A great way to amplify the marketing of your digital products is through affiliate sales.
If you’re new to researching affiliate programs, you might be overwhelmed by some of the complex (and scary!) affiliate platforms on the market. Luckily for us, there’s AffiliateWP from the makers of Easy Digital Downloads and Restrict Content Pro. If you’ve been following along with the recent posts here, you know I just launched a new e-book about starting a podcast, and AffiliateWP is the last piece of my digital platform puzzle.
Today, we’ll take a look at quickly setting up your new affiliate program on WordPress using AffiliateWP.
Getting started with AffiliateWP
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Let’s just get this out of the way right now, AffiliateWP isn’t free. That’s not a bad thing, but if you’re looking for free, you won’t find it here.
If you read my guide on selecting the best plugin, you’ll know that investing money in a solid plugin company is actually a good idea. Free shouldn’t make or break your decision, especially in the affiliate world, where the software is actually making you money in the long run.
Starting at $49, you can launch a fully-featured affiliate program for your products, on one website. That’s not a whole heck of a lot of money to — again — increase revenue for your product business.
At the time of this post, that $49 dollars is buying you 1-year of updates/support, along with the 15 official free add-ons to take AffiliateWP even further then it’s core offering.
The Best AffiliateWP add-ons
At the time of this post, there’s 27 add-ons for AffiliateWP.
The 15 free add-ons that come with the $49 & $99 price-points, and the 12 pro add-ons, which are included at $199 & $449, respectively. Side note: you’re getting unlimited domain usage when you bump up to the higher price-points, as well.
I won’t cover all of the add-ons on this post, and if you watch the video above, you’ll see me demonstrate the setup of my favorite pro add-on, direct link tracking.
External Referral Links – Free add-on
If you’re setting up multiple domains for separate products, this is a killer add-on.
Are you using AffiliateWP but have another WordPress-based site you would like affiliates to promote? If so, then this free add-on is for you.
I have multiple products, and future products in the works, so having a system where I can refer traffic to the other sites + retain commission for my affiliate, is a great way to keep everyone happy.
Allow own referrals – Free add-on
This might not be for everyone, but depending on your product, you might want to give your affiliates a bit of an incentive to buy the product and earn their commission – as a way of discount. I haven’t tried this concept myself, but I’m thinking about giving it a whirl on the Podcast Starter Kit.
If you make a living off of affiliate sales, it could get quite pricey to purchase every product you write or review, and it also feels weird to ask people for free access to their products all the time, so this add-on seems like it’s the best of both worlds.
Direct Link Tracking – Pro add-on
Look, I’m new to the affiliate referral game. This site is my first attempt at “being an affiliate” and it’s not as glamorous as it seems. What really drives me off the deep end, however, is managing all the links.
Luckily there’s PrettyLink Pro, which saves my butt organizing all of my links, but if I want to do deep-linking — linking to an internal page of a product site — I have to create links every. single. time.
It’s maddening, but, Direct Link Tacking solves this! An entire domain can be whitelisted so that remembering unique affiliate ID’s or creating a custom link for interior pages doesn’t have to be a thing anymore. It’s great!
Wait, no add-ons for e-commerce support?
AffiliateWP has support built right into it’s core, a nice touch for those of us drowning in plugin management.
Review the options page above, to see if your platform is supported. To enable support for e-commerce, membership, or the LMS loaded on your WordPress website, simply browse to Affiliates > Settings > Integrations.
From there you can check-off the integrations you want to activate, and AffiliateWP will appropriately track all conversions.
Installing the plugin is a breeze, so I’ll outline some of the key areas you want to pay attention to when setting up your new AffiliateWP plugin program.
Your affiliate registration, dashboard, and terms pages
On install, AffiliateWP will take care of creating a page called, affiliate-area. On that page, it will place a shortcode [affiliate_area] to load the affiliate dashboard information, when logged in. If the user is browsing that page logged out, they will see a registration form & login box, instead.
You can designate additional pages by using a handful of other shortcodes provided to you like, [affiliate_login] & [affiliate_content].
Check your referral rates
Out of the box, the plugin will default to 20% of the sale. You can change this according what makes most sense for your business, but also to a flat fee, if you prefer. later on, if you want to give a particular affiliate more commission than another, you can browse to her user profile in the user table, and assign them a higher percentage.
If you want to show your affiliates that you’re about the brand, you can fine-tune the e-mail branding & content that go out to your soon-to-be salespeople.
Great for passing on more content like training information, and support docs.
We can’t always depend on our affiliates to come up with great creative. Why not help them out by creating your own? I created all of mine using a free photo editor at Canva.
Under the Creatives options page, you can upload images that represent your product, a sales offer, or any other attractive call to action design that an affiliate can embed with a simple copy/paste. Spend some time here being — creative.
AffiliateWP is the best affiliate program to integrate into your WordPress website, hands down.
It works with a wide range of e-commerce platforms, and more specifically, integrates well with the suite from Pippin’s plugins. If you’re still not sold on the idea of managing affiliates (a topic we didn’t cover here), take a look at the add-ons available to get an idea for what the plugin can do for your business.
Are you using AffiliateWP? Let me know in the comments.