Wondering what the best tools for affiliate marketing are?
Go online, and you’ll find varying opinions about which tools to use and which ones to ignore forever.
The truth is, which tools are best for you really depends…well, on you.
The same is true for me.
I’m not here to argue with public opinion, but simply to tell you which tools I personally use for all my sites, plus why I love them.
Do these tools work?
In fact, they’re part of the reason I was able to scale as an affiliate marketer and make it to earning roughly $40k per month.
Ready to find what my top-rated tools are?
Let’s dive right in.
The Tools I Use for Affiliate Marketing (Plus, Why They’re Great)
Quick note before we begin.
I run a company with a sizable team, which means some of the tools I use aren’t needed if you’re a one-man show.
In the sections below, I’ll drop a quick note when I’m talking about a team tool, and whether or not you need it.
- Best Keyword Research Tool: KWFinder
Pricing: Starts at $29.90/month with a 7-day free trial.
If I could go back in time and meet my newbie affiliate marketer self…
…the one tool I’d recommend to past me is KWFinder.
And it’s the same for all beginners.
KWFinder makes keyword research super simple.
It’s like a bike with trainer wheels – you just hop on and go. No need to learn skills. No need for experience.
Just open up your dashboard, type in your keyword, and all the data will be displayed to you in one simple, eye-pleasing spread.
Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret.
I’ve been in the affiliate marketing space for more than a decade, but I still use KWFinder.
Well, because it’s super user-friendly, making it a great time-saver.
It’s perfect for those days when you have a keyword idea in your head, but only have five seconds to pop into a tool and get all the data you need on it.
- Best All-Around SEO Tool: Ahrefs
Pricing: Starts at $99/month with a 7-day trail for $7.
Here’s a sad truth about affiliate marketing:
A ton of “influencers” promote stuff simply to make the extra buck.
In fact, I’m promoting Ahrefs even when it doesn’t have an affiliate program.
Because I love it.
Even if you never get another all-in-one SEO tool, you’ll have everything you need with Ahrefs.
This savvy tool allows you to:
- Do in-depth audits on websites
- Analyze your competitors
- Get complete data on keywords
- Track your keyword rankings
- Learn what your audience is searching for
- Find link building opportunities
- And more!
Here’s an insider view of how I use Ahrefs to keep track of and maintain this website.
Note: If you’re just starting out and only require the basics of keyword research data, you can skip Ahrefs for now and stick to only KWFinder. However, if you’re in the more advanced stage, have more than one website, or want to get super serious about strategically planning your way to the top of the SERPs, you’ll love Ahrefs.
- Best WordPress Theme: Thrive Theme Builder
Pricing: $19/month (billed annually)
Want to know a secret about me?
I like to keep things simple.
Which means, if I find a tool that’s easier to use than one I’m currently using…
…I don’t hesitate to make the switch. (Given that both tools have the same great quality, of course.)
This is why I switched from using Divi to Thrive Theme Builder.
Although the site you’re on right now was created with Divi, I later jumped onto the Thrive boat and built all my other sites with it.
The truth is, Thrive is just so much easier to use and manage.
It saves me a ton of time and effort.
Plus, it has a unique feature called Quiz Builder, which is a fun way to drive more traffic and earn more links for your site.
Here’s a quiz I built for my real estate site:
- Best WordPress Plugin: Yoast SEO
Pricing: FREE or $89 (one-time payment) for the Premium Version with additional features
Yoast SEO is the ultimate plugin to get if you care about ranking on Google.
In fact, if you don’t plan on using it, you should just quit affiliate marketing altogether.
The Yoast SEO plugin helps you optimize your content so it shows up well on search engines.
It aids you with:
- Updating your content (you’ll get notifications if you haven’t updated content in six months)
- Optimizing meta titles and descriptions
- Previewing snippets for search or social media
- Keeping your content simple and readable
- Avoiding duplicate content
- Marking links as no-follow or sponsored
- And more!
One thing I love about this plugin is the “Yoast box” you get whenever you edit your WordPress post or page.
You’ll find it at the bottom of the edit page, and it makes getting the right title and meta description length super easy.
Plus, it does have helpful tips on whether your content is SEO-optimized. I personally don’t use this, but it can be very helpful if you’re not an expert at SEO writing yet.
Yoast SEO is the best plugin for SEO.
You simply can’t survive today’s cutthroat SERP battle without it.
- Best Lead Capture/Email Marketing Software: AWeber
Pricing: FREE for first 500 subscribers, then $26.15/month (billed annually)
If you’ve started noticing a trend in this blog, then you’re right.
The trend: tools that are easy to use.
Personally, I don’t see the point of using hard tools.
I mean, they’re supposed to make your work faster and easier, right?
The same is true with AWeber.
Here’s a look at my Aweber dashboard:
AWeber is my favorite all-in-one lead generation/email marketing tool today.
It makes capturing leads, then sending them automated emails, a piece of cake.
Plus, it allows you to:
- Personalize your emails
- Choose from a ton of responsive templates
- Build savvy landing pages
- Set autoresponder options
- Get access to reporting and split testing data
- And more!
You might have also seen this little pop-up when you landed on our website:
Source: 105 Low-Competition Niches
Well guess what?
I made that using Aweber.
(P.S., if you didn’t see the pop-up but want the niches, you can get them here).
I also love how affordable it is (you don’t have to pay a cent unless you’ve grown your list over 500 subscribers).
- Best Hosting: WPEngine
Pricing: Starts at $25/month
What I love most about WPEngine is its superior performance.
It offers great page loading speed, plus a page performance solution that runs tests on your site, helping you make improvements.
That said, I don’t recommend WPEngine to everyone.
Personally, I use it because I have 9 websites.
If you’re just starting out and only have one or two sites, I recommend Bluehost. You can get started with BlueHost at only $3.95/month, and get everything you need for a fast and responsive site.
You can check out my guide to web hosting for affiliate marketers here:
Best Web Hosting for Affiliate Marketers (Best Overall, Best Budget, and Best Performance Web Hosts)
Both WPEngine and BlueHost offer the best balance between awesomeness and price.
- Best Graphics Tool: Canva
Pricing: FREE or Pro ($4/month)
I seriously don’t know how the world survived before Canva.
I think back on pre-Canva days, and see nothing but darkness.
Probably my brain has blocked the bad memories of trying to get designs done without a simple, savvy, dummy-friendly tool.
Honestly, even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, you can create awesome designs with Canva in a few clicks.
You can create:
- Social media post graphics
- Business cards
- Basically everything and anything you can think of that needs digital design
Here’s a sneak peek to get you excited:
And here are some of the designs I use for social media:
And here are some statistics from our 105 out-of-the-box niches report:
If you have a large team, you can go for the Enterprise Plan ($30/month) and enjoy additional features such as collaboration with team members, stock images, and a digital asset management platform.
- Best Writing Tools: Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, and SmallSeoTools Plagiarism Checker
Want to produce better content?
Here are three tools I use.
Grammarly – The best spelling/punctuation/grammar checker on the planet. Comes in FREE and PAID ($30/month) versions. I recommend getting the paid one. It’s 100% worth it. The difference? The free version only checks for spelling and grammar. The paid one delves into all sorts of stuff like tone, clarity, and vocabulary.
Hemingway Editor – The goal of this awesome tool is to ensure you don’t use difficult and jargon-heavy sentences, which will cause your readers to bail. What I love is the color codes it uses to indicate whether your sentences are easy, hard, or very hard to read. It also helps you get rid of wordy phrases and useless adverbs.
Small SEO Tools Plagiarism Checker – This all-in-one tool helps you check whether your writing is unique…or whether you’re in danger of plagiarism. I use this tool mainly because I have a team of writers and need to check for consistent quality…but you can use this as a team-of-one as well, just to be sure you’re not copying anyone’s work word for word.
- Best Team Tool: Trello
Pricing: FREE, Business Class ($10/month), and Enterprise ($17.50/month)
Trello is a great tool for keeping your team organized.
It comes with cards that team members can update and move around, so your workflow is smooth and you can keep track of tasks in progress.
For me, Trello is the alternative to having a brick-and-mortar office.
It makes handling a remote team easy and pain-free.
Plus, if you have a larger team, you can upgrade to the Business or Enterprise plans, which offer additional features such as unlimited boards, a workspace where you can combine multiple boards, a calendar where you can visualize different cards on a timeline, and more.
Of course, only go for Trello if you have a team. It’s unnecessary if you’re a one-man-show.
- Best Tracking Tool: Google Analytics
Source: Google Analytics
Pricing: FREE for anyone with a Google account
Looking for a comprehensive tool that allows you to dive deep into audience insights, conversion, and acquisition?
Look no further than Google Analytics.
With this awesome free tool, you can find out:
- How many visitors your site is getting
- Their demographics
- What time they’re viewing your pages
- Which pages they’re spending time on
- And more
In short, Google Analytics shows you how your visitors are using your website.
It’s the perfect tool for finding out who your audience is and how they’re interacting with your digital brand.
The Best Tools for Affiliate Marketing: Recap
Now that I’ve shown you the best tools for affiliate marketing (based on my personal experience), you’re ready to go ahead and pick which ones you feel will be right for you.
Remember, don’t take my word for it (although it helps).
Give these tools a test drive first.
The best part is, most of them offer free or affordable trials, so you can try them out without huge commitment.
Of course, people are different, which means there’s a tiny chance you’ll hate the tools I’ve recommended.
Still…I’ve been using them to grow my affiliate sites and earn $40k/month, so you could at least give them a chance. (You won’t regret it.)