I only recommend tools I use EVERYDAY or have experience in. And, I only recommend tools that you absolutely need to grow your business -- no fluff and no huge expense. I'm all about finding effective tools that are affordable or free!
Before we go down the list, I want to make sure that you understand how important it is to have full control of your own content, your own blog and brand. When you own it, no one can take it away from you.
Take, for example, authority blogging platforms like Empowered Network and Pure Leverage --
With Pure Leverage, you are given ONE blog on their blogging network. They call it an “authority” blog, and it’s very similar to the Empowered Network's blogs, and remember what happened to those? They were flagged as spammy with a recent Google update and their rankings took a serious hit. Just think about this – if the company ever goes down, your business goes down with it!
Not only are you at the mercy of the legitimacy of the Pure Leverage network, but this blog is not actually yours. It’s on their network, so like Empower Network, THEY own the content! Why would you want to start a blog that isn’t really yours?
If you are in Network Marketing and Direct Sales, you will need your own website branded to YOU, separate from any replicated sites that the company gives you. This way, should anything happen with the company or should you find a company with products that better fit your brand, then you can remain and continue with your own brand and followers versus starting from scratch. Never brand the company. Brand you.
Here are my recommended marketing tools for your business online:
-->> RECOMMENDED MARKETING TOOLS <<--
Blogging Websites / Website Builders:
Free websites: (We do not use any of these free websites but we know of others who do. The main reason why we don't use the free sites is they are limited in functionality and flexibility. We want to make sure that our sites can handle the requirements of a growing business. If you need to just blog or you have absolutely have basic needs, these free sites will do.)
Paid (minimal fee) with more flexibility and functionality:
WordPress - All our sites are WordPress sites and we host with GoDaddy.
Elegant Themes WordPress Templates -- some really nice WordPress templates here.
Hosting: (With hosting, you need a hosting account with great 24/7 training and support...that's all I have to say.)
GoDaddy - get your domain name, your hosting, your email, your wordpress website, etc. -- all in one place!
Landing Pages: (Everyone needs a landing page or two! A landing page is meant to focus on one call-to-action in order to generate a conversion from visitor to lead.)
Thrive Builder for WordPress - With Thrive Builder, you do not have to concern yourself with monthly or annual payments to use landing pages. Pay a minimal one-time fee and you can own your own amazing Thrive Builder landing pages to use on more than one site! Thrive Builder has a lot of templates you can use as well as create your own -- and their training and support teams are outstanding! Highly recommended.
Email Marketing: (Everyone needs an autoresponder! An autoresponder could be your best lead and sales generator -- and the one that needs less time and money overall from you!)
GetResponse -- GetResponse has expanded to not only a great autoresponder tool but also offers landing pages, video marketing and a webinar platform! Aweber and Mailchimp can't compare to GetResponse...IMHO.
Social Media Marketing: (Why spend more time than you need with your social media posts if you can have a great tool that will cut half your time and is effective in engaging your readers AND doesn't cost a whole lot!)
PostPlanner - PostPlanner is a Facebook and Twitter lifesaver! It has saved us so much time looking for up to date, engaging and popular content -- whether articles, images, memes, quotes...you name them! Post Planner is the easiest way I know to find viral, niche-specific content for Facebook (and Twitter). You can start out for as low as $7/month! Check it out and you'll see what I mean.
Free Graphic Design Tools: (We can't leave without these -- and they are free!)
Outsourcing Resources: (Really budget-friendly outsourcing resources that can really help you!)
Fiverr - I became a "Fiverr addict" when I luckily found out about it! Words cannot express how much I love Fiverr! If you need something done, look here first!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals. I may own or be in partner in some of these companies.
If you have any questions with using any of my recommended marketing tools, just send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org -- and, will get things sorted out for you.
Here's to your success,