I’m always getting emails where I’m being asked my opinion on what the best _______ (fill in the blank) is. Someone suggested I make a permanent page where I can put my list of recommendations so that those who trust my judgment have somewhere to go whenever they’re ready for a certain product or service and need to know who to turn to.
So here’s my list of recommendations – some are free, some are not. In each and every case – you can have this peace of mind: I’m not just recommending it – I’m a buyer and user of that product or service or follower of that person MYSELF.
Best article directory: Your own blog. No seriously. I know some people say Ezine Articles. But I would only post ONE link from those back to your site and post ALL of your other content on your own blog. It’s what works for me.
Best affiliate tutorial for info products: It’s called Affiliate Marketing Simple System and it comes with PLR rights for you when you buy it. It’s a course I wrote about the entire soup to nuts system an affiliate needs to set up.
Best hosting service: Hostgator has my heart. Hosting and all things technical scare me to death. It’s so easy to use, they have a free 24/7 online chat person to help you out. I love the traffic stats I can get about my sites – showing me traffic numbers, but also how I was found with keywords on Google and other search engines. It’s so cheap, too – you can start with the Hatchling plan for as little as $4.95 a month but I recommend the Baby plan – because that gives you UNLIMITED websites. And it’s still less than $10 a month!
Best place to buy domains: GoDaddy is what I use but ONLY for domains – not one single thing more that they offer you (and trust me, it’s a whole buffet of add-ons). People will agree and disagree with me on this but GoDaddy is what I use and trust. I love that they start reminding me months ahead of time when a domain is about to expire – like an annoying gnat that won’t go away (but it saves me from losing my domains). I can get dot info sites (at the time of this writing) for just 89 cents, and dot coms for about ten bucks. I like the whole thing – the customer service, the domain management dashboard – it all works for me!
Best list builder: Aweber is the tool of choice for most marketers who got me started on my own IM journey. I’ve used it since the day I started building my list and I love it. It’s priced right, it’s easy to use, and it lets you track clicks and integrate your messages with Twitter if you want to. I can build unlimited lists with my account – and I build them for all sorts of stuff – IM related and niche related. Even stuff I’m just passionate about where my intention isn’t to sell, but to be in contact with a specific group of people.
Best web 2.0 property: Twitter is my favorite. I do love Squidoo still (everyone always asks me that) but I love Twitter because it keeps it short, it’s viral, the Tweets get indexed by Google, and I see traffic and sales from using it! I just love what it does for me. Oh and they allow marketing.
Best marketing forum: Warrior Forum has my heart and probably always will. Why? Well it’s where I first declared I was a marketer (and not a ghostwriter). It’s where dozens upon dozens of people – including my mentor Craig Desorcy – reached out to help me and lift me up in my career. It’s where I’ve learned a TON of stuff I didn’t know. I am a War Room member. Highly recommend it. You can be a Warrior Forum member free, but the War Room has a $37 one time fee. In the War Room, you find free access to stuff being sold or not even shared anywhere else on the ‘net. I am thankful to Allen Says for making this wonderful place.
Best shopping cart: DLGuard is what I use as my shopping cart on all of my eBook sites as well as my PLR Mini Mart site. Sam Stephens is another stand up marketer who cares about his customers. He offers installation of DLG if you need it, but he also has free step by step tutorials. Oh and before you confuse yourself with the double license, know this – you do NOT have to buy a license for each website. I run almost all of my sites off one license and installation. The wording is confusing, but basically, unless you have unusual circumstances, you’ll only need one purchase to run all of your websites. With DLGuard, what I love is that my digital downloads are protected from thieves with expiring download links and limited download attempts. It’s very easy to use, too!
Best blog setup guide: Get Up and Running Online is a starter guide for people who want to set up their own blog to promote their own items or that of someone else’s as an affiliate. You ALSO get PLR rights with this purchase.
Best blog building service: Lewis Smile of Your Niche Blog has created several blogs for myself and many for subscribers of mine. He creates some pretty self sufficient blogs, which I love. And he has a guide for maintaining the blog once he sets it all up for you.
Best Internet marketing coach: Craig Desorcy has helped me increase my income by tens of thousands. Each year I see a rise in my income. But if you’re looking for some one size fits all approach – he’s not the guy for you. Craig takes clients and analyzes them for their needs and strengths/weaknesses. He will know you better than you know yourself (it’s creepy in a good way). I would trust Craig with my life – literally. He’s that good.
Best ClickBank tool: easyClickMate is something I wish I’d known about WAY sooner than when I finally discovered it. Okay here’s why it’s cool. I kept paying ClickBank new account fees EVERY time I wanted to launch a new info product. Why? So that I could have affiliates promoting it. But with ECM, I get to have all my products (even my PLR packs from PLR Mini Mart) listed in one place where people can go and grab their affiliate links to promote ALL of my products. It’s amazing – and no more CB account fees. I just promote my ECM page – you can visit the Tiffany Dow Affiliate Center and see how it works from an affiliate point of view.
Best membership site tutorial: Chris Farrell’s Membership is what I recommend. Everyone kept going on and on about how wonderful it was, so I signed up. Not only is the guy very nice and accessible, but his whole program goes step by step – perfect for newbies or more advanced marketers because you can skip to whatever you want.
Best tool to help write article faster: Dragon Naturally Speaking is something I splurged on awhile back. Instead of typing your thoughts into an article, you speak into a headphone and the tool types it for you! You have to train the system but then it’s amazing. And I’m a fast typist and content creator and it sped up my article writing by 4 times what I do when typing. The training isn’t long – in fact, it does really well right out of the box – it just has to be trained for accent purposes mainly. For instance, my husband’s from up north. If he spoke into it and said he was going to “park the car” it would sound like “pock the caw” and the DNS system would be confused.
Best video screen capture tool: Camtasia is what I use – it’s what most people I know use, too – and why I bought it on their recommendation. I love it. I use version 4 and haven’t ever felt the need to upgrade, either. I can set the screen to capture whatever I want – including me in a corner using a webcam while the rest of the video is a capture of my desktop (that’s cool)! It produces videos in whatever format you need – and I use mine to make viral YouTube videos and tutorials for my customers. There’s also a freeware similar version called CamStudio but I have not used that so I can’t say how good or bad it is in comparison, but thought you should know about it!
Best Graphic Designer: Rich at QuickSiteStudio.com. He has amazing insight into what you want and lightening fast turnaround time. Very professional! And affordable, too!
If there’s a tool or topic you want me to build a recommendation for, let me know.