When starting off, we didn’t have access to the resources or tools that we have today. Since then, we’ve found a ton of useful information and tools that we’ve been able to use to streamline and expand our process. By no means are any of these tools required, but we thought it would be nice if we were able to give you a one-stop page to find out about all of the things we’ve used and tested along the way so that you can have those tools available to you as well. We recommend bookmarking this page for easy future reference. We’ll continue to expand as we test out new products and attempt new ventures into IM.
Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links that earn us commissions. That being said, we’ll never list anything here that we’re not currently using or have tried ourselves and found useful and you don’t pay anything extra when buying from us…it’s the same price or better as going directly to the source. Your trust is more important to us than any commissions we make from sales. For more about this, check out our Ethics Statement.
LongTailPro - Created by Spencer from NichePursuits. Much less robust than MarketSamurai, but much faster too. With its speed and ease of use, this has become our primary method for keyword research when it comes to finding niche websites.
Market Samurai – THE best tool when it comes to automating keyword research. Very robust at both niche keyword research and competitive analysis. Can also search available domains and track rankings on your sites. (Update 2/07/12: We’ve had some problems with MS lately and Google is forcing them to be much less robust than they used to be. Shame, really. Good company, though.)
Google Keyword Tool – Straight from the source…allows you to manually check search volume, cpc, etc. for their AdWords advertising. Must have an AdWords account.
SpyFu – We use SpyFu to verify cpc and to check the number of advertisers for specific keywords. We use the free version, but they have a paid version with more features.
Domains And Hosting
GoDaddy – We have multiple accounts with GoDaddy, are part of their Discount Domain Club, etc. They provide 24 hours service and give you an Account Executive to work with directly once you reach VIP status. Plus, we don’t care that their ex-CEO killed an elephant…
Sedo – Great domain marketplace for picking up aged domains at auction. If you’re looking for a good domain for branding, this is the place to be.
Hostgator – We tested the speed difference between hosting with GoDaddy and Hostgator and found Hostgator to be twice as fast, so we’ve started hosting our niche sites with them.
ManageWP – It would be virtually impossible to manage hundreds (or thousands) of niche websites without some help and ManageWP allows us to do exactly that. This makes it SO much easier to update large batches of sites and their higher-level packages give you detailed insights about your websites through the dashboard. Highly recommended. Click here to try out 5 sites for free.
Whoosh Traffic – We were looking for a solution that would track the rankings of our sites over time to monitor the health of our niche site empire and this tool was exactly what we needed. We can login any time we’d like to see detailed information about the ranking of each site, get weekly/monthly roll-up reports, etc. They’ve been wonderfully responsive with our bug reports, feature requests, etc.
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Earnings And Affiliate Networks
AdSense – An obvious favorite of ours that allows you to place bits of code on your website where Google can then place relevant advertisers on your site and you get paid when those ads get clicked.
Google Affiliate Network – We’re members, but haven’t really done much here. They do have some decent companies listed and we plan to work more with them in the future. For now, Commission Junction has much more available.
Commission Junction – Huge affiliate network with companies like Skype represented. We’ve done very little with them, but they are one of the biggest affiliate companies out there.
ABC Leads Affiliate – Small affiliate company that we’ve had some success with. Our niche sites are pretty good at providing leads for their company and their direct support is fantastic.
ShareASale – Mid-sized affiliate that many Internet Marketing tools use.
Email And List Marketing
AWeber – The best when it comes to email list building. Not the cheapest, but they’re feature rich and won’t cost much until you get above 10,000 subscribers.
Content And Article Writing
HireWriters.com – Probably our best overall value for content. We’ve been using their services for our secondary content and are really impressed with what they’ve been able to deliver. Find yourself a few good writers to use for your primary content and use the rest of the writers for your secondaries…excellent service!
iWriter – Cheaper for their “average” articles than TextBroker, but their top quality levels aren’t as good. We currently use iWriter as a backup for secondary articles…
TextBroker – Amazing quality of content from these guys, but a bit expensive. Good to use on more authority-type sites. We recommend sticking with 3-star writers…4-star writers are good, but not worth the extra spend, in our opinion.
99Designs – A contest-style site where you list the project, (designing a website, logo, etc.) list your price, and designers will send in samples to win the job. We’ve used them on multiple logos and websites and found the service outstanding, although a little pricey.
WooThemes – They offer great premium WordPress themes with great back-end support. We’ve build multiple sites with WooThemes and are extremely impressed. We have a WooThemes subscription that’s totally worth it.
IntelliTheme – This is our own niche site theme for WordPress that we’ve created to automatically split-test different layouts and provide you with the highest-profit layouts for each of your niche sites. We use this on thousands of our own niche sites and highly recommend it.
Voice123 – If you’re looking for talented voice work to be done for a video voice over, for your podcast, etc. we definitely recommend checking out these guys. It’s crowdsourcing for audio, basically.
Andrew Todd – Independent Location Independent photographer/videographer that currently works from Mexico. Has a great collection of photographs and you can view a sample of his intro videos here. He’s high quality and (for now) still cheap. Get him before he gets expensive!
oDesk – I know, I know…we’re an outsourcing company, why do we use oDesk? Well…outsourcers outsource too! When we don’t have someone on staff or available to do a particular project and it’s a one-off type project, oDesk is our vendor of choice. They have a really good system to track the work, make payments, review workers, etc.
Virtual Staff Finder – Owned by Chris Ducker from the Live2Care group in the Philippines (I’m a HUGE fan), they are experts at finding talented VA’s for you to work with directly. Leverage their on-site location and years of experience to set you up with your own qualified, skilled VA for a variety of projects. If you’re in need of heavy call center work, they can also provide through their Live2Care call center in Cebu. A competitor to TryBPO, but I just don’t care…they’re really that good. If you’re an independent IMer, this is our recommendation.
WP Live Ninja – Our friend Dan Norris is providing this new service where you can get unlimited WordPress fixes, tweaks, and changes as a monthly recurring service. You’re limited to one site so this probably isn’t useful if you have dozens or hundreds of niche sites, but it’s a great service for authority sites, eCommerce sites, etc. that have plenty of tweaks and/or changes to the site over time.
SubmitYourArticle – Article submission service (with small blog directory as well) that will take your articles, allow you to spin them, and then submit to various directories for hundreds of backlinks. What we particularly like about SYA is they also submit to EzineArticles.
SENuke X – The most comprehensive, all-inclusive automated linkbuilding tool we’ve ever seen. They are NOT cheap, but we’ve been blown away by their system. There’s a bit of a learning curve and it helps if you know a bit about SEO before getting started. This tool is as spammy as you make it… We’ve used SENuke X for some of our larger, authority sites, but feel it’s overkill for most smaller niche sites.
SocialOomph – They allow scheduled, spun, and recurring messages to go out on major social media platforms. We have several premium accounts with them.
Ping.FM – Acquired by Seesmic, Ping.FM allows you to send one post that will update over 30 different social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
OnlyWire – We have a premium account that allows us to semi-automate social bookmarking for all of our niche websites. Our current account allows for up to 10,000 social bookmarks per month.
Niche Website Reading
Spencer At Niche Pursuits – Spencer has a TON of content when it comes to creating niche websites and monetizing through AdSense. We check out and participate on his site regularly and encourage you to do so as well.
Pat At Smart Passive Income – This is the link to Pat’s “Niche Site Duel”…an entire year devoted to laying out the process for niche site creation and monetization. There were other people that got involved as well…really interesting case study and blueprint for others to follow.
Chris At MMotI – Chris Guthrie has become pretty well known and has a really informative blog. He covers most topics regarding internet marketing and has an interesting story as to how he got started.
Press And Interviews
We have some great content and interviews on other sites that might interest you. Here are a few of those resources:
AdSense Flippers Review on Business.com – A great write-up on our industry and our process specifically.
Partnership Interview on LBP – We were interviewed on the Lifestyle Business Podcast to discuss our thoughts on business partnerships.
Interview on JetSetCitizen.com – We get a bit more personal and talk about what it’s like to live, work, and travel in the Philippines.
What are we missing! Contact Us if you think there’s a must-add and we’ll take a look!