Affiliate Marketing Tools — The Complete List

Affiliate Tools

There is a large and sometimes confusing world of tools available for affiliates and bloggers who drive their traffic and revenue with SEO marketing.

If you depend upon SEO for your traffic you need to use tools — you can be sure that your competitors do.

There are software tools and SaaS services for content creation, keyword research, tracking your performance and more.

Not everyone will of course need all of these, and much can be accomplished with free tools. The main thing is that you need to treat your online business as … well a business. Data and numbers matter.

As affiliate marketers and bloggers you are a great target for people trying to sell you shiny objects. Don’t go overboard buying lots of products. There are no magic solutions. No tools that will make your website soar overnight. You won’t get rich overnight with the latest secret method.

But there are lots of tools, software products, and services out there that will make you more productive and competitive. As your business grows tools can help you scale more efficiently.

Knowledge is power, so here’s a look at the world of affiliate marketing tools.

 

SEO Marketing Tools

SEO marketing tools are critical to most content marketers and affiliates. These range from All-in-One power suites like ahrefs to point solutions like rank trackers.

If you are dependent on search for a large portion of your traffic you need tools to plan and measure your SEO performance.

SEO tools are typically used from inception through the content creation process & business development phase. They can keep your site well structured and performing for the best results with Google search.

SEO Tools for Affiliates

SEO All-in-One Suites

All-in-one suites are the one stop shopping tools of the SEO world. They typically combine keyword research, site auditing, competitive analysis, and some backlink tracking. They often are best in class in one category but not others. They do give you the ability to manage all of your SEO issues in one tool.

  • Ahrefs — Ahrefs is the go-to suite of tools for many affiliate marketers and bloggers. A great keyword research tool and competitive analysis are the strong points.

$99 – $999 month. $7 for 7-day trial

  • Cognitive SEO — All inclusive tool with a strong website crawler and EO auditing component. Highly visual with complete set of recommendations to resolve discovered problems.

$129/mo and up. Free trial

  • BrightEdge — A focus on customer engagement and user search intent. Modules for social, local, and mobile set it apart.

Not disclosed must request a quote

  • Mozpro — All-in-one tool with Site audits, Rank tracking, backlink analysis, and keyword research.

$99 – $599 per month. Free trial

  • Majestic — Site auditing, Keyword Research, Backlink checker. Majestic has a strong visual link mapping capability.

$49 – $99 month, API version is $399/mo. Free trial

  • Raventools — Audits including detailed performance/speed testing. Raventools also provides backlink tools, rank tracking, competitive research and more.

$39 – $399 month. Free trial

  • Serpstat — All-in-one tool with keyword research, search analytics, advertising analysis, content marketing idea generator and more.

$69 – $499 month. Free trial upon request after demo

  • Botify —  Botify has a focus on enterprise users with custom packages and capabilities per industry. They use a 3-step process of; analytics (crawling your site), intelligence (analyzing the crawl data, and activation (solutions and recommendations).

Starting at $500 per month

  • WooRank — Woorank has a very strong auditing and crawling capability and some additional tools including keyword tools.

$59-$179 per month

Auditing and Crawling

Auditing tools will crawl your website and analyze any on-page issues like broken links, missing meta descriptions, multiple titles or H1 headings, no alt image content etc. Most of the suite tools also  have an auditing capability. 

  • Screaming Frog — The standard-bearer for auditing tools. You are limited to 500 URLS in the free version. The premium version has unlimited urls and many additional features including; spelling & grammar checks, search console integration, support and more.

Freemium, Premium is $187 per year

  • DeepCrawl — Deepcrawl audits and monitors your website. They have specific tools for many vertical markets including e-commerce and agencies.

Starts at $89 per month for 100,000 urls

Keyword Research

Of all the SEO tools affiliates and other online marketers use, keyword research is typically the most important. They can be used to evaluate new niches and detrmine what the best content targets to go for based on the volume and competitiveness of a term.

  • Soovle — Soovle uses auto-complete information to make suggestions for keywords.

Free

  • CanIrank — CanIRank aims to be an SEO Intelligence tool. They gather data from other SEO services then add a layer of intelligence on that collected data to deliver detailed information and specific opportunities, and recommendations.

Freemium, Pro version $49 +

  • Keyword Tool — Keyword Tool uses Google autocomplete to find actionable keywords. The premium version adds twice as many keywords and competitor’s keywords.

Freemium. Pro version $69 – $159 per month

  • Longtail Pro — This has been around a while but still a solid tool that is constantly being improved. LTP specaliazes in finding low competition keywords which is great for newer sites.

$25 – $98 per month with a 7-day free trial.

  • Answer the Public — ATP use autocomplete info to let you know what questions users are asking Google and other search engines. A great tool to find info for your FAW schema content.

Free

  • KW Finder — Is one of the products in the Mangools family. It excels at finding keywords with low difficulty.

$29 – $79 per month. Free 10-day trial

  • Ubbersuggest — Neil Patel’s tool. The focus is on reverse engineering competitor content marketing strategies. Recently went to a freemium model but the free data is still valuable.

Freemium. Pro version is $29 – $99 per month

Rank Tracking

If you don’t have an all-in-one suite tool you likely will want rank tracker. These tools let you track how you are ranking for given keywords and get a heads-up when you are losing ground to a competitor or an update.

  • Accuranker — Rank tracking geared for agencies and SEO professionals. Fast and in-depth.

$99 per month. Free 14-day trial

  • Advanced Web Ranking — Automated ranking daily, weekly and on-demand. Geared towards agencies with white label reports.

$49 – $199. Free 30 day trial

  • Stat — Large scale rank tracking and SERP analytics. This is designed for big-data applications. Now a part of MOZ.

Starts at $720 per month

Correlation Tools

These are tools that will help you create and optimize your content. You can use them to compare and understand more about your competitors content that outranks you. After analyzing metrics like your contents wordcount, keyword distribution, schema, heading content etc. the tools will compare your article to those outranking you and suggest improvements.

  • Surfer SEO — Surfer SEO is hot! Enter your article url and those ranking above you and Surfer will give you a recipe to make you more like what Google wants. Or you can work with Surfer as you create new content. Not the first company to do this but a nice price point, slick UI, and easy accessibility to non-data scientists make it popular. See our Surfer in-depth review.

$59 – $199 $1 7-day trial

  • Cora — Cora is from SEOtoollab. They provide data-driven SEO marketing. The main focus is on correlation software that tracks 2000 rank affecting variables.

Lite version is $125 per month. Premium version is $250 per month

  • Page Optimizer Pro — POP works with any language to optimize your content by comparing it to your competitor’s content. A strong tool with good pricing.

$20 – $39 month. Free 7-day 5 report trial

  • Market Muse — Though many of the tools in this category let you both compare your content after it is published and while researching. MarketMuse has an emphasis on research, planning and creating content. MArketMuse is geared towards larger agencies and enterprise users.

$1500 per month. Free 30 day trial

 

Backlink Tools

Backlinks are the major part of your off-page SEO tasks. These are other websites and social media who are linking to you. The ultimate goal is a do-follow backlink from a high authority site squarely in your niche. Google views backlinks as a reference for the quality of your content. The better the site linking to you the more powerful the backlink.

  • Link Research Tools — Full suite of tools but best known for their link detox tool used for analyzing backlinks and preparing Google Disavow file.

Starts at $249/mo for Link Detox Only $499/mo for full suite

  • Linkody — Track your link building campaign while monitor your existing backlinks and those of your competitors.

$15 – $153 per month. Free 30-day Trial

  • Kerboo — Kerboo is backlink software for doing link audits. The goal is to protect and improve your links. They also offer managed services including backlink auditing and disavow file maintenance.

$315 – $1,250 per month

  • Monitor Backlinks — This tool monitors backlinks and keywords. You can track both over a period of time and also find competitive information

$25 per month for 1 domain $106 per month for 5 domains

  • CheckmyLinks — Checkmylinks is a Chrome extension that crawls a webpage and finds broken links. This can be a part of a broken link backlink strategy.

Free

  • Linkstant — Linkstant monitors your website notifying you of new links via email or other notifications you select. Recently went from free to a Premium model.

$7 to $27 per month

  • Pitchbox — Is a tool to help with your backlink outreach campaigns. It can quickly find influencers in your niche.

$195 to $295 per month

Google Tools

Google provides a number of tools to make that are used by SEOs and content marketers. Some are must haves like Analytics and search console. You’re trying to rank in Google search so it is a good idea to take advantage of all that Google offers. 

  • Google Search Console -- GSC is the only resource that can tell you exactly how your content is performing in search. There is a huge amount of SEO information there that is often overlooked.

Free

  • Google Analytics --  GA tracks your traffic. All your traffic not just search traffic. Many tools will integrate with GA and analyze your sites performance.

Free

  • Google Trends -- Google trends is an a invaluable tool. Particularly for content marketers with an advertising component. Find out what's hot and what's not.

Free

  • Google Pagespeed Tools -- Find out how your website is performing on desktop and mobile and what you can do to improve it.

Free

  • Google Keyword Planner -- The only place to find actual keyword volume info. You do need an Adwords account to use it.

Content Creation & Optimization

Matching content to search requests is what Google and other search engines do. There are many tools to strategically select topics to write about and help you create great content.

In addition to fine-tuning your site's topical relevance, tools can check that your external writers have not "borrowed" any content and that your grammar and spelling are spot-on.

content creation tools for affiliates

Content Ideas

You need to be tactical and creative in planning your content. These tools will help find content gaps relative to your niche and topical authority.

  • Article Forge — Article Forge is a bit controversial. Give it a keyword and it produces an article. Best fro VPN or other feeder sites vs. your main site.

$27 month on annual billing ($57 month if billed monthly). Free trial.

  • Buzz Sumo — Generate content ideas, find influencers and create content. Buzzsumo tracks engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterets, and Reddit.

Starts at $99 per month. 7 day 100 search free trial

  • Storybase — Find content ideas based on peoples Google searches. The goal is to find the overlap between what people search for and what you want to tell them (your topical authority).

Starts at $49 per month. 14-day free trial

Grammar Checkers

Yes you do need to write properly. Sure it can be conversational, informal or even chatty; but you can't write as if English is a foreign language.  It is very easy to run your article through these tools and all outsourced content should be checked with a tool like Grammarly.

  • Grammarly — Grammarly is certainly the best known writing aid. It is available as a free Chrome plugin with Grammer, spelling and punctuation checks. The premium versions add plagiarism checks, readability, vocabulary and has a “tone detector” to tell you how formal your writing is.

Free. Premium version $12 per month

  • Scribens — Like Grammarly there is a free Chrome extensions and premium versions that work with, MS Word, email clients and other tools. They also offer a SaaS form on their website where you can paste in your text to be checked.

Free — Scribens uses an ad-based revenue model.

  • ProWriting Aid — Grammar checking, style editing and writing coach. Free Chrome extension and premium versions to edit in your word processing software.

Free Chrome extension. Premium is $20/month, $79/year, or $299 lifetime

  • Whitesmoke — English writing tools with a desktop and web version. Checks for spelling, grammar and syntax errors. Geared towards an academic market/writer.

$59/year for Web, $79 year for desktop, and $137/year for business

 

Landing Pages & Funnels

When you are an Amazon affiliate, your objective is to onramp even the coldest of visitors to Amazon. They are a conversion machine and you get paid for even unrelated sales. Most other products require warming the traffic. So if you are running ads or email campaigns you don't typically want to send the traffic directly to the offer. landing pages and sales funnels are used to move the prospects through your sales cycle, engaging them and getting them to subscribe to your email list and autoresponders.

  • Leadpages — A pioneer in the landing page market they have over 40,000 customers. A nice visual editor and large collection of templates makes it quick and easy to use.

$25 – $199 per month

  • Unbounce — Unbounce is all about creating landing pages that convert. They have power A/B testing capabilities and optional CSS and Javascript options for power users.

$80 – $300 per month

  • ClickFunnels — ClickFunnels is Russell Brunson’s huge success story. ClickFunnels can be used independent of a website to move a prospect through an integrated sales funnel. Perhaps a bit more hype than I like it is hard to argue their success. Affiliates can be somewhat cult-like so don’t believe all the reviews.

$97 to $2,497 per month. 14 day free trial

  • Instapage — Geared at ad landing pages. They have solutions and cases studies for Google, Facebook and retargeting ads.

$199 and up per month. Free 14-day trial

  • Landingi — Landingi see themselves as a marketing platform. They have a workflow that includes, Launch, Connect, Optimize, and convert steps.

$29 – $79 per month. Free trial.

 

You may also want to consider Thrive if you want to have landing pages on your website vs. cloud-based.

Plagiarism Checkers

Like grammar checkers, all outsourced content should be run through a plagiarism checker. To find any duplicate content. These tools are also useful for finding other sites using your content.

  • Plagtracker — A plagiarism and grammar checker. The premium version is more efficient and feature rich.

Free. Premium $7.50 per month

  • Grammarly — Grammarly is well known for their grammar checking. The premium versions also ahve a strong plagiarism checker.

$12/month

  • Copyscape — A quick and dirty checker. Just drop in a url on the website and have it checked. Very handy.

Free

  • Quetext — The free version has basic plagiarism checking as well as scoring. The premium version adds a nice citation assistant.

Free version. Premium is $9.99/mo per user

  • Plagscan — Geared towards academic markets. This is probably the place your professor goes to keep you honest.

License for Business, campus, and K-12. Custom quoted

  • Unicheck — Like Plagscan this geared mostly towards academia. They do have personal plans based on page counts.

1000 pages $80

 

Content Marketing

"Build they will come" is only true in the movies. The best content still needs to be sent out into the world in as many channels as possible.

content marketing tools for affiliates

Email Marketing & Auto responders

Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways to engage prospects. With multiple autoresponders you can discretely send your leads to the most effective sequence of emails based on where they entered your sales funnel. Many email marketing tools have a free plan meaning you can get a free autoresponder as well. There are some email service providers who discourage affiliate marketing. We have an in-depth article on email service providers for affiliates for more details.

  • Aweber — Aweber has been around since the beginning of online marketing. They in-fact invented the auto-responder. They are affiliate friendly.

$19/month 500 subscribers

  • GetResponse — Getresponse is the goto email provider for many affiliates and online marketers. They have very aggressive pricing and all the tools you need.

$15/month 1000 subscribers

  • ConvertKit — Convertkit has a free version with up to 1000 subscribers. They also let you create landing pages and forms

Free 1000 subscribers

Lead Generation

Social media is no longer a nice to have ... it is a must have. Even if your niche is more product than solution focused, social media provides a way to amplify your content and its reach. Some niches are particularly visual and can have social channels like Pinterest, Instagram and youTube as the primary sales points. Social media can however require frequent and consistent updates to be effective. These tools can help automate your social media postings.

  • ConvertPro — Create popups and opt-in forms and get more conversions. Integrates with most major email marketing systems and Google analytics. WordPress plugin

$74

  • Sumo — Sumo is a WordPress plugin that creates opt-in forms, provides visitor targeting and A/B tests to increase conversions.

$39 per month.

  • Rightmessage — Rightmessage can segment your audience and deliver targeted forms and sales copy based on your user. A great way to increase engagement and grow your email list.

Starts at $20/mo

  • ConvertBox — Convertbox is a new tool for personalized offers and lead capture forms. They provide user segmentation, lead capture forms, drag & drop design and more. You can request an early release invite at the website.

In early release

Social Media Marketing & Automation

Social media is no longer a nice to have ... it is a must have. Even if your niche is more product than solution focused, social media provides a way to amplify your content and its reach. Some niches are particularly visual and can have social channels like Pinterest, Instagram and youTube as the primary sales points. Social media can however require frequent and consistent updates to be effective. These tools can help automate your social media postings.

  • Buffer — Create, plan and publish posts to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linked in from a single dashboard. Includes team collaboration capabilities.

$15 per month (8 social accounts & 100 scheduled posts) – $99 (25 & 2,000)

  • AgoraPulse — Similar to Buffer you can schedule posts on all of the major social channels. Additional tools are used to engage and track your audience.

$79 to $399 per month. Free 28 day trial

  • Mention — Mention is a brand and reputation management tool. You can easily monitor all social channels and website content for brand mentions.

Free version with 250 mentions. Premium version ranges $25 – $450 per month.

$83 – $291 per month. Free 14-day trial

  • IFTTT — If This Then That is an awesome tool that can automated many tasks. For instance, if you are looking to auto-post to Facebook from WordPress, IFTTT can do that for you. commercial tool, or post

Free

  • Hootsuite — A very popular social media planning and publishing tool.

$19 per month and up. Free 30-day trial

Visitor & Link Tracking

All online marketers should be tracking their visitors and activity on your site. Affiliate marketers also need to track their links to see what is converting. Solo ad sellers who rent out their email list can use tools like ClickMagick and Voluum to manage there business.

  • ClickMagick — ClickMagick is a cloud service that tracks your marketing links and prevent click-fraud. This lets you track the entire sales funnel. It is used by most solo ad sellers to monetize there mailing lists.

$27 month free 14 day trial

  • Pretty Links — This is the minimum you should be doing for link management. Pretty links lets you create short and readable versions of your links and track them. A WordPress plugin.

Freemium. Pro version starts at $49/year

  • Voluum — Voluum is a direct competitor of ClickMagick. They are a cloud service to track and improve the performance of your selected outbound links. These products are also used to track ad campaigns.

$69/month

  • Hotjar — Hotjar provides heatmaps to give you a visual view of where your users go on your site.

$89/mo up to 20,000 daily page views

Hosting & Performance

Speed matters tools and good hosting can make a huge ranking difference. There are low-priced shared hosting platforms to get you started, dedicated WordPress hosting, and very high performing inexpensive unmanaged cloud hosting options.

Most of us are not super network geeks and will be best served with managed hosting. Managed hosting provides support, backups, network software updates and security. It also requires less effort on your part, freeing up your valuable time for content creation & marketing.

hosting for affiliate marketers

CDN

CDNs are used to improve your sites performance and visitor experience. They cache your content on their servers placed around the world. This puts your content physically closer to the user. Many hosts like WPX have their own CDN bundled with the hosting service.

  • Cloudflare — Provides a free CDN. They also have premium versions and services like DDoS protection and image optimization.

Free. Pro is $20/mo and up

  • KeyCDN — An easy to use and setup CDN. They deploy your content in their 34 data centers throughout the world to put it closest to your visitors. They use a metered pricing structure.

$4 per month minimum

Hosting

Well yes if you have a website you need hosting. I am a big believer in paying for premium hosting. I also want managed hosting vs. doing my own host management. It is a matter of time management. There are just so many hours in the day and I would rather spend my time on content and marketing vs. C-panel and WHM type issues. All hosting companies have affiliate programs. It only takes a couple of affiliate commissions to pay for your annual hosting bill. Get great hosting and tell your audience about it -- everyone wins. There are so many choices for hosting, here are a few of the best. 

  • WPX — WPX is a managed WordPress hosting company. This means you do not have a C-panel but their own user interface for managing the host. A nice feature of most managed WordPress hosts is that you get a development/staging site instance so you do not need to work on your live production site. WPX is also a good value.

$25/mo 5 websites

  • WP Engine — WP Engine is another manage dWordPress host. They are a bit more expensive than WPX but also have a more elegant solution with an easy ability to move your production site to the dev site and vice-versa.

$25/mo 1 website (includes staging site)

  • Siteground — Siteground is a good choice for a shared host or VPS host with atypical apache, WHM, C-Panel set of tools.

$7 1 website, $15/mo unlimited sites (100k visits/mo)

  • Digital Ocean — Droplet — If you have a network engineer or want to support your hosting environment, there is no better price:performance than droplets. Just remember you are on your own for software updates, backups, security, troubleshooting etc.

$5/mo and up

Performance Testing

Speed matters. It is a ranking factor. It is a conversion factor. In addition to great hosting you need optimized content and web services from tools like these.

  • Pingdom –Pingdom offers a free testing tool to see how you’re performing. They also have a full suite of performance monitoring tools.

Free simple testing,  $10/mo premium service

  • GTmetrix — GT will test your website’s speed and provide a list of items for improvement. The Waterfall feature is very useful to see where your bottleneck are.

Free

  • Google Pagespeed Tools — Find out how your website is performing on desktop and mobile and what you can do to improve it.

Free

Security & Compliance

From FTC to GDPR there are rules you need to follow to be a responsible marketer. Amazon and other affiliate programs have specific disclosure requirements. Tools can automate these and keep you in compliance.

Comment and other spam needs to be dealt with and there are also bad guys out there who do mean you harm. Stay protected with security and anti-spam software.

affiliate security tools

AntiSpam

Spam is a huge problem for many. You don't want to be spending your time dealing with spam comments on your posts, spam eMail or spam in your contact forms. These tools will greatly reduce your spam levels.

  • Askimet — Askimet is the most popular anti-spam tool for WordPress. It is a  pre-installed plugin with WordPress and integrated into major plugins like Jetpack and Contact Form. The pro version adds advanced statistics and priority support.

Freemium with $5/mo – $50/mo pro plans.

  • Cleantalk — SaaS program that provides  spam protection for forums, blogs, boards and websites.

$8 single site, $50 10 sites

Free

  • Captcha — Require a human touch before submitting a comment, form submission or other user input.

Free

Compliance

You are running a business. Government agencies like the FTC have enacted rules for online businesses like affiliate marketers. Privacy laws require you to get consent for many of your actions. Your partners like Amazon have compliance and consumer notification requirements. It is also just good business and makes you a more credible site to pay attention to these issues.

Free

  • GDPR Cookie Consent — A plugin that helps you make your website GDPR compliant. Cookie notification dialogs are easily customized to blend in with your website.

Free

  • Cookie Notice — Simialr to GDPR Cookie Consent, Cookie Notice is a WordPress plugin to help make your website GDPR compliant.

Free

Security

If your website has ever been hacked you know how difficult it can be to recover. Hackers will also inject links into your content for their own affiliate income or even niche edits that they charge customers for. And then there are just people who seem to enjoy being harmful. You need to be proactive with these issues. After the fact responses are much more time-consuming and risk harmful permanent effects..

  • Sucuri — Sucuri is the market leader in website security and firewalls. And also fix a hacked website. There protection includes DDoS, Hacking, and scanning for Malware on a daily basis.

$199 – $499 per year.

  • Wordfence — Wordfence is a WordPress firewall and malware scanner. Wordfence premium provides real-time protection for malware updates an reputation checks by checking your ip against blacklists.

Freemium, $99 per site with volume discounts for the pro version

  • Cloudfront — Cloudfront is best know as Amazon’s CDN but they also offer cloud based security and DDOS protection services. Cloudfront meters your usage to detrmine costs.

There is a free plan and metered usage above the free limits.

VPN

A VPN lets you browse theInternet without being tracked. You need a VPN. There are times you need privacy. There are also times when you need to be in one country or region but appear to be in another. If you only occasional need a VPN you can also consider using the one built into the Opera browser, though this is more for privacy than security.  There are many VPNs to choose from, here are 3 top choices.

  • NordVPN — Targeted at those who use public networks or are a road warrior using hotel and other non-secure networks

As low as $4/month for multi-year plans

  • TunnelBear — A reliable and easy to use VPN. Just fire it up, select the country you want your ip to be from and surf with security and privacy. They have a free plan for occasional users.

Free for 500mb per month. $3.33 month for unlimited use and 5 devices.

  • Proton — Proton is geared towards security conscious users though of course your connections will be private as well. They achieve a higher level of security by first routing your traffic through their Secure Core Network.

Free for one device and medium speed. $4.50 – $ 10 month for fastest speed.

 

WordPress Themes & Plugins

Most affiliates and content marketers use WordPress. It is ubiquitous. Themes help present your information as your design plan dictates. Interestingly most affiliate sites are clean and modern so complex themes with slick sliders etc. are not always needed.

One of the major features of WordPress is its ability to extend the robust base content management functionality with plugins. There are plugins to solve most design and technical goals or issues. These can greatly improve your user's experience but you need to be selective. Too many, poorly written plugins, or those not updated can be a performance or security risk.

wordpress affiliate tools

Affiliate Plugins

Affiliates have special needs and generally use WordPress as their platform. Ad based online marketers also need to be able to manage their ad placements. So whether an Amazon affiliate looking to use the Amazon api or a marketer looking to be creative there is a plugin for you.

  • AAWP — There are lots of Amazon affiliate products. AAWP is one of the best and a solid product. Be careful with this category of products, there are many get rich type offers. You do need PA-API keys which are no longer given to new Amazon Associates to use any Amazon plugin.

Starts at $45 for license and 1 year of support for one site (no multisites)

  • Skimlinks — Skimlinks automatically monetizes your content by adding affiliate links when it finds a product mention in your articles

Revenue share 75% to you and 25% to Skimlinks

Revenue share 75% to you and 25% to Sovrn

  • Ad Rotate — Manage all of your ads and decide how to rotate and place them on your pages. It’s like having your own ad network.

Free

  • Affiliate WP — All bloggers and affiliates should consider diversifying their revenue sources. Either with ads or their own info products. You can take the info product marketing to include your own affiliate program with AffiliateWP.

Free with paid addons

  • WP Notification Bars — A very handy tool to ad messaging in a bar at the top of each page. If you have a seasonal promo or other timely news it can be a good call to action.

Free

Themes

If you use WordPress you need a theme. Themes are a big part of the look and feel of your website. For affiliates performance and flexibility are usually the primary concerns. Affiliate sites that are clean, modern and fast loading generally convert better than slick magazine style theme.

  • Thrive — Thrive has been around for a while now and is probably best known for the Thrive Leads capability. It is an easy to use theme with many specific capabilities for Internet marketers. When you purchase Thrive you are getting access to many themes and plugins — even courses and webinars. perfect for new marketers.

$19/month

  • DIVI — I use DIVI. It is one the most widely used themes and is being constantly improved. It is a very productive theme with a visual editor, style copying, many modules. The biggest issue though is that it adds many shortcodes to your content. It is very hard to migrate away from. Like Thrive when you purchase DIVI from Elegant Themes you get a complete suite of products.

$89/year

  • Astra — Is a great clean lean theme. One of the fastest themes out there. For niche affiliate sites that need very little design or advanced modules, it is ideal.

Freemium with a $44 annual fee for Pro version

  • Neve — Another clean and elegant theme. Neve is from Themeisle. With a focus on speed from some of the best theme developers it is a great option. ThemeIsle provides a number of prebuilt Neve starter sites to get you started.

$49 with 1-year support

  • Genesis — Genesis is a Framework with a visual editor. Lots of child themes are out there based on Genesis.

$59

Performance Plugins

WordPress is great but is not always the best performing. This is why major high traffic sites, with equally high budgets, tend to use custom themes. You can bridge that performance gap with a well-tuned environment.

  • WP Rocket — WP Rocket is the easiest to use and fastest cacheing solution for many WordPress sites. One of the best things about WP Rocket is that it does not need a lot of tinkering. The configuration when setup is often optimal.

$49  for 1 website

  • Autoptimize — Autoptimize is great for dealing with minimizing of CSS, Javascript etc. They will also deal with issues like lazy loading of images and more techie things. Often used with WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache

Free

  • Perfmatters — Perfmatters main feature is disabling scripts that are not actual used on your site but loaded with each page. It reduces your total HTTP requests and your page size.

$24.95 1 website

  • WP Super Minify — WP Super minify will make all of your text-based system files like Javascript and CSS smaller and faster to download by removing all spaces.

Free

  • Nitropack — Nitropack is a new breed of performance tools. It combines WordPress performance tools with a CDN.

Freemium First 200 pages free. $19 month for 20,000 pages

  • W3 Total Cache — Much like WP Rocket. Your plugin configuration, theme and hosting will impact which is better for you.

Free

Misc Plugins

There seems to be a plugin for any function you can think of. Always be sure you really need a plugin, each one adds some amount of overhead to your server. Some items like SEO tools are invaluable, others are optional depending on your goals. Here are some of our favorites.

Free plugin

  • Content Views — Easy to use plugin for displaying your posts in a structured way.

Freemium Pro $39 1 site

Tiered pricing $99 – $399 per year

  • Yoast — The standard bearer for WordPress SEO tools. Manage most on-page SEO tasks like sitemaps, redirects, etc.

Freemium. Pro $89

  • RankMath — For those who don’t like Yoast.

Free Plugin

  • Optin Monster — Email and conversion optimization. Tiered pricing

$9 – $49 per month 

  • Easy Digital Downloads — Easy Digital Downloads lets you sell any downloadable object. E-Books, Plugins, Fonts, templates, etc.

Free with Premium Addons

  • Restrict Content Pro — RCP lets you have a membership system on your WordPress website. You can control access to any page or post at the user level.

$99/year with Premium Addons

  • Widget Logic — Widget logic lets you conditionally manage all your widget placements. You can control placement by category, specific page or post, home page, not home page, etc. — very granular it uses regular expression conditional logic and WordPress’s conditional tags

Free plugin 

Conclusion

Most affiliates are largely dependent on SEO marketing -- traffic from search engines. There are many moving parts and an equal number of tools to have you rank well with Google and successfully compete with other marketers in your niche.

Much can be accomplished with free tools and Google provided products. Don't fall for any secret solutions or magic ranking tools -- there are none.

Planning, consistency, persistence and hard work are the key ingredients for success.

But do pay attention to your competitors are doing and keep up to date with SEO marketing best practices.

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