The Tools I Use Everyday to Build and Grow my Niche Sites

There are tools that I use every single day to help me both build and grow all of my websites. In today’s post I will be highlighting each one of these tools and I will be explaining how I use them.

It is hard enough to build up a successful niche site but, these tools will make it easier to find success and then maintain it. Below are my favorite tools but, I realize that there are unlimited amount of tools out there and I would love to hear from you what your favorite tools are, let me know in the comment section once you finish reading.

Let’s get into it!


This is hands down my favorite tool.

Semrush Dashboard


This is the Swiss army knife for keyword research and I can’t imagine having the success that I have had with niche sites without this tool. This is probably pretty clear considering my last two posts here at NSA have both included the use of Semrush.

How I Use this Tool

There are so many uses for this tool and even more that I haven’t even utilized yet, however, below are some of my favorite ways to use Semrush. You can also read our semrush review here.

1. Track Keyword Rankings

Semrush has many uses but, the main way that I use this tool is to track all of my keyword rankings for each one of my sites. It makes it very easy to see the keywords that have improved, declined and the new keywords that your site is ranking for.

It has a huge database of keywords that it tracks and it makes it very easy to see what keywords your site is ranking for. Every day I plug in my site and check to see what new keywords the site is ranking for.


Under the “Position Changes” section of Semrush, which can be seen in the image above, you can see that I can check the new, lost, improved or declined keywords. This is the best way to track the health of your site in terms of keywords.

2. Website Due Diligence

Whenever I am looking at a possible new site purchase, whether it be from Flippa, FE International or Empire Flippers, I will ALWAYS plug the site into Semrush. This allows me to verify the organic traffic as well as see what keywords are driving the most traffic to the site.

Verify Traffic and Ranking Keywords


I also like to take a look at the pages that are driving the most traffic when I am thinking about purchasing a potential site. If one page is driving 99% of the traffic that could possibly be a red flag and this is good info to know about a site. Semrush allows you to quickly find this info by going to the “Pages” section.

Below is a screenshot of the “Pages” section for a site that is currently for sale on Flippa:

Most Popular Pages


It would be good to know that three pages get the bulk of the organic traffic for this site. Semrush makes it very easy to know this data.

3. Keyword Research

Like I mentioned before, my last two posts here at NSA have been some keyword research strategies that use Semrush and you can check those out here and here.

However, there are other ways to do keyword research with Semrush and that is what I will quickly show you now.

What I like to do is plugin my own site into Semrush and then go to the “Competitors” section:


Once you go to that section you will a full list of other website that are ranking for similar keywords as your own site. This is AWESOME data to work with. Below you can see the list of sites that are similar:


Next, I like to dig deeper into each one of these sites with Semrush and see what keywords they are ranking for that I am currently not. There is a very good chance that you will find some keywords that are related to your site but you have not targeted yet. This is one of my favorite ways to do keyword research.

This is a perfect strategy to implement on a custom niche site that you can buy right here from NSA. I would buy one of these sites and then find all of the related sites and find the keywords that you could try ranking for. This would be the very first thing I would do!

If you want to check out pre-built niche sites that are ready to start earning check them out here!


I love Semrush because there are so many uses for this tool. It can do just about anything that you want in terms of keyword research and it does it well. If there was one tool that I would suggest that you have as a niche site builder it would be Semrush. It is a little more on the expensive side at $70/month but, I think it is well worth that money.

You can learn more about Semrush here.


This is a newer keyword research tool but, I love it.

KWfinder Dashboard


Matter in fact, I like KWfinder better than Long Tail Pro because it is faster and is overall a better tool in my opinion. I also decided to make the switch from LTP to KWF because it is a tool that is 100% in the cloud, meaning that you don’t have to download the program on your computer and instead you can access the tool in your internet browser.

KWfinder is also the perfect tool to compliment Semrush because it does a great job at showing how competitive each keyword is, which Semrush does not do.

You can read a full length KWFinder review here too.

How I Use this Tool

There are two scenarios when I use this tool extensively, one being when I am looking to write new content for my sites and the other being when I am starting a new niche site. Both of these scenarios require me to research how hard it will be to rank for certain keywords and this tool is very good at doing this.

I have outlined both scenarios below:

1. Finding New Keywords for my Sites

One of my favorite ways to use this tool is to load it up with potential keywords that I could target on one of my established websites with new content. I like to see which keywords have a low amount of competition that will allow for me to get easy rankings.

The way I like to go about this is to take all of the possible keywords that I found from Semrush (#3 on the list above) and plug them all into KWfinder.

I will compile a list of possible keywords from Semrush and then I will import them all into KWfinder’s bulk import tool, see below:


Click on “Import to kwfinder” and then it will run all of the keywords, you will then see the screen below:


The green numbers on the right are the difficulty rankings and they show you how hard it will be to rank for that keyword in Google. This page also shows you the search trends over a 12 month period, the top 10 sites ranking for that keyword and the stats for those sites.

Just from this screenshot above, we can see that the keyword “49cc scooter” is only a 19 difficulty which means it could possibly be a keyword I could target. I will run down this whole list and take a look at each keyword.

2. Find Keywords for a New Site

Before I start a new site I will always run the main keywords that I want to target through KWfinder to make sure that I can rank for them in Google. The difficulty ranking that KWfinder uses is, in my opinion, more accurate of the true competition that Long Tail Pro.

Here are some rough guidelines when it comes to using their difficulty rankings:

KW Difficulty Explained

0 – 10: VERY easy to rank for, go for it!

11 – 20: Easy to rank for and it won’t require much to rank for these keywords

21 – 30: Fairly easy but, it will take some time and some links to rank for these keywords

31 – 40: I am weary of these keywords and don’t usually like to target keywords much higher

41+: I stay away from these keywords because it will require a good chunk of time/links to rank

Ideally, I like to have the bulk of my keywords that I am targeting to be under 20 KW difficulty. If that is the case then I will move forward with writing content hat will target these keywords.


KWfinder is a fairly new tool out there but, it is already one of the best keyword research tools out there. I mainly use it for it’s keyword difficulty because it allows me to quickly check how hard it is to rank for a keyword.

The combo of Semrush + KWfinder is a lethal combo when it comes to finding keywords to target with your niche sites.

If you want to check out KWfinder you can do so here.


This is my go-to tool when it comes to link building opportunities.

Majestic Dashboard


How I Use this Tool

I have a couple different uses for Majestic and I will outline them below so you can get a feel for how I use Majestic.

1. New Links

Every few days I will throw each one of my sites into Majestic and check the new links that they may have gained during that time period. Majestic makes this super easy because they have a “New” section that display all of your recently gained links:


Check out the recent links that Niche Site Azon has gotten:


We can see that Doug from Niche Site Project has recently linked to NSA and I would not have known about this unless I used Majestic. This is super helpful because now I can go over to that post where NSA was mentioned and interact with the readers in the comments section and answer any questions people may have.

This same thing goes for all links for everyone one of my sites.

I also like to check to see if Majestic has picked up any new links that I have built or had built for me, such as PBN links or guest post links.

2. Due Diligence for Website Purchases

Just like I do with Semrush, I check every single site that I am thinking about buying in Majestic. This is to make sure that the site doesn’t have any questionable links that could lead to a Google penalty in the future and to just make sure the site is safe.

I also like to see what kind of ranking potential the site has before I buy it. For example, if the site has a trust flow of 40 and citation flow of 40 then I know that I will be able to rank for more competitive terms in the future.

The anchor text ratio is something that I like to look at as well. I like to see the anchor text be natural with not many repeating terms. The more diversified the anchor text the better. Majestic has a whole section dedicated to the anchor text, see below:


Overall, Majestic provides a ton of vital info that anyone should know before purchasing a website.


I would recommend having access to at least some sort of link discovery tool such as Ahrefs, Moz Explorer or Majestic. I prefer Majestic because I found to be the most accurate as well as the fastest to find new links. I also think that the trust flow metric is the best way to measure the credibility of a website.

If you are interested in checking out Majestic you can do so here!

Some of my Other Favorite Tools

The three tools I just talked about Semrush, KW Finder and Majestic are the ones that I use every single day no matter what is going on with my sites. However, with that being said there are some other tools that I use frequently but not on a daily basis. I want to include these tools within this article but, I will not be explaining much about them.

  1. Google Analytics – The best way to keep track of all of my website’s traffic
  2. SERP Book – Online keyword tracker
  3. Google Keyword Planner – The classic keyword research tool that is still useful
  4. AmpedSense – The BEST way to optimize your Adsense ads
  5. Pretty Link – Link cloaker and tracker that I use on all of my sites
  6. Google Search Console – An underrated tool that is awesome for optimizing your site’s SERP positions

Wrapping Things Up

These are the tools that I use day in and day out. They have helped me build up multiple 5 figure niche websites and I continue to use these tools. If you want I can go more in depth with each tool and show you exactly how I use these tools in more detail. If you want to see this let me know!

Thanks for reading.

What are your 3 favorite tools are for building and growing niche sites? Let me know in the comments below!


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
HedgeHog - May 8, 2016

Nice overview of tools. You don’t use elf to cloak anymore?

    Josh - May 11, 2016


    Mike used Elf links however, I have tried to use them before and I didn’t like it too much. Pretty links does everything I need

    Thanks for the comment,


Dave - June 12, 2016

Hi Josh,

Great review indeed.

What is monthly cost of using all this tools?


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