Last updated on February 10th, 2018 at 02:17 am
This page is a list of resources that I use or have used and am very happy with. Click here for a how-to on affiliate marketing.
Affilorama has over 100 free lessons in both text and video format, blog posts, discounts and trials for a dozen services, and a free guide, along with their own line of products. This is the first site that really helped me understand the basics of affiliate marketing and introduced me to SEO and affiliate networks, like ClickBank. Especially if you’re new, I cannot recommend them enough. Click on “Lessons” to access over 100 video tutorials with PDF lesson notes for FREE. Want to know more? Read my review.
Wealthy Affiliate gives you two FREE sites to get started that you can set up using SiteRubix and walks you through all the basics, including understanding how to make money online, choosing a niche, building your site, getting your site ready for SEO, and finding content ideas. They won’t take them away after some trial period either, they are yours to keep forever. 100% free.
If you decide you would like more, you have the option to upgrade to a Premium membership. As a Premium member, you get unlimited live help, private messaging, FIFTY websites, unlimited keyword research tool searches, 1-on-1 coaching, and so much more. I can’t recommend it for people who are just getting started, but if you are ready to go, definitely check it out.
Regardless of your membership, you can register domains within Wealthy Affiliate as well.
I didn’t go in depth on anything, but it’s a quick read on where to get affiliate links and what to do with them. If you’re brand new, you should go check it out. Otherwise, I recommend the above sites.
BlueHost is a hosting service that uses WordPress to make managing your own site really simple. I have never had a single problem creating pages and posts, using different plugins, inserting images and gifs, finding a theme, creating an email account, using a form, or doing anything I’ve ever had to do. They have 24/7 support, guides, and video tutorials all for low and competitive prices. As I’m new to affiliate marketing, I am currently paying more per month for a lower total cost.
See also: My Bad Experience with DreamHost
[EDIT: Disclaimer – I am an affiliate for Bluehost and some of the other sites here. I noticed recently that Bluehost changed their rates to $3.95/month (as of this post), but that there were still people promoting them for $2.XX. I emailed Bluehost about it and it’s a special rate that 2% of their affiliates can offer. If the above banner says it’s not in the $2 range, look elsewhere for a better price!!]
There are literally thousands of themes to choose from. I remember being overwhelmed by the number of choices, I wrote a post on what you should be basing your pick on. Three free WordPress themes I would recommend are Customizr (my current theme), Ribosome (my previous theme), and Hueman (my theme before Ribosome).
Regenerate Thumbnails (plugin)
If I’m going to be completely honest, I’m not quite sure what this does. It’s kind of like magic. When you change themes, use Regenerate Thumbnails (under “Tools” after you install it) to make the featured images look uniform. It can take some time, especially if you already have a lot of images, but it’s sooo worth it to have the thumbnails all the same size with a click of a button.
Childify Me (plugin)
If you like customizing your site but don’t know how to create a child theme in WordPress, use this Childify Me to create it for you. You can use the files it creates to change whatever’s not in available under “Customize.” As of this post, for example, I used the plugin to change the site’s background color, make the area behind the text white, and match the header with the rest of the site.
Free, quality stock photos are a godsend. At any stock photo site you go to, you should always make sure you know the type of license and attribution requirements. If you’re like me, you don’t really want to keep track of which photo came from where. Here’s a list of places to get free photos that you can copy or edit as you please.
- 1 Million Free Pictures
- Life of Pix
- Pickup Image
MailChimp has three pricing plans: Forever Free, Monthly, and Pay As You Go. On the free plan, you can keep up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 per month. So 6 emails to 2,000 subscribers, 12 emails to 1,000 subscribers, etc. The newsletters are easy to create and customize. But what I love even more is how many plugins there are for MailChimp, including MailChimp for WordPress that you can connect to your newsletter form. To take a look at my newsletters and for more posts like the one you’re reading, subscribe!
MailChimp for WordPress – Top Bar (plugin)
This is a super simple plugin, but it works and connects to your MailChimp account. It creates a bar on your site where visitors can choose to subscribe to your newsletter. You can choose the colors, texts, size, messages, and location of the bar (top or bottom).
MailChimp Forms by Optin Cat
This isn’t as sexy as Sumo, but it’s free, it works, and you can connect it to your MailChimp account. You can change the headline, description, choose whether or not you want a first name, and mess with the colors. Once you enter your MailChimp API Key (don’t worry, it’s easy), anyone who uses the form to sign up will be entered into your list.
Use UpdraftPlus to backup your site to a whole bunch of places (Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, email, to name a few). I’m currently using the free version, which means I have to back everything up manually and can only back up to one place at a time. I can’t imagine that anyone will actually want to hack my site, but if something does happen at least I won’t be losing much. I just have to set a reminder to back everything up once in a while.
The free version of the plugin includes a firewall, scheduled scans, live traffic, rate limiting, extended protection, and login security. The information is displayed in nice little blocks that are easy to read. And it’s pretty interesting to see who’s tried logging into my site. Five failed attempts in the same day between three IP address within twenty minutes, all from Buffalo sooo yeah, that’s pretty fun.
If God forbid, something slipped through Wordfence, GravityScan should catch it. GravityScan was created by the same people who made Wordfence. Wordfence works in WordPress to check your site, while GravityScan is an external site that can check any site.
[ Update: GravityScan has been discontinued. 🙁 ]
Yoast’s slogan is “SEO for everyone.” I use the WordPress plugin and it makes SEO easy and painless. It gamified page analysis and it’s fun to go for as many green bullets as you can. I still don’t fully understand SEO but with Yoast, I don’t really have to. Just do what it tells you to do.
Use Google Analytics to keep track of everything from real-time users, session duration, where your visitors are coming from, their behavior, demographics, and more.
Google Search Console
Use Google Search Console to “monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results.” People aren’t going to magically land on your site, so use this to help people discover your page or site.
Use Bing Webmaster to make sure your site shows up on Bing and check your top keywords from organic search, check your page traffic, site activity, and more.
Have something I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments!