Here is a list of very useful resources for Internet Marketers, at least the ones I recommend (and in some cases, the ones I recommend against) for your reference:
The first thing you need is a domain. My favorite registrar is Namecheap, for their more than reasonable pricing, their ease of use, and their unobtrusiveness. I have more than 80 domains registered with them... You can find them here.
My second option is Godaddy. I have a few domains registered with them, they also have good prices and good service, and in case you are looking for some particular TLD extensions (in my case, for instance, .es domains, as I live in Spain), Namecheap may not offer that option. In that case, I'd definitely go with them as they are also good and reliable, the only thing that annoys me a bit is the number of "options" (i.e. upsells) they try to push down your throat every time you register with them, but I can live with that if I need them anyway.
You need a server tohost your pages, right? Here are the different hosts I use:
My two top picks are Hostmonster and Hostgator. High availability, every software or plugin I've installed has worked fine, excellent and quick customer service and very reasonable prices. You can now get a $9.94 discount if you register a hosting account at HostGator through my link and use my coupon MikelPerezNRN).
Closesly behind them is a hosting provider called HostTheName, which I knew through a WSO they offered when they launched. Not only did I buy their WSO, but also purchased a second hosting account with them later. Their customer service level and the functionalitites they offer are as awesome as they previous two I mentioned. They are also cheaper than them, which is their advantage, but their uptime is a bit lower due to maintenances etc. So you'll have to strike a balance here, pay a little less and maybe experience a little higher downtime. It's more than satisfactory for my average affiliate niche sites, though, so I have like 20 sites running in their servers.
One hosting provider I do not recommend is IPage. I have an account with them, the customer service is OK, but the functionalities they offer are much more limited (they don't even have a cPanel, they still have outdated PHP libraries etc) and the uptime in my experience is the lowest of all the ones I have tested. So I'd definitely wouldn't go with them.
There are two critical resources you have to use if you want to build a list (which you definitely should):
- An autoresponder service, which allows you to manage your list, store your contacts, and send automated sequences and broadcast e-mails. I advise you to go with a paid one, I think it's an investment worth doing, as features and especially devliverability are crucial in your autoresponder. The one I use now is GetResponse, which has a great deliverability, a nice set of features, and something very important, many other services and software used by IMers are ready to integrate with GetResponse. The same applies to Aweber, the other best known autoresponder service out there. I've never used it myself, so it wouldn't be honest to recommend it, but many marketers use it and seem to be happy woth it.
- A way to find people with whom you can do e-mail swaps or book solo ads from. Especially when you are starting, this is the easiest and most cost-effective way of increasing your e-mail list's size fast. The service I use for this, and which AFAIK is the "leader" in this market, is SafeSwaps, and more than 90% of my subscribers have come from swaps or solo buys I did using their service, as opposed that direct opt-ins from people visiting my site from search engine traffic.
Content Creation & Editing Tools
The first thing you need if you want to create a professional looking site is a good wordpress theme. There are a few free ones I use for particular purposes, but I tend to build most of my sites using one of these 4:
- OptimizePress. The most powerful, versatile and cost-effetive theme if you are building a site to sell your own products, create squeeze pages, or even complex membership sites. It's the theme I'm using for this site, and that you're currently seeing in action, so what further proof could I give you of how much I like and trust it? You can read about all its features and capabilities here.
- Socrates Theme. It also allows you to create "regular" blogs and sites, and has templates for squeeze pages and sales pages. It is less powerful and has fewer options than OptimizePress, but in exchange for the lower versatility you get a higher simplicity (it's easy to have a very decent looking site in minutes) and a slightly cheaper price. If you value simplicity over extreme versatility, you should check it here.
- CTR Theme. Ideal for Adsense sites, as this was the purpose it was created for. It allows you to integrate your Adsense code in the settings, and the theme itself does the job of adding the different ad blocks within your site. Not only that, it rotates the positions using several different layouts, so that users don't get used to seeing -and ignoring- your ads in the same places, thus achieving higher CTRs. Definitely a must have if you are building Adsense sites. You can read more about it here.
- HeatMap Theme. Another very versatile theme, that also offers you a vast array of child themes so that you can instantly customize your site to the desired look & feel, color schemes, etc. Its power lies on the large amount of configuration options, and an unparalleled number of "widgetized" areas for ads in high CTR areas, be them Adsense or banner Ads that you can use for affiliate, CPA or CPM monetization. So, if you're looking for a site that makes placing ads a snap, you should definitely consider the HeatMap Theme. Go check it here!
Maybe you've purchased some PLR content and want to use it on your site, or outsourced / written a piece of content that want to distribute without risking any duplicate content penalties. In that case you need a good spinner, that creates hundreds or even thousands of unique variations of that content.
There are two great tools you can use for this:
- The Best Spinner: the veteran in this field, one of the most widely used tools, and the one I use myself. Not only has it evolved over time to improve its functionalities, ease the content spinning process, but it now also includes an option to generate content from scratch, based on a built-in database of facts about different topics. Plus it offers an API that is used by many plugins, so you can make the most of it thanks to its integration capabilities. Check the full set of features in their site.
- Spin Rewriter: as opposed to The Best Spinner, this is not a downloadable software, but an on-line spinning service accessible through any browser. It integrates different AI technologies to understand the real meaning of the words you are using based on their context, thus producing a more accurate result from the get-go. I always, I like being honest, and I have to tell you I haven't used it myself so I cannot endorse it as strongly as I can in the case of The Best Spinner. But I can tell you their feature demo videos are stunning and I have read very positive reviews of their service. You can check their site to see for yourself and form your own opinion.
An important advice: take your time to spin the content properly so that any produced article is as high-quality, grammatically correct and readable as the original. It's time well invested.