Oh, you brave affiliate marketers. Trying to outdo major corporations with only your passion, hard work, and marketing savvy. It’s no little thing, what you’ve undertaken. You need all the help you can get. Just remember – one tool won’t make the difference between success and failure. But if you’re already on your way to success, a good tool can give you a big edge.
We’ve compiled this list in the hopes of giving you as many edges as possible. Every tool listed here is free. To make the list manageable, we’ve also grouped them by activity. If one of your favorite online tools for affiliates isn’t listed here, give it a shout-out in the comments.
Best free marketing tools for affiliates
- Content ideas
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing and social media
- Link tracking and creation
- Free assets
- Ads and optimization
- Content editors
Prepare your business for take-off with these resources:
As an affiliate, you’re fundamentally a traffic broker. Traffic flows toward good content. It flows toward killer headlines. Get the headline right and you’re more than on your way. So here’s the tool to pick a highly viral headline every time.
Want to know which blog posts, videos, podcasts or infographics have gotten the most shares in the last 24 hours? The last three months, six months, or year? This is the tool for that. It’ll even tell you who shared the most. This is killer information if you want to reach out to influencers on a specific topic. Check out NinjaOutreach, too. Want to know how many shares a URL has? Try SharedCount instead.
Give it a topic, and Portent’s Content Idea Generator will do the rest. This tool is especially good at funny headlines, such as“Why Wily Affiliate Marketers are Hotter than Jennifer Lawrence” or ”Darth Vader’s Guide to GetResponse.”
One of the best ways to develop content ideas is to get exposed to a lot of them. That used to mean reading dozens of blogs and signing up for dozens of email marketing subscriptions. You can still do that, but Feedly makes it way easier.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
This is the granddaddy of all keyword tools. You will need to register a Google Ads account to use it, but it’s worth it. Even though the Google keyword tool has become less helpful over the years, it’s still essential. Don’t make a business decision about a keyword without checking it first.
There are so many SEO tools and resources here, it’s hard to know where to begin. Start with creating an account. Link your sites to it. Then, use the PageSpeed Insights tool to see how your sites are doing, speed-wise. Next, check how mobile-friendly your sites are with the Mobile-Friendly test. Finished with that? Optimize how your pages appear in the SERPs with the Structured Data Testing Tool. That’s just the start of what you can do with Webmaster Tools.
Portent also has a preview tool, but I prefer the one from Mangools. If you don’t have the Yoast plugin installed on your WordPress site (whoops…not supposed to mention plugins!), this is the next best thing, at least for your title tags and meta description tags.
Like Google Webmaster tools, this has so many powerful features that it’s kind of a world onto itself. It lets you find out where your traffic comes from, and what people do on your site. You can even set up website tests with Content Experiments. If you’re not using Analytics, I hope you know what you’re doing.
Affiliates often get hit particularly hard by Google algorithm updates. Fruition won’t stop that from happening, but it will tell you what happened better than any other tool I know. When you’re dealing with a drop in rankings, it’s critical to know what you got slammed by. This tool will show you that – for free.
10. Majestic SEO
There’s a free version of this tried-and-true SEO tool. It will show you details about your sites’ link profile, plus all sorts of cool info about keywords. If you want to analyze competitors, this should be one of the tools in your arsenal.
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool is free for sites up to 500 pages. It’s primarily used for SEO and content audits.
With GetResponse, you can build landing pages, convert visitors into subscribers, and communicate with your audience using emails, chats, webinars, and more. The platform comes with a variety of stunning email templates and intuitive drag-and-drop editors that’ll help you set and grow your online presence in no time.
Want to save yourself a mountain of time? Automate your social media updates. Buffer makes it easy.
This Moz tool will help you manage your Twitter account by finding followers, managing your followers, and tracking what people are doing with Twitter. It’s essential for growing your Twitter following.
Bit.ly is both extremely popular and extremely easy to use. It’s a link shortener, so it’s helpful anywhere you don’t want a URL that goes on for two miles. Bit.ly also lets you track which links get clicked in a PDF or in a Kindle book. You can even bundle links together. There are also some basic analytics reports.
This tool complements Google Analytics. It makes tracking your ads and social media posts far, far easier. Once you get the hang of it, it actually enables you to do simple split-testing with ad creative.
As mentioned before, if you’re an affiliate, you’re basically a traffic broker. To be a good traffic broker, you need to track all the links you create. You also need an easy way to see which links are driving the most revenue. This is what Linktrack does, and it does it specifically for affiliates.
This is an awesome resource, but there’s a trick to finding images that haven’t been over-used. Find the magnifying glass icon to run a search query. Look for the buttons on the top right that say “All” and “Featured”. The default is “Featured”. You want “All”. It will show you way more photographs, and they’ll be the photographs least often used.
They’ll give you a free batch of photos when you sign up for their list. Then every month they’ll send another batch of free photos. Some months, they’ll send two.
It’s another great resource of royalty free images and video, so if you need some B-roll material go ahead and check what’s in store.
While most of affiliate videos simply include your voiceover, it’s often worth it to add background audio at least for intro/outro. Explore the rich library and find something that matches your video theme.
Animated gifs are cool, easy to make, and attract a lot of attention. This free tool is the best of its kind in terms of features, ease of use and the final product.
Ads and optimization:
Running paid campaigns is definitely a challenge, even for professionals. As an affiliate you often have to do all the things on your own. When it comes to spending on a budget, it’s always good to test different variants to see what works best. Adcomparator will help you in this process and might even become your favorite tool from the list. Getting traffic organically is a long process after all. With paid traffic done right, results can come a lot faster.
It’s a must have tool if you are serious about growing on YouTube. This tool will help you reach your audience through the right set of keywords and video title optimization. TubeBuddy will tell you what the SEO score is for your video so you can optimize each of those elements and get better results.
25. VN video editor
You know the importance of video in today’s business, but feel like you’re lacking skills to create your own. Maybe that’s because indeed there’s a steep learning curve to master some of the pro tools. With VN editor, a creator’s life is so much simpler. It’s easy to use yet offers plenty of pro looking effects and transitions that, if used in the right way, can help you make engaging videos that your audience will love to watch and follow your advice. Available both in desktop and mobile version, so you have all the flexibility of creation.
Just like in case of video editors, finding affordable, intuitive, and powerful design tools may be a challenge. Canva is probably the best that checks all of these points. With a huge community of creators and a rich library of design templates, this platform offers all you need to crate eye-catching graphics and appeal to the “visual” buyers.
Not having a website can be a blocker to getting accepted by certain affiliate programs. But now you can get your affiliate business online faster than ever. Thanks to an AI editor and predefined templates, you can avoid all the hassle involved in creating a website.
Know of any other free online tools an affiliate marketer could use? Tell us about them in the comments.
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This article was last updated in September 2022.