I often get asked which tools I recommend, so to make things easier here’s a list of everything that I use.
If you know me, you’ll know that I’m frugal AF and like to save money wherever possible. I bootstrapped my business and don’t believe in spending a lot on fancy software unless it adds real value.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, but I’ve only included products that I use myself and love.
I’ve also highlighted which tools are free and which have free versions.
The WordPress theme that I use on all of my sites is GeneratePress. It’s super fast and easy to use with no coding required. There’s a free version if you’re just getting started, but the paid version is definitely worth it.
GeneratePress does almost everything, but I use a plugin called Affiliate Booster to create nice product blocks and comparison tables that convert well. I’ve tested lots of affiliate design plugins, but this is the one I like the best. There’s also a free version.
I currently use BigScoots Managed WordPress Hosting and I’m very happy with it. I’m on the Professional plan which costs $98.95 per month. I’ve exceeded the monthly visits by quite some way, but they said that I don’t need to upgrade to the next level yet.
The next plan is a step up in price, so in the future, I plan to move to Rocket.net. This can handle millions of visits for $100 per month and has great reviews from everyone I’ve spoken to about it.
If you’re just starting out and want something cheaper, I had a great experience with Hostinger WordPress Hosting which costs only $2 per month.
I use ahrefs for my keyword research. It’s expensive, so if you don’t yet have any money to spend, I recommend that you take a 7-day free trial of SEM Rush and use that for your initial keyword research.
Another keyword research tool that I use every day is SearchResponse.io. This finds all of the ‘People Also Ask’ keywords that I use as headers in my posts. The free version is enough for most people.
For keyword research when updating old posts I use QueryHunter.io. This free plugin shows what keywords you’re ranking for that you haven’t included in your post so you can add them in.
Another free SEO tool I use is the Chrome extension SEO Minion which does all kinds of handy things like checking word counts and highlighting nofollow or broken links.
I always check Google results pages manually before committing to a keyword. As I live outside of the US, I use usearchfrom.com to show non-personalised results from the US. It’s free.
I take most of my photos myself. But for the ones that I can’t I use Canva. There’s a free version, but I have the annual plan which comes with 100+ million premium stock photos and lots of cool editing tools.
Before uploading any images, I run them through TinyPNG to compress them and reduce the file size. It’s free.
For most of my sites, I use Ezoic for display advertising. I also have one site with Adthrive. Both are free to use, but Adthrive requires you to have at least 100k visitors per month, whereas you can use Ezoic from day one.
I recently moved a site from Adthrive to Ezoic as a test and it’s making around $500 per day. The RPM has also increased, believe it or not! I’m not on any special deal with Ezoic, just the same service that anyone with a larger site can get. I’ll share the full results of this test with my email list soon! (My email list is also free to join)
I use Geniuslink to send my audience to the best affiliate program for their country. I find it to be better than Amazon’s OneLink. I also use it for split testing so I can work out which affiliate programs are converting the best. It only costs me a few dollars per month, depending on how many clicks I send through it.
I live in the UK but get paid in US$ most of the time. So I have a US bank account with Wise because it’s free and easy to use and does currency transfers at really good rates.
I hired virtual assistants in the Philippines from OnlineJobs.ph. They upload my posts, source images, find products to feature and help with research. This has enabled me to double the number of posts I can produce each month!
I use in-house writers for my content – I met most of these in real life. I’ve tested several writing services too, and my favourite by far is ContentPit.
To train my team, I make short screen-recording videos using the free version of Loom.
I use a set of ready-made writer templates, publishing guidelines and a content database from ContentSiteOS. Yes, you could make your own, but this done-for-you stack will keep you super-organised and it costs just $20. Bargain!
Spelling and Grammar
I use Grammarly to help catch any spelling or Grammar errors. I find the free version to be sufficient for me.
I manage my email lists using MailerLite. It’s easy to use while being cheaper than most alternatives. It’s free for your first 1,000 subscribers.
I grew my Twitter account to 25K followers in five months. I put a lot of that down to a tool called TweetHunter.io that I use to help me write and schedule my tweets in just one hour per week.
I’ve only sold one website so far, but I had a fantastic experience selling through Empire Flippers and I will definitely use them again next time.
You can learn everything you need to know about building niche websites for free from YouTube and podcasts. The channels that I recommend you check out are:
If you don’t have lots of time and want to learn things quickly and efficiently, then the best way is with a paid course. For beginners, the best course I have taken is The Authority Site System.
If you’re more advanced and want to up your skills to earn $10k+ per month, then recommend that you take Fat Stacks Course. I learned a lot from this one.
I hope that helps!