Marketing Tools: Top 13 Tools Every Affiliate Marketer Needs
Marketing Tools: Top 13 Tools Every Affiliate Marketer Needs
Everyone loves the idea of earning money without a fixed work schedule.
The top-earning affiliate marketers do not fantasize about the work-from-anywhere lifestyle as they are used to living this way.
Affiliate marketing is emerging as one of the top passive income streams as people are trading their nine-to-five lifestyle for working from anywhere more than ever before.
However, it’s not easy to create steady cash flow with affiliate marketing. The rise of digital marketing has made it harder than ever before to create a sustainable affiliate business.
How can you be a successful affiliate marketer? You need to start your journey with the right set of tools.
We have created a list of the 13+ best affiliate marketing tools that are essential for building an affiliate marketing business. We may add many more tools to this list, so do watch this space for updates.
Remember that the list below contains a variety of WordPress plugins. Plugins are fantastic options for any kind of WordPress site. However, plugins may interfere with your site’s functionalities. Therefore, do not forget to test each of the plugins listed here below on a demo site before finally installing it on your live site.
Here are our favorite affiliate marketing essential tools:
SEMRush is our favorite tool for competitor analysis, fixing SEO issues and keyword research.
The tool is quite useful for affiliate marketers who want to understand what type of content works for driving traffic and conversion for their competitors and analyze their on-page SEO errors.
We recommend using the tool for:
- Finding and analyzing competitor content
- Monitoring keyword rankings periodically
- Doing SEO audits for identifying website issues that might be hurting your website’s rankings
- Keeping tabs on press mentions
The Ahrefs tool shares many of its features and functions with SEMRush (including but not limited to on-page SEO analysis, keyword research, and competitor content analysis). However, it emphasizes more on backlink profiles than on-page SEO errors.
Using Ahrefs, you can get deeper insights about lost and new backlinks, sites that link to the broken pages on your site, and competitor backlink profiles.
You can use Ahrefs for:
- Getting insights about lost and new backlinks to your website
- Analyzing competitor backlink profiles to discover effective link-building opportunities
- Finding websites that link to your website’s broken pages (and 301 redirecting those broken pages to relevant pages).
- Finding competitor content to discover effective content ideas for your affiliate site.
- Finding top-performing competitor content to identify new content ideas for your site
Although SEMRush and Ahrefs are two of our favorite tools, investing in both of the tools may not be ideal for most affiliate business owners.
Ahrefs is recommended for affiliate marketers who are trying to compete against large websites. SEMRush, on the other hand, is recommended for affiliate marketers who are already leading in their respective verticals, or across a variety of affiliate marketing verticals.
Both of the tools come with a trial version, so if you want to test them out, you don’t have to shell out anything.
3. Yoast SEO
This is one of the most basic WordPress plug-ins recommended for any and every affiliate website. Yoast SEO comes with advanced SEO features, including:
- Customization of title tags and metadata
- Customization of canonical links
- Creating and customization of sitemaps
- Canonical link customization
- Sitemap creation and customization
- Customization of meta robots
YoastSEO is a free-to-use tool. However, you can also go for the paid version, which comes with an advanced 301 Redirect Manager, and 24/7 live support.
Grammarly is yet another favorite tool of many affiliate marketers who regularly publish and update content on their affiliate websites. It’s a spelling and grammar checker that recommends context-specific improvements for spelling, grammar, wordiness, punctuation, style, and plagiarism.
Grammarly is not just a spell-checker, but it can also help you identify grammar errors, such as comma usage and incorrect words.
Although many affiliate marketers use the free version of the tool, if you are a non-native English speaker, you can go for the paid version as it offers much more advanced content reviewing features.
Download the desktop application and the browser extension to get started.
Duplichecker is recommended for affiliate marketers who work with a content development team. You can run a plagiarism check for every article and website copy you receive from your team using Duplichecker.
Well, it might be boring, considering the fact that you trust your content team. However, do keep in mind that even an accidental act of plagiarism can have serious legal implications.
Better safe than sorry.
Hemingway is yet another content review and readability analysis tool which helps affiliate marketers to simplify their writing.
Yeah, you guessed it right. The makers of the tool were directly inspired by the writings of the great novelist and journalist Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway, despite catering to an adult audience, used to write in a language and style which was understandable by 5th graders!
Why do you need to simplify your writing?
This is because nobody really cares about what the word ‘inveterate’ actually means, but most people know what ‘habitual’ means (although both words have the same meaning). Nobody wants to look up a dictionary every now and then.
Your readers look for information, actionable tips and advice, and personalized recommendations on your website. If you want to sound smarter by using difficult words that 5th graders or 8th graders would not possibly understand, they will simply click away.
That’s why Hemingway is a must-have tool for affiliate marketing success, as it helps affiliate marketers to simplify complex words and sentences. It also enables them to identify adverbs and complex words that can be replaced with simpler and more commonplace ones.
Flippa is a great tool for any marketer looking to fast-forward the process of developing an affiliate marketing website from scratch. Flippa is a website domain marketplace where individuals can buy and sell website domains (it’s like an equivalent to eBay, except for the fact that it’s for website buying and selling only).
Using Flippa, you can buy websites that have a good backlink profile, which is good for SEO.
Do a complete backlink profile audit before investing in a domain just to make sure that the website was not optimized using Black Hat SEO.
We know quite a few affiliate marketers who bought websites with good backlink profiles, but later got penalized by Google owing to the Black Hat SEO practices of the previous owner of the website.
Attracting traffic to your website is okay, but you need to convert them into customers too.
Most visitors to your website won’t be willing to use their credit cards when they land on your website for the first time.
How can you convert these visitors into buyers? You promote products to them when they are willing to buy.
The top-performing affiliate marketers know that to convert visitors into buyers, they need to build and grow their email list. This enables them to convert repeat visitors into buyers.
Sumo provides an easy-to-implement solution to grow your email list as you can use their (free) email capture form on your website to automate your site’s growth. You may upgrade to the paid version of the email capture tool later on, but getting started with the free version is a good idea.
If you do not have a strong development or IT background, you can opt for WPEngine Premium Hosting as it comes with a host of additional benefits.
WPEngine is pricier than many other popular hosting service providers like HostGator and GoDaddy. However, if you lack web development or IT skills, it’s a go-to tool for you to start your affiliate marketing journey. Read this Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing to know more about how it exactly works.
WPEngine can also help you do the following:
- Taking scheduled backups of your website on a regular basis so you can go back to an older version of your website in case anything goes wrong.
- Getting free SSL certificates for each of your websites set up with WPEngine
- Browser caching for better website speed
- Getting advanced site security
If you are looking for a less expensive solution for web hosting, here are some alternatives you can try.
- GoDaddy for web hosting
- BackupBuddy for scheduled and regular site backups
- W3 Total Cache if you want to do browser caching (However, this is an irregularly updated plugin, so make it a point to check compatibility before installing it)
- SSLs.com for effective and affordable SSL certificates
- iThemes Security if you want advanced site security
Content revamp is highly effective for improving search rankings. By revamping content, you can update your site for improved SEO rankings.
However, one WordPress feature, which actually comes as a default feature, can potentially lessen the impact of content revamp. It is called ‘Timestamp’.
For example, if you wrote a guide to anything in late 2019 and you edited it in early 2020 and renamed it to ‘A 2020 Guide’, the published timestamp on search sites would still show that you actually wrote the guide in 2019.
As a result, searchers would get confused and you may lose trust.
The Last Modified Timestamp is a nice WordPress plugin that changes the published date to the date of the last modification in search results.
Readability, once again.
It’s one factor that really makes all the difference between a pretty good blog post and a kickass blog post.
Shortcodes Ultimate is one of our hidden weapons which we use for improving the readability of the blogs on our website. This tool enables website owners to add custom designs to their blog posts to take their published posts to the ‘Outstanding’ level.
A webpage’s click-through rate or CTR is integral to SEO success.
Many affiliate marketers add a rating system to their blog posts (and we do that too) to boost their CTR.
How can you improve your CTR by adding a rating system?
Simply incorporate the rating into your metadata.
This is how it should appear on your website.
Now, imagine you are a visitor to a webpage or a blog that has got a rating. Are you more likely to click on a standard blog or on a blog that has got a rating?
If you do not know how to do this with schema markup, you can use WP-PostRatings to add the rating system to your website.
Did you know that bounce rates increase by about 50% for every additional two seconds your website takes to load?
To put it differently, slow websites lose traffic and money.
But how can you improve your site’s speed?
Simply by compressing your images!
Image compression is one of the tried and tested methods of improving site speed. By compressing your images, you can remove additional pixels from images and reduce your image file sizes. The top image compression tools do not sacrifice image quality while compressing.
We have tested a couple of image compression sites and tools, but TinyPNG really takes the cake.
Download the WordPress plugin or simply compress your images through their website.
Few Other Tools You Can Try
Aside from the thirteen tools mentioned above, there are quite a few great tools that you can use to grow your affiliate marketing business. Most of the tools listed here below are free to use. So, here you go.
Google Analytics – Track your website visitors and analyze traffic sources
Google Search Console – Monitor your organic site traffic
WordPress – A content management system for building an affiliate website
ThirstyAffiliates – Create new affiliate links on your site
Hootsuite – Social media marketing and management tool
Instapage – Landing page builder for simplifying the process
MailChimp – For email marketing campaign management
Google AdWords – PPC tool for driving target visitors (recommended for early-stage affiliate websites)
Canva – For designing and creating sleek images for your website
We have prepared a list of affiliate tools that you can use to your advantage. We will not stop adding more tools to the list above.
If you are using any other tools or you want to suggest additional tools for this list, please do let us know.