The Tools We Use in Our Online Businesses
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Below you will find a list of tools we use for both running our internet empires and monitoring our competitors.
For a number of years now I’ve been using Evernote to make notes for just about everything. It’s by far my favourite tool for backing up notes, websites and ideas that I want to check for my online ventures.
Though Evernote recently made more of a push to charge for their services (just $5/m) which includes syncing on multiple devices, you can still get a lot of use out of their free option.
I started using Clicky back in the day for tracking traffic to my websites when they offered live website analytics, a number of years before Google Analytics offered the same thing.
As I’m focused on SEO, I prefer to have fewer connections ‘as an SEO’ to my websites so I don’t use Google Analytics for my sites (besides gaps) so that’s another alternative as well.
I recently built myself a new PC and checked the market for text-editors out there. I’ve quickly began to love Atom which is a beautiful interface for editing HTML, CSS and PHP files.
If you’re not interested in editing the source code of website files then this probably isn’t something you need, but if that day should ever arrive, this free offering from the folks behind Github should be more than enough for your needs.
Text Wrangler (Mac)
When looking to edit HTML, CSS and PHP files on a Mac, Text Wrangler is our tool of choice.
The software is free, though the team behind Text Wrangler seem to be pushing a paid product, BBEdit, for those interested in the original program. I love Text Wrangler and all it offers, so have no desire to upgrade.
As I’m an admitted introvert, I prefer to show text on my videos rather than my face. For all videos I create, I record my screen (using one of the tools below) while running through a Powerpoint presentation.
With Office 365 you can access all Microsoft products like Powerpoint, Word and Excel for less than $20 per month, which is more than affordable for most.
If you want to record your computer screen (or your iPhone screen) to create a video, Camtasia is the best solution for Windows users.
Lifetime access to the latest version of Camtasia is currently $199.
If you’re looking to record your computer screen (or your iPhone screen) to create videos, Screenflow is the best solution for Mac users.
It’s a $100 cheaper than Camtasia for Windows at just $99 for lifetime access to the current version.
Ahrefs is quite simply the online tool to use when looking into sites linking to other websites. As links from one site to another are (typically) the main criteria Google use when ranking sites, it’s something we want to know about.
Though Ahrefs is a paid tool, starting at $97 per month, you can still get value from the service by signing up for and using a free account.
When we need an estimate of how much traffic a website is receiving, SimilarWeb is our go-to resource.
Whilst it’s far from perfectly accurate, they give as much data you can expect without having direct access to a websites analytics.
Google Docs and in particular Google Sheets have been incredibly useful for creating spreadsheets that we can continually update and share.
As we are a three man team, this level of access and flexibility is invaluable when editing and sharing documents, wherever we are working.
Similar to SimilarWeb (no pun intended), SEMRush gives us data on other websites. More prominently around how well they’re doing in Google with both organic listings and paid advertisements.
Though you’ll get the most out of this tool by paying for a $67/m account, you can still get great insights on your competition without signing up.
If you want to edit or upload files to your server, you need an FTP client. Our tool of choice, is Filezilla.
FileZilla is free, open-source, and works on Windows, Mac and Linux. We’ve been using it for years and couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
It’s not the most beautiful site, or software, but Audacity (free) is used by millions of people for recording audio files.
Primarily I use this when creating podcasts, so if you’re into podcasting yourself I can’t recommend this editor enough.
Any time you see a pop-up with the opportunity to get access to something on OBX’Server, such as our newsletter (below), that system is powered by OptinMonster.
OptinMonster is incredibly well supported, allows split-testing, and integrates with a number of email marketing providers. We personally use both MailChimp and ConvertKit for the email lists behind this site.
We use Basecamp as a tool to collate our ideas for new articles, as well as to colour code these in terms of priorities.
This is great for sharing ideas and businesses with the team, who can also contribute their own thoughts and findings.
We found this much more user friendly than Trello for the volume of content that we add there.