WORDPRESS PLUGINS FOR YOUR AFFILIATE MARKETING TOOLKIT
Many affiliates we work with utilize WordPress to maintain their website and blog. Having maintained our own blogs and consulted with a variety of affiliates, we’ve come up with a list of WordPress specific plugins that are helpful for affiliates.
If you think we left something out – make sure to send us your recommendation or your favourite tool, plug-in or resource and we’ll check it out!
…for easy eCommerce website setup
Not only is WooCommerce a platform for eCommerce Websites, but it is also useful for Affiliate Marketers. This is especially true for those just getting started because it helps with the more technical ways to utilize products – datafeeds and API. The WooCommerce Plugin allows you to add a product, as if you were selling it, but link it to a completely different website. You have all the functionality of an eCommerce store, but none of the hassle…collecting payments, shipping, returns, etc.
If you are using a theme, be sure to choose one that already has pre-made layouts and integrations with WooCommerce. It makes the process just that much easier. Elegant Themes, Code Canyon and WooThemes all feature WooCommerce ready themes.
WORDPRESS SEO BY YOAST
…for Search Engine Optimazation
PRICE: FREE (Paid Versions Also Available)
The more targeted readers you reach, the greater the opportunity of clicks and conversions on your affiliate links. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a large role in gaining targeted readers, but it can be a complicated and time consuming project to take on. The comprehensive plugin from Yoast takes the confusion out of SEO. Not only does Yoast handle the more technical side of search engine optimization, but it also teaches you how to write more search engine friendly blog posts, allowing you to focus on your content and links. By selecting a “Focus Keyword,” you can see how well your post is optimized for the search. This plugin also creates a custom XML Sitemap which is an important file to submit to Google Webmaster Tools.
DREAMGROW SCROLL TRIGGER BOX (OR OPTIN MONSTER)
…for optin email capture
PRICE: FREE (OptinMonster is $49)
Affiliate marketers should attempt to capture as many email addresses as possible. Capturing an email subscriber means you have access to that reader 24/7/365 (or until they unsubscribe).
Everyone hates the idea of utilizing a popup as a lead generation tool, but the research does not lie. They work! OptinMonster is one of the best lead generation plugins for your WordPress website. It is also one of the most expensive at around $49 for a basic license. If you aren’t ready to invest the $49 for OptinMonster, Scroll Triggered Box by DreamGrow is a great alternative. With a pretty basic settings section, you can choose on which pages to show the opt-in box, the box position and at which percentage of the page it should first appear. To change the color and style of the box, you’ll need a little knowledge of CSS, but it’s easily done.
…for custom commenting design options
Commenting is a big part of blogging. When you are first starting out, it’s important to comment on other blogs in your niche to start community building. It’s also important to interact with the people who are commenting on your blog. Show your readers appreciation when they stop by your blog and take some time to read your content. Respond to their questions, tell similar short stories, or simply thank them. This is another aspect to blogging that allows you to gain credibility in the community.
wpDiscuz is a plugin that allows you to customize your comments section to allow for voting on comments, sharing comments on social media, subscribing to comment replies and more. It also gives you the ability to change the colors, backgrounds, messages, functions, buttons and more! Improving your comments section can lead to overall better engagement. This plugin enables you to keep the comments in the WordPress database and don’t worry, it is compatible with all themes.
ASKIMET (or ANTI-SPAM)
…for spam blockers
It’s just as important to build a community with your comments as much as it is to protect your comments section. Stop those annoying spammers in their tracks with this wordpress plug-in. Anti-Spam blocks spam automatically, invisibly for users and admins. There is no moderation queues, captcha or settings page, which keeps your admin section completely free of any spam!
…for scheduling and organizing
PRICE: plans starting at $15
Get help managing your blog’s schedule. CoSchedule is an all-in-one editorial calendar that makes it easier to create, move, and manage your blog posts. It allows for WordPress blogging team collaboration without needing extra outside tools and logins, reducing the time and unnecessary complexity required to plan your blog’s content marketing program. Synchronize your post, author, and category information seamlessly to your WordPress account.
If you struggle with scheduling, then this is the perfect plugin for you!
FOOBAR (OR HELLOBAR)
…for email capturing
PRICE: $16 (HelloBar is Free)
In case you missed it earlier, as an affiliate marketer, the number one goal of your posts or pages is to capture a users’ email address. Think of the long term value it provides! If you are hesitant to use a pop-up as suggested above, consider a simple call-to-action bar at the top of your pages, such as Foobar. With Foobar you can add custom HTML for users to sign up for your newsletter, show your latest tweets, link to popular blog posts, or link to top performing affiliate links.
EASY SOCIAL SHARE (OR SIMPLE SHARE)
…for social share buttons
PRICE: $14 (Simple Share is Free)
It’s every affiliate marketers dream to have a post go viral. Imagine the traffic, the likes, the shares, the commissions! Prominent social sharing buttons on each post is a leap in the right direction. There are a plethora of social sharing plugins available, but one of the strongest is Easy Social Share. It has numerous design, tracking, sharing, and advanced options available. The biggest downfall is the amount of time necessary to configure the plugin, but trust us, it is well worth it. Integration with WooCommerce, Google Analytics, and Template Design are among the top reasons this plugin is worth the $14. If you aren’t willing to fork over the $14 just yet, try out Simple Share. It’s a lot less advanced, but it’s lightweight and looks nice.
“PIN IT” BUTTON PRO
…for image sharing on Pinterest
In early 2016, Pinterest lifted its ban on affiliate links on their platform, which is fantastic news for affiliate marketers! According to HubSpot, Pinterest drives four times more money per click than Twitter and 27% more than Facebook. While displaying the Pinterest button in your lineup of social sharing icons is good, having the Pin It Button directly on your images is even better. Especially if you are creating beautiful, pin-worthy post images!
RELATED POSTS FOR WORDPRESS
…for increased reader engagement
When it comes to success in affiliate marketing, reader engagement and page views per visit can’t be overlooked. One way to keep readers on your site longer is to display related posts – this can help reduce bounce rate and increase page views. Related Posts for WordPress is a nice, lightweight plugin with just enough custom features. You can choose the number of related posts to display, the expert length and heading text. You might have to tweak the CSS (provided on the plugin page) just a little to adjust image padding and width. Remember that this plugin pulls from your post excerpt, so if you haven’t added excerpt information on your post pages, you’ll need to go back and add the few lines of text.
W3 TOTAL CACHE
…for WordPress Performance Optimization
Affiliates with a high bounce rate will rarely be successful – and the two major causes of a high bounce rate are slow load time and irrelevant content. If you notice a slower page loads, you might consider a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache. While it does become a slight hassle to empty your cache when a new plugin is added or a major update it made, it does wonders for the response time of your site. The plugin claims at least a 10x improvement in overall site performance which can be incredibly beneficial when you are trying to grow your user base and reduce bounce rates.
…for creating clean, shortened links
PRICE: FREE (Paid Versions Also Available)
Affiliate Links are not pretty. They usually look something like this
and sometimes are even worse when you start to add custom tracking. Many affiliates prefer presenting their affiliate links in a little more professional manner to enhance their user experience. Pretty Link is among the most recommended plugins for shortening links as it offers a number of advanced features and options. It’s also very simple to use. You can turn the above link into something as simple as http://www.yourwebsite.com/meditation-cushion. Depending on how your affiliate site is organized, you can also put each shortened link into a group to track the progress of either one specific affiliate network (ShareASale Links), one specific retailer (Wayfair) or perhaps by a certain category (Sports).
CONTACT FORM 7 (OR GRAVITY FORMS)
…for creating forms
PRICE: FREE (Gravity Forms is $39)
It’s important to have a contact form on your website for two reasons – to be reachable to your readers and for potential merchants to contact you. Forms can also come in handy for product giveaway entries and reader feedback. There are two really slick plugins to create these types of forms, Contact Form 7 and Gravity Forms. Gravity Forms is the easiest to use, but it’s about $39. Contact Form 7 has a slight learning curve, but it’s nothing you can’t figure out in about ten minutes — and it’s free. For advanced styling, you need to know a little CSS or download the Contact Form 7 Skins plugin.
…for website protection
Are you protected if your website gets hacked? This is important for every website owner, especially affiliates. When your site gets invaded, your traffic is usually being directed somewhere else. This not only takes away from your potential affiliate commissions, but also loses trust with your readers. Wordfence Security can check if you site is infected, and specifically which files. It also has a built in caching system and is built to block known attackers.
Affiliate Marketer’s Toolkit
PART 3 (COMING SOON!)
3rd Party Services