Recommended Ecommerce Tools
I live on a farm.
And every day as I work in the garden, move fences and take care of our little homestead, I use tools that I couldn’t do this work without.
There’s the digging fork I use to get weeds or potatoes. Or the wire cutters I use to clip through chicken wire. Or the nicely angled maul that splits a log with just one weighty swing.
Good tools make it easier to get the job done.
It’s the same thing with my online business.
Over the years I’ve accumulated a nice virtual shed full of good tools that I use all the time to keep my businesses running.
Often enough, I recommend them to my clients as well. As I develop copy and marketing strategy for them, these recommendations help make it all come together and work.
So in addition to providing you with this info-packed report, 5 Internet Marketing Mistakes . . . And How To Fix Them For Online Success that should help you see the big picture of what you need to succeed online . . .
I’m going to tell you about some of my favorite online business-building tools.
Please note, just about all of them are affiliate products. This means I get a commission when you purchase them.
All of them come with my stamp of approval either from personal use and experience.
I host all my websites through 1&1.
I know a lot of people swear by Go Daddy. But I hate their commercials.
And there’s no reason to buy from them. Because I also get terrific service and rates at 1&1. I’ve been on the phone for an hour with their tech support as they walk me through something step-by-step. I never feel rushed. I never feel dumb.
I’m no tecchy. But with their help I’ve gotten many a frustrating task done.
And they have great rates. You can by some .com domains for as low as $.99 and then you only need to pay $4.99/month for hosting for personal sites and $9.99 for hosting for business sites.
So if you’re looking for a webhost – Maybe you don’t like the Go Daddy commercials either, I highly recommend you check out 1&1 internet hosting.
Almost all of my sites are in WordPress. I highly recommend this as the way to go. Not only does it put your website in an format that can be easily indexed by search engines to help you with your ranking, but it’s easy to use.
Additionally, every day dozens of great programs are created expressly to be used with WordPress.
Finally, I’ve worked with too many clients who are frustrated that they can’t make changes on their sites without contacting their webmaster. I’ve even had a few who have had sites designed by webmasters who disappear, leaving them with a mess that some other expert has to sort through before redesigning the site.
With WordPress, while you can enlist some great designers and programmers to customize your site, you can also do a tremendous amount yourself.
In my book, it is the only way to go. I’ve been advising all my clients who are considering a site design change to switch to WordPress for all of these reasons.
Just to be clear – do not set up your site at WordPress.com. Make sure you simply use the WordPress platform and host it at your own domain. You want to own the real estate you’re creating online.
You can download WordPress for free here:
Your Site’s Design
When you set up your site under WordPress, you’ll need to select what’s called a Theme. It’s really an overall design for your site.
I use Thesis for my theme. It helps me code my copy in order to get more mileage with search engines. And it makes it easier for you to customize your site design.
Also, if you start to look for designers working in WordPress, you’ll find many who are familiar with this theme and ready to help you customize it to your liking.
You can get Thesis theme right here:
Keyword And SEO Research
Market Samurai is one of the most powerful search marketing tools I have in my arsenal.
I use it for every one of my SEO copywriting jobs. And it gives me strategic muscle to take on any of the big guys.
See, when you’re optimizing your website for search engines, everywhere you turn you hear people telling you to optimize for keywords.
But that’s easier said than done. I mean, c’mon. When you’re optimizing for a heart health supplement there are literally over 84 million websites competing on the same keyword phrase.
And even if you find a phrase that there isn’t much competition for in numbers, you might find that you’re trying to rank against the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health.
Though small in numbers, these websites are tough to topple.
Market Samurai helps you quickly identify strategic keywords to optimize for . . .
But that’s not all it does.
I’ll let the Market Samurai folks describe all they offer . . .
This is one of the best deals ever online.
Most keyword research tools require monthly payments of $39 plus.
Market Samurai is a simple one-time payment for the software – and a very affordable payment at that.
I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s a little slow. It crunches a lot of data. And I hear a lot of complaints from fellow Market Samurai users about this.
But every time I hear a complaint, I hear it followed by, “I wouldn’t use anything else.”
I feel the same way.
I find it invaluable. I’ve found keyword gold that helped me get more traffic to my personal websites as well as my clients’.
I can easily find keyword phrases that dangle in front of me like low-hanging fruits – not much competition either in size or number . . .
But even better, I frequently use it to reverse engineer inbound links of competitor websites and research my competition.
If you’re running a business that uses SEO . . . or if you’re an SEO copywriter . . .
You’ve got to add this fantastic bargain to your arsenal. Oh yeah, they also let you try it out for free . . .
Email Service Provider
I enjoy writing and take pride in my skills. I love writing autoresponders. So if you contact me to work on a set of these for you, I’ll be more than pleased to discuss the project . . .
But I also want to share with you the special service I use to get these emails to you.
It’s the one I recommend to all of my clients. And the clients who have switched over to it have been more than pleased with it.
See, it’s not a good idea to send out your own followup emails to people who subscribe to your site.
First of all, it’s just messy. It’s a lot to keep track of and organize.
Secondly, you don’t want to be canned by the CAN-SPAM rules that govern email marketing.
In other words, you need a service that can work with you in making sure you have permission from people who subscribe to your list . . . And who works with you to make sure your emails don’t look too spammy . . . And works on its relationships with servers so that you can worry about your relationship with your subscribers.
Aweber does all that.
Among email marketers it’s considered one of the best service providers out there.
· Aweber is incredibly reliable – they have one of the best delivery rates in the business.
· It sends out confirmation messages promptly.
· It has an excellent interface for setting up all your emails – as well as optins for WordPress, Facebook and more.
· Aweber offers a whole slew of great newsletter templates and optin templates.
· The folks who work there are incredibly helpful. I’ve always gotten through to a customer service person promptly and they’ve always walked me through what I need to do – no rush, no comments about my low-tech talk.
I really truly like their service. And recommend it.
So if you’d like to continue to market to your list with an excellent partner helping you do it.
These are some of the core tools I couldn’t run my businesses without.