As an affiliate marketer, I am all too aware that certain things make our lives easier. There are tools and platforms that make my life so much more efficient as an affiliate. I would like to share this knowledge with you and spend some time showing you exactly how you can leverage the most powerful tools within your affiliate marketing business, but also explain why they are of benefit.
Too frequently people force tools and expenses into their business, they install WordPress plug-ins, software, and include systems that are completely unnecessary and more often than not, a waste of money. The tools that I will show you are absolutely free and will instantaneously have a positive impact on your affiliate marketing business.
Affiliate Marketing – Not just a Process
Once you immerse yourself into the affiliate marketing business, it is important that you don’t lose sight of your goals. Many people get lost in the process of what they are doing and have a tendency to want to automate their affiliate businesses. This is a bad idea. This ultimately removes you from your business completely. It’s almost as though you feel that you are saying that you are too good to do the hands on stuff.
It can be easy to fall into this trap. It can be easy to outsource jobs once you start to earn money. As crazy as that sounds, there is the natural tendency to want to try to move to the “4 hour work week” mentality. The reality though, that is not REAL. This is a rather lazy mentality.
So I would like you to make sure that you always maintain the actual human element of the affiliate marketing business that you have chosen to run. The great thing is that there are tools that you can leverage in conjunction with your human interaction within your business. This will make your life more efficient, however there are certain things that you should never attempt to automate.
- Human Connection
- Content Creation
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Idea Development
Your website and your business will begin to fail should you try to automate any of these key component, or to try to outsource them to some “amazing affiliate tool”. So please tread carefully.
However, there is positive news. There are many processes that you will be able to automate, to speed up, and to compartmentalise within your affiliate business.
First – Analyse your Business, Then Automate it!
Think about all the things that you do on a regular basis, all of those things that you feel are far too manual. I think it is pretty safe to say that if you are writing something down, the chances are it could probably be automated.
Also, if you spend a huge amount of time on daily activities doing one particular thing, then this should probably be outsourced too.
Some main tasks that I would suggest are perfect for automation and streamlining processes are (but not confined to):
- Keyword and Niche Research
- Managing Logins/Passwords
- Website Management
- Tracking Rankings in Search Engines
- Goals/Task Management
- Email Marketing
- Affiliate Link Management/Cloaking
Free Affiliate Tools for Your Business
There are an abundance of affiliate marketing tools available to use withing you business. I have tried and tested many. Some are good, some are great and many more are a complete and utter waste of both time and energy.
In order to save you from the arduous process of ‘trial and error’ by going through all of those many, many tools, I’m going to give you a little heads up……
(1) Affiliate Marketing Training
Wealthy Affiliate. If you are searching for an elite education that is cost-efficient and will enable you to get started with your affiliate marketing education, then there is no other option that you should be considering. There are 1,000’s of resources, and over 1.4 MILLION aspiring and extremely successful affiliate marketers within the back office of Wealthy Affiliate that will be more than happy to help you out.
You can join as a completely free member or as a Premium member. Either way, if you haven’t already joined the Wealthy Affliate Programme at all (as a newbie or as an expert), then you really are missing a trick and do need to join at the very least as a STARTER member and operate your affiliate marketing business on this platform.
I am a member of this platform and there are many highly successful people there ready to help you achieve success with their respective affiliate marketing experience. Join the free membership and I will be more than happy to coach you and help you overcome any hurdles that you may have in your journey to success.
(2) Keyword, Niche & Website Research (plus tracking rankings)
With Jaaxy you have the ability to research every affiliate marketing activity, from keyword research, low competition keyword searches, finding and buy domains, managing keyword lists, analysing competition, searching for appropriate affiliate programs, brainstorm and idea generation and tracking where rank in all search engines.
All of this is completely free to test drive and get 30 searches!
(3) Last Pass – Manage Your Logins
Managing passwords is an arduous and time-consuming job for an affiliate marketer. You are a member of many different programmes, different products/tools and different services. It will be convenient for you to centralise the management of all of these and this is where you should use LastPass. Some browsers are better than others with managing passwords, but none of them do as effective a job as they should.
Because of this, you really should use LastPass. It is a plugin that you can add on to both Safari, Windows and Google Chrome.
- Download LastPass for Google Chrome
- Download LastPass for Safari
- Download LastPass for Windows
(4) Website Management / Hosting
A website is the base of any successful online business. As an affiliate marketer you should choose wisely as to which website platform and hosting you will use. There are a vast range of options available, however, they are not all created equally so choose wisely.
There are also many website platforms that you can use for completely free, but in the same regard, they aren’t all created equally. The main players are WordPress, Wix, Web.com, which all have decent platforms, however, beware as there will be lots of advertising on your free websites and they will limit your ability as an affiliate marketer.
All hosting is not created equal either. You want to use Managed Hosting as this will give you access to proper support, and hosting that will be reliable in terms of speed and up time.
Bearing all of this in mind, my highest recommendation would be that you use the SiteRubix platform within Wealthy Affiliate. If you create a Wealthy Affiliate account, you automatically get TWO free websites that you can use for your affiliate marketing campaigns. Premium Members get hosting for up to 50 websites. This includes over 10 website related platforms you can use for your business.
(5) Trello – Goal/Task Management
I love to write out my daily tasks and to-do lists with pen and paper. There is something about being able to put my diary on paper that makes it easy for to manage and get into my head. It makes it personal. I have tried various online calendars but just don’t dig them. However….. I have now found Trello!
This platform is great and it’s free. You can create projects, share and manage projects with others, and you can manage entire teams of people through the Trello interface.
If you want to be that little bit more efficient in your day to day activities and have more perspective on what you are actually accomplishing, then grab yourself an account.
(6) Writing for the Web
It is possible to be a great content marketer, however, you really should make sure that you are in a suitable environment that is conducive to efficient writing and also inspires you and motivates you with proper goal setting. SEO is the fundamental Foundation for most affiliate marketing businesses, and content is the basis for any successful SEO campaign.
You must have the correct tools in place for your writing efforts, and ones that offer you proper insight into SEO are essential to your rankings. There are several tools that I recommend in this space, both of which offer free versions and are very high quality.
These are both excellent tools and they will be fundamental to your affiliate marketing businesses as content creation is a big part of your business.
(7) GetResponse – Email Marketing / Funnels (free trial)
Although there is no such thing as a “free autoresponder”, companies out there do offer ‘free trials’. I highly recommed GetResponse.com. There are many advantages to using them. The main one being that they have “lead pages” that you can create from within their platform.
(8) Pretty Links – Affiliate Link Management
After you build your first website, affiliate links can begin to get out of control. It’s good to have a centralised platform to manage, mask and even track all of your links.
Pretty Links is a completely free plugin that allows you to do this within WordPress for your link management. It is a fantastic link management tool.
Learn More About Pretty Links Here. (you can install it for free within your WP-admin area)
An Amazing Affiliate Platform, Free to Try
What an amazing platform Wealthy Affiliate is. WA offers a unique community environment which is all-inclusive in orders to build, grow and manage your affiliate business. There are over 1.4 million on board the platform. It has a thriving community and platform for coaching, help, which allows you to leverage and create partnerships, build a network, and also build a following.
You Are Equipped and Ready to Start.
That’s it in a nutshell. You have the tools to begin to build your affiliate business, and these tools that will allow you to bootstrap your business. Previously, it was a lot more expensive to start up a business on the Internet. These days you can successfully operate a very successful business on a budget of less than $500 per year.
The most important piece of advice is to make sure that you are making the best use of the free tools and software available. Only spend money where it matters and where it benefits your business (on the websites, coaching, hosting, etc), Most importantly, don’t spend money on overpriced education or services that you can get for free or much cheaper elsewhere.