If you’ve spent any time at all browsing around this blog, you’ve probably realized by now that I’m pretty obsessive when it comes to the best tools and resources. And something that you may not know about me is that I like to have a lot of structure and simple processes in my life and especially online, for tasks I’m going to repeat over and over – because I’m pretty lazy and I don’t want to have to think and “figure it out” each and every single time I do it again. I like to leave myself breadcrumbs for when I may do that task again in the future, or if I ever wanted to teach or share my process with someone, I’ll have a roadmap. Life’s too short. You literally don’t have the time to re-learn things each and every time you do them if you want to be productive and efficient.
So, this is my process for how I came up with this blog idea, start to finish as well as all the tools, resources and plugins I use to run it. Hopefully, the insight into the back office of this site will give you some clarity on an idea you have and help motivate and inspire you to take action on it.
Well, to be honest, I guess this started a long time ago. Back in my early days of trying to make money online, before all the social media, and widgets and amazing plugins. Even back then in 2005, the web was still young and there weren’t a ton of huge hub websites or resources or great directories for certain things. There was no “cloud” and all the luxuries we have today. So, when I would come across amazing websites I liked, I learned that if I ever wanted to see those websites or use those tools ever again, I had to save them. So, I would manually save and bookmark all these websites and tools I came across. I may not have the time or money to go through them at that time, but if I felt they were awesome, I would save them.
Over the years, cool tools like StumbleUpon made it easy for you to save, bookmark, and organize all the sites and resources you liked and keep them in the cloud. But before all that I would just export my bookmarks and keep them in a Word doc (yeah, super primitive).
And it wasn’t until about 2013 or 2014ish that I had the idea of what to do with all these resources I had been collecting. At first, I published my first Kindle eBook with my original consolidated collection of internet marketing resources. But, soon realized that it would be very hard to update this and keep things organized and make the resources easy to search. So, I decided to create an online database…mostly for myself. But then realized there really wasn’t a great all-in-one resource for all the best tools and products for online marketers. Only niche blogs featuring specific products and tools that marketers are trying to rank for or launchjack so they can get one-off commissions.
So, I decided to create IMSource, the name probably somewhat influenced by a blog called Source Wave. I began adding all my resources onto the site and organizing them. It took me about a full month, several hours each night to add all of the original resources. But once it was complete, I was pretty pleased. Finally, the ULTIMATE internet marketing resource directory, my first big piece of value to this industry and community!
As you can see, it took quite awhile for this idea to marinate in my head and eventually come to fruition. I’m definitely not the brightest crayon in the box, things usually come to me pretty slow. So, if you’re frustrated because you can’t come up with a “genius” idea, just wait. Most of the best ideas aren’t innovative at all. They’re rather just a small modification or tweak of something that’s already working successfully.
So, that’s sort of the story behind IMSource and how it came about. Now, onto the fun stuff! What the heck I am using to run it? I want details, Greg!!
Cool. So, here are all the tools and resources I use…
Foundational Tools & Resources
Namecheap – where I buy any sort of branded domain names. For private blog network domains I use GoDaddy.
HostGator – where I’m currently hosting this site on a Baby shared hosting plan. However, as the site continues to grow I will eventually be migrated to WordPress Hosting from Media Temple.
WordPress – blogging platform I use
Genesis Framework by StudioPress – the premium WordPress them I use
Design Palette Pro – ESSENTIAL plugin for easily being able to edit and customize the Genesis Framework theme (because I am not a nerdy programmer)
Akismet – essential for combating comment and trackback spam
Digg Digg – social share bar
Genesis Simple Edits – lets you edit the three most commonly modified areas in any Genesis theme: the post-info, the post-meta, and the footer area
Genesis Title Toggle – turn on/off page titles on a per page basis, and set sitewide defaults from Theme Settings. Must be using the Genesis theme
Google Analytics by Yoast – makes it simple to add Google Analytics to your WordPress site
Limit Login Attempts – limits the login attempts to your site to help reduce hacking
Link Privacy – hide your backlinks network so it is difficult for competitors to find, analyze, and report it.
Ninja Forms – webform builder with unparalleled ease of use and features
SumoMe – the awesome email optin welcome mat on the homepage
Uber Login Logo – customize your login logo
URL Rotator – easy-to-use link cloaker and rotator
WordPress SEO – helps to fully SEO optimize your website content
How I Get Traffic
Clixsense – I use their PTC traffic because it’s cheap and targeted (go with STANDARD or EXTENDED ads)
Relevant Forums – Warrior Forum, Best Black Hat Forum, DigitalPoint, etc.
Guest Posting – on relevant high traffic marketing blogs
Facebook Mobile Traffic – targeted and more affordable than desktop traffic
StumbleUpon – gets your posts social proof and also gets you residual visitors
SEO – target and rank for keywords and search queries that Google Analytics shows me people are searching for and finding my site with
Pro Rank Tracker – the tool I use for tracking all the keywords and pages my site is ranking for
Fiverr – I buy social signals gigs occasionally for social proof or to boost blog posts and page ranking for low competition keywords
So, hopefully this guide and breakdown of how I started this blog, why I created it, and all the exact tools and resources I use has helped you in some way. Marketing and strategies and tools are always changing, so as I switch out tools and techniques I’ll do my best to keep this page updated with what’s currently working for me.
In the mean time, if you want to know the exact things that are working for me and I recommend, I encourage you to check out my all-in-one membership site, Evergreen Empire, where I share in-depth the core “evergreen” marketing strategies and principles I use in my business. This is an all value, no hype or BS membership and in addition to the core evergreen pillars I teach inside, I will also be purchasing products and trying out strategies as they are released and updating the training in the future, so that you’ll have all the best marketing strategies in one single place, without having to feel suckered into buying the latest, greatest JVZoo widget or software or $7 WSO.
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