The purpose of this page is to give you somewhere to look for resources that can help you in your travels as well as your travel blogging. These are the very tools I use. The page will always be in flux as I discover new tools to help you. I hope you find it useful.
Full Disclosure: Some of the links below are my affiliate links, that means I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase using that link. The majority of the products I’ve used personally and they’ve been helpful in building my online presence or in my travels. In general, always ensure that you do your own research before purchasing any of the recommended products or any products.
- Airbnb – Need a slightly different place to stay in someone’s home, this site is worth a try. I found a very reasonable place in Oslo, Norway on my recent visit. It was in a great neighborhood just outside the city.
- Hotels.com – Sometimes a hotel is all you need.
- Hostelworld – When a hotel is just not quite what you need, try a hostel.
- Google Analytics: Google’s free website tracking and analytical tool. A must have for anyone with any type of website.
- Clicky: Clicky is very similar to Google Analytics, with a simpler user interface. You can setup one site for free.
- Mojo Themes – A good resource for themes for your WordPress blog
- OptimizePress – This software helps you to build landing pages. These are pages where you take users to inform them about your products. The marketing page for my 21-Day Travel Blueprint was created using OptimizePress.
- WordCamp Central – I use WordPress for all my sites and this is a great resource to find out what’s going on in the WordPress community. They have conferences all over the world and they are very inexpensive and worth attending. Check if there is one in your neck of the woods.
- WooThemes – These guys have a ton of themes to choose from. Recently they’ve added a number of e-commerce themes as well. They do have free and paid themes so look through and find something you like. This theme is from WooThemes.
- The Thesis Theme: One of the better themes out there and one that I use for one of my sites. It has search engine optimization, faster page load times, maximum readability to engage and hold reader’s attention, and point-and-click design and font controls.
Hosting and Domain Names
- HostGator – I use Hostgator for some of my sites now. They’ve been a bit spastic since being taken over though.
- Siteground – My new hosting provider. I’m very please with them.
- Namecheap – Use this service to purchase your domain names.
Product Distribution & Shopping Carts
- E-Junkie – If you want to sell an e-book, then this is a service you can use. It’s compatible with Paypal Standard, Paypal Pro, Google Checkout, Authorize.net, TrialPay, Clickbank & 2CheckOut.
- Clickbank: Another digital products retailer. Probably the most popular. Decently priced, but comes with an amazing affiliate program for your products.
- Paypal.com: I use Paypal to sell (collect the money) my ebooks as well as collect money from my users.
- Keyword Researcher – A tools to find popular long tail keywords.
- Google Adwords Keyword Planner – A tool to help you decide what keywords to use for your Adwords campaigns. You can also check to see the popularity of certain keywords and the competition for ads for those keywords as well. This helps you with searching for keywords to target when you write your blog posts or actually buy your website domain name.
- SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool – Another keyword research tool.
- SEO Keyword Ranking – Track your keyword rankings over time.
Images & Photos
- Flickr Creative Commons – Here you can use images for free as long as you abide by the conditions listed with each photo. This is really a great resource.
- Google Image Search – Yes, you can use images from Google, but ensure you make the right selection under “usage rights”.
- iStockPhoto – If I ever need to find a royalty-free image, this is where I go.
- Stock.xchng – A resource for free images.
Email Subscriptions & Marketing
- Aweber – This is what I use to build my email list and send my newsletter. It also allow me to build an autoresponder.
Leadpages – If you want to create beautiful and very effective landing pages, then I highly recommend using this piece of software. Here is one page that gave me a 72% opt-in rate. I’ve also used the software to create this thank you page for one of my sites.
- facebook Ads: If you are not using facebook Ads, you should start now. Go here to start.
- Google Adsense: Make money by placing relevant ads on your website that are generated from advertisers using Google Adwords. This is free to use, but you have to register for an account.
- Google Adwords: If you want to begin advertising on Google, you can select keywords and locations and you pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement.
- Creative Live – These are initially free online courses (free when first aired) on varied topics, that will interest any travel blogger. Marketing, Photography, Setting Up your business, etc.
- 99Designs: This is a unique website that you can use if you need a logo design. It’s in a contest format. You submit the description of what you want, and designers will compete against each other to win money.
- AwesomeWeb: A new site for developers and more technical help
- Fiverr – For $5 you can get a lot done on this site. Do your diligence though.
- UpWork: A website for freelancers, IT companies, programmers and web designers, etc.
- Asana – A new project management tool that’s free.
- The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss, Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich – In 2009, I read, well listened to this book. I actually did not buy it, I borrowed it from the local library. It set the stage for where I am today in terms of what can be accomplished if you only try hard enough.
- The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau – I met Chris at TBEX Girona as he gave a talk there. He’s a fellow traveler and one who has visited all 193 countries in the world; a goal of mine, now at 108. It’s a good read that I’ve not finished as yet, so check it out.
- Intros and Outros
- ScreenFlow (Mac users) – the screen capture software I’m currently using.
- YouTube Video Training – James Wedmore has one of the best YouTube video trainings out there. Check it out Video Traffic Academy.