The use of WordPress is increasing every year, as is it’s use as a money-making blog. This can be done through affiliate marketing. It’s quite interesting to see how the WordPress affiliate platform works and how easy it can be to start making money off your blog with just the use of the right plugins.
Specific WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers have been around for a while now, monetizing blogs all over the world in the easiest ways possible. These plugins, combined with a good user-friendly blog, can be just what you’re looking for to direct your users to your affiliated products and start earning that extra income.
How affiliate marketing works by AffiliateWP
Below I’ve compiled a list of some of the top WordPress plugins for affiliate marketing. I’ve split them up according to their function as follows:
- Link Management Plugins
- Affiliate Management Plugins
- Link A/B Testing Plugins
- Plugins for Affiliate Integrations
- Banner Management Plugins
- Lead Capturing Plugins
- Plugins to Send Emails with the affiliate products to those leads
- Tools to Import Affiliate Products
The whole post might seem a bit long (well, that’s ‘cos it is), but if you’re serious about getting the best out of affiliate marketing I suggest you read through it. We took our time to compile the best list of plugins possible. Now it’s up to you to put them to good use.
ThirstyAffiliates is an affiliate link management plugin for WordPress that helps you organise, re-direct and cloak affiliate links. It’s an easy-to-understand plugin that even incorporates WordPress functions, making it more familiar to WordPress users.
Once you install ThirstyAffiliates you will see a new section in your dashboard sidebar with its name. From here you’ve got various options.
The Affiliate Links section lets you check out all the affiliates you’ve created in a format similar to the WordPress pages/posts setup. You can categorise and sub-categorise these affiliates as you wish, and you’re also shown how many clicks the links in question have obtained.
When adding a new affiliate link you can insert its name and destination URL. The URL will be converted into a nicer looking one automatically by the plugin. You can even add an image to each link should you find that a particular image performs well for a particular link.
In the WordPress content area you’re also given a ThirstyAffiliates icon. The purpose of this is to make adding affiliates a fast and easy process. Just highlight the text you want to link, click the icon and choose the affiliate link from the list. Simple.
There are a few settings to choose from too. These include the link prefix, options for no-follow and whether to open links in new windows, and more.
The statistics section is probably the most interesting. By choosing the different types of links you can see how many clicks they’re getting, giving you an easy indication as to whether you need to change something to improve your conversion rates.
ThirstyAffiliates also has premium add-ons to add more functionality. Some of the eye-catching ones include:
- GeoLocations – gives you the ability to create geo-targeted affiliate links in seconds. You can specify a different end-destination for any country, sending visitors to the closest store that sells the item you’re promoting.
- Stats – adds click tracking and recording for your affiliate links with a complete dashboard and breakdown over categories. With ThirstyAfifiliates smart filter you can also be sure that no crawlers or bots skew your data.
- Split Testing – automatically and evenly cycles through a pre-defined set of different affiliate programs on the same link, testing which one works best.
ThirstyAffiliates is a free plugin with paid add-ons to choose from. You can view a full list of these add-ons here.
Pretty Link Pro
Pretty Link Pro is a fully featured plugin that prettify’s your links while making them as useful and effective as possible.
It’s a very easy-to-use and intuitive plugin that, with some configuration, can handle any amount of affiliate links you might have for your site. Once you install the plugin all you have to do is set up the preferences and start adding affiliate links as you wish.
One of the best features of Pretty Link is certainly the prettiness of the links created. Rather than seeing some long URL with random letters and symbols you will be provided with a short, sleek and legible link such as https://wpmayor.com/link.
Once you’ve entered the desired affiliate links to your specifications you have the option to group them. This is a very handy tool, especially when you’ve got hundreds of affiliate links on one site. Eventually one or more of these links might change for some reason or another, and looking for it amongst a few hundred other links would be a massive hassle without categories.
Another feature that every marketer would want is tracking. Pretty Link Pro offers you a section dedicated to the tracking of all your affiliate links. You’ll be able to check the amount of clicks, timestamps of the clicks and more. You even get it all in a graph format for your own convenience.
A couple of additional features also caught my attention with this plugin. Firstly, you’ve got a social media option integrated into the plugin. Specifically, Twitter. It can be integrated onto your posts or pages, even allowing you to automatically post your newly published posts to Twitter.
Secondly, it has an import/export feature in case you want to export your links to other sites or just back them up for safe keeping. Both are nifty features you wouldn’t expect out of a plugin of this sort.
The pricing for Pretty Link Pro is split into two editions; the Blogger and the Developer. The Blogger edition costs $37 and is aimed at that newer blogger whose running just one site and wants to start making some money through affiliate marketing. The Developer edition on the other hand costs $97 but is for the more experienced developer that needs such a plugin to run on various sites at once.
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AffiliateWP is one of the newer affiliate marketing plugins on the market created by Pippin Williamson, a trusted name in the WordPress world. Pippin is the guy behind EDD and is also one of the most famous WordPress developers out there.
The main aim of AffiliateWP is to help increase the traffic as well as sales on your website. It was created to incorporate support for a large variety of popular eCommerce and membership plugins including WooCommerce, iThemes Exchange, JigoShop, Gravity Forms and many others.
The overview page on the plugin lists your paid as well as your unpaid referrals together with the earnings from each one and a few other details. From here it’s a straightforward process to add new affiliates either through the admin area or the users section on your WordPress dashboard.
Upon activation you’re also set up with an Affiliates section where you can manage all your affiliates and see your top earners, affiliate reports and more.
There is also an Affiliates dashboard for your affiliates to easily track how much they earned, how much is awaiting payment, and even how their referral URLs have done over time. Real time reporting adds to this by showing graphs of referrals over time, summarising an affiliate’s performance.
Some of the other features on offer from AffiliateWP include reliable affiliate tracking, unlimited affiliates, moderated registration and coupon tracking.
Just to give you an idea of how powerful and trusted this plugin is, it is currently being used by some awesome companies including Ninja Forms, SearchWP, WP Seassions and even Foo Plugins.
The pricing for AffiliateWP is as shown above. In addition to these you can also purchase premium add-ons that for the moment include Recurring Referrals, Tiered Affiliate Rates, Stripe Payouts, Affiliate Dashboard Sharing and PayPal Payouts, with more on the way.
There are also some free add-ons as well as 3rd-party add-ons that cover practically everything else you might need out of an affiliate marketing plugin.
Link A/B Testing
Nelio A/B Testing
Nelio A/B Testing is one of the best plugins available for link A/B Testing. It’s a conversion optimisation service that helps you define, manage and keep track of A/B testing experiments on any WordPress site you may have. Oh, and it combines all that with some powerful and beautiful heatmaps too. Check out the video below for a brief introduction.
Everything is integrated right into the WordPress dashboard, ensuring that the user experience is as pleasant and familiar to the WordPress user as possible. Being specifically designed for WordPress itself, Nelio A/B Testing gives you complete control over what to test, be it pages, posts, themes; anything.
With this plugin you’re free to test alternatives for any aspect of your site and check out the results for yourself. The addition of heatmaps to your results is an added perk. It lets you understand better which areas of your site are getting the most attention and which ones are being ignored, perhaps to your business’ detriment.
You are provided with all the information you might ever need; be it a summarised version of the key points or detailed graphics and statistics about visitors, conversions and more.
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EasyAzon 3 is your solution to saving time and making money if you’re an Amazon affiliate. With EasyAzon 3 you’ll be able to create any type of Amazon affiliate link you might need in the easiest way possible. Be it text, an image, a call to action or anything else, you can create the affiliate link right from your WordPress dashboard.
Rather than going back and forth between WordPress and Amazon to set up your links, you can do it all in one place. Once you set your default controls you’re all set to go. Below is a video briefly explaining what EasyAzon 3 can do.
One of its best features is an automatic link localiser. This checks the location of your visitor and uses the appropriate affiliate link based on that location, earning you extra commissions.
Some of the other features on offer in EasyAzon 3 are the product popups that will grab your visitors’ attention, as well as the plugin’s ability to automatically add products to a visitor’s cart. What this means is that you will have an extra 89 days for that customer to purchase the product while you still get a commission.
Get EasyAzon 3
eBay Feeds For WordPress
eBay Feeds For WordPress is a WordPress plugin created to easily place your eBay feeds on your WordPress-powered site. It’s easy to use and very flexible. You can embed the eBay auctions into posts or widgets, or even insert them into the themes.
It’s the ideal plugin for those looking to increase their income by promoting eBay’s affiliate programme or their own eBay auctions. Everything is updated in real time, meaning the only listings that will show up on your site are the ones that are currently live. You can style these listings as you wish using CSS.
You can check out an example on Winwar Media’s site; the developers behind eBay Feeds For WordPress.
eBay Feeds For WordPress is free to download from the WordPress Plugin Repository.
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Ad & Banner Management
WP AdCenter is a plugin developed to control every aspect of advertising on your WordPress-powered site and provide detailed statistics about it all. It gives you the ability to place banners anywhere on your site using a simple shortcode, widget or by editing your theme.
Through this one, simple plugin interface you’ll be able to manage every aspect of your advertising with plenty of options. Firstly, WP AdCenter lets you create unlimited Adzones all over your site, each with their own unique banners of any size.
You’re also given unlimited campaigns. A campaign in WP AdCenter is a set of banners running within an Ad Zone. You can create as many as you like and compare them to see which is the most effective, even setting start and end dates to give you full control on the campaign.
Adding media for your banners is also a simple process with the Add a Banner section. You can upload it from your computer, link to an online banner or just paste in the code your affiliate gives you.
The detailed statistics section offers you a graph showing the performance of each ad including impressions and clicks. You can compare multiple ads on the same chart and even download a copy as a .png file or print it straight from your dashboard.
Another couple of interesting features are the ability to offer advertising for sale directly on your site through a simple form, as well as the ability to automatically collect payment from your advertisers via PayPal. These advertisers can also view their own stats online from your site with their personal login details.
Have a look at WP AdCenter’s demo site to get a better idea of it’s capable of.
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AdPress is easy to set up; with just a few clicks in its Ad Designer you can have an ad up and running. Through the designer you can choose how the ad will look, the Call to Action ad, what the sale contract will be, and much more. Integrating these ads is simple – AdPress offers widget, shortcode and function support.
Automated selling makes the process much easier. Any user can sign up and purchase an ad spot from their profile dashboard. The payment is handled automatically by PayPal after which you’ll receive a notification on your dashboard where you accept or decline their ad. PayPal refunds are accepted too.
Statistics in the form of CTR, averages as well as a chart are available to both you (the admin) and your users. You will also have access to a history section where AdPress stores the history of each and every ad purchased.
Besides all this you can also import/export all or some of your data in order to keep backups as well as modify the HTML and CSS code through the settings panel in order to fully customise the ads to your requirements.
AdPress is available from envatomarket for $39 for a Regular License. There is also a $25 add-on called PowerAd with some additional features for AdPress to run on any site, even those without WordPress.
Besides popups being obtrusive, there’s also the possibility that banner and sidebar advertisements are completely ignored or not seen, rendering them useless. In Post Ads solves that problem by inserting the ads right into the content of your site, always appearing right in your visitor’s line of vision.
It’s easy to use and is packed with lots of features. First of all, you have the ability to choose how many ads to display, the ability to categorise your ads, and even the ability to insert your first and subsequent ads after a specified number of paragraphs.
The ads can be placed in a certain order or left to be displayed randomly and you also have the choice of whether to display them to logged in users. You can monitor all of them using A/B testing and style them with themes. Lastly, you can even integrate your ads with Google analytics to keep an eye on them from there.
In Post Ads can be purchased alone or as part of wpmudev’s ‘all plugin and themes’ payment options as seen below.
One of the newer plugins released this year, OptinMonster is a lead generation plugin that is very easy to use and so easy to set up that you can have it up and running in just a few minutes.
The user experience for OptinMonster is great; every option is either clearly explained or self-explanatory in the first place. If you do have any issues you can always consult their documentation or get in touch with support.
The main purpose of OptinMonster is to convert those users that would normally abandon your site for good into potential customers. After choosing from multiple optin types you can set up any affiliate link you’d like, using A/B testing along the way to ensure you get the best results.
Analysis of clicks, views and overall conversion rates are easy to keep an eye on as your stats are provided right there in the plugin. You can even decide to set targeted campaigns, focusing certain affiliates on certain pages, categories or posts.
One of the niftiest features you’ll find in OptinMonster is certainly exit intent. This only shows your signup form when the user is about to leave the site. It not only keeps it out of the way of those enjoying your content but also pulls those leaving back in. And if it does annoy the ones who were going to leave anyway, well, so be it.
This plugin is very much still in development with more features and improvements set to be released soon.
The pricing tables above show what is offered in every package of OptinMonster. The choice is completely up to you, depending mainly on how effective you want the plugin to work and how much you can actually afford to pay.
Having said that, with more planned features to be introduced over time it makes sense to opt for the more expensive licenses in order to get these new features right from the off. They also offer a 100% money-back guarantee of 14 days for any unsatisfied customers – but I highly doubt there are going to be many of these.
OptinSkin is another plugin aimed at capturing as many leads as possible. Through its use of attractive opt-in forms and social share boxes Optin Skin gives you the chance to increase lead generation in an easy way that even a beginner can handle.
It has 18 fully customisable designs to choose from. For each design you can change its box colours, fonts, opt-in button colour, and much more right from its simple editor. If you want to design your own custom forms using HTML and CSS you’re free to do so. All you have to do is give OptinSkin your code and they will do the rest.
Its one-click placement feature makes placing your skins anywhere on your site a very easy process. Another cool features OptinSkin offers is a fade option for your opt-in forms. Rather than just placing the form onto your site you can make it fade into your content, attracting your visitors’ attention and increasing conversions.
Split testing is also available for ALL the elements in your forms, from button colours to eBook covers. OptinSkin then informs you of which version works best. Impressions are only counted if the visitor scrolls to the part of the page where the form is, ensuring the data collected is as accurate as possible.
OptinSkin even offers you a chance to make more money. All you have to do is add a small ‘Powered by’ link to skins anywhere on the blog and you can make 50% of every OptinSkin sale made. Besides this, it also works with all email marketing services, be it Google Feedburner, Aweber, MailChimp, and a lot more.
Email Marketing and Promotion
MailPoet is a WordPress plugin used to create newsletters, post notifications and autoresponders. It’s built with the idea of simplicity in mind, giving you an easy way to build and share your newsletters.
MailPoet integrates aa drag-n-drop builder for your newsletter. All you have to do is drop the content you desire into the section you want and edit them as you wish. You’ve got over 50 themes to choose from and edit, or you can design your own custom one.
It also has post notification and autoresponder functions in order to send your latest posts automatically at any time you wish. You’ll even be able to view how your subscribers behave with each peice of content showing how many users opened it, clicked on it or even (hopefully not) unsubscribed.
Overall it’s a very easy to configure plugin that works straight out of the box and looks good on all email clients, including mobile phones.
MailPoet is free to download from the WordPress plugin repository, but for added premium features you must pay for a license depending on what you need. Above are the prices for the three licenses available.
MyMail is a simple email newsletter plugin for WordPress to create, send and track your newsletter campaigns. It’s got an easy and intuitive interface from where you can access all the settings you might need.
You can track the opens, clicks, unsubscriptions and bounces on each newsletter sent. You can send an autoresponder, a follow up and even birthday greetings to users, and it also lets you schedule your campaigns as you wish. Content editing is also very easy, even incorporating a drag-n-drop image function.
A few other neat features include its mobile-friendliness, and the Know your Subscribers section where you’re given information about each subscriber ranging from their name and location to their activity on each link.
The features list is much longer, containing such thins as six different types of autoresponders, embedding newsletters with shortcodes, sidebar widgets, quick preview and many more.
MyMail is available off CodeCanyon for $39 for a Regular License.
Tools to Import Affiliate Products
In the core plugin there are various useful features, all of which are pretty simple to use. Some of these include the ability to integrate a feed via a simple shortcode, the ability to limit feed items per feed source, customisation of the feed display, custom feed creation and many more.
For additional impact you can purchase one of the premium add-ons (or a bundle of them) that increase the plugin’s functionality considerably. Here’s a few of them:
- Excerpts & Thumbnails displays an excerpt and thumbnail image (taken from within the RSS feed) together with the title, date and source of each feed item.It uses the shortcode to display the feed items.
- Feed to Post is an advanced importer that lets you import RSS feed items as WordPress posts or any other custom post type. You can use it to populate a website in minutes (auto-blog). This is the most popular and feature-filled extension.
There are various ways you could implement the aggregator as an affiliate marketing tool. For example, you could set up an affiliate site consisting of the latest themes from themeforest. This way you’ll be promoting your affiliate’s products and getting paid for every purchase made through your links.
The core plugin of WP RSS Aggregator is free to download, but it also has a number of great premium add-ons as mentioned above, each at a different price. There are also special bundles for those looking to get the best out of a number of these add-ons.
WP All Import
WP All Import is a brilliant tool to import data to any plugin or theme with full support for custom fields, custom post types and custom taxonomies. The ability to add scheduled automatically recurring imports with the use of cron jobs is one of the many features on offer from WP All Import.
It also offers an ideal solution to marketing your affiliate products; it gives you the ability to build an affiliate store in a short and easy way. Just check out the three minute video below and see for yourself the power of this plugin and the marketing possibilities it offers for your affiliate products.
WP All Import offers various add-ons including the WooCommerce add-on used in the video above. Besides that it also has an Advanced Custom Fields add-on, a WPML add-on, a User Import add-on and even a Link Cloaking add-on.
WP All Import has three pricing plans on offer. The first and cheapest is the Unlimited License at $89, then there’s the WP All Import + WooCommerce Add-on costing $129, and finally the Elite Bundle costing $199. You can see more details in the image below or by viewing their Purchase page.
Get WP All Import
In conclusion affiliate marketing can be a very effective source of income as well as marketing, and WordPress is an ideal platform to do it on.
It gives you the ability to build a good following and increase not only your subscribers but also your customer-base, hence increasing your income.
It’s worth noting that keeping your content relevant and interesting is vital to keeping your customers coming back. You must build a trusting relationship with them and uphold it at every cost.
There are no shortcuts to building your following; it takes hard work and determination, but once you’ve developed it and built a great affiliate marketing program for your blog the possibilities are endless.
Every plugin mentioned here can help on your way to creating all this, so take note of everything and if you’ve got any questions related to any of them or to any of the topics covered don’t hesitate to get in touch with us in the comments below and we’ll be happy to guide you as best we can.
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