“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
Are you looking for some internet marketing tools to take your site, business, and productivity to the next level?
In this article that’s exactly what I’m going to give you.
In fact, I have a list of three different tools that can really enhance your ability to create better content in a more efficient manner.
And, the good news is that you have probably never heard anyone else mention these tools before.
The truth is that there are a ton of articles out there written by internet marketing experts that all recommend important tools.
A lot of those articles recommend the same tools and so I don’t want to go through the motions and rewrite what has already been written multiple times.
However, I do use a few tools that, while they aren’t directly related to marketing or content production, have indirectly helped me become more productive, which has helped improve my marketing efforts.
None of the tools I’m about to recommend are services, or software, or anything of that nature.
Instead, they are all additions you can make to your office or work space. They are…
1. Bloggers and Content Producers… Get Yourself a Good Keyboard
As a PC gamer, the next best thing aside from having a powerful computer, is having a good mouse and a good keyboard.
It took me a long time to recognize how important having a good mouse and keyboard were to being a better PC gamer. No, they aren’t necessary, but they do enhance your ability to perform well in online competitive games.
However, when I was sent a gaming mouse and keyboard to review, I instantly became hooked and discovered the benefits associated with having a better quality mouse and keyboard.
Not only that, but I also realized how much of a difference having a good keyboard (and, more specifically, a mechanical keyboard) had on my typing speed and accuracy.
No, a good keyboard is not an internet marketing tool in the sense that it will bring you more leads, or will automate some tedious marketing task.
Instead, a good quality keyboard will make typing easier, faster, and more comfortable than ever before.
And, if you’re spending a lot of time producing written content or writing emails, or anything else where you need a keyboard, then adding a quality keyboard can definitely improve your productivity in those tasks.
In fact, when you think about it and you consider that a lot of internet marketers spend a ton of money on software, services, plugins, and courses that may or may not help them in their efforts, why would they not also spend ~$100 or so on a quality keyboard—one in which they use on a daily basis, perhaps even more so than the other tools and software they deem to be so important?
The truth is that, yes, the difference between a standard $10 keyboard, and a high-end mechanical keyboard is not so great as the difference between using a powerful tool like Buffer and trying to schedule all of your social media content without Buffer.
However, in the occasional situations where I am forced to use a lower-quality keyboard (like when I try and work on my laptop), I always cringe a little bit at the uncomfortable nature of that cheaper keyboard.
I do know that any new keyboard takes time getting used to and so switching from one keyboard to another, is, in itself, a bit uncomfortable for a time.
But, I also know from spending plenty of time with a crappy keyboard, and a good amount of time using a solid mechanical keyboard, that the mechanical keyboard is much more comfortable and efficient to use.
The bottom line is that, if you’re spending a significant amount of time at your desktop creating written content then why not invest in improving one of your most used tools?
2. Why Have One Monitor When You Could Have Three?
I have to say that, without a doubt, my most favorite tool in my office is my triple monitor setup.
In fact, using three monitors has spoiled me so much to the point that I can no longer work on a single monitor (like my laptop) and feel comfortable doing so.
In that way, using three monitors has, in a way, prevented me from being able to work at coffee shops or while on vacation, because not having those extra two monitors is for me, so inconvenient, and ultimately not plausible.
**Although, I do have future plans to build a custom triple monitor laptop inside of a briefcase… I just need to work a little more on the logistics!
But in any case, aside from the fact that my laptop is almost completely obsolete to me now, the benefits that come from having three times the screen real estate far outweigh the ability to work away from my office.
At any given point during the day, I typically always have at least three tabs of Google Chrome open. And, in reality, that average is probably more along the lines of 10 or more tabs open at one time.
More often than not, the three tabs (or more) that I have open are related and connected to each other in a way that, I need to have access to all of that information in order to complete the task I’m working on.
With a single monitor, in order to access all of that information, I’d have to switch back and forth between tabs. And, now that I have more screen real estate and don’t have to switch tabs as often, I have realized how much of a pain it is to do so.
With three monitors, I am able to spread three tabs across the three screens, allowing me to have all of that information available to me without having to switch tabs.
To further explain how I put my three monitors to use, let me give a few real-life examples of how they can be a huge help…
Example #1: Writing Emails
As marketers, one of the most important things we do is write and receive emails and respond to our audience’s comments and questions.
At times we’re receiving requests from potential clients and we need to answer their questions in order to close the sale, and at other times we are writing emails in the hopes of building connections and productive partnerships.
In both cases we need to be on point with our emails and responses because they ultimately represent ourselves, our brand, and the services or products we offer.
And, for me, one of the main benefits of having three monitors is the aid it gives me in producing these on-point answers and emails…
For instance, if I receive an email from an audience member that is asking me for advice on purchasing a specific product that I have knowledge on, I need to be able to read and thoroughly understand that audience member’s question…
So, I keep that audience member’s email opened on my left monitor so I can always reference it.
Then, I open up a new tab that I will use to write the email itself and I move that to the middle monitor, since writing the email is the main task at hand.
Finally, I need to be able to answer that audience member’s question in the best manner possible and, to do that, sometimes I have to provide resources, check facts, and compare prices/models…
So, in order to that, I open up a third tab on the right monitor that I can use to browse the internet for any resources or content that can help me provide a complete answer.
Yes, I could do all of this with a single monitor, but again… I’d have to switch back and forth through the tabs to juggle the information I need to write a really solid email or response.
This may seem silly to anyone who is used to working with a single monitor, but trust me, once you start using three monitors, you will wonder how you ever got along without them.
Example #2: Answering HARO Pitches
Another way in which triple monitors come into play for me is by using them to help me write better responses to HARO pitches.
If you aren’t familiar with HARO, it is essentially a service that connects experts with journalists who need contributors for articles or pieces they are writing.
It’s a big part of my promotion strategy, as more often than not, the journalists looking for contributions to their articles are writing for popular and well-established websites and blogs and are also willing to mention and link to you in their articles.
So, as long as you can find pitches that are relevant to you and your site, it’s a great service for anyone looking to build their authority, get some publicity, and acquire some solid backlinks.
Ultimately, my three monitors come into play here the same way they do as in my email example as above (because, essentially, answering HARO pitches is done through writing emails).
On the left screen, I have the original pitch open so that I can thoroughly understand what the journalist is looking for.
On the middle screen I write my response (contribution) to the journalist.
And, on the right screen, I have an open tab that I can use to do research, fact-checking, and source-finding, as necessary.
All of this helps me write better responses and contributions, which has ultimately helped me land more published contributions.
Again, this all can be accomplished with a single monitor…
But in my opinion, the time saved from switching between tabs is well worth the added cost of having two extra monitors.
Example #3: Creating Content
By now, I’m sure your mind is spinning and you are coming up with a bunch of ways in which having three monitors would be useful to you. But let me give you another example of how I use three monitors to help me create content…
My process for creating content goes like this…
- Come up with a topic
- Create an outline/take notes on that topic
- Write the piece of content
With this content creation method, I rely on the notes I come up with and the outline I create to help guide me through writing the actual content.
And, so, having my notes on the left screen and the WordPress editor open in the middle screen, allows me to access my outline and notes without having to switch back and forth between tabs, or by minimizing the editor and the notes so that they fit on the same screen.
Then, I can still have a third tab open that will allow me to, again, fact-check and find resources to help me create even better and more on-point content.
Example #4: Creating and Scheduling Social Media Content
As my last example, another way that having three monitors helps me is in creating and scheduling social media content.
In this case, I will have my favorite social media scheduling software, Buffer, open on the middle screen.
And, finally, as always, I have my resource-finding tab open on the left, that I can use to help me find quotes or images that I can use in creating my social media content.
Having three monitors in this instance is also a big time saver, as switching back and forth between the image editor, Buffer, and my resource-finding tab can waste a lot of time.
The Bottom Line on Triple Monitors
I realize that a lot of internet marketers—and marketers in general—work on their laptops so that they have the freedom to work from different locations.
For these types of people, having triple monitors is out of the question.
(At least for now… until I come up with a line of feasible triple monitor laptops!)
In addition to that, for people who split their time between using their laptop and their desktop, a triple monitor setup might become so comfortable to you, that you will, like me, become frustrated whenever you have to use your laptop.
And, so, if that’s the case for you, and you like being able to work on your laptop, you might not want to make the jump to a triple monitor setup on your desktop.
However, if you primarily work at your desk and you are only using a single monitor setup right now, you can pick up three quality 1080p monitors for about $100-$150 each.
And, if you already have a solid monitor, you only need to add two more!
The funny thing is, though, that with all the money we spend on marketing software, services, and plugins, why wouldn’t we want to enhance the one tool that we all rely on 100% of the time we are on our computers? (That is of course, our monitors!)
3. Get Off Your Butt and Onto a Treadmill
My new most favorite tool is my treadmill desk.
I’ve always made fitness a priority in my life and I’ve typically always had plenty of time to dedicate to exercising and working out.
However, about 6 months ago, I was informed by Amazon (the company in which I do the most affiliate sales through) that the commission on the main category I sell in was going to be cut by 40%.
So, in order to recoup that 40% that I was going to lose, I knew I had to come up with new income streams to replace my loss. And, as such, I significantly increased my workload.
In fact, I went from working 20-30 hours per week, to ~50-60 hours per week.
The downside to working more is that I lost a lot of the time I would normally dedicate to working out and exercising.
So, after increasing my workload and losing time to work out, I started to notice lower levels of energy and I was also starting to gain weight.
Since I needed to keep the workload up in an effort to get my lost income back, I knew that I needed to figure out a way to fit exercising into my schedule.
And, after seeing a couple of videos and articles of people using treadmill desks, I thought that that would be an excellent way to fit in exercise without losing any time during the day for work.
However, I found that the tricky thing about setting up a treadmill desk is that you either have to pay thousands of dollars to buy one, or you need to build one that will work properly with your existing treadmill.
Since I already owned a treadmill I figured I’d just setup my own treadmill desk…
First, I got a piece of finished plywood, put it on top of my treadmill’s arms, put my laptop on top of the plywood, and started working.
That worked okay for a little bit, but ultimately the laptop was too low and forced my wrists to sit at an awkward angle. Needless to say, working in that manner was not sustainable over long periods of time.
So I elevated the finished plywood (by adding 2x6s along the perimeter of it) so that it sat at a more comfortable height.
That worked well for a little bit, but, as I mentioned before, working on a laptop has become somewhat frustrating for me due to my dependency on my triple monitor setup.
And, so, even having the elevated desk did not help as I could not work for long periods of time with just a small single monitor.
Finally, I decided that if I was going to commit to working on a treadmill desk, that I would have to do it right, or not do it at all.
So, I built a custom desk that was a comfortable height, I brought in a spare computer to use solely for my treadmill desk, and I purchased three new monitors and mounted them to the wall in front of the treadmill.
With the new setup, it is actually just as comfortable to work on my treadmill desk (in terms of desk height and having plenty of screen real estate to work with) as it is to sit at my desk and work.
My daily goal is to work 4 hours per day on my treadmill desk while walking at a manageable pace of 2.0 MPH. At that rate I can walk 8 miles per day and since the pace is slow enough, I’m able to be pretty much just as effective as if I were sitting down and working.
In fact, the results from working on my treadmill desk have gone beyond just up-keeping my fitness levels.
Since starting working for at least half the day on my treadmill desk I’ve noticed improved focus on the task at hand and I don’t get distracted as much by outside sources.
Also, I feel physically better and have more energy, and I’ve been able to lose some weight in the process.
Obviously, the benefits of working on a treadmill desk aren’t going to directly increase your marketing efforts.
However, if they increase your energy levels, keep you focused on the task at hand, and make you feel physically better, you’ll be able to be more productive and get more things done…
And, assuming you have a desk job, that’s a plus regardless of what field you work in.
Do You Use Any of These Tools? Or, Do You Have Any Unique Recommendations of Your Own?
Hey look, I realize these tools I have listed aren’t directly related to marketing and internet marketers.
However, the indirect benefits that these tools can provide can really help take you and your marketing efforts to the next level.
These tools aren’t about getting more leads, or making more sales, or driving more traffic to your site.
Rather, these tools are about increasing your productivity so that you can get more leads, make more sales, and drive more traffic to your site.
And, I mean, honestly, if you’re spending all day at your desk creating content and promoting your content, why not invest in the tools you use the most (your keyboard, monitors, and desk?)
In any case, I’m always looking for ways to improve my levels of productivity, so if you have a unique example of a tool or of an office addition—or anything else—that is helping you, I’d love to hear about it!
Let me know in the comments!
This post is a part of my goal to publish 50 different posts in 100 days. This is post #8 in the series. I’m using The Freedom Journal to track my goal and help me stay focused. To read more about my goal and how I plan to achieve it, click here.