This is a list of resources that I use and recommend. I will add more in-depth reviews on some products. These are products and services that I use in my own business.
Search engine optimized WordPress Theme I use Thesis (it costs but it is worth paying for). I’ve had success getting very strong results using this theme. It’s a little technical still, but the search engine benefits are worth the effort. Based on what I’ve seen from another blog I plan to convert all of my blogs to Thesis.
Press Release Sites
These are web sites that take press release submissions. Prices range from free up to hundreds of dollars per press release. Which to use depends on the newsworthiness of your story to the media. The free sites often don’t get your news distributed, just published. When you pay you’re getting more exposure through the partnerships the newswire has with various media outlets (magazines, radio, newspapers, TV) and web sites (CNN, Yahoo News, Google News, financial web sites).
Free press release sites
PRLog.org – allows picture, video, 3 URL links, published immediately, and gets you on Google News.
Mid-range – starting at around $50
24-7pressrelease.com – decent SEO features, my 2nd favorite. Low cost to embed a video in your press release. I would choose the $85 level.
PRLeap.com – lots of great features for about $50
Clickpress.com – also about $50
PRWeb – my favorite for the SEO features, email distribution, and online coverage. It has since become more of a pain to set up but it’s still pretty affordable.
More Expensive – but worth it if you have a strong or very timely news story
These sites have credibility with the media as well as many online features. Be warned that you’ll pay for each feature and it can add up. I suggest just targeting a certain metropolitan area or industry. Prices start at about $300 and can go upwards of $900. Can get media lists to send your news to targeted publications.
PRNewswire – the oldest newswire used by everyone from Oprah Windfrey to Apple. This links goes to their small business toolkit where you will get special pricing if you’re a new member. I have sent a press release over PRNewswire with stellar results (Seth Godin said he really liked my press release). If you sign up and request more info you’ll get the best pricing for a traditional newswire service.
Password Remembering Tool
Roboform – This tool (Roboform) is for the power user who has a ton of passwords and wants to make them secure and not have to remember them (just one master password). I recommend getting the thumb drive option so you can have your passwords on the go to use on any computer.
Web/Wordpress blog Hosting
Bluehost. I’ve been a customer for years because it includes 24/7 phone support. Very affordable and supports unlimited domains on one account + 1 free domain name. Adequate for most web sites. If you want to install a blog on your own domain, call them and they will walk you through how to do it. They also have Simple Script so you can easily create a WordPress blog. For the price you can’t beat them. However, if you get a lot of traffic to your blog or use too much bandwidth they will cut you off without warning. In that case, I do not recommend them for you.
MarketingSherpa – they have great case studies and packed with tested information on how to market online. I’ve read them for years. The articles are free for several days then they go into a subscription so I copy/paste the ones I like into a Google Doc.
Aweber – this is the program that the gurus use for autoresponders and email management and analytics. A little clunky to use but reliable. MailChimp is much easier to use but they have super strict rules and if they think your newsletter is spammy they nix you, no recourse, no warning. You just lose all of your work.
HelpaReporter or HARO. Free media leads – you get this email newsletter 3x a day with journalists requests for sources for stories. If you respond you could be featured in their story for some great publicity. All sorts of magazines and mainstream down to a basic blog use HARO. You can also use it to find your own sources for blog posts, interviews, books, etc. Great way to see what is being covered in the media right now and get into the head of journalists.
Publicity Hound. Learn the ropes of getting publicity with this free email newsletter from Joan Stewart. Her blog is always timely and she has products to help the novice learn how to get PR. She is very practical and hands on in her approach so you can get step-by-step instruction.
Want to get paid for referring others to products and services? These networks have the code, banners and other resources to do the marketing. You get links and they track sales and give you a percentage. Join many different programs and get paid all in one place.
Commission Junction – one of the biggest and most popular affiliate networks. Pays out every 30 days.
ClickBank – the standard for selling ebooks & electronic media and software
E-Junkie – E-junkie provides you copy-paste “buy now” buttons and shopping cart to let you sell digital and tangible products. Also easily add an affiliate program.
LinkShare used by major brands – one of the larger affiliate networks.
ShareASale – mid-range affiliate network with a great reputation for being affiliate friendly.
Avant Link – Specializes in affiliate tools including datafeeds and high tech affiliate tools. Features many outdoor retailers.
Google Affiliate Network Not as easy to use as other networks but run by Google and so it has a lot of advertisers.
Impact Radius -track sales across print & all media
Note: some links are affiliate links which means I make a small amount for referring you to these sites.