Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links and I may earn a commission. I use, or have used all the resources on this page.

There are a lot of tools here, and this isn’t even everything I use. Please note that I do operate multiple websites so not every tool here will be right for you. You are responsible for doing your own due diligence to make sure a product is right for you.

If you have any questions about my experiences (I have also used other tools in the past) feel free to email me. What, you’re not on my email list? Scroll to the bottom and subscribe for the most sincere little newsletter in the whole pumpkin patch.  

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Tools WordPress

These are tools I use on my various sites. These include themes, plugins, domains, and hosting.

Big Scoots Hosting

After years with Siteground it finally became too expensive to justify. While others rave about Big Scoots managed hosting, it mostly makes sense for larger trafficked sites. They also have shared hosting plans that are reasonable and when that big traffic hits...just move over to managed! Customer service response time has been very fast. 

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Cloudways Hosting

My niche sites are all on Cloudways now. While it is easy to migrate and/or start a new site thanks to various online tutorials, but if you ever need to get into the site's files there is no cPanel. You need to use a FTP program. This is why some of my sites are on BigScoots instead. Cloudways are not a host per se, they are an interface to connect to cloud servers without a tech degree. Speed and prices are the big selling points here. I have been with them at least a year and no issues. I use Digital Ocean as my servers.

Namecheap

All but my oldest domain are at Namecheap, so I have been using them for at least 6 years now. It is simple to use, reasonably priced, and domain privacy is included. When you have frequent new ideas and are hoarding several domains like I am, it is a no brainer. That other big domain provider (who's your daddy?) is convoluted to use, difficult to leave, and nickel and dimes you with upsells. 

Kadence

Kadence is both a theme and has blocks that extend Gutenberg. I am moving all my sites over to Kadence for simplicity's sake. While not as robust in design blocks as Elementor, you can still make nice web pages with their starter blocks and templates, and it is faster (less bloated) than Elementor. To be fair, this page is built with Elementor, but I am less concerned with site speed on this site since most of my traffic comes from email referrals. Since switching page builders can be a pain I am trying to stick with Gutenberg as much as possible moving forward.

Rankmath

I use Rankmath somewhat for its intended purpose of on-page SEO optimization. Mostly I use it to ensure content has proper Schema attached. This is fast replacing Yoast as the optimizer of choice among bloggers. Free and paid versions.

This is from the people at My Theme Shop who have a long reputation in the WordPress plugin and theme space. Before Kadence, I was a happy customer of MyThemeShop for several years and still recommend them.

aMember Pro

Powerful membership software that is not for the faint of heart. It runs this and many other PLR shops. It works and works well. Sell products, subscriptions, protect content, and have an affiliate program all with this one plugin. One time purchase with an annual (optional) renewal for updates and support. Can be integrated with course management plugins. 

Digital Access Pass

If you have followed me for a while you know that in 2021 I moved all my courses to their own site. It runs on DAP. It has it's own course builder included as well as ability to sell products, subscriptions, and have an affiliate program. Monthly subscription but usually in November there is a lifetime license deal. I bought a 5 site lifetime license to all her plugins. The other plugins are worth checking out as they are all geared towards marketing--sales proof, gamification, spin the wheel, quizzes, FB leads and more. Scroll to the bottom of the DAP website to see all the other plugins. No plugin is perfect and I don't like that the affiliate program only allows lifetime attachments, but other than that this plugin has lots of history and active development.

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Thirsty Affiliates

I use the free version of this plugin to create cloaked links. This can be useful for mentioning links on social media or if you are a podcast guest. It is also great for inserting the same link into multiple posts, as well as easily updating links across your site if the referral URL changes. 

Tools Research & Writing

These tools are those I use or have used for keyword and niche research. Also included is content optimization and AI tools. 

Rank IQ

I have listened to Brandon Gaille's podcast off and on for several years and he is a wealth of actionable blogging advice. His tool Rank IQ has libraries of low competition keywords in over 300 niches hand selected by him. Then, you can run reports to get AI generated guidance on how to build your content to have a shot at ranking. Think of this as done for you content research with a bit of Frase or Surfer thrown in. Best for bloggers. 

Publisher Rocket

I have owned this software for many years now. I use it for keyword and categories for Kindle listings, though you can also do competitor research with it. If you publish any kind of books on Amazon, this is a worthwhile investment. If you only do low content books, you may want to use BookBolt instead.

BookBolt

BookBolt is by the developers of MerchInformer (which is for print on demand merchandise). It is focused on low content books and provides tools for research, listing optimization, creating covers and interiors, and the pro version includes puzzle generation software. I have been a customer of both BB and MI. I stopped because I have enough ideas without spying on competitors. I did like the Puzzle Wiz software though and may use BB again for that reason. 

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Dave Guindon

No, I don't own Dave himself but I own three of his research tools, Craft Inspector (for Etsy), TubeAtlas (for YouTube), and Keyword Atlas (for everything!).

These are reasonable one time purchases and are desktop software. If you get just one, I would look at Keyword Atlas since you can filter it to YouTube, various big e-com sites, and more. I bought it because for years I wanted a tool with a wildcard search.

KW Finder (Mangools)

I was an early adopter of KW Finder and am grandfathered in to that original price as long as I don't leave! They have grown to include more than just keywords. The closest comparison might be Ubersuggest. I love this tool and have used it for several years now. 

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Frase

I also was an early adopter here, getting it from AppSumo. I didn't use it much for a while, but now am loving how it has evolved. I subscribe to the SEO addon and there are some great options for building an outline. The AI writer included with that add on is pretty good as well. I am not sold on AI writing quite yet but I am building all my new blog post outlines in this. 

Birdsend

This is the email service I currently use. It is built for product creators but also allows some affiliate marketing if you also provide value to your list. Good value choice with all the basic features you need for optins and sequences, as well as regular broadcasts. Its main shortcoming is limited options for styling your emails to look pretty. 

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Low Fruits

As low competition keywords get harder to find, this tool helps you sift through to find keywords that stand a shot of ranking. This is a real time saver and has quickly become my keyword tool of choice. I also love that you can subscribe or purchase pay as you go credits.

 

Check out my big list of free PLR samples

Try before your buy. This post lists free PLR from vendors in my resources sections.

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Tools Creative Software

Graphics software, video recording and editing, and puzzle generators.

Movavi Screen Recorder

I have the entire video suite on my PC, and just the screen recorder on my Mac. When I switched to Mac I tried out other screen recorders and ended up back here because I like how it follows my mouse with a highlighted area and it displays my keystrokes (both features can be toggled off or on). One time fee in theory but they do paid upgrades every year or two that you do not need to do to keep using it. 

Adobe Creative Cloud

While I mostly use Affinity these days, I am locked into a discounted rate and can't quite give this up. Image trace in Illustrator, fillable PDF's in InDesign, and all the add-ons available for Photoshop keep me subscribed. Lately I have also been using Premiere for video editing and the auto-generate transcript feature works great. If you can get this on a deal and will use multiple tools then it is worth considering. 

Affinity

No surprise here right? I own all three desktop softwares for both PC and then bought them again for Mac. I also have Designer for the iPad. You can run a whole printables or KDP business with Publisher and Designer. It is missing a few things--most noticeably fillable PDF's but maybe someday. Best combination of professional results with a low one time fee, especially if your wait for a sale. 

Crossword Compiler

This is professional software for creating crosswords, word searches, sudoku and a couple other word based puzzles. This is not the kind of software where you push a button and it spits out 50 puzzles. You need to build them one by one and export each separately. They make up for it with lots of customization options and extensive word list addons. 

Canva

Yes, I do actually use Canva. Their options have improved over the years and I still use them for YouTube thumbnails, blog post featured images, and some Pins. I would never make a book, printable, or planner in it, but for quick and easy social images and YouTube thumbnails it is really convenient. 

Descript

Even though Adobe Premiere creates transcripts for me, the one thing I love about Descript and keep paying for is the ability to edit a video (or podcast) by just deleting text from the transcript. I could edit without it, but Descript makes it sooo easy and magically makes the deletion seamless 98% of the time. Great for audio or video if you are non-techie. Also improves the sound quality of your file with the push of a button. 

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