Resources and Tools I Use.
Ever since I started this travel blog I’ve been introduced to countless different platforms, software applications, plug-ins and services. Many of which have been a required source for building my websites, sustaining a healthy lifestyle and maintaining organization with my business workflow.
With all of my online endeavors I’ve accumulated quite a lengthy list of tools and resources.
Everything from online training, freelancing, remote work job hunting or just increasing my productivity has required some investment and often a learning curve.
Here I’ve listed a number of products that I have experience using on a regular basis. Some of them are highly recommended tools, by my colleagues or mentors.
Some of the links provided below are affiliate links and I may receive a small commission, but only if you make any purchases through those links.
To be honest, when it comes to resources for productivity, management and organization, there are so many options in all areas of technology.
I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t hear about some new software application that will make my life so much easier. Not to mention, how many apps are also integrated into existing ones. It can all just be a little overwhelming sometimes.
I am sure you may feel the same way and I hope this extensive list will give you helpful ideas and tools for creating your own website, starting an online business, or travel hacking your next trip around the world!
So, let’s just start from the beginning…
Website Platforms – Getting Up and Running
I built this website on WordPress. I will admit, it is not the easiest for a beginner to get started with, but you have so much flexibility. It wasn’t my first website, but it’s the largest and longest lasting website I’ve created and I plan on doing a whole lot more here in the coming months and years!
There are many new options out there like:
But for now, I plan on sticking with WordPress. There is just no other blogging platform that compares to it.
The other blogging options are great for getting started quickly and they offer pre-built themes so there is no coding required.
However, there are limitations, and in many cases there will be features that you want to add but may not have the ability to add because a theme does not have capacity for it.
Squarespace would probably be my first choice if I needed to create a quick professional site that could be easily maintained by a novice.
Their themes just look so good!
High quality WordPress themes can be downloaded from Theme Forest. They are a part of the Envato Marketplace and I’ve been using their themes, code, and even music for years!
I began with an Elegant Themes Theme initially a few years ago. I am no longer using that theme, but I remember they offered great customer support and just recently came out with an amazing new theme called Divi 3.0 that is equipped with a super fast visual page builder that allows you to edit your theme in real time!
I am not an affiliate for them either, but here is a link if you are interested in checking out their themes.
I’ve been using Shopify for my E-Commerce stores for 3 years now. Drop shipping directly with Manufacturers in a few different niches, has been the business model I’ve used for these stores. I currently have 2 stores open and have had to shut down 2 others. It’s definitely not as easy as the dropship evangelists make it out to be. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence to begin to see profitable results, especially with increasing amounts of competition.
I’ve strived to redefine my goals quite frequently and will continue working on scaling these businesses.
As far as E-Commerce platforms go, I highly recommend Shopify, for its ease of use, its wide variety of plugins, design and payment process options.
They’ve even recently added cross-selling compatibility with Amazon, with new built-in features.
A few other well-known and notable E-Commerce platforms include:
Domain Names & Hosting
I recently registered a new domain with namecheap.com (June 2017) for the latest website I’ve developed. I’ve heard only good things about them for a few years, however, I’ve been with GoDaddy for so long, I didn’t have the opportunity to switch.
When the opportunity came up for me, to register a few new domains, I decided to give NameCheap a try.
(Update: September 2017) So far, I am impressed with the simple, clean interface, low prices, and helpful customer service.
E-Mail Marketing (Auto-Responder)
Graphic Design Tools and Royalty Free Audio Resources
Productivity and Management Resources
Copy and Apply Any of these Coupon Codes before clicking the link above for 20% Off First Year!
A Virtual Phone Number
Security, Protection and Prevention
A Virtual Private Network
Education (Investing In Yourself)
Podcasts I Listen To:
– With Darren Rowse
This is the podcast I have been listening to lately. I love it simply because he is so genuine and doesn’t waste a lot of time. No Fluff! He gets right down to actionable steps you can take right now to build, grow and improve your blog website.
Valuable indeed, and I highly recommend a listen. Just search for a topic you are curious to know more about and I am sure you will find his tips useful.
– With Pat Flynn
After I returned to Florida from living in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2014, a friend introduced me to a podcast called Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn. This was the first time I had listened to anyone talk about so many different ways to make money online.
If this was a full review of Smart Passive Income I probably would mention that this is a great place to start if you are just researching ways to get started making money online. He seems like a such a great guy, but I stopped listening to his podcast because of terrible affiliate recommendations he made. I purchased plugins he recommended a few years ago and they were no good, then realized not long after he wasn’t even using them either.
However, it is a great source of information, as long as you don’t buy into all of his sponsored products.
-With John Lee Dumas
This is a great, inspiring podcast that is carefully outlined and direct to the point. Great for when you may have a short commute. You will hear interviews with popular and lesser known entrepreneurs, all of which have been successful. Guests share their strengths, weaknesses and how they’ve overcome difficult situations. A great motivator, when you’re feeling down or defeated.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
~ Jim Rohn
-With Johnny FD
Because of my interest in Smart Passive Income, my listening recommendations led me to Johnny FD and his Travel Like A Boss podcast which ironically to me was based in Chiang Mai, where I had just moved back from 2 months prior!
I never heard of JohnnyFD, Dropshipping, or even the term Digital Nomad while I was living in Chiang Mai but he was doing exactly what I was trying to do. The exception was that I was an I.T. Professional, searching online every day for a remote job, while teaching English in Thailand was just my backup plan.
The topics Johnny FD discusses regarding earning a semi-passive income online through building e-commerce stores, drop shipping and a lifestyle of travel, is what really got me inspired to take my own dreams more seriously.
No one in my circle of friends ever talked about the possibilities and the benefits of working for yourself as a location independent entrepreneur. I had a few friends and colleagues I worked with who were working remotely for large corporations in other countries, and in my previous position, I had worked from home on certain days of the week, so I knew that was possible.
However, finding a new 100% remote job in in my area of expertise was a lot more difficult than I imagined.
Listening to Johnny’s interviews with Digital Nomads from around the world is what inspired me to pursue my own online businesses and I am really grateful to him for sharing his story. I’ve since returned to Thailand and met Johnny FD and he continues to encourage people to work for themselves and create passive income by sharing his success story and the success stories of the guests he interviews. He also co-hosts a podcast called Invest Like A Boss, which is also a great resource for investing your money.
Travel Gear – (What Goes With Me)
Mindset and Spiritual Balance
I want to provide information that will inspire you to learn more about our beautiful world and the people that live in it.
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