Looking for the tools, products, apps, and services I use? Then, keep reading…
I personally use or test each of the resources for managing my niche websites and other activities. I’ll keep adding to this list as I learn more and become aware of other tools.
Bookmark the page for your convenience.
Disclosure: Some of these are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. I do have experience with each of the products or services listed below so I feel fully comfortable recommending them. Please do not spend any money on the products unless you feel you need them to achieve your goals. It turns out a lot of the things I use are free so you should be able to do the same.
Trello – I use Trello as a task and project management tool. It’s great for individuals and small teams. It’s free.
Asana – I use Asana too, but less often. Asana is great for bigger teams and organizations. It’s a lot like Basecamp but free.
Google Apps and Sheets – Project Management tools should NOT be complicated. Simple is best and easiest to teach your team. To me, one of the main jobs of a PM tool is to stay out of the way so the work can be done. Also free!
What other entrepreneurs use for project management – Here’s a round up post about PM Tools.
The Doug.Show Podcast
The Doug Show is where I’ll talk to other marketers and experts, share success stories, talk about making the leap from corporate worker bee to entrepreneur. It’s hard being a freckled, bald man so that’s bound to come up too.
And I’ll share random stories like moving from Atlanta, Georgia to Bozeman, Montana, visiting all 50 states, and beer stories.
Survive the 9 to 5 Podcast
My wife and I have a podcast where we talk about corporate life and working called, Survive the 9 to 5. Check it out on:
The first section is informational based and the second section covers tools and apps that may be helpful.
Amazon Affiliate Niche Site Process – My guide on creating a niche site and I apply my project management skills to add a process around the whole process. That way you know what to work on, and when.
Five Figure Niche Site – My course on creating a profitable Amazon Affiliate Niche Site.
Hiring Writers – It can be tough to find good writers for your niche site. Perhaps you haven’t hired freelancers before and you don’t know what to expect. It turns out you can find great writers for a fair rate, but you have to go about it in the right way.
WordPress Themes for Niche Sites – A guide I wrote about themes. Most people push affiliate offers hard, but I take the opposite approach. I’m actually trying to help you not sell you on a theme that I get a fat commission for.
Tools and Apps for Affiliate Sites
AmaLinks Pro (Top Pick) — The newest plugin on the scene with tons of flexibility and power. The main focuses are ease of use and following the Amazon Operating Agreement. You can do everything all within the WordPress dashboard. The have the most sophistocated table builder as well. You can do all the normal things you’d expect:
- Insert Text Links, Image Links, Call-to-action Buttons, and Product Showcases with ease
- Insert Product Comparison Tables with the “Table Builder Add-on”
Super easy-to-use and intuitive table editor
- Use with the Classic Editor or with the ‘Gutenberg’ Block Editor
- Search for products on Amazon, then select, from right within your WordPress dashboard
- Increase visitor “stickiness” with beautiful Product Showcases and Comparison Tables
AAWP — There are some great plugins that help you add links to Amazon. It can create some sexy looking tables with some simple shortcodes. The main complaint I’ve heard is a lack of WordPress integration, i.e. you can click a button, you have to use shortcodes. For a geek like me, I like the shortcodes versus relying on clicking the mouse.
Prosociate — Another great plugin that uses the Amazon API to look up items, get images, add affiliate links. And you’re able to use the eBay affiliate program too, which can be great for certain niches where there are a lot of products on eBay. It also updates out of stock items. There are over 23,000 downloads so it’s well used, tested, and supported.
Genius Link — The best way to route your visitors to the right Amazon store. What do I mean? If you have traffic going to your Amazon site from the UK and Canada, then you’re missing out on commissions. If you can send them to the right Amazon store based on where they are from, then you can earn more commissions. It pays for itself. They have a 14 day free trial so check it out.
Keyword Keg — It’s the keyword research tool I use most of the time. I’m actually a paying customer — I didn’t get a freebie account or any sort of deal. Heck, they don’t even have an affiliate program. I started using it because it was fast, reliable, and cheap. I try to use tools that beginners use and this is one of them.
Keywords Everywhere — The best free option for keyword research, and I end up using K.E. just as much as any paid tool. It integrates with a whole mess of other tools and content research tools, including but not limited to:
- Google.com – the data is shown right under the search textbox
- Google Search Console – the data is shown in the Search Analytics page
- Google Analytics – data shown in the Organic and Search Engine Optimization -> Queries pages
- Google Trends – data shown in the queries widget
- Google Search – data shown under main keyword as well as related searches
- YouTube – data shown under the searchbox
- Amazon – data shown under the searchbox
- eBay – data shown under the searchbox
- AnswerThePublic.com – data shown in popup on each spoke of the wheel, data also shown in the alphabetic listings
Long Tail Pro — It’s a decent tool for keyword research, but it’s really showing it’s age. It is faster for extensive keyword research, like when you’re starting a new niche site.
Ahrefs — Suite of SEO tools. I use it for its VAST backlink database.
Majestic — Suite of SEO tools. I use it for its VAST backlink database.
SERP Lab — This is the app that I use to track my rankings. It’s reliable and cheap – there’s even a free version.
Where to get images for your sites.
Flickr Creative Commons – Use images for free if you attribute them.
Pikwizard – Great images of people
Startup Stock Photos – Office images
Magdeleine – Free images to use, some are public domain and others require attribution.
Pexels – Free stock photos.
Unsplash – Free stock photos.
ISO Republic – Mostly free stock photos and some premium ones too.
MMT – Free stock photos.
Aweber – I use Aweber for Niche Site Project. Great service, stable, and a fair price.
Optin Monster – I use this for some sites for list building.
Sumo Me – It’s a free option and powerful. I stopped using Sumo Me after they raised prices. And now they are all over the place so I feel the popups blend in. If you’re on a budget, it’s still a fine choice.
Human Scale Business – This is a great platform to get help if you make unique products and sell them online. So Human Scale Business isn’t directly related to niche site – more related to scaling up small businesses. You can get help and advice on growing, scaling, financing, improving cash flow, and just about anything you may encounter in a small business. They have a great podcast, too. I talked about basic SEO on this episode. There is a free network that you can join here. It’s for a special kind of small business founder: makers of unique products sold (at least in part) online to consumers. We’ll help each other learn, develop best practices, and succeed. Topics include product development, marketing, manufacturing and sourcing, fulfillment, and financing.
SiteGround – I host my niche sites here because of the excellent customer service. I can also auto-scale the resources to deal with traffic surges over the holidays.
Bluehost – I host one site here, using the WP Optimized service. I started on the shared hosting and moved up.
MDD Hosting – I host Niche Site Project here. It’s a smaller company, stable, and I’ve been hosted there for years.
Namecheap – My preferred registrar.
ManageWP – Where I back up my sites. You DO have an off-site backup, RIGHT?? It comes free with the WP Optimized plan at Bluehost. The backups go straight to my Google Drive daily.
Thesis Theme – It’s the theme I use on NSP. It’s fast and clean.
Screenflow – I use this for screen captures and video editing.
Moz Bar – It’s a Chrome Extension that I use to research the competition and get an idea about the authority of a website.
SEO Quake – Another great Chrome Extension I use to get tons of info for competitive analysis.
Ninja Outreach – This is a powerful outreach tool that can help you reach influencers in any niche. It can find leads AND bloggers in every market – including niche sites. It gathers contact info, social, and SEO data all in one place so you don’t have to keep track of your outreach campaign in spreadsheets or email. Ninja Outreach keeps it simple by integrating with your email for easy outreach. It puts everything in you need in one place.
Boomerang – Great for getting a handle on your inbox and send delayed emails.
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Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss