When new affiliate marketers first start out online, there is a lot to learn. It’s not uncommon to become overwhelmed with everything you try to take in. Some things are not necessary to waste your time on or learn in the beginning, but there are certain must-have internet marketing tools every beginner needs. Once you’ve mastered these tools, you can move on to something new.
A Solid Business Plan
In order to be successful online, you must have a clear idea of what your affiliate business is, where you want it to go, and who your target market will be. You must determine the costs involved, and how much time everything will take. The more you can see your affiliate business in your mind, the better you will be at following through with what needs to be done.
Your Own Website
While it may not be necessary for some affiliate marketing businesses, it is always advisable to start your own website to build an online business presence. You can start your own branding, blog, and use your hosting account to store files that may be useful in the future. It is not expensive to maintain your own website. On average, a domain costs just $10-$15 a year, and a hosting account (where your files live) will run you about $10 per month.
Keyword Research Tools
These tools will allow you to find the most relevant keywords in your niche, and when used properly, can mean either you earn extra money or you make no commissions at all. You can find free sources online like the Wordtracker’s free keyword tool, or Google’s Adwords tool. Once you learn more about what to track and look for in keywords, you may want to invest in a more sophisticated solution like the Market Samurai or Micro Niche Finder.
If you want to grow your business, make more sales and profits, and build a solid customer base, then you need to invest in an autoresponder service. With an email management system like Aweber, you can easily build a list of subscribers by offering a free gift such as a special report or ebook. Once they’ve subscribed, you can build on the relationship by sending them weekly newsletters containing product updates, discounts, new free resources you found, your blog updates, or anything else that may interest them.
Ad Tracking Software
Ad trackers allow you to test and refine your marketing strategy by keeping track of which ads bring traffic to your site. You can buy a membership to an ad tracking company like Hits Connect, or you can purchase your own software and install it either on your computer or on your hosting server. For new marketers, it may be easier to just sign up and leave the install to the pros. Whichever method you choose, ad tracking is a powerful tool in your arsenal, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.
There are dozens – perhaps hundreds – of other tools you can and should learn to use as your business grows. Online shopping carts, task management solutions, and payment processors may all become necessary in the future, but without these five must-have affiliate Internet marketing tools, no online business will succeed for long.