WordPress is one of the most popular and simplest content management systems (CMS) to use. There are many reasons for its popularity. On top of that, average people with zero technical knowledge can build their own websites from scratch using WordPress.
Once you’ve built your page in WordPress, one of the best ways to grow it is through affiliate programs. With a good WordPress affiliate program plugin, creating affiliate strategies to boost traffic is no longer a complicated task.
Read on to find out more about affiliate programs and how to use WordPress affiliate program plugins!
- What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?
- Best WordPress Affiliate Program Plugins for Newbies
- Why Do You Need an Affiliate Program?
- How to Start a WordPress Affiliate Program
What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?
Affiliate marketing allows you to take advantage of one of the most powerful sales techniques: word of mouth.
In other words, a person recommends your product, service, or website to others and you make a sale. That person, or affiliate, will receive a small commission off your sales. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved!
Affiliates can be anyone, from a person interested in your product to large companies and high-profile influencers. Your product or service must be truly spectacular for the latter to be interested. But once they do, even a brief mention of your business, you’ll see huge spikes on your sales charts.
An affiliate program can give you a much-needed boost in sales and traffic. Let’s say a famous influencer with one million followers recommends your products to their audience and links to your site in their post. If only 1% of their followers clicked on your link and bought your product, you’ll make 10,000 sales.
Of course, that influencer would get a small cut from those 10,000 sales. But no matter, you still get to keep most of the generated profits!
Best WordPress Affiliate Program Plugins for Newbies
Once you’ve created your website and got a product/service to sell, it’s time to set up affiliate programs. The most straightforward way to do that is using a WordPress affiliate program plugin.
There are two popular ones that are great for beginners.
AffiliateWP is touted as the best WordPress affiliate program plugin and we can easily see why. It’s a powerful software package that isn’t just powerful but also surprisingly easy to use. You can get an affiliate program up and running in only a few minutes by following the instructions.
Other than basic functions, a highlight of this plugin includes the ability to enroll an unlimited number of affiliates.
#2 Easy Affiliate
Similar to AffiliateWP, Easy Affiliate is very simple to use. You can manage and view the performance of your affiliates using Easy Affiliate. Your affiliates can also get access to a special dashboard for them to track their own performance.
The most special thing is that it doesn’t need subscriptions or take a cut from your sales. You only have to pay for the plugin once. After that, it will supervise your affiliate program for you with no strings attached.
Why Do You Need an Affiliate Program?
An affiliate program’s benefits extend way beyond just growing your site and boosting traffic or sales. Here are a few more things an affiliate program can give you, your site, and your business.
#1 Increase Audience
Your affiliates can help you reach out to a wider audience. Remember, affiliates can be anyone. The people they know or those who watch and listen to them can have extremely diverse backgrounds. With the help of affiliates, you can gain attention even from those who aren’t interested in what you offer.
#2 Improve Social Footprint
Social footprint is your visibility on the Internet. The larger social footprint is, the more photos, videos, and posts with your name, products, or links inside them.
Affiliates work by posting your referral links to their social media accounts. So, in essence, your affiliates also help enlarge your social footprint as they work.
A large footprint is excellent for your WordPress website. The more visible you are, the more clicks and sales you would get.
#3 Set up Valuable Partnerships
Affiliate programs are how popular influencers and marketing companies make their bucks. And vice versa, you can reach out to millions of people. That’s why building good relationships with them will do your brand a lot of good.
#4 Heighten ROI
Every business requires investment at the start, usually in time and money. Once sales begin to roll in, you will enjoy all the returns on your investment (ROI). However, the point of a business isn’t to break even. It’s to receive ROIs far above the initial investments you made.
Affiliates can help you do that. By promoting your brand, they bring more customers and sales to you, quickening the pace towards breaking even. And then, beyond that point, to profitability!
#5 Scale Program
Your affiliate program has taken off, and you partner with many high-profile affiliates. Then having a scale program is a must. Unless it’s set up specifically for handling large amounts of traffic. If too many people visit your WordPress site at once, it will slow down and eventually crash.
A scale program ensures that your webpage can flexibly handle sudden bursts of traffic. For example, when a popular affiliate posts your referral URLs on their social media.
So, your affiliate program has pushed your site to become more flexible and scalable!
#6 Control Full Promotions
An affiliate program is basically a long-running promotion program. As an admin, you get full control over every affiliate activity. You can register new affiliates or remove them as you see fit. And certainly, you can also direct your affiliates on when or how you want your referral links to appear.
#7 Get Low Start-up Costs
Marketing is an expensive venture. If you manage to get an affiliate program up and running from the very start of your business, you can reduce your start-up cost by a significant amount.
Affiliates get paid based on sales, not fixed salaries. As a result, you can get effective marketing and save lots of money to put toward other things.
How to Start a WordPress Affiliate Program
Want to know in greater detail how to start an affiliate program using these WordPress affiliate program plugins? This segment is for you.
#1 Start with AffiliateWP
AffiliateWP is popular due to its simple installation and on-boarding process. Start by purchasing the plugin, then install it via your WordPress plugin page.
You will be presented with an installation wizard at this stage. Don’t worry. It is very easy to navigate.
After entering a license key to confirm you have indeed purchased the plugin, you’re led to an integration page.
Select all of the integrations that your site uses, such as WooCommerce, MemberPress, and so on. This information is used to generate unique referral URLs for affiliates to post on their accounts.
Then, fill in a few more pieces of information like currency, commission rate for referrals, etc. Other than paying by a percentage of each sale, you can also opt to pay a fixed rate.
The last part is something most newbies won’t have to bother with: referral link structure and cookie expiration time. Skip this part if you wish by pressing Save and continue. You can always change it later in the plugin’s settings.
That’s the last step in the installation wizard, and the groundwork for your affiliate program is laid! You more or less have a program up and running right now.
Take some time to get used to the plugin’s interface. There are also many supporting documents and resources you can read to learn your way around.
The next steps include setting up the Affiliate Area where people can sign up to be your affiliates. Once approved, they will get their dashboard, which they can use to monitor their performance and earnings.
The dashboard area is fully customizable. If you wish, you can play around and give it a special design congruent to your branding!
Next and last step is setting up the payment service for your affiliates. You can choose to pay through PayPal, Stripe, or direct wiring.
Once this is set up, you can invite people to join your affiliate program. And remember, with AffiliateWP, you can enroll an unlimited number of affiliates in your program. So send as many as you’d like!
If you’re selling digital products hosted on SendOwl, we highly recommend using the PDA AffiliateWP and SendOwl Integration. This way, you can sell and earn much much more!
The extension comes as a great, simple to use add-on for AffiliateWP. It allows you to track affiliate coupons and set specific commission rates for each SendOwl product.
Check out our guide on how to integrate SendOwl products with AffiliateWP for more information.
#2 Begin with Easy Affiliate
Easy Affiliate is just as simple to begin with as AffiliateWP. Start by downloading and installing the plugin through your WordPress plugin page.
Get a Setup Wizard and you’ll have to answer a battery of questions that is quite similar to AffiliateWP. For instance, integrations, your choice of currency, how you want the commission rate to be, etc. The Setup Wizard is easy and intuitive to use.
Once the Setup Wizard is completed, your affiliate program is partly ready. It only needs some extra fine-tuning.
You will first need to set up the Affiliate Dashboard. Your affiliates can view important data through this interface, like the number of clicks they’ve generated, revenues, etc. You can customize this dashboard however you want.
Here they can also generate referral URLs to put on their pages and social media accounts. You can re-design the default dashboard to your own style if you so choose.
Of course, you also have to set up the payout options to pay your affiliates for their work. Easy Affiliate works best with PayPal.
What is Your Favorite WordPress Affiliate Program Plugin?
Starting and managing an affiliate marketing campaign has become easy thanks to the help of WordPress affiliate program plugins.
Although we have two contenders for the top spot, we have to say that AffiliateWP seems to be the best way to start an affiliate marketing program on WordPress at the moment.
Besides having a straightforward installation process and being feature-rich, the ability to enroll an unlimited number of affiliates is already worth the asked price.
You can also pick Easy Affiliate if you like the things it offers over AffiliateWP! Both can help you set up a good affiliate marketing program.
For your reference, we’ve listed out the 10+ best WordPress affiliate programs. Check it out!