Any affiliate/digital marketer has their own tools of the trade. Below are my weapon of choice and will update these periodically (would appreciate it if you use my referral link if you find these reviews helpful):
Tracker – Voluum
Voluum the industry standard. The first cloud based tracker*. It was not my initial first choice due to the hefty price tag but it swayed me over due to:
- Cloud based solution – This means you don’t need to manage your own server which is one less thing to do.
- Strong API capability – One of the more sophisticated APIs available for a tracker (which is very useful if you want to code custom features).
- Industry standard – What this means is that every other service provider (e.g. traffic srouces, affiliate networks) has a guide to teach you how to integrate with Voluum.
- Zeropark integration – I use to run a lot of traffic with Zeropark so this was an appeal. However I don’t really use it as much anymore so this reasoning tapered off.
- Responsive support – Voluum is a pretty big company at this point so they have a fairly robust support.
However there are downsides:
- Expensive base cost – The beginner tracker is useless, you need the profit plan or better which at the time of writing this is $149. Bit steep for people starting out.
- Additional costs add up quickly – So if you go over your “events” in Voluum, which is easy if you run things like pop traffic, then the costs can add up quickly. Then again this is a problem for most cloud based service.
- Tracking complex funnels is not always ideal – They are a bit rigid in some of the ways you can track. Sure you can be creative and work around it but at some point it becomes a pain in the ass. Certain other trackers do this much better (though not many).
All in all I think Voluum has been worthwhile for me. Just be sure to not run too much pop traffic on it, if so a self hosted solution might be better.
*Not sure if this claim is 100% accurate but pretty sure it is one of the first if not the first.
Pretty much all affiliate these days are using spy tools or have their own manual process. So you’d be at a disadvantage if you didn’t use one. Depending on your traffic you might have different needs and use different providers. For me I currently focus on push (and a bit of native) so am using Anstrex because of its competitive price.
Mainly I use spy tools just for inspiration and for finding something to start as a benchmark campaign. I would recommend people to make their own edits to the creatives they spy/rip because blindly copying others will only get you so far.
So I usually prefer something functional and easy to use at an affordable price which is what let me to Anstrex as it is very easy to download push/native banners on their site and can easily download a bunch of landers quickly/easily that you can then send to your web designer for clean up (or DIY).
I use namecheap, they are reputable enough in this space and decent price. Not much really needs to be said on this topic. It is pretty straight forward.
Landing Page Hosting
For landing page hosting you have a few options depending on what you want. We also use a variety (depending on what type of traffic you are running on). Generally we split it up into 3 types:
Storage + CDN Delivery
This is designed for simplicity and speed. Only works if you aren’t running pages that require PHP or any sort of database. So it is ideal for pop traffic campaigns.
The service I would recommend for this is Amazon Web Service’s S3. You can then use their Cloudfront CDN. Price-wise it is reasonable and good for starters since it works like pay as you use type of situation and new accounts come with some free credits or tiers (can’t quite remember).
(I don’t have a referral link for this so oh well)
So I’m not recommending to use the typical managed server like GoDaddy. But instead you can use a managed server with the folks at FunnelFlux. The support team will help you with various set ups and given their focus on affiliate they will optimize their server for these needs.
This was how I initially started when I was ramping up volume (since AWS was getting pricey) and that their managed server seemed like a good fit. I still use this server for legacy reasons as there it is fairly cheap and can hold a good amount of traffic.
Only downside is that you don’t have control over all aspects of the server so if something is wrong you can’t fix it yourself immediately and will need to work through their support (which works Monday to Friday).
DIY VPS Server
This is definitely an option we use and am sure plenty of affiliates do the same as it offers the most flexibility and the greatest scale. If you’re running a large amount of traffic it won’t cost you too much (since a small server can handle tons of traffic) and everything is in your control (or you are to blame as well if things mess up).
If you choose this route you will first of course need a server.
Nowadays you usually just get a VPS and I would recommend the popular choice of DigitalOcean. They are an industry standard and fairly easy to use with a good backend (pricing is also reasonable). You can get it with my referral link below:
Now stuff gets interesting here as you can either :
- Get a server and set it up all yourself.
- Get a server and get help setting it up (but you still need to manage it yourself).
Server setup is not my forte so if you need help on that you might need to Google it. However if you’re like me and don’t mind spending a bit of money (it’s not that expensive) then you can use the following services to help you out:
So server pilot can help you install things like PHP, MySQL, WordPress as well as a bunch of other ‘apps’ you might need on your server. How it works is that:
- You fill in a form and get the server pilot guys to install the software on your server
- You install whatever “app” you need, in most cases it would be just PHP.
DNS Made Easy
With a server setup you’ll need to point the domain you bought to this server. This is where I use a server called DNS Made Easy to handle the DNS part. You can find out how to set it up on their website:
For email set up we use Sendy + Amazon SES (Simple Email Service). Sendy is a a self hosted email newsletter application that you connect to an Amazon SES account. You will also need your own server (we use Digital Ocean recommended above) to install Sendy on and does take some setup (though it is fairly simple). But it is a great cheap way to handle email in bulk compared to the larger services like Mailchimp.
Other Stuff – Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Anyone that knows me personally know I dabble a little bit in crypto (unfortunately not crypto rich yet). So if you’re considering getting into cryptocurrency (bitcoin and stuff etc.) and not sure which exchanges to use these are the ones I recommend: