There are many tools that you can use with affiliate marketing. Some of them save you time, but all of them increase the money you make.
Most of these tools are free initially giving you a chance to make some money. Then it will be all about saving your time.
This is the software that contains your subscriber list.
The auto-responder refer to the ability to send an e-mail series a number of minutes / hours or days after the visitors subscribes. This means that you set up a series of e-mails to respond to the subscriber automatically, which means that you are building a relationship with them, and potentially making money.
You could do without these guys, but they have very good delivery. If you tried this yourself, you'd almost certainly get blacklisted, and all your mails end up in the SPAM folder. I had a business where I created my own auto-responder - very very hard to get it to work well. You would not be able to e-mail to many subscribers from your normal mailbox, your account would likely get banned as it would take too long to send.
This software also allow you to put people into segments, to sort them according to those that have subscribed and not purchased anything, those that purchase the first offer, those that bought the second as well, and those that also opted for our $10,000 coaching program. Obviously you would have different messages for each of them based on their level of commitment to you.
There is not completely free version of this. There are other software out there with better or worse abilities to deliver e-mails, with more or less features. I have chosen one with a lot of features so that you do not need to be technical to make it work, and it has a high change of not getting into the SPAM folder.
This is your brand. This is the front for your business, what search engines see of your work.
The software that I will recommend shortly will work without a domain name - you can make this work using the software owners domain. It just means that you won't be building your brand. And domain names are very cheap.
I would recommend a .com domain name but you can go for whatever you like.
When I started out I had to write all the funnel software myself. It's complicated, hard to get right, and very time consuming.
Next came visual funnel software - it got you going pretty quickly but became hard to use as your needs grew. And it only did funnels.
Now, you can get software that does pages, funnels, sites, e-commerce sites, affiliate management, blogging, some tracking, and is continually updated. This latest type of software offers the best of both worlds. It will get you up and running quickly, but will allow you to tweak and customize, as well as scale your business.
You definitely can do this for free by coding yourself, but even with my skills, I don't do it.