Tools (or lack thereof) won’t make or break your business.
And they won’t make you more money.
But they WILL make your online money making efforts more effective and efficient.
The following list of tools is what I used and/or still do to power Traffic Generation Café.
There’s no such thing as a perfect problem-free hosting company, but Hostgator comes fairly close for smaller/newer websites.
Feel free to use the following coupon code to get 25% off your initial hosting package:
Set up your Hostgator account here
WP Engine is the hosting for the serious blogger. If you are not willing to put up with downtimes, slow page loading, uncertain security, server crashes, then you need to check them out.
That’s where Traffic Generation Café is currently hosted.
Set up your WP Engine Account here
I love Thesis for its built-in SEO capabilities (you don’t need any SEO plugins when running on Thesis), incredible customization potential, the ease of customization even if you don’t know any code (I customized my first one myself), and incredible support and knowledge base.
Traffic Generation Café currently runs on Thesis.
Get Thesis for YOUR blog here
Meet Ian Belanger, the creator of my current stunning design. He is the power behind all things technical at TGC.
The wisdom to outsource the time-intensive tasks that I have no training for (like website design) came after much frustration, sleepless nights, and emergency Hostgator calls.
When you reach your boiling point, give Ian a call. He’ll give you your sanity back.
If custom design is not quite in your budget just yet (I’ve been there before), then getting a customizable “skin” (a template, in other words) is the next best thing.
I like Hesham Zebida’s (FamousBloggers.net) Thesis Awesome because his skins are designed with conversion in mind – whether it’s list building, affiliate marketing, or product/service sales.
See what Thesis Awesome can do for you
The only autoresponder I’d consider.
Aweber offers a $1 trial month for all new customers. You’ll have access to all features a paid account is entitled to: unlimited lists, email campaigns, automatic follow-ups, broadcasts, and many, many more.
If after 30 days you don’t like them, just let them know and Aweber will give you your $1 back. Guaranteed.
DO check out Aweber for only $1 now
My list building plugin of choice.
There are certainly plenty of them on the market these days and I’ve tested a few.
WPSubscribers is the one I am sticking with.
The BEST KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL I’ve ever used, bar none.
Goes way beyond simple keyword research with competition research, rank tracking, domain research, and more.
Get your MarketSamurai Download here
I love, love, love this internet marketing tool.
You know how different rank checkers ask you for the keywords you’d LIKE to rank for and then tell you where you are ranking for them?
Well, SEMRush checks the first 20 spots across Google to tell YOU what you are currently ranking for. This is priceless.
You can learn about different keywords you didn’t even know you were ranking for.
It also tells you which keywords bring the most traffic to your blog, so you can quickly tell which ones you need to push up in the rankings to bring even more search engine traffic.
Take a look at my SEMRush Review to learn more about the tool.
Start tracking your competition with SEMRush.com
Thirsty Affiliates Plugin
This plugin converts any keywords on your blog into money-making affiliate links, creates professional redirects, adds NoFollow (NEVER forget to do it!), opens links in new windows, AND you can easily insert banners already linked to the product site with your aff link with a simple click.
Also check out my post about the best Affiliate Marketing Programs and how to find/choose them.
Download your own ThirstyAffiliates here
This is the very tool that allows me to follow thousands of targeted users on autopilot per day, thus making Twitter my largest referral traffic source.
Here is my Tweet Adder review.
Update: Tweet Adder, along with many other Twitter tools, had to make adjustments to their automation options. Learn more about the changes in my Best Twitter Tools to Get More Twitter Followers [Tweet Adder Alternatives] post.
And now you can get 20% off Tweet Adder on me; just follow this link to Tweet Adder website and enter the following discount code at checkout:
Start generating profitable traffic with Tweet Adder
Screen recording and a whole lot more. Used by most pro video marketers and yours truly.
ScreenFlow makes editing video easy, so I can focus on creatively telling my story and not the tech side of things.
Start using ScreenFlow today
Bamboo Pen Tablet
Turns my computer into a virtual canvas, allowing me to create digital artwork with the touch of a pen.I use it to draw on the slides while recording the screen with ScreenFlow; turns boring “I’ve seen it all before” videos into interactive gems.
Spruce up your videos with Bamboo Pen Tablet
Blog Post Promotion: the Ultimate Guide
by Kristi Hines – this is an ebook that is packed with actionable advice on how to promote your blog.
Kristi Hines of Kikolani.com is certainly the best expert in the field and she doesn’t hold anything back as she shares how she promotes her blog, contest entries, etc.
Start promoting your blog with Kristi Hines
Should you choose to go through my affiliate links and help me to turn Traffic Generation Café into a thriving business, I want you to know this: I truly and sincerely appreciate your business.
PS Please read my Affiliate Disclaimer
(or don’t, either way… as long as you know it’s here…)
Yes, I own/use/recommend all the products/services above and hope that you will as well.
My recommendation is ALWAYS based on my belief that the product and its author will provide excellent and valuable information or service.
In some cases, I will be compensated should you decide to purchase that product based on my recommendation.
In some cases, I will receive the product for free for review purposes.
Always, always, always do your OWN due diligence before making any purchases.
Never purchase anything you cannot afford.
Most people don’t do anything with the products they buy, so most of the time, their typical results are zero.
Don’t do drugs, stay in school.
There is no such thing as a Silver Bullet.
I bet this disclaimer would make a good rap song…
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