Our Recommended Online Marketing Tools

While strategy, vision and skills are definitely the #1 factor of success online, the tools we use can heavily influence it as well.

Start with the wrong technical base for your website and online presence and you will struggle to do any changes to your site.

Start with the right setup and you can go beyond tech and focus on the core of your business while being flexible and adaptable​

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you buy one of them we will receive a commission for the sale. Nonetheless, we have and do use all the tools linked below and recommend them because we find them great, regardless of wether or how much they pay us.

Also make sure that you need these tools to achieve your goals, don't spend your resources on things you don't need.

The Essential Tools

These tools are our must have, they constitute the base of our authority sites and Our businesses would be radically different without them. With these you will be able to put together a fast and high converting site with great marketing automation.

Traffic Planet Hosting - Traffic Planet hosting has been one of the most reliable WordPress hosting service  we have ever used. While it's an underdog, the support was on 24/7 helping us with any WordPress issue we have encountered. They are extremely well priced for the quality of the service they offer and also offer a free site migration service so you can get your site on their server in under 24 hours.

Thrive Themes Membership - Thrive is the marketing framework we use on top of WordPress. They provide us with themes, lead generation plugins (pop ups, in post call to action etc), Landing pages creation and all sorts of amazing goodies that help us make traffic convert into money. We highly recommend you become a member, it's very affordable and the software brings immense value to your business. 

Active Campaign - Your email list is one of the most important assets of your authority site. But many email systems are a huge headache to manage and lack the flexibility to create awesome automated sequences. Others can do automation but are incredibly expensive or complicated. Active Campaign is neither. It's a very easy to use, very affordable yet very powerful email marketing system you can use from day 1 with your site.


Hosting & Registrars

If you want to start a website you will need to register a domain name and rent a server to host your website. This is the base of your online business but don't worry, it's also very cheap. Our recommended services are not necessarily the cheapest but they are the best value for money.

Top Hosting & Registrar

NameCheap - ($10.69/.com domain/year with free private whois)

We register all our domains on namecheap.com, the registrar is easy to use, domains as the name says are cheap. the site is easy to use, safe and all around everything you would want from a registrar. You can also register your ssl certificates and host your emails with them.
Register Your Domain Now

Traffic Planet Hosting - ($24.95/month for up to 5 sites)

While cheap shared hosting make your sites really slow and most specialised WordPress hosting are expensive, Traffic Planet is the happy middle offering fast WordPress hosting with a low price and 100% free migration service so you can get up and running with them under 24 hours.
Move Your Site To Traffic Planet Hosting Now For Free


WordPress Themes

Once you have your WordPress site up, you need a theme and framework that will allow you to do things like collect emails, format your content and overall make your site do what you want and look pro. Here are the top tools we use:

Top WordPress Themes:

Thrive Themes - ($49 for a single site license)

Thrive Themes - We use the entire Thrive framework for our own sites (this site is built on Focus Blog). The themes are optimised for conversion and speed while giving you the tools you need to run your marketing fast and easy.
Get Your Thrive Theme Now


WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins allow you to add a great range of functionalities to your site, they're easy to install in just a few clicks and can save you a lot of money in development costs. Here are the main ones we use:

Top WordPress Plugins

WordPress SEO - (Freemium)

This plugin could easily be a paid plugin (and there is a premium version but the free version will do just fine) and will handle all your SEO needs on WordPress, from titles to meta tags to sitemaps, this is your one stop SEO shop for WordPress.
Get WordPress SEO Now

Gravity Forms - ($39 for a single license)

Unlock unlimited for possibilities (without code) on WordPress with this fantastic plugin. Wether you want to do surveys, advanced order forms, conditional forms or plug it into any other service or payment gateway, Gravity forms can do it.
Get Gravity Forms Now

Mashshare - (Freemium)

The best social sharing plugin for WordPress. Modelled aftet the Mashable.com sharing options, The premium version is highly customisable, works on mobile and increases your social referral traffic. Great for magazine/viral content type sites!
Get Mashshare Now

Social Locker - (Freemium)

Offer bonus content to your readers in exchange for a share or follow. Great way to passively boost your social media presence while offering great content to your readers. Social locker is easy to install and works with short codes anywhere on your site.
Get Social Locker Now

Thirsty Affiliates - (Freemium)

The best affiliate link management plugin on WordPress. Allows you to organise, track and conditionally redirect your affiliate link clicks This is one of these plugins you should install on day 1 of your site so management becomes much easier.
Get Thirsty Affiliates Now


Staying in touch with your fans is the life and blood of your online business and email is a fantastic way to do that. Email has more users than Facebook and a higher reach than any other medium. Plus, it's owned by you, not by a social network or anyone that can decide to shut you down or change the rules. Here are the tools we use for email marketing:

Top Email Marketing Tool For Product Owners

​Active Campaign - (from $9/month)

Active Campaign starts at $9/month yet allows you to do what some $1,000/month platforms can't do. You can setup advanced automation, it connects with most apps on the market and it's incredibly easy to use (a lot more than the other email apps).
Get a Free Trial

Top Email Marketing Tool For Affiliate Marketers

GetResponse - (from $15/month)

Getresponse is an affordable and powerful email marketing solution that is affiliate marketing friendly unlike Active Campaign. It's ranked a notch lower because they don't have that amazing visual automation builder Active Campaign has but it's just as powerful and the best option for affiliates.
Get a Free Trial


Landing Pages Creation

If you want to do business online, blog posts and WordPress pages are just not enough. Sometimes you need to build "landing pages" for your email campaign, for your PPC etc. Sadly, WordPress is not very good at these by default but with these tools you should have it covered. Here's what we use:

Top Landing Page Creation Tool

Thrive Landing Pages - (from $59)

Thrive landing pages plugs into your WordPress site and lets you design branded landing pages just like you want them. Unlike most other landing page systems it's a one off payment instead of a monthly payment making it the best value for money tool in terms of landing pages!
Get Your Thrive Landing Pages Copy Now - Read The Review


Lead Generation

The 2 main goals of your website are to generate leads and to generate sales. Anything that helps it do better in either of these is worth investing in. Here are the tools we use for our sites to generate leads:

Top Lead Generation Tool

Thrive Leads - (from $67)

Thrive leads allows you to handle everything that has to do with lead generation on your site. Opt in pop ups, content upgrades, Opt in forms, slide boxes, hello bar types opt in, they also offer the best segmentation on the market.
Get Your Thrive Leads Copy Now - Read The Review


SEO Tools

SEO can be a tedious process and tools can greatly reduce the grunt work. Here are the tools we use to run our SEO.

Keyword Research

SEMRush - (from $69.95/month)

This is the base of our keyword research process. It allows you to find all the keywords any website ranks for in Google. Perfect to find low hanging fruits for your content marketing efforts! Plus, they also offer a rank tracker inside the tool so you don't need to pay for 2 different services.
Get A Free SEMRush Trial Now - Read The Review

SECockpit - (from $40/month)

That tool puts keyword research on steroids. It scrapes thousands of keywords per query and lets you filter it down in a matter of minutes. Perfect to build your master keyword list. It also scrapes suggests which is perfect for long tail keywords.
Get A Free SECockpit Trial Now - Read The Review

Link Building​

Ahrefs(from $79/month)

Competing with Majestic SEO for the best backlink index out there, we find Ahrefs easier to use and better to filter data. Great for outreach link building. Ahrefs also recently released social media analytics allowing you to do content research directly from their dashboard
Get Your Ahrefs Account Now  - Read The Review

Buzzstream(from $19/month)

Our outreach link building secret weapon, Buzzstream is a full fledged CRM for relationship building. It's one of these tools that take a lot of work to get it going but that gives it back to you 10x when you have it going. Plug your email in and enjoy the very in depth history and analytics for your outreach.
Get A Buzzstream Free Trial Now - Read The Review


Content Marketing Tools

Content marketing is both an incredibly efficient way to promote your brand and products and incredibly difficult to run. That's why using the right tools can make a huge difference in your business. Here are the ones we use:

Buzzsumo(from $59)

Buzzsumo is a viral content search engine. Plug in a URL or an author and the engine will return the most shared content from that author or website. Excellent tool if you're out of ideas for your own content marketing. The tool is also great for Twitter outreach and targeted following.
Get Started With Buzzsumo Now - Read The Review

Coschedule Headline Analyzer(Free)

When it comes to content, headlines are VERY important. If like us you're not a great Copywriter, the Coschedule headline analyser will help you create click baits titles for your content that get you more traffic. Try to go for a score of 70 or more if you want to do well.
Get Started With Coschedule Headline Analyzer Now 

Canva(Free)

Graphics are very important these days but not everyone is a designer and it can be challenging to create beautiful images. But with Canva it's relatively easy to do plus the tool is 100% free. Perfect if you are just getting started with blog graphics.
Get Started With Canva Now - Read The Review


Social media, while important can be extremely time consuming. That's why we try and automate as much of it as possible. Here are the tools we use for that:

General

Hootsuite - (Freemium)

This is the most complete social media scheduler, it plugs into most social networks and the chrome extension makes it easy to share any page from anywhere plus, there's a free plan so if you're just starting you don't need to pay anything to be efficient at social media!
Get Started With A Free Hootsuite Account Now

Meet Edgar($49/month)

Edgar allows us to automate the resharing of our old posts on our main social media channels. It may not seem like much but this little tool is responsible for over 6,000 hits/month on one of our sites just by resharing older pieces of content to our social channels regularly. 
Get Started With A Free Trial Now 

Snip.ly(Freemium)

Snip.ly is a bit of a sneaky social media tool that allows you to share any piece of content and put your call to actions on top of that content. Giving you a good reason to share other people's content on your social channels. It's a win win win for you, the content creator and your followers!
Get Started With A Free Snip.ly Account Now 

Facebook

FPTraffic(Freemium)

FPTraffic is a nifty tool that goes and finds viral images that gets a lot of social shares and action and allows you to schedule them for your Facebook page in just 1 click. Great way to build engagement and increase the visibility of your important call to actions organically on your Facebook page!
Get Started With FPTraffic Now 

Adespresso(Freemium)

Facebook ads optimisation can be complicated, well, not anymore with adespresso. The platform makes Facebook advertising accessible to a 12 years old kid, you should really take their free trial if you're doing Facebook ads.
Get Started A Free Adespresso Account Now 

Twitter​

Crowdfire(Freemium)

Growing your follower base on Twitter can be a grind, following relevant accounts, unfollowing those who don't follow back, filtering can take quite a while for very mediocre results. Crowdfire helps you speed up the process and grow your Twitter account fast in less than 5 minutes/day.
Get Started A Free Crowdfire Account Now

Google+

Circloscope($49/year)

Believe it or not, Google+ has an api that allows you to do mass actions like following thousands of relevant accounts or interacting with them. Circloscope is an easy to use interface for that API making Google+ growth a breath.
Get Started With Circloscope Now 

Pinterest

Tailwind App($9.95/month)

Pinterest is hot hot hot for traffic. We get hundreds of hits/day from it and tailwind app helped us automate and improve the process. Tailwind is a powerful pin scheduler and analytics that works in your browser and helps you quickly identify what works and what doesn't.
Get A Free Trial Of Tailwind App Now 


Shopping Cart

If you plan on selling your own products, you will need a shopping cart software to process your customer's purchases. If you set it up wrong, it can quickly become a technical nightmare. Here are the tools we use:

Click Funnels($97/month)

Click Funnels is a modern shopping cart that can handle 1 click up sales, European VAT, create beautiful sales pages, works with affiliate systems and allows you to create restricted member areas in minutes. Great if you're getting started with selling your own products and need a one stop solution.
Get A Free Trial Of Click Funnels Now 


Webinar Software

Webinars are a fantastic tool when it comes to teaching, selling and connecting with your audience. They are one of the highest converting sales tactic out there. If you are selling your own products, you should clearly consider running some. Here is what we use to run webinars:

Webinar Jam Studio($397/year)

Webinar jam allows you to host up to 5,000 people at the same time for a very affordable yearly rate. It is based on Google hangouts, has very good analytics, notification systems and call to action systems. A real gem if you plan in selling high tickets products. Plus it plugs into Click Funnels.
Get A Copy Of Webinar Jam Now 


CRO & Analytics

Tracking visitors when you're selling online is very important. It can give you the intel that will help you tweak your website and dramatically increase your revenue. Here are the tools we use to track our visitors:

Hotjar($29/month)

Heatmap, customer surveys, funnel analytics, customer page usage recording, Hotjar is an affordable one stop shop to understand how your visitors use your site and gather feedback from them to improve your conversion rates and products.
Get A Free Trial of Hotjar Now 

Google Analytics(free)

The free analytics tool from Google is still one of the best out there, get all the stats from your users from their origin to their country to where your sales come from. The live stats module is also particularly useful when doing content promotion.
Get A Free Google Analytics Account Now 


Productivity

Running authority sites involves managing a lot of moving parts. If you don't have efficient systems and delegation in place, you are going to drown under the tasks. Here is what we use to keep ourselves on check:

Sunrise Calendar(free)

Sunrise is a "smart" calendar that plugs into all the services you use to give you a real idea of what your day is going to look like and helping you making decisions about your schedule. A must for any "busy" internet marketer.
Get A Free Sunrise Calendar Account Now - Read The Review

Todoist(free)

The best todo list system on the market right now, Todoist works on all platforms, allows you to setup recurring tasks, customised reminders and work with a team assigning tasks to each other.
Get A Free Todoist Account Now - Read The Review

Google Apps($9.95/month)

Google apps is by far the best way to host your emails and company documents. A Google apps account gives you 30GB of storage, gmail, google docs, calendars and all the Google productivity suite. Well worth using and a number of hosting companies give you a few months for free.
Get A Free Google Apps Trial Now 

Trello(free)

Trello is a great way to organise your team tasks and work with others, assign tasks, create todo lists and more. It's particularly useful to manage your content calendar and writers. It also plugs into Google drive, dropbox and any cloud service you probably already use.
Get A Free Trello Account Now 

Evernote(free)

Take notes, capture web pages, capture images, organise your notes and access them from anywhere for free. There is a reason why Evernote is worth more than the New York Times itself.
Get A Free Evernote Account Now

Skitch(free)

Take screenshots, edit them and share them on the fly while sharing them with your Evernote or any other social media platform. Skitch is a great companion for note taking or screenshot supported blog posts.
Get A Free Skitch Account Now 

Screenflow($99)

Over the shoulder videos or presentations are a great way to create video content for your audience. Screenflow and Camtasia are the best screen recording software out there to create that kind of content. Perfect if you're considering creating digital teaching products.
Get A Screenflow License Now

Mind Meister - (Freemium)

Organising your thoughts can be tough. Mind Mapping is one of the easiest way to take top level ideas and architect them in an intelligible way. Perfect for planning blog posts, products or live training, Mind Meister works on every platform both mobile and desktop!
Get A Free Mind Meister Account Now


All in one business automation

For some people running multiple systems in parallel can be a huge pain and a technical nightmare. For those people, we recommend you use a single marketing automation platform. Here is what we use:

Ontraport($297/month)

A one stop shop for email marketing, shopping cart, affiliate backend, CRM and marketing automation, Ontraport is a marketing powerhouse. If you don't want to integrate services together to run your business just pick up Ontraport.
Get Started With Ontraport Now