As this blog gets bigger and bigger I find I am forever sending people the same links over and over. So here it all is in one place. If you want to use the tools I use then this is the place for you. Some of these tools are free, some are not. The ones’ that are not – some of them are affiliate links – I will get paid if you use the link to buy the product. That said I only list products that I have personally used here.
Writing and Brainstorming Tools
- Scrivener – I use the Windows version but the Mac version has more features. Best writing tool I’ve ever used – particularly if you like to rearrange your content as you go! Plus you can try it out for free for 30 days before you decide to buy
- Scapple – From the same people who made Scrivener – the very best brain-storming tool I’ve ever used. Seriously – not sure why this stuff is so hard to get right – but this app is so simple – and it just works! Again try for 30 days without paying
Blogging and Website Development
- WordPress – where would be all be without it – well I’d still be struggling with that old copy of Dreamwaver which is gathering dust on my hard drive!
- ElegantThemes – these are paid but at less than $20 a year for over 30 themes they are crazy cheap! You will either love or hate the designs. Note when you buy it sets up an annual subscription in Paypal which may want to remember to cancel (or not the guy is forever turning up new themes).
- Dynamik for Genesis (formerly the Catalyst Theme) my favourite theme – the one that does everything that Thesis promised to – easier, cheaper and a lot quicker. This blog is running on it.
Hosting and Domains
I live in New Zealand – I don’t host in my own country because its so much cheaper to do so in the US!
- Hostgator – I’ve been with them for over five years – they deliver for me end of story;
- I register domains at GoDaddy. I do NOT recommend their hosting, and their continual up sell is super annoying – use coupon code emma30 to get $10 dot coms for $7.60. If you are after your own country’s TLD (e.g. ca, au, nz etc) then check your local registrars they may be cheaper than Godaddy for the specialist countries. However they will invariably a (lot) more expensive than a dot com.
SEO Keyword Research and Competition Analysis
- Google’s own free Adwords Tool. Its not perfect – you might want to check out as well – but it does have a lot of data behind it!
- Market Samurai. This tool replaced a number of more expensive tools that I had previously bought – I use it’s a rank checker on a monthly basis to know how my sites are doing and I like the competition module as well as a more in-depth take after I’ve used Niche Refinery. If you are not subscribed to Keyword Academy you need this tool!
- OpenOffice – for every site I have a spreadsheet of details – OpenOffice does everything that Excel does – for free. I also use it to create pdf invoices for clients.
- I have hundreds and hundreds of passwords – I manage them using Roboform – cheap at the price, I also have the portable version so that I can reach all my passwords from a single USB drive regardless of which computer I am on.
- I use affiliate links quite often – particularly on this page! I use a piece of software called PHP Link Cloaker which means I can update links in one place and give you nice tidy links not crappy looking affiliate links! There are free ways to do it to but this one was recommended to me over a year ago and I’m very happy with it.
- Backups – I use SugarSync to backup my laptop to website somewhere in the “cloud” and certainly not in the town I live in. This seems a very good idea because I live in an earthquake prone country. Plans start from free.
- Although its getting better – you still need an ftp client from time-to-time to transfer files to your hosting I use Filezilla – its free and it works.
- For many years I used Aweber – recently I swapped to GetResponse – for more on why – check out this blog post
Hardware I Use
- I am running this business on a HP ProBook 4510s Notebook PC running Windows 7. I use an external keyboard and monitor and mouse. I’m hoping to upgrade in 2014 – watch this space!
- I use an iPad Mini with a Logitech keyboard for travelling – see photo above!
- I bought a Canon PowerShot SX20IS camera for all those stunning photos you see around here.