In a world that’s becoming increasingly digitized, the idea of working in an office from nine to five is becoming less appealing to millennials and Gen Z. The internet has made it possible to work remotely, anywhere in the world.
Furthermore, the internet has repurposed old industries, thereby allowing new entrants to build their own companies. Likewise, it has also helped to create new industries that are entirely based online.
Affiliate marketing has been around for a long time. Remember how our grandmothers and mothers used to run their independent Tupperware reseller businesses? That was their generation's version of affiliate marketing.
Things have changed drastically since the days of travelling salespeople and Tupperware resellers. Most affiliate marketing programs are digital in today's era.
Affiliate marketing is becoming a popular career alternative to the conventional nine-to-five office job, as it allows you to be independent. However, becoming a successful affiliate marketer is no easy task. The rise in digital marketing is making it almost impossible to launch and scale a healthy affiliate marketing business successfully.
According to Rakuten Marketing, the affiliate marketing industry will be worth over seven billion dollars over the next five years. While at first glance it seems like a congested industry, there’s still plenty of room for new players to come in and thrive.
In light of the above, the question then becomes, how do you start and run a successful affiliate marketing business? It all starts with having the right tools in your arsenal that will position your business for success.
We’ve compiled 20 affiliate marketing tools that we recommend as essential tools to anyone considering starting their own affiliate marketing business.
Content Tools for Successful Affiliate Marketing
The adage “content is king” is a cliche for a reason; it’s the truth. Whether you're a YouTuber or a social media influencer, you still need to deliver high-quality content consistently. Having the right content tools will undoubtedly position you for success. vNot having a clear content strategy or tools to execute your system effectively will put you behind.
Here's a list of our favorite content tools that we recommend you incorporate into your content management plan.
BuzzSumo is a content research and planning tool that helps affiliate marketers from all walks of life to create engaging and relevant content.
It has unique features such as keyword and topic discovery, which essentially tracks the internet in real-time for emerging trends based on keywords and topics that you have pre-selected. What's great about this feature is that it's not restricted to one content type; today, it tracks trending content that’s text-based, video-based, and image based.
Additionally, you have the option of comparing your competitor's content against your own and making the necessary optimization adjustments. Intelligence is the new currency, so having a tool like BuzzSumo will give you a competitive advantage over your competitors.
- Pro Plan: $99 billed month
- Plus Plan: $179/month
- Large: $299/month
- Enterprise: $499+/month
Grammarly is a must-have tool for anyone who writes long-form content. Affiliate marketers usually have their own websites. Although you don't need a website to run a successful affiliate marketing business, having a tool like Grammarly will help minimize grammatical errors in your content.
This software also helps you optimize your content so that it’s engaging. Grammarly enables you to improve your content by using a powerful AI that scans your content and offers suggestions on how to improve your tone, delivery, grammar, and overall clarity.
- Individual Plan: Free Individual
- Premium Plan: $11.66/month
- Team Plan: $12.50/ month
DupliChecker is a free online SaaS platform that checks the quality of your content. This software is handy for content that’s meant for blogs. DupliChecker also helps scan write-ups for any plagiarism before you publish.
DupliChecker is a robust resource with great features for content quality control; these features are text analysis, web management, SEO auditor, and keyword research.
The amount of value you get from DupliChecker as a content creator and affiliate marketer is astounding. The fact that this is a free resource is amazing.
Hemingway Editor is another fantastic, free resource. While the editor is free to use online, the desktop version is a paid version of the software.
The app has a clean interface that's easy to follow, and its color-coding highlights on text help quickly identify editing suggestions. The free version of the app doesn't give you the option to save your edited document. The paid version of the app allows you to keep your work in multiple formats; it also provides the chance to publish your content on Medium or WordPress directly.
- Online version: Free
- Desktop version: $19.99
Ranking on a search result can significantly increase the amount of organic traffic finding its way to your affiliate marketing website. It’s no surprise that companies and individuals alike seek to improve their organic sales funnel and overall SERPs ranking on Google by turning to SEO tools.
Yoast is a free SEO tool from WordPress that analyzes your website to determine whether or not you have a chance of ranking. You can also assign keywords for blog posts—Yoast will assess your content to see how the keywords have been distributed across it.
Using SEO best practices, Yoast can override your default theme settings so that your website is better optimized for ranking higher on Google.
- Price: Free version:
- Free Premium: $89
SEMRush is a type of SaaS that can be categorized as a super app. This resource is a must for any affiliate marketer looking to gain a competitive advantage through search engine optimization, pay per click, and social media marketing.
This software can analyze a competitor's website and generate a meaningful report that will tell you about your competitor's keyword ranking, backlink profile, and most visited pages.
- Pro: $99/month
- Guru: $100/month
- Business: $399/month
- Enterprise: Custom
Moz, much like SEMRush, is an online discovery tool. The platform performs an SEO Audit, not only on your website, but also on competitor websites. Additionally, you can use Moz to compare SEO ranking between you and your competitors across 170+ search engines.
- Standard: $99/month
- Medium: $179/month
- Large: $249/month
- Premium: $599/month
Ahrefs is another SEO auditing tool that has helpful guidelines and tips you can use to improve your overall knowledge of ranking your website on Google.
For content planning, Ahrefs has tools that help you find top-performing content in your industry. This enables you to focus your energy on content that’s most likely to perform better.
- Lite: $99/month
- Standard: $179/month
- Advanced: $399/month
- Agency: $999/month
Long-tail keywords are often overlooked since everyone wants to rank higher for keywords that dominate their particular niche. However, seasoned affiliate marketers understand the importance that long-tail keywords have in significantly reducing ad costs.
Long-tail keywords not only reduce ad costs for PPC campaigns, they also expose your website to second-tier traffic that can end up being a significant contributor to your bottom line.
LongTailPro helps you discover long-tail keywords that can provide a lot of high-converting traffic regardless of your niche.
- Starter: $25/month
- Pro: $45/month
- Agency: $98/month L
Landing pages are an integral part of an affiliate marketer's conversion funnel. As an affiliate marketer, you only earn money when a web page visitor completes a verifiable transaction.
Lead conversion isn't an exact science, it's more of an art—everybody loves a great piece of art. Don't you think it's worthwhile to invest in adequately optimized landing pages?
New isn't always good; that’s the philosophy behind Instapage. Instapage has an extensive library of pre-built landing pages that you can use to sell products or services with your target audience in mind.
One of this software’s main features is its simple landing page creation tool. It’s customized to the type of audience you're building.
- Business: $199/month
- Enterprise: Customized plan
ClickFunnels is a sales funnel that’s designed to help marketers improve their conversion rates. This tool is especially useful for affiliate marketers, as their primary focus is conversions.
ClickFunnels is more than just a tool for sales funnels; it also helps you create stunning landing pages, integrate your affiliate programs, and automate follow-up funnels.
- Standard: $97/month
- ClickFunnels: $297/month
Unbounce is a fantastic option if you're looking for a resource with an extensive library of pre-built, industry-specific landing pages. As an affiliate marketer, you may be a part of multiple affiliate programs. You’ll likely require a robust solution for creating landing pages that are best suited to each program.
Unbounce has landing pages and sales funnel templates for SaaS products, eCommerce stores, and agencies. Additionally, their landing pages incorporate the best user experience and interface practices. This means you’ll create landing pages in line with your industry's best practices.
- Essential: $79/month
- Premium: $159/month
- Enterprise: $399/month
In a perfect world, every affiliate marketer would opt for landing pages that come standard with high conversion rates. Sadly, that's rarely the case.
Not only does Leadpages have an extensive library of beautiful themes to choose from, all their themes are optimized for tablets and smartphones. Furthermore, with lead pages, you have the option of choosing from a variety of events that serve a specific purpose, such as contests, giveaways, and sales.
- Start: $19/month
- Standard: $37/month
- Pro: $79/month
- Advanced: $321/month
Affiliate Reporting Tools
More often than not, affiliate marketers work with multiple affiliate programs, so keeping track of their campaigns can become tricky. Luckily, there are reporting tools with an API integration that you can use to keep track of all your affiliate programs on one platform.
Reports always inform managerial decisions in business. They help with gleaning information that will ultimately help you make informed decisions.
Affluent collects data from all the affiliate programs that you work with and showcases the data in a visually appealing format.
- Free Startup: $19/month
- Business: $100/month
Voluum enables affiliate marketers to track, analyze, and optimize all of their campaigns in one place.
It’s an excellent tool for affiliate marketers who wish to keep track of the performance of multiple landing pages. Voluum monitors over 30 different metrics regarding every visit made to your website, click-throughs on your landing pages, and conversions in real-time.
The fun doesn't stop there. Do you wish to optimize your performance further? With volume, you can also use their A/B testing software, reporting software, or data drill-downs.
- Discover: $69/month
- Profit: $149/month
- Grow: $449/month
- Agency: $999/month
AffJet allows you to add multiple affiliate networks and import your data from said networks into their dashboard. After successfully importing your data into your Affjet dashboard, you can use the available filters and data analysis tools to identify trends and glean insight into which brands are selling better on your website.
This tool can help you boost your affiliate marketing campaigns tenfold. We encourage you to take advantage of their resources which can help you quickly identify dead links, double down on profitable campaigns, and boost commissions with the platform's mega dashboard.
- Free Starter: £5/$6.88/month
- Medium: £15/$20.65/month
- Large: £30/$41.31/month
Email Marketing Tools
Sometimes, it feels like email marketing has been around since the dawn of man. Okay, that was an exaggeration. The truth is, email marketing remains one of the best resources available to marketers from all walks of life.
Emails are effective at conveying information about multiple offers in a simple, yet attractive fashion.
There are many automation tools out there that you can start using today to propel your affiliate marketing business into the stratosphere.
MailChimp is arguably the largest email automation platform in the market today. If you haven't heard about this CMS platform over the past decade and a half, you’ve probably been away from the internet.
With MailChimp, you can create single or multi-stage email marketing campaigns while adding links to third-party websites in your email copy. Moreover, using the platform's preset templates, you can launch a new email marketing campaign in just a few minutes.
Mailchimp's campaign builder helps you optimize your copy and design elements so that your content meets the preferences of your target audience. MailChimp's campaign builder will help you craft messaging that captivates and converts, whether you’re selling mugs with pug faces or biodegradable t-shirts.
- Basic: Free
- Essentials: $9.99/month
- Standard: $14.99/month
- Premium: $299/month
GetResponse is an affiliate marketing tool that enhances your effectiveness in sending out email newsletters.
With GetResponse, you can create responsive emails, based on stunning templates, through an intuitive user interface. It also has additional features that you can harness to take your email marketing to the next level. Additional features include:
- Landing pages
- Marketing automation
- Webinars Autoresponders
- AutoFunnel Enterprise
- Basic: $15/month
- Plus: $49/month
- Professional: $99/month
- Enterprise: $1,199/month
Traffic is the lifeline of the affiliate marketing business. When a customer makes a purchase using an affiliate link, the affiliate marketer receives a commission. Because of the former, everyone in the affiliate marketing business is obsessed with tracking tools.
Google Analytics is a powerful tracking tool that gathers and analyzes website data. With it, affiliate marketers can gather meaningful insight about their audiences, which will help them fine-tune their marketing endeavors.
- Pricing: Google Analytics: Free
- Analytics 360: Custom
ThirstyAffiliates is a great WordPress plugin for affiliate marketers with WordPress websites. It helps you keep all of your affiliate links organized and identify broken affiliate links on your website in real-time.
Another great feature that we love from this plugin is its Link Cloaking feature, which is excellent for shortening long affiliate links.
- Basic: Free One Site License: $49
- Five Site License: $79
- Unlimited Site License: $149
Affiliate marketing continues to soar with estimated growth projections north of $7 billion in the next five years; it's no wonder the industry is experiencing an upsurge of new entrants. Running a successful affiliate marketing business is a complex task; having the right resources is vital. We've looked at content tools, SEO tools, design tools, tracking and reporting tools that can improve your chances of running a successful affiliate marketing business.