26 Essential Tools For Affiliate Marketing

As an affiliate marketer today, you aren’t just competing against other solopreneurs and marketers; you are competing against multi-million dollar publishers and sophisticated marketing companies.

To win this battle, you need a robust set of marketing tools to succeed.

In this post, we’ll show you exactly which affiliate marketing tools you need to understand your market, attract traffic, and convert visitors.

Full Disclosure:

Some of the links in this page are affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission if you decide to purchase anything through my link. The commission I earn, at no extra cost to you, helps me run my website.

All the tools below, I'm using in my online business. My recommendations are solely based on my personal experience. I recommend them because they are really useful from my experience, not because of the small commission I can make.

If you're not comfortable with purchasing through my affiliate link, simply open a new tab and go to the URL directly without my affiliate ID.

I hope you enjoy finding out the tools I use to run my online business and can help your business to success.

  • 1
    Domain, Website and Web Hosting Tools

Before you can do an affiliate marketing, you need to buy a domain and build a website.

Fortunately, building a website today is easier than ever. And, SiteRubix offers both website hosting and website building services. You're able to build your very own WordPress website less than a minute with just a few simple clicks and no technical knowledge needed

There are many other web hosting services but I recommend SiteRubix because of 2 main reasons:

  1. They have a really strong Support Team to help you efficiently solve your technical issues.
  2. They offers a couple of useful tools for FREE to help optimize your website.

The 3 main tools are SiteSpeed, SiteSSL and SiteProtection. Their purpose are to speed up your site, secure your site and protect your site against spamrespectively.

A domain registrar is essentially a service that allows you to register any available domain name for a period of 1 to 10 years.

Namecheap is my recommended service for domain registration for two reasons:

  • Free WHOIS privacy: WHOIS is a public record of the registrant for any domain name. As an affiliate marketer, you might want to keep this information private. Namecheap offers WHOIS privacy for free with every domain.
  • Easy to use: Unlike GoDaddy’s cumbersome interface, Namecheap is a breeze to use, right from registering a domain to managing it. Plus, since the service is smaller, you’ll also get better customer support.

Find a domain starting at $0.48

powered by Namecheap

I have been using HawkHost for a few years and am really impressed with their stability, customer service.

  • 1-Click Application Installer
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • 24/7/365 Support
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • Beyond Experienced
  • Some FREE services (SSL, Domain Privacy,...)

​Starting at $2.99/month

As a beginner, you definitely need proper guidance and training in order to succeed and make money online.

Wealthy Affiliate is the platform that taught me everything from scratch when I started looking for ways to make money online.

There are 04 main things you can benefit from Wealthy Affiliate:

  1. Thorough Step-by-step Training
  2. Useful Tools like Website Builder (SiteRubix , Website Manager, Keyword Research, etc.)
  3. Technical Support from WA Support Team as well as the Co-Founders directly
  4. Help & Support from the entire Community with thousands of helpful and friendly online marketers and entrepreneurs.

Now, it's my turn to recommend this powerful place with you to help you start your own online business

My Expenditure:

I'm an active Premium member of Wealthy Affiliate and its Premium Membership costs USD$49/month OR $359/year.

(You can start utilizing and learning from their FREE resources as a Free Starter Member.)

  • 3
    Keyword Research Tool: Jaaxy

Jaaxy is a Premium Keyword Research Tool developed by the Co-founders of Wealthy Affiliate as well.
It has much more functions and more detailed results than all the free tools.

My Expenditure:

USD$199/year OR $19/month

  • 4
    Affiliate Networks

Affiliate networks are the main platforms for you to find relevant affiliate products to promote on your website. They are all Free to join. Simply create an account with them.

The 4 main platforms are:

  1. Amazon Associate (More for Physical Products)
  2. ShareASale
  3. ClickBank (More for Digital Products)
  4. Commission Junction

There are a lot more these kind of affiliate networks and also private affiliate programs. Simply do some research in Google and you'll find out that there are a lot of potential in this affiliate marketing world!

Essential Google Tools

Google is the main search engine in the world. If you want to get ranked well and get huge organic traffic to your website, you must first understand what Google wants.

  • 5
    Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to track all the useful information and statistics regarding your website.

It helps you to understand how your website is performing by analyzing the users' behavior and activities on your website.

You can find out how much time your visitors are spending on your site, how many pages they are reading, where do they come from, etc.

It is a necessary tool because you need to know which part of your website is performing well and which part needs to be improved on, so that you can optimize it and make more money.

  • 6
    Google Search Console

Google Search Console, previously known as Google Webmaster Tool, is a platform that helps Google to understand your website.

Google needs to understand your website first before they can index and rank your pages at the suitable places and rankings.​

Some of the things you can do in Search Console include requesting Google to crawl (look at)​ your site, check for errors on your site, submit a Sitemap for Google to index your site more easily, etc.

So, if you are not using Google Search Console, it's definitely a lot harder for Google to understand your site and give your site a decent attention.

Basically, Google Analytics is a tool for YOU to understand your audiencewhile Google Search Console is a tool for Google to understand your website.

  • 7
    Google AdSense

Google AdSense is a way for website owners to make an extra source of passive income online by putting Google advertisements on your website.

If you've heard people saying they can earn money by simply allowing people to click on the Ads on their website, Google AdSense is the tool for that.​

However, the amount you can earn is very small if you don't have a huge traffic because you're only paid a few cents (maybe up to a dollar) for each click. For those websites with tons of traffic, AdSense can be a huge income for their owners.

Before you start putting Ads on your website, it needs to be approved by Google first. They will only approve you if your website has a decent amount of content and they deem it as valuable.

It can be quite troublesome and challenging when you first apply for it though. If you're just starting out, work on the foundation and the content of your site first before looking into AdSense.

Essential Email Tools

Email Service Provider is a tool for you to build an Email list and market your products in the form of Email Marketing.

There are many ESP in the market, with AWeber being one of the most common and popular one. For me, I recommend ConvertKit.

Let me explain why...

  • 9
    Email Service Provider (ESP): Getresponse

Email Service Provider is a tool for you to build an Email list and market your products in the form of Email Marketing.

There are many ESP in the market, with AWeber being one of the most common and popular one. For me, I recommend Getresponse.

Let me explain why...

Essential Image Resource/Tools

  • 10
    Free Stock Images

When you're building your site, you'll definitely need some photos along the way to make your content more visually appealing.

However, many photos online are actually copyrighted and you need to pay in order to use them. These are called "Royalty Free Images".​

​I'm sure those of you with tight budgets wouldn't want to pay a lot of money just to get the rights to use the images. That's when "Free Stock Images" comes in.

Following are 3 websites for you to download Free Stock Images without any copyright issues:

  1. ​Pexels.com
  2. Pixabay.com
  3. Unsplash.com

Make sure to bookmark these websites so that you know where to go next time when you need some free and good-looking images.

Other "Royalty Free Images" Sites For Your Reference:

  1. StockPhotoSecrets Shop
  2. Shutterstock
  3. iStock
  4. Adobe Stock
  5. depositphotos
  6. gettyimages

(Take note of the differences between "Royalty Free Images" and "Free Stock Images". Basically, Royalty Free Images are paid and Free Stock Images are absolutely FREE for download.)

  • 11

Canva is a FREE graphic design tool which allows you to create your own graphics for your website.

For your information, I create almost all the graphics in this website using Canva. I use it for my social media posts as well.

It's a really easy-to-use and powerful graphic design tool that every blogger, marketer and website owner should be using.

Other "Royalty Free Images" Sites For Your Reference:

  1. StockPhotoSecrets Shop
  2. Shutterstock
  3. iStock
  4. Adobe Stock
  5. depositphotos
  6. gettyimages

(Take note of the differences between "Royalty Free Images" and "Free Stock Images". Basically, Royalty Free Images are paid and Free Stock Images are absolutely FREE for download.)

Essential Humans

  • 12

Fiverr is a freelancing platform for marketers and online entrepreneurs like you to outsource technical works to the gurus and get it done in an cost-effective way.

Most of the basic services offered on Fiverr are charged at $5. That's why it's called "Fiverr". But there are also custom services and add-ons available at custom prices depending on the seller.

As a blogger or affiliate marketer, you can outsource stuffs like logo design, programming, web design, content creation, etc.

I've personally outsourced logo design and content creation before to the gurus on Fiverr. From my experience, you can really get what you want because the platform allows you to communicate with the gurus easily.

Essential Shortener Link Tools

  • 13

Bitly is a Free tool that allows you to shorten, customize and track your links.

It is very useful especially for Twitter when you have character limits​. In addition, its Chrome extension allows you to easily shorten the URL on the page directly.

Other similar tools include TinyURL and goo.gl (Google URL Shortener).

  • 14

Jing is a Free tool that allows you to take shareable screenshots from your computer.

What I mean by "shareable screenshots" is that Jing gives you an URL for each screenshot you take. To share it with others online, you can simply copy-paste that URL and​ send it to others.

I believe I don't have to emphasize on the usefulness of screenshots because it's so common nowadays.

There are a couple of other similar screenshot tools online but Jing is one of the only tools that is Free and available on both Windows and Mac.

WordPress Essentials

  • 15
    Theme: Thrive Themes

Thrive Themes is a company that offers conversion focused WordPress themes & plugins. Their themes are built for speed, readability and clarity.

I've been using majority of the Thrive products since I became a Thrive Themes​ member. I love Thrive products because they make my website building experience a lot easier and enjoyable.

There are 2 ways to acquire Thrive products. One is to purchase the license for the individual products and the other is to purchase their membership to have access to all the Thrive products, support and training.​

(I'll introduce more Thrive plugins below.)

  • 16
    Plugin: Thrive Architect

Thrive rchitect is the fastest and most intuitive visual editor for WordPress. It allows you to build your WordPress pages on the front-end by using 'drag-and-drop' feature.

The advantage of this is that you can see directly how your website looks like while you're constructing it in real time. The ​usual WordPress editor doesn't allow you to preview your page until you click on the "Preview" button and open up a new tab.

It also allows you to ​create professional and good-looking elements on your page without any coding required. Some of the things include call-to-actions, testimonials, pricing tables, countdown timers, "Click to Tweet" box, table of contents, etc...

Basically, you have total control on the appearance of your page, even the tiny details like margins and spacing can be controlled. These are impossible to be done in WordPress editor.​

With Thrive Architect, you don't have to hire any professional designers to design your website. You are your own designer for your professional-looking website!

  • 17
    Plugin: Thrive Clever Widget

Thrive Clever Widget allows you to customize your widget area, such as your sidebar, for different pages and posts.

You can have full control over what you want to show to your visitors in the sidebar at different pages. This can greatly increase conversion because it makes your widget area more relevant and user-friendly.

  • 18
    Plugin: Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is an All-in-One Email list building tool. You're able to create and design any type of opt-in forms on your website for maximum conversion.

The major benefits include:

  • ​Lots of opt-in templates to choose from
  • Able to customize every single details to fit your website/business
  • Able to integrate with more than 30 Email Marketing Service Provider for you to collect and manage your Email list
  • Able to run A/B testing, analysis and create opt-in form animations
  • 19
    Plugin: Thrive Landing Pages

Thrive Landing Pages allows you to create beautiful, conversion optimized and 100% editable landing pages for various purpose on your website.

There are currently 162 landing page templates available in this plugin. There are more and more templates constantly being added along the way.

Some of the landing pages you can build include opt-in pages, sales pages, webinar registration pages, homepages, review pages, personal branding pages, etc...

Any WordPress website owner definitely needs a plugin for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) because that allows your website to be indexed and ranked in search engine more easily

  • 21
    Plugin: Pretty Link

Pretty Link is a handy plugin especially for affiliate marketers to shorten and customize any URL.

Affiliate links often have some messy-looking characters in the URL​ and Pretty Link can help you customize it to the URL you want and track the number of clicks on it.

The difference between Pretty Link and Bitly is that Pretty Link is a plugin integrated in WordPress while Bitly works on a complete different platform on its own.

Pretty Link allows you to customize the link according to your website URL while Bitly cannot.

  • 22
    Plugin: Q2W3 Fixed Widget

Q2W3 Fixed Widget allows you to fix any widget on the sidebar so it will "stick" there while you scroll down the page.

In this way, you can capture readers' attention on the things you want to convert more. (E.g. Opt-in forms, Banners, etc.)

  • 23
    Plugin: Contact Form 7

Every website should have a Contact Page which allows people to contact you.

Contact Form 7 is a simple and easy-to-use contact form plugin for WordPress. Its contact form is nothing fancy but it works well and it's more than enough for majority of the bloggers and affiliate marketers.

  • 24
    Plugin: Comment Approved

The default WordPress commenting system won't notify the visitors whether their comments have been approved or people have replied to it.

Comment Approved plugin sends a customized Email to those who have left a comment when their comments are approved.​

This will encourage more comments, discussions and engagements, which in turn will also benefit the ranking of the content.

  • 25
    Plugin: Yet Another Stars Rating (YASR)

As an affiliate marketer, you often need to create reviews on various products and services in your niche. YASR allows you to add rating stars into the review and tells Google that this is a review page.

  • 26

Kraken is an online tool which allows you to optimize the size of your images before uploading them to your WordPress website.

This is necessary because it compresses the size of the images to make your website runs faster. The speed of your website actually plays a very important role because no one wants to surf a slow website.

Kraken offers various pricing options for users with different needs. But their Free Web Interface is enough for me so I'm not paying for this tool.

Recommended package starts!

As I mentioned in the first part of the tools needed to get started with affiliate marketing , the 4 main thingsyou need to have are:

  1. A website
  2. Training & Help
  3. Keyword research tool
  4. Internet

So, the things you need to get started for FREE are:

  1. Free subdomains site (SiteRubix)
  2. FREE business startup at affiliate link
  3. The Keyword Tool is provided in affiliate membership
  4. Any affiliate program that promotes your affiliate product

Ready To Start Your Own Affiliate Marketing Business At No Cost To You?

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