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Adobe Audition

Adobe Audition

Adobe

This is the audio editing software I use. It is expensive and probably overkill. There are free or cheaper alternatives available. I bought it because Cliff Ravenscraft recommended it and has some good tutorials about it. It is super-easy to use, but I feel I am only tapping five percent of its capabilities.

Boxshot

Boxshot

Boxshot

This is the software I use to create 3D images of books. It is an amazing, sophisticated piece of software that makes it simple to create gorgeous cover images for books and e-books. You can even use it to create images of notebooks, software boxes, and many other objects.

Feedburner

Feedburner

Google

Some people, particularly those who are more tech-savvy, will prefer to subscribe to your blog via RSS. I use Feedburner to manage my RSS feed. It is a free service owned by Google. It is easy to set up. It has an e-mail module too, but I still prefer using MailChimp for that (see below)

iStock

iStock

Getty Images

If you want your posts to get noticed, you need to use photos. They pull people into the content. Yes, you can get free ones at places like Flickr.com, but personally, I can’t afford the time. iStock is one of the largest online stock photo databases. It is owned by Getty Images, the largest photo library in the world.

MailChimp

MailChimp

MailChimp

As any Internet marketer will tell you, nothing is more important than building your own e-mail list. I use MailChimp to manage mine. It has a super easy-to-use interface, great analytics, and is 100 percent reliable. Other people prefer AWeber. I don’t think you can go wrong with either one.

PowerPress

PowerPress

Blubrry

This is the WordPress plugin I use to embed my podcast on my blog. It uses a simple, elegant interface and provides a very nice audio player, so your listeners can simply click “Play” to listen to your show.

SlateGo Mini

SlateGo Mini

iSkelter

This is the mobile lap desk that I use. It is simple, beautiful, and light. It is made of a single sheet of bamboo. It effectively dissipates the heat coming from my laptop. It is also small enough to travel with and weighs only 20 oz.

Akismet

Akismet

Automattic

This is the plugin I use to control comment spam. Even though I receive more than 500 comments a day, I get very little spam. Akismet blocks almost all it, so it never sees the light of day. This creates less work for you and less friction for your readers. (For example, you don’t have to require them to register to leave a comment.)

Buffer

Buffer

Buffer

This is one of those ideas that is so simple and so elegant, you slap yourself on the forehead and say, “Of course!” You add tweets to your Buffer whenever you want. It then spreads them out during the day according to a schedule you pre-determine, so it doesn’t overwhelm your followers.

Get Noticed! Theme™ for WordPress

Get Noticed! Theme™ for WordPress

Intentional Leadership

You know you need to build a significant presence online in order for your message to make an impact. But creating a professional-looking site—one that is worthy of your message—can be downright overwhelming. That’s exactly why I created this premium WordPress theme. I couldn’t find anything I liked, so I built this one myself, along with my developer, Andrew Buckman. I maintain it is best theme if you want to build a personal brand.

Keynote

Keynote

Apple

This is the software package that single-handedly converted me from PC to Mac. If you are not familiar with it, it is Apple’s alternative to PowerPoint. It is easy-to-use and produces amazing, beautiful slides. The graphic capabilities are so robust that I usually use it in place of PhotoShop for designing almost everything.

OmniOutliner

OmniOutliner

OmniGroup

This is where every speech starts for me. It is easier to use than a word processor, allowing me to arrange and rearrange all the elements of my speech, creating a thorough outline of my presentation. I also notate the slide numbers in a column to the right of the outline. Here’s an example of my Platform speech.

Scribe

Scribe

CopyBlogger Media

This is a premium plugin I use to optimize my WordPress posts. It analyses each post, then assigns it a percentage grade (with 100% being a perfect score). Best of all, it suggests how to improve the score by offering different key words and metadata. It was developed by the very smart folks at CopyBlogger.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck

Twitter

This is my Twitter dashboard. It allows me to monitor direct messages, mentions, and the tweets of those I follow. It arranges lists of users into columns (e.g., Family, Work Associates, Industry Sources, etc.), so I can quickly see what’s happening with any specific group. I use this tool to send messages and replies. It is made by Twitter itself, so it is 100% compatible.

Bluehost

Bluehost

Bluehost

If you use WordPress as I recommend, you will need a hosting service too. I recommend BlueHost. They are currently offering a special $3.95 a month rate to my readers. I also have a free screencast that will show you how to set up a WordPress site on BlueHost in 20 minutes or less.

Disqus

Disqus

Disqus

This is the commenting platform I use. It is used by thousands of large sites and has become the de facto standard on professional blogs. It is super-easy for your readers and allows them to manage comments across many sites without having to sign in every time. It is also very useful to you as a blogger. If you are going to allow comments, this is the software I recommend.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google

This is the gold standard when it comes to analytics. If you want to track your unique visitors, page views, bounce rate, and a host of other metrics, you need to sign up for a free account and then follow the directions for installing it on your blog. I wish I had set this up from the day I started blogging. It is invaluable.

KeySpan Easy Presenter

KeySpan Easy Presenter

Keyspan

This is the remote slide control unit I use when I speak publicly. Yes, I know I can use my iPhone for this, but the KeySpan is a third of the size of a phone. I can fit it in the palm of my hand, and no one knows it’s even there. It turns me into a magician!

Photoshop

Photoshop

Adobe

As I mentioned elsewhere, I use Keynote for most of my graphic design needs. However, for those really difficult jobs, I still use Photoshop. To be honest, I am not a big fan. I find the interface non-intuitive and clunky. But for raw power, I haven’t found anything that comes close. Photo shop does anything—if I can just figure out how to do it.

SermonScribe

SermonScribe

Ginger Schell

Ginger Schell does all the transcriptions for my shows. She does a masterful job. She is a little more expensive than other services, but English is her first language, and she pays attention to the details. When you want it done right, she is the one to call.

VaultPress

VaultPress

Automattic

You definitely want to back up your blog on a regular basis. Disasters happen, and you don’t want to lose days, weeks, or years worth of content simply because you didn’t have it backed up. VaultPress was developed by Automattic, the same people who built WordPress. The integration is seamless. It's like TimeMachine for your blog. Turn it on and forget about it.