Starting an affiliate marketing business requires training and some tools. Some of these tools are must-have items and some of them fall into the supplements category but still valuable. In this post, I will help you with the checklist of affiliate marketing training and tools that I personally use and want to recommend you.
Some of these are paid tools and some are free to use if you are working on a limited budget. Based on my experience, these tools should be part of your affiliate marketing business strategy to reap rich financial rewards. So, let’s get started:
If you are new to affiliate marketing then you must have proper training and guidance to start and become a successful affiliate marketer. You should have a training platform with all the basic tools, resources, and support to jump start your affiliate marketing business.
Wealthy Affiliate: I have learned all the basics of affiliate marketing from Wealthy Affiliate. It has a free starter membership for beginners. If you want to scale higher in affiliate marketing then you should upgrade to the premium membership that costs $49 per month.
The primary features of Wealthy Affiliate:
➢ End-to-end training and guidance on affiliate marketing
➢ Website building and hosting features with technical support
➢ Keyword research tool
➢ Affiliate programs
➢ Round the clock support from business experts and community
Affiliate Marketing is more successful if you have your own website. You need a website to promote your content and affiliate products to make good money. There are many website building platforms such as GoDaddy, Wix, Bluehost, etc.
SiteRubix: SiteRubix is a website building and hosting platform where you can
build a free website without any technical skills. I built my first website on
SiteRubix. SiteRubix is part of the Wealthy Affiliate platform and is offered with free starter membership.
The primary features of SiteRubix:
➢ Website building and hosting
➢ Ease of integration and migration
➢ Site Speed, Site Security, and Site Protection
Doing keyword research is an important aspect to write valuable content for your website. A keyword research tool is required for better search engine rankings and conversion. You can use the Google Keyword Planner that is free to use with your Google Adwords account. However, it has its limitation in providing keyword statistics.
Jaaxy: Jaaxy Keyword research tool is what I use personally for keyword research. Jaaxy offers some critical statistics on keywords and rankings. You can use the Lite version of Jaaxy that is offered as part of the Wealthy Affiliate platform. For more advanced features and results, you have to pay $49 per month.
The primary features of the Jaaxy keyword research tool:
➢ Average daily and monthly traffic for a keyword
➢ Number of competitive websites for a keyword
➢ SEO score and available domains for a keyword
You will need affiliate programs to promote the products and earn money. Almost all the affiliate programs are free to join and you can earn between 2%-50% commissions by promoting their products.
- Amazon Associates– Amazon has products in almost every category that you can promote but the percentage of commissions is on the lower side.
- Wealthy Affiliate’s affiliate programs– Clickbank, Rakuten, Commission Junction are some of the affiliate programs associated with Wealthy Affiliate. You can earn up to 60% commissions.
You will have to regularly write valuable content on your website to attract traffic and generate regular income. If you are not confident or comfortable writing yourself then you can outsource the content creation to freelancing websites. There are many freelancing websites such as Freelancer, Upwork, etc.
Fiverr: I personally use Fiverr for content creation. It is a free-lancing platform for doing online tasks. You can hire a freelancer for writing the content for your website. The service cost at Fiverr is as low as $5. You can also outsource other tasks such as logo creation, website design, etc.
The primary features of Fiverr:
➢ Low-cost services
➢ Hundreds of free-lancing categories
➢ Easy communication with free-lancers
➢ Easy payment options
Writing is not everyone’s job. Though you don’t have to be a professional writer to create content for your website but you tend to make grammatical and punctuation errors. A clean, error-free, and professional-looking content builds more trust among your audience.
Grammarly: Grammarly is a free-to-use tool and software. It helps in identifying the punctuation, spelling, and grammatical mistakes while writing the posts, or an article. Grammarly has multiple browser extensions that work perfectly well with your internet browser. It has a premium version that costs $11.66 per month.
The primary features of Grammarly:
➢ Improves your writing efficiency
➢ Works well the chrome browser
➢ Helpful recommendations on spelling, and punctuations
When you build a website, you have to choose a theme to build your content. The website themes have free and pro versions. You can use the free version to build your website as a beginner but with time you may have to upgrade to a premium version to create a beautiful and professional-looking website. Some of the popular website themes are Thrive themes, Divi, etc.
Generatepress: I use the Generatepress theme to build my websites for beautiful and responsive website layouts and speed. The free version has lots of website-building features that work well. The pro version will cost you a $59 per year license that can be used on 5 websites.
The primary features of Generatepress:
➢ Speed and performance
➢ Ease of customization
➢ Compatibility and excellent support
➢ Beautiful website layouts
Your website’s stability and authority depend on its hosting platform. If your website is constantly down it may impact the overall performance and damage the trust among the search engines and the audience. That is why you need to have a solid and powerful web hosting platform to host your website. Some of the web hosting platforms you can choose from are Bluehost, HostGator, Wix, etc.
Cloudways: Cloudways is a powerful and reliable cloud-based web hosting platform. It has some really good web hosting features that include dedicated servers, speed, and security to always keep your website active and running. Cloudways is an ideal platform if you are looking to upgrade your web hosting services. It has a 3-day free trial after which you have to subscribe for its paid plans starting from $10 a month.
The primary features of Cloudways are:
- Reputed and trustworthy cloud service providers such as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Linode, etc.
- Multi-layered server security for your website
- Easy migration and configuration
- Powerful hosting tools and excellent client support
A professional-looking website and good content are not always helpful in prompting your audience to take action. You need to compliment your website by creating beautiful and highly converting landing pages. A landing page offers visual appeal and attraction to convert the clicks into loyal customers. You can use many email marketing platforms such as Aweber, Getresponse, etc to create landing pages.
Leadpages: Leadpages offer professional and dedicated landing page services. Its landing pages and other useful features help you in connecting with your audience and generate valuable leads. Leadpages is a valuable tool if you are looking to build your visitor’s email list and attract conversion. Leadpages has a 14-day free trial to test its features post which you can start using its paid services from $27 a month.
The primary features of Leadpages:
- Plenty of templates in different niches to build your desired landing page website.
- Ease of integration with your favorite marketing tools
- Offers free hosting for all the landing pages
- Increases your website visibility and online presence
To grow your list of customers you will need an email marketing tool. It helps in scaling your affiliate marketing business higher and converting visitors into loyal customers. By building an email marketing list you can promote your website content and products much faster. There are many email marketing tools such as Mailchimp, Getresponse, etc. that are perfect for beginners.
Aweber: As you begin your affiliate marketing journey, Aweber is a perfect email marketing tool. It has a free version for up to 500 subscribers with limited email marketing features. You can upgrade to different paid versions starting from $19 to $149 per month depending on your subscribers.
The primary features of Aweber:
➢ Responsive email design and templates
➢ Creative web fonts
➢ Amazing auto-responder
➢ Effective integration with third-party apps
Design & Graphics
Your website will need some graphics to add up the animation elements. The content looks great with relevant blog banners or pictures that you may have to create manually which could be time-consuming and tedious. You can use the free Adobe Photoshop version with limited features to create your own designs.
Canva: Canva is the best tool to create website graphics. I use it to create most of the designs on my website. It has lots of in-built templates and features under the free version. The pro version is accessible for a 30-days free trial after which you have to pay $13 per month.
The primary features of Canva:
➢ In-built templates and elements
➢ Graphic design tutorials and courses
➢ Ease of use and different design customizations
There will be a time when you will have to track your website traffic and visitors. It helps in understanding the behavior and interest of the visitors to build your business. Google is one of the important factors in tracking the traffic and providing you with valuable statistics.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics provides you with daily site performance and statistics. It is a free tool from Google that can be accessed by submitting your website URL. It focuses on providing the number of visitors, traffic location, traffic pages, etc. on your website.
Google Search Console: Google Search Console or GSC is helpful in
providing you the data on the indexing, clicks, and conversion of your
website. You can track the posts and pages that are viewed by visitors.
Google Search Console is also a free tool and can be accessed by submitting your website’s sitemap.
Advertising is another way of bringing in more visitors to your website. There are many advertising platforms through which you can promote your website. Social media ads (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) are the most common.
Google Adwords (Google Ads): Google has its own platform to create advertising campaigns to promote the products or a website. You can use the Google Adwords platform for advertising. The keywords and budget are important factors in converting your Ads into profits.
The primary features of Google Adwords:
➢ Multiple advertising campaigns
➢ Ease of website integration
➢ Google’s reach in search engines
Other than earning from promoting the affiliate products you can make additional income through paid advertising on your website. You can earn by putting up different ads on your websites that pay you when somebody clicks on it.
Google AdSense: Google AdSense is a contrary version of Google Adwords. You have to apply for the Google AdSense program and if approved, Google will provide you with Ads that can be placed on your website. When the visitors click on the Ads you are paid by Google.
The primary features of Google AdSense:
➢ Decent income from the Ads
➢ Flexible placement of Ads
➢ Effortless automation of running Google Ads
The website content has to be unique. You cannot duplicate the content from other websites as it can affect your website rankings. Your website may even get banned by search engines. There are many plagiarism-checker tools available online. Some of them are free but do not give accurate results.
Quetext: I personally use Quetext to detect plagiarism. Quetext is a
plagiarism-checker and citation-assistant tool. The software cross-checks your content with the available sources on the web to detect plagiarism and suggest valuable changes and citations. It is a paid tool that costs $9.90 per month.
The primary features of Quetext:
➢ Accurate statistics on plagiarism
➢ Easy to use
➢ Valuable citation assistance and plagiarism changes recommendation
Relevant images are an important factor to rank your content. Search engines prefer to rank contents that have image attributes relevant to the keywords. There are many websites that offer free and the paid images such as Pexels, Unsplash, Wikipedia Commons, etc.
Pixabay: Pixabay has thousands of free images on almost all topics. The best part about Pixabay is you can download the images without registering for them. It has royalty-free stock images in pictures and animation formats.
The primary features of Pixabay:
➢ Thousands of royalty-free images
➢ Easy to download formats
➢ Images in almost all the categories
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your website and content are of no use without search engine optimization. You need to have a plug-in that guides you on making the necessary changes in your content to rank quickly. Some of the plug-ins you can use for SEO are Yoast SEO, Rank Math.
All-in-one SEO: All-in-one SEO has some advanced features to rank your content. It recommends important changes and suggestions in your content to arrive at a favorable SEO score. All-in-one SEO has a free version that works best. The paid version is accessible at $49.50 per year for one website.
The primary features of All-in-one SEO:
➢ Unlimited keywords
➢ Advanced SEO modules
➢ Social Media integration
Affiliate programs will provide you with affiliate links that contain the website name with your unique referral id. The long and messy-looking URL can be customized with URL shortening plug-ins for better tracking and appearance.
Pretty Links: Pretty Links is a plug-in that helps in shortening any URL on your website. You can simply input the affiliate links and shorten them with your desired link name. Pretty Links has a free version that works perfectly.
The primary features of Pretty Links:
➢ Easy customization and shortening of URL
➢ Easy tracking of URLs
➢ Easy integration with WordPress
Social Media Sharing
Your social media presence plays an important role in improving your website traffic. Sharing content on social media should be your daily task. You can use the SEO plug-ins for social media sharing but the features fall under the paid category.
Sassy Social Share: Sassy Social Share is a free plug-in to place social media icons on your website. The plug-in has almost all the social media icons and can be easily integrated with your favorite social media platform.
The primary features of Sassy Social Share:
➢ Attractive social media icon themes
➢ Multiple social media icon interfaces
➢ Easy integration with your social media profile