If you are serious about digital marketing, then here is the software and tools you need. These are not product launches, limited releases, fads, trends, or any of that other nonsense. These tools have been around for a long time. Some of them for decades. They have evolved along with the internet to provide best in class, which is why I personally use and recommend them.
Website Creation / Page Builders
I do not use landing page services or funnel builders. I build my own websites with my own content. It’s ok to use builders though, if you do not have enough content for a website.
Page builders allow you to create landing pages in a hurry, so can test PPC and native campaigns. Three popular ones are LeadPages, UnBounce and ClickFunnels. Just keep in mind that you do not own these pages, you’re basically renting their hosting and templates.
Also keep in mind that you could be monitored. If you become successful, there’s nothing to stop other page builder users from cloning your campaigns and competing against you.
I have used Blocs and RapidWeaver on the Mac to set up small static websites. These are mostly one page landing pages, that promote one particular item. It’s like using the page builder services, except I own, host, and control everything. It’s totally private.
Focus is designed for mobile first. It’s responsive and blazingly fast, because all the WordPress bloat has been removed. It has built in SEO, modular content, affiliate redirects, and a custom landing page template, so it lets you get rid of several other plugins.
Focus also has optional Boxes for further customization including, email services like AWeber, Open Graph, social media, breadcrumbs and embedding fast loading videos. Powerful stuff for WordPress.
Multisite Hosting with Free SSL
I’ve been through many hosting companies over the last 25 years. Ended up hating most of them. It was usually due to crappy customer service, slow speeds, outages, and pathetic billing practices.
For the past few years I’ve used Chillidog Hosting. The speed, customer service, and billing, has been delightful. I can set up numerous websites on the same account, plus I get unlimited emails, unlimited bandwidth, and free SSL certificates.
I’m ecstatic to find such a good host after years of disappointment with other companies. So if you want a good host, say no to bloat, and go with a smaller, friendly company like Chillidog Hosting!
SEO / SEM (Search Engine Optimization / Marketing)
There are thousands of SEO publications. There’s only one that you need to pay attention to. It’s Planet Ocean’s Search Engine News. It covers all the best practices, important changes and current requirements. It also covers local SEO for small business.
Most professional SEOs don’t want you to know about Planet Ocean because it’s their secret information source. And I know that telling you about Planet Ocean is going to “cheese off” hundreds of SEO practitioners, because if you subscribe to Planet Ocean’s Search Engine News, you can bypass the SEO agencies and do the SEO yourself. It’s not hard to do.
I wrote a newsletter called “Internet Marketing Secrets” for 15 years. I had 18,000 dedicated readers. Each was worth $4.00 per year. It earned well over a million dollars in that time. Not a bad for a gig that took three to five days of research and writing per month.
So if you’ve heard it said, that the money is in the list, ignore the luddites. The real money is in the relationship that you have with your readers. Email lets you build relationships like no other digital medium. It’s one to one and personal.
There’s only one email marketing platform that I recommend. It’s Aweber. They’ve been around longer than any other service. I have been using them since 1999.
For my clients, I have bought and tested several other email marketing services. But compared to AWeber they were hard to figure out, they had less features, and the deliverability wasn’t as good.
Aweber is simple, powerful, and easy to use. They are a total email marketing solution. Sign up at AWeber now. It’s free.
It’s a simple model. You are a salesperson. You sell other people’s stuff and get a commission. Traffic can come from social, influence, video, podcasts, blogs, SEO, PPC, and others. You can sell physical products like supplements, digital products like ebooks, online courses, loan applications, insurance, diet plans, and more.
The list is endless. And therein lies the inherent problem. There are so many things to sell, and so many traffic sources, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
So how can you focus and decide what to leave out? The answer is simple…
Get my Clicking it Rich 2.0. It’s the Pay Per Click Affiliate Marketing System for Fast and Easy Wealth. I earned 1.7 million dollars, net profit, after all expenses in just 18 short months, WITHOUT Google, YouTube Facebook, Amazon, or social media of any kind.
I kept it real simple. I used Bing as my traffic source and sold a variety of things with affiliate marketing. Then after all that success, I do what I’ve always done, write about it and share with you how I did it.
So if you want to focus, avoid distraction, and make money with affiliate marketing, go get Michael W. Campbell’s Clicking it Rich 2.0 System, and start now!
Online Courses / Online Learning
Udemy is the source for online courses that stands above the rest. You can learn just about anything from affiliate marketing, to advertising on Facebook.
It fact, Udemy is how I learned how to advertise on Facebook. I also learned basic CSS, WordPress security, how to host on Amazon S3, and how to move a WordPress site. I own 27 courses in all.
And it’s not just digital marketing stuff. Udemy has courses on programming, finance, info technology, productivity, leadership, parenting, music, software and a lot more. If you want to learn something new, Udemy has a course for you.
Click Tracking Software
It’s often said there’s two types of marketers, those who track and those who lose money. Ok, that may be a little harsh, but if you track, you know which keywords, ads, graphics, buttons, emails, forms, webpages, etc, that lead to the sale. And who doesn’t want to know that?
Just about every affiliate marketer I know uses ClickMagick. It has intelligent split testing, landing page rotators, bot & fraud protection. It also has cross device tracking, the ability to add retargeting pixels and Geo targeting. Plus they have fanatical support to back it all up. So if you want tracking that’s easy to set up and use, choose ClickMagick.
Another one I’m using now is AnyTrack. It’s tightly integrated into the traffic sources and the affiliate networks. It can track conversions, but can also track events like clicking a button, filling a form, or visiting a certain page. It then relays the event, or conversion data back to Google and Facebook’s AI (artificial intelligence), so they can find more high intent audiences for you. So if you want “intelligent” tracking and AI working for you, get AnyTrack.
Do not fool around with these. Do not try to write them yourself, unless you’re a lawyer well versed digital marketing. Do not copy and paste them from some other site. The last thing you want is to risk getting shut down, fined or sued.
Protect yourself by using the Legal Forms Generator by internet lawyer Mike Young. Just enter your company name, address and a couple more details, click a button, boom, done.
Competitive Spying Tools
I’ve used both AdBeat and What Runs Where. They show which ads your competitors ran and for how long. They show the text ads and the display ones. They reveal their landing pages and entire campaigns. Pretty cool stuff.
There is a downside though. Not all ads that get run are successful. A good example was a set of ads by an online loan company. The only reason those ads ran, is because they were the only ones provided. Affiliates weren’t allowed to make their own.
As a professional advertiser that’s been in the game 25+ years, I knew at glance that the loan company ads sucked, and everyone who ran them would lose money. And they did. So take the “spying tools” as helpful, but not perfect.
Daily Production Software
Pixelmator Pro – This is my goto graphics editing software. I used Photoshop for decades, but just cannot justify their subscription model. Pixelmator Pro has every single high end editing feature you could want. The user interface is clean, it’s easy to use, and it gives remarkable results.
Scrivener – This is my main writing app for big projects like courses, ebooks and websites. There is a learning curve to it, so it takes some getting used to. But the power of it is unparalleled by any app. The features and benefits are too numerous to list. It’s suffice to say, if you need to organize big projects like books, you’ll need Scrivener.
ScreenFlow – If you need to train people, video is a great way to do it. ScreenFlow captures everything on your screen, while also recording talking head video and audio at the same time. It has powerful editing tools that are easy to use and learn. It has plenty of preset export settings for optimal quality, so your videos look great on anything from smart phones to the big screen.
Pages – When it comes time to assemble all the text and graphics, I use Apple’s Pages for the layout and formatting. It’s easy to use the Apple book template and style sheet, to get perfectly formatted documents. It has plenty of built in graphics and typography options. Then when the document is done, it can export the finished work as PDF or ePub.
IINA – This is my video player of choice. It’s not a video recorder, just a player. In terms of features and use, it blows away QuickTime and other competitors. It’s open source, it’s free and it’s for Mac OS only. So if you want a video player that looks good, works great and can play just about any type of video, get IINA. It’s free.
Calibre – This free software for Mac and Windows converts document formats. I use it to convert ePub documents, that were created by Pages, into Amazon AZW3 format. That way, it gives me the option to read publications in PDF, ePub or AZW3. In all, it can import and export in 18 different formats. It’s like a multitool for documents.
Hemingway Editor – This is like handing your work off to a professional editor. Paste in any text and it will show the use of passive voice, adverbs and phrases with simpler alternatives. It will tell you the readability level and when sentences are hard to read. It shows reading time, character count and word counts. Use it before making any work public.
BBEdit – This is my plain text editor, which doesn’t sound very exciting. But I spend more time writing in this app than any other. It’s also a multitool. It can be used for coding, markup, markdown, text cleaning, sorting, alphabetizing, and stripping out weird control codes from text. The GREP search function is amazing. It’s a true text ninja that I cannot live without.
Transmit – This is my favorite FTP software. That stands for File Transfer Protocol. It’s used to transfer files to the servers. (WordPress does allow uploads of photos and other media, but I’d rather put the files where I want them.) I also use it for daily backups, transferring work in progress “off site” to my Amazon S3 storage server.
Cookie – I use this software to clean out storage caches, databases, session and tracking cookies from my browser. It’s Mac based, works with all browsers, and it’s simple to use. I keep only the cookies I choose. Privacy matters.
Skype – There are plenty of tools for conferencing, consulting and coaching. My tool of choice is Skype. It’s been around a long time and most people have it on their computer. When I’m in a session with a client, we can do audio, video, share the screens and files with each other. It’s an instant message service, a low cost long distance service, and it provides a phone number for voicemail.
Hide My Ass VPN – If you do any form of affiliate marketing, VPN software is essential. You need it to see the competition, and your own ads. For example, if you are in the UK or Canada, and try to run USA offers, you won’t be able to see them. You must connect through a VPN that has a USA IP address. Plus VPN allows you to browse privately, have secure public wifi, and get an encrypted internet connection for private communications.