Ana Loves: My Internet Marketing Rolodex

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internet marketing tools rolodexTools (or lack thereof) won’t make or break your business.

And they won’t make you more money.

But they WILL make your online money making efforts more effective and efficient.

The following list of tools is what I used and/or still do to power Traffic Generation Café.

<Ana’s Rolodex>



There’s no such thing as a perfect problem-free hosting company, but Hostgator comes fairly close for smaller/newer websites.

Feel free to use the following coupon code to get 25% off your initial hosting package:


green check markSet up your Hostgator account here

get WP Engine here

WP Engine is the hosting for the serious blogger. If you are not willing to put up with downtimes, slow page loading, uncertain security, server crashes, then you need to check them out.

That’s where Traffic Generation Café is currently hosted.

green check markSet up your WP Engine Account here


download thesis theme

Thesis Theme

I love Thesis for its built-in SEO capabilities (you don’t need any SEO plugins when running on Thesis), incredible customization potential, the ease of customization even if you don’t know any code (I customized my first one myself), and incredible support and knowledge base.

Traffic Generation Café currently runs on Thesis.

green check markGet Thesis for YOUR blog here

im Graphic Designs

IM Graphic Designs

Meet Ian Belanger, the creator of my current stunning design. He is the power behind all things technical at TGC.

The wisdom to outsource the time-intensive tasks that I have no training for (like website design) came after much frustration, sleepless nights, and emergency Hostgator calls.

When you reach your boiling point, give Ian a call. He’ll give you your sanity back.

green check markContact Ian for your next web design

thesis awesome large square banner

Thesis Awesome

If custom design is not quite in your budget just yet (I’ve been there before), then getting a customizable “skin” (a template, in other words) is the next best thing.

I like Hesham Zebida’s ( Thesis Awesome because his skins are designed with conversion in mind – whether it’s list building, affiliate marketing, or product/service sales.

green check markSee what Thesis Awesome can do for you

List Building

Click to get Aweber


The only autoresponder I’d consider.

Aweber offers a $1 trial month for all new customers. You’ll have access to all features a paid account is entitled to: unlimited lists, email campaigns, automatic follow-ups, broadcasts, and many, many more.

If after 30 days you don’t like them, just let them know and Aweber will give you your $1 back. Guaranteed.

green check markDO check out Aweber for only $1 now

Click to get Aweber


My list building plugin of choice.

There are certainly plenty of them on the market these days and I’ve tested a few.

WPSubscribers is the one I am sticking with.


Click to download Market Samurai

Market Samurai

The BEST KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL I’ve ever used, bar none.

Goes way beyond simple keyword research with competition research, rank tracking, domain research, and more.

green check markGet your MarketSamurai Download here


I love, love, love this internet marketing tool.

You know how different rank checkers ask you for the keywords you’d LIKE to rank for and then tell you where you are ranking for them?

Well, SEMRush checks the first 20 spots across Google to tell YOU what you are currently ranking for. This is priceless.

You can learn about different keywords you didn’t even know you were ranking for.

It also tells you which keywords bring the most traffic to your blog, so you can quickly tell which ones you need to push up in the rankings to bring even more search engine traffic.

Take a look at my SEMRush Review to learn more about the tool.

green check markStart tracking your competition with

Affiliate Marketing

Click to download Thirsty Affilaite

Thirsty Affiliates Plugin

This plugin converts any keywords on your blog into money-making affiliate links, creates professional redirects, adds NoFollow (NEVER forget to do it!), opens links in new windows, AND you can easily insert banners already linked to the product site with your aff link with a simple click.

Also check out my post about the best Affiliate Marketing Programs and how to find/choose them.

green check markDownload your own ThirstyAffiliates here

Social Media

tweet adder small button

Tweet Adder

This is the very tool that allows me to follow thousands of targeted users on autopilot per day, thus making Twitter my largest referral traffic source.

Here is my Tweet Adder review.

Update: Tweet Adder, along with many other Twitter tools, had to make adjustments to their automation options. Learn more about the changes in my Best Twitter Tools to Get More Twitter Followers [Tweet Adder Alternatives] post.

And now you can get 20% off Tweet Adder on me; just follow this link to Tweet Adder website and enter the following discount code at checkout:


green check markStart generating profitable traffic with Tweet Adder

Video Marketing

Click to download ScreenFlow


Screen recording and a whole lot more. Used by most pro video marketers and yours truly.

ScreenFlow makes editing video easy, so I can focus on creatively telling my story and not the tech side of things.

green check markStart using ScreenFlow today

Use Bamboo in your video marketing

Bamboo Pen Tablet

Turns my computer into a virtual canvas, allowing me to create digital artwork with the touch of a pen.I use it to draw on the slides while recording the screen with ScreenFlow; turns boring “I’ve seen it all before” videos into interactive gems.

green check markSpruce up your videos with Bamboo Pen Tablet

Membership Site

Get your S2Member here


S2Member is a great membership site plugin.

Use it to build list, make money, deliver exclusive content to a particular readership segment – I was blown away by the potential when I first started using it at TGC.

Has a very robust free version, as well as S2Member Pro, which is what you need to run a full-blown membership site.

green check markDownload your S2Member here

Marketing Courses

Learn how to Become a Blogger

Become a Blogger 2.0

Most blogging courses don’t work.

Very few do.

This one DEFINITELY does.

Originally created by Yaro Starak ( and Gideon Shalwick ( and now ran by Leslie Samuel (, Become a Blogger 2.0 is a blogging course with the mission of helping as many people as possible to set up Authority Blogs, and build successful businesses around those blogs.

green check markLearn how to build a successful business around your blog

corbett barr blog course

Start a Blog that Matters

Hundreds of millions of blogs are online today. Thousands more are started every day.

Anyone can start a blog in 5 minutes, but very few people will start blogs that matter.

If you think you have the creativity and dedication it takes to create a blog that matters, you should consider joining Corbett Barr in this course.

green check markStart a blog that matters with Corbett Barr

blog post promotion ebook image

Blog Post Promotion: the Ultimate Guide

by Kristi Hines – this is an ebook that is packed with actionable advice on how to promote your blog.

Kristi Hines of is certainly the best expert in the field and she doesn’t hold anything back as she shares how she promotes her blog, contest entries, etc.

green check markStart promoting your blog with Kristi Hines

</Ana’s Rolodex>

buy my online marketing toolsShould you choose to go through my affiliate links and help me to turn Traffic Generation Café into a thriving business, I want you to know this: I truly and sincerely appreciate your business.


traffic generation cafe


PS Please read my Affiliate Disclaimer

(or don’t, either way… as long as you know it’s here…)

Yes, I own/use/recommend all the products/services above and hope that you will as well.


My recommendation is ALWAYS based on my belief that the product and its author will provide excellent and valuable information or service.

In some cases, I will be compensated should you decide to purchase that product based on my recommendation.

In some cases, I will receive the product for free for review purposes.

Always, always, always do your OWN due diligence before making any purchases.

Never purchase anything you cannot afford.

Most people don’t do anything with the products they buy, so most of the time, their typical results are zero.

Don’t do drugs, stay in school.

There is no such thing as a Silver Bullet.

I bet this disclaimer would make a good rap song…

166 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Hi Ana,

    Your Blog is very interesting and that you came from Russia. Hopefully you are doing
    very well in the USA.

    I am looking for blogs where I might place one of my Banner ads. Do you permit outside
    ads. If so, what would the cost be for placing a banner ad? And what size banner could you accept and how long could it remain on your blog?

    Thanks for your consideration,
    Paul Kline

  2. SheerSEO got a new backlink checker ( Tried to find a way to contact you. (sorry I did it by a comment, please contact me)

  3. Ana,

    Recommended to you by “Kikolani”; your buddy Kristi Hines. Amazing lady begets amazing lady… I was flattened by how simple yet thorough your ‘Mommy Where Does Traffic Come From’ ebook is. I just had it printed and I blew up the thought-bubble infographic at the end.

    My site is about my experiences turning my hobbies into biznesses before the internet and after. Some principles I learned early on are still applicable but in a whole new way. Thanks for bringin this old fella up to date.

    There are a lot of things that bizness owners/marketers need awareness about. Traffic is certainly ranked pretty high… YOUR books and blog will be the traffic resource I refer people to, after looking thru boatloads of quality stuff. Thanks for the insights I’m getting here, and keep it tha hell up! ;-)

    Kurt Frankenberg

    • Ana Hoffman

      Honored and humbled by such high praise, Kurt – look forward to seeing you around Traffic Generation Café!

  4. You are simply BRILLIANT – I just watched your Slideshare MOO TRAFFIC project and fell in love with your WIT and MIND – already appreciate your freebie – my dream is to clone someone like you to help me with MY traffic – though will aim to follow your hacks in the interim. Well done!

  5. Roy D. Hamilton


    This is not actually a comment, but I couldn’t figure out anywhere else to write this.

    I found your site quite interesting and would like to discuss generating traffic (I call them leads) for a couple of marketing projects I am involved with. I am a marketer from the old school (read: before the internet became the holy grail). I have been primarily a direct marketer and have owned a number of telesales marketing companies. (So much for all of that, let’s move into the present.)

    I came upon you during a search related to Empower Network. I agree that what they do is primarily just hype, but so far it seems to represent reasonably accurately what results you can achieve, if you actually follow through with what you said you would do. Yes, they are overpriced, however, watching the Terminator swagger around and pretend to be “bad” was overpriced also, but people really liked it! Arnold riding a Harley, swinging a shotgun and cracking bad guys heads all at once … how much better can it get? People felt they got their money’s worth and came back again and agian.

    Do you feel that this type of program is dishonest, or just shallow? If you feel it is dishonest, please forgive me for taking up some of your time. If you are not opposed to giving people encouragement to “be the best they can be,” perhaps there can be a venue worth exploring. If you see a clear path to promoting this, I am interested in seeing just what you have to offer and what your price might be.

    Thank you for your time and attention.

    Roy Hamilton
    Cell: (954) 600-3826

    • Ana Hoffman

      The only thing EN training can teach a marketer is how not to market, Roy. Yes, it’s my personal opinion, but it’s based on experience in online marketing, as well as personal experience in MLM; plus, many, many comments from my readers.

      And you know what? that’s OK. Some people learn best by knowing what they did wrong the first time around.

      No, I don’t think their training holds any true value or will teach anyone how to truly market their business. The only way to succeed online is to prove that you have something unique to offer, and you can’t do it by following a “system” that leads back to EN.

      I don’t offer any training or consulting at the moment.

      • Theyo Bedeau

        Dear Anna

        My mother always said, if you can’t say anything nice about something or someone best not to comment, your reply to Roy D Hamilton was not nice or encouraging and I personally take offence, Why you may ask? I am a Senior Citizen and we are suffering at this Economic Downturn time and most of us are not Computer Savvey, so we are searching everyone who advertise themselves as such, listen to what they have to say and if we can, follow what they do, I have personally joined Empower network and it took me a long time to do so because I really did my due diligence on it and it has the approval of the US Government in the Highest Ranks.

        What I’m saying here is this we are all on the internet for a purpose, we the Silver Citizens Brigade is here (on the internet) simply to supplement our merger Pension, not to be internet gurus, Empower Network Works, no matter what you call it IM, MLM, it works and a lot more people is happy with it than not.

        I will still keep my subscription with you, even if its only to give you a Rap on the Nuckle now an then, so be warned.

        Thank you for your service Anna, if I only understand half of what you are talking about, My main objective is traffic right now Targeted Traffic to be precise, so let us know when you find the Holy Grail of Targeted Traffic generation for FREE.

        Got to go now, have to go and Write my Blogg on Empower Network.

        Theyo Bedeau

        • Ana Hoffman

          What kind of service would I provide to my readers if I only talked about things that work?

          If EN were to sell pens or chewing gum or whatever else, I wouldn’t have cared. However, they are selling marketing training, which I happened to have a very extensive knowledge on and I know that they sell a subpar product for a hefty premium.

          I am glad it’s working for you.

          And by the way, most of traffic strategies I talk about at Traffic Generation Café are completely free and they are exactly what I used to build this blog – without EN and starting from zero knowledge in online marketing.

          Look forward to your knuckle sandwiches! :)

        • Cararta

          Dear Theyo,

          I made an error an signed up for EM…..bad day at black rock!

          My $25.00 is still sitting in their pocket….
          they assigned me to someone in Nigeria that didn’t speak English,
          was completely new like me….

          I went reading around, looking for the promised “training” all I saw
          was hypeeee videos by people that had invested thousands to be installed at the top without all that daily “blogging” (guess they could afford to outsource) showing off their bank accounts
          All it seemed to consist of was upgrade,,
          pay your $19.00 a month so you can collect your commissions…..
          (don’t know about now….but then if someone one bought from your referral…all you could collect on was at the same level…I was a $25.00 so if someone opted up….I got passed over and the sale was passed up until it hit someone on that level….
          I Thought that Stunk to high heaven so I left.
          Plus, at the time I bought, it was so advertised to HELP the little guy!
          Nothing about not being able to use paypal and having to pay for another payment processor,
          Just blog every day and watch the money pour in.


        • Theyo, if you don’t mind me saying this, NOT being honest with each other doesn’t help anyone. Ana was honest, she doesn’t believe EN has anything to offer. Neither do I. I was attacked verbally in a few facebook groups for simply having the courage to point out a few times that they have nothing real to offer. So being honest with your readers in telling them not only what works, but also WHAT DOES NOT, is a good strategy.

          On the other hand, two things just don’t make sense to me:
          1st, you open your comment with “my mother used to say”…..SO WHAT ???
          Was she an internationally recognised saint, or guru, or what ? Just because your mother used to say something, who says it’s got to be the de facto truth ???
          Second, the fact that you consider yourself a senior citizen, and still guide your life based on principles your mother has thaught you, as you just referred to one of those as being valid, and NOT making up your own mind about something, is simply shameful.
          It is because of faulty mentalities, like this, of NOT making up your own mind and letting others do the thinking for you, that scammers like EN still exist. If all of their members started to think for themselves, the entire network would be dismembered in 24 hours or less. Which I hope will sooner or later happen, better sooner then later.
          Good luck to you, and don’t forget to THINK for yourself.

  6. Nathan Holden

    Tremendous list of stuff to use.

    However, i am worried a lot about WPSubscribers.

    I was looking through their testimonials, and i saw Daniel LaRusso on their site. Please, correct me if i am wrong, but that is the character from “Karate Kid”, isn’t it?

    If they can put up fake testimonials, then trust goes out the door from me (WPSubscribers that is, not yourself).

    Thank you!

    • Ana Hoffman

      I see your point, Nathan.

      I just had an appraiser leave my house. His name was Kenneth Cole. No, not THAT Kenneth Cole, but same name nonetheless.

      A well-known name doesn’t indicate a fake review.

      The plugin is solid.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I still like WPSubscribers for many reasons, Heather, including some features that I miss in Hybrid Connect.

      However, it’s harder to set up. That’s one of the reasons it’s currently disabled at Traffic Generation Café – I keep thinking I need time to sit down and figure out how to maximize the benefits, but never quite get there.

      Hybrid Connect is much simpler to set up and start building your list. Not as many bells and whistles, but not as techie.

  7. Hi Ana,

    First of all I really enjoy your writings. no hype no B.S.
    I would like to know something about “” it seems like a great way to share content and keep people within reach of your site.
    I would also like to know how customizable is the Toolbar ? Can you link to Products etc.
    Any info would help.

  8. Great list of favs, some I’ve heard of, some I use, some I’m not familiar with at all.
    I also Love and use Market Samurai for the best keyword research.
    However, I prefer Genesis over Thesis; both good, but Genesis has a gentler learning curve for me, since my coding is less than stellar.

  9. Great selection of internet marketing tools there Ana, I must admit I do love the Thirsty Affiliate’s plugin as well as Tweet Adder they were definitely worth the little investment and have made my life a little easier which is what it’s all about!


  10. Naomi

    Hi Ana,

    I was reading your blog to learn about online marketing and was wondering if you have free marketing courses to recommend on for someone who wants to start learning how to market websites and not just specifically blogs. I am in the process of designing a website for a locksmith business and would like to know how to promote it on my own.


    • Ana Hoffman

      Marketing a website vs a blog is very similar, Naomi.

      It’s not the type of site that matters; rather the audience you are trying to reach and where they might be looking for you.

      For a locksmith site, sounds like you could benefit from Google Places listing and places like Yelp; possibly Facebook.

      I don’t have a comprehensive resource to recommend, but just googling the topics should give you a good start.

  11. Thank you Ana, as it has been said many times. As a newbie, your information and experience are invaluable. Expect to have another follower, soon to be colleague, and a hopeful inspiration-ist.

  12. Thanks for sharing your rolladex, it’s incredibly generous of you.

    Have you ever considered adding a links on this page to your product reviews? I was on the fence about using WPSubscribers but your review completely sold me on the service. Thanks so much

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Marty, and yes, I’d love to put together a page with all my reviews; it’s on my very long to-do list. :)

  13. Hi Ana:

    Two comments on the same day from me on someone else’s blog – That’s unheard of :) !!

    I love your Rolodex – Also checked your search field for Wrodpress Plug-in’s you use. Possibly adding some of your fav WordPress plug-ins to your Rolodex would be a value add that your readers might enjoy.


  14. Hi Ana! I am in the process of reading and digesting your new e-book and please allow me to say that you deliver KILLER content! I just had a WordPress blog installed for me by John Chow and am in the process of creating my first content calendar. I am a trial lawyer and a professional network marketer. My passion is to build a full-time income from my network marketing business and slowly retire from my law practice. I intend to brand myself as a go-to person for anyone considering building a network marketing business. I will be recommending you to all of my blog audience! Thanks for all you do!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Glad you enjoyed it, Steve; yours is the first feedback I got on it, so it’s much appreciated.

      All the best with your transition to a more peaceful lifestyle!

  15. Hey Ana,

    hope you are well. Love the tumbling box at the bottom of your home page. Would love to incorporate something like this into my WP blog. Can you tell me where you got it? Is it a plugin or did you have it done for you as a bespoke design job?

    Kind Regards


    • Ana Hoffman

      I think it’s a plugin called “Piecemaker”, Andy.

      Yes, it was adjusted to fit my blog design, but it should be pretty close.

  16. Hi Ana,

    I found your post on Empower network and liked it as well. Will be around to check out what strategies you’re employing to keep traffic flowing.

    Appreciate the information!


  17. Lee Toomey

    Hello Ana,
    Just joined your list after reading your review of the Empower Network, I am afraid that I fell for it initially (I think I wrote 4 blog posts before I realised that I didn’t have the slightest clue what I was doing!) and then walked away. It opened my eyes and your review was perfect. I think that I shall be hanging around here lapping up your knowledge and trying to make a go of it.
    Loved the quote at the bottom of your first email! I have the quote”it’s never too late to be who you could have been” on my wall and it now has a companion.

    • Ana Hoffman

      You have to have the theme first to put the skin over it, Peter.

      You can have the theme without the skin, but not the skin without the theme.

      Does that answer your question?

          • Peter Hall

            Thank Ana, I’m about to purchase Thesis and Thesis Awesome, but since I’m going to be purchasing the skin, can I just purchase Thesis Basic for $87?

            It looks like Thesis Professional at $197 is just added 2 skins along with Social Media Boxes and Email Signup Boxes, and it looks like Thesis Awesome already has that.

            I actually had my CC filled out ready to purchase and I believe I got one of those prompting. Thanks.

  18. wow. ok, i’m on the east coast and this has been the longest day ever, and i still can’t stop reading your stuff. love your style, your smarts, your transparency, your sense of humor and your generosity. I thought I was an expert at SEO. You make me look like a newbie!

  19. Hello Anna

    I’m new to blogging, in fact just about to launch my first SEO blog myself, so i suppose we may be in competition at some point in the future. I’ve been in SEO for about 10 years but realise that I want to help others reach a bigger market by using great SEO techniques. I really hope to create as informative and useful blog as you have done and I really appreciate all the advice you are giving. If I were to be recommending a blog to read that is easy to enjoy and practicle to the average man in the street, it would be yours.

    Thanks again.


  20. Anna

    Hi Ana,
    Your blog is so refreshing to read, and it has validated some feelings I have about EN. I have only just joined and can see myself trying with this for a couple of years and wasting a lot of cash while I learn and listen to all the interviews and videos that I could have got free somewhere else. I am computer savvy but just still not savvy enough to work out this networking stuff, it is really hard and confusing and puts you off a bit after a little while and then you realise that your dreams are going down the toilet because you have just lost your motivation again…… Good on you Ana for bringing your information forward, it has helped me to make some decisions in my life and I hope to read your blog regularly.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am certainly not against solid marketing training, Anna, even if you can find most of the info elsewhere for free. The time saved and the nuggets learned can be well worth the price.

      However, with EN, you pay through the roof to learn how to spam… Not a good use of our money, to say the least.

      Thanks for coming by!

  21. Luke Sousa

    Like so many of the other commenters here, I love your blog and your style. Your like the Sammy Davis Jr. of blogging. Just so honest and cool. Any who, I found your site serendipitously today, I’ve was weighing the options of creating an authority blog vs. Joining the dreaded MLM that is EN. I stumbled upon your authority blog by actually Googling “Empower Network success rate”, filtered through eight pages of crap then saw what you had created and I am not looking back. I’ve been “blogging” for a while but just mainly ranking really thin affiliate EMD sites and was just getting sick of being a faceless marketer with a bunch of sites hence why I’m not posting any website attached to my name because none of them are anything to be proud of imo. I have experience in this seo stuff so I’m probably just going to go your route and not try to reinvent the wheel on my blog topic. I thank you for giving me such a great example, actually all the sites you link in and out to were my prior examples but your sites just, I don’t know, your cooler :). Here’s to hoping I get to your “networks” level.

    • Ana Hoffman

      So glad you found my EN review, Luke; I really need to work on some SEO to push it up in the search results – make sure more folks have the tools to make an educated decision on it.

      Keep me updated on which way you end up going.

  22. Hey Ana, i know it’s pretty new but have you taken a look or heard anything about traffic tsunami. I seen it on WF for $47 and then looked online and it was $97, just don’t want to pay for a method i probably already know about.


    • Ana Hoffman

      There are very few tools I found to be crucial to my business, Marcus; SEMRush is the one I use on a daily basis.

  23. Mike C

    Great and exacting post, Ana. I know most of these tools but some of them I should test too ;) But if you don’t mind, I would like to cite one more tool which is very useful. It is created to support business as internet marketing and SEO tool.
    Few months ago we started to test it using free trial and it worked surprisingly well ;) It includes GA integration, backlinks counter, conversion measurements and more. It’s possible they still have free trial so you can test it – ;)

    Best regards

  24. Been a fan since reading some of your posts on Firepole. Heard your interview today on Entrepreneur on Fire and it was absolutely fantastic. Great information and extremely sincere. Love the 2 pictures of (Want new iPad) and (Want old iPad)….very creative. Thanks for the sources above.

  25. I really appreciate your candor and style. In just a few minutes on your blog, I have learned more than I thought I already knew. I have subscribed and look forward to learning more and perhaps doing some business, as opportunities present themselves.
    Have and awesome day and thank you!

    Dr. Bush

  26. Ana,

    I was wondering, what is the bar that appears on the top of the screen if I click away from your site following one of your links? (Am I making any sense?)

  27. Shelly McMillan

    This is very generous of you, even if in some cases you will get compensated. I think it is just great. Thank you and I really appreciate someone (one of a few) in this industry trying to help instead of just profit. Your business will thrive because of your motives. And by the way, I tried your disclaimer to rap music and it goes best with "Goin' Back To Cali" by LL Cool J. Yes, I am a child of the 80's. We need more women IMers!

  28. Just wanted to say Thank You.
    I’ve been swimming upstream trying to find the basic ingredients to even get started marketing online effectively.
    As a Web Designer, it’s hard enough getting site owners to understand the need for semantic coding, and effective scripts, having the added knowledge to help them effectively capitalize on their designed website is going to be a big help in showing them the WHY, and allowing me to continue to do the HOW of designing their site purpose and marketing efforts.

  29. I love your style of writing, and I think the next time I need to buy one of these Internet Marketing tools I will come back here and buy it from you, just based on the strength of not only the great reviews but also those two incredibly cute and funny photos – awesome! :)

  30. Just opted-in to your list, Ana. I’m loving your style and your content so far. These marketing tools are great! …now I just need to make a few bucks and I’ll be already to buy.

    I found your introduction in your “Welcome” message really interesting. Such a low-key way of introducing future sales messages. I just might ‘borrow’ that idea if it’s all the same to you. (Afterall, they say imitation is the highest form of flattery…)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Good question, Tyronne – I’ve used them both and about to switch back from MBP to WPsubscribers.

      Hard to tell off the top of my head why I like the WPSubscribers better, but I know that I do.

      Perhaps, there’s a post budding here.

  31. Jim Hudson

    Hi Ana and all you folks,
    I use some of what you are mentioning here for tools. I really like some of the digi line of software that a lot of folks use. It does seem to help with backlink building and gaining exposure. I tried thesis theme, but have to admit I really don’t care for it at all. I use Catalyst instead. I did not have the time it took to learn all the hooks it used. This is a good list here, the main thing some folks do when starting out or should be doing, is to go and study blogs and see what they are using that is visible and hope somebody like you will actually tell them what is on the backside of the blog. That is one of the stumbling blocks for new bloggers, knowing where to start and what to use in their blogs for extra exposure and power.


    • I actually took a look at Digi Traffic Accelerator today, Jim – wasn’t impressed, quite honestly.

      A monthly fee to get a bunch of social bookmarking links? Not for a blog like mine. lol

      Plus, I can pay someone $5 on Fiverr to do the same.

      I do know what you mean about Thesis. I think it works better for a long-term blog as a main business vs more of a niche blog. I love it though!

  32. Ana I agree with you completely about picking the right blogging platform. There is no doubt that Thesis rocks! I would add that the Genesis platform is also well coded for SEO and does very well in the SERPS.

  33. Like you, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, John, but haven’t personally used it; mainly because it’s a bit time-consuming to write unique articles for each submission and gets expensive pretty quickly if you outsource it.

  34. Susan Hand

    Ana, this single post has been a bit of a reference for me as I’m setting up my business online. I love the fact that you’re so honest and no BS, with just the right amount of “if I can do it you can” kick butt.

    Here’s my question about starting up. Of all of the tools you list, if you only had $100 or less, what would you invest in first, second, etc.

    I’m already up on WP, I’m using Thesis (glad I’m over that learning hump for now) and I’ve got aweber. Most of the freebies you talk about I’ve installed too. So what should I invest in next for the biz? Or what would give me the best ROI next?

    Keep it coming, Ana, your my virtual mentor!


    • It’s always my pleasure to help, Susan.

      My next step would be to learn more about SEO. It’s a great long-term traffic generator and of course free, so it’s definitely worth the time investment.

      There are some tools that you’ll need for that, like Market Samurai, and maybe SEMRush, but that should be about it.

      • Susan Hand

        Thanks Ana for the tip…. I’ve been reading a lot lately about SEO for exactly the reasons you say and now I’ll look in to those tools too.

        Have a great holiday!


  35. Hey Ana,
    Lots of tools, familiar with some, not others. I see offers for tools every day. Knowing reputable ones is good, but can you I.D. any you have used but they just don’t have value or just plain don’t work?
    BTW, I love your engaged readres. They offer a lot as well.

  36. sye

    Thanks for the pointers on the tools you use Ana. I wondered if any of the plugins can potentially slow down website speed? I am also interested in knowing if anything has changed in a major way since you wrote this post, we should be aware of? Are the internet marketing courses valuable for people who have already had a couple of good courses? Thanks again Ana.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Plugins: certainly too many can slow down your blog. However, the functionality they add far outweighs 1-2 seconds of decreased speed.

      I always keep this list updated, so all the info is current.

      I went through Income Blogging Guide after I started TGC and still learned a good deal from it. Do you have to have it if you already have a good amount of knowledge in IM? Probably not.

  37. Hi Ana,

    I’ve been on the fence about TweetAdder. Just worried about losing my account. I want to build a targeted following, but not at a snails pace. Now that someone I trust is recommending it, I guess I can go ahead.



    • Ana Hoffman

      I’ve used TweetAdder for a while now, Bob.

      The best way to use it is by staying away from their automation and go slow.

  38. Scott Tinnell

    Hi Ana

    I have been searching for weeks now on how to improve my internet biz. It came to me recently that I was doing things all wrong…making very little progress. I knew I had to change.

    Your site was recommended to me by another honest and very helpful blogger. I am extremely happy to be here. I will be using several of the tools on this list and many of your SEO tactics going forward. Thanks to you I have found some solid ideas that I can believe in.

  39. You know, Ana, I don’t remember anymore how I found your site, but I’m very glad I did. What a great list of tools! I have to tell you that I’m very excited about integrating these tools on my sites.

    I was just reading yesterday about how to garner success moving forward, and the recommended method was to surround yourself with successful entrepreneurs. I love that your articles are down to earth and genuine. Of course, it helps that your articles are always value packed, and that I learn something new with each article.

    To your continued success, Ana :)

  40. Great list Ana. Guess my weekend is not enough to browse all of these. You also mentioned tribe commenting on one of your posts, is there a tool for that (I think you don’t it because of your huge traffic). I also want to know what tool you use to display related posts under each articles that displays a banner at the bottom. Thanks and more power to TGC!

  41. Wade

    Hi Anna, thanks for sharing this very useful blog. I have made a list of all the resources and will systematically begin implementing them. I notice some comments about being overwhelmed, that is why I have posted here. Once income comes in as a result of this, then people can upgrade to the pay for tools. Great post. I look forward to improving my page rank and Alexa ranking.

  42. Hey Ana,

    this is an awesome “Tool kit”! Thank you very much for putting it together!

    I am online now for 3,5 years (as a marketer ;-) ) and I find it funny that – although there is alway THE new tool ;-) – it always comes down to the same services.

    I use e-junkie since the beginning – and 90% of all my sales go through them. I started with a 19,90 aweber subscription (which is now “a little bit” ;-) higher. And I recommend these tools to everybody I talk to too. Here in Germany we got an awesome service which is called “Split Test Club” (obvious what it does ;-) ) which I also use very often.

    Thanks again for that awesome “resources page”.


    • Ana Hoffman

      I very much agree, Andre – new tools come and go, but in the end our businesses are built on the same trusted tools that have been around forever.

  43. Hi Ana,

    Next time you need a domain, check out, GoDaddy is their parent company so all the features are the same, they are usually a few bucks cheaper though – every penny counts right?

  44. Ana, You’ve got some great resources listed here. Bookmarking your site now, so I can come back and start playing with some of these tools.

    I’m especially intrigued with WPSubscribers. Seems like a handy plug in. Are you still recommending that one as a Email Capture?


  45. Hey Anna:
    Awesome blog! Seldom do I find myself so attracted to a site the first time I find it; I have been to your site several times in the past week. I have enjoyed your resources page and using some now. Thanks for being a great blog mentor and I look forward to many returns to your site.

  46. Awesome blog. and there’s some amazing tools there.
    I use quite a few of them and I have to say they work.

    Please stop by my blog some time once I have launched
    it. Leave a comment. :)


  47. Hello Ana, I came to this page when i downloaded 7 Steps To Complete Search Engine Domination… I was unaware of many tools you mentioned here for internet income.. Nice list of tools you listed. But i think it takes a good amount of time to understand and use them….. :-)


  48. That is an extensive list of tools and resources Ana. I already use quite a few of them. There are a few good suggestions, that I will need to check out and see if they suite my business.

  49. Hi Ana,
    Wow, I think I have found a gold mine of resources!!!!

    I use about half of them already and will be adding the others very shortly.

    I have a question about a plug-in you recommended in anther post, but I haven’t noticed it
    on the last few comments I have left.

    It was the plug-in that would drop down social buttons when scrolling to the bottom of the page.

    What was the name of it and are you still using it?

    Thanks a ton for all the resources, you rock,

    • Ana Hoffman

      Hey, Jeff – coming up with this list and, most importantly, narrowing it down to the essentials did take some time. LOL

      The plugin you are talking about is called ActiveShare by Orange Soda.

      I don’t use it any longer on my blog. The main reason was that it used to drop down right as my readers hit my after-post optin form – I had a feeling it affected my optin rates.

      Plus, I personally found it annoying after a while. LOL

  50. Chukwuka Okwukwe Chukwuka

    Hmm! Mrs. Ana, I’m just so glad I found this page.

    I’m a Nigerian and really most of us think we can go with free themes and free stuffs to make money online but truth is that money is used to chase more money.

    Talking about the 16 million page rank dropping to about 30k in 4 months, that’s like wow! I dropped from about 6 million to about 2 million in a month. (Do you see a bright future for my blog if I remain consistent and put in more efforts?)

    I’m now exhausted reading your list and it was worth the while.

    I spent some money rebranding my blog from the ALO EasyMail Plugin that frustrated the hell out of me to Aweber.

    My next aim is the thesis theme (but can I see the theme before I buy it? On the homepage of thesis theme, you have to pay before you see it. Why is this? I’m seriously looking for a particular color and design that’s why I want to know).

    Then, after that, I aim for Maxblog Press and the rest of them because I really want to make it here, although as a student, I do have financial constraints oftentimes.

    Thanks for sharing though.

    Btw, have you heard of the List Eruption plugin by Tom A? Do check out if you’ve not heard and perhaps, affiliate for them, so that I can buy from you, my tutor. :-)

    • Hey, Chukwuka – looks like you are doing quite well with your blog; definitely keep going with it!

      Out of the box, Thesis theme is a blank sheet – literally. All white background, simple layout and font.

      The real magic begins when you start customizing it to your liking. Any color, layout, insert headers, etc – that’s how you get a blog like mine. :)

      List Eruption is a plugin by Mark Thompson. I tested it when it was still in beta version and found it that it didn’t work with the existing themes at all – that and some other glitches, like the fact that it’s pretty complicated to set up, made me not recommend it to my readers at this point.

      I’ll let you know if my opinion ever changes on this one.


      • Chukwuka Okwukwe Chukwuka

        Oh! Mark Thompson rather.

        Thanks for the explanation about the thesis theme structure and for throwing more light on the List Eruption plugin. :-)

  51. I just finished reading your post on what products not to buy. Thanks for the recommendations on products to try out. Where would you rank YouTube for traffic generation compared to Facebook and Twitter. I always hear that Google likes YouTube for traffic. Thanks again and look forward to more blog posts. I think an honest IM goes so much farther than the quick hit, one-click product, one-size fits all approach. Get tired of those push-button software gimmicks.

  52. Thanks Ana! These are great tips as I am just about to launch my personal website and I am always looking for the best way to leverage time.
    You are doing a great job!
    Have a great day!

        • I hope you go my email on this, Eric, but I will answer the question for the sake of other readers who might be wondering about the same thing.

          I used to create my signature, then I uploaded the image to my blog so that I can have easy access to it whenever I need to.

          I also use Firefox extension WiseStamp to add the signature and other info to my emails.

  53. I have to agree on Tweet Adder. Although I have considerably less than 100k followers, I literally check it once every couple of days to make sure my “to follow” list still has people in it.

  54. Dr. Bob Clarke

    Hi Ana,

    I love your site… pure gold, no hype. Thanks for that.

    I have tried SEO Scribe on my blog and found it was useful. I have recently heard of another similar plugin called SEOPressor.

    Have you tried this one? Any thoughts?


  55. Hi Ana
    Thank you for sharing the tools you use with us. I think the tricky part is to figure out which tools a great and which is a total waste of money. There are so many tools out there and there is so much spam and trash out there. For my little hobby blog, I guess that I will have to do it the hard work by myself, but that is also kind of funny for a geek like me :-) If I someday want to go all-in on my blog I will properly look at these tools to push me all the way. You have proved that you have the skills to get to the top (Alexa rating below 15.000). If you want to top in this world you will sometime have to invest to get there I guess.

    • You’re welcome and thanks for compliment, Thomas.

      Truthfully, you’ll never know if a tool is right for you until you try it. However, these are the ones that worked for me. :)

      Good luck on your blog!


  56. Scott Jarvis

    Hello Ana, I confirm that these are all great tools! Market Samurai is an invaluable tool for keyword research, rank tracking and more. This and Subscriber Magnet are two of my favorites. I hadn’t heard about Scribe SEO as I use SEO Surpressor which also does the trick.

    Thanks for the great resource of quality tools that really work.

  57. I couldn’t agree more about Thesis and Market Samurai.

    For keyword research and a few other things, I also use the free version of Traffic Travis, which is pretty useful. Still, having double checked a few results manually, I found Market Samurai to produce by far the most accurate results. And it has Commercial Intent integrated in its keyword evaluation table.

    Thanks for your magnificent blog.


  58. Max BlogPress Ninja Affiliate claims to able to make Target URLs that will not be visible even after the visitor arrives at the affiliate offer page? It also claims be able to nofollows these links. Have you found this to be true. Does Google penalize your site for doing this?

  59. Tammy

    Hi! So glad to see you included MarketMeSuite! Let me know if you have any questions. Version 3 comes out today and we’re running a special on our yearly price!

    • I love MMS, Tammy – quite a tool. And it’s actually the best seller on my site.

      Question for you: now that Twitter is moving to a new platform and it doesn’t show links under tweets, it seems like branding on Twitter will phase out. Is that correct?

      Is MMS working on replacing this feature in some way?

      Thanks, Tammy!


  60. Excellent Ana
    I think you missed to reveal how this Check this Box below website option is placed.

    Could u pls let me know which plugin u are using for this


    • You need to specify which check box you are referring to, Atul. If it’s the one by the comments, then that’s Subscriber’s Magnet mentioned in the post.


  61. Hey Ana!

    Checked out your list of tools. I really love the fact that you’re so good with what tools to use based on your experience and knowledge and that you’re sharing it with the world! Makes it a heck lot easier for us. I’m really impressed on how you boosted your traffic from nothing to a very impressive Alexa rank of 17,999 (as of Jan 13, 2011)
    Great work! I’m so proud to know you :)

    • Thank you, Sean, and good to see you back.

      My problem is – I can’t lie. :) The good news is I don’t have to. I think that’s the reason my Alexa rank keeps coming down.

      I wish more bloggers realized that simple fact and stopped shoving their affiliate links down our throats.


  62. Hi Ana –

    Yaro’s ‘free’ course got me starting blogging nearly two years ago. After, there has been a lot of trial and error to get to where I am now.

    I upgraded to the Thesis theme a few months ago and love it & I started Scribe a bit ago and really find it useful…

    I am really impressed with your blog and am not surprised by its success. You are very clear and current. I am glad to have found you!

    Thanks for sharing-
    Lori :-)

  63. Hey Ana,

    Great recommendations a couple I haven’t used in there so I’ll look into them

    Absolutely agree the point of this technology is to leverage your time, either so you can spend it with family, relaxing etc… or on other parts of your business!

    There’s no two ways about it. A little investment in the good tools makes A LOT of sense over the long term (and sometimes short term too). How handy that you’ve laid some of the best ones on a plate for us here!



    • Yes Jym, you can try it out. They are really amazing. Using them will make our lives so much easier. We can have more time for other personal stuff and most importantly, a time to spend with our family and loved ones.

      All the best,


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