – If you’re looking to create a site with review functionality, this is the best plugin I’ve found to do so thus far.
- Ad Injection Plugin – This free plugin can take a little getting used to, but it’s fantastic for inserting ads with varying factors on your blog.
- Eclipse Link Cloaker – My preferred plugin for cloaking affiliate links. Find out why I cloak affiliate links – and why you should too.
- Gravity Forms – My preferred plugin for contact forms. Tons of customization options available. You can check out my full review of Gravity Forms for more information.
- Display Widgets (now deprecated – try Restrict Widgets instead) – A free plugin I use to serve targeted advertisements on my blogs. Check out how I use it here.
- Broken Link Checker – Another free plugin that allows you to check for broken links on your blog. Learn why you should and how it affects your SEO efforts.
- OIO Publisher plugin – A paid WordPress plugin that allows you to offer native banner advertising (and more) on your blog. You can check out my review and how to guide here.
Domains & Hosting
- Namecheap – Friends don’t let friends use GoDaddy (if you’re transferring domains from GoDaddy, you can use BYEBYEGD as a coupon code for a discount).
My hosting is spread out over a lot of different companies, but I’ve listed a few of my favorites below…
- The E-Myth Revisited – If I had to choose the one book that influenced me most in my business career overall, this would be the one. The first few chapters are a little slow, but the book overall is amazing.
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – This book is not only a must read, but you should be reading it at least once every one to two years. Think of it like a workbook to creating a successful life. Understanding the Character Ethic vs. the Personality Ethic is vital. Read it, implement some of it and then read it again.
- The Dip – Short but sweet book that explains the difference between quitting vs. knowing when to walk away. Fantastic premise that I’ve put into action over and over.
- Think Big and Kick Ass – I’m definitely not your traditional Trump follower, but I somehow got a copy of this book one day and it’s my motivational favorite by far. Love him or hate him, Trump shares some amazing lessons in this. “Creating Luck,” “Revenge” and “Never Take Your Eye Off the Ball” are my 3 favorite chapters.
- The Wal-Mart Effect – It’s not secret that I’m not a fan of Wal-Mart, but the behind the scenes look at their beginnings through becoming one of the largest (and arguably one of the most hated) retailers in the world is worth reading.
- 100 Ways to Motivate Others – This book breaks up 100 motivational tactics into “bite-size” chapters. If you’re managing others, I’d highly recommend giving it a read.
- Don’t Make Me Think – It’s a short book, but I honestly believe no one should be able to build a website or blog without reading it first.
SEO & Marketing Tools
- Raven Tools – From link building organization to social media to keyword research – Raven is a great all in one tool for tracking your SEO and social media efforts.
- SEMRush – My favorite keyword research tool. And it’s actually way more than merely a keyword tool. You check out my full review & tutorial on how I use SEMRush to increase traffic and revenue here.
- SpyFu – Another keyword research tool with some different (yet equally as awesome) features than SEMRush, including some kickass link building research and outreach tools. You can check out my full review here.
- Google Analytics – Without analytics, you’re working blind in your SEO and marketing efforts. Google Analytics is the best free Analytics service available.
- Crazy Egg – Tracks user behavior on your website. I use the information from my Crazy Egg tests to help me generate more revenue from my affiliate websites.
- PRWeb – My preferred press release distribution service. You can see my full review for more information.
- Aweber – There are a ton of email marketing services out there, but after testing quite a few, this is the only one I use and recommend.
- OptinMonster – Who I use to implement popups to acquire additional newsletter subscribers on my sites. Find out why I use popups here.
Below you’ll find a listing of the various affiliate networks that I use…
Even though affiliate marketing is my favorite way to monetize a site, I also use the below to increase my earnings on various sites…
- Google Adsense
- Media kit templates – Media kits are essential for advertising-dependent publishers large and small. They essentially sell your website – and the value in advertising on it – to merchants and brands. Professionally designed media kit templates are affordable and a great solution for the design-impaired.
Social Media Tools
- Pinterest Case Study – I released a case study detailing out my Pinterest strategy for one of my blogs that generated over 245,000 pins to a site with 45 posts. The case study contains specifics (including the site name, etc.) showing exactly what I did. If Pinterest is a part of your marketing strategy, you’ll want to see this case study.
- HootSuite – Makes it easy to manage multiple social media accounts (namely Twitter and Facebook) via one browser window.
If you’re going to be selling products, you might find the below links useful…
- Clickbank – Digital product marketplace. There are others, but this is the one I’ve consistently used to sell info products.
- PayPal – Allows you to sell pretty much any kind of product – digital or physical – online.
Running Your Business
The below are products, services and tools I use in the day to day of running my business…
- Skype Premium – We all know what Skype is. The premium service allows you to host group video calls and share your screen during calls.
- Dropbox – Online cloud file storage. The free account lets you store up to 2GB “in the cloud”.
- TripIt – Free app that allows you to organize your business (or personal) travel. I’d (likely literally) be lost without it.
- Teamwork – An easy to use online project management system. All the stuff I need to manage projects without all the complication and confusing features in other services that I don’t. And it’s fast.
- FreshBooks – If you find software like Quickbooks a little “too much” for your needs or a bit too confusing, give FreshBooks a try. Same core features, but geared more towards small business owners that have more basic needs.