The Tip Jar
This section is devoted to sharing the tools I use to run Big Brand System.
You’ll find reviews for all the software and services I’ve researched and put to use here. I offer two links to each product. One is the Tip Jar version, which – at no additional cost to you – will put a little money in my pocket. I’d appreciate you using these links if you’re comfortable with it. A little extra income makes it easier for me to keep bringing you all the information on this site.
If you’d prefer not to, that’s fine: I’ve also offered “regular” links to the products. If you click on those, I won’t receive any affiliate income. Either way, you’ll go straight to the product page.
All the tools I recommend in this section have been personally tested by me. I researched these options obsessively, and I’m including the good, the bad and the ugly in my reviews. I want you to understand the pluses and minuses of each product or service before you buy.
If you have any questions or want more information, please feel free to contact me through the form on the About page.
THE TOOLS I USE TO RUN THIS SITE:
Search Engine Optimization
A confession: I didn’t know SEO from deo up until a short time ago. I knew Search Engine Optimization was an important way to drive traffic to your blog, but every time I tried to read about and master it, I ended up more confused than when I started.
Then I found Scribe SEO. Scribe makes search engine optimization into a game. It gives you an SEO score for your text, and in a very short time, you master the basics of writing in a way that will make your site more easily found on the web.
You can use it as a plugin on your blog, or as a standalone application to optimize everything you write. It suggests ways to naturally weave keywords into your text so that your site can be found by the people who are looking for you.
As a matter of fact, Brian Clark of Scribe allows me to offer his free 28-page report about SEO copywriting here on my site. It’s an instant download (so you don’t have to sign up for it). You can get it by clicking on the image at left, and I highly recommend you read it all the way through.
Let’s just say good things come to those who read to the very end.
Now if I can just get Scribe to write my posts while I sleep…
Constant Contact | AWeber | MailChimp
Writing and sending compelling, informative and helpful emails is a great way to stay in contact with your audience. My email newsletter — the Weekend Digest — publishes every Saturday is sent out using AWeber.
For ease of use, fantastic reporting and A+ customer service, Constant Contact can’t be beat. What they don’t offer, however, is good, solid auto-responders.
Auto-responders allow you to set up a series of email messages that you can send out to your mailing list over time. Those of you who have signed up for the free Marketing Toolkit and have received the Design 101 e-course have received a series of design tips via auto-responder. That series is sent out using AWeber.
AWeber is not quite as easy to use as Constant Contact, but has very high deliverability rates, which means more of your emails get through to your customers’ inboxes. AWeber also offers the ability to turn your blog posts into email messages. Those of you who sign up for blog updates for this blog receive them through the AWeber system.
A third option is MailChimp. MailChimp offers easy templates like Constant Contact. It also offers autoresponders like AWeber. It’s easy to use, but has a few limitations, like opt-in forms that aren’t easy to customize.
I’m recommending all of them, with reservations. Be clear about what you want your email provider to do for your business, and choose accordingly.
Want to learn how email marketing helps to grow your business? I have a free course for that, and it includes an in-depth . Sign up for my free email marketing course.
RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS
Polish Up Your WordPress Site
The Big Brand System website uses self-hosted (free) WordPress software. It’s flexible, robust and easy to use, but it doesn’t look like much right out of the box.
That’s where premium WordPress themes come in. Premium themes add a layer of design to your content. They make your pages look polished and professional.
My preferred WordPress themes are the Prose theme by StudioPress, and Dynamik Website Builder, by Cobalt Apps. Both themes feature design controls that let you modify and customize almost every aspect of your site.
Want to see Prose in action? Watch me put together a website in 13 minutes, 33 seconds using the Prose theme.
To see Dynamik Website Builder in action, take a look around: that’s the theme Big Brand System is using right now.
Want to learn more about how to use WordPress and premium theme to create a website that looks great and is easy to maintain? Sign up for my free “Easy Websites” course.
Online Meetings & Webinars Made Easy
Online webinars are a dynamic, interactive way to share your business offerings with the world. For years, though, I hesitated to use them. What held me back?
From what I’d seen, the technology was iffy at best, and unusable at worst. And the price! It was out-of-this-world expensive.
Enter MeetingBurner. MeetingBurner has a clean, easy-to-use interface that’s simple for both the presenter and the attendee. Their online support is remarkable, but you probably won’t need it, because MeetingBurner meetings just work.
Best of all? You can try it for free. Just click on the link below to get access to all their tools and see what online meetings and webinars will do for your business.