Blogging and Internet Marketing Resources
Since I decided to quit my job in May 2011, I have used an enormous number of products and services related to making money online.
Over the past year or so, I have explored everything from WordPress plugins, to books, to hosting providers. So I thought it might be useful to recommend the highest-quality products that I have come across.
My aim with this resources page is to make you better informed, so that you can make the right decisions.
There are affiliate links on this page. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission. It will cost you nothing extra. I only ever endorse products that I have personally used and tested extensively. Thank you!
- Successful Freelance Writing Online: This is my guide to making a full time living in part time hours from freelance blogging, which is what enabled me to quit my job in 2011. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in making money online.
Building a Blog or Website
- WordPress: In my opinion, the best content management system for bloggers (and for the vast majority of websites in general). You can start blogging with WordPress at no cost by clicking here, but I would strongly recommend that you invest in a self-hosted site (the WordPress software is free, but a domain and hosting will set you back a few bucks).
Domains and Hosting
- Westhost: The best domains and hosting service I have come across (and I have tried a lot). Westhost offer a 60 day money back guarantee, free backups and awesome 24/7 support from guys that really know what they’re talking about. And after transferring from my previous provider, I found that my blog’s load speed increased by 10%. If you’d like to learn more about my experiences with Westhost then click here.
- WooThemes: As far as I am concerned, the best premium WordPress theme design shop around. If you’re searching for a great-looking theme for your site that doesn’t need any customization, look no further. Leaving Work Behind is built upon a customized version of their Canvas theme.
How to Blog
- Start a Blog that Matters: If could only make one recommendation to a new blogger, Start a Blog that Matters would be it. And I don’t say that lightly — I learned more from this course in a few short weeks than I had in the previous six months. I cannot praise it highly enough.
- AWeber: There are a few email list services around but I consider AWeber to be the standout winner. They have the best features and a one month trial will only set you back $1.
Keyword Research & SEO
- Market Samurai: I purchased Market Samurai way back in May 2011 and still use it regularly — it’s an invaluable keyword research, competition analysis and rank tracking tool.
- Keyword Researcher: If you’re after a near-endless list of long tail keywords for a particular niche, this is the best tool. I’m currently using Keyword Researcher for my One Hour Authority Site Project.
- Point Blank SEO: Jon Cooper has quickly established himself as a leading SEO expert in the blogosphere and this link building course demonstrates why. Point Blank SEO is packed with innovative and effective link building strategies of which I have been using plenty for this site and others to great effect.
- Tweet Adder: Without this app my Twitter following wouldn’t be half of what it is right now. Amongst many other features, Tweet Adder enables you to follow exactly the kind of people who are just waiting to find your blog. Tweet Adder’s worth is proven to me every single time I get someone telling me that they’ve found my blog through Twitter. For a complete guide to how I used Tweet Adder to attract 10,000 followers in 12 months click here.
My Favorite Books
- The Millionaire Fastlane: This is by far my favorite book on the topic of “lifestyle design,” even though the title and tagline sound like they have come straight from a snake oil salesman’s pen. If you look beyond the author’s arrogance and propensity to repeat himself, you will find a treasure trove of valuable advice in this book.
- The 4 Hour Workweek: It seems that the vast majority of people have at least heard of this book — even those who know little about the “make money online” niche. Out of any product in the internet marketing field, it is perhaps the one that has achieved real mainstream success. Although Ferris gets carried away with his own enthusiasm on a regular basis and the book is a little rough around the edges, there is an awful lot you can take away from The 4 Hour Work Week.
- The $100 Startup: I love the concept of launching a successful online business with minimal financial investment, and with real-life case studies and Chris Guillebeau’s own personal experience, this book shows you exactly how you can do just that.
- The Yahoo! Style Guide: this should be compulsory reading for anyone that creates written content for the web in any format. To put it simply, if you own a website you should down this book.
- Book Yourself Solid: If you are launching (or already own) a services-based online business (like freelance writing or consultancy), this book will quickly become your bible. Put simply, it is essential reading.
Creative Commons image courtesy of veryuseful