Monthly Archive for May, 2009

Fifteen Mac Applications for Affiliates and Affiliate Marketers

Here’s a quick list of applications I use on my Mac all the time as an affiliate marketer. Hope you find some use from these apps. I do:

  • BBEdit – is a catch all text editor for me. I use it for everything, from taking notes when talking to affiliates and advertisers, to debugging HTML, to writing PHP code. Truly the best money I’ve ever invested, and I’m not a developer at all anymore… but I’m hooked on BBEdit for sure. Super powerful multi-file find/replace (even using GREP patterns)… syntax coloring when looking at HTML and more (or in my case PHP)… if it’s related to text… you name it and I bet you BBEdit’s got it. If you’re too cheap to pony up to BBEdit, get TextWrangler for free. It’s not BBEdit, but has enough of the good stuff to be a lot better than TextEdit.
  • HTTP Client – bills itself as “A Mac OS X Leopard developer tool for debugging HTTP services by graphically creating & inspecting complex HTTP messages.” I love this program, because, while I’m technically savvy enough to understand the terminal and the concepts behind the power of curl and other programs, I really don’t want to have to learn those tools just to test a few things, or figure out what redirects are really involved in some of the tracking links I’m looking at, etc… I use it as a digital Sherlock Holmes type of application for the most part, following redirects so I can really find out who is involved in the different levels of online advertising: for example who owns an offer, and who are they running it through. Very handy.
  • Interarchy – My FTP client of choice. I’ve used Interarchy for about 10 years now, I guess. Back then it was called Anarchy, and it’s only gotten better with age. I use it to download lots of files from my remote servers on a schedule, so I have them when I get into the office. I use it to edit files on the server (combined with BBEdit, above, that is). I use it to download entire websites, when I want to keep a copy of them locally. I also use it to mirror certain directories on my compupter, and sync them up with a remote directory, so I’ve always got a backup of my most important stuff in one place.
  • JungleDisk – Remote backup, cheap and blindly easy. I signed up for this service after I lost my hard drive on my laptop the third time. Man, talk about easy remote backups of your important files. I now have it installed on all of my computers (my office iMac, my MacBook Pro, the wife’s MacBook, and our Mac Mini (that we use as a media center)). It’s brain-dead backups are super simple to set up, but more importantly, if I’m on one machine, and need a file from another machine, because I backup files once an hour on all of the computers, I can always find what I need, just by accessing the backups through my JungleDisk powered “network drive” that sits on my desktop.
  • AdiumX – This Instant Messenger client for Mac OS X, is like iChat without the hassle, and with 4 more cylinders. Adium supports all of the major IM services (AIM, MSN, YahooIM, GTalk, ICQ, MobileMe, Facebook, MySpace, and more) and puts them all on steriods, while keeping them in once place. It’s super configurable, and totally customizable, with oodles and oodles of custom “Extras” built by the community of users that use it. Get it, and take iChat out of your dock. You’ll thank me later.
  • NetNewsWire – The Best Damn RSS Reader for Mac. Period. I’ve used NetNewsWire since it was in early early beta, and have tried all of the other RSS Readers, and have always come back to NNW. I even paid for it back before the developer, Brent Simmons, sold it to NewsGator. Thanks to NewsGator syncing, I can read my feeds on my laptop, desktop or iPhone, and never get out of sync, or have to “re-read” a bunch of stuff I’ve already read. I use this to keep up with news in general, and with offers and blog posts coming from Shawn Collins, Jay Weintraub, or Sam Harrelson, or from networks like ClickBooth, etc…
  • Launchbar – I user LaunchBar to get to everything on my Mac without having to go find it. It’s an application launcher, address book interface, and more. Install it, configure it, and hit “command+space” to find someone’s contact info, launch an application, or find a file. Super time-saver.
  • ServerSiren – Need to keep track of whether your servers are up or not? ServerSiren does this for you, and tells you about it in your menubar. Totally a life saver that one time your server goes down.
  • MUMenu – This is a brain-dead simple to use menu bar that will check MacUpdate once a day for you, and tell you what software you have that is out of date, and let you get the update for it really easily.
  • LittleSnitch – Tells me when an application is trying to access something over the internet that maybe I don’t want it to, and let’s me stop it dead in its tracks. Great application for keeping your Mac from revealing too much information without telling you it’s going to do that.
  • VLC – Great for when you want to wind down a little bit. This media player supports everything Quicktime doesn’t, and looks great doing it. Also get Flip4Mac while your at it. It let’s Quicktime play .WMV files. Comes in handy for watching those video clips your uncle or cousin sends you that you know they’re going to ask you about when you see them next.
  • ImageWell – Need a way to quickly edit an image, upload it to a server, and give you the HTML code to put it into a blog post, etc? ImageWell does that and more. I use this app every day.
  • A Better Finder Rename – Ever need to rename a whole bunch of files quickly? ABFR has been around forever, and makes this a painless task. It can pretty much rename files using any method you want, including searching for patterns in file names, and replacing parts of the names using different patterns. Love it!
  • MAMP – A quick and painless way to set up Apache, MySQL and PHP on a Mac. Gives me a super configurable and easily installed lightweight development environment on my machine, so when I can’t get to the server, or don’t want to, I can do some work. If you don’t write code, you don’t need this.
  • SnapzProX – Best Mac OS screenshot and screen recording application out there. Only one thing it doesn’t do, Full Page screenshots. For that, I use Little Snapper which also creates a nice iPhoto like library of all of your screen shots.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a sweet deal on Mac software, check out MacUpdate’s latest MUPromo where you can get $500 worth of software for $49, including Parallels and Tech Tool Pro.

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Feedback Loops and Whitelists

Email marketers often ask me two questions:

“where is a list of all of the feedback loops (commonly called FBLs)” and “where can I get whitelisted?”

In general ISPs will give an email sender feedback on their sending practices, in the standard Abuse Feedback Reporting Format (ARF) but not always.

So here’s a list that I’ll try to update as I find new or corrected sources:

Feedback Loops (FBL):

White Lists:

Keep in mind that due to the sheer volume of requests, it can take days or weeks, or sometimes even months to get approved for a FBL account at any given ISP or to get whitelisted. And in some cases, ISPs just stop taking applications at any given time to catch up on the backlog…

The following ISPs don’t provide FBLs or White Lists that I know of, but you can check these pages to find out how to follow up with them if your mail is getting blocked:

SenderScore

And lastly, every commercial or bulk mail sender should be SenderScore Certified. Do that here: http://www.returnpath.net/commercialsender/certification/

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Entrepreneurship is… throwing yourself off a cliff, and building a plane on the way down.

“Entrepreneurship is throwing yourself off a cliff, and building a plane on the way down.” -Reid Hoffman, CEO of LinkedIN.

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