I have been looking into this whole Internet Marketing thing for a while now. I was originally inspired by Pat Flynn over on Smart Passive Income and decided like many of you to take action… I have created this list of blogging tools to build your empire online today. I don’t bother with gimmicks or dodgy tricks to rank sites. I just use the tools available to me to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
I might have started of my initial journey slightly sideways and jumped straight in. If I knew then what I know now everything would have been drastically different. But there is a saying out there somewhere. If you don’t fail then you aren’t even trying. Based on the knowledge I have gained on my journey so far I have decided to pull a list of my most valuable ‘finds’ together. There are many similar lists on the Internet but this is what has worked for me and it’s all in the one place.
I’ll put this in at the start because on this post I have nothing to hide
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If you do decide to make a purchase and you use one of my links then thank you.
Hosting – The Foundations of your Empire
Bluehost: My main business sites are hosted on Bluehost. They are very competitively priced and with 99% up-time backed by first class customer service they are top of my list of hosting providers.
Hostgator: I use Hostgator for some of my business blogs. My business background is in technology so am very aware of risk mitigation. Hence I have multiple options for hosting business sites. That way if you loose a host you will still have 50% of your revenue coming in until things get sorted. Again they have 99% up-time with first class service and support so make it into my top 3 hosting providers.
Blogging – The Walls of your Empire
WordPress & Themes: I use WordPress for most of my sites. I find it really easy to use and for the most part it does what I need it to. At this moment in time I am using mostly free themes for all my WordPress sites. This will change when I get a chance, as I no longer have the time to write custom code to get things to work as I would like the to. A lot of people are now running with paid themes so I’ll report back here and update when I make the move. The theme for this site is by CyberChimps and its free on their website.
Content – The key to Success of your Empire
Content is King: Talk to anybody these days and they all say that content is king. Freshness is vital to ranking well in Google – well sort of anyway. Glen Allsop over on ViperChill has an awesome post on Google ranking and some of the things you can do to get to the top. Well worth taking the time to read this one. The big trick with Internet Marketing is getting traffic and targeting the right phrases and keywords to position your blog or business right in front of your audience and there are a few tools out there that make this much easier than you think. A site that seems to be doing this the right way is a Triathlon Gear website. Most of the posts are new and seem to have relevant content. I will be monitoring this over the next few weeks to see how it performs in the SERPs
SEO – Attracting your Foot soldiers
As mentioned in the previous point you need to know what people are looking for and position your pages and content in front of them at the right time. This comes down to good research, specifically keyword research and long tail keyword research. Here are some of the tools I use daily to find these to target
Longtail Pro: By far the best keyword research tool out there. I originally downloaded the trial version and had a bit of a play with it. I built up a quick blog post and targeted a specific phrase I found with low competition and a fairly high hit rate – yes they still exist – you just need to know where to find them. This is where I discovered the value in Longtail Pro. Within 2 weeks of putting the site online I was top of the pile in Google rankings. Armed with this knowledge it was a very easy decision for me to part with a small amount of cash to purchase the full version. Have not looked back since and I suggest you go do the same. Trust me its worth the money.
Google: Not a paid tool but Google keyword Tool is something I will always use for research. There are a million blog posts out there detailing how to use this so I wont reinvent the wheel by writing it down again. I also use Google Analytics constantly and Google Webmaster tools. Each of these plays a big part in researching the next big thing but also for good housekeeping on my existing sites.
List Building and E-Mail Target Marketing – Talk to your troops
There is a saying – If you build it they will come. Yeah, they will if they know about it. If you want to build any sort of a decent business – certainly around Internet Marketing then you need to build up a loyal base of followers. Early on I used various free tools to do this but am now moving over to a paid service. Research on this was limited to looking at what the top guys are using everywhere else. Call me lazy but if the tools were rubbish they why would they use them. One tool that caught my eye was
Hired Help – Somebody else to feed your troops
When you start out building sites and blogging you get the honor of staying up all night and writing content and building pages and links. Once you start to see a return on some of this investment you can change pace a bit. As the money start to trickle in – and it will if you use the right tools and strategy then you can look at the possibilities of outsourcing some of the load to somebody else. Here is one that I have heard mentioned on numerous occasions and they are high on my list to investigate further in the future.
Odesk.com: Odesk cover everything from SEO right through to logo design and at first glance prices seems to be averaging out at around $4 per hour. Think about how much you can get done in an hour with a bit of focus and it starts to make sense to get somebody else to do the heavy lifting for you and create some of the value while you get on building your empire.
Thats my list so far. If you have tools that you cant live without they let me know via a comment. If they work and you you can show me proof then they might end up in my toolkit as well.
Thanks for reading Blogging tools to build your empire online and don’t forget to comment