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Affiliate Marketing Tips & Tools (That Actually Work)

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to make money online from your blog. It allows you to add a steady income stream to your blog’s monetization strategy. In this affiliate marketing guide for beginners, we will explain how affiliate marketing works, and how to get started right away.

Ultimate affiliate marketing guide for beginners

What is Affiliate Marketing?

By definition, affiliate marketing is a referral arrangement in which an online retailer (advertiser) pays you a commission when users purchase their product from your referral link.

Unlike other ad types which pays based on clicks or views, affiliate marketing works on a CPA (cost-per-acquisition), or CPL (cost-per-lead) basis. In other words, you only earn a commission when someone takes an action (i.e buys the product or signup for a free trial).

Because there is less risk for the advertiser, affiliate programs pay out much higher commissions to publishers compared to Google AdSense or other types of ads.

Affiliate marketing requires a more hands-on approach. You have to find a product or service that you believe will be helpful to your users. After that you have to strategically add it in your blog posts and other areas of your site, so users can purchase the product using your referral link.

How Does Affiliate Marketing / Tracking Work?

First, you have to find a company or product that you want to promote. You need to select a product or service that you believe will be relevant to your blog’s topic and useful for your audience. The product or company you choose will be called a ‘Merchant’.

Next, you have to partner up with the company by joining their partner program. This makes you their ‘Affiliate’. Some companies also use the terms associates, partners, etc.

Once you have joined their partner program (also called Affiliate Program), you will get a unique affiliate ID. You will need to use this affiliate ID in all affiliate links that you add in your website to promote the product.

You can promote the product by adding an in-depth product reviews, recommend it in your articles, display banner ads, sending an email newsletter, and more. All traffic you send to the merchant website with your unique ID will be tracked.

Once a user makes a purchase, you will earn a commission. Your payment is issued once your earnings reach a particular threshold typically 45 – 60 days.

How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing

First, you need to make sure that you are using the right blogging platform, and you are allowed to run affiliate marketing campaigns on your website.

For example, if you are using WordPress.com, then there are some restrictions regarding the products and services you can link to. For more details see our comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

On the other hand if you are on self-hosted WordPress.org website, then you can add any affiliate link you want and efficiently manage your affiliate campaigns.

If you haven’t created a website already, then you can get started right away. Simply follow the instructions in our step by step guide on how to start a blog, and you’ll be up and running in less than 30 minutes.

Next, you need to let your users know how you make money from your website by adding a disclosure page. See WPBeginner’s disclosure page and feel free to use it as a template.

You will also need to add a privacy policy and terms of service page to your blog.

These are amongst the must have pages for every WordPress blog. They not only save you from legal issues in the future, but they also help you build trust with your audience.

Finding Affiliate Products and Services to Promote

There are many ways to find products and companies that you can partner up with as an affiliate. Here are some of the easiest ways to find the products you can promote.

1. Become an affiliate for products you already use

First, you need to look at the products and services that you already use and find useful. This makes it easy for you to convince your users about the product since you already know the pros and cons.

Next, you need to go to the product’s website and search for terms like ‘Affiliate program’, ‘Partners’, or ‘Affiliates’. Many companies are actively looking for affiliate marketers to promote their products that’s why they add a link to their affiliate page in their website’s footer.

Finding affiliate programs to join

2. Look for products other blogs are recommending

Another way to find products is by looking at other blogs similar to yours. You will be able to find many similar blogs that are using affiliate marketing to make money.

But how do you know that they are promoting affiliate products?

First, look for the obvious and easily noticeable banner ads on their website. Take your mouse to the banner ad, and you will see a link in your browser’s status bar.

finding affiliate links

This link will usually have an affiliate ID. Affiliate ID helps merchants track which affiliate partner is sending them traffic / sales.

Sometimes these links may look like internal links, but when you click on them they will take you to a product website with affiliate marketer’s ID in the link. You will also find similar affiliate links through-out their content.

3. Join Bigger Affiliate Networks

Another way to find products to promote is by joining affiliate networks. These websites act as a middleman between affiliate marketers and merchants.

You will notice that many products and companies that you want to partner with already use an affiliate network. This helps you quickly find a lot of products that you can start promoting on your website.

4. Reach out to Companies

If you really want to promote a product but can’t find any information about their affiliate program, then you can simply ask them via email.

Some companies may not be actively promoting their affiliate program. If they have an affiliate program, then they can invite you to join.

What are Affiliate Networks? Why You Should Join Them?

Affiliate networks act as a middleman between you (the affiliate marketer) and merchants (companies that want to sell their products).

For merchants, they provide their platform as a service to list their products, track affiliate traffic, manage affiliates, and send payments.

For affiliate marketers, they offer an easy to use platform to search for products, sign up as an affiliate, track your campaign performance and earnings.

Following are some of the most popular affiliate networks that you can join.

  • ShareaSale – One of the largest affiliate networks with many high-paying affiliate products for almost every category imaginable. Popular WordPress hosting company, WPEngine, uses ShareASale to manage their affiliates. WPEngine’s Affiliate program offers a very generous payout to their affiliate partners.
  • CJ Affiliate (Formerly, Comission Junction) – Another top affiliate network with a huge number of merchants and products neatly organized in categories and easily searchable. Companies like GoDaddy, Expedia, and many others use CJ.
  • ClickBank – This is a large online marketplace for selling digital products in various categories from different vendors. It is easy to use and has tons of learning resources for new affiliate marketers.
  • Amazon Associates – Amazon is world’s largest ecommerce store with millions of products. You can sign up for their affiliate program and start earning by sending people to a website they already use for their online shopping.

Which affiliate networks should you join?

You should join affiliate networks that have the products you want to promote. You can join multiple affiliate networks for different products. We use all the above networks and few others.

Make sure that you always check the network program policies. You also need to review program policies of individual products and merchants. This will give you a clear idea about your earnings, payments, additional incentives, and more.

Affiliate Marketing Tips to Increase Earnings

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s dive into some more tips on how to actually make money from affiliate marketing.

1. Choose good products and companies to promote

As an affiliate marketer, you don’t have control over the future of products that you are recommending. That’s why you need to make sure that you are recommending the best products from reputable companies.

The best way to do this is by recommending the products and services that you have actually used. If you want to recommend a product that looks useful, then feel free to contact them to learn more.

If you ask nicely, most companies will gladly offer you a free account or copy to review / test their product or service.

2. Offer highly useful and valuable content

You can add affiliate links and banners anywhere on your WordPress site. However, simply adding links will not result in convincing your users to actually buy those products.

You need to convince your users by offering useful and valuable information about the product. Many affiliate marketers do that by writing in-depth product reviews, video reviews, product comparisons with pros and cons, and more.

3. Keep your audience in mind

Keep your website’s audience and their interests in mind when choosing the product. For example, if you run a fashion blog, then you would want to promote fashion accessories, clothing, and similar products that your audience would want to buy.

You also need to make sure that you are not just recommending products because they are offering higher commissions. If a user buys a product based on your recommendation, and it doesn’t turn out useful, then they will never trust your recommendations again.

Affiliate Marketing Plugins and Tools for WordPress

As your blog grows, you will be recommending a lot of different products. This will make it difficult for you to manage all the affiliate links, banners, and ads spread all over your website.

Luckily, there are excellent affiliate marketing tools and plugins for WordPress that you can use to help with management.

1. ThirstyAffiliates

Manually adding links to your content becomes quite difficult as your site grows. You will have to copy the URL with your affiliate ID every time you mention the product and paste it into WordPress.

This is where ThirstyAffiliates can help. It is an affiliate link management plugin that allows you to easily add affiliate links in WordPress.

It also lets you change lengthy affiliate links into cloaked pretty links which are more user-friendly.

ThirstyAffiliates also has the option to automatically replace keywords with affiliate links which can significantly help you boost your affiliate revenue.

2. AdSanity

AdSanity is the best WordPress ad management plugin and a must-have for every affiliate marketer’s toolbox. It allows you to create banner ads from your WordPress site and manage them from a single dashboard.

AdSanity also makes it easy to insert ads into your WordPress posts, pages, and sidebar widgets. You can use it to manage your third-party ads like Google AdSense ads and banners as well. For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to manage ads in WordPress with AdSanity.

3. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to see where your users are coming from and what they do when they are on your website.

It also helps you track your outbound affiliate links using Google Analytics. This enables you to find out which affiliate links are clicked more often and help you discover missed opportunities.

Need more tools? See our full list of top affiliate marketing tools and plugins for WordPress.

We hope this ultimate affiliate marketing guide for beginners helped you learn how to become an affiliate marketer. You may also want to see our ultimate WordPress SEO guide to bring more visitors to your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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How to Create Interactive Images in WordPress

Do you want to create an interactive image for your WordPress blog? An interactive image allows you to highlight, link, and animate certain areas of your image. In this article, we will show you how to create interactive images in WordPress.

Create Interactive Images in WordPress

What is an Interactive Image?

An interactive image has hotspot areas, highlights, links, colors, and more. It’s different from a simple image that you upload in WordPress. Interactive images are eye-catching and attract users to see details of the image. You can add description on different parts of an image, add links to pages, highlight sections, and more.

Description Demo for Interactive Images

In this image, you can see the description of fruits on mouse over to different bars. You can use these interactive images to boost user engagement and time spent on site.

Let’s take a look on how you can draw attention of your visitors with interactive images.

Creating Interactive Images in WordPress

First thing you need to do is install and activate the Draw Attention plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you’ll see a new custom post type in your WordPress admin area. You need to go to the Draw Attention » Add New page to create an interactive image.

Add New Image

Start by adding a title for this new interactive image, so you can easily remember it. On this page, you can create interactive design on new or previously uploaded images. You can add a new image by clicking on the upload image icon, or you can select an image from your WordPress media library.

Upload or Select Image

Next, you need to click on Publish button.

After publishing, the plugin allows you to edit the image and highlight specific areas, add colors, links, draw hotspot areas, and more. You can scroll down to the Hotspot Areas section and expand the clickable area to preview image.

Simply move your mouse and draw clickable areas on the image. You can easily select the hotspot areas and expand them to create a selection.

Draw Hotspot Areas

After drawing the hotspot area, you need to scroll down to the Action dropdown and select an action for the selected area on image. If you choose Show More Info, then you can simply add a description to explain the hotspot area on the image. You can also add a link on the selected area by using the ‘Go to URL’ option.

Add Action

You can also manage general settings and highlight styling for action link, action text, info background and more. These settings can help in making your image more interactive.

General Settings

Next you need to click on the Update button and copy the shortcode to add it in your WordPress post or page.

Copy Shortcodes

The plugin allows you to create as many interactive images as you need using your previously uploaded or new images.

Clickable Interactive Image

Import and Export Interactive Images

If you are working on multiple sites and want to import / export interactive images, then it requires the same Draw Attention plugin on both sites.

On the first site, you need to visit Draw Attention » Import / Export page and check mark the images that you want to export. Next, click on the Generate Export Code button and copy the code.

Export Code Interactive Images

After that you need to go to the next website and make sure that you have Draw Attention plugin activated. Next, you need to go to Draw Attention » Import / Export page from WordPress admin and paste the code in import field.

Paste Code Interactive Images

Go ahead and click on the Import button and your images will be imported will all the interactive details that you added previously.

These interactive images are good for WordPress SEO and attract more visitors on your site. However, it’s recommended to compress images before you upload them to improve site performance.

We hope this article helped you learn how to create interactive images in WordPress. You may also want to check our guide on how to lazy load images in WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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6 Best Product Review Plugins for WordPress (2018)

Are you looking for the best product review plugins for WordPress? If you regularly add detailed product reviews on your website, then you can use a product review plugin to make them more SEO friendly. In this article, we have hand-picked the best product review plugins for WordPress.

Best product review plugins for WordPress

Why Use Product Review Plugin in WordPress?

What do you do when you want to buy something? If you are like most people, then you probably check out product reviews to compare different options.

That’s why there are so many popular reviews websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Rotten Tomatoes, and more. Even Amazon, world’s largest online store features product reviews so prominently.

Many WordPress site owners write product reviews to make money online. Some get paid directly by the company for the review while others use affiliate marketing to earn revenue.

You can write a product review as a blog post. However, a plain blog post does not use product review format supported by search engines. This means your article will not be highlighted in search results as a review.

SEO Reviews Snippet

For better SEO, you need to write your reviews with schema.org rich snippets format. A product review plugin helps you easily write search engine friendly reviews that also look great on your website.

Let’s take a look at some of the best product review plugins for WordPress.

1. WP Product Review Pro

WP Product Review

WP Product Review is the best WordPress product review plugin. It comes with a detailed settings section allowing you to choose how you want to manage and display reviews on your website.

Adding a product review is quite easy. Simply select the product review option when writing a blog post and the plugin will show you all settings to write your review. You can break down your review into features, add images, pros and cons, and more.

It comes with sidebar widgets allowing you to showcase your reviews. You can also use it to collect user submitted reviews or allow your users to add their own rating and reviews in the comments. All reviews are displayed in schema.org rich snippet format for maximum SEO benefit.

For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to create a niche review website in WordPress.

2. All in One Schema Rich Snippets

All in One Schema Rich Snippets

As we mentioned earlier, your reviews need to be in a proper SEO friendly format. All in one Schema Rich Snippets plugin allows you to write different types of posts using the rich snippets format including product reviews.

Simply select ‘Item Review’ from a drop-down menu when writing a blog post, and the plugin will show review options like reviewer name, product name, and star rating. It will display this information below your blog post with the correct SEO friendly markup.

The plugin can also be used to add articles, products, recipes, software and more. For detailed instructions see our article on how to add rich snippets in WordPress.

3. WP Review Pro

WP Review

WP Review is another excellent option to add product reviews in WordPress. It is beginner friendly and quite easy to use. Upon activation, simply write a new post and select the review type.

It supports three types of review ratings stars, points, and percentage. You can also add different ratings for individual features if you want. It also supports user ratings which simply allows users to submit their own ratings for a product.

It also comes with styling options located under Settings » WP Review page. From here you can choose your own colors for the review box to match your theme colors.

4. Rich Reviews

Rich Reviews

Rich Reviews is a simple free plugin that allows you to add reviews of your own products, services, or website. You can also allow your users to submit reviews.

It uses shortcodes to display reviews, and you can display a review anywhere on your website including posts, pages, and sidebar widgets.

If you are collecting user-submitted reviews, then this plugin allows you to manually approve each review before publishing it. The plugin’s settings panel comes with detailed instructions on how to use it.

5. WP Customer Reviews

WP Customer Reviews

WP Customer Reviews plugin allows you to collect customers reviews as well as create your own product reviews. Upon activation, simply edit a blog post where you want to add a product review and check the reviews option.

Next, you need to go to the Reviews » All Reviews page and click on the add new button. After that, you can select the post and write your review. The plugin also allows you to enable user submitted reviews which you can then approve and publish to display on your website.

This plugin also allows you to customize the review form shown to users and comes with a how to use page with detailed instructions.

6. Site Reviews

Site Reviews

Site Reviews allows you to collect customer reviews for your products, services, or local business. It comes with a simple settings page allowing you to control how you want to gather reviews, and how you want to display them. You can customize the review form and display it anywhere on your website using a shortcode.

You can also display reviews using the shortcode. The plugin adds an easy to use shortcode inserter on the post edit screen to manually display reviews, review form, and review summary.

We hope this article helped you find the best product review plugins for WordPress. You may also want to see our list of the best testimonial plugins for WordPress.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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9 Best WordPress Facebook Plugins to Grow Your Blog

Ae you looking for the best Facebook plugins for WordPress? Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform with more than 1 billion active users. In this article, we have hand-picked the best WordPress Facebook plugins to help you grow your blog and get more traffic.

Best Facebook plugins for WordPress

1. Shared Counts

Shared Counts

Shared Counts is one of the best social media plugins for WordPress. It allows you to easily add social sharing buttons to your WordPress posts including the Facebook share button.

It is highly optimized for speed and performance and can accurately show shares count for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. It comes with multiple button styles which allows you to choose the one that looks best on your site.

2. Custom Facebook Feed

Custom Facebook Feed

Custom Facebook Feed allows you to display your posts from a Facebook page on your WordPress website. This custom Facebook feed is responsive, SEO friendly, and customizable. You can even fetch multiple feeds from different Facebook pages and display them anywhere on your website using a shortcode.

You can create a new page for your Facebook feed or display it in your blog’s sidebar. The plugin is optimized for speed and makes it super easy to change colors / style of your feeds from the WordPress admin area. For detailed instructions, see our article on how to create a custom Facebook feed in WordPress.

3. Pixel Cat – Facebook Pixel

Pixel Cat - Facebook Pixel

Pixel Cat Facebook Pixel plugin allows you to add your Facebook retargeting pixel to your WordPress site. This pixel allows you to show customized ads to Facebook users who have visited your website. To learn more, see our article on how to install Facebook retargeting pixel in WordPress.

Aside from making it easy to install the Facebook pixel in WordPress, this plugin also helps you track WooCommerce customers and show them better ads in their Facebook feeds.

4. Facebook Reviews

Facebook Reviews

Facebook Reviews plugin allows you to display Facebook page reviews on your WordPress website. It comes with an easy to use widget that allows you to connect your website to your Facebook page and display Facebook users reviews.

This helps you add social proof to your website and build trust in your brand. The free version works fine, but you will need the pro version to display reviews in Schema.org rich snippets format.

5. Facebook Widget

Facebook Widget

Facebook Widget plugin allows you to easily add a Facebook page plugin to your blog’s sidebar. It is extremely easy to use and comes with a shortcode that you can use to display the Facebook Like box anywhere on your website.

It comes with the same customization options as the default Facebook page plugin. You can show or hide profile pics, page cover, customize width / height, and select language.

6. Nextend Social Connect

Nextend Social Login

Nextend Social Connect plugin allows users to register and login on your website using their social profiles. It supports login with Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

It works seamlessly with the default WordPress login and registration forms, so users have the option to use Facebook or use the default signup method. Once registered, users can disconnect their social account at any time by visiting their user profile page inside the admin area.

7. AccessPress Facebook Auto Post

As the name suggests, AccessPress Facebook Auto post allows you to automatically share new articles on your Facebook page or profile. Upon activation, you will need to connect to your profile and authorize your website.

It allows you to choose which content you want to share: posts, pages, and custom post types. You can even disable sharing for a single item before publishing it. For detailed setup instructions, see our article on how to automatically post to Facebook from WordPress.

8. WP Embed Facebook

WP Embed Facebook

WP Embed Facebook plugin makes it easier to embed Facebook events, pages, profiles, and Facebook videos on your WordPress website.

You can also use it to add a Facebook like or share button. The plugin comes with a handy shortcode that you can use to embed different items anywhere on your site. It also comes with really good documentation to help you make the most out of it.

9. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is the complete WordPress SEO plugin on the market. Apart from adding SEO meta tags, it does so many other things to improve your website including social features.

You can use it to fix incorrect Facebook thumbnail issue and automatically add Facebook Open Graph meta tags to every page on your website. You can also let search engines discover social media profiles associated with your website.

That’s all, we hope this article helped you discover the best WordPress Facebook plugins to grow your blog. You may also want to see these actionable tips to drive traffic to your WordPress site.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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