“Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.”
If you're like me, you love testing out all the different marketing software products that come out. Anything that can help boost conversions, increase traffic or just save time, I at least buy into the free trials.
The bad news though is that there's a steaming pile of overpriced and ineffective tools on the market that are all trying to take your cash without delivering.
I've been "burnt" by most of these. I put it in parenthesis because it's not the same for me when they don't work out. If they don't work out, it just is fodder for new content explaining why it didn't work out or affirming why something else is superior. The joys of blogging about affiliate marketing really know no bounds.
This list is the cream of the crop of all the tools I've used over my 7 years as an affiliate marketer. I still use all of the tools mentioned and pay for them out of my own pocket. I don't get any freebies that would make me biased or obligated to endorse something subpar.
Let me introduce myself and provide a soft humble brag/endorsement of why I'm qualified to recommend where you spend your time and money on affiliate marketing tools.
Since this might be the first time you've ran into me or my content, let me introduce myself quickly. I’ve been obsessed with internet marketing since 2012. In 2014, I graduated college with a degree in economics and promptly decided I didn't want anything to do with using it. I had the entrepreneurship bug and the diagnosis was lifelong.
After cracking the $10,000/month mark with my various side hustles, I promptly quit my management job at a yarn mill in Georgia (which paid a fraction of what I was making on my own, part time) and went full time into affiliate marketing and e-commerce.
Fast forward to today and I've surpassed my initial expectations and I've loved every minute of it. I've won awards like cars. I've spoken to large audiences and have earned well over $1,000,000 in profits just from the website you're on right now (entreresource.com).
I'm proud to say that I could go off the grid today and would still earn at least $200,000/year for quite some time.
Ok, enough of me bragging like a tool, let's talk about actual tools 🙂
Without tools, it wouldn’t be possible for me to do what I do.
I’m uniquely qualified to talk about tools because I'm more than a user, I'm also a bit of a tech junkie (nerd). I’m proudly one of the first to buy every new tool that claims to provide some sort of business advantage.
I buy and test the winners and the losers and blog about my experiences with them.
While you'll surely see many products recommended by others, oftentimes, those people don't have much experience with all the other alternatives like I do.
Important Note: You Do NOT Need All of These Tools
I believe that only tools are truly non-negotiable.
- Website hosting (I recommend WPX Hosting)
- Email marketing software (I recommend ConvertKit)
- Website builder (I recommend the Thrive Themes Suite)
All three of these have alternatives that are perfectly ok (ActiveCampaign for example is superior to ConvertKit in dozens of ways, I just prefer the latter after years of use and experience).
These tools will help you survive, but that's not your ultimate goal, right? You want your business to thrive. You want to regularly surpass your own goals and expectations.
Over time, you should strive to add as many profitable ones to your arsenal as possible as long as they don’t become a distraction.
Every time you add a great tool to your business and find out how to make it a regular part of it, you're instantly better off for it. You've given yourself an edge over those who haven't found it and have shrunken the gap between those that have.
As you go through this article, you might notice some tools that aren’t applicable to you right now. That’s totally cool and expected.
My unique business has led me to this unique set of tools. My business is very broad though so pretty much every angle of affiliate marketing is covered here. I use a lot of tools since I adopt an omni-channel in terms of traffic and multifaceted strategy in terms of how I make sales in my approach to affiliate marketing.
- Paid Traffic (Google, Facebook, Native Ads Etc)
- Integration Marketing
- Social Media
- Live events
- My Own Products
- and More...
So, for example, if you’re not on YouTube, you can ignore the tools like TubeBuddy I mention. If you're not into being a brand or influencer, you can ignore webinar tools like Demio.
You get the picture.
There are more ways to make money through affiliate marketing than you might ever have time to test. My approach doesn't have to be yours exactly but that doesn't mean you can't see as great or greater results than I have seen.
There Are Alternatives to Most of the Things Mentioned
If there are free or similar alternatives of comparable quality to anything I mention, I’ve mentioned them as well.
Also, some of the tools I mention are things that you don’t need to use forever. Some programs are only needed for a week or a month and then you can cancel them.
SHHHHH….Keep that between us though.
I’m an Affiliate for Many of the Tools and I’ll Love You If You Choose to Use Any of My Links
This content is free because that is my most profitable option. Sorry, it's not completely altruistic, I fully expect to earn exponentially more from affiliate referrals that I could make selling this book on Amazon.
I've also collected a ton of discounts for most of the things I mention here. You can access those anytime at EntreResource..com/discounts.
Also, I couldn’t really write a book about affiliate marketing and not include some affiliate links, right? Would you take advice from someone who did that?
You can trust that the things I mention are truly the best options available and my affiliation with the products does not sway my opinion on what I include here.
Of course, you should still perform your own due diligence and research but you can feel comfortable using my recommendations as starting points.
But seriously, I really appreciate anyone who purchases any of my recommended products through my links.
I’m Showing Strategies for Each Tool Mentioned when Applicable
Instead of saying, “go buy this,” I’m going to show you the features and functions that explain why. Instead of showing you a complete review or A-Z tutorial of any specific tool, I’m going to showcase the specific features and tactics I think are most important and best fit for this article.
One thing to keep in mind, some tools have many more uses than I share. If relevant, I'll share other ways to use them with links to help you learn more.
The end goal of this isn't to get you to purchase every tool I mention. The goal is to strike as many business changing “a ha!” moments as possible.
Ok, let's get into the tools!
Content Creation And Design
Create 3D MockUp Graphics with PlaceIt
Gone are the days when you needed to be a professional designer to make above average designs. Canva made it easy to create ads and simple social media graphics but tools like Placeit took it a step further and made it possible for the average person like me to create beautiful, professional looking 3D mockups and more.
For example, I can take the PNG file of my joke book cover for this article and make it look like a real printed book.
While I don’t recommend it as a total replacement to Canva (Canva is still one of my top 10 most used applications according to my RescueTime activity tracker) it does do several things that Canva can’t yet (or at least not well).
- 3D Ebook Covers
- Screen overlays on common devices (iMacs, smartphones etc)
- Product mock ups for anything you can think of (t-shirts, hats, mugs etc).
The potential is limitless and it’s incredibly easy to use thanks to their massive library of templates and tutorials.
You’ll see many of the things it can do inside this article.
Almost every blog post I've written in the past year includes some sort of design I created with PlaceIt. It's like Canva on steroids.
Create Text Message Videos with Texting Story App
Marketing in the 21st century requires creativity. Tools like Texting Story can help you do that.
You can use a texting story to showcase a problem that your audience is experiencing in the form of a real life text message exchange.
It’s fun and an underutilized tactic at the time of this writing.
The app is available for Apple and Android devices.
These make killer video ads and take under an hour to create.
Create Attention Grabbing Videos Fast with Headliner App
Attention is essentially currency in the 21st century.
You’re in a non stop battle for the attention of your potential customers and there is a strong (albeit imperfect) correlation between attention and net earnings. Basic ads/graphics/content don’t work like they used to. You need to create something that is attention grabbing and unique.
Headliner is a web based software that has both free and paid plans. The free plan provides a surprising amount of fire power. It allows you to stylize audio or video into very cool, sharable pieces.
Here's an example of an Instagram post that makes audio way more engaging.
It’s hard to do justice to how cool this app is so go check out some more examples of what people have been doing with it here.
This app is most valuable to anyone who creates audio content (Podcasters and YouTubers). The ability to repurpose them into appealing social media posts is extremely valuable.
Remove backgrounds for Better Designs with Remove.Bg
This tool is a “If you know, you know…” type.
Remove.bg is awesome for removing backgrounds and isolating a person or object when creating things like YouTube thumbnails and ads.
Don’t waste time fooling around with PhotoShop or hiring someone to do this for you. Remove.Bg is the most accurate, automated background removal tool I have found and it doesn't require any work on your part like many of the other tools out there.
Create Free Courses That Plug Affiliates with Thinkific
Typically, you can make more money selling a course for what it’s actually worth BUT sometimes, whipping up a short course and adding relevant affiliate links to the content can make you more in the long run.
Free courses can also help grow your email list and build tremendous goodwill with your followers.
One of the big hold-ups that people have with buying something is they fear, “I don’t really think I’ll be able to use this,” or “I need to see more real world examples of how this will benefit me.”
If you truly believe in a product you're promoting, this will shine through in your free course.
The difficult part is getting people to actually go through the course content. No matter what you’re teaching, the completion rate will often be closer to 0% than it is to 100%. That is unless you make it a priority to get people to really go through your content in its entirety.
This is why shorter courses that teach something very specific are more likely to drive conversions. Focus not only on getting people to enroll but also to actually go through the content. This is to their benefit and yours since they won’t even see your affiliate offers unless they progress through the course.
Creating a course doesn’t need to be complicated. You can use a basic WordPress plugin or something more sophisticated like Thinkific or Learnable. You can even create a course that is delivered in the form of an email sequence.
Thinkific puts your courses into a beautiful, mobile friendly design that will boost retention, increase completion rates and make you look more profesional.
Utilize Product Tables When Comparing Products With Thrive Architect
Product tables are an amazing way to compare and contrast competing products.
When someone is comparing two products, they are usually very close to buying something so tables can be a huge boost to conversions.
Thrive Architect (part of the Thrive Themes suite of tools) allows you to easily add comparison tables to your blog posts.
There are many other WordPress themes and plugins that can do this, but Thrive Architect is by far my favorite.
Other Uses For Thrive Themes Suite
The Thrive Themes suite of tools is far more than just a WordPress theme. Here are some other great features you'll have access to with your purchase. Click the boxes below to expand on these additional functions and tactics.
Most blogs have a left or right aligned sidebar that can be used to display any number of different widgets. Thrive Smart Widgets allows us to set rules for what our visitors see in their sidebars based on the pages they’re visiting.
On one of my sites, entreresource.com, for instance, I have different elements that are shown based on the category of the post.
If someone is reading a post about Amazon FBA selling, they will see things relevant to that topic. If they're on a page about marketing, they will see elements related to that.
The importance of properly tagging and categorizing your posts really comes to light when you're trying to set up display rules. Get into the habit of tagging and categorizing everything you publish! You'll thank yourself later.
Your sidebar can and should be customized to provide the most relevant things to every visitor possible and Thrive Smart Widgets accomplishes that.
No matter how large your email list gets, you should never let yourself forget that you’re trying to provide the best, most relevant content to each individual subscriber.
Showing the same lead magnets to subscribers who have already opted in to them is bad practice. It’s inefficient and damages the relationship since it shows you don’t really know how they’ve been engaging with you already.
Thanks to Thrive Smart Links (a feature of Thrive Leads) we can create URLs that will show different pop ups or “already subscribed states” to email subscribers who have already opted-in to our forms.
For instance, let's say that you’re sending a broadcast with your latest blog post to your list of subscribers who opted into your default lead magnet which we will call “Lead Magnet A” for this example. With Thrive Smart Links, we can hide that pop up from showing to them again and even show them something new that is more likely to lead to another conversion.
Now visitors who already opted in to Lead Magnet A can see Lead Magnet A Already Subscribed State. This could be a pop up that promotes a recommended product. Now, instead of showing a redundant pop up that does nothing but slow the page and damage the relationship with the subscriber, you can actually drive some potential revenue. This comes free with Thrive Leads which is part of the Thrive Themes Membership program.
One of my favorite list building tactics is to lock content and require an email to view it. If I have a piece of content that is really good but doesn't get a ton of organic traffic, I love to add a content lock. Click here (or visit https://entreresource.com/blog-content-locks/) to read more about how I use content locks.
Thrive Themes doesn't cut corners on the important functionality that other sales page builders have. You can test different pages for conversions or see which headlines drive the most clicks to your content. And yes, affiliate marketers make and test sales pages too!
Although I use a different software for my courses, one of the plugins that comes with Thrive Themes allows you to create custom courses for your readers.
What all of my websites (including this one) are built with! Thrive Themes is a suite of tools that allow you to...
- Build a beautiful Wordpress blog
- Build high converting landing pages
- Capture leads and build your list
- Keep your website blazing fast
It is the only Wordpress theme I recommend and the extra tools are just icing on the cake.
Find Killer Domain Ideas with Lean Domain Search
Most of my new domain ideas come from a free tool called lean domain search. It’s a free web application that shows me available domain names based on a root term.
For example, here is what is shown when I type in “fishing.”
Now if you don't think that's pretty cool, I don't know what to tell you!
Find Anyone’s Email Address with Hunter.Io
Whether you’re building backlinks, pitching guest post ideas or looking for collaborators on a promotion, you’ll find yourself searching for people’s contact information often.
Free tools like Hunter.io let you find these email addresses (legally).
Be careful though, this doesn't give you permission to SPAM anyone you find. Be respectful and send single, personalized responses to avoid having your email tagged as being malicious by the big email providers like Gmail.
Bonus Tip: Make a special email address just for cold outreach. Don't use your main domain, just stick with a basic email like [email protected] This will ensure that your main domain doesn't get penalized if people start marking your cold outreach as spam.
Find the Next Big Thing with Google Trends
The early bird often gets the worm in affiliate marketing. The people who find opportunities and jump on trends first usually win big.
Google Trends is a free tool that shows us how popular something is currently and how it has been trending over a certain amount of time.
Type in a keyword and see if people are becoming more or less interested in it.
Since paid keyword research tools will experience a bit of lag on their data, Google Trends can help you find topic ideas long before your competitors.
This concept allows you to be first to market (or at least earlier to market) and cash in on the latest trends before others even see them coming.
Also, you can use Google Trends to find seasonal opportunities since it can go back several years at a time.
Target Buyer Intent Keywords to Make Sales with AHREFs
If you are selling something with a piece of content (blog post or video) there are certain keywords that you want your piece to show up for in order to make sales. I call these “buyer intent” keywords.
There are 3 different types of buyer intent keywords people type into search engines (Google and YouTube are the two powerhouses we focus primarily on as affiliates)
- Solution comparison. The searcher doesn’t yet know what products solve their problem. For example, they might search for a term like, "catch more bass.” Targeting these people with posts like “10 Tips for Catching More Bass Than You Can Reasonably Fit In Your Boat.”
- Product comparison. The searcher knows the solution they need but want to learn more about the specific products that solve it or compare options that they are aware of. This could be an article like "best jig lures for bass fishing," or "BiCO Original Jig vs. Berkley Havoc Grass Pig Bait."
- Checkout research. The searcher has decided they want the product and want a discount or special offer. These terms include things like "BiCO Original Jig Discount Code" or "BiCO Original Jig Promo."
The best way to find your buyer intent keywords is to start with your product in mind.
Let’s say that your product is a program that teaches people how to become better singers called the “Superior Singing Method” (It’s a real program but I know nothing about it).
Solution comparison keywords we’d like to rank for could include:
- “How to improve singing voice”
- “Increase vocal range”
- “How to sing better fast”
- “Sing better”
These are very basic phrases and aren’t extremely “hot” but if you start to show up for these sorts of search terms organically, you will be able to pitch your affiliate solution (no pun intended) to people who might be in the market for your product.
To create a long list of these “solution comparison” keyword phrases, start with your product and think of all of the different benefits it has and then identify the corresponding search terms that could be used to showcase it.
Next, we have product comparison research keywords. These keywords are searched by people who know what the solution looks like but they have multiple choices and they want to narrow them down.
AHREFs is one of the tools that you can get a LOT out of simply by running the wheels off the trial. I gladly pay for it each month but if your budget is tight, you can get a lot and cancel. Just remember to actually use it!
A free alternative is UberSuggest by Neil Patel. The value is so high for me on keyword research that even a marginal improvement in data is worth the investment to me, but if you're not there yet, UberSuggest is a good starting tool.
I simply wouldn't find the blog topics that drive most of my traffic without AHREFs. On top of that, it's invaluable when it comes to backlink building and competitor research.
The SkyScraper Approach: How to Stand on the (Content) of Giants with SEO Minion Chrome Extension
Competition isn’t a bad thing. In fact, competition can help us create better content because we can compare our work to what others have already made.
For instance, if you write a post about bird houses, you could find a page like the one below when researching competitors.
We could then get an insane amount of data on the post for free. This will help us when we're trying to decide how our similar post should be structured. These are the "baseline" numbers.
I check out:
- Content length
If I make a post, I want it to always be the best on the topic. That is of course until someone sky scrapes me (which they inevitably will).
This doesn’t guarantee that you’ll outrank these other pages but you’ll dramatically improve your brand reputation and overall traffic over time by creating grade A content.
Split Test Thumbnails on YouTube for More Views with TubeBuddy
YouTube is the second largest search engine behind only Google but most creators forget to SEO their videos. Creating great video content is time consuming and takes a lot of effort, don’t let that go to waste by not optimizing them properly.
TubeBuddy is a game changing suite of tools that can make optimizing your YouTube videos easy.
TubeBuddy’s free plan offers great features like a best practices checklist, keyword research tool and tag lists but the real power comes from their premium split testing feature.
TubeBuddy’s legend plan allows you to split test all of the most important aspects of your video.
- Featured images
There are several TubeBuddy alternatives as well such as VidIQ, Morningframe and Thumbnail Blaster, but TubeBuddy is far and beyond my personal favorite.
If you’re making enough from your channel to justify the expense of $49/month, I recommend you make the investment. In the meantime, you owe it to yourself to at the very least install the free version of TubeBuddy.
Other Uses for TubeBuddy
This tip is just as much about conversions as it is about productivity. A free tool like TubeBuddy can allow you to add descriptions automatically to any of your videos.
Descriptions should include things like…
- Links to follow you on other social channels.
- Links to bribes to subscribe.
- Links to recommended resources and affiliate products.
You can (and should) still add some unique content to the top of each video description but this is going to take about 90% of the work off your hands and ensure that each post has a great description that will maximize conversions.
Consider Google Estimated CPC When Doing Keyword Research with Google Keyword Planner
What Google charges advertisers for certain keywords can vary dramatically. Keywords involving insurance, loans, attorneys can easily cost upwards of $40 a click!
What does this tell us? It says that there’s serious commercial potential behind these terms and really great profit margins.
I’m not suggesting that you try and rank for terms in these high cost industries, but you should use CPC as a good sign that there is money hiding behind certain terms and if you can get organic traffic to them, you can do very well.
Google will never tell us (nor will they always really know with perfect accuracy) how much money someone is making owning these top spots but if people are paying top dollar, they’re usually earning top dollar as well.
“High CPC” is a relative term of course. In the make money online industry, a CPC of $10+ is relatively high for most phrases like “email marketing software” or “keyword research tool.” Ranking for these sorts of terms and their long tail children can be lucrative.
Spy on Native Ad Competitors with Adplexity
Native ads and affiliate marketing go together like peas and carrots. If you’re an affiliate marketer who wants to find out what products, ads and landing pages are converting the best, you need a spy tool like Adplexity.
Adplexity scours the internet for native ad campaigns that other people are running.
We can see critical information like...
- How long they've been running (longer ad duration = increased likelihood they're working).
- Which sites their running on (so you can build your own whitelist of sites to target).
- Which affiliate networks are connected to each ad (so you can find the offer and promote it yourself).
This tool isn't cheap so if you aren't running native ads, you don't need it.
Also, you don't need to keep it forever. If you're on a tight budget you can use it in the early research stages and then cancel until you need it again.
It is very difficult to compete in the world of native advertising without the competitive analysis that Adplexity shares.
Tracking And Optimization
Create Custom Facebook Audiences from Buyer Intent Pages for Direct Retargeting with Pixel Caffeine
Bloggers have an immediate advantage over their competitors. First, we have a natural way to warm up traffic by creating quality content that attracts them. 2nd, we can collect information for our visitors that allows us to retarget them with laser like precision.
Retargeting ads almost alway cost less and convert more.
Let’s say that you’re promoting OC Ramps (a really cool company that sends nearly completed skate ramp kits with plans) and have several posts that target people who might be interested in buying from them.
You have the following blog posts on your site...
- OC Ramps Review 2020
- OC Ramps Discount Code 2020
- Building My First OC Ramp Quarter Pipe
I would recommend creating a custom Facebook audience from all visitors of these pages from up to 180 days (you can make that timeline smaller if you’re getting tons of traffic and aren’t feeling throttled on your audience reach). Then, I’d create an ad that links directly to my OC Ramps affiliate product or back to one of the posts that they had visited already to try and close the sale.
You don’t have to use Pixel Caffeine to build a custom Facebook audience but I highly recommend it. It’s totally free and is MUCH more user friendly than the Facebook audience builder tool.
Track "untrackable" Conversions with ClickMagick
If you’ve ever sold your own products online you will quickly notice one huge difference when you start promoting affiliate products. Tracking is not as easy when you don’t have access to the backend of a website where you’d traditionally add your tracking pixels. When you own the page, you can see tons of awesome data that makes running traffic to a page much easier to quantify. I can add a conversion pixel from Google and see exactly how much a lead or sale is costing me.
This is powerful because if I know that spending $1 gets me a sale that nets me $7, I can increase my budget. If I know that spending $1 makes me $0.25, I know I need to change something (usually the offer since I’m pretty good at targeting traffic).
With affiliate products, you don’t always have that feature. With the exception of huge favors from the creator or some next level affiliate program, you were going to be in the dark.
Actually, I had completely given up on tracking some of my affiliate products before I discovered Clickmagick. Clickmagick allows you to add your own tracking pixel in between pages that you don’t control so you can track your conversions. This unfortunately doesn’t work for all programs but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many it does support.
Although it is both extremely sophisticated in some areas and far too rudimentary in others, I am a huge fan of it. There are a few other options, but Clickmagick wins from all my testing.
Think about this. If you’re competing with a bunch of other affiliates on the same program and everyone thinks you can’t track conversions, you’re going to have a huge, secret advantage over them.
Other Uses for ClickMagick
ClickMagick has dozens of additional uses. Here are just a few others.
This concept is extremely controversial. Thanks to some clever coding, certain sites allow 3rd parties to add their own banners to their pages.
The controversy becomes “is it ethical to use other people’s content to sell something they may or may not approve of.”
I gave this a great deal of thought myself and my conclusion was this: if someone is sending me tons of traffic, that’s a tradeoff I would accept.
There's nothing worse than sending traffic to a website that is down or a link that has stopped working. ClickMagick will send you alerts when and if a link goes down.
Clickmagick allows marketers to get more insights into what their followers are clicking on.
See How Visitors Are Engaging with Your Website Using a UI Tracking Software like Crazy Egg
This method is advanced and highly technical, although tools like Crazy Egg do make it much easier to deploy.
These softwares will show "heat maps," of how people are engaging with your website.
This means we can see which (if any) elements on our sidebar they're clicking on!
Although less expensive than you might think, my CrazyEgg subscription still costs me the equivalent of a few Chipotle runs each month (with Guac). If you have a large site and are in the stages of improving what you’re already working with, this can be a fantastic investment that can boost time on site, increase conversions and lower bounce rates.
Reduce Load Time by Compressing Large Images with Tiny.Png
One of the simplest tools on this list, simply drag and drop images into tiny.png to compress them fast.
Email Marketing And List Building
Utilize Email Sequences and Tags with ConvertKit
One of the biggest mistakes I see email marketers make is that they collect emails but don’t contact the subscriber right away. Whenever someone opts-in to your list, you should send them an email welcoming them.
If you’re delivering a lead magnet, I highly recommend that you do NOT allow the subscriber to download it without opening your welcome email. Instead of an instant download or thank you page with a download button, tell subscribers that their lead magnet is in their inbox.
Next, think of the things you want all subscribers to know and do.
Your sequence allows you to introduce yourself to the subscriber, provide them with value (which helps increase conversions later) or encourage them to take some other desired action. Other actions could be following you on other social media platforms or buying a low ticket item (this is great for qualifying buyers and offsetting any ad costs).
All good email service providers offer some form of email sequence functionality.
I'd be lying if I said that ConvertKit is the "best" option for everyone. If you're looking for more features check out...
ActiveCampaign - More expensive but the features are deeper. They don't love traditional affiliates and actually denied me of a trial account based on my list size and the fact that I told them I do a lot of affiliate marketing. If you're not importing a massive list with you, this shouldn't be an issue.
Create a Facebook Group and Turn It Into a List Building Machine with Group Convert
Of all the different list building strategies I use, none have driven more email opt-ins than using Group Convert to capture emails from the new applicants of my Facebook groups.
The method is pretty extensive so check out the full article here or at https://entreresource.com/turn-facebook-group-list-building-machine/
Better Sales and Copywriting
Add Countdown Timers to Your Emails for Added Scarcity with EntreTimer
Have you ever heard of Parkinson’s Law? It states that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
This logic applies not just to setting deadlines for our own to-dos but also to driving buyers to act. Without a deadline, people will put off making a purchase. The longer a purchase is delayed, the more likely they are to forget about it entirely.
As long as you have a great product that you know will help your subscribers, adding real scarcity is a favor.
Most marketers use scarcity on their landing pages but few are utilizing it in the body of their emails. This is a shame because that is an amazing way to drive clicks and conversions!
There are a number of free and paid tools for adding countdown timers to your emails. The problem is that free options are likely to be extremely limited or (as I’ve experienced several times) aren’t free for long. These require hosting which is an expense that needs recovered at some point.
I created my own platform for adding timers called EntreTimer. You can learn more about it here.
Lower the Readability Score of Your Writing to Get Your Message Across Quickly and Clearly with ProWriting Aid
“Don't use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” -Mark Twain
No one has ever complained that something was explained simply. If you can make your content or sales copy easier to read, you will increase the chances of your potential buyer actually reading it which then increases the chances that they will buy!
The more you get your potential customer to read, the more likely they are to buy so do whatever it takes to make reading easy for them.
I use a tool called Hemingway app. It's a web based software (there is a local version available as well) that helps you simplify your writing by removing unnecessary words or overly wordy sentences.
Prowriting Aid Alternatives
ProWriting Aid is great but there is a free alternative called...
Hemingway App - It's a web based software (there is a local version available as well) that helps you simplify your writing by removing unnecessary words or overly wordy sentences. It lacks many of the features but it is good if you're on a tight budget.
Utilize Webinars to Promote Affiliate Products with Demio or Webinar Jam
Webinars are wildly underrated. They aren't just for traditional entrepreneurs either, affiliate marketers can use them to drive new leads and showcase the tools that they promote.
Here are some example webinars that an affiliate might run and why.
- "5 Tools to Boost Your Gym Sign Ups in 2021" - Let's say you promote a software that helps gym owners drive more sign ups. You could do a webinar that showcases the tool.
- "Quick Start Guide to ConvertKit Email Marketing with (Insert any Product Owner or Expert)" - Most affiliate managers love to get their CEOs on webinars and podcasts. Having a product owner do a live webinar with you where they showcase their product will help drive awareness to it and aid in retention for your existing buyers since they will learn how to use the product better.
- "Over the Shoulder Day Trading with 6 Figure Trader (Insert Expert)" - Showcasing how people can actually use something you promote is powerful. If you can show results live on air, you can drive sales like hot cakes.
Demio is far from the only webinar hosting option out there but it's affordable, has a large attendee capacity on the base level plans and is easy to use. Webinar Jam is a decent second option but I prefer Demio.
Demio is a great option for anyone who wants to run large webinars quickly and smoothly.
Add Attractive Product Calls to Action with Lasso
You've already seen this tool multiple times if you've made it this far in the article. Lasso helps create beautiful looking product link displays to the things you promote.
If you promote Amazon products, it connects directly with your account and the prices of items are updated in real time. You can also make sure you're compliant by adding a disclaimer at the bottom of any products that pay you a commission.
If you want to get really sexy with it, you can track clicks with Google analytics.
Lasso makes it easy to create attention grabbing product call outs. This box you're looking at right now was made with it!
WP Coupons Pro - A more affordable option but these won't look nearly as nice as Lasso boxes will. This is great though for coupons with the ability to "clip" codes and paste them easily.
Thrive Architect - If you want easier customization that doesn't require CSS knowledge, you can make pretty nice looking product boxes with Thrive Architects "Content Box" feature. You can then save your boxes and use them as templates, but this is better for people who have a decent eye for design and skill with UI.
Do Giveaways of Products You Promote with Gleam.Io
Giveaways are great for many reasons. They’re so powerful that it’s often in my best interest to purchase several of the products I promote (whether they’re physical or virtual) just so I can create contests and giveaways to hand them out for free to a few of my followers.
This does several things…
It helps you build your list. Tools like KingSumo or Gleam (what I use) allow you to create epic contests that can collect emails or actions from your followers as entries.
It builds the desire for the product. Have you ever entered to win something and that made you want it even more than before? This anomaly has happened to me many times. If you can make the contest public so others can see how many other people also want the freebie, that will heighten the intrigue and desire even more.
It brings awareness to your product. People read sales copy differently based on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re trying to get them to pull out a credit card, it might not be as compelling if you’re just trying to give away a select few of an item for free.
There are plenty of free and paid ways to run giveaways. I usually use Gleam.io or pick winners at random.
It should go without saying, but don’t ever cheat on any contests. I’ve seen many times creators run contests and either never pick a winner, pick someone ahead of time or admit to picking a made up winner so they don’t have to pay anything to deliver. Giving people prizes will increase their chances of becoming real lifetime fans and followers. It’s also just the ethical thing to do.
Create A “Swipe File,” Of Ads, Emails, Videos ETC. That You Like With Evernote
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” - Steve Jobs…who stole it from Pablo Picasso…who stole it from someone else…
A great swipe file is a secret weapon of the greatest copywriters. Although there are dozens of ways you can make a swipe file, Evernote is the smoothest and integrates best with other websites across the internet.
If you haven't heard of Evernote, I'd be shocked. It's a great tool for organizing notes, files and anything you find online. There are other alternatives but I prefer Evernote currently.
Productivity and General Sweetness
Quickly Caption YouTube videos with Happy Scribe
YouTube captions are important for a number of reasons. First, they make for a better user experience. Second, they will actually help your videos rank better. When you add captions, the text is able to be “crawled” by search engines and you will show up for the most relevant keywords.
HappyScribe is an awesome solution to getting captions created and they can be uploaded automatically to your videos if you sync your channel.
Get More from Each Piece of Content with Repurpose House
Repurpose House is a subscription service that takes your existing content and turns it into new pieces for different platforms.
For example, they can splice up a YouTube video into content for Instagram or TikTok. They can take a blog post and pull quotes from it for graphics on Twitter. The things they can do are limitless and it will help you get way more out of every piece of content you create.
Turn a single piece of content into multiple pieces of content for various platforms.
Outsource Your Video Editing to VidChops
Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to make affiliate income. Filming content is relatively easy and can be pretty fun. Editing the content is another story.
VidChops is a subscription service that connects you with your own video editor who takes your raw footage and edits it for you. They work well to make sure the video is in the style you like and you can get as many revisions as it takes to get the video looking the way you want.
Outsource Your Bookkeeping with Bench
Not a sexy topic by any means but if you're making money as an affiliate marketer, you have bookkeeping to manage. The thing is, you don't earn money when you're doing bookkeeping. It's incredibly easy to outsource and Bench is a service that also makes it affordable.
Store the Links You Use Frequently with Fastlinqs
We all have links that we share frequently (social profiles, blog posts, affiliate links etc) but we spend too much time searching for them when we need them!
Fastlinqs is a Google Chrome extension that stores all of your links for you for easy, one click access.
I made this software to "scratch my own itch" since there weren't any free tools on the market that made it easy to store links and text like this.
Here's what it looks like in action.
I use this countless times everyday and not just for my affiliate businesses.
“Do it Once” with Branded Templates for Designs with Canva Pro
You've more than likely heard about Canva. Mentioning it here shouldn't come as much of a surprise but you might be surprised at how much design work is involved with any type of Affiliate marketing.
- Facebook ads
- Blog post thumbnails
- Youtube thumbnails
- Side bar ads
- Channel art
The list goes on and this time adds up! I wish I could have back just a fraction of the time I’ve spent over the years making designs. The sad/ironic part is that the designs were usually crap!
The absolute best thing you can do is create a few quality, branded template designs that work and don’t overthink the process. I’m not saying that design doesn’t matter BUT you can get great results by doing it right once and just painting inside the lines going forward.
Outsource Your WordPress Headaches with WP Tangerine
Over the years, I've learned a lot about WordPress because I tried to go cheap on hiring help. Although it's nice to know how to fix most of my own bugs now, I could have gotten a LOT more done if I knew about WP Tangerine sooner.
They free you up to focus on what you do best. They handle...
- Design Creation
- CSS fixes
- Bug fixes
- Plugin Conflict Solutions
- and more!
You get unlimited numbers of tasks and the base plan that costs $197/month supports up to 3 sites at a time.
Spend your time creating and optimizing, not fiddling around with tech issues. Hand that off to WP Tangerine.
- Unlimited Tasks (All Plans)
- Bug fixes, Design, Optimization and More
- Lowest plan valid on 3 sites
Skip the Building and Buy Existing Websites or High DR Expired Domains from Flippa.com
Blogging is an amazing opportunity for affiliate marketers but it can take a good deal of time to gain traffic and start to rank for terms. Search engines give sites with a high domain authority special favor when it comes to ranking for search terms. All things being equal, a site with a DA of 50 will outrank a site with a DA of 10.
If you write a great blog post on a high domain website, it will rank higher much more quickly.
Fortunately, many people grow high DA websites but don’t know how to leverage them (or just don’t want to for some reason). They sell these sites on marketplaces like Flippa or Empire Flippers. What the site sells for depends on many different variables but it usually ends up being somewhere between 24x and 36x monthly profits.
For example, a site with a DA 30 making $1,000/month in Adsense revenue would likely sell for between $24,000 and $36,000.
Depending on where you are in your business, this may seem like a crazy amount to spend on something you could make yourself (many of the sites for sale weren’t made by world class designers and writers).
However, if you have more money than time, buying an existing site might be an amazing opportunity. Even a site that isn’t making a penny in revenue yet is valuable if it has a high DA
Complete List of All Tools Mentioned
Create amazing looking 3d mockups for software products, e-books and more.
Remove backgrounds quickly for free.
Quickly generate quality domain name ideas.
Do deep research to find content ideas and backlink opportunities.
Find high value keyword opportunities to rank for.
Track clicks, shorten links and much more with Clickmagick.
Add scarcity to your email broadcasts with embedded countdowns.
Boost your readability, check for plagiarism and more.
Grow your list and build awareness to your affiliate products with Gleam contests.
Your own design team that will turn one piece of content into many pieces of content.
Free Chrome extension that saves all of your most frequently used links.
Track your affiliate commissions across multiple platforms in one easy to view dashboard.
Create unique text simulations for advertising with Texting Story App for iOS and Android.
Create web courses that subtly promote your affiliate products or help your buyers get more out of them.
Quickly find anyone's email address.
Perform the skyscraper approach with the SEO Minion Google Chrome Extension.
Find ad ideas for native advertising campaigns.
See how visitors are engaging with your websites with heat maps.
Run large webinars at an affordable price.
Create a swipe file with Evernote to leverage the work of great copywriters as inspiration.
Subscription based video editing service. You film, they edit.
The world's most popular web based design software. Boost productivity by creating templates and brand boards.
Collect emails from your Facebook groups.
Create attractive posts from audio with the Headliner App.
Powerful suite of tools for WordPress users (my #1 recommended WordPress theme + suite)
See what is popular at any given time.
Create better YouTube content with TubeBuddy.
Quickly and easily pixel your WordPress websites and create custom audiencs.
Compress images quickly.
Everything you need for email marketing.
Create attractive product showcases and callouts in WordPress. You saw these a lot in this article.
Turn audio or video into typed transcripts or subtitles.
Bookkeeping subscription service.
Outsource your WordPress headaches to WP Tangerine.
Buy existing high authority websites.