In this post I will show you the 10 most essential WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers. If you are looking at streamling your affiliate marketing business and getting the most out of it, then this post is for you.
I have always been an advocate of using a website for affiliate marketing. One of the primary reasons being, the ability to build your list and market to your visitors using an email marketing system.
And if you are looking at putting together a website, then the easiest way to do it is by using WordPress. One of the primary advantages is in installing the website, which is a 10-minute job.
But there is more to it.
WordPress is one of the most flexible Content management Solutions available today which is one of the reasons for it being the most used CMS on the internet.
It’s flexibility comes not from the core WordPress installation but from the hundreds of thousands of plugins that enhances the functionality of the CMS.
Everything from security to monitoring to shopping, can all be taken care of, by using WordPress plugins.
In fact, even the nuts and bolts in terms of designing a high converting website/blog can also be done by using one of the many WordPress Plugins that are available.
The best part!
Most of these plugins are FREE and can be easily installed using the WordPress dashboard itself. There are a few others that follow the freemium model, but these too offer the basic functionalities for free.
So, when it comes to building an affiliate marketing website, managing the website becomes extremely simple and easy.
But then, there is a disadvantage to this flexibility as well.
What is it?
Installing numerous plugins and especially ones that are poorly developed can slow down your website seriously impacting the SEO of your website.
Hence, it becomes important that you pick the right plugins for your website – only the absolutely essential WordPress plugins.
But, how do you know what are the essential WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers?
That is precisely what I will be covering in this post.
Here I mention 20 of the most essential WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers – both FREE and Paid and a few FREEmium ones as well.
Essential WordPress Plugins for Affiliate Marketers
One of the core essential of a website, setup primarily for affiliate marketing is page load speed. The objective with such a website is to ensure that you pages are able to rank on the first page of Google.
And with Google considering Pageload speed as a critical parameter to ranking websites, you just cannot afford to slow down your website with a poorly coded framework or, WordPress plugin.
It is hence that I recommend using a good, fast theme for your WordPress website.
And when it comes to plugins, only install the rightly coded plugins and only the absolutely essential ones that doesn’t pull down your page loading scores.
So here are some of the most essential wordpress plugins for affiliate marketers, that I have picked based on my experience. You necessarily need not use all of these.
Pick only the ones that you need.
The plugins that I have mentioned out there will provide you with the following functionalities –
- Link Cloaking
- Page Builder
- Optin form builder
- Internal Link building
- SEO related plugins
Let us first start with the FREE plugins.
Free WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers
These plugins are available for free and can be downloaded and installed directly from the WordPress repository. A few of these also have a paid option if you are looking for additional features.
Thirsty Affiliates (Free and Paid)
One of the most important requirements in affiliate marketing is cloaking your affiliate links. This can help you avoid affiliate link robbers who can hijack your affiliate links.
WordPress provides simple solutions to cloak your links and while there are many plugins that are available, the best one that I recommend and use is Thirsty affiliates.
Thirsty affiliates gives you a lot of options for customizing your links even in the FREE version.
You get additional features when you go for the paid version of Thirsty Affiliates but that is not required in a normal case.
Pretty Link (Free and Paid)
Pretty link is another such plugin that can help you customize, shorten and cloak your affiliate links. From a feature perspective, I like Thirsty affiliates more than Pretty links.
But if I have to use a redirect, I prefer using Pretty Link instead of Thirsty Affiliates.
Pretty link also has a paid version if you want additional features but again, that isn’t something that is required for running an affiliate marketing website using WordPress.
One of things I love using is templates.
Because templates simplify work, especially repetitive tasks and can save you a lot of time and effort.
I like templatizing WordPress installation as well.
What exactly do I mean by “templatizing WordPress”?
Imagine you setting up a WordPress blog for a specific niche with everything you need, like the plugins, themes, design etc.
Now, you need to setup another similar website and you start all over from scratch setting everything up again.
How much time do you think you will need to do that?
The exact same time as the first one. Isn’t it?
Now, imagine if you have a ready made installation, which all you need to do is upload and extract and your website is up and running – with all the required plugins, themes, the design etc.
How much time would you have saved?
Duplicator does exactly that for you. It create clone your existing website and install that on a completely new domain in a few clicks – in about the same time that you would install a WordPress core.
Isn’t that a time saver?
Duplicator too has a FREE and a paid version. The paid version is helpful if you site is huge.
But in most cases, you wouldn’t need it, because the copy that you will be creating is of the framework with no content. So, the FREE version should be more than enough.
WP Fastest Cache
One of the critical aspects of SEO is page load speed.
Google with its later web vitals update, has emphasized on this again and hence it is important to ensure that you site loads fast, if you have any chance of getting ranked on the first page of Google.
While there are many elements in a fast loading website, there are some low hanging fruits that are easy to fix.
Caching of your website is one such low hanging fruit.
Caching plugins are one of the most essential wordpress plugins for affiliate marketers. And using a caching plugin like WP Fastest Cache, is one aspect of that.
This is an easy to configure plugin and doesn’t take a lot of time to setup.
WP Fastest Cache also had a paid version but that wouldn’t be required for your affiliate marketing websites.
Litespeed Cache is another caching plugin like WP Fastest Cache but has a lot of features and tweaks that are not available in other FREE caching plugins.
The plugin requires some configuration. Though it isn’t complicated, it isn’t easy as well.
I will be creating a video showing how to configure Litespeed Cache, in a few days.
If you are to make any money with your affiliate websites, you need traffic to it. And organic traffic is one of the primary traffic sources when it comes to niche affiliate websites.
In order for your sites to rank in search engines, you will have to optimize your pages and hence SEO becomes one of the critical activities.
SEO can be confusing and overwhelming. But we do not need to be an SEO expert to do some of the basic optimization steps on our websites.
All you need is RankMath.
While the entire world swears by Yoast SEO, I prefer RankMath primarily because of the fact that everyone of the features that you would pay for in Yoast, is available for FREE in RankMath.
Installing and configuring is simple and they have a lot of documentation and videos to show you how to configure the plugin. Just follow these are your site is SEO optimized.
RankMath also helps in optimizing the content that you write, for specific keywords. It will show you the issues that you need to address and the things you need to take care of, if you are to get your articles ranked on Google.
WP Product Review
WP Product Review is a review plugin.
I write a lot of product reviews and hence use this plugin a lot.
When you are reading product reviews, as a prospective customer you would like to see the important points of the review neatly laid out.
I would like to see the features, the pros and cons of the product, the pricing and an overall review rating of the product all in one place, so that I don’t waste a lot of time reading stuff that I might not need.
WP Product review helps you do that. It helps create nice review posts with a snippet that shows all the important points from the review.
This plugin has both a FREE and a paid version, but the FREE version should be good enough for an affiliate marketing website.
Paid WordPress Plugins for Affiliate marketers
While FREE wordpress plugins can do most of the job, there are certain specialized things that might need a paid WordPress plugin.
I don’t mean to say that these FREE plugins won’t do these things, but the fact that plugin creators are also marketers is enough to understand that some of the essential features would go behind a lock and key and you will have to pay for it, if you wish to use those features.
Here are some of my favorite and recommended Paid WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers.
If you planning to promote Amazon products on you website, then Amalinks Pro is one of the most essential plugins.
The Amazon affiliate program has a lot of terms and conditions, which if you do not comply with, you could easily end up getting you account banned.
In addition to that, if you do not have access to the Amazon API, then showcasing Amazon products could become very difficult.
Amalinks Pro takes care of all of these things and it facilitates displaying Amazon products in beautiful showcases and comparison tables. All in very easily to implement steps.
WP Rocket is another of the caching plugins like Litespeed Cache and WP Fastest Cache.
It is a very powerful plugin and has a lot of features that other plugins like WP Fastest Cache doesn’t offer. The fact that your website’s GTMetrix scores will see a huge jump as soon as you install, activate and configure the plugin, is enough to prove its power.
WP Rocket isn’t cheap, but for the price you would pay for it, it is an amazing plugin and I can assure you that you would recoup your investment pretty fast.
Thrive Leads is an optin form builder plugin.
If you have read my posts, you would know that I am an advocate of list building. In affiliate marketing too, if you are not building your list, you are wasting a lot of money.
Sales don’t always happen at the first instance that a visitor visits your website. You have to consistently follow up with them and keep promoting your products in a well planned way.
In order for all of this to happen, you will need to build your list.
And in order to build a list, you need an optin form on your website where you can offer something of value to your website visitors, in return for their email address.
Thrive Leads helps you do that.
It has a very simple and easy to use interface and you could be building a variety of beautiful optin forms in a matter of a few minutes.
Thrive Leads is a part of Thrive Suite.
Thrive Architect is a landing page builder.
While this isn’t something that everybody needs, I would recommend it if you are serious about building a long term passive income generating business.
Using Thrive Architect, you can build product specific landing pages, silo pages, review pages and a lot more. The interface is a simple drag and drop builder, which makes building pages extremely easy.
Thrive Architect is also a part of Thrive Suite.
Optin Monster is another optin form builder plugin. I have used Optin form builder before I switched over to Thrive Suite and I was super impressed with the flexibility that this plugin offers.
Thrive Suite can be a little out of reach for affiliate marketers who are starting off. So if you are not planning to go with Thrive Leads, then I would recommend Optin Monster.
Link Whisper is a handy plugin that can help you build internal links on your website.
Link building is an important part of SEO, but an extremely difficult one. I used to sweat at the thought of link building. It would takes hours to follow some of the steps that Brian mentions in his post about backlink building and still you would get only a few responses.
That’s when I came across a post on Internal Link building and its role on ranking websites in search engines.
The process was pretty tough and took hours, but at least I was sure that I was building some links.
The results simply stumped me. Some of my pages that weren’t there even in the first 10 pages of SERPs, came to the 2nd and 3rd pages of Google.
I had to find a way to simplify this process and hence searched through to find a wordpress plugin that could help me. I used quite a few different plugins but none could really give me what I was looking for.
That’s when I happened to see this plugin called Link Whisper.
It is a superb plugin that makes internal linking a breeze. It has a nice dashboard which shows you the status of each of your posts and makes internal linking a matter a clicking and saving.
If you are serious about SEO, then you need Link Whisper.
This plugin isn’t a lot spoken about, but is one of the best plugins that I have used so far, at least from an Amazon affiliate’s perspective.
One of the biggest problems I have faced with the Amazon affiliate program, is in not being able to monetize traffic from different countries.
My websites attract audiences from different countries but the Amazon link that I include in my posts and articles are from a specific Amazon website, meaning for a specific country.
Any visitor from a different country, clicking on these links used to browse away because they would be redirected to the Amazon website for their specific country and I would loose my commissions.
Genius links solves this issue by customizing the link by localizing it. So now, depending upon which country the visitor is from, he is directed to the site for his specific country and I still earn commissions.
Genius links also has a lot of other features from and affiliate marketing perspective and is one of my favorite WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers.
Shortpixel Adaptive Images
Shortpixel Adaptive Images is another plugin that helps with optimizing your website and speeding up the page load times.
It optimizes the images on your websites and renders them from a CDN, thereby reducing the loading times.
I was always of the impression that this is not something that I need for my websites because there wasn’t a lot of images that I was using on my websites.
But when GTMetrix scores showed me that that images on my website were pulling down the page loading scores, I decided to give it a try.
And, I was amazed at how this plugin helped improve my page load times.
If you are looking at optimizing your website and you use images a lot (which you should), then this plugin is an absolute essential.
Over to You – What’s your Favorite Plugin?
So those were my list of absolutely essential WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers.
Which out of these is your favorite plugin and which do you think is something that’s on your shopping list?
Comment below and let me know.
While this list of WordPress plugins for affiliate marketers is based on the ones that I have been using, it might not be an exhaustive list.
I will keep updating this post as I add new plugins to my list.
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