In today’s Tools of the Trade Tuesday, I cover WordPress plugins for affiliate marketing sites. Plugins that will help to give you an edge over the competition (unless they read this, too). Not only that, but most of these plugins listed are free as well!
WordPress is the most popular and probably the easiest blogging CMS (content management system) available. And best of all, the software platform is free. WP also has tons of great free themes and plugins. You can find them listed on the Codex. They will help you with such things as blogging, forms, tracking, and SEO.
(http://wordpress.org/plugins/amazon-product-in-a-post-plugin/). You can use this plugin to quickly fill your site with Amazon products. Additionally, you can add any Amazon product or item to an existing Post, Page or use a custom Post Type (using shortcode).
You can easily add those products which are right for your marketing niche, and you can monetize your blog posts by adding customize Amazon products links. Just add your own reviews, descriptions or any other thing you would normally want to add to a post – and still have the Amazon product listed there. The best part is the plugin is free.
(http://wordpress.org/plugins/affiliates/). This is a great tool for Affiliate marketing programs as a product vendor. This plugin sets up an affiliate system for sellers, shops, and membership sites who want to get started with their own affiliate program right “out of the box”.
Important features include automated affiliate registration, an unlimited affiliate management section. Complete affiliate and referral statistics and data are recorded by this plugin and provided instantly.
You can have as many affiliates as you choose. It uses an API (Application Program Interface), which is compatible with virtually any eCommerce platform and Membership System.
(https://wordpress.org/plugins/cbpress/). A plugin designed with the Clickbank affiliate in mind. This plugin helps Clickbank affiliates by importing a full marketplace update using Clickbank’s XML feed.
With this plugin you can customize your product description and categories which then displays Clickbank products you choose to suit whatever niche you are promoting.
You can combine affiliate products across Clickbank and competing affiliate networks. It also provides updates to your Clickbank products and services with just one click.
*Note: plugin has not been updated for latest version of WordPress to date and may not work as designed.
(http://wordpress.org/plugins/ad-injection/). As the name suggests, this plugin will inject any type of ad (Google AdSense, Amazon Associates, Clickbank, TradeDoubler, etc.) into your existing WordPress post, pages, or widget areas.
You can also control the number of ads based on the length of your posts and restrict who can see the ads based on post age, visitor referrer, or IP address. You also have options for configuring the ads, along with support for A/B split testing and ad rotation.
Note: this is an advanced plugin with plenty of options. If you are looking for a really simple plugin, then this plugin is not the one for you!
(https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7/). A popular plugin for making simple contact forms on your site. Let’s visitors contact you by leaving their name, email address, subject and message in the form. Then they can simply submit it and the message will be sent to the email address you set by choice.
Note: another popular contact form generator plugin is called Fast Secure Contact Form (https://wordpress.org/plugins/si-contact-form/) that not only makes great forms, but adds an additional layer of spam protection by blocking all automated spammers
(https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/). In my opinion and experience, this is the best free SEO plugin available for WordPress. It has all the best features you want for an SEO plugin.
This plugin forces you to choose a focused keyword for posts and pages, then checks to make sure it appears within the content. This plugin helps to increase your site rankings and increases the CTR (click-thru-rate) for organic search results. Also includes XML sitemap functionality.
Note: another popular WP SEO plugin worth mentioning (and a close second) is All-in-One SEO Pack plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/) that does many similar features as the Yoast plugin.
(http://wordpress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/) This awesome time saving plugin does exactly what it sounds like; it checks all the links of your content, posts, pages and comments for any broken links or missing images and then notifies you when it finds any. You can then easily remove those links (converts back to regular text) in one click. Really good for finding affiliate links that have expired!
(https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/). A very important but often missed plugin to utilize. This plugin checks and cleans your site from viruses as well as protects it from intruders including hackers, bots, and other online threats. It also includes a caching function to speed up the site load time. (my favorite security plugin)
Note: another effective and popular security plugin worth mentioning is iTheme Security plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/better-wp-security/) formerly known as Better WP Security.
Since I currently have 10 active websites (and had others in the past), I have tried a number of social-media share button plugins. Some were not as effective as others, but I still use one of 4 different plugins depending upon my site’s application and will mention a few here.
(https://wordpress.org/plugins/shareaholic/). This plugin includes all of the popular social media network sites. It not only has social share buttons customizable for pages and posts, but also has related content recommendations, following, social analytics, and more. I currently use this plugin on 3 of my main sites.
). A simple social media share plugin that includes the major media networks as well as displaying sharing with following buttons and icons on you site quickly and easily. I use this plugin on several of my niche sites.
Honorable mention: Ultimate Social Media and Share Icons plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/ultimate-social-media-icons/). This social media share plugin is quickly becoming one of the more popular plugins on WordPress with a very happy user rating. This plugin provides tons of customization features.
Reasonably priced premium plugin alternative is Social Locker Plugin. This WP plugin can be set to lock your most valuable site content behind a set of social buttons until the visitor either clicks on one of the social buttons to share your content. It helps to improve social performance of your website, as well as increase likes/shares, build quality followers and in turn attract more traffic from those sites.
There are a number of other great plugins, both free and premium, available for affiliates and online marketers as well. The ones covered above will help you to get going with your affiliate marketing endeavors. WordPress helps affiliates to extend functionality of their website and marketing campaigns by adding and using plugins.
As you might have imagined, it’s impossible for me to mention all the possible plugins available, let alone test them all. Most all the plugins I covered above are free. If you are currently using a plugin for your affiliate or online marketing efforts that you would like to share, or have a question or other input, you are encouraged to add your comment below!
Michel has actively been online as an Internet and affiliate marketer since 2009. He has experience with many systems and programs that he has used throughout those years, finding some to be great and many not so good. He’s learned what works, and what doesn’t work and is willing to share it with you. And it is always changing!
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