Blog Power Tools – What We Use and Recommend

Learn Copywriting Before it’s Too Late

What you say matters, but HOW you say it matters most. You can have the best story in the history of the world, but nobody will listen if you don’t first get their attention.

People will take one look at the headlines of your post and decided right there if they’ll give your post a chance. So that headline had better be awesome!

Of course, you can sort of cheat and take a shortcut. A while back we got this great list of proven Headline Templates that you can just copy and easily adjust for your specific articles and blog posts. It’s been an excellent reusable resource. Download this Headline Template list and see what it does for your readership.

Blog Platform

WordPress, no contest. We’ve used TypePad and Blogger, but WordPress wins hands-down for it’s power and flexibility.

Website and Blog Hosting

First and foremost, you need a solid blog hosting provider. We use HostGator and have gotten over 30,000 hits to our WordPress blog in a single day. Not bad for a $9/mo hosting account.

Check out our Review of HostGator and see why we recommend HostGator to our friends.

Stay Top of Mind with Email Marketing

People don’t always have time to visit your website. So give them the option to subscribe to get your content. One option is RSS, but most non-techie people often prefer to subscribe by email. So make it easy for them!

Some people install newsletter software on their PCs to do this, but that doesn’t really work anymore. SPAM complaints have made most email providers automatically discard email that is coming direct from home PCs (yes, than can tell). The only way to get your emails delivered these days is to sign up with a service from a company that maintains a good relationship with the major hosting services – someone in that business who is well respected. They don’t allow spammers to user their systems, so the major email providers (like HotMail, MSN, Yahoo) allow their email to go through.

Aweber is a great option that we have successfully used for this, and which we recommend to our friends regularly – because it JUST WORKS.You just sign up, choose from their fancy HTML email templates, and start sending out emails and newsletters. You can even import your existing contacts, which is something most newsletter services WON’T let you do.

What’s cool is that you can try it for free for 30 days and see if you like it. They have some great HTML templates and the interface is simple to use. Try Aweber for yourself and see why we’ve been working with them for 4 years.

Email Autoresponders

A step beyond email newsletters is an autoresponder, which allows you to schedule a sequence of messages to be sent to every new subscriber. Imagine this email robot sending each new subscriber an immediate welcome email, then a great email with valuable content 2 days later, then a special offer 2 days after that, and so on.

This can be a little more complex to set up than a basic email list, but our friends at Aweber make this easy too.

Our advice, try out Aweber for 30 days to see how that works for you, and go from there.

Search Engine Optimization

Get your hands on this excellent SEO Book and find out how to tap into the amazing amount of free traffic the search engines are just itching to send your way. You just have to know how to talk to them, and you have to give them a good reason to look at you. Check out our review of this book here.

Make Money from Your Blog

Sell text ads with Text-Link-Ads

Do Sponsored Reviews with ReviewMe

Show Targeted eBay auctions on your site with AuctionAds

And of course, Google AdSense

Web Analytics

You can’t reach your goals if you don’t know where you are and how much progress you’re making. The short version – you NEED to know what traffic you’re getting, where it’s coming from, how much it’s increasing or decreasing week to week, and so on.

Here are two great analytics tools we use (yes, both) regularly.

Google Analytics – this is awesome for aggregate stats and trends

ChartBeat – this is a great view of what’s happening on your site real time – right now

How To Start A Blog And Avoid The Biggest Mistakes Almost All New Bloggers Make

Starting a blog can feel intimidating, even frustrating…

It’s really frustrating when 9 out of 10 “How To Start A Blog” articles on the internet are nothing more than affiliate marketers trying to sell you old-school web hosting like BlueHost and HostGator. Those articles show you how to sign up for web hosting, but provide zero help when it comes to actually teaching you how to start a successful blog.