🛠️ @oozn's SideHustle Stack 🛠️
Hello, my name is Onur. I am known with my alias "oozn" on the web. I have been side-husting for years now and wanted to share what tools and websites I use to curate content and niche ideas. Hope you find this list useful and share it with your fellow hustlers :)
Also, don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter to catch up with updates!
SEO Tools for Side-Hustlers
We don't always have thousand dollars of ad budgets to promote our products or websites to relevant audiences. However, being accesible to search engines and optimizing for them to have higher results on relevant search queries will drive benefit on the long term. Here are the tools I use for keyword and niche research, content and backlink analysis and more.
I like SemRUSH for its frequently updated keyword, position and volume data. This is my favorite tool for finding out new keyword/content ideas and competitor analysis. Its keyword and content gap and keyword magic tool are very useful.
This is another tool for competition analysis and finding out new keyword and content ideas. While its graphics are very useful for sales pitches, their data is not as accurate as SemRUSH.
SEObserver is another backlink analysis tool created by a friend of mine. It has a vast link database & they are building an enormous keyword database, too. I use this tool on a daily basis to health-check expired domains & web sites.
Ahrefs is my favorite backlink analysis tool. It gives me the idea of how my competitors are gaining backlinks and what sites are reffering to my website. It also has keyword and content explorer tools for content curation ideas.
You can view your website's overall health on a single dashboard provided by Google. Its Search Analytics tab lets you see what keywords get the most clicks & impressions and you can use these insights accordingly to improve your site.
ScreamingFrog is my favorite crawler app that works on desktop. I use it to detect anomalies in my meta tags, response codes and page contents. This is a must-have app for every SEOs and free version has 500 URL limit.
Unlike ScreamingFrog, DeepCrawl runs on the cloud and gives you the opportunity to crawl millions of pages within hours. Like all other crawlers, DeepCrawl provides you with extensive details about your pages' current status.
SEOmonitor tracks yours and your competitors' positions on given keywords. This tool is useful to notice sudden spikes and slumps on the SERP, which may give you an idea of you and your competitors are performing on daily basis.
Keywordtool.io is a keyword idea generation tool which fetches autocomplete data from Google, Youtube, Bing and others on given keywords. Use this tool to understand user behaviour on specific keywords.
This is another keyword suggestion and related keyword finder tool for SEO and PPC specialists. Unlike Keywordtool.io, this is a free tool which is packed with extra features like top ranking urls and related metrics.
This might be simplest keyword tool available on the web. You simply enter your target keyword and you are constantly provided with keywords related to your keyword. It has a very simple UI and it allows you to download all keywords with no charge.
This tool is great for content creation ideas. It basically gives you list of question and comparison related queries on given keywords. It also places prepositions and outputs related keywords, too.
This is one of the most detailed checklist on improving your front-end performance. It alreadt mentions all the tools and to-dos to speed up your webpage speed and improve your page speed score. You can directly pass this to your devs.
Content Curation Tools
SEO tools I previously shared will already help you find great amount of relevant keywords and give you lots of content curation ideas. However, it will be extra useful to find out what kind content types and styles work out on social networks. These tools will give provide you with the list of most engaging content on given words.
Buzzsumo is my favorite one. It has amazing filters with a fresh database and their dashboard is very UX friendly. Simply type keywords to see what articles are the most engaged ones on Facebook, Twitter and others.
I had little time to test SocialAnimal since I recently discovered them. They also have nice filters and insights. This tool works like BuzzSumo and can be considered as a budget-savvy alternative to BuzzSumo.
Listicles are good for SEO and social traffic. Yet everyone likes them because they offer a well-structured and summarized knowledge in a single article. List.ly, as the domain itsef is self-explanatory, lists lists :)
Already listed in SEO tools, but Ahrefs deserves to be here too thanks to Content Explorer, which is included all Ahrefs plans. I don't need a second content explorer tool as it already provides a fresh database and useful filters.
This is the list of WordPress plugins I use in my WordPress powered websites. These WordPress plugins are mainly fix technical (performance improvements) and contextual SEO issues.
W3 Total Cache is one of the most effective caching plugin available in the WordPress repo. It has lots of advanced features which might require some Google searches but when effectively used, it dramatically increases your load time.
Needless to say, this is the plugin every WordPress installation needs. From simplifying your permalink structure to writing better titles and meta tags, this is a must-have for every content and e-commerce WordPress sites.
If you don't know how to 301 redirect your non-SSL pages to SSL pages using your .htaccess file, activate this simple plugin to take care of this work. Note that having an SSL certificate is a positive ranking signal.
I use this tool for internal linking purposes. Say that you have a movie website and you recently published a listicle about Al Pacino movies and you want to hyperlink all previous Al Pacino mentions in your posts to your new article. This plugin effective handles this work.
Want to place your ads between paragraphs or after/before certain conditions ae met? This is how Ad Inserter plugin works, create your condition, insert your ad code and count them dollar clicks.
Not all .JS and .CSS files are required on all pages. For example, your contact form plugin might be loading unnecessary files on your post pages while they are required only on your "contact" page. This plugin fixes issues similar to this one and improves your speed score.
Marketplaces for Side-Hustle Buying/Selling
Sometimes it might be better to buy a side-hustle and improve it than creating something from scratch. These links below are the marketplaces where I frequently visit to find something that is worth my money.
I have been here for 10 years now and consider myself as a Flippa veteran :) On Flippa, you can find onliness business of all kinds from dropshipping to Amazon FBAs, iOS to Android apps and websites with ad revenue. Beware of success and listing fees here.
Transferslot is one of the newest marketplaces where you can find clean websites and web/mobile apps. It's free to get listed here and as far as I know they don't charge any success fee. I would recommend their newsletter so that you don't miss any opportunity.
1kprojects is very similar to Transferslot, except they these guys only list online businesses that cost $1K or less. Their marketplace is also very clean and you can find lots of starter websites and mobile apps here.
StartEngine.com lets you buy shares from internet companies. Lately, Hackernoon.com raised more than $500K thanks to the investors here. You can buy small shares from a promising company and sell it later for more.
If you are a masochist who is seeking some pain here your chance to own an e-commerce website. This marketplace is owned Shopify and they list hack-picked e-commerce businesses with detailed revenue/expense information.
NamePros is a discussion board for domaining tips and domain coupons. They also have this "websites for sale" section where you can find websites with a little revenue and you can improve them to make considerable amount of income.
I don't like this site that much and I rarely visit this one because it is not well moderated. However, I thought you guys might dig into this one and it's here :)
Resources for Inspiration
Here's the list of websites I frequently visit to get inspired.
Do I even need to mention this? One of the best resource to read other side hustlers' journeys and stories. I also post there under the same user name.
ProductHunt is great source to see what makers are busy with. For example, this stack is an inspiration from ProductHunt. You can also see products and maybe build something bigger and better.
GrowthHackers.com Community is another discussion board where you can find community submitted marketing tips, tricks and case studies.
This is another discussion board on Reddit where side-hustlers share their problems and get feedback from other Reddit members. Not frequently updated but it might be useful to check this subreddit once in a while.
This subreddit is more frequently updated than the previous one and you can also find stories from side-hustlers here.
As the subreddit is self-explanatory, this is where you can post your business idea and get ideas of other community members.
How to Monetize Your Side Hustle
Google Adsense is the best ad network to earn from ad clicks from your website. Their cost-per-click rates change depending on the content you offer and they serve highly relevant ads to your users. They also offer various ad formats for desktop and mobile environments.
CJ.com is the leading affiliate network in the U.S. They host the affiliate programs of top brands and services. All you need to do is just find the most relevant advertiser and join their affiliate program. Then every sale you drive will return as a commission payment to you.
Previously known as Impact Radius, Impact.com is my second favorite affiliate network where you can find many globally known advertisers. They have exclusive advertisers that CJ.com doesn't have. So it's best to sign up to their program, too.
If you have a content website and looking for alternative revenue streams Infolinks might help. You can use them along with Adsense. They pick-up some keywords and show relevant in-text ads.
VigLink automatically turns your product or brand mentions to affiliate links and gives you commissions from the sales driven through your links. So why mention brand name alone and give direct link to it while you can make money out of it?
Email Marketing Tools
Collecting e-mails is not an easy job, turning subscribers into converters is even harder. However, right strategy and more personalized outreach can ease your work. Here's the list of tools I tried.
ConvertKit is one of the greating email marketing tools in the industry. They provide lots of personalization and automation tools, which makes it easy for you drive more sales. It's a little bit pricey but definetely is worth the money.
You probably know this one. MailChimp again one the best on the market and has integrations with many 3rd parties. It is more affordable and user friendly.
If you are planning to start a personal newsletter, Revue is what you are looking for. Although I hate their text editors and that they don't provide an analytics app or integration, I still like their front-end design. It is also integrated with Stripe if you planning to charge for your newsletters.
This is another option as a personal newsletter app. This one has a better text editor and provides you an analytics dashboard which might help you understand what channels drive you the most subscribers. It's integrated with Stripe as well.
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