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.
Siteground - Siteground is the best of the "cheap" hosting tools available. Their servers are optimised for WordPress, hosted on full SSD hardware, support HTTP2, PHP 7 and have built in server level cache. They also offer free SSL certificate, built in Cloudflare integration and excellent tech support. All of that for just $3.95/month which is cheaper than Bluehost. Siteground gets the crown for starter hosting.
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, Registrars & CDN's
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
Siteground - (From $3.95/month)
Siteground is the best of the "cheap" hosting companies available. Their servers are optimised for WordPress, hosted on full SSD hardware, support HTTP2, PHP 7 and have built in server level cache. They also offer free SSL certificate, built in Cloudflare integration and excellent tech support.
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:
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
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
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 Architect - (from $67)
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 Architect Copy Now - Read The Review
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)
Get Your Thrive Leads Copy Now - Read The Review
SEO can be a tedious process and tools can greatly reduce the grunt work. Here are the tools we use to run our SEO.
KWFinder - (Freemium)
KWfinder is the new beginner / low budget keyword research tool king. Easy to use, lots of data, fair usage limits and accurate / colour coded keyword difficulty make it easier for anyone to find profitable long tail keywords!
Get Your Free KWfinder Account Now - Read The Review
Ahrefs - (from $99/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 Free Ahrefs Account 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:
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 Tools
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:
SmarterQueue - (From $19.99/month)
Smarterqueue is a one stop shop for those of you who want to make social media efficient again. From competitor viral post reverse engineering / reposting to the evergreen post library, you will save a ton of time being social with this tool.
Get 1 Month of Free SmarterQueue
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
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
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
If you want to create premium member areas, you will need to use a membership solution to gate your content to members only. There are a lot of great solutions these days but here is our recommendation.
Member mouse - ($19/month)
Member mouse offers a complete membership solution for wordpress including checkouts with 1 click upsales, multiple payment gateway support, affiliate support, complete member management area and advanced reporting. A great all in one for aspiring membership site builders.
Get A Free Trial Of Member Mouse Now
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:
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
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:
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
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