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Essential Tools For an Affiliate Marketer

You can’t do any job successfully without having the tools you need to do the job. This is also true for affiliate marketing. Here is a list of the tools that you will most likely need to get the job done and become a successful affiliate marketer.
– An email account: You want to appear as professional as possible. Do not use a free email account such as Yahoo or Hotmail as your business email account. If you have a website with a domain name, you should be able to set up an email account associated with that domain in Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express.
– An Autoresponder: An autoresponder is web based software that sends out one email or a series of emails to people who sign up to the autoresponder. This can be used to manage your ezine. A good autoresponder will also give you the ability to send out broadcasts to your list. You can start with a free autoresponder, but a paid service is recommended.
– Keyword Research Tools: If you will be doing PPC campaigns, you will want Keyword Research Tools. Google has free tools that you can use, but stand alone web based software is also recommended.
– A List of Resources: You will definitely need to start gathering a list of resources that includes a list of article directories, PPC search engines, affiliate program directories, and directories of ezines.
– Word Processor: Word processing software is essential. You will use it to write articles, sales letters, ads, and newsletters. Microsoft Word is recommended, Microsoft Word Pad will do if you don’t have Microsoft Word.
– A Website and Domain for Each Niche or Market: Some affiliate programs will give you a replicated website. You will eventually send prospects to that website, but not sending them to your own website first is a mistake. You need a website for each niche with it’s own domain name. The website should be full of content, with affiliate links worked into the content. Ideally, each website will also have a squeeze page, where you will collect the names and email addresses of your visitors as well, in order to build your lists.
– Commission and Campaign Tracking Software: Keeping up with affiliate products, affiliate links, commissions earned, commissions paid, advertising campaigns, and affiliate tracking report sites, logins, and passwords can easily become a full time job without software to organize it all. An affiliate organizer system is highly recommended.

There may be other tools that you find you need in the future, but all of these things will get you started. Some of them do cost money, but if you aren’t prepared to pay for them, you can find suitable replacements that don’t cost anything. Just be sure to upgrade at your first opportunity.

You may also find that you need web page building software, and an ftp client to upload webpages to your website. You will definitely need an up-to-date web browser, and you obviously need a good computer with an Internet connection.

You also need a filing system to keep records. While you can back up all of the information on your computer on a regular basis, you should also print information out in hard copy and file it away for future reference. This includes emails that contain your user and password information, notices of sales that have been made, and any other information that is pertinent to your affiliate marketing business. Quite a bit of this information, in hard copy, will be needed to file taxes.

Ideally, you should have a home office. This will not only give you the space and proper atmosphere for success, it will also give you a home office tax deduction. If you don’t have the space for a home office, try to set your desk and computer up in a low-traffic area of your home, where you can work with fewer interruptions.

Kurt Naulaerts

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