The following is a bag o’tricks of tried and true resources, secret weapons, hidden treasures and cool tools. Enjoy!
Affiliate Marketing Networks
While there are a lot of affiliate networks out there, these are the two I am most familiar with. An affiliate network is a place where you can offer products for others to sell on your behalf for a commission, usually a percentage of the sale.
Content Management Systems (CMS)
This extremely powerful content management system is what you choose if you need to be more “future proof” in your website’s evolution. Well-suited for medium to large organizations who need a lot of power in a great-looking website.
Search engine friendly, easy to use, expandable and well supported by a global community, WordPress has grown to be the top choice for those needing a website they can edit themselves with hopes of seeing their website rank in the search engines.
(Warning: DO NOT go with the free WordPress hosting. You’ll end up with a watered-down version of WordPress, losing a lot of the benefit and flexibility you would have enjoyed had you selected a real web host.. like Dreamscape Multimedia. I’m just saying..)
Okay. Three to pick from? Depends on your budget and how crazy you want to get with your email marketing campaigns. I’ve used all three and all three are good. I would recommend taking a look at all three to get a sense for which delivery service might work best for your purposes.
The email marketing platform of choice for most Internet marketers due to their robust autoresponder tools.
We used Constant Contact for delivering an email newsletter to over 42,000 subscribers for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Their reporting is top-notch.
Has personality and seems to do the job.
One of the top systems on the planet for online event registration, announcements, mailings, planning and coordinating. Powerful tools herein.
A wonderful online bookkeeping application by the makers of Quickbooks, Intuit. Synchronizes with your bank accounts, allows you to organize transactions, set budgets and view report details on the fly. Powerful stuff.
This forum is the end-all-be-all for Internet marketers. Need a question answered about how to approach your Internet marketing, SEO or web challenge? Join this thriving community of Internet professionals and find the answers you seek.
A solid resource for crowdsourced graphic design.
Great stock photography, Flash animations, illustrations, video and music, available at a reasonable price.
Inspiration While You Work
Internet radio to keep you whistling while you work. Whenever I’ve found myself drifting off mission while at the computer (thank you, Facebook.. thank you, YouTube..), music with a quick beat and smooth melody does wonders for bringing me back to my center.
Internet Marketing Training
There are many training programs out there. These are a few that I’ve tried. By far, the best, most well-rounded resource has been Internet Business Mastery, but the other two have helped as well.
Pure FUN, this one. Get tons of logos designed for you within two weeks by designers of all ability levels, from all over the planet. Stay engaged during your contest to keep submissions higher and the higher your reward, the greater quality and volume you’ll receive from the designers. Brilliant service and it’s a BLAST to host a contest. Highly recommended if you or your clients’ have the budget.
One of the BEST resources for finding, hiring and managing contractors from all over the planet. Includes rating system, contractor feedback, payment processing, team management tools and more. Don’t know where to go to get such-and-such done? Now you have no excuse.
On a budget? Get work done for as little as $5. Buyer beware here, but this can be a great way to hire work out or build a quick portfolio of work for yourself if you have a way to help people for $5. Need a video of someone in a monkey suit dancing around a Christmas tree? Yes, you can get that here too.
Maybe you need some blog posts written this week and you know you won’t have time to get to it? Buying some premium content writing from iWriter is the answer!
Need a smarter way of routing phone calls, capturing voicemail, receiving faxes to your inbox and recording teleconference rooms? Virtual PBX to the rescue!
Basecamp | ActiveCollab
Stay on top of your workload and client projects with these industry-leading project management tools. Both work great. Basecamp is more mature as a project management solution, but it is purely for lease, whereas ActiveCollab you can buy outright if you choose. For an additional fee, they’ll even install it for you on your hosting account or server. Nice.
Public Speaking Training
By far, the best value for your money when it comes to a leadership and communications training program. Give speeches, lead meetings, provide feedback to fellow Toastmasters. Find a chapter near you and sign up today.
Enables fast, easy and secure remote access to a Mac or PC from any web browser. Work on your office computer from home, travel anywhere and work remotely and never go without your files, programs and email.
The industry-leading screen-casting software, by TechSmith. This is the software to use for producing tutorials and sharing your narrated, here-is-what-you-do-on-the-computer videos.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tools
A great tool for identifying sites in your backlinking efforts. The software also allows you to quickly check to see if those backlinks planted. This is a MUST HAVE!
Social Media Management
Manage all your tweets, posts and feeds from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. You can even upload your tweets and posts for the next month.
Social Media Groups of Interest
“Ideas – Market Yourself” on LinkedIn. Join it.
“Marketing Ideas 101” on Facebook. Like it.
Tutorials for Doing Just About Anything
You probably think of YouTube as a great place to lose half a day watching videos you didn’t need to see. It also happens to be a great place to learn how to do things, where there is a video tutorial for practically everything. Try it the next time you get stuck on your web or marketing project.
The web host with the most (though I may be biased.) Joomla and WordPress-friendly.
Extremely powerful eye-catching templates for Joomla and WordPress.
Great WordPress themes.