Affiliate Marketing For Dummies
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Scads of paid tools are available for affiliate marketers. This list of paid tools will highlight the most appropriate tools for beginning affiliate marketers. So — drum roll, please — here you find a list of the ten paid affiliate marketing tools that passed the test.

affiliate marketing tools

This list has tools to help you get and generate content and send emails. By doing so, you can develop your relationships and build your lists so you can present future offers and have future opportunities to profit.

Search engine optimization is getting harder every day, and the SEO tools that corporations are using are very expensive; those tools are trying to eke out the last bit of SEO juice for million-dollar companies fighting for market share. Despite all the things SEO gurus have been saying, the relative importance of SEO compared to other factors has been going down.

That’s not where you, as an affiliate marketing beginner, need to be. Your SEO needs are handled by Yoast and Market Samurai.

The software vendors of paid tools (as well as free tools and WordPress itself) have their own training libraries to help you understand the operation and use of all these tools. Usually the training is video, and sometimes it’s supplemented with text, examples, and screenshots. The training is usually offered free to purchasers of the product. It’s in the vendors’ best interests to help you make the best use of their tools.

Market Samurai

Market Samurai is the Swiss army knife of affiliate marketing tools. The paid version allows you to do many different marketing analyses that are important to the affiliate marketer. It combines the functionality of several different paid tools in one. You can opt for tools that offer great value while requiring only a one-time payment for lifetime licensing. Market Samurai hits the spot!

Market Samurai is a one-time purchase of $149 unless there is a special discount, which sometimes brings the cost down even further. With the paid purchase, you have the tool’s full functionality for life.

Market Samurai draws information from lots of other sources that would charge a monthly fee if you accessed them directly. But getting the data through Market Samurai saves you money and time. You can use the tool for keyword research, SEO, domain research, and monetization information.

Keyword Revealer

Keyword Revealer is a keyword research tool. Since keyword research and finding the right niche are so vital to your success as a beginning affiliate marketer, it pays to have a good keyword research tool. There are some good free keyword research tools, but they usually have limitations, making you jump between tools to get all the info you need or interpolate their findings from what they give you to what you want.

Keyword Revealer has a keyword research screen. One great advantage of this screen is that it allows you to evaluate each keyword and comes up with numerical scores on how difficult the competition is for that particular keyword. It features a rank tracking screen and a keyword brainstorming facility that helps you come up with profitable long tail and low-competition keywords.

The free version limits you to three searches a day and doesn’t show competitor data. There are three tiers of paid membership depending on how many searches you need a day. The middle level, which is called the Basic level, gives you 25 searches a day and costs $90 a year. This level is sufficient for the beginning affiliate marketer. However, the middle lifetime level, which offers the same 25 searches a day, is called the Marketer level and is $89 dollars for lifetime licensing.

Some people have wondered what the difference is between Market Samurai and Keyword Revealer. Market Samurai has the domain finding module, the content finding and analysis module, the publish content module, and the promotion or backlink finder and analysis module. If your budget allows it, get both Market Samurai and Keyword Revealer lifetime plans. If your budget allows the purchase of only one, get Market Samurai.


SpyFu is all about spying on your competition and doing competitive research. Who better to learn from than your competitors? You can see where they had their successes and leverage what they learned. You can also see where they may have failed and find out how to avoid following in their footsteps.

You can see what keywords they are ranking for and what they have done to rank for those keywords. You can see how the ranking changed over time in response to their marketing efforts. There is also a pay-per-click (PPC) analysis component that allows you to see how and where your competitors spent their ad money.

The free SpyFu level allows you only a very limited view of the first few keywords. You have to subscribe to see the entire data. All the three different paid levels allow you to access all the SpyFu data. The higher levels allow you to track more keywords, give you more leads, and allow you to run more custom reports.

The basic level suits the needs of the beginning affiliate marketer. The basic level of SpyFu is $33 a month if paid on an annual basis or $39 if you pay monthly.

Elementor, Astra Pro Theme, and Ultimate Addons

Elementor is a great tool that will make building web pages much easier and faster. By dragging text, video, and image blocks into the places you want, you can quickly build your desired web pages. You can drag pre-built templates onto a page. You can also save portions you build and reuse them repeatedly as templates

With a page builder like Elementor, Thrive, or Beaver Builder, you can extend the functionality by buying the pro version. The pro version often adds extra formatting or extra blocks.

One-time purchases with lifetime licensing is an affiliate marketer favorite and here’s a deal you’ll like. It’s a lifetime bundle of Elementor, Astra Pro, and Ultimate Addons for Elementor.

  • The Astra Pro Upgrade adds more header designs, page layouts, footer widgets, and so on. You also have enhanced creative control with better typography and better color control.
  • The Ultimate Elementor Addon includes 30 added customized widgets for things like pop-ups, video, an image gallery, a video gallery, buttons, creative widgets, and the like.
You also have access to a large library of template and pre-built starter websites. Some of the starter sets are available to users of Astra, but additional starter sets and templates are available only to agency purchasers.

This Mini Agency bundle is $499, which is higher than the price of paid plug-ins that is usually suggested to beginning affiliate marketers. However, this tool provides such value that it’s worth the price. Separately, the parts of the bundle have monthly charges of from $49 to $79; yearly charges range from $79 to $149. So the lifetime license quickly becomes the best deal.

But it’s okay if you just don’t have that cash. You can start out with the Mini Agency bundle at $169 a year. So the lifetime option pays for itself in under three years. But there is one other reason to bite the bullet and go for the lifetime option. You can get free third-party training courses.

Of course, Elementor and Astra themselves offer free training courses, but there are some third-party training better at distilling down and explaining the points. Often third-party training is video while the other training is text based.

Content Samurai

Fresh content is the lifeblood of your website. If you don’t have fresh content, it doesn’t matter how good your SEO is — the search engines will just come to your site, find nothing new, and move on, while your competitors who have posted fresh content will get updated by the search engines.

Of all the forms of content — text posts, photographs, vector graphics, line art, and so on — video is one of the most engaging. Video is often termed a “long form” communication method. Your message unfolds over time, and your audience becomes engaged in your message and your offering. (How many times have you been sucked into watching a TV program?)

Videos are also more highly shared on the various social media outlets like Facebook than text or images. Isn’t that what you want for your message: more sharing and more views?

The problem with the traditional way video was done was that you had to have the equipment and the time. But Content Samurai is automatic video creation software. How about this: You write a script with your sales message for your video (or import it), pick the format you want, and then pick the images you want from their library of 390 million images (you can also choose video clips from the library) to be the background for your video. Or you can choose from their library of pre-done sales videos.

Next you let Content Samurai go to work, and it will match the images you chose to the script. You can then choose either to record your voice for each slide or have an automated voice (you have a choice of either male or female and several accents). If the automatically determined slide timings are off, you can manually adjust them. If you recorded your own voice and weren’t satisfied, you can easily rerecord that slide or adjust the timings.

Also, did you know there’s background music? You can add a music background from the Content Samurai library or upload your own. Then you post to YouTube or the video service of your choice. Time from idea to posting can be as little as ten minutes, and you’ll have a very professional video.

The price for Content Samurai is $97 a month, but they often run specials for 50 percent off. When you start your subscription at 50 percent off, it remains that way for life or as long as you maintain your subscription.

Don’t have a script with your sales message and stuck for ideas? Sometimes their specials also include Vidsy. Vidsy is an easy-to-use script-generating product that uses a question-and-answer template using your choice of the top four proven sales models. Your script will be done in five minutes, ready to import into Content Samurai and automatically generate your video.

WP Robot

A constant flow of fresh content is the lifeblood of your website and one of the keys to your success in ranking. Even if you’re enthusiastic about your niche, sometimes the writing well just runs dry.

With WP Robot, you can add up to 32 different content sources and embed your affiliate link in setup. You can set up the percentages you want coming from each source, how often you want to post, and whether you want it to post directly or go into a draft holding for your review and changes. WP Robot can automatically embed your affiliate code once you set it up, so it’s easy to grow your affiliate business. It is $89 per year for three sites.

If you purchase the full version of Market Samurai, one of the tabs goes out and finds content based on your keywords from 13 different sites versus WP Robot’s 26. It doesn’t automatically embed your affiliate links — you’ll have to do that yourself. But what Market Samurai does have that WP Robot doesn’t is the ability to analyze the content it finds so you can discover the most successful pieces of content in terms of reposting and the like.


CleanTalk is a cloud-based anti-spam and spam firewall plug-in that can protect all of your website forms. The free Wordfence plug-in does a great job in protecting your website. But another type of fraudulent activity can cause you problems. Say a spam user or bot comes to your site and tries to sign up.

If it’s successful in signing up, it becomes part of your email list. There are automated bots that may try to sign up to your site thousands of times a minute using various identifiers. (Wordfence does limit the number of sign-in attempts in a specified amount of time to try to limit this problem.)

If the bots are added to your email list, your ESP (email service provider) may downgrade your sending capability, saying you have too many fraudulent emails or emails that have sent out spam. What CleanTalk does is compare that user to its cloud-based database of fraudulent emails, hard bounces, and so on, and cleans your list before you send it out. CleanTalk is $9.95 per year for one site or $19.98 for three sites.


If you are looking for an easy-to-use all-in-one ESP that has tons of beautiful email templates you can customize, Sendinblue is a great choice. It is one of the few email providers that also offers you the ability to send transactional emails.

Transactional emails are a great way to develop your relationship with your email list because your subscribers receive an email when they take any action. So, for instance, if a visitor makes a purchase, you can set it up so he gets a receipt. You define the triggers that cause a specific email to be sent, so it seems that someone is responding to a reader’s specific needs.

Sendinblue also has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop newsletter editor with a library of 50 pre-done newsletters you can edit and make your own. For those with coding skill in HTML, you can create an email in HTML.

With the free plan you get up to 300 emails a day, and that is a forever free level. The first paid level is the Lite plan, which has no daily sending limit and the monthly limit is 40,000 emails. The monthly charge is $25 for the Lite level.

Usually most email senders have their logo on emails sent when you are on the free plan; however, when you pay for sending, their logo is removed. With Sendinblue you have to upgrade to their second level called either the Bronze or Essential Level at $39 per month to get the Sendinblue logo removed. This level allows you to send 60,000 emails per month.

The next two tools, Amazon SES and Mailster, require a little more technical knowledge, so if that is something you don’t feel comfortable with, go with Sendinblue as an alternate email solution.

Amazon SES

Amazon SES is part of AWS, Amazon Web Services. You have to set up an account, but it is free. It opens up the vast world of Amazon Web Services like SES, SNS, S2, and so on. You’ll quickly realize you are not in Kansas anymore. This is where the big boys play. In fact, many of the ESPs are really just putting a pretty face on Amazon SES with their templates and newsletter builders and reselling it.

Amazon SES stands for Amazon Simple Email Service. Amazon is basically selling computer time. This is really a bare-bones ESP. You will find no forms, no templates — none of the things you expect from, say, Sendinblue. You pay only for the CPU cycles you use. And that is where the dramatic difference is — cost.

With even a modest email list, with a traditional ESP you pay $10–$50 a month each and every month, whether you send out your newsletter or not. With Amazon there is no monthly fee; you pay only for emails sent, and that cost is 10 cents for one thousand emails. To give you a comparison, a growing email list that would cost $200 with one of the familiar ESPs would cost $1 with Amazon SES.

The downside is it does require a little more work on your part to set up. Amazon SES simply sends your emails that are prepared in some other application. One solid recommendation is Mailster, which you can discover below.


Email marketing is one of the best ways to stay in contact with and grow your audience. You can use an all-in-one ESP like Sendinblue. Since they have a lot of pre-done templates, your life is made easier, and because you’re using only one company, setup is easier. Although you have a free tier, costs grow quickly as your audience grows.

Or you can use Mailster to produce the emails and campaigns and use Amazon SES to send them. It’s a relatively easy and cost-effective solution. Not as easy as, say, Sendinblue, but definitely doable with a little work.

One of the great things about Mailster is that because it’s a WordPress plug-in, you can develop your newsletters and campaigns with Mailster’s drag-and-drop editor right inside your WordPress dashboard. You don’t have to learn another email sending company’s system. And you don’t have to keep jumping between the two. You can use a combo; it’s a great time and money saver.

You’ve built the newsletter you like, you can duplicate it and edit it for the next email send. This way you achieve a consistent professional look to your email campaigns but only have to pour the new posts, videos, and images into the newsletter shell you built.

You also can set up a system of handling the bounces (non-deliverable emails) so that your email list is kept clean. You can set up autoresponders. Mailster also shows you the statistics on your campaigns — the number of opens, the number of clicks, and so on — so you can gauge how successful your campaigns are and fine-tune them.

The cost for the Mailster plug-in is $59. Mailster has free lifetime updates, so there are no recurring costs. It comes with one free newsletter template, and a vast library of paid newsletter templates is available. Support is very responsive and they try to answer all questions. There is a cost, however, for support.

Since you’re setting up a self-hosted email service, it’s important that you don’t use your host to actually send the emails. For that you use Amazon SES. As long as you do that, you’ll avoid all the problems more expensive all-in-one email solutions warn you about. The cost of Amazon SES is approximately 10 cents for one thousand emails. There is no monthly charge. If, for instance, you don’t send out an email, there is no Amazon SES cost.

Use what works for you. Every affiliate marketer needs to tools that suit him best.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Ted Sudol is a longtime affiliate marketer who has developed and sold several affiliate marketing websites over the years. His current sites focus on affiliate marketing and precious metals investing.

Paul Mladjenovic is the bestselling author of Stock Investing For Dummies. He’s a Certified Financial Planner as well as a national speaker and home business specialist.

Paul Mladjenovic is a renowned certified financial planner and investing consultant. He has authored six editions of the bestselling Stock Investing For Dummies and is frequently interviewed by media outlets including MarketWatch, Kitco, OANN, and more.

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