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Tools & Resources

Tool & Resources We Use 

We earn our living while traveling through a variety of sources, but there is one common denominator across almost all online business, the need for traffic. Without people to buy whatever products you’re selling (or generate enough traffic to justify advertisement fees) an online business does not exist. Whether it be travel bloggers, ecommerce, or sites like our Amazon niche sites, we all need traffic.

It really surprises me how many other travel bloggers and bloggers in general neglect SEO and optimizing their post in an effort to generate more visitors. It seems crazy [now] to think about posting any content online without first considering what terms I’ll be targeting. The point I am trying to make is everyone can benefit from even a basic understanding of SEO.

Below is a list of blogs and tools that we read and use regularly. We could not do what we do without the tools below.

Jump To The Following Sections:

Business Blogs We Follow

Business Tools We Use 

Travel Tools We Use

*Disclosure: Please note, we have included our affiliate links where applicable on a few of these tools. We use these tools everyday and wouldn’t recommend something that is not worthy of purchasing. We list these to help others get started not to generate the small revenue we would receive if one of you decides to purchase something. Please don’t waste your time and money on these tools if this is not something you could see yourself benefiting from.  

Niche Pursuits:  Spencer over at Niche Pursuits is one of the pioneers of documenting the Amazon Affiliate website model. He has in depth case studies, pod cast and a website loaded with information. For those new to the Amazon Affiliate or Niche Website World, I suggest reading through one of his case studies from start to finish. 

Why We Like Niche Pursuits: Spencer, and now his team, was one of the first to openly document exactly what he was doing and how. Unfortunately, the site Spencer original started as a case study was negatively affected and ultimately ruined. Nonetheless, he came out with case study after case study and is now on to providing information on Amazon FBA-Fullfillment By Amazon (a whole new internet craze, especially in Chiang Mai, Thailand) Last but not least, Spencer is super straight up, he tells it like it is, and I even once applied to work for them.

What You’ll Learn From Niche Pursuits: You can count on learning just about anything and everything that is related to building niche sites from start to finish. When I was first starting out, I used to enjoy downloading his podcast and listening to them at the gym. This is a great place to start if you’re looking to learn more about SEO and Niche Site curation. 

Niche Pursuits

Empire Flippers: The end all be all when it comes to buying and selling a website. Empire Flippers is a website broker who facilitates sales of websites from a few hundred dollars on up to over a million. It is really a crazy thought to me still that a digital asset can be worth that much. On the flip side, these sites usually sell for 20X monthly earnings, which once purchased, is a hell of a return when you consider savings account interest rates pay less than 1% interest. 

Why We Like Empire Flippers: We had always known of Empire Flippers because Justin & Joe (the founders) are well connected with the Digital Nomad community in Chiang Mai. In addition to maintaining an online market place for digital assets, Justing & Joe host a podcast as well as blog on all things website creation, monetization, sales etc.

What You’ll Learn From Empire Flippers: In short, the true value of a digital asset. It is a really an abstract thought to think of a website that can be created by anyone to worth upwards of six figured. Empire Flippers keeps an continuous stream of new websites for sale and the details behind those website coming. You can always pick up something new from their podcast and variety of sellers they interview. 

Empire Flippers⇒

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Authority Website Income: Jon Haver runs the show over at Authority Website Income and produces some crazy detailed case studies and reference guides. I consider most of his topics to be more advanced, but a great resource for those that already have a handle on SEO and monetizing niche sites.

Why We Like Authority Website Income: As much as we like to think we know about SEO, we don’t know it all, and honestly just don’t have the time to do some of the in depth research that guys such as Jon can pull off. For this, we are grateful he shares all his information with the world on some advanced SEO strategies.

What You’ll Learn From Authority Website Income: In addition to some really detailed studies regarding building an online business, Jon provides his income reports to give you an idea of what is possible. This is really helpful to many people to have realistic perspective of what is attainable.  The piece I keep coming back to though, is on buying expired domains. 

Authority Website Income⇒

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Semrush, is one of the most powerful tools that we use for Key Word Research. Whether you are Travel Blogging, building Amazon Affiliate Niche sites, or anything that revolves around gaining more organic traffic.

How We Use It: We use this a ton when it comes to researching competitors websites. SemRush will show you all the Key Words any website ranks for (within the top 20, meaning first and second page) in Google. Also, another tool which is lesser used by us is a Key Word Suggestion Tool, which suggest related Key Words and their competitiveness.

Why We Use It: There is no better way to find more Key Words to rank for than see what your competitors are doing. You may right a post about the best kayak and not gain any traffic. However, you might see in SemRush that best kayak for fishing is a less competitive word, thus more worthwhile targeting.

Try It For Free Here: SemRush Free Trial ⇒

Long Tail Pro is another Key Word Research Tool we use. This is more powerful than SemRush in generating new or unique Key Words. However, the move valuable aspect of this tool is the Competitor Analysis.

How We Use It: Most often we use Long Tail Pro for competitor analysis of specific Key Words. When researching a Keyword in Long Tail Pro, results are generated (usually) for the top 10 websites and their corresponding metrics that rank in Google for that Key Word. Again from the Kayak example used in our eBook, you will be able to decipher that it is easier to rank for best kayak for fishing, rather than best kayak. This helps up to pick and choose our Key Words in our posts.

Why We Use It: We tell this to all our readers and other Travel Blogging friends, if you are not targeting specific Key Words in post, then you are essentially “throwing shit at the wall & and hoping something sticks.”  If you’re going to take the time to write a post, make sure to got the extra step and pick and choose your keywords. Choosing between, best Thai Restaurant in Chiang Mai you’re probably better off choosing best khao soi restrautant in the old city of Chiang Mai. This is an extreme example, but you’ll get the point.

Long Tail Pro⇒

ahrefs: Ahrefs is a backlink checking tool. For those that have not yet been exposed to Search Engine Optimization, this might be semi-advanced tool to you. Without going into too much depth, this tool allows us to see how many, the actual links, and quality of links pointing to a particular site.

How We Use It: ahrefs is pretty straightforward in that it does exactly as described above. ahrefs pulls the linking websites Url so that we can see who is getting links from where. There is also a content explorer we have used when searching for expired domain, but this is an advanced topic.

Why We Use It: In an effort to make this as simple as possible; think of the internet as one giant spider web. Each link from another website to yours makes your website more powerful. However, some sites are harmful, think of them as humans ripping a spider web down with a broom. We use this tool to make sure we are finding strong and worthy links in our research. This will also give us an idea of how strong any other site we may be competing with based on their web of links.

ahrefs.com⇒

Majestic SEO: Majestic SEO is like a combination of the three tools above, plus a few additional features which we find ourselves using more and more. These two features are Trust Flow and Citation Flow. These are two metrics created by Majestic SEO which tell us how “trustworthy a website is”

How We Use It: We use this mostly when we are looking for domains to buy or sizing up competitors websites. If in Ahrefs or Long Tail Pro we can see they have strong links pointing to their website, this might now always be a good thing. These links might be strong adult/explicit content links. In the long run, these type of links will damage a website.

Why We Use It: We are using Majestic more and more as Trust Flow and Citation Flow seem to be a more important factor than ever in ranking a website. This is a logical step for Google to take in ranking websites as related topics linking to a website are much more trustworthy than casino, explicit content etc.

Majestic SEO⇒

Majestic-SEO-Alternatives

TrustedHouseSitters: one of the biggest house sittings websites available. If you join, you’ll be required to set up a profile with the idea of highlighting your strengths as to why homeowners should choose you to come stay at there house.

How We Use It: We use TrustedHouseSitters rather haphazardly. The nice feature they have is a daily email sent out displaying all the latest house sitting opportunities. We usually look through these offers every day to see if any of them could potentially line up with our travel place. Word Of Caution: House sitting has become incredibly competitive, so we suggest you apply right away to a house sit you may consider.

Why We Use It: House sitting a fantastic way to obtain free accommodations while your traveling. Of course, this comes with a yearly fee of about $97. Also, you’ll likely be looking after pets of have house duties to take care of in exchange for free accommodations. With the use of Trusted House Sitters, we have saved well over $5,000 in accommodations across (soon to be 4 countries)

Trusted House Sitters⇒

TripAdvisor: Most everyone already knows about Trip Advisor. Trip Advisor is one of (if not the largest) consumer based rating websites. Hotels, locations, activities, you name it, its rated on trip advisor. 

How We Use It: We mostly use Trip Advisor to cross reference reviews for hotels or restaurants. There are several other review sites out there that can be used in conjunction with Trip Advisor to get an idea of the quality of place. Also, its worth seeing owner feedback. For example if we are considering staying at smaller hotel vs a chain hotel, we like to see the owner interact with reviewers. This shows they care about their reputations and most often have a very nice establishment.

Why We Use It: Again, more than anything we use this as a cross reference. Unfortunately, in the past few years Trip Advisor has lost some clout because of false or paid reviewers. Although we know that, usually you can get a good impression of a hotel, restaurant etc, based on the reviews. Last but not least, we like to use Trip Advisor to pull pricing details for hotels. This allows us to consolidate many booking sites into one via Trip Advisors booking service. This works great to check “special pricing” offered on other sites. 

Trip Advisor Here⇒

agoda: agoda is a hotel booking service similar to Kayak, Priceline, Orbit, etc. We have found it especially useful when traveling through Asia, as it is one of the best prices and includes many hotels that other review sites leave out.

How We Use It: We use it when searching for hotels in new locations. We have found the reviews to be fairly accurate which helps to get a better idea if a hotel is decent or not. agoda also have very good pricing compared to other booking services.

Why We Use It: We have learned our lesson many times over to not show up to a town without a hotel during certain times of the year in certain locations. For example, if it is a holiday weekend that is notorious for tons of tourist visiting, you probably don’t want to roll the dice and show up with no reservations. This has happened to us, and landed us in some pretty dodgy locations over the years. If you don’t know the location even halfway decent, book in advance and get something to your standards

 agoda.com Here⇒

Skyscanner: Skyscanner is like Kayak.com or Orbitz.com on steroids. This is another flight, hotel, and car booking website, but it has one really power feature missing on all other booking websites. That feature is the ability to book search ticket prices without a destination in mine AND over a period of time, say a full calendar month.

How We Use It: We use this when we want to go somewhere, we just don’t know where…. Sounds really crazy, but assume you have a week off in January and you want to go on a trip; you can use Skyscanner to see the cheapest prices and destinations sorted accordingly, domestically and internationally. This is especially useful to us when we know we have a destination to get to at a certain date, but yet flexible in travel route to include other destinations on the way. Also, this is the quickest and cheapest way to locate a rental car that we have found. 

Why We Use It: It gives us new ideas. We may have never considered going somewhere, but see a flight is super cheap and decide to book it. It opens up many new destinations as well as departure dates. Because we can select the entire month and see the pretty little price graph, we know which day is cheapest to fly.

Skyscanner Here ⇒

World Nomad Travel Insurance: World Nomad is one of the few travel insurance providers to provide worldwide healthcare coverage (outside of your home country). 

How We Use It: Luckily we haven’t had to yet. However, many of our travel blogging friends have World Nomad as well, and the first hand stories we have been told were enough to sell us on travel insurance. For example, one couple we are very close with had items stolen from their bag somewhere in Africa, and World Nomads reimbursed the money in quick order. They cover not only medic an cost but theft/damage to your gear as well. 

Why We Use It: It’s going to happen, at one point one of us will wreck the motorbike, get really ill, or worse have our beloved MacBooks stolen. For less than $1,000 for a 6 month period, for the two of us, it is money well spent. 

World Nomad Here⇒