Being able to work anywhere in the world without sticking to a 9 - 5 regimen has attracted a lot of people to the industry and the competition gets tougher by the day.
As an affiliate marketer, you have to compete against corporations and agencies who have more money, tools, and professionals. This is why you need to be equipped with the right tools yourself.
To give you an edge, this list of 32 top productivity tools has been compiled. Many of the tools on this list are free. Some are apps and plugins. Others are online tools.
The tools will be grouped according to their categories.
The Google Keyword ToolThis is the number one keyword tool. It’s from Google. Google has more than 92% of the search engine market. You should not make a keyword decision without checking it first. Google keyword tool may have become less helpful over the years, it is still very important. You would need to register an AdWords account before you can use it.
Google Webmaster ToolsThis is highly important for every new affiliate marketer. Truth is there are many tools and resources over here, so you may be confused about where to start from. But hey, you can start by creating an account. Link your sites to it. You then see how fast your sites are by using a very effective tool known as PageSpeed Insights.
Next, use a Mobile-Friendly test to check how mobile-friendly your sites are. Have in mind that more than 60% of mobile searches are done via mobile.
Your next step is to optimize how your pages appear in the SERPs (search engine results page) with the Structured Data Testing Tool.
With these, you just got started on the track of what you can do with Webmaster Tools.
Yoast SEOThis is one of the best SEO tools. It is owned by WordPress.
Yoast SEO helps you navigate the difficult terrain of search engine optimization. SEO can be quite tough and intimidating. Many times, you’d have to pay for some online courses where you are pretty much left with more questions than answers. And the tough thing about SEO is that you can badly hurt your business if you’re not doing it right.
Yoast SEO analyzes your page and gives you a basic rating for how well your post is optimized for the keywords you’ve chosen. All you need to do is click a button and it gives you the green light if your page is well-optimized.
It will give you the yellow light if it is just okay. And the red light tells you that the post is poorly optimized.
The red or yellow light tells you that something has to be fixed. Yoast SEO then points out a specific list of things you need to do, ranked by importance.
In brief, Yoast SEO provides advanced SEO functionality to your pages. The functions include Title tag & meta description customization; canonical link customization; sitemap creation and customization; meta robot customization.
Yoast SEO is free but the paid version is a lot better. It provides 24/7 support and an advanced redirect manager.
SEMRushThis is good for keyword research, fixing SEO errors, and competitor analysis.
If you want to understand what content is driving the highest ROI for competitors, then this is a tool you should have. It would also help you analyze on-page SEO issues.
As a new affiliate marketer, knowing what a top-performing competitor is writing about can be helpful. If you get your SEO right, this can help you draw some fantastic amount of traffic.
You can also use SEMRush to monitor your keyword rankings weekly.
You also get to run SEO audits to be on alert for issues that could hurt your search rankings.
AhrefsMany of the functions of Ahrefs are similar to those of SEMRush. Ahrefs also has keyword research, on-page audits, competitive content analysis,…
The strong point of Ahrefs is on backlinks. Lesser emphasis is placed on on-page SEO.
With Ahrefs, you get in-depth insights about new and lost backlinks, sites that are linking to broken pages on your website and the backlink growth of your competitors.
Ahrefs can help you when you are competing with much larger sites. You can use Ahrefs to review your competitor link profiles to find new link building opportunities. You also get to find top-performing content of your competitor to identify new content ideas for your site.
Portent SERP Preview toolThis can be useful for those who don’t have Yoast SEO installed on their sites. It can be very helpful for title tags and meta description tags.
This tool shows you how your site would appear on Google SERP. Knowing this can be very important. Your tags and meta description can either draw users to your website or be your biggest problem.
Keyword SpyFor a new affiliate marketer, this tool can be very helpful. It helps you find out what top affiliate marketers promote and where. Affiliate marketing is very competitive and having a spy tool at your reach can give you an edge.
This tool comes out fantastic with a lifetime free trial! It doesn’t get better than that. It appears as a paid tool at first glance, but it isn’t.
Spyfu.com can be helpful if you do a lot of pay-per-click campaigns.
Majestic SEOThis tool will also help you analyze your competitors. It will also give you details about the link profile of your sites, and some very cool info about keywords.
A big part of this tool is free (not all). But you get a tool that does better than most in its niche.
It has an anchor page that will show you the anchor text of your links as collected by Majestic SEO.
You can also navigate to the “Ref Domains” page where you will see a list of websites that are sending you traffic. This can be helpful because these sites have linked to you and may do it again.
The History Page also lets you view the chart to see the “backlink discovery” of your site. This shows you the rate at which your site has been gaining links.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider ToolThis is another interesting tool that is free for sites up to 500 pages. You can use it for SEO and also do your content audit with it.
The version 12.0 got released in October 2019 and the update features PageSpeed Insights Integration, auto-saves for database storage mode, a customizable GUI, amongst others.
Web crawler tools like SEO Spider are very useful for analyzing sites, understanding how search engine crawlers navigate pages, audit SEO efforts, and identify areas for improvement.
Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics is like a world of its own. It has so many powerful features, you will need to sit to understand one after the other. It is just as valuable as the Google Webmaster tools.
Google Analytics tells you where your traffic comes from and what visitors do on your website. With Content Experiments, you can set up website tests. All your websites can be registered on your Google Analytics account.
There is no better way to say it: Google Analytics = must-have.
Ideas for Content
BuzzsumoThis is a very powerful online tool that allows any user to find out popular content by topic and on which website it is on.
You easily learn which blog post, podcast, infographic or videos have gotten the most shares in the last 24 hours, last week, last month, last 6 months, or last year. This tool will even tell you who shared the most.
You’d agree that this information is very valuable.
It can take a few hours to scan all the various social sites to find out what people are talking about and what problem needs a solution.
This tool can help you determine which influencer to follow on social media. Knowing who has a strong hold on public attention can be a valuable asset.
The tool also helps you know what your competitors are up to and what works for them. With this, you can have a comparison of where you stand to where your competitors are.
In all, Buzzsumo saves you a lot of hours, increases your chances of success, and helps you plan each step of your content marketing.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator
If you don’t like the one you see, just hit the refresh button next to the form and it brings a rebranded idea on the same subject. You can do this 20+ times.
For instance, an idea for the content on “mobile traffic” on Portent is: ‘What Mom Never Told You About Mobile Traffic’
Content Idea GeneratorThis is another helpful tool to generate ideas. It gives you more than enough ideas after you register.
After registering you will be asked about your target audience, their struggles, needs, and wants. That’s all you’ll need to do for a flood of ideas.
FeedlyThis is a free service that gives you the power to conveniently organize and streamline information. The content at Feedly is sourced from the RSS feeds of blogs and other online sources.
You can use it to find topics that relate to your needs. This search will return various feeds from blogs and websites related to the keywords you input.
You can use the Keywords Alert tool to get information about persons, companies, and others.
Coschedule’s Headline AnalyzerThis tool analyzes your headline and gives you a score followed by the reason for the score. You make changes to the headline and run it again.
You can keep running it till you get it perfect. The score is predicated on the length of the headline, the balance of emotional and power words, and the headline type.
It is a very useful tool that helps you cut off fluff words and put in those that are more compelling.
The Advanced Marketing Institute Emotional Headline Analyzer
It may not be the best in the category but this tool does a phenomenal job at rating powerful headlines.
All you have to do is head to the analyzer, enter your headline, select a category from the dropdown, and analyze.
Content EditingHaving done your research, gathered resources, punched on your keyboard all day, sitting to edit your work can be a huge task. This is why we have these tools. Check them out.
GrammarlyThis is a very useful tool that checks your work for spelling, word usage, punctuation, and grammar errors. The tool can point out mistakes you would hardly note yourself.
It can also help you in tailoring your content to your specific audience by their geographical location. You can switch from American English to other English variations.
Its free version is very helpful but the premium is superb. It even features a plagiarism check. You can download the desktop app (Windows and Mac) and correct your errors easily.
PlagtrackerThis is a plagiarism tool that analyzes your article to find instances of plagiarism. This tool does the work better by replacing the plagiarized content with new and original content. With this paid tool, you can be guaranteed that your work is original and safe to use.
Keyword Density CheckerIt is normal to want to perfect everything when it comes to SEO. But then, we sometimes overdo it. This tool helps you correct that.
Keywords should not take more than 1 - 2% of the entire article. This tool helps you check how many times you have used the keywords. You want to be careful it is not overly saturated with keywords.
Hemingway EditorBased on the simplicity that features in the works of Ernest Hemingway, this editor analyzes your work to ensure it is very readable.
Hemingway Editor is very helpful in reviewing articles for SEO optimization but also everyday writing tasks.
It screens out sentences that are difficult to read and highlights instances of passive voice.
You should understand that articles that are difficult to read are a big turnoff for visitors and this will affect your conversion rate.
Link Tracking and Creation
Bit.lyThis is the most popular in its category. This is because it is extremely easy to use. It is a tool that lets you harness the power of web links by shortening, sharing, managing, and analyzing links to your content.
When you want to share links to your posts on Twitter, you don’t want to waste your 140 characters. You need something short and this is where bit.ly comes in.
Bit.ly does more than short links. It helps to personalize your links, bundles URLs by theme, and automatically generates bitmarks for your blog and more.
Google Analytics URL BuilderThis tool allows you to easily tag URLs with custom campaign variables and use an automated reporting tool to keep track of progress and share with your clients.
Campaign variables allow you to keep track of which of your promotions are generating the most traffic/conversions.
The URL builder allows you to track each marketing effort separately in Google Analytics.
LinktrackLinktrack is another helpful tool for link tracking. It is easy to use and quite effective. It helps monitor and track clicks, accurately.
Linktrack allows you to make unlimited links using any account whether free or paid. You can easily organize links by group, and also use the built-in search and add notes.
With this tool, you get real-time reporting features that offer detailed tracking information as clicks happen. The information includes details such as the time a link was clicked, the source of the click, keywords the visitor used to search the link, their IP address, and more information.
ClickMeterThis is a web-based marketing tool that you can use to monitor, compare, and understand your marketing campaigns. The tool records activities that occur in different channels and provides a full report about their statuses.
This tool allows you to discover how many people visit a certain page on your site and their locations.
ClickMeter also monitors activities in real-time and allows users to make decisions based on the most recent information.
BufferThis is a helpful tool that is designed to manage accounts in social networks. It does this by providing the means for a user to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram Stories, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. It also helps to analyze the results from these posts and engage with the communities.
The tool has both mobile and web versions. Nice! The free version allows you to connect to 3 social media accounts. It allows a maximum of 10 posts to be scheduled at any given time, and also the management of one social media account per social media platform.
The tool features various default time slots which are based on the times during the day when social media users are most active, online. You can remove the default time slots when you wish to.
Buffer also has features that give post suggestions to users, and gives information on the number of clicks, retweets, likes, favorites, mentions, and potential views each post has - this is based on the number of feeds that a single feed would show up on.
FollowerwonkTwitter is a microblogging platform and you need to understand the users of this platform. This is what Followerwonk does.
Followerwonk is a Twitter analytics tool that allows you to gather and analyze information on Twitter users, determine trends, expand your reach to widen your audience, increase your follower base, and forward your business goals.
With this tool, you can identify and engage brand influencers in their specific niches, contrast relationships with friends and competing brands, and effectively optimize brand campaigns by matching activities that attract and engage followers.
You can use this tool to perform keyword searches for Twitter users and then compare and contrast them against various metrics such as influence, followers, following, age, etc.
Do ShareThis tool is a plugin for Chrome browser. It has been noted as the best free tool for Google+ marketing.
This tool lets you schedule your posts to Google+ pages and Google+ profiles.
Plus it’s free. It’s worth your time as it can bring you traffic. And it is from Google.
Free Photos and Gifs
With copyright laws, you want to be careful about the pictures you use for your posts. You can get sued or may have to bring down a post that is doing well, because of an infringement complaint. Here are some free photo banks you can always use.
PixabayThis is a free web photo resource with more than a million photos. All the photos are free and none are watermarked. You can even decide not to credit the photographer, though this is not advised, it’s the least you can do! :)
All you have to do is type in a keyword for the type of photo you want and you get hundreds of photos in results.
A benefit of this tool is that the pictures are updated daily, so, they are not the popular ones you stumble on, when you’re surfing the net.
UnsplashThis is another free photo resource with more than a million photos. All photos are free and none are watermarked. The photos are of high quality, also!
You can also run a search query on the type of photos you want and you would get more photos than you’d ever need.
Moreover, this bank is also updated daily.
Death to the Stock PhotoThis is another photo resource that will give you a free batch of photos when you sign up for their email list.
Every month, you can get a batch or two of free photos.
Gifmaker.meGifs have a way of drawing attention. You can use this tool to easily create gifs that would draw more attention.
This tool is free and it is the best. It has some awesome features and it is extremely easy to use.
Lead GenerationYou don’t want one time visitors - you want to keep them coming back. Having them in your email list is the way to go. However, you need a tool that will create and display email opt-ins.
OptinMonsterThis is a list building tool that helps you create multiple types of opt-in forms using a visual editor. You also get to connect those forms to your favorite email marketing service.
With OptinMonster, you get to display those forms with detailed trigger and targeting rules. You can also view analytics and A/B to test your forms to improve them.
The interface is streamlined - this makes it very easy to create your opt-ins.
You’ve also got a lot of options with this tool. You can create a variety of different campaign types. You can have popups or fullscreen fillers or you can be less intrusive with slide-ins, floating bars, inline/ after post forms, or sidebar forms.
Final words… 🤩These 32 tools can help you get a lot done.
As a new affiliate marketer, you want to have everything you need at your disposal. Don’t forget that the industry is very competitive. Stay ahead of the game, by using the right tools!
Many of the tools are free or have free versions. Take advantage of this and stay ahead of the competition. However, a premium version is always much better. There is always so much to benefit from these, I personally use them all! 🤓😎