Affiliate marketing is not slowing down any time soon. With 2016 spend expected to reach $4.5 billion in the UK alone, it’s more important than ever that new affiliate marketers start out on the right foot.  Here are the top five tools to get you started. 

1. Tracing & evaluation tools

Trace your tracking link to the very source in order to see the landing page and evaluate it properly by using Zapyo and WhereGoes. Zapyo allows you to access blocked content on websites and social media platforms and WhereGoes traces a URL and shows you the path of redirects and meta-refreshes until you reach the page.

2. A tracker

A good, solid tracker is a must. Look for an inexpensive one (or free if possible), and make sure that reports load quickly, the UI is friendly and that the offer ruling engine is clear enough. Anything with tutorial videos is highly recommended. Thrive and Voluum are all good choices and if you are working with Matomy, you are welcome to try Mobit our in-house tracking platform. 

3. An affiliate’s Holy Grail

I suggest utilising OfferVault and/or oDigger to help you do your homework. These tools help you research affiliate networks, programmes and marketing resources so you can better pursue higher payouts. Bear in mind that VIP rates are usually not shown on the site. If you know that you have quality traffic and you can really perform, don’t push the network or the account manager to the limit. Start slow, show traffic, and then demand for a payout increase. 

4. Yelp for affiliates provides you with affiliate network reviews by affiliates. You can’t work with every network out there so a resource like this assists you in choosing wisely. I suggest also basing your decision on payment terms, great communication with your affiliate manager and the offer versatility (in that order). However, I suggest not making a choice based on two or three reviews. It’s important that you read as much feedback as possible to understand if a network will present a problem or an opportunity. Raise any potential issues with your account manager before you jump on board with a network

5. Expertise

Learn from the best by visiting Stack That Money (STM) where you can read blogs by industry experts, share your thoughts and consult with top notch worldwide affiliates – all for free. The experts running STM are always willing to help the new guys in the neighborhood, guiding them to where they can find any additional, helpful information. If you’re afraid of asking beginners’ questions, you can watch past online webinars available on YouTube and follow thought leaders like Charles Ngo and Alexander Tsatkin AKA the Angry Russian.  

These above tools are sure to get you on the right track for your affiliate marketing efforts in 2015!