If you’re here, it’s likely, you’ve set up your website, you want to monetize it with affiliate marketing, and you’re concerned because you don’t want to use bad tools. You don’t want to spend too much time or money fiddling with tools that won’t help you achieve your goals. As a result, you’re here making sure you know the best WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers, right?
It’s funny because I’ve seen the scenario several times when I’m coaching affiliates. They set up their websites, and they’re excited to pass a milestone that’s oftentimes dreaded. Then, they realize, the website is blank!
Setting up the website is one part of becoming an affiliate marketer, but customizing the site for usability, monetization, productivity, and growth can be a whole different ballgame.
When I made my first website, I was troubleshooting to figure out which plugins I needed by piecing information together from all over the place! There is literally a plugin for everything, and if you’re not careful, you can have a clunky website that takes up alot of storage space, but it’s too complicated to function easily for you–that’s why I’ve created this article.
I want to save you some of the hassle and help you start your website with clarity and support.
What are WordPress Plugins For?
If this is your first time working with WordPress plugins, it might help to have a good definition, but a story would be even better.
My Cell Phone Example
Let’s use your cell phone to explain this…
In this example, you have a smartphone. You decide you want to go to the internet, so what do you have to press?
Answer: An app.
Without the internet app (whether Chrome, Safari, or another), you wouldn’t have a way to browse the internet on your phone.
Cell Phone Apps vs. WordPress Plugins
Similarly, WordPress plugins add functionality to your website. The WordPress software enables blogging, but if you want the functionality to design the site, convert more sales, create online courses, to sell products and services online, and more, then oftentimes, you have to add plugins.
WordPress Plugins and Affiliate Marketing: How does it go Together?
Affiliate marketing is a method for making money with a website. In summary, you’d recommend products and services that solve problems for your website visitors, and you’d get paid a commission from that. You can learn more about how to make money with affiliate marketing here.
Unfortunately, the WordPress out-of-the-box version has more features and functionality when plugins are added. With plugins, you can:
- Improve your efficiency
- Record all of your affiliate links and programs
- Watch your productivity
- Track your analytics
- And more…
Plugins for Link Tracking/Cloaking
When you apply to affiliate program and you’re approved, often times they give you what they call “creatives” or banner ads and your affiliate tracking link to put on your website. These affiliate links typically are long, difficult to remember, and difficult to tell others in a memborable way. Here’s an example of one of my affiliate links:
See what I mean? It’s long and has question marks, equal signs, and other things. How would I tell people on my Youtube channel to go there? I’d have to say, “If you’re interested in Wealthy Affiliate, join me at h-t-t-p-s-semicolon-slash-slash-my-dot-wealthyaffiliate-dot-com-slash…
I’ll stop there…
You get it. Affiliate links are too long and it would be difficult for people to follow your recommendations when you’re trying to get them to remember something like that. Even the person would the best intentions to buy from you, would have a hard time. Plugins for link tracking and link cloaking help by taking the long affiliate links, shortening them, giving you something more custom, and tracking when people take action.
Pretty Links is my favorite affiliate link tracking and cloaking software. It has more than 200,000 active downloads, and very few complaints. In fact, it has 4.5 stars on the WordPress Official website.
With Pretty Links, you can assign a custom URL to your affiliate links. Instead of the long and ugly link I shared above, with Pretty Links, I can shorten the link and make it memorable. My Pretty link pointing to the same place as the one above says: https://howtoentrepreneur.org/wealthyaffiliate.
Much better, right?
Added to how nice it is to relay easy-to-remember links to friends (or in places like Youtube), Pretty Links also has tracking info, so you can see how your links are performing.
Plugins for Design and Conversion
It’s also important to make sure your website gives the user a good experience. Very simple websites can get the job done, so this doesn’t need to be very complicated, but it’s important to be intentional about this.
Added to nice aesthetics, it’s also important to make sure it’s easy to identify your sales conversion goals. Alot of startup entrepreneurs make the conversion funnel too complicated, so they don’t get sales. I was one of them. Hahaha.
Plugins can help with both: making the site aesthetically pleasing and conversion-optimized. These my favorite design and conversion plugins…
Elementor is probably my favorite plugin nowadays. It has so much functionality: from creating stunning landing pages to countdown timers to building entire themes and templates. It’s an amazing all-in-one tool, and the cool thing is…
You can get started for free. For a brand new site, you probably won’t need the pro version. The free version would be sufficient. When you want to add more pro features to your website (like better landing pages, optins, etc.)–that’s when it’s time to upgrade to pro.
3. WP Product Review Lite
As affiliate marketers, one of the key pieces of content that gets conversions is product reviews. Internet users want to see the experiences or evaluations of others before they make a decision to buy a product or service–that’s where product reviews come in.
Unfortunately, you can write a beautiful product review, but it’ll get less clicks from the search results without the star rating displayed where it’s easy to view. Review readers also like to see pros and cons displayed easily.
WP Product Review lite improves the user experience on your product reviews by adding the stars (or schema markup). It also helps with your search engine optimization and your user experience because it makes it clear what reviewers can expect before landing on your site, and it also makes it easier for readers to evaluate the pros and cons.
You can take a look at some reviews I’ve done with WP Product Review Lite here:
Tablepress is a plugin I don’t use much at all, however, it’s been nice on the occasions I have used it. It helps to create tables inside of your posts. If you plan to create a site that will use lots of comparison tables or other table-like graphs, then tablepress may be a plugin you want to check out.
5. Thrive Themes
Thrive Themes used to be my favorite plugin, but nowadays, I think Elementor is passing them by with new innovation. Regardless, Thrive offers alot for the price of their annual membership. For $298/yr, you get access to their drag and drop page builder, their lead building/optin plugin, their course creation plugin (mainly for free course giveaways), their countdown timer plugin, and WP Themes for use on several sites.
I don’t use the plugins on this site, but I do have the software installed on other sites I own. If you have multiple sites and you want a budget-friendly option for adding conversion tools to your site, you should check out Thrive.
Plugins for Spam and Security
For the longest time, I didn’t have a problem at all with spam. My hosting company would prevent spam, so I never had to worry about it. When I switched my hosting, I started to get spam galore! I even considered switching back, but there were a few features I needed that the managed hosting option I had wasn’t able to sustain, so I stood my ground.
Depending on your website host, you may have a small amount of spam or alot. Regardless, it might be most beneficial for you to install a spam plugin to prevent wasting time going thru loads of comments to sniff out which are malicious or spam.
Akismet is the spam plugin that I’ve installed on my site. It helps save so much time from sorting thru to see which comments are legit vs. spam. Once your site is getting a certain amount of traffic, responding to comments can be enough without spam. Add this plugin to your site to save time.
Plugins for Data Analysis
As an affiliate marketer, it’s really important to monitor your data. On most occassions, you won’t know if your readers and followers like what you’re creating because you don’t get to see body language. Data is all you have.
It’s important to make sure you have easy access to data like your pageviews, # of users, pages visited, and so on. This can give you a birds’ eye view of your business performance.
7. Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress
Google Analytics is one of the most important tools for watching your data. Google will tell you so much about how users are interacting with your site, and this plugin gives you a snippet of that. With the Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress plugin, you can quickly glimpse at your data while you’re on WordPress without having to log onto your Google Analytics or Search Console accounts.
Plugins for Productivity and Accountability
Creating content is one of the primary ways affiliate marketers drive traffic to their websites. Regardless of whether you decide to primarily use paid ads or organic traffic, it’s important to build landing pages (even if their blog posts).
Productivity plugins track the work you’re putting in, or streamline your processes.
8. WP Word Count
I like to know how much content I’m creating and how often. With the WP Word Count plugin, I can see averages of how much content I’m producing on a monthly basis. This can help me to challenge myself or to hold myself accountable.
Plugins for SEO
Search engine optimization is a powerful source of traffic. Top affiliate sites use SEO as a primary traffic driver, but it can be difficult to remember everything you need for each post. SEO plugins can help to remind you to add things like:
- outbound links
- inbound links
- meta tags
- and so on
9. Yoast SEO
I personally use Yoast SEO to help me optimize my posts and pages for search engines. It uses colors (comparable to the stoplight) to tell you when you need to add more, take out something, or modify your posts to improve the ranking potential.
Closing Comments on the Best WordPress Plugins for Affiliate Marketers
These are the best WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers in my opinion. You don’t have to have lots of plugins to have lots of functionality or income in affiliate marketing.
I’m happy to see you’re pursuing affiliate marketing! It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made and I love to help affiliates become even more successful in their journeys. Hopefully, these WordPress plugins help you as much as they’ve helped me.
Check out my free e-course “All About Affiliate Marketing” to learn more about affiliate marketing and to get free websites and tools to help you out.