When people take my How to Write Your Own Money-Making Websites program they occasionally email me for advice on the various tools and services I recommend they use.
I list a ton of resources in the program itself, plus more in the live training sessions.
But yes, I understand when people get overwhelmed by all the choices and email me asking for some simple and clear recommendations.
Below you’ll find the tools, services and resources I have used myself. These certainly aren’t the only options, but these are the services I have used and feel comfortable recommending.
Note: If you choose SiteBuildIt (SBI) as the platform for creating and managing your site, keep in mind that registering your domain, keyword research and hosting are all included within the package, so you don’t have to buy them separately.
If you have taken my program, you’ll already know that part of the challenge is to find strong keywords and phrases that you can use to attract visitors to your site’s pages.
For a free keyword research tool, you can try the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. This will give you a fair idea of the strength or weakness of any keyword you enter, but won’t give you details on the supply and demand.
For more precise keyword research, you can use Wordtracker. The service isn’t cheap, but if nothing else you can sign up and get a 7-day free trial before making a final decision on whether to buy or not.
Attracting inbound links to your website is really important. It’s one of the top ways in which Google determines how high up you appear in the search results. One great resource to learn about link-building is Eric Ward. I’ve known him for almost 20 years, and he’s at the top of his field.
The tool I use to help me create a link-building strategy, and to track links coming into my sites is CognitiveSEO.
Domain name registration
I buy my domain names at GoDaddy.com. But that’s all I use them for. I don’t host my sites with them, and I definitely don’t use any of their site building tools. I just buy my domains there, because the price is right.
Site creation and management platforms
For my own money-making websites, including CoffeeDetective.com, I use SiteBuildIt (SBI!), and have only high praise for the service. I used to get frustrated with the actual page-building tool, which I found awkward and clumsy. But they have upgraded the “block builder” tool, and it is now excellent.
I have also used WordPress to create sites, and love its simplicity and flexibility. You’ll want to choose a theme or framework to use with WordPress. The one I know best and can certainly recommend is GeneratePress, which was created by my son Thomas and has already been downloaded over 550,000 times.
Your “host” is the company which owns and manages the physical servers on which your website resides. I have tried a few over the years, but now use Hostgator. Hosting is separate from domain name purchase, so they don’t have to be with the same company. For example, I buy my domain names at GoDaddy, but host my WordPress sites at Hostgator.
For a more complete explanation of hosting, check out Web Hosting Services Explained.
You’ll want to add plenty of images to your website. The best images are usually the photos you take yourself. But sometimes you’ll want to use an image you can’t take yourself.
My first stop when looking for images is 123rf.com. There are millions of images to choose from here, all of them royalty-free. For small-sized images you’ll usually pay about a dollar for each image, which is a lot less than you’ll be asked for at most image banks.
A similar resources, and perhaps a little cheaper per image, is CanStockPhoto.
If you want to edit photos and images before uploading them to your site, and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on image editing software, you can try Pixlr.com, a free online service.
What about taxes on my income from the site?
Good question! When you make money from your money-making website, you’ll need to declare it, either as part of your business or on your personal tax from. Ask your accountant about this, as rules differ according to where you live. For more general information, check out Intuit’s Self-Employed Center. Lots of great stuff there.
That’s it for now…
I’ll be adding more tools and services here as I think of them.
NOTE: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that if you follow the links and make a purchase I’ll receive a commission on the sale.