Business

Resources for Online Businesses

laptop typingThis resources page is built with travel bloggers and other digital nomads in mind. Specifically for building out your online site these are a few of the products, books, and services I have found and love, and a few even saved my sanity over the years as I juggled the long travel days with all the time needed to upkeep this blog. None of these are affiliate links unless noted, just sites I like and recommend, starting with the ones I use here on A Little Adrift, and then a more general list.

  • Website designer: Hannah from Further Bound did the logo and design work on this site. She is very talented and comes highly recommended.
  • Website theme: I use WooThemes (the Canvas theme) and again, they were chosen for good reason: clean code, responsive designs and great customer service.
  • Hosting company: After getting hacked by spammers while using the a low-cost hosting company, I switched to Media Temple and am generally pleased.
  • Newsletters: The first step for any business; I love MailChimp heaps and heaps.

Setting up a Travel Blog

  1. WordPress: Right now the best option for a self-hosted site (if you want to own your domain name). If you’re not sure if you want to own your own blog, or rather just share some photos and tales from your travels consider these other options.
  2. Hosting: Blue Host is a good bet for general sites and is a cheap and fairly reliable option and has a very simple backend if you just want an easy WordPress installation and no fuss. I use If you know a bit more about servers or have a bigger site, I now use and am generally happy with MediaTemple (I switched so I could host several sites).
  3. SmugMug: I love this site for hosting and storing all of the photos for my blog. I used to use Flickr, but I like the SmugMug interface heaps better and that you can integrate it into your site URL. Other viable options include Picasa. If you’re running a travel blog, host your photos off-site or you will massively slow your site down. This is an affiliate link to SM because I love it so much and have used for 4+ years now.
  4. Woothemes: This company generally has very on-trend, clean, and reasonably priced WordPress themes that take very little techie knowledge to make look good. Paying a bit for something that is well coded is a good start for your site and a wise investment. Genesis is a solid option too, and a one-time fee.
  5. SEO ResourcesOver the years I have spoken about SEO for bloggers and I pay my bills through SEO/Web marketing consulting. So, here are some thoughts and resources I have gathered over the years to act as an SEO boot-camp for you.
  6. Start a Newsletter: Right away, do this straight off and start building up people who want to hear from you every month. I use MailChimp and love the site (and the first 2000 subscribers are free); Aweber is also a very standard choice though.
  7. Other RTW Travel Blogs: A comprehensive list of current and past round the world trips, sites, and others in the travel community. This is your new community, read other sites, comment on them, share, and get the word out with these people as they are your new best friends and will help your blog succeed.
  8. Learn Social Media: To get your blog off the ground you should network with other bloggers and join the social media networks where your future readers are active. Every online brand needs to be on Google+, then consider: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, as well as any related to your very niche interests. Each of those links goes to a great tutorial page on how you should use and get started on those networks.

Random Other Things Related to My Online Work

  • Evernote: This tool makes me a more effective human being and I could not imagine life without it. It organizes bookmarks, blog post research, clients sites, future project ideas, information I want to access in the future. Everything.
  • Fiverr.com: People post things they’ll do for $5 — great for small tasks like logos, social media, a video intro. I often use this for a quick logo or small client tasks.
  • Seth GodinRead his blog and if you’re building a brand and a fresh way to look at marketing, buy his book Tribes (affiliate link), you’ll never look back.
  • Paypal: This is how I get paid by most of my online clients, and it’s a standard across the internets so get an account if you plan to start working and accepting money remotely.
  • Dropbox: A quick and easy way to sinc some folders across computers, or to share documents, images, and such with others. I use this to hold files others might need to download from me. It’s free for a basic amount of storage though this link gives me an extra boost of storage if you use it. :)

Tools and Software for Blogging and Online Work

  • Photo editing: I use Lightroom to edit and process all the photos on this site (since 2010) and couldn’t live without it.
  • Lumix GF1 Camera: A micro-four-thirds camera; buying this took my photography and this site to a whole new level. I only wish I had used it for all of my travels since there is a noticeable difference in quality when I upgraded from a point-and-shoot.
  • iPhone: An unlocked iPhone can be used anywhere in the world with different SIM cards. Very nearly essential for running a digital business overseas.
  • Resources for everything else: This is a great list of tools for starting up a website or new business, as well as this one. Each resource page has heaps of solutions to common problems you face when you’re just starting out.