Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to make money online: simply refer a visitor to a product or service, and then earn a percentage of any transactions that take place. While it’s not quite as simple as that, it is a way of generating an income online that has a very low barrier to entry, little technical knowledge needed to get started, and a minimal financial investment required.
When combined with WordPress, itself something that can be very easy to get started with, as well as requiring a very small financial outlay to begin using, affiliate marketing could be just the model you are looking for to supplement, or even replace your current income stream.
In this post we will be looking at some useful tools and services you can use to build an effective affiliate website, or start promoting affiliate offers on your existing WordPress website with ease.
Publish Professionally Presented Reviews in WordPress
If you are reviewing products on your website, then using a WordPress review plugin is a great way to present those reviews in a professional and eye-catching way. This approach should help your review articles stand out from the rest of the content on your website, and even rival those reviews published on the websites of premium offline publications such as magazines and TV shows.
When it comes to choosing a review plugin for WordPress there are some great options, including a few free tools and some feature-packed premium options.
WP Review from MyThemeShop is a free option that lets you create basic review posts in WordPress. These posts give you a better opportunity of showcasing all the best features of a product and also publish an overall rating to quickly inform readers of your thoughts on the item.
There is also a premium version available which for $19, allows you to publish even more eye-catching reviews. The WP Review Pro plugin includes the ability to add rich snippets to your posts, which are then displayed in the Google search engine results pages. You can also choose from a range of available rating systems, and your visitors can also rate products themselves.
Author hReview is another combination of free and premium plugins for adding attention grabbing reviews to your WordPress site. WP Rich Snippets is the flagship product from this package and it includes lots of features for publishing these great looking product or service reviews.
While it’s a more expensive option, there are a number of plugins and add-ons included in the packages, giving you lots of flexibility for adding professional looking reviews to your site.
These plugins will work with any theme, so even if you’ve already got your WordPress site up and running, you can start publishing premium quality reviews on your website with ease.
Affiliate Link Management Plugins
If you want to manage the outbound links on your website more effectively, then there are a few free and premium plugins that can help you out.
These plugins work in a similar way to third party link shortening services, and give you access to a few tools to improve your workflow when it comes to linking out to products and services on your website. Common features include: link cloaking, click tracking, and easy redirection and link correction.
Pretty Link is one option and it comes in two varieties: the free lite option and the premium pro version. With this plugin installed on your site, you can shorten the outbound affiliate links on your website to make them look more attractive and less suspicious to visitors.
Thirsty Affiliates is another option for managing affiliate links on a WordPress site. The core plugin is free, but it can be extended by using the premium add-ons. Among those add-ons you will find split testing tools, location based redirection, and a tool for importing Amazon product links.
Another great feature of these link management plugins is that they allow you to easily change all the links on your site, just by editing them in one location. This is instead of having to go through all the posts on your site, and updating the links one by one. This is perfect if a product goes out of stock or its web address changes.
WP Keywords to Link is a further option that is slightly different as it allows you to automatically turn certain keywords into links. An example of usage could be every time you mention a specific product that word is automatically turned into an affiliate link to the product. Simple but effective.
Amazon Associates Affiliate Plugins for WordPress
One of the quickest ways to get started with affiliate marketing is to sign up with the Amazon Associates programme. Once you’ve been accepted, you can start referring your visitors to Amazon, and anything they buy within the next 24 hours will earn you a small commission.
As Amazon sells such a wide range of products, whether you are blogging about fitness, fishing, or food, there will be related products you can promote to your readers. While you don’t need any tools to get started, there are a number of plugins for WordPress that aim to make earning money from the Amazon affiliate service a lot easier.
Amazon Link is a free plugin for making it as easy as possible to add income generating affiliate links to products listed on Amazon, all from the comfort of your own WordPress dashboard. The links, which can be simple text links, images, or other formats, can be inserted into your posts and pages, as well as theme widget areas and theme template files.
Amazon Link also includes a link localizer tool for directing international users to their local Amazon store, helping you to earn commissions from visitors, even if they are based outside of your region.
EasyAzon is premium alternative to Amazon Link and it’s another tool for promoting Amazon products which aims to help you earn more commissions while also saving you a lot of time in the process. Once the plugin is installed on your site, you can then find products and generate the links to them right from within your WordPress admin dashboard, rather than switching between your site and the Amazon store.
Other tricks up its sleeve include Amazon link localization to direct international visitors to their local Amazon store, a clever way to increase the earnings window from 24 hours to 90 days, the ability to display products in popups, and much more.
The EasyAzon plugin is currently on version 3 which has allowed the developers to iron out some of the kinks and add a few more useful features into the mix.
If you want something a bit simpler and easier to use, then Amazon Simple Admin is a free plugin you might be interested in. To insert product links into your posts, along with an image, brief product information, and the latest pricing, all you need to do is use the shortcode and add the product’s ASIN number. Products can easily be displayed in sidebars as well as posts, thanks to the included widget.
The WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates plugin is a premium add-on for the free the WooCommerce online shop builder plugin. This add-on allows you to import products from Amazon and publish them on your store as WooCommerce products.
This will make your site look like much more than just a regular affiliate website and more like a reputable ecommerce store. You can view an affiliate site using this plugin at the Dogsized pet store website.
Import Product Feeds into WordPress
If you are creating an online store to promote products as an affiliate, then you can quickly import those products into your WordPress site en masse using the WP All Import plugin.
By using the import feed files from the merchants whose products you are promoting, you can quickly populate a store with products, including their images, descriptions and latest pricing details.
The WooCommerce product import add-on for WP All Import allows you to import affiliate products on a one off or scheduled basis. This helps you to keep prices and other information published on your site in sync with the supplier or retailer whose goods you are promoting.
While this might sound a bit complicated, if you want your affiliate store to rival the functionality and user experience offered by a regular online store, then this is one way to go about achieving that. There are also instructional documentation and videos to help you get product imports set up on your site.
WordPress Affiliate Site Builder Themes
If you are a blogger who occasionally recommends products as an affiliate, then your current theme should suffice, or one built specifically for blogging.
However, if you are building a website with the main focus of generating income by promoting products on an affiliate basis, then you might want to consider using a purpose built WordPress theme. If that appeals to you, then here are some options:
If you are using the above WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates plugin to build an ecommerce-style store to promote affiliate products using WordPress and WooCommerce, then the Kingdom theme from the same developers is a great option.
As this theme has been built only for use when creating an affiliate site with WooCommerce, there aren’t any of the other unnecessary blogging or publishing features you might come across with other more general purpose themes. This can save you time when it comes to setting up your site, and provide a more streamlined shopping experience for your visitors.
If you are going down the ecommerce-style store route but still want lots of the other great features on offer to WordPress users, then the DW Trendy theme from Design Wall could be just what you are looking for.
This ecommerce WordPress theme is fully responsive for mobile users, integrates with WooCommerce, and includes a page builder tool for getting the custom look your site needs to stand out from the competition.
Made is a popular theme for building review websites with WordPress. If your site will be featuring a wide range of reviews, of anything from food and films, to music and games, then this theme includes all the features you need to publish that content in an attractive way.
OptimizePress is much more than just a regular theme, but if you want the best tools for promoting offers, services, and products of all types as an affiliate, all in one easy to use package then OptimizePress could be for you.
Packed with templates for promoting products, collecting leads, and making sales, this tool won’t disappoint anyone hoping to become a successful affiliate marketer.
You should now have all the tools you need to build a high converting affiliate website with WordPress.
Whether you are recommending the occasional product you personally use on your blog, or building an ecommerce-style store packed with products, or anywhere in between, then WordPress is a great option thanks to its flexibility and the countless plugins and themes for extending its functionality.
If you have any questions about affiliate marketing and promoting items as an affiliate with WordPress, please leave a comment below.