Online Marketing Tools
In a hurry to get started? Here’s a list of some of the tools I use for online marketing.
P.S. While you’re visiting my Pinterest page make sure you check out my Social Media/Web Tips Pinterest board; it’s packed full of social media and web tips plus some great infographics on online marketing.
Disclosure: This list contains affiliate links. Don’t know what affiliate links are? Scroll down to the bottom of the page for an explanation.
Step 1: Buy a Great Domain Name
Choose a short, catchy, meaningful domain name that represents your product, service or brand. Where possible, purchase the most popular domain extension; for example, .com or .co.nz. If you’re an author, expert, coach, speaker or public figure you may also like to register yourname.com or yourname.co.nz.
Purchase domain names from:
If your preferred domain isn’t available you may be able to purchase it from the owner or pick it up at an auction. Check out:
Step 2: Purchase Website Hosting
I have used BlueHost for many years. Great customer service with cost-effective price plans including unlimited bandwidth, domains and email accounts suitable for most businesses – but check the terms and conditions first.
As a bonus, WordPress installation is taken care of with a simple click of the mouse. Cost: $4.95/month (on special).
Step 3: Build Your Site
I love, love, love WordPress. Simple to use, and best of all it’s free. Use WordPress to create a blog, a website or both. There are a range of themes to customise the look and feel of your site and lots of amazing free plugins to add functionality to your site and integrate with social media or eCommerce systems. You don’t need any tech skills to set up your own professional looking site on WordPress.
You’ll find lots of free tutorials online. You may also like to check out Christina Hills. She offers free introductory training to help you set up your WordPress site and use it to effectively market your business.
Get Online (New Zealand only)
If you’re in New Zealand you can take advantage of a promotion offering a free website for the first 12 months. Sign up and use their site builder to create your website. I haven’t used this personally but it seems easy to use and the layouts are attractive. It doesn’t have as many features as WordPress but it’s a great way to get online quickly – and you can’t beat free.
Step 4: Build Your Fan Base
Probably the most popular contact management system for online marketers, aWeber features easy-to-use templates for emails and customer sign up, split testing, customer segmentation and tracking to let you know who opened your emails, whether they clicked links within the emails or made a purchase. aWeber is highly customised with great metrics to help you track your marketing campaigns. Sign up here to get your $1 Trial.
Reserve your company or brand name on your favourite social media channels (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter) and build your fan base with interesting updates that your target audience will want to share. Don’t forget to add images and social media sharing buttons to every page of your website.
You may also like to reserve your name on XeeMe (pronounced ‘see me’) – it’s a great place to list all your social media profiles and build links to your website(s). You can check out my XeeMe to see how it works.
Facebook lead generation
If you have a Facebook page and would like to use it for lead generation or to simulcast your Google Hangouts check out 22Social. No techie skills required and you can set up a free page in seconds. For a small additional fee you can set up unlimited pages and get pages that can be accessed from all mobile devices.
Step 5: eCommerce Payment & Shopping Carts
The simplest way to accept credit card payments worldwide. No start-up fee or monthly fees. Options to create your own payment buttons and shopping cart.
If you’re selling any form of digital product (such as eBooks) or running a membership program you’ll want a secure area where your buyers can download their purchase. With DAP you also get the added bonus of an affiliate management program (so other people can sell your products) and the ability to manage members-only parts of your site. DAP also includes a shopping cart.
This is a very cost-effective add on for any website, including your WordPress site. One-off cost with software updates for life, and great video tutorials and customer service — but it is slightly more technical to set up than some of the alternatives so if you’re technically challenged you may want to budget a little extra to get the team at DAP to help you with the setup.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated shopping cart and email management system with the flexibility to send postcards look no further than Office Autopilot which has been specifically designed for information marketers, experts, and coaches. Lots of great features including affiliate management and integration with WordPress to create a membership site. There are also options to market offline using their postcard system.
In you want to dip your toes in then check out Office Autopilot’s less expensive cousin and take a 15-day free trial with Send Pepper.
You can outsource nearly any aspect of your online business at Elance. Hire website and graphic designers, get a virtual assistant, have someone set up your AWeber account, write your newsletters or manage your social media.
Want a new logo, website, product packaging design or a book cover? 99 Designs is the place to go. The concept is simple – you write a brief, set your budget then sit back and wait. Within a week dozens of graphic designers will submit their best design. Review the designs and choose the design you like best. This is a great way to get lots of design ideas – the only downside is that providing feedback to each designer can be time-consuming.
On Fiverr, gigs (or jobs) start at $5. Quality control is variable but if you’re prepared to sift through the listings you can find someone to do small jobs at a bargain price.
You can find a list of free reports on online marketing, video marketing and website design here.
What are affiliate links?
Affiliate marketing is an economical way for companies to get other people to do their marketing for them.
Affiliate links are a form of referral where the vendor offers a referral fee, commission, credits, points, bonuses or other compensation in return for referrals. Affiliate commissions don’t affect the price you pay and in some cases affiliate marketers are able to offer special discounts due to their relationship with the vendor.
Although affiliates may recommend companies, they are not responsible for the delivery of the products or services – that’s between you and the vendor – so make sure you perform your own due diligence before purchasing any products or services (you should anyway!).