If you love the idea of working from anywhere and working hours you choose without a set schedule, then you’ve probably looked into affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketers live this way every day, working as their own boss for home, the coffee shop, or wherever they’d like to work. This can be extremely enticing for those looking to trade in their typical 9 to 5 work schedule for the opportunity to work like this.
However, even though affiliate marketing may seem like a dream come true, it’s not going to be easy to replace your day job with at first. Because of the rising popularity of working on digital platforms, like affiliate marketplaces, the market has become saturated with content creators, bloggers, and other ecommerce business owners looking to make a profit on affiliates.
Despite the difficulty of setting up a successful affiliate marketing platform, you don’t need to worry. We’ve compiled a list of the best tools for affiliate marketing that you’ll need to make it as an affiliate marketer. Keep reading to take your first steps in the affiliate marketing business.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
For those of you who may not have a clear idea of what affiliate marketing is, let us explain it to you. Affiliate marketing is essentially making an agreement with a vendor or merchant of goods to place a link to their products on your ecommerce platform. As people navigate to their product and make a purchase by using the link on your website, you’ll get a small commission for each of these sales. This is a win for everybody involved, as the vendor sees more sales because of your link, and you get a cut of the money made from the sale.
Popular ecommerce platforms that you’ll often find affiliate links on are social media profiles, blogs, and other ecommerce sites like these. It’s important to note that you’ll only make commission if people make a purchase from the affiliate merchant using the link they gave you for your website. Additionally, some affiliate networks have the added feature of providing a commission on any product sold when a customer navigates to their site from your link. For example, if you have an affiliate link on your blog that links to a $5 set of utensils but the person using your link went on to buy a $500 television instead, you still make a commission on that sale.
As you can probably see, affiliate marketing can quickly become a lucrative business if done right. Now let’s get into the tools that will help you make money and improve your affiliate marketing skills.
Every affiliate marketer needs a good affiliate marketplace or network to get started finding merchants and vendors to provide them with affiliate links. ShareASale is one of the most popular affiliate marketplaces out there, housing affiliate programs for over 4500 sellers of varying sizes. ShareASale differs from marketplaces like Amazon Associates in that they don’t have a focus on a certain brand of product. They don’t only promote Amazon affiliate links, for example.
ShareASale offers a single location to sign up for different merchants, making it quick and easy to secure affiliate sellers or lists. You can even view your statistics on this dashboard, showing how many people have looked at your program and how many have signed on.
Remember that you’ll also need to apply to each merchant individually, and then will need to be approved by each of these merchants. This is a standard practice for most affiliate marketplaces like this.
ShareASale is a great marketplace to find both physical and digital products. For example, you’ll encounter many online shops and products that you can work with, while also finding a wide array of physical merchants. Some of these merchants include Reebok, Sun Basket, Warby Parker, and NFL Shop. The list doesn’t stop there though, you’ll find thousands of other options to choose from also.
Flippa is an essential tool for anyone looking to jumpstart their affiliate marketing business, offering a streamlined platform to bid on, buy, and sell websites that already have strong backlink profiles. Why do you want a website with a strong backlink profile, you might ask? Well, with a website like the ones you’ll find on Flippa, you’ll be able to get a head start on SEO growth, which is essential for any affiliate marketing platform.
However, while Flippa can be a great tool, you should always run your own audit on a site’s backlinks to ensure the seller is really selling a quality site. Many sites sold on Flippa may appear solid at first glance, but all too many prospective affiliate marketers have found that their profiles are rife with problems, which can hurt the site’s SEO rankings. As an affiliate marketer, this is the last thing you want.
This tool works to complete keyword research, audits of site pages, and competitive content analyses to optimize your site’s SEO rankings. Ahref emphasizes backlinks much more than other similar tools, making it a great tool to pair with Flippa or tools similar to that.
A few features Ahref offers its users includes thorough analysis of your site’s backlinks, broken links that might be hidden on your site’s pages, and information about your competitors and their backlink growth.
Ahref is a favorite tool among SEO specialist for the reasons we’ve outlined above. This is a perfect tool for those who may be trying to compete with larger competitors, and as such, may not be the optimal SEO tool for those who are already established.
4 Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is often the first plugin SEO specialists like to add to the sites they work on, as it provides a user with advanced functionality for SEO on every page. Some things it can do for you include canonical link customization, title and meta description customization, meta robot customization, and sitemap creation and customization.
One of the best things about Yoast SEO is that it’s free! This tool is a great option for those working on a budget or who simply don’t want to have to pay for an SEO tool. However, there’s also a paid version that comes with 24/7 support and advanced redirect management. A redirect manager can be useful because it will allow you to redirect broken or lost pages that you want removed from your site’s search results.
If you’re going to be regularly publishing copy on your website (and aren’t a master of grammar and spelling), then Grammarly is an absolute must-have. Grammarly will constantly be checking the spelling, grammar, and syntax of your site’s copy, letting you know if you’ve made a mistake. This is a great way to streamline content on your site and make sure it looks and reads professional.
Grammarly also comes with a free and a paid model. The base free model will provide you with the essentials of grammar and spelling checks, while the paid version will provide a more in-depth platform for content review.
Many first-time visitors to a website aren’t ready to make a purchase right off the bat. It usually takes getting them to return to the site when they’re ready to make a purchase to convert them into customers.
As this can be a tricky process, Sumo offers a comprehensive email capture system to keep visitors coming back to your site when they’re ready to make a purchase. This tool is free, but also offers a paid model with a wider selection of features and customizations.
Getting into the world of affiliate marketing can be confusing and difficult, especially if you’re not familiar with digital markets and ecommerce. However, with the right tools and the right information, you can become a top affiliate marketer in no time.
The tools we’ve outlined above are some of the best tools to use to drive traffic to your site, keep your content professional and clean, and to help convert website visitors into customers. There are loads more affiliate marketing tools out there, far too many to include on this list. If you’re just getting your own affiliate marketing business started, try out the tools above to help your platform really take off.