Below is a list of some of the various ad networks, online services, and software tools that I personally use and recommend.
I made this resource section on my blog to share these valuable resources with you, as well as to help lessen the amount of e-mails I get requesting to know who designed my logo or what specific tools and services I use for this and that.
I do use other resources from the ones listed below, but these are my favourite and the ones that I can highly recommend.
This page is fairly long, so below are some quick links in case you are looking for a specific type of source:
- Affiliate Networks
- Productivity Tools
- Ad Networks
- Affiliate Marketing Tools & Services
- Paid Traffic Sources
- Blogging Tools
- Graphic Design
- Outsourcing Websites
- SEO Tools
- E-mail List Management
- Web Hosting
- Domain Registrars
- Buying & Selling Domains and Websites
- Social Media Tools & Services
[Last updated: December 8th, 2015]
PeerFly – I’ve been working with PeerFly since they launched and can’t recommend them enough. They are an awesome affiliate network that has a fantastic custom-made backend, the highest payouts anywhere (guaranteed), and great customer support. Read this post to see photos and a video from when I met up with them in person in Florida.
AmpedMedia – AmpedMedia is another good solid affiliate network that I use. They have never failed to send me a Christmas card every year, hand-signed by their entire staff. Read this post to see photos and a video from when I met up with them in person in Florida.
Neverblue – Neverblue is an established network in the industry, being in business since 2004 (a long time for an affiliate network). They are a very solid network with a great custom backend, good payouts, and a nice balanced selection of offers. Neverblue is definitely a network you want to add to your “portfolio”.
FocusMe is a small bit of software for Windows that lets you focus on working instead of wasting your time on YouTube, Facebook, or gaming by blocking certain websites and apps of your choosing for a specified time of your choosing. It also offers a lot of other great features such as being able to track exactly how much time you spend (waste) on specific applications, games, and websites.
You can read my detailed review (including a screencast video) here. It also includes a special discount for TylerCruz.com readers 🙂
Casale Media – I have been using Casale Media for over 5 years, since 2006. They pay out 70%, have a good advertiser base, a great control panel, and a referral program which pays out for life.
Tribal Fusion – Tribal Fusion is a fantastic ad network for high volume sites due to the high quality publishers they attract. By requiring their publishers to have high quality, large traffic sites, they are able to attract big brand advertisers and in turn offer very high payouts. However, you will need to have a minimum of 500,000 unique visitors a month in order to be accepted. I’d highly recommend them if you can get accepted into them.
CPVLab – If I could only choose ONE affiliate marketing program or service to use, it’d be CPVLab, no question.
I simply cannot recommend this tracking software enough. It is not free, and costs a one-time fee of $297, but it is worth every damn penny! In fact, it could be priced at $2,977 and still be worth every damn penny.
I now use CPVLab on all of my campaigns and it has saved me countless hours of analysis, as well as helped me make a lot of money.
The main features that make CPVLab stand out from other tracking platforms is its blazing speed, extremely clean and easy-to-use interface and design, and built-in features such as landing and offer split-testing.
Honestly, if you’re doing affiliate marketing (or any type of traffic analysis), you need to get CPVLab now. You’re welcome.
Prosper202 – Prosper202 is a 100% free self-hosted tracking software that you install and set up on your server.
Prosper202 is well known in the affiliate marketing world as it was really the first tracking platform developed specifically for the affiliate marketing community.
Talk to any super affiliate, and chances are they are either using Prosper202 now, or have in the past. It is simply the best free affiliate tracking platform out there, hands down.
GeoEdge – GeoEdge is a proxy service that allows you to surf the web as if you were coming from another country (it currently offers 80+ countries plus 25 major US cities).
It works with Flash, videos, rich media – basically everything.
In addition to being extremely useful for affiliate marketers (no more “This offer is not available in your location” landing pages), it is also an extremely useful service to view country-specific ads.
I use their browser add-on nearly everyday when working on my campaigns. For me, it is a must-have tool as an affiliate marketer who promotes international offers. It is also essential for me since I am a Canadian and many offers are US-only and will geo-redirect based on my IP.
GeoEdge is also perfect for mobile advertisers as it has a mobile emulator tool.
StackThatMoney – StackThatMoney is a private affiliate marketing forum that costs a monthly subscription fee of $99/month.
While not free, it is worth every penny and will pay for itself many times over. For example, last week, I was browsing the forums when I discovered a small network I never heard about before. The first campaign I ran with the network was profitable right off the bat with no optimization or targeting. It’s little gems like these that easily justify the subscription fee.
Whether you’re a newcomer struggling to find your first profitable campaign, or an experienced affiliate marketer who is making 6-figures a month, StackThatMoney will have something for you.
If you’re serious about affiliate marketing, I highly recommend joining.
BoxOfAds – BoxOfAds is an ad spy tool/service that essentially collects detailed information about the ads it scours throughout the internet and allows you to use that information to your advantage.
Within my first month of using BoxOfAds, I found a couple of great landing pages which I can thank for around $5,000 to $10,000 net profit in my first month of using the service.
In addition to landing pages, you can find the exact traffic sources of your competitors, right down to the publisher level. You can even see their collection of ad creative used, countries targeted, tracking links, and more.
CrazyCTR – CrazyCTR is a paid service that allows you to instantly make countless variations of your ad images so that you can focus on actually split-testing the ads instead of spending all of your time creating the images manually.
Also, enter the coupon code: TYLERCRUZ to receive 20% off your subscription price for LIFE.
SocialAdNinja – If you use Facebook as a traffic source for affiliate marketing, then you should definitely look into trying SocialAdNinja.
SocialAdNinja is a Facebook ad spy service that gathers and harvests ads from Facebook and allows you to browse and search through nearly half a million (and growing) ads. Basically, it allows you to spy on your competition and copy their ads and/or ideas.
In addition, use the promo code: TYLERCRUZ when signing up to get 15% off your monthly subscription for life.
Google AdWords – AdWords has been extremely heavy handed on affiliate advertisers over the past few years – so much so, that most affiliates will scoff upon the sheer mention of their name. And while seemingly random bannings do still happen, as long as you’re not promoting anything super shady, you should be okay.
AdWords is great because you can target people who you know are interested in your ad because they are proactively searching for it. The content network is also a fantastic source, as Google has amassed a huge publisher base over the years, allowing for seemingly endless traffic.
Facebook – A lot of people have turned away from Facebook over the past couple of years, because just like Google AdWords, competition quickly grew and made it rather expensive to use.
But if you stick with it and can get the hang of it, Facebook offers some of the best targeting out there, and a never-ending supply of traffic that you can scale upwards forever.
WordPress – I use the free blogging software WordPress for my blog. WordPress is great because it’s a free open-source software which is heavily supported by developers offering free plugins. WordPress releases new versions with new features and improvements regularly, and is theme-based meaning you can easily customize your own theme or download one of the thousands of free themes available. There are also countless plugins available to extend functionality as well.
Windows Live Writer – I actually don’t use WordPress to write, edit, or publish my blog posts. Instead, I use the free blogging editor software Windows Live Writer (made by Microsoft). I always find formatting posts within WordPress to be a real pain which is why I started using WLW. In addition, WLW has a plethora of features and tools including: built-in image cropping and watermarking, spell-checking, auto-linking, word count, and tabs for easy view switching. WLW also works with a number of different blogging platforms including WordPress, Blogger, Live Journal, and TypePad to name a few.
SOSFactory – Sergio from SOSFactory is the talent behind my mascot, and has done a number of variations of them for me now. Without hyperbole, I can confidently say that Sergio is a world-class artist, especially when it comes to mascots.
He charges around $600 per logo, and while that may sound expensive, it’s really not. In fact, it’s quite cheap considering the sheer quality of it. In addition, Sergio will provide you with the PSD and any other sources (such as fonts) used in high resolution so that you can print offline material such as business cards, posters, or T-Shirts with your mascot.
He also guarantees his work – he’ll provide you with early sketches and revisions along the way to make sure you’re happy with the way it’s taking shape. If not, he’ll do it until you are. In addition to mascots and logos, Sergio also does traditional print, web, and stationery design. Just check out his portfolio to see his awesome work for yourself.
Tell Sergio that Tyler sent you and he’ll take care of you.
Webdesignbe – Formerly 4Design.tv, Webdesignbe.com is one of those hidden resource gems that isn’t widely marketed and linked everywhere but rather spread through word of mouth. In fact, that is how I found out about them – through a friend. I hire them for all my graphic work now.
Webdesignbe is a small but great design company from Belgium run by husband and wife. Check out their portfolio to see examples of their work. They do pretty much anything graphic-related including: website design, banners, logos, business cards, etc.
They offer very unique and creative design, a fast turnaround, free revisions, are very affordable considering their quality, and give the source files (PSDs, fonts, etc.). I highly recommend them.
Tell Nathalie that Tyler says “Hi” 🙂
Toptal prides itself in hiring only 3% of the applicants (the freelancers) who try to join the site. Simply put, Toptal offers the “cream of the crop” in terms of talent, unlike the extremely poor quality you almost inevitably receive from other outsourcing websites.
I hired a programmer from Toptal to work on one of my projects in 2015. He used to work at Facebook. That should help demonstrate the level of quality developers you’ll find at Toptal.
That being said, Toptal is not cheap! You get what you pay for, and quality development is expensive. Expect to pay $50/hour at an absolute minimum and be prepared to pay upwards of $150/hour if you want absolute world-class talent. Also, you will probably need a budget of at least $5,000 but more likely $15,000+ if you plan on using Toptal. They are not for small 1-hour tasks.
Lastly, there’s a little bit of a process in signing up as a client – you actually have to go through a few phone calls first! But in the end, it’s worth it and you will definitely find quality talent if that’s what you’re really after.
RankTracker – I absolutely love RankTracker and highly recommend it. It tracks the rankings of your keywords and provides graphs, charts, and reports on their progress.
There is no program that is as accurate and has as many features as RankTracker. It will search virtually any search engine, and provide accurate rankings up to the 1,000th result.
You can watch an early screencast review I made for more details, or look at some screenshots of the results from any of my past SEO Case Study posts. I highly recommend RankTracker for anyone wanting to keep track of their keyword rankings.
AWeber – AWeber is an e-mail list management service that allows you to collect e-mail addresses from your visitors. Ask any top internet marketer the one thing they regret, and they’ll likely tell you that it’s not building an e-mail list sooner.
Starting at only $19/month, it’s pretty affordable. AWeber is very popular because they are an extremely “whitehat” company. They are very strict in how their users conduct their e-mail lists such as all e-mail list subscriptions having to be confirmed and opted-in, and having a zero-tolerance policy for using their services for spamming of any kind. This strictness is actually a very good thing as it establishes themselves as a respected company and are therefore often safelisted (as opposed to blacklisted!) on many ISP’s and servers.
AWeber also offers a horde of features, such as awesome tracking, great analytics, and the ability to collect e-mail addresses by providing something to the user, such as a download to your e-book, for example (ever wonder why so many internet marketers pitch their free e-book?).
If used correctly, AWeber will easily pay for itself and then some.
Popup Domination – Popup Domination is a web script that overlays a lightbox sign-up form over your website in order to encourage visitors to sign up to your mailing list.
While the concept is simple, the fact is that it works. In fact, most of the top internet marketers are using it, such as John Chow, Zac Johnson, Shoemoney, etc. They’re using it not to annoy their readers, but because it works.
You can check out a short case study I did with adding Popup Domination on my blog. Basically, I increased my subscription rate by 1,033%. It works.
Popup Domination is designed to work with all the major mailing list services, such as AWeber (see above), and offers a number of customizable features such as being able to set it so that the lightbox doesn’t appear until after the visitor has made a certain number of pageviews on your site.
HostGator – I’ve stated in several interviews now that the best business decision I made in 2009 was switching to HostGator.
They have amazing hosting packages which will suit 99% of you, from basic web hosting starting at $3.96 a month to powerful dedicated servers. HostGator has a spotless reputation online and is an Inc. 5000 company.
Their customer support is beyond outstanding – what I especially like is their 24/7 live chat support (with literally over a hundred agents ready to help you instantly). They even do free site transfers for you, if you’re switching from another provider.
I am a complete fanboy when it comes to HostGator and simply cannot recommend them highly enough.
Use the coupon code TYLERCRUZ25 when signing up to receive a full 25% off your initial order (it’s therefore recommended to prepay a year in advance to take advantage of the discount).
LiquidWeb – I mention above that HostGator will work for 99% of you. After all, I use HostGator myself. But I also use LiquidWeb.
In the Spring of 2011, I bought a website that was receiving mad traffic and utilizing a lot of server resources. My dedicated server at HostGator wouldn’t be able to handle it properly, at least not with any growth, which is saying a lot because the Pro Dedicated Server at HostGator is pretty damn powerful.
And so I purchased a new dedicated at LiquidWeb. LiquidWeb specializes in dedicated servers and can offer custom packages much bigger than HostGator’s largest available server. For example, my server with them is a 16x core!
LiquidWeb has great customer support with 24/7 live chat support and a wide selection of server customizable and upgrade options available. I therefore recommend LiquidWeb for those 1% of you who need something REALLY powerful.
GoDaddy – GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain name registrar, and most professional domainers (those who buy and sell domains for a living) use GoDaddy.
GoDaddy has awesome customer support. To give you an idea of just how great their support is: on two separate occasions I accidentally registered domains with an accidental typo. Both times I contacted support and they kindly refunded my money within minutes and wished me a good day.
They have great prices, especially if you become a member of the Domain Discount Club (very useful if you have a lot of domains), and allow for easy and instant domain transfers (which is why most domainers use GoDaddy).
They have one downside though. Their site is extremely ad heavy and you will be bombarded with offer after offer as you use their site, but once you get used to them you quickly learn to ignore them.
NameCheap – While I mainly use GoDaddy, I also use NameCheap since it’s also a very popular registrar and many domainers use it an alternative. NameCheap is nice because their site is much cleaner than GoDaddy’s, and they don’t try to hard-sell you on their products and services like GoDaddy does.
Their prices are awesome, as their name suggests, and probably their best perk is that all the domains come with free WhoisGuard protection.
I wouldn’t recommend them if you plan on flipping domains, though. They are rather bitter when you transfer a domain away from them to another registrar… waiting until the last possible second according to the ICANN rules (the end of the 5th working day) to approve the transfer.
Flippa – Flippa is hands-down the best place to buy and sell established websites. You can find websites there from as low as $50 to as high as $1,000,000+. I have been using Flippa for many years (it used to be Sitepoint Marketplace before becoming its own site), both buying and selling sites on it, and can highly recommend it.
Be sure to watch a video of a webinar I did with e John Chow, Zac Johnson, and Matt Mickiewicz (the co-founder of Flippa) in which I was a panellist. My presentation begins around the 24-minute mark. There are invaluable tips for buying and selling sites there.
DNForum – I’ve been a member of DNForum since early 2004. DNForum is an absolute massive domain name forum in which you can discuss anything pertaining to domain names. But its main purpose is for members to post their domains for sale, where potential buyers can then contact them.
In order to gain access to some of the buying and selling sections, you’ll need to upgrade your membership on the site. Fortunately, there are lifetime options available, and I recommend getting the lifetime Platinum membership (that’s what I have). If you do a lot of domain buying and selling, this one-time cost will pay for itself quickly.
NamePros – NamePros is just like DNForum, only it’s completely free. Whenever I post my domains for sale or am looking for some domains to buy, I always use both DNForum and NamePros. In fact, you’ll find many posts duplicated on both sites from other people doing the same thing.
Sedo – Sedo is a large domain marketplace. However, unlike DNForum and NamePros, Sedo takes a commission (10%) for every domain you sell. It does not cost anything to list your domain(s) for sale, however.
Sedo is most beneficial for sellers of premium domain names who are looking to get a high price tag. It is therefore not so great for buyers, as the prices for most of the domains listed on Sedo tend to be quite inflated.
BuyDomains – BuyDomains is another domain marketplace, only they tend to focus on higher-quality domains when compared to Sedo. What I like about BuyDomains is that if you have a higher budget, you can find some pretty nice domains for fair prices. It is therefore not-so-good to list your domain for sale there, but as a buyer it’s pretty nice.
If you’re willing to spend $1,500 – $20,000+ for a domain, I’d recommend taking a look at BuyDomains first to see if they have anything that suits your needs.
Twiends – Twiends is a service that allows Twitter users to list themselves in which is essentially a giant Twitter directory. The secret is to purchase seeds instead of using their free service. I personally grew my number of followers from 1,000 to over 60,000+ by using them. Be sure to read my very detailed review and case study of Twiends, as well as my follow-up post: How I Gained 25,000 Real Twitter Followers.
FeedBurner – FeedBurner is an RSS feed management provider owned and operated by Google. By creating an account (free) and adding your RSS feed(s), you can gain access to a large number of features such as keeping track of how many people are subscribed to your feed(s), offering e-mail delivery whenever you make a new post, and most importantly – having a centralized source for your RSS feed. If you switch domains, for example, you won’t need to rebuild your RSS followers from scratch again. FeedBurner is a must-have for any blogger or anyone with an RSS feed.
Tube Toolbox – Tube Toolbox is an absolute awesome software program that dramatically boosts your YouTube friends, followers, and video views. The best part is that as long as you use the software tool properly, that these are highly-targeted users who are genuinely interested in being your friend and subscribing to your channel.
You can see an early case study I published in my post: How I Gained 5,000 Friends and 260 Subscribers on YouTube in 1 Month.
I purchased the lifetime account and would recommend you do so as well, as it’s a one-time fee. As long as you own it for 13 months, you’ll save $10 a month each month thereafter.
SocialCrocodile – SocialCrocodile is a service in which you can pay to boost your social media metrics. They currently offer packages for: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube/Vimeo/MetaCafe, LinkedIn, Google +1, and are working on adding some new sources such as RSS.
Their packages are very affordable. For example, you can get 10,000 Twitter followers for $93 or 5,000 Facebook fans for $98. They also deliver results fast. I received 5,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 Twitter followers in 5 days.
I worked out a special deal with them: if you use the coupon code: tylercruz when placing your order, they will issue you back a 10% refund after you pay (this is a makeshift deal which is why you don’t receive the discount until after you pay).