Have you decided to monetize your WordPress site with affiliate marketing, but don’t know where to start?
If so, then you’ve come to the right place.
In the past few years, affiliate marketing has become one of the most popular monetization strategies.
It’s easier than ecommerce, it’s more subtle than display ads, and it’s almost completely passive.
In this article, we’re going to share our favorite plugins for affiliate marketing. Each of these plugins will make it easier for you to build an affiliate marketing empire.
So, if you are ready to monetize your content and take your WordPress site to the next level, keep reading.
- Why you should use WordPress for affiliate marketing
- What makes a good affiliate marketing plugin
- The Top 5 best WordPress plugins for affiliate marketing
Why you should use WordPress for affiliate marketing
There are dozens of reasons why you should be using WordPress to build your affiliate marketing site. We’ve narrowed them down to three primary reasons.
1. It’s free
We’re talking about WordPress.org here, which is an open source content management system. WordPress.com is a blogging platform that offers different pricing tiers. If you’d prefer to pay for WordPress you can, but there’s no reason to.
WordPress is open source, which means it kind of belongs to everyone. Most hosting providers even offer 1-click WordPress installation.
It couldn’t be easier. WordPress is lean, clean, and popular. There’s a reason almost a third of websites are build with WordPress, and yours should be too.
2. It’s lucrative
Almost every major brand in the world offers some type of affiliate program. There’s two reason why that’s the case. It’s good for the brand, and it’s good for publishers.
The reason so many websites are monetized with affiliate offers is because they work. There’s a ton of money being paid out to affiliate marketers every day. It’s also a great way to semi-passively monetize your site without ruining user experience.
When was the last time you heard someone say, “I love ads on websites!” Never, because nobody likes display ads. However, when done right, affiliate marketing is a more subtle form of advertising that improves the user experience.
If you recommend products you’re passionate about, and your users buy them, you will solve the problem that brought them to your site in the first place. And, you’ll have earned their trust, so they will keep coming back for more. It’s a true win-win-win.
3. It’s easy
Affiliate marketing with WordPress couldn’t be easier. You apply to and get accepted to affiliate programs, you insert their links into your posts, and you make money.
That’s a simplified version, but the theory is correct. Once you’ve published content and received some traffic, your job is done. Rinse and repeat.
What makes a good affiliate marketing plugin
There are a lot of different features that make a plugin a good fit for affiliate marketers. However, there are only two results you should care about getting from an affiliate marketing plugin:
1. It saves you time
Any good affiliate marketing plugin will save you time and money when you are building your site. Whether the plugin is for link management or redirects or product displays, it has to do what you need faster and easier than you could do by yourself.
2. It increases your affiliate income
If a plugin is saving ou time, then it should be saving you money. However, the best affiliate marketing plugins help you make more money.
It’s always better to increase conversions rather than increase traffic. If a plugin can help you do that, it’s definitely worth the price of admission.
The Top 5 best WordPress plugins for affiliate marketing
Now that you have a basic idea of what to look for, we can get into our recommendations. Here are our top five favorite WordPress Plugins for affiliate marketing.
Lasso is an all-in-one affiliate marketing solution that manages your links, increases conversions, and notifies you of new opportunities.
The biggest selling point of this plugin is their no-code product displays, which you can insert anywhere on your website. Lasso automatically pulls product info from retailers like Amazon and Wallmart, so it’s easy to set up your displays.
They also have multiple themes, custom colors, and different display types, like grids, lists, single displays, and buttons.
Lasso also gives you a single dashboard to manage all your affiliate links. You can change a link once, and it will update every occurrence of that link on your site. They also notify you when you have a broken link or out of stock product, so you don’t need to worry about lost commissions.
The biggest drawback to Lasso is the price. It’s $29 per month, and you get two months free if you opt for yearly pricing. That can be a lot to ask from a small site, but keep in mind that Lasso does the work of three plugins at once.
Even though they charge a premium, it should be easy to see why Lasso is our favorite plugin for affiliate marketing.
- Beautiful product displays
- Link-management dashboard
- Broken link notifications
- New-opportunity notifications
- Google Analytics integration
- Premium price
2. Simple URLs
Simple URLs is a link management plugin with none of the fluff. It gives you a place to put your affiliate links so you can keep track of them all. That’s all there is to it.
Simple URLs is free and comes from the same team that made Lasso. To get this plugin, just search for “Simple URLs” in the WordPress plugin directory and find the option that’s published by Lasso. Click install and activate and you’re done.
Then all you have to do is add your links and name them, then insert the “surls” links into your content from the post editor.
What’s great about this plugin is it gives you a way to edit links from one location. If you have an affiliate link on 8 pages that needs be be replaced, you can do it once from Simple URLs.
Yes, it doesn’t provide as many features as Lasso, like product displays and broken link notifications, but Simple URLs is a great, free link management tool. And it couldn’t be easier to use.
- Easy to use
- One link-management dashboard
- Lacks premium features
Get Simple URLs from the WordPress plugin directory by searching for “Simple URLs”
3. Pretty Links Pro
Pretty Links is a very popular link management solution among affiliate marketers. This plugin is similar to Simple URLs in its functionality, but it is a more robust plugin.
This plugin makes it easy to insert affiliate links into your posts, and edit them from your Pretty Links dashboard. It can get a bit cumbersome when you have hundreds of links saved, but the free version still offers a lot of value.
Pretty Links also offers a pro version of their plugin, which gives you features like custom link types, bulk imports, and auto-keyword-linking. However, most people get by fine with the free version.
Again, Pretty Links doesn’t offer a solution for product displays and link performance tracking, but it does allow you to redirect and cloak affiliate links. Just be sure you’re staying compliant with the terms of your affiliate agreements.
- Robust free version
- Premium version with additional features
- 300,000+ active installs
- No solution for product displays
- Interface can seem needlessly complicated
Get Pretty Links from the WordPress plugin directory, or get Pretty Links Pro.
AAWP (Amazon Associates WordPress Plugin) is a very popular plugin for affiliate marketers who recommend primarily Amazon products. It’s probably the easiest way to get Amazon product offers on your site, and everything about this plugin is designed around Amazon.
Let’s get the biggest drawback out of the way. AAWP only works with Amazon. If you recommend products from other affiliate programs, you’ll need another solution.
Which is a big problem, because Google has said that multiple buying options will be a ranking factor going forward.
Still, AAWP does a great job of putting offers on your site that look just like they do on Amazon. The CTA buttons are similar, and the images, titles, and descriptions are all similar. It’s as if you’ve cut the top box from an Amazon sales page and pasted it onto your site.
Their customization features leave a bit to be desired. Everything is meant to look like Amazon, and that can make it stick out on your site.
However, their product comparison tables look great, and their price is reasonable. For a mid-tier option, AAWP is a solid plugin for affiliate marketing.
- Displays that look like Amazon
- Comparison tables
- Easy Amazon product import
- Only works with Amazon
- Difficult to customize
5. Genius Link
Our final plugin on our list isn’t as much of a plugin as it is a service. Also, the unique thing about Genius Link is that it can be used with every other option on this list.
When it’s installed on your site, Genius Link will convert normal Amazon links to affiliate links, with your tag included. They also do this with a lot of other affiliate programs, and they’re adding more all the time.
Genius Link will also reroute your audience to the appropriate version of websites based on geography. So you won’t lose a sale because a German reader was directed to the American version of Amazon.
This plugin is also very reasonably price. Their pricing is based on the amount of clicks you get. So, if you get 2,000 affiliate clicks in a month, you’ll only pay about five dollars.
In our opinion, every affiliate site should use Genius Link. If nothing else, it’s a great last line of defense against lost revenue.
- Very affordable
- Geographic redirects
- Protects affiliate revenue
- No link management
- One affiliate tag per program per site
- No product displays
Our final thoughts on the best WordPress plugins for affiliate marketing
That was our list of the top five best WordPress plugins for affiliate marketing. If you’ve read this far, then it should be easy to see why we’ve selected Lasso as our top pick.
Lasso just does everything the other plugins do simultaneously. It manages your links, gives you product displays, and it imports product information.
It integrates with Google Analytics so you can see where your clicks are coming from, and it notifies you when your links are down. It truly is an all-in-one solution for affiliate marketers.
If you are looking for something cheaper, but you still want product boxes, AAWP is an option for Amazon products. Just remember that you should combine it with another solution for other affiliate programs.
SimpleUrls and Pretty Links offer similar features, and provide one primary function. They give you one place to manage your links. If your budget is no budget at all, one of these free options should work for you.
Lastly, we have Genius Link, which we believe should be included on every affiliate site regardless of what other plugins you use. It’s a virtual guarantee that your links will be monetized.
No matter which WordPress plugin you choose, affiliate marketing is a monetization strategy you should be using.
Whether alone or with other methods, affiliate marketing is a semi-passive way for you to bring in revenue and take your WordPress site to the next level.
Now go out there and make some money!