What’s great about affiliate marketing is that it doesn’t require a huge financial investment – you can start making an income passively with little to no expense.
However, most affiliate marketing beginners never grow their income, leading them to give up and quit, despite the low cost of production.
Affiliate marketing isn’t that easy. Like other marketing ventures, it requires effort, time, and of course, the proper tools.
Fortunately, there are many platforms available that can help affiliate marketers boost their productivity, growth, and income so they can achieve more in less time. In this article, we will explain what affiliate marketing is and walk you through 14 essential tools needed for getting started. But first…
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a partnership through which you get a commission by promoting a companies’ products or services on your website, blog, or social media. When someone purchases through your affiliate link, you get a percentage of the sale.
Here’s a complete affiliate marketing guide to help you get started.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
Now that we know what affiliate marketing is, let’s understand how it works.
We recommend beginners join an affiliate program based on their niche. Upon joining, you get a unique affiliate URL used to track your performance, including the total number of clicks, sales, and more. The tracking URL may look something like this:
When someone purchases a product or service using your affiliate link, you get a commission.
As a bonus, when a user clicks on your affiliate link, a small piece of a file called a “cookie” is stored in the user’s device.
In affiliate marketing, cookies are essential for both sellers and affiliates. Cookies are used to track affiliate referrals as well as extend the expiry date.
For example, let’s say someone landed on your website and clicked on your affiliate link. But the user didn’t purchase the product from the seller’s website and left.
Now, as Post Affiliate Pro explains, if the user returns to the seller’s website and purchases anything within the cookie duration, you will be qualified for a commission.
14 Best Affiliate Marketing Tools
Check out this list of 14 essential tools for affiliate marketing. It includes affiliate marketing tracking software, affiliate plugins for WordPress, SEO and writing tools, and more.
Before you get started with affiliate marketing, you need to build a website. And the first thing needed to create a website is a domain and a hosting site for your website.
There are several web hosting sites out there. We recommend Bluehost because it’s super affordable and offers a free domain name.
Bluehost offers free SSL, SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, and 24/7 support. Plus, you can join their affiliate program and get $65 per qualified sale.
- Free domain name
- Free SSL certificate
- SSD storage
- Free CDN
- 24/7 customer support
Pricing: Bluehost’s hosting plan starts at just $2.95/ month, including hosting one website.
Keyword research should be your top priority if you want to be successful in affiliate marketing.
Choosing the wrong keywords may not bring enough traffic to your site in order to make a sale, or your site may never rank for the popular keywords people search for, and in return, will not drive people to click your affiliate links.
Before writing any content that contains your affiliate links, we recommend researching the most effective SEO keywords for you to rank in search results. For this, you can use tools like SEMrush.
Let’s say your content is about golf. To perform keyword research, enter keywords such as “best golf club” into SEMrush.
SEMrush will show you the total keyword search volume worldwide, keyword difficulty, related keywords, keyword variations, SERP results, and more.
Pro Tip: SEMrush suggests that if you are just getting started in creating content, target keywords that have less than a 25 keyword difficulty. They are easier to rank.
- Keyword tracking
- Backlinks analysis
- Competitive domain analysis
- Marketing calendar
- PPC keyword research
Price: SEMrush is a freemium tool. Their paid plan starts at $120 per month.
Affise is a partnership marketing platform designed to help affiliate marketers automate and scale their partner relations. It offers multichannel analytics and smart dashboards to track and measure affiliate and partner marketing performance with ease.
It allows you to automate repetitive tasks and fully integrate popular tools with its feature-rich API. Additionally, it packs customizable reports which let you present your gathered statistics, customized per management.
Affise also provides a fraud prevention component that helps marketers secure their ads by employing click-level fraud prevention.
- Partner management
- Full-cycle performance tracking
- In-built fraud detection tools
- Real-time statistics
- Dedicated onboarding manager
Pricing: Affise costs $499 per month with a 6 months contract.
For those looking to leverage the robust ROI provided from email marketing with their affiliate marketing, Omnisend is the perfect tool for the job. Omnisend is built specifically for those who sell online and comes equipped with tools that help you sell and promote products effectively.
Use Omnisend to build email lists with their embeddable forms, exit-intent and timed popups, and provide special offers with landing pages. Send messages across email, SMS, and push notifications with Omnisend’s easy-to-use automation workflows.
You can even upload your email lists to Google and Facebook for retargeting ads. Omnisend is a one-stop shop for all your affiliate marketing needs!
- Visual and user-friendly email builder, plus tons of ready-to-use templates
- Drag-and-drop automation workflow builder and templates
- List-building tools: forms, pop-ups, landing pages
- Automation for email, SMS, push notifications, and more
- Smart segmentation for sending targeted offers
- Advanced sales reporting and performance dashboard
Pricing: Omnisend offers a free account up to 250 subscribers, which allows you to use nearly all of its features while you’re just starting. Their Standard plan starts at just $16 per month and includes live chat and email support.
If you are looking for a way to increase your website’s revenue, look no further than Taboola.
Taboola promotes your brand at the moments your audience is most receptive to new messages, products, and services.
Through this ad network, publishers can display relevant content recommendations that are personalized for each user based on their interests.
Additionally, they offer seamless integration with major business systems and applications such as HubSpot, Opera, WordPress, Facebook, Vox Media, etc., allowing you to launch Taboola campaigns with ease.
- Actionable editorial insights
- Audience exchange
- Paid acquisition
- Analytics/ROI tracking
- Content management
- Comprehensive reporting
Pricing: Joining Taboola’s publisher program is entirely free. However, if you want to advertise on Taboola, you can start by paying $10.
If you write content for affiliate websites, using an online writing assistant tool can be incredibly helpful.
We all make mistakes while writing. But fixing spelling, grammar, punctuation errors, can be time-consuming and stressful.
That’s where Grammarly comes in. It is an AI-based online writing assistant tool that helps you to improve your writing by fixing all types of grammatical, punctuation, spelling errors in real-time. As a result, you can produce more affiliate posts in less time.
Just copy-paste your entire article into the Grammarly dashboard, and it will do the job. It also grades your article from zero to one hundred, and of course, a higher number means less errors contained in the article.
- Grammar and spelling checks
- Vocabulary enhancement
- Plagiarism detects
- Vocabulary enhancement
- Browser, Google docs, and MS Word integration
Pricing: Grammarly is a freemium tool. The free version comes with basic features, but their premium plan starts at $12/month. Their premium version includes more advanced features such as fluency check, plagiarism detection, compelling vocabulary, and more.
Looking for the best AdSense alternatives to make more money? Look no further than Skimlinks.
Skimlinks, which was recently acquired by Taboola, is one of the largest affiliate marketing networks. They provide marketing solutions for affiliates, content creators, influencers, website owners, and technology partners.
Generally, when you want to promote a product, you need to find companies that offer affiliate programs and then sign up. If there are ten different products you want to promote from different vendors, you need to repeat the signup process again and again.
By joining Skimlinks, you will get access to over 60,000 active merchant programs for promotion. The best part is that it only requires a one-time sign-up process. Once done, you can promote any available program, and available product, you want.
- Access to 48,500 affiliate programs
- Automated affiliate links
- Google Chrome extension
- Link wrapper
- Easy-to-use interface
Payment method: Skimlinks pays their affiliate marketers at the end of every month, and the minimum payment threshold is $65.
Pricing: Joining SkimLinks is entirely free.
8. RankMath SEO
If you want to rank higher in Google’s search results, your website and content need to be SEO-optimized.
There are several SEO plugins available; however, RankMath outranks (get it?) the others.
RankMath is one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress. It has almost 1 million active installs and is one of the highest-rated WordPress plugins out there.
RankMath automatically checks and suggests what you need to change or modify in your content to cater to search engine basics when writing an article. For example, it checks how often you have used the targeted keywords, total word count, sub-headings, post title, meta description, and more.
- Built-in advanced SEO analytics module
- Google analytics integration
- Rank tracker
- Advanced schema generator
- XML Sitemap
Price: RankMath’s basic features come as a free WordPress plugin. However, a paid plan, which costs $59, also includes more advanced features including a custom schema builder, schema templates with display conditions, tracking more than 500 keywords, Google trends integration, and more.
Hunter is a perfect tool if you’re looking to build a targeted email list and share affiliate offers through email. It allows you to find and verify any business email available online in minutes, ensuring high deliverability and open rates of your emails.
Hunter offers various handy tools for boosting traffic and sales, such as Hunter Campaigns, that automate the cold outreach process. For instance, this can be handy if you’re actively building backlinks to your website or sharing affiliate offers with relevant people.
- Finding & verifying email addresses from your lists
- Finding the correct author’s information from published articles
- Automating & tracking the outreach campaigns
- Useful tracker for tracking when someone opened your emails
- Bulk tasks
- Free Chrome extensions
Pricing: Hunter offers a variety of subscriptions. A free subscription gives you 25 searches and 50 verification credits per month. The premium monthly subscription starts from $49/mo.
It is no secret that one of the best ways to build affiliate partnerships is through content. Visme is an all-in-one content design toolkit that can help with that!
Affiliate partnerships can be built on different content angles, like content promotion, review posts, announcements, and more. Therefore, your content should be high quality and visually appealing.
Visme accommodates a wide range of tools that can help create a variety of visual elements, such as infographics, charts, Venn diagrams, GIFs, maps, and more.
The best thing about Visme is that it is entirely free and user-friendly, even those with no design experience can excel with this tool.
Visme can also help you with the organizational aspects of your affiliate program. For example, you can schedule important meetings and tasks by using the weekly schedule maker, from weekly calls to making payments to your affiliate partners.
- Infographics maker
- eBook creator
- Map maker
- Data visualization
- Creating charts and graphs
Price: Visme is a free tool. However, if you want to explore more additional content design features, you must choose a paid plan. A “Standard” plan price is $25 monthly (the annual price for this plan is $15.)
AAWP is an excellent plugin for Amazon affiliate marketers. It comes with unique features like product boxes, product comparison tables, Amazon bestseller lists, and more.
This tool provides an easy way to find products on Amazon and add them to your posts with just a few clicks. Plus, you can highlight any product’s current price, reviews, rating, prime status, and more. This type of information helps to increase conversations.
One of the best features of this tool is Geotargeting. This redirects your foreign visitors to their local Amazon store to ensure you don’t miss any referral commissions.
- Supports multiple Amazon partner networks
- Premade templates
- Comparison tables
- Text links, product boxes
- Click tracking
Pricing: AAWP is a premium plugin that costs $60 for one site license.
12. Surfer SEO
Using the Surfer SEO tool, you can create SEO-optimized content for affiliate marketing websites, blogs, and social media in just a few clicks.
It comes with a powerful AI-based SEO audit tool that helps you analyze any page of your website with “100+ on-page” signals and recommends how you can make your existing content better to rank higher on Google.
Plus, it also detects low-quality pages, tracks individual pages for plagiarism, and more.
- Create content marketing plan
- On-Page SEO audit
- SERP analyzer
- Keyword research
Pricing: Surfer SEO is a premium tool, costs $59 per month.
If you are an affiliate marketer or blogger, chances are you have a team of content writers. These writers can help you create data-driven, engaging content so that you can focus on other marketing activities.
But, you should always check their works to make sure they have not given you copied content. Having copied content on your site can be harmful, and as a result, search engines like Google may penalize you.
Manually checking each piece of content is time-consuming and can take you hours, or even days. If you have hundreds of articles, you can assume how much time it will take.
That’s why using plagiarism checker tools like DupliChecker comes in handy.
DupliChecker is a free tool and can detect copied content in seconds. Just copy and paste your text and hit the “Check Plagiarism” button, and let DupliChecker do its job.
- Easier to use plagiarism checker
- Check up to 1000 words in the free plan
- Multilingual support
- Check plagiarism via webpage URL
- No ads
- Lightning-fast results
Pricing: DupliChecker is free to use.
14. Pretty Links
Pretty Links is an affiliate link management plugin for WordPress. Using the Pretty Links plugin, you can shorten, cloak, organize, and track links in one place.
Generally, when you add an affiliate link to your website, it looks like this:
But, using the plugin, you can cloak the link to look more professional and official, like this:
Plus, you can track link clicks, including IP address, browser, operating system, referring site, and more.
- Link cloaking
- Link shorten
- Auto-links keywords
- Advanced redirect type
Pricing: Pretty Links is a freemium plugin. The free version plugin comes with only basic features.
Upgrading to the premium version will give access to many advanced features like auto link keywords, advanced redirect types, auto-create links, etc.
As the popularity of affiliate marketing continues to skyrocket, so does the number of tools available to help you get started. However, it can be hard to tell which tools are the best for your individual needs and budget.
This blog post lists some of the must-have affiliate marketing tools that you can use to increase organic traffic and sales. From Affise’s affiliate marketing software, Grammarly, to SEMrush, our extensive list provides numerous options for your needs.
Have you tried any of these affiliate marketing tools? What are your thoughts on them? Let us know!