Resources and Tools I Use

Tools and Resources

UPDATED February 1, 2017

While WordPress is dang good for building websites and it includes plenty of bells and whistles, it doesn’t quite do it all.

For additional design, functionality and of course content generation, I rely and use a fleet of various tools that primarily consist of software.

Below is a table listing out my current tools and resources.

If you have any questions about any them, feel free to contact me.

Please assume the links are affiliate links.

PurposeResourcesExplanationCoupon Code
HostingBluehostI used Bluehost for years. I've since migrated all sites to Kinsta, but if starting out, Bluehost served me well.
KinstaFor the money, it's the best hosting service I've ever used. My sites have never performed so well. Read my full Kinsta review here.
WordPress ThemesEleven40 by StudioPress728 px wide ads fit in the content. Minimalist design. Quality theme developer.
Publisher ThemeOutstanding magazine/blog theme I'm using for Fat Stacks.
WordX by My Theme ShopSimple to use and fits 728 px wide ads out-of-the-box.
Newspaper ThemeLots of bells and whistles. You will need to widen the content area to fit 728 px wide ads.
Performag by Thrive ThemesWorks flawlessly with Thrive Content Builder. Looks decent and loads fast.
Flatsome ThemeOutstanding Woocommerce theme. Actually it's also a nice blog theme even if you don't use Woocommerce.
Content FormattingWPCompearI resisted this content formatting plugin for years. I finally bit the bullet and started using it. Now I love it and use it for plenty of content.
OpinionStage PollsBest poll software I've ever used. Loads fast. Dead-simple to use.
Ad Inserter PluginExcellent ad management plugin. Lots of placement control and very easy to use.
CanvaPerfect for image collages and adding text to images.
WP Review ProProduct review plugin. Works with most themes very well.
Content Views ProAmazing plugin that displays posts, images and other filterable content in grids. Many uses.
Advanced Ads ProVery nuanced ad management plugin which makes it easy to place ads above/below any image, table or other elements.
WordableSoftware that imports Google Docs into WordPress backend. Even imports images and all formatting. Ideal if you outsource content and/or receive a lot of guest posts.
TablePress PluginOutstanding table plugin for data-rich tables.
MonetizationEzoicEzoic in 2017 is shaping up to be a monster earner for me outperforming my own ad configurations. I'm now running Ezoic 100% on my ad-supported niche sites.
Media.netExcellent additional ad network. Get 10% revenue bonus when you sign up and are approved via link to the left.
CriteoExcellent backfill ad network. You set the CPM floor. Can add decent incremental revenue to your website.
Advanced Ads Pro PluginThis is a must-have ad management plugin. You can insert ads pretty much anywhere including after tables and images.Code: FATSTACKS
Save 10%.
WP CouponsExcellent plugin to create a coupons section on your website.Code:
Save 10%.
SkimlinksExcellent if you aren't accepted into a particular merchant affiliate program.
Social MediaViraltagSuperb Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr posting software.Code:
Save 50% for first 2 months.
SumoMeAdds social media buttons to your site including images.
Email MarketingThrive LeadsCreates opt in forms of all types.
OptinMonsterExit intent opt in forms plus many other types of optin forms.
AWeberThis is the email autoresponder software I've used for years. Simple to use and does the job for me.
InstapageDrag and drop landing page creator. Easy to use. Plenty of great templates to choose from.
ContentContentRefined.comQuality content service that will format content in the backend of your website.
Word AgentsThis content service writes excellent product reviews. They really dig in and put together helpful content. I add my own to their work... since all my product reviews are based on my actual use of products. Word Agents provides the foundation based on brief notes I provide.
Writer AccessHigh volume quality content across many niches.
ShutterstockMy preferred stock photo service. Decent subscription rates.
VideoAnimotoVideo slideshow software I've used for years.
VidSkippyIf you embed YouTube videos, this is great software which enables you to place your own banner ads in the videos. I use loads of YouTube videos in my niche sites so this comes in handy.
CoursesNiche TycoonMy flagship course that reveals everything I do to plan, launch and build up both B2C and B2B niche websites.
Authority Site SystemThorough course on planning and launching niche authority sites by the folks at Authority Hacker.
RankXLDetailed course by Chris Lee who earns 5 figures per month with a very simple formula: SEO + AdSense = 5 figures per month.


  1. Justin Bilyj says

    I went ahead and got the plugin, but noticed it doesn’t post multiple reviews per post/page. Have you figured a work around that for multi-item comparisons? I know there’s another plugin (WP Review Pro) that does comparison review tables in addition to post/page reviews, have you checked that one out?
    Right now the only work around I can figure for multiple reviews is making a post no index no follow etc. that covers that particular review you want, and recall it in the post with this shortcode;

    [wp-review id="XX"]

    The XX being the previous review post you used this in. I heard for some it doesn’t transfer the same color etc.
    Appreciate the awesome resources page!

  2. Mark says


    My site has a lot of external links (non-affiliate) to several merchant. Now I’m planning use Skimlinks or Viglink to monetize them.

    Can I use Elf Links with Skimlinks or Viglink?

    My concern is, if Google don’t recognize the Elf Links, how will Skimlinks or Viglink find them?

    Kind Regards,


    1. Jon says

      Hey Mark,

      I’d ask Elf links. Sorry, I don’t have an answer to that.

  3. Stephen says

    Hey Jon– AudienceBloom seems like a cool service. How much does it cost? Didn’t want to go through the whole lead gen process, and they don’t advertise their pricing. Also, in terms of outreach to get links and guest post spots, are there any tools or processes you use to streamline that whole workflow?

    1. Jon says

      You’ll have to contact Audience Bloom for pricing. They do a great job. Easy to work with too.

        1. Jon says

          Hey James,

          For which are you referring?

  4. Charles says

    Hi Jon,

    Is there any reason why you haven’t mentioned about Google Adsense in your list for the Monetization?

    Thank you!

    1. Jon says

      Hey Charles,

      No reason except oversight. Didn’t occur to me but you’re right, AdSense was and is important.

  5. Kat says

    Hi, have you tried Ampedsense plugin for split testing ads?

  6. phil says

    Is niche sniper suitable for a newbie? Will you teach everything step-by-step in an understandable way for a newbie?
    I already have a blog on health (natural remedies for diseases) will I be able to use it or do you recommend to start a new one?

    1. Jon says

      Yes, Niche Sniper if newbie friendly. It’s a pretty simple concept that’s worked great for me for years. Niche Sniper is based on the first blog I every launched and still own.

  7. Brian says

    Do u still use human proof designs for writers. You mentioned them before as good choice especially for gallery posts

    1. Jon says

      Hey Brian,

      Yeah, they’re still producing some content for me. They’re great for simpler content.

  8. Nish says

    Hi Jon,

    Was trying to find a good review of Authority site system and was led here… very cool site and lots of good info 🙂

    Quick question – Do you still recommend those same courses? I’m a total newbie and looking to get into AM.. I just want to make sure i invest in the right course/person…

    Would you still recommend those same 3 courses ? Any other courses you would recommend for beginners?

    1. Jon says

      Hey Nish,

      Yes, I recommend all 3 still. They’re solid. All different, but all focus on how to build a successful authority site.

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