There are two questions that I am always asked about affiliate marketing:
1. How much can I make?
2. How much does it cost to begin?
The amount of money you’ll make with affiliate marketing is totally dependant on how hard you work, and how much it costs to begin is also different based on the individual’s needs.
One reason I decided to start affiliate marketing was because it didn’t cost as much as the other ways to make money online.
In fact, You can begin for almost nothing and then over time begin to add new tools as you build out your business.
I decided to write this post and highlight the tools that I use for affiliate marketing.
We know from any business or trade that having the right tools is important. If you do any kind of carpentry or mechanic work you’ll understand. Don’t attempt to build something or fix something with the wrong tools - it's frustrating!
Over the years, I have subtracted and added to my affiliate toolbox. I realize that some tools didn’t work anymore or that there were better tools to replace them. Your toolbox is always growing and evolving.
Always remember that the most important instrument in affiliate marketing is you. Tools are great, but they do not dictate your success.
Your determination is what is going to get the job done. I like what Bill Gates said,
"Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” ----- Bill Gates
We have tools to help us work more efficiently, but at the end of the day, you need to always show up.
A PLACE TO BEGIN
Wealthy Affiliate [Training Platform]
The first tool (and tip) that will help you on your journey with affiliate marketing is Wealthy Affiliate.
This is where my affiliate marketing journey began many years ago.
Wealthy Affiliate taught me the basics of affiliate marketing, important principles for success, and the training that is essential.
The price of Wealthy Affiliate is $49 a month or yearly at $359, but you can continue with the free starter membership for as long as you want.
The support available from life-minded affiliates is what makes Wealthy Affiliate awesome.
When you’re having a bad day and feel like giving up, the encouragement from other affiliates, and the success stories that are available on the platform are exactly what you need to keep moving forward.
WEALTHY AFFILIATE FEATURES YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE
- Education - Training Courses on affiliate marketing basics, SEO, website design, email marketing and so much more.
- Support - The support that you need to follow your dreams and the success stories that keep you encouraged. Also, the technical support team is always there (24/7) to help with any website crisis that may take place. You can easily send them a message and they are there to fix anything that may have gone wrong (I’ve used them a lot).
- SiteRubix - Build a website that is both secure and up to date with the latest technology. SiteRubix, which is built into each membership, allows you to build a professional website with all the bells and whistles. Note: If you look further into the price of a solid web host with all of the features available on the Wealthy Affiliate platform, you’re going to find that it’s worth the $49 a month membership (Compare below).
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:
Bluehost Standard WordPress Hosting (20 a month) + $6 a Month for an SSL Certificate + GoDaddy Website Protect Express (Protect Against Malware and Hacks) would be about $20 a month + Keyword Search Tool would be another $20 a month + Affiliate Training would be at least $50 a month = Over $100 a month.
*Wealthy Affiliate costs $49 a month.
Plus you get far more with your Wealthy Affiliate membership. A awesome community (family) that’s always there to help you along.
Jaaxy [Keyword Research]
At the heart and soul of affiliate marketing is building an audience. Without an audience, you’re not going to make any money!
One of the ways that you can get an audience is through the power of Google. With Google, you can get free traffic through SEO or search engine optimization. SEO is the techniques of getting your website ranked on the first page of google so that traffic is directed to your website.
In order to do this correctly, you need to know what people are searching for on Google or Bing (Are there any other search engines?).
Finding low competetion keywords is why a keyword search tool is necessary.
The keyword search tool that I use is Jaaxy.
I’ve used several different keyword search tools over my years as an affiliate marketer, and found that Jaaxy was the simplest to use. The other keyword tools over-complicate things which can actually harm your efforts.
Learn more about Jaaxy by clicking here.
JAAXY FEATURES YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE
- Relevant Information - Jaaxy gives you the information that you need to choose low-competitive keywords.
- Domain Names - I love that Jaaxy gives you the available domain names for keywords. I believe this is an essential metric of the competitiveness of a keyword because if the domain name is available, it speaks volumes to the competition associated with that keyword.
- Alphabet Soup - Get ideas for content writing and keywords with their alphabet soup feature.
- Site Rank - Get an overview of where your website is ranked on Google with Jaaxy’s site rank feature.
Affiliate networks are the meat and potatoes of affiliate marketing. They provide the relevant products for you to promote on your website. I recommend that you use the following affiliate networks:
4. Grammarly [Software]
Grammar is important, and Grammarly helps.
If you struggle with writing blog posts, I strongly suggest that you give Grammarly a try.
Grammarly is an application can be installed on your Mac or PC, and it scans through your document and checks your spelling, grammar and sentence structure.
Though Grammarly isn’t perfect, it does catch several mistakes which makes it a good investment.
Grammarly offers a free version, or you can upgrade to a paid version for more premium features.
Google Webmaster Tools [Website]
I had mentioned before about SEO and using Google to get free traffic. Google provides a free tool for affiliates and bloggers to use which allows you to submit your website to Google to be crawled.
This excellent tool is called Google Webmaster Tools, and if you’re currently not using it, you need to right away.
With Google Webmaster Tools you’re able to submit a sitemap for your website and individually submit each blog post for indexing.
It’s a vital resource for anyone who runs a website and wants Google to know it exists.
Yoast SEO [Plugin]
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that provides you with helpful guides toward essential SEO development.
Yoast makes SEO easier by pointing out areas of your blog post that doesn’t meet SEO standards.
I pay a yearly fee for Yoast Premium, but you can use the free plugin, and it works wonderfully well. For more information about the differences of the free plugin compared to the paid version you can click here.
Unsplash.com and Pexels.com [Website]
Every website needs images!
You cannot just throw a bunch of text on your site and expect people to read through all of it. Your blog post starts looking like a page out of the dictionary - that’s no good.
Images help break up text and relate thoughts.
These two websites are fantastic for FREE, high-quality images for your blog posts.
You can get more great image resources by following this link.
The next tool is one that helps simplify your writing.
Hemingway, a great writing tool, removes the fluff in your writing and leaves your readers with just the insight.
This free nifty tool is worth a try.
Monosnap Screenshot Editor [Software]
Monosnap is software used for taking awesome screen captures and adding cool highlight features.
You can add arrows, circles and boxes to stress particular features or point out important information.
Google “Monosnap” and click on the link. Then download the free software and start taking awesome screenshots. Monosnap is a must for every affiliate marketer to have in their toolbox.
Canva is a design website that I use a lot (I mean a lot). If you do not have a team of designers at your command, then Canva is a site that may interest you.
Canva makes design easier, and best of all you can create professional designs that make your website look great.
Canva is excellent for creating social media posts: like Facebook and Instagram. Also, it’s perfect for whipping up some infographics that are sure to get some social shares.
I have been using the free version of Canva for months and love it. It’s definitely worth its spot at the top of the affiliate tools.
To help your website load quickly, I highly recommend that you download and install Smush Image Compression and Optimization.
Smush is an easy, light-weight plugin with loads of features.
It’s a great first step toward proper SEO.
AddToAny Share Buttons [Plugin]
The next tool that you should download is a WordPress plugin that makes sharing your blog posts simple.
AddToAny Share Buttons is a free plugin that allows you to add social share buttons anywhere on your website.
If your theme doesn’t have social share buttons built into it, I would recommend you head over to AddToAny’s website and download and install it now.
Use bitly to shorten your url's.
This is a great free tool that makes your url’s neat and is especially useful if you are posting url’s on social media.
If you would rather a plugin to shorten your url’s than I would suggest that you download Pretty Links.
It’s a fantastic plugin that makes your url’s short and neat.
You can download the plugin by clicking here.
GROWING YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
ThriveThemes: Thrive Architect and Thrive Leads [Plugins]
In my honest opinion, I believe it’s an affiliate marketers dream team.
I am not a website programmer, but Thrive Architect allows me to build awesome looking websites. I would have no idea how to CSS a text box like the one below.
THRIVE ARCHITECT FEATURES YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE
- Build professional designs quickly and easily
- It’s all WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) or a frontend editor that allows you to see your changes in real time.
- The company is evolving and always developing better conversion-based plugins.
- The price is actually reasonable for the powerful software that you receive.
- It works! I have seen first hand that this software works and is worth the investment.
Okay. The arrow and smily face is just showing off.
Thrive Leads allows me to create conversion-centered opt-in forms and landing pages with ease.
I cannot say enough about Thrive Themes and honestly recommend it to every internet marketer that I meet.
You'd pay a lot of money each month for this type of software, but with Thrive Themes Membership you can get it all for $228 a year or $30 a month.
If Thrive Themes fits your budget, I'd head over to thrivethemes.com now and purchase it. It’s worth every penny in my opinion.
GetResponse [Website Platform]
Email marketing is a great way to send out your affiliate offers and connect daily with your audience.
There are many email marketing platforms available online, but not all of them allow affiliate marketing. The best automated mail software that I have found is GetResponse.
GetResponse is powerful and affordable. In fact, it was one of the most affordable platforms that I found online (I tried several).
GetResponse is simple to use, and though not perfect, I’ve found that it works exceptionally well.
Amazon Associates and Amazon Affiliates [Website and Plugin]
One of the affiliate programs that I have used often is Amazon associates.
Amazon is great for affiliate marketing because:
- It’s a trusted brand
- You get commissions from Amazon on all products purchased in a 24 hour period
- It’s easy to sign-up
- You get several tools to help you become successful
One of the tools that I have used along side of Amazon is Amazon Affiliates.
Amazon Affiliates is a plugin that uses Amazon’s API to pull product information (Prices and details), and create awesome looking comparison tables for your affiliate site.
I find that the tables are professional looking, and they give my visitors an awesome overview of product details. I also find that it saves me time gathering information about specific products that I am promoting.
- Create Best Selling Product Widgets
- Create Comparison Tables
- Feature Your Top Picks
- Professional Design
- Easy To Use
Crowdfire is software to help automate your social feeds.
Social media is a big part of being an affiliate marketer, and often it’s the forgotten part or the part that is left out because of the lack of time.
Crowdfire Curates articles and images for your social feed so you always have fresh content for your audience.
Google Analytics is a free website provided by Google (Obviously), and allows you to track how many visitors you’ve had on any given day, month or year and which pathway they took to get to your site.
Google Analytics gives you great information about the visitors of your site, like: what country they’re from, how long they stayed on your site, bounce rate (People coming to one page on your site and then leaving) and so much more.
The problem (or it’s not a problem at all) with Google Analytics is that it can be complicated. You get so much information that it is easy to get overwhelmed or lost in it all.
Fiverr and UpWork
As you begin to build out your website, there will come a day (I promise you that it will come- just keep working hard and following your dreams) when you need to outsource some of your content and design.
If you have any questions about these great tools and tips, please leave them in the comment section below. If you have any tools or tips to add to this list, you can also leave them in the comments section.