In this resource page, I want to share with you a list of 38 essential tools for affiliate marketing which I personally use for my business. Many of these tools are indispensable not just for me, but also for many other successful affiliate marketers.
If you are new to affiliate marketing and want to start your own affiliate marketing business for FREE, I have a Recommended Starter Package for you!
Just like what Abraham Lincoln had said,
"Give Me 6 Hours To Chop Down A Tree and I'll Spend The First 4 Sharpening The Axe"
It is very crucial to have the right tools for you to achieve success more efficiently. I hope my list of tools here can give you some inspirations or even help you directly for your affiliate marketing business.
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.
I have tested all the tools below. 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 :)
I'm aware that many of you are running on a really tight budget especially at the beginning stage of your business. I was in that situation before as well. I know the pain and difficulties.
As much as possible, I try to use tools that are free. However, sometimes investments are inevitable if you're really serious at making money.
My recommendation will be focusing on minimal budget and I'll document all my expenditures so that you can have a sense of my online business costs.
I'm sure that's what you are looking for, right? Let's get started with a quick navigation of contents first...
SiteRubix offers both website hosting and website building services. You're able to build your very own WordPress website under a minute with just a few simple clicks and no coding is required.
There are many other web hosting services but I recommend SiteRubix because of 2 main reasons:
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 spam respectively.
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 4 main things you can benefit from Wealthy Affiliate:
Now, it's my turn to recommend this powerful place with you to help you start your own online business.
Jaaxy is a Premium Keyword Research Tool developed by the Co-founders of Wealthy Affiliate as well.
I know I've mentioned that Wealthy Affiliate offers a Keyword Research Tool within its platform.
So, Jaaxy is not a necessary tool if you're a beginner but it's a more powerful Keyword Tool for those more advanced marketers.
Since I'm using it and I promised to document all my expenses, I'm putting it here for your reference.
If you're a more experienced and advanced marketer, you may want to check out Jaaxy. It has much more functions and more detailed results than all the free tools.
Free Alternative: Google Keyword Planner
Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool offered by Google. To use GKP, you just need a Google account to sign up for Google AdSense. It is a tool inside AdSense.
The advantage is that it's free and it's a service from Google so it will definitely be accurate. But the disadvantage is that the results shown are not detailed. It only shows a rough number.
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:
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!
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.
Followings are the FREE tools offered by Google to help you build and market your website. (You just need ONE Google account to access all these free services from Google)
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.
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 audience while Google Search Console is a tool for Google to understand your website.
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.
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...
Social Media Marketing is a great way to grow your online business. Crowdfire is a tool to help you manage and grow your social media accounts.
Crowdfire does more than simply scheduling your post. It offers you a list of actionable instructions on what content to Like/Share and who to follow/unfollow by analyzing your accounts and your settings.
I feel it's much simpler and more effective to grow my social influence with Crowdfire. That's why I upgraded from their Free version to paying $9.99 per month.
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:
Make sure to bookmark these websites so that you know where to go next time when you need some free and good-looking images.
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.
Piktochart is a tool that allows you to create good-looking infographics for your website content without the need to hire professional graphic designers.
It has been proven that having infographics allow your content to be more easily shared. It's a good way to boost your social sharing and make certain contents go viral.
The Free Version is enough for basic usage. You can upgrade your plans if you need more templates.
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.
Please stay away from gurus offering Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services like backlinks and PageRank because you never know whether they are using blackhat SEO or not. Blackhat SEO strategies can hurt your site really badly.
This is just a warning from me. You can get all freelancing services except SEO services!
Relevant online forums are good places to hang out with like-minded people in the same niche.
What's more important to you is that you can utilize these forums to promote your website and grow your business.
There are certain strategies though. If you blatantly promote your website without following the rules of the forum, you'll be considered as spam and will most likely be banned.
Follow this guide if you want to learn more about Forum Marketing.
Anyway, the following 2 forums are great places to hang out as a blogger or affiliate marketer:
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.
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.
You're going to be creating quite a number of accounts with different tools to run your online business. Make sure you record down all your account details, especially passwords, in one place so that you know where to find your password when you need it.
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.)
(Update: Thrive Content Builder has been upgraded to 2.0 version known as Thrive Architect. It's a lot more intuitive and user-friendly. It comes with a lot more customization functions.)
Content Builder Architect 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.
Content Builder Architect, you don't have to hire any professional designers to design your website. You are your own designer for your professional-looking website!
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.
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:
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...