The Best Of The Best
I always get asked what the best tools are for certain online jobs, and I’ve compiled this page to make it easier for you to find answers without asking me.
I only recommend products that I either currently use, or have used in the past. If I don’t use them anymore, I explain why not, and why I still recommend them.
I’d like to point out that some of my links are affiliate links, which means if you buy a product or service via my link, I’ll earn a commission. This is at no extra cost to you at all, and is like a mini tip for my good recommendation.
This page will be updated as situations evolve and recommendations change, so make sure you are up to date before continuing a subscription anywhere.
My Top Recommendations
These ones are “Must Check Out” services. They are ones that I wouldn’t be where I am today without.
Learning The Basics: Our Community
I barely knew how to log-in to WordPress before I joined a community teaching me all the ropes, and now I make a full-time living online, all thanks to the education I got.
After building up my own audience and a ton of customers, we decided to launch our own community for everyone.
Competitor Research: SEMrush
SEMrush allows you to plug in any website and see the keywords they rank for. This allows you to estimate their organic traffic growth and is best used for finding low hanging fruit. View the keywords another affiliate site is ranking for and steal their keywords easily with this tool. We have setup a 14-day free trial here for the HPD readers.
Keyword Research: Jaaxy
Jaaxy is another product from the guys behind WA, with another free-trial available. I wouldn’t even have 10% of the search traffic I get to my sites without it. Simple to use, accurate results, and great value.
Keyword Research: LongTail Pro
Backlinks: The Hoth
Backlinks are very important for getting where you want to be – Page one of Google. Unfortunately, most people do backlinking wrong.
I could write a whole essay about how to do it right, but it would be much easier if I just told you to use The Hoth. They have beginner packages the start from $60, to more expensive packages. They’re also very suitable for more advanced needs.
Backlinks: Rank Guardian
For a more hands on approach and for more powerful results (at a similar price), check out Rank Guardian.
My favorite strategy is a sprinkling of Hoth before moving on to RG.
PBN Services: PBNLab
Finding expired domains used to be pretty difficult until PBNLab came along. This awesome tool for crawling the web is not only very good at what it does, it’s also addictive.
I’ve found over 4,000 expired domains in just one crawl before. Tell it your keywords, and let it do its thing.
Other Important Services
These ones are not services you “absolutely must” use, but you should “definitely consider checking them out” all the same. I use them on a daily basis, but you don’t need to use them if you are just starting out. When you feel ready to increase your budget however, they do become a must.
Premium Themes: WPZoom
I know that most people head to StudioPress or Elegant Themes, but I’ve found them to be too confusing at times. WPZoom produce some truly excellent themes, at very reasonable prices, and most importantly, don’t appear to be going anywhere. There are a ton of themes online that are no longer supported, or are just plain terribly coded. The guys at WPZoom not only produce themes that work, but they are very hands on with their support. Pavel himself has logged into this site before to fix an issue I discovered, and I love that.
Premium Themes And Kickass Plugins: Thrive
Thrive themes are conversion optimized, have some fantastic landing pages, and generally look very sleek. On top of that, Thrive Leads and Thrive Content Builder are some of the best plugins around. Using TCB, you can produce excellent pages.
Premium Images: Fotolia
I know, you really don’t like the thought of having to buy images for every artice you create, but they do make a HUGE difference to how your site looks. If you don’t want to risk taking images at random from the web (and you really shouldn’t), and you hate having to trawl through sites like Flickr to find ones you can legally use, then give Fotolia a shot. Their prices are more than reasonable, and your site will look 10 times more professional.
I used to recommend Hostgator but I’ve since changed to Bluehost. These guys are just the best hosts out there. They’ve got great pricing, great support, great stability, and most importantly, have been recommended by WordPress since 2005. You can’t argue with that.
Email Services: Aweber
It’s never too early to start building a list of subscribers, and your first month at Aweber only costs $1, then $19 each month thereafter. That’s a pretty good price for one of the best email services out there.
Sign up for your first month as soon as you start getting some traffic to your site. Aweber also provides some great training on list building.
I create turnkey websites, but I don’t have any “established” sites for sale. If you’re looking to buy a website that is already established, I recommend you check out FEInternational.com and EmpireFlippers.com.
I don’t recommend Flippa.com. If you are serious about investing in a site, check out either of the two above.