I've been thinking of writing a 'favorite tools' post for a few days now and after reading Shoemoney's "What is your edge?" post, I'm convinced the edge of this blog is to give out the top notch hints and tips for free.
Essentially, I give you the information you'd normally pay $97 for from some guy with a really long landing page. And why not? It keeps you coming back.
So here's my current list of favorite tools:
- Keyword Spy ($) - One of the biggest problems when doing PPC is coming up with a solid list of keywords. Even worse is coming up with the keywords your competition is using and Keyword Spy will give you just that. I will say that their information is a little out of date and seems to come mainly from Google rather than Yahoo or AdCenter, but you are able to download not only your competition's keywords but also their ads. I'd go into detail on what they have to offer, but truthfully, I only use about three things. One thing that is worth mentioning is that they have a Clickbank product lookup to give you keywords used to generate get to specific Clickbank products.
- WordTracker ($) - Although it's not too different from Keyword Spy, WordTracker offers a couple of things that Keyword Spy doesn't seem to. For instance, WordTracker has a built-in thesauraus and lateral search that you can use to find similar keywords in the particular niche you're searching in. One notable difference is the cheaper price. At $59/mo, this one is definitely a contender with Keyword Spy.
- Google AdWords Keywords Tool (free) - AKA Old Faithful has been a staple in my affiliate marketing career from day one. If you want to generate a sturdy list of keywords for any product you're selling, you need to use this bad boy on a daily basis. For a free tool, I give this two thumbs up.
- Google Trends (free) - If you're going to get into any market, make sure you do your research first. No, Google Trends won't give you actual numbers to go by but it will give you a relative comparison of the search trends for particular keywords. This baby will tell you how well ringtones are doing (not great) and whether 'sex' or 'stock' is the top keyword of the day. Or say you want to know what the hot topics are today -- Google Trends has them for you. Never go without this bad boy.
- Aweber ($) - If you're running any kind of opt-in mailing list (and you should be), you need Aweber. With Aweber, you can send personalized email messages to all your subscribers easily. What I like best is that it checks my broadcast messages to see whether they're too spammy or not and gives me a scale to check. If they're going to be too spammy and picked up by spam filters, I just remove a few things until I'm flying close to zero on the spam-o-meter and bam. You wouldn't believe how many legitimate messages are thrown into the spam bin until you use this service. On top of that, you can have a list of pre-written messages that can be sent out at different intervals based on when a user signs up. It's truly beautiful and I would never be without it.
- Good Keywords (free) - When I started doing ring tones I needed a ton of, well, good keywords. Someone recommended this software to me and I was able to generate long lists of keywords for my campaigns. I've used it ever since and I intend to keep using it. This bad boy will tell you whether a keyword gets a lot of searches or not as well as generate misspellings for you. It does more, but as I said before, this is all about what I use the thing for.
So these are my golden six, I guess you might say. These are the tools I use on a regular basis to grow my business and conquer different niches. That's not to say they are the best of the best and if you know of any that are better, please feel free to let the people know!
To the best of my knowledge, however, these work great.