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If we were to believe the classic line from the movie Field of Dreams — if you build it, they will come — the task of earning a sizable income from affiliate marketing would be a literal walk in the park. Or through an inspiring field of corn, as the case may be. However, as you’re surely so keenly aware, the reality is much more complicated than that. You can’t just start throwing out random affiliate links out at the Internet and hope that the commission checks come piling in through your mail slot. That’s just not how it works.
The tremendous news is that you neither have to go through this challenge alone nor you have to go about it completely unarmed. In fact, there are new affiliate marketing platforms, tools and professional services being developed and launched all the time. Some of the names on this list may sound more familiar than others, but they all serve a very useful purpose for anyone who wants to grow his or her affiliate marketing business. Here it is – new affiliate marketing tools to grow your profits.
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
As much as the Internet continues to change and evolve over time, it will always remain true that content is king. It was king and it always will be king. A challenge that you will face, however, is making sure that content gets in front of the right audience at the right time. Part of this might have to do with search engine optimization for your blog or landing pages, part of it might have to do with social media marketing, part of it might have to do with open rates with your email marketing efforts. Whatever the case, you need to capture the reader’s attention even before they read your content.
This starts with having a great title. An excellent tool to guide you down the right path is the Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule. You can use this tool free of charge on their website after you enter some basic information about you and your business. Alternatively (and preferably), you can maintain a history and access a wealth of additional tools if you are already a CoSchedule customer.
While incomplete, the Headline Analyzer can point out some weaker areas of your headline. It looks at word balance — common vs. uncommon vs. emotional vs. power — as well as your headline length, both in terms of characters and words, plus how “skimmable” your title is. Headlines are everything, but a bad headline could have otherwise great content dead in the water even before anyone sees it.
It is absolutely undeniable that social media marketing is more important than ever in today’s online world and affiliate marketers would be foolish to overlook the opportunities available on Instagram. The demographics see really high engagement rates, but the manual practice of following, unfollowing, commenting, and liking can be incredibly time-intensive.
Automating many of those otherwise manual activities is Instaplus. The user interface is really easy to follow, including the ability to manage up to five accounts at a time. You can set each account to automatically follow and unfollow users based on your own specifications, targeting hashtags, locations and even your competitors’ accounts to help you gain traction on the platform too.
Thirty days of service for five accounts costs $14.90, unlocking all the features of the service. However, “bots” like this are generally in violation of Instagram’s Terms and Conditions, so if you are caught using it, your account could get banned. Proceed at your own risk and discretion.
Email marketing has always been a very big part of the affiliate marketer’s toolset, but how do you go about growing subscribers in a meaningful and effective way? One tool worth checking out is OptinMonster, which prides itself as “lead generation software that drives huge results fast.” Of course, you can use these opt-in forms for purposes other than email marketing lists too.
The wealth of included features sets you up for the best chances at success. Multiple form types are available to you, including lightbox popups and slide-ins. And you don’t have to guess what form is working best, because you can leverage the power of A/B split testing to see for yourself. The forms are easily built using the drag-and-drop editor, the built-in analytics ensure you get the data you need to make the best decisions, and page-level marketing means you can target just the right offers at just the right visitors too.
Some affiliates may argue that investing in these additional services isn’t warranted, since they can create forms using their existing email marketing service providers, but having more options for how to optimize your opt-in forms can significantly increase conversions (and profit). Pricing starts at $9 per month.
Pretty Link Pro
By default, the URLs for affiliate links can be really messy. They can include an unfamiliar domain, followed by a long and cryptic set of characters for tracking purposes and to ensure that you get credited with any referrals for commissions. They are a necessary part of the process, but this doesn’t mean you should use them straight out of the box. In fact, it’s generally not recommended that you do.
If you use WordPress to power your websites, you should consider picking up the Pretty Link plugin, available both in a Lite version for free and in a Pro version for a fee. The pro version, as you might imagine, comes with a host of additional features and functions not found in the free edition.
The core function here is to take your outbound links and make them “pretty” using your own domain. Instead of using a third-party URL shortening or redirection service like bit.ly or ow.ly, you can have “short” URLs with your own domain. What’s great is that this will not only maintain your branding (and improve trust among readers to click the link), but you also gain the added analytics of knowing the number of clicks per link. You can also dig deeper into details to uncover IP addresses, browser versions, operating systems, referring sites and more.