Picture this scenario: you own a WordPress website, and you want to take it to the next level through creating the best marketing strategy. You get to hear about WordPress plugins being the next big thing in marketing your website, so you want to install the best ones you find. Or, you might have the hard task of designing an affiliate system, and you want a plugin that sorts you out. However, a question arises – what do you need these plugins for, and how will they serve to your website forward?
What are affiliate programs, and how do they work?
Affiliate plugins are among the most popular marketing tools for businesses today, at least in terms of the online sphere. The same is the case for a WordPress affiliate program – the creator of a product gets initial advertising for free, then they will pay based on performance, while promoters of the product are paid to recommend products. Win-win situation for everyone involved.
The affiliate program on WordPress works very easily. On your website, social media accounts, email lists or blog, you get to promote products using a special link. If readers click the link and buy the item within certain time limits like thirty days, you get a share of the revenue. However, the process can easily become confusing if you have no idea of the plugins to look out for, or how to manage the ones you already have.
In this article, we will look at the basics of affiliate marketing to help you understand how you can take advantage of them, as well as the WordPress plugins you can join.
The best way to approach a WordPress affiliate program
In other words, this is about how you can proceed with your promotional efforts after installing a plugin. The assumption here is that you already have a blog on the platform as well as social media and email lists to support it, regardless of the content you post.
There are some general guidelines you need to keep in mind when creating a blog post that will promote these affiliate programs, and they are:
- Posting high quality content – for you to succeed in your blog and growing your audience, you need to have posts that are well written and well formatted. That means you are spending significant amounts of time with the product itself, and you know what you are doing because you have done sufficient research. The reader expects you to be an authority of the subject at hand, so make sure you come across as one.
- The promotional content must fit well with your content – both Google and your readers will frown at attempts of you making content that is completely unrelated to what they are used to seeing. For instance, you have an art blog and suddenly decide to promote lifestyle products, or a philosophy blog then you suddenly post something on SEO marketing. Take care to stick to products that go with your target content.
- Customize content to fit the audience – aside from creating great content, you need to think about how the products will fit with the theme of your blog and the audience. Like posting an article for your readers on ‘benefits of starting a website for your art business’ if your blog centers on promoting art, rather than ‘the best WordPress themes for 2019’, which sounds out of place.
- Make sure to keep SEO in mind – ensure you have done research on SEO: it does not need to be deep, just enough to help you know what you are doing. For instance, finding out how keywords work, tracking rankings, and following the best industry practices when writing your articles.
These guidelines will ensure your posts and promotional content are all effective, which is a major issue with affiliate programs in WordPress – they tend to transfer all marketing risks to you, so you run the risk of making losses when you fail to make any sales.
There are generally four types of these posts, which you can use to promote WordPress affiliate programs. They are:
- Reviews of products – these are in-depth reviews, and include the cons and pros of the products, how it actually works, and what you have managed to do with it. Ensure that you answer all these questions, include some high-quality screenshots, and this serves as a useful review that helps the reader decide whether they will buy the product.
- Recommending the program in your usual posts – this is the most subtle approach, but still very effective. They will work at their best when the program is close in its theme or use to what the topic is about.
- Rounding up a category of products – these are like product reviews, but allow you to include multiple products in one post. You must include many screenshots and describe each product briefly.
- Posting behind the scenes content about the blog – this allows the readers to take a glimpse into what you do when you are preparing posts, and satisfies their curiosity. It can also be a very useful way of showing them the affiliate marketing products you use, and explaining to them how they work – which is a great marketing strategy.
With all that said we can move to the top WordPress marketing plugins you can use for 2019.
Top eight affiliate plugins to put on your 2019 list
1. Affiliate Manager
This plugin is free, yet it packs quite the punch. In fact, it even rivals some of the premium affiliate plugins on the platform, yet its features will impress you immensely. Because everything is clearly laid out, installing and using it on your website is a walk in the park.
This makes managing all your referrals and affiliates easy, because it gives you complete control of every part of the process – from the registration of affiliates to payments and commissions. Because the plugin integrates well with PayPal, it allow you to make mass payments and track any clicks from the audience, which is great for you because it helps you monitor your progress.
The WordPress admin allows you to manage the system, due to the settings screen. That means that it operates very well with other plugins such as S2Member, iThemes Exchange and WooCommerce. You can also track all your affiliates in real time without any hassle.
In addition, the plugin allows you to create banner ads for you and your affiliates, then integrating it to MailChimp. Afterwards, you can use it to track all the impressions your post is getting, and tailor your messages to your affiliates as well as other aspects. In short, when you have this program, you are open for business to the world.
Because the plugin is very easy to tailor to your own specifications and it includes API, you can rely on it if you are a developer to make unique affiliate management programs without struggling too much.
Click here to download.
If you want an agile yet complete affiliate management system, this is among the best picks you can work with. It eases the process of management of your referral programs, as both the admin and affiliate areas are a pleasure to work with.
It allows you to set up cookie durations, commission percentages, affiliate pages, and many other aspects of your marketing, all in a breeze. It also enables you to integrate other plugins such as WooCommerce, PayPal buttons, MemberPress, Easy Digital Downloads, and many others – all to enhance your marketing reach and effectiveness.
This plugin is considered as the king of all WordPress affiliate plugins, as it can adjust and set up welcome emails and sign up forms for your affiliates, all according to your specifications. The use of reCAPTCHA and other security settings on some blogs is also through this plugin, so once you install it, it can keep bots out of your website and only allow genuine users to see your content – for purposes of verification.
If you would like to create your own referral links, you can do so thanks to the built-in referral link generator. It is also easy for your affiliates to see the progress they are making o their earnings, as well as finding creatives, and retrieving their URL for referrals. This is because it allows you to keep track of everything that is happening and regulate some of the functions manually.
You might think that all these features and many others would make this plugin heavy, but the truth is that it is surprisingly light and very easy to install.
Click here to download.
This is a creation of itthinx and Kento, the same creators of Affiliate Manager. It is an affiliate WordPress plugin that has all the features of a system that allows you to work outside conventional guidelines. Because of this, it is rising in popularity very quickly and giving many other affiliate programs a run for their money, as its services work very well for a variety of clients – including membership sties, sellers and online shops.
The process of adding new affiliates on your roster is very easy with this plugin because the process is automated – therefore, allowing you to start making money within a short time. In addition, because of the numerous integrations it gives you, you can include any membership platform or e-commerce service that you plan to use.
This plugin allows you to track numerous affiliates on your list, and the built-in feature of monitoring traffic enables you to see the strategies that are working for you. The good news is that Affiliates is very easy to set up and use, just like all the other plugins on the list.
Click here to download.
4. WordPress affiliate and referral
You can work with all the other affiliate services on this list, but the platform itself has its own custom-built affiliate marketing service that you can use to your advantage. It is actually easy to manage, so you do not need to have any fears if you decide to use it.
The main advantage it has is that it remains a highly efficient, clean and beautiful service with an impressive user interface – which helps you make your affiliate program a success. If you want to add and track all your affiliates, it is also easy to do so from this site, as well as paying commissions and other relevant payments without breaking a sweat. This is because the service uses the PayPal mass payment system.
All of this comes at a price, although it is not expensive. Coming in at only $20, the plugin is affordable if you are on a budget, yet it retains many useful services that can help you in the long term. It even allows you to enjoy extra features that you cannot find on other affiliate plugins. These include great short codes, real time reports, an unlimited number of referrals, social sharing buttons, an Android app that tracks your activities on the site as you go, cookies, and notifications, among others.
Click here to download.
5. Post affiliate pro
This is for those that are searching for a commitment-free solution that allows them to pay as they use it, yet has plenty of features to satisfy them. If this description sounds like you, then is plugin is a worthy option of consideration.
This plugin allows you to get commissions based on product structures – also known as tiered product structure. Because of their tracking feature that allows you to monitor any offline sales, you can work with a wide variety of promotional material. On the other hand, you can get monthly support and monitoring of activities at a small fee.
If you want to test the plugin before installation, you can do so by visiting Post Affiliate Pro’s online demos. You can include various choices during the installation process, including merchant signup, site ownership, and affiliate signups, and these cover much more scope than the demo version of Magic Affiliate.
The Post Affiliate Pro allows you to achieve greater tracking abilities, as it combines third party and first party cookies, and gives you a safeguard against cookie failure, in the form of an IP address tracking system.
One of the standout features of the Post Affiliate Pro plugin is thanks to the interface (which you can completely customize, by the way). It gives you access to real time data through mobile applications on both iOS and Android platforms. If your affiliates want to track the progress of their commissions, they can do so through downloading the app.
The pricing range is good, as it allows you to select from several options (the one-time payment, and monthly subscription). However, it does prove to be the most complicated structure on this list. The monthly prices are restrictive, and they limit integration with other plugins – so be careful when selecting the monthly option. The basic package begins at $29 a month up to $99 a month.
Click here to download.
6. Magic affiliate
The Magic Affiliate plugin does not allow the per-product rates as the Affiliate WP plugin does. However, it makes up for all the other features, thanks to its complete scope.
In fact, one of is standout features is its ability to allow you to get an immediate commission in the form of a sign-up bonus, and offer the same to any of your sales affiliates. In the same way, you are able to follow up all the new members you get through setting up customized welcome messages from your control panel, which the new members will get as a message notification.
You also get a variety of pricing structures, all dependent on the requirements you have. They are the three-user at $179, single user at $89, and unlimited at $189. All of these are paid as a one-time fee.
For the single users, they will receive customer service support, one year of updates, training videos of the service, and support guides.
Three-user licenses get an entire set of premium banners, as well as a 10% coupon off the membership plugin. On the other hand, unlimited users get all the benefits above, as well as installation across numerous platforms. All of these are offered on a 30-day money back guarantee, so you do not need to worry too much on that front.
Click here to download.
7. YITH WooCommerce affiliates
If you happen to be among the crowd that exclusively works with WooCommerce, this is the free affiliate version. This plugin is known for doing one job, and doing it extremely well – it extends the functions of WooCommerce, which allows you to setup your own commission rates and create profiles of affiliates.
The plugin enables you to use it easily, thanks to the easy installation setup and even the referral process. It carries a wide range of features that allow you to operate successfully, especially if you have a store that uses WooCommerce as the primary basis.
One of these features is setting up cookies, which can expire at any point as you wish – which allows you to track any referrals for numerous days to come. In addition, it allows you to register affiliates through the use of short codes, ban or approve any affiliate as you wish, and create affiliates from any of the users you have on your roster.
Aside from that, you can also work on setting up your own rates on commission amounts, as well as calculating refunds on the go. On the side of the affiliates, they also get an intuitive dashboard, which they can use to monitor their own progress. All of these features allow you to closely monitor and improve your WooCommerce store in terms of sales and traffic.
Click here to download.
8. Affiliate Royale
If you are a product creator, entrepreneur, or work in the marketing department of a company, you will want to have complete control over all the sales leads and generations your business is making – and this plugin gives you that type of control. It is a fully fledged solution in WordPress, giving its users all the relevant information regarding marketing activities, total sales, and total clicks for each affiliate.
The plugin sets itself apart from others thanks to its offline sales tracking ability. In addition, its ease of use allows you to set it up for your business within minutes, including the addition of payment information regarding your PayPal account. You will not need to spend significant amounts of time trying to learn how the system works, which means you can start selling your products within a few minutes after installation.
Regarding the sales side of things, the Affiliate Royale plugin can monitor all recurring and initial payments that all payment processors registered are making. These include WP eCommerce, PayPal, and Authorize.net. All affiliates will have their transactions linked to them automatically, helping with accuracy of commission payments and other data. Speaking of commissions, the plugin automates the entire process, allowing you to send them immediately or use a mass payment system.
In addition, if you happen to be the owner of a site, you can upload and create any images of any size, which act in a similar way to marketing banners – that also includes GIF banners (so if you have animated content, this can work as well). In the area of updates, this happens similar to any other WordPress plugin.
You can get various payment plans for the service. These are the Merchant Edition (goes for a one-time of $85), and a Developer Edition for the eCommerce site builders (goes for a one-time fee of $165). If you integrate it with the MemberPress, which works very well with it, you can end up paying a fee of $369 annually.
Click here to download.
Regardless of whether you select a third party affiliate program or a WordPress plugin for increasing traffic and getting leads for your business, you cannot deny the great advantage that they will give you in terms of generating extra revenue. The most important factor is to focus on the product you are selling, make sure it fits in with your overall theme, and choose the best plugins to help you with the process. Hopefully, this article has provided some ideas of plugins you can use for that purpose.