Affiliate marketing is a growing industry. According to Statista, affiliate marketing spend is set to reach $8.2 billion during 2022 in the US alone.
However, the problem for many beginner affiliate marketers is the upfront costs, including buying a domain name, ecommerce hosting, courses, books, etc. So, the question is: Can you start for free?
The answer is yes. This guide will help you understand how to make money with affiliate marketing (without upfront costs) and give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to get started.
7) The Google keyword tool
This is the granddaddy of all keyword tools. You will need to register an AdWords 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.
8) Google Webmaster Tools
There are so many SEO tools and resources here, it’s hard to know where to start. Start with creating an account. Link your sites to it. Then use the PageSpeed Insights tool to see how your sites are doing speedwise. 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.
9) Portent SERP Preview tool
Moz also has a preview tool, but I prefer Portent’s. If you don’t happen to 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.
10) Google Analytics
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.
) 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.
12) Keyword Spy
Want to know what top affiliates are promoting which products, and where? This is the tool. Affiliate marketing, as you know, is extraordinarily competitive, so these kinds of competitive analysis tools can really make a difference. At first glance this appears to be a paid tool, but they have a “lifetime free trial”.
If you like Keyword Spy, check out Spyfu.com. Especially if you’re doing pay per click advertising.
13) Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool is free for sites up to 500 pages. It’s primarily used for SEO and content audits.
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.
17) Do Share
This is a plugin for the Chrome browser. It’s also arguably the best free tool for Google+ marketing. Because free traffic is so important to affiliates and because Google+ is Google’s product, it’s worth your time to have at least a presence on Google+. Do Share is especially valuable because it lets you schedule posts to Google+ pages and Google+ profiles.
Link tracking & creation
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.
19) Google’s URL Builder
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 another free link tracking tool. It’s also made for affiliates. Whether you use this or Linktrack may end up as a matter of preference. It might be worth your time to try both these tools, then pick the one that works best for your business.
Best FREE Tools For Affiliate Marketers
If you’re starting and want to test affiliate marketing platforms, we’ve compiled some of the best free affiliate marketing tools and software to help you run a successful marketing campaign.
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