Must Have Tools For Blogging and Internet Marketing

The purpose of leveraging content online is to attract, engage and convert. Simple! So, in this information society tools and technology can greatly improve the effectiveness, and efficiency, of blogging and internet marketing.

If you’re reading this you are thinking about, or already are, producing content online with the purpose of sharing your passion and/or expertise with a view to generate revenue in some capacity. Right?

For that, congratulations! (Or, ‘Hazah’ as we would say in England!)Blogging and Internet Marketing Tools

When I started my own business helping others improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their sales and marketing I was confident in my ability to market to my audience, manage the sales process and ultimately sell my services. What I overlooked was that a large part of my business was being done online, and this was a fairly new concept to me. As it is to most of us!

When we’re blogging, internet marketing, leveraging content marketing, or what ever it may be, we are in the business of:

  • Raising awareness of our work
  • Driving traffic to our site
  • Engaging and retaining visitors/prospects
  • Converting those visitors into revenue (whether as customers or through affiliate/partner programs)

This poses a challenge. Your content is undoubtedly great and your desire to improve your results is unquestionable (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this). Where the challenge comes, is the effectiveness of being able to market, manage and sell.

Technology and tools are a great source for enabling you to get to where you want to be faster! Here is a list of tools that can be implemented with out much fuss and are either free or affordable.

(Full disclosure – I am not an affiliate for any of the solutions listed below. I just like what they do!)

Must Have Tools For Blogging and Internet Marketing

      1. A RSS Feed creator – Use something like FeedBurner to generate a simple RSS feed that can be used for content syndication, search in readers (e.g. Feedly) AND retaining visitors. If your blogging, you want to get your content in as many places as possible and this will help.
      2. Appealing social connect buttons – If you’re happy for visitors to leave your site to connect with you on social channels I recommend using something like Subscribe and Connect (a WordPress plugin) OR if you want to keep visitors on your site (which is optimal for bloggers) use individual social website plugin buttons. We know social media is integral in internet marketing, doing it effectively can help boost results.
      3. Social sharing – Personally, I use both TweetDeck, ShareThis and Buffer. If your using social media to attract, engage and convert then it’s important to both share to multiple sites easily, track interesting conversations/people and systematically post at optimal times. The three of these can enable you to do this effectively in less time. Another social platform to look at is HootSuite.
      4. A URL creator – It’s likely your content will be distributed across the world wide web, using a URL creator will both enable effective trackbacks and analytics. Tools like Bit.ly and Ow.ly are great for this.
      5. List Building, Email Marketing and Lead Nurturing – One of the most effective ways to engage and nurture an audience until the point of revenue generation is through email. Offering a particularly informative piece of content through download is still one of the most overlooked activities. Use tools like AWeber, MailChimp or iContactThey are all affordable (if not free) and offer the most integration opportunities with other technology.
      6. A Landing Page creator – If you have anything to sell, a product or a service to promote, grab either LeadPages (this is Ms. Ileane’s aff. link) or OptimizePress (which also has membership site capabilities). These are affordable at approximately $100+ and can make a big difference to conversions.
      7. A graphics creator – For banner ads and anything else unique you may choose to create your own graphics to save money. Inkscape and G.I.M.P (The GNU Image Manipulation Program) work well and are free. Ms. Ileane is a fan of PicMonkey which is another free online tool. You can watch her PicMonkey Tutorial to see how easy it is to use.
      8. An e-book cover creator – If you’re creating content across multiple platforms or online products to sell you will want 3D images that ‘pop’. An affordable service is MyECoverCreator.
      9. Contact Management – Email list building is one thing. Managing your prospects, network, customers and vendors is another. Contactually is a great solution for maintaining information and keeping in touch with people. It has a host of built in tools and features that are simply awesome! IF you want to go one step further and manage things in more depth grab a CRM system like Salesforce.com, Zoho or Highrise
      10. Payment Collection and Gateways – To take your online activity from a hobby to a business you will want to get paid, no? PayPal is the obvious choice, although you may also want to implement (or check out) AuthNet.

The list could go on. I want to stop here as it would be interesting to hear what you would add to the list. Add a comment below to start the discussion.

Thanks for reading and happy blogging!

If you would like more information on effective sales and marketing you can grab the free resources on Michael’s website

PICMONKEY TUTORIAL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Hey everybody it’s Ileane from Basic Blog Tips.

In this video I want to talk to you about images and an application you can use with Google Chrome called PicMonkey.
PicMonkey is a neat little application that lets you touch up photos and make collages and do all kinds editing or adding text to your videos. Just go right over to The Chrome Store and upload it and it will be an application on your browser but stay tuned because I’m also gonna show you how to integrate it with Google Drive.

Once you install the application you’ll find it on your desktop when you open up a blank tab. Now, it’s a free application but you can also pay to get the upgrades and the upgrades give you some additional functionality. But we’re just gonna take a look at the free version. So here you would just click to open or drag a photo right there. Now when you open up the image, of course you’ll have all your basic functions just like you would with any other editing software. You can crop or you can rotate. But I wanted to show you a couple of tricks that I use. I like to use this section called frames.

This is one of my favorites, its simple edge. But what I do is I normally will get rid of the extra edge there. Then I’ll turn the thickness to match the image. So in this case I’m going to make it white. But you notice you have the eyedropper tool there, so you really can pick any color you want from within the image but I’m going to keep it white. And what I like here is you can add a caption which makes the border at the bottom of the image bigger. Then you can go into the text tool and pick your text and they have lots of free fonts here. You’ll notice anytime you see this little crown, that means that its one of the paid tools. So you’ll have to pay for those. But lets just use one of the free ones.

So you select the font then you pick add text then you can also change the color. Ok this time lets use a nice purple color. And then you can align the text how you want, center it. I choose this “Lets give them something to talk about”. I know, I know, I gotta work on my singing.

But there’s few other options here you can check out. You can add some type of uh, emoticons. There’s just all kinds of things, you could spend all day just looking through all the things that you can do with images. Then when you’re all done of course you just save your image and it gives you a choice of the quality that you want to save it at and it lets you know what your dimensions are and the size of the file that you’re gonna be saving. So if you, they use the 007 thing here and if you want Roger, Pierce or Sean quality of your images. Of course if you pick Sean you’re gonna get a much higher quality image.

But let me do as promised and show you how to integrate PicMonkey with Google Drive. So now lets just close this out. Now over in Google Drive I’ve already uploaded that same image. And I have to give a shout out to the Google Gooru, he’s the one who taught me this little tip here. When you just choose the item that you want to open, in this case your gonna do image, go over here to more and then “open with”.

In this case we’re gonna choose PicMonkey. Now when you make all of your edits to your image, and you save it – let’s just do something with colors here, change the temperature- its going to save the image that you have in drive. So you don’t have to download it to your computer, it will be in google drive. Lets go back over to google drive and take a look. See there’s that alteration that I made of the color. This will also come in handy because you’re not altering your original|image, you still have that on your computer. But you’re altering the one.

Maybe you want to use this in a presentation, you’re making SlideShare presentations or you can use it for Google Docs, whatever you want to do its in the cloud and you still have your original intact saved on your computer. So in order to connect any applications with Goggle Drive you would just go over here to “open with” and at the bottom it says “connect more apps”. Then you will go through the apps that are available for connection with Google drive and, you know, just look for PicMonkey.

But of course there’s a bunch of other ones here that you can check out. One last option is you just download this image directly from drive back onto your computer. You might want to change the name or save it in a different folder. So there you go guys, check out the PicMonkey app for Google Chrome. And have some fun. You can use those images for Pinterest, of course, and Facebook posting, and Google + likes images as well. So get started with PicMonkey. Thanks for joining me today and while you’re on YouTube subscribe to my channel, connect with me on my blog, which is basicblogtips.com, and you can also follow my podcast and that’s the Ms. Ileane Speaks podcast. I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks so much for joining me and have a great day.Peace!

About 

Michael Trow is a sales and marketing coach, consultant and trainer specializing in helping small business grow.
Michael has lived and worked in 4 continents, held leadership positions in local associations (such as BNI) and helped hundreds of entrepreneurs get to grips with their sales and marketing. He is a self proclaimed dog lover, wine appreciator and out of practice musician. You can grab a series of free sales and marketing resources at http://www.michaeltrow.com/

61 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Hi Michael,

    Great information throughout the article. All the marketing tools mentioned above can help increase the engagement of your website or blog. You don’t just want traffic but you want engaging traffic! I personally think “appealing social sharing buttons” are most important when it comes to social sharing. Also agree that email marketing is very important! Awesome post!

    • Thanks Rohit! Email marketing is almost essential today. To have the opportunity to build trust with someone who has showed willing to learn more about your work.

  2. All great tips here – especially the image creators and landing page generators. I would also be interested in your suggestion for a video editor — YouTube or something else? Thanks for the great tips and have a great day!

    • Great suggestion Tom. Personally, I use AVS (It’s a suite of audio and visual editing/recording tools). If you are willing to spend more then Adobe is the go to editor.

  3. Hi Michael,
    Every tool is essential for blogging and every tool has its unique identity. Really impressed by PIC MONKEY TUTORIAL…!!!

  4. Hi Ileane,

    I’ve only commented once before, but pop by from time to time and I have learnt a lot.
    Thank you.

    Thanks for the PicMonkey tutorial. I will try it. Roger or Pierce quality will do me just fine! :)

    All the best,
    Susan

      • Hi, Micheal.

        Dropbox is great, S3 is nothing but a headache for me most of the time. However, Google drive has 15 gigs of free space. It’s my go to for storage right now. Just a thought that others may want to look into Drive since a lot of people have Google accounts. (If you have an Android phone and download from the Play store, you have a Google account. Just a second FYI LOL)

        Jenn

  5. Ryan

    Thanks for this post.
    This is a great refresh some of might already know about these tools
    but now and again it is good to go back to basics and remember everything again to not loose track. Which is what I needed to thanks for this.

    • Absolutely Ryan! If you’re anything like me you may get distracted by the new ‘shiny’ tools on the market. However, it’s important to know what you need to cover all the main bases also.

  6. Michael, this information is super timely as I am working on taking my blogging ventures to the next level. I appreciate you not only sharing what we need, but providing the tools needed to make it happen.

  7. Hey Michael, awesome article dude…….. this post is helpful not only for the newbies it is useful to all other bloggers to. Yes, all these tools mentioned are very important.

  8. Hi Michael !
    I use some of the tools you’ve mentioned and i absolutely love each of them.I have never heard of tools like lead page creator , ow.ly URL shortner and am gonna try it out right now .Thanks for sharing these tools and making me aware of ow.ly and lead pages .

    -Pramod

  9. Hi Michael,

    These are really great tips for tools, thanks for sharing!

    I really need to look into a graphics creator, I haven’t used one so far. I also second adding Evernote to the list, it can be a complete lifesaver! :)

    Have a great rest of the week!

    Laura

    • Hi Laura, thanks for your comment and feedback. Evernote is something I use more and more. Also, being a Windows user, I’m very fond of OneNote.

      Good luck with the graphics.

  10. A good list of things, but it’s always the case of having the traffic to your site. If you have no traffic all the social media buttons in the world won’t change anything – I’m beginning to think it’s sometimes just down to pure luck whether a site takes off or not.

    • Alex, thanks for the comment.

      I hear you! Traffic is important, but is it everything?

      This post wasn’t written to cover traffic generation but I appreciate the point you raise.

      Traffic is more than like one component that contributes to the outcome. When I say this I mean it is likely your goal (the outcome) is around revenue. Traffic is only one piece of the puzzle.

      With that said, you can apply the same rule of thinking if Traffic is the outcome. What factors contribute to you reaching your traffic goals? Organic, referral, direct and more are sources of traffic.

      Luck is a factor, my advice…hustle is also a defining factor. Hustle, analyze the sources of traffic and work on getting your site/business to where it wants to be.

      If you want more advice on this, feel free to register for my updates and grab the free resources on my site. The link is http://www.michaeltrow.com/

  11. Hi Micheal!
    Thanks for sharing this amazing piece on the tools one MUST have for blogging and internet marketing.
    Im lacking in some of the vital tools and I hope to get them soon.

    Cheers!

  12. Hi Michael Trow,
    Thanks for a wonderful blog. Contains great tips on blogging and marketing. RSS Feed and social sharing are great tips to share our posts and get sufficient traffic.

  13. In this age of stiff competition a blogger must not rely on handful of tools and keep exploring new ones and keep shuffling the set of tools he uses to optimize their performance

    • That’s a good point Edson. If the tool(s) are used to do something and work towards a goal then yes, like anything, test and measure. If something else is perceived to work better, test that instead.

  14. A really good list to follow up with. I am currently using TweetDeck, HootSuite, and Buffer as my preferred applications to reach out social media. I use Photoshop, and Pixlr for banners designing.

  15. Tnx for those amazing tools, actually i’m using some tools you mentioned, i’m just wondering if you can supply us with a free tool for list building, because most of us can’t afford AWeber.

    • Thanks for stopping by Mickel.

      AWeber does start at about $19 a month and, as with most things, you get what you pay for and free doesn’t oftentimes give you everything you need. For example, Auto Responders are very important in List Building/Management.

      With that said, Mail Chimp does offer a free service up to a certain amount of subscribers.

      If you’d like more information on affordable tools and business building, grab the free resources on my website http://www.michaeltrow.com/

      I hope this helps.

  16. Great article that really gives me an insight on blogging and internet marketing. The tools that you have included really make a big difference to the effectiveness of blogging and is really helpful especially to those who are new to blogging. A big thank you!

  17. Rajesh

    Hii Thanks for giving info on must have Tools For Blogging . It will help newbie bloggers .I think Windows live writer is also great tool for bloggers .

  18. Hello Michael,

    A lot of useful tools out there. I was unaware about most of them. Using only 3-4 out of them. I would like to try others and check if those could help me.

    Thanks for sharing :-)

      • Thanks for your reply Michael. I am a new blogger and using social sharing, social connect plugins. I have also signed up for MailChimp, but still unable to understand it completely. Besides it I am using URL shortening service also, but I prefer “goo.gl”.

        I would be happy to know more from you as I am a learner, and everybody learns before creating something. Thank You once again :-)

  19. I am already using a lot of the tools you mentioned in the article like Buffer, a URL creator, a feed reader and others for staying updated with the online world.
    Great list though and would be a lot helpful to both newbies and other experienced bloggers out there.

  20. Hi Michael,

    Great set of tools that can definitely help anyone get more done. I like the social sharing tools, I just started getting into social media more and there are so many tools that help make marketing easier.

    I also like the ecover creator and wish I would’ve known about this when I needed it. I decided to go with something else that cost way more. I am happy with it but this could’ve saved me alot.

    Thanks for sharing these tools and I hope you have a great day.

  21. Yes! Very very helpful! I write and manage two blogs so it’s good to know about all of the available tools. SEO Blogger, Ping-o-matic and shareaholic are also especially good! Thanks for the post!

  22. Hello Mr. Trow,

    Good post. Hazah! I know and use (or used) the following tools: Buffer, Hootsuite, Bit.ly, Aweber, PicMonkey, MyEbookCreator, Zoho, Paypal.

    I would add to the list:
    Pixlr, Friendsplus.me, Potluck, JustRetweet, Amazon S3, Audacity and Screencastomatic.

    My question for you:
    I didn’t understand the Feedburner part.
    If my blog already has a classic, normal RSS Feed, why should I use Feedburner?

    Have a wonderful day

    • Silviu, thanks for the comment and question.

      Feedburner doesn’t replace your exiting RSS, it is a gateway effectively that helps people subscribe to the feed with ease.

      You’ve probably seen something like this; you click the RSS link and it brings up a page full of text. If someone wants to subscribe to that they have to manually add it to their reader.

      Feedburner, for the most part takes out the extra step therefore optimizing the process.

      To be honest, with Google Reader ceasing to exist, there is a gap in how Feedburner works and they haven’t incorporated feed.ly into their options for ‘adding subscription’.

      If you have and RSS feed, and link, and people are subscribing then that’s all that matters. :)

  23. The most important tools for blogging is seo plugins and email marketing.Tools are very usefull because they save our time and make our work easy .that is the reason wordpress is more used than blogger because of plugins that are best blogging tools.

  24. Wonderful tools, this is really wonderful and i really appreciate it.
    i have been using some of this tools for sometimes now, but for the lead page creator, it’s certainly new to me.

  25. Rosita

    Hello Michael,This is very informative blog for anyone who is looking for some good tips to optimize your referrals traffic. But i don’t know how to use Hootsuite. Can u explain it?

    It has got it all, information, benefits and overview. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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