Affiliate marketing involves promoting a product or service and earning a commission for every lead or customer you generate. The idea of generating passive income attracts many to affiliate marketing.
With Business Insider reporting that affiliate marketing is as effective as email marketing, it’s no wonder that 80% of brands have an affiliate marketing program. Affiliate marketing spending is projected to reach $8.2 billion in 2022, making it a great time to learn how to create a website for affiliate marketing.
In the eight steps below, we explain how to create an affiliate marketing website.
How to Create an Affiliate Marketing Website [With Infographics] 🖼️
To build a website that consistently makes you money, you must first understand how to pick a niche and product before learning to build a website.
Step 1: Pick a Niche
Successful affiliates understand that picking the right niche is about balancing personal interests, skills, and market demand. There is no shortage of niches that seem profitable, but picking at random will do you no good.
Market trends largely dictate your website’s success, but factoring in your interests is vital to ensure you continually work on the website without becoming disinterested.
Some excellent niches you can pick from are:
- Travel: Traveling has never been as easy as it is, but people always look to nomads for tips that will save them money and hassle. Besides flight tickets and car rentals, you can promote agencies and amusement parks for commissions. There are a plethora of travel-related products you could promote. Ideally, you want to keep your blog focused on a specific sub-niche, such as traveling on a budget or culinary tips.
- Health: While the niche has always been lucrative, new affiliate marketers focus their efforts on marketing weight-loss products, diets, vitamins, and vegan food. The best way to find the right topic to base your blog on is to consider your target audience’s preferences, age, gender, and location.
- SaaS: With software-as-a-service businesses serving more customers than ever, there is a huge demand for affiliate marketers in the industry. You can earn big commissions by helping SaaS businesses gain leads and sell subscriptions.
Your niche options are not limited to these, and you shouldn’t hesitate to come up with your own affiliate niche website ideas. That said, make sure you do your due diligence and gauge the competition in the niche before starting a website.
Looking at the traffic competitors drive, the keywords they target, and their respective search volume should give you a fair idea of how difficult it will be to monetize your website.
If the competition is too fierce, there may be no point in making an affiliate website in that niche since climbing up the SERPs and reaching your target audience will be nearly impossible.
Step 2: Search for Affiliate Programs
Before learning how to create a website for affiliate marketing, it is vital to learn how to find the right product to promote. To find affiliate products to promote, you must join affiliate networks such as ClickBank, FlexOffers, and JVZoo.
Advertisers (merchants) join these networks and upload their affiliate programs (or “offers”) to them to connect with affiliates that meet their criteria.
In other words, you will be able to find several products to promote on an affiliate network. Most affiliates join more than one network and find a handful of products to promote.
How to Choose a Product to Promote
There are four things you should look at before deciding to promote a product on your affiliate site:
- What is the commission?
- Does the advertiser offer upsells or recurring commissions?
- Does the advertiser offer an affiliate page with marketing resources?
- Does it have an attractive sales page? Would you buy the product if you came across the page?
While the product need not have upsells or offer recurring commissions to qualify as a “good” product to promote, choosing products that pay commissions in that model is the best way to generate passive income consistently – whether you’re a new or a seasoned affiliate.
It’s common for new affiliates to be taken aback when they notice the significant differences in commissions from product to product.
Here’s what new affiliates need to know:
Often, there is a trade-off between the commission percentage and the product quality. Naturally, most affiliates want to promote products that offer the best commissions per sale.
However, not every product that offers a big commission may be worth promoting since it may not sell as well as another product offering a smaller commission.
If product A costs $100 and product B costs $50, but the conversion rates are 5% and 15% for products A and B, respectively, you will make more money selling product B.
Not every affiliate network discloses the average conversion rate for products. A good way to determine if an offer is worth promoting is to see how often competing affiliates are promoting the offer. If many affiliates promote the offer, the chances of the offer paying good money are higher.
After thoroughly reading the sales page, you can consider signing up for the program.
How Affiliates Make Money
At this stage, you may be wondering how exactly you will make money as an affiliate.
Tracking links are the backbone of the affiliate marketing industry. Every affiliate is provided with a unique tracking link, which is used to keep track of leads/sales and commissions owed.
For instance, Amazon’s product links look like this:
But an affiliate’s tracking link for the same product would look like this:
The “xxxxxxx-20” part of the affiliate link indicates your affiliate ID.
The links automate tracking leads, and the number of sales and value of commissions owed are worked out in real-time. There are two kinds of affiliate links: postback URL links and cookie-based links.
Cookie-based links place a cookie on the visitor’s computer with the details of your affiliate ID. If the visitor decides to purchase the product or complete the suggested action after a few days, the lead or sale generated is still attributed to the affiliate.
On the other hand, postback URLs do not utilize cookies and instead rely on query string parameters to track conversions and work out commissions.
In other words, the conversions are not processed on the visitor’s browser but on the affiliate network’s server instead. For this reason, this tracking method is sometimes called “cookieless tracking.”
Step 3: Choose a Domain Name
Your website’s name is the domain name. Short and catchy domain names work best to capture your audience’s attention. Additionally, your domain name should also be relevant to the niche.
Domain names have two parts: first is the name itself – think “Facebook” – and second is the top-level domain, which starts with a dot. There are dozens of top-level domains you can pick from, with domains like .net costing less than .com. However, .com is the easiest to remember, so it’s recommended that you pick a .com.
Domain owners must renew their domains annually, so you will need to buy the domain for at least one year.
Since you need a domain to run a website, and domains aren’t free, there is no direct method to build an affiliate website for free.
That said, if you’re wondering how to make an affiliate website for free, you could use a website builder that offers a domain and a website for free and begin your affiliate marketing journey there. Several website builders offer free domains, such as Wix, but it’s important to remember that these free websites will have limitations.
Most website builders that offer free domains do not allow you to set a custom domain name. Additionally, you can expect your free website to have a watermark, making the site look less authoritative.
For those wondering how to make an affiliate website for free, while it is possible, it certainly is not the best way to become an affiliate marketer. If you want to get involved with affiliate marketing without spending money, the passive income you want to generate may never come.
It’s best to spend a small amount of money buying a domain from any reputable domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.
How to Choose the Best Domain Name
Determining the right domain name can be just as challenging as finding the right product to promote. Using domain name generators such as those offered by IsItWP and Nameboy can make the job easier.
When picking a domain name, you must ensure
- It is memorable.
- It doesn’t contain hyphens and numbers and isn’t too long.
- It doesn’t use a brand name, unless you own the brand.
- It doesn’t involve a trend, since trends can come and go quickly.
Step 4: Sign Up with a Hosting Service and Find a Website Builder
Modern website builders are remarkably easy to use and require zero technical expertise. Most website builders offer access to their editing features in conjunction with hosting. Therefore, if you prefer using an online website builder such as Wix or Weebly, you do not have to worry about signing up with a hosting service separately.
On the other hand, if you’re wondering how to build an affiliate website with WordPress, you must understand that while WordPress is free to use, you will need to purchase hosting and install it on your server. You may also need to purchase themes and plugins to make your website look and perform as you envision.
Some hosting companies you could rely on include:
- Hostinger: A domain registrar and hosting provider since 2004, Hostinger has established itself as a reliable resource for affiliate marketers.
- GreenGeeks: Boasting fast, secure, and eco-friendly hosting, GreenGeeks stands out as a top hosting provider for affiliates worldwide.
- Bluehost: One of the hosting providers officially recommended by WordPress, Bluehost is the perfect site hosting provider if you doubt your other options.
Website hosting is quite cheap, and it’s easy to find monthly hosting for a price lower than the average lunch. While using WordPress to build a website can be easy, it won’t be as straightforward as using the drag-and-drop builder on Wix or Weebly. Drag-and-drop functionality can be added to WordPress, but it requires setting up.
You could also blog on platforms like Medium and Blogger for free. However, your site’s performance will depend on the platform’s performance.
If you want to build an affiliate website for free, you could use some of the free hosting services on the internet. But not all of these can be trusted, and it is rare for one of those platforms to meet your site’s hosting needs adequately.
Setting up an affiliate website may initially cost you less than $100 and much less than $50 per month to keep running. However, it’s best not to expect the website to generate income for the first few months.
If you prefer not to build your website, you could hire someone to build it for you. But this could cost you thousands of dollars.
Set Up Your Site’s Theme and Plugin
You must consider your niche when picking a theme to use on your website. The plugins you need largely depend on the kind of website you’re running.
If you decide to use WordPress, you will have thousands of themes (free and paid) to choose from right from the theme repository.
The majority of the themes for WordPress are designed for affiliate websites, so finding the right theme to use shouldn’t require much looking. If you don’t mind paying for your themes, browsing through the Themeforest market will be worth the time.
Plugins can help you optimize your site’s performance and add useful features such as backups and security to your website. You can also find plugins such as AffiliateBooster that enable you to add custom design blocks to your page in a few clicks.
While many useful plugins are free, some of the best ones give you access to the full suite of features only after you purchase the plugins.
Step 5: Write and Publish Content Relevant to Your Niche
After you’ve set up your website, you can begin uploading content to it. To succeed in affiliate marketing, you must publish original and niche-specific content to your website, preferably with some images. Using video is optional but an excellent idea if you can manage to make video content.
It is easy to write the content yourself, although you will need to do a lot of reading to learn the right way to do it. There is no shortage of free writing guides online that break down the structure of blog posts in a simple manner. All you’ll need to do is fill in the gaps.
Alternatively, you could source content for free by guest blogging, but bloggers are typically only interested in blogging for well-known blogs.
Hiring writers on freelancing portals such as Fiverr and Freelancer.com is an excellent way to source quality content. You could also rely on websites such as upwork.com and guru.com.
Alternatively, you could get a content writing agency on the payroll or use an AI-based content writer to do the heavy lifting for you.
To ensure your content is original, you must use plagiarism checkers. We recommend using a grammar checker to ensure your content reads well.
You can source stock images for free for your blogs from websites such as Pexels and Pixabay. However, if you don’t mind paying for your images, using sites like Shutterstock is the way to go.
Types of Blog Posts that Help Convert Visitors
Making money from affiliate marketing takes a lot more than setting up a website. You will need to put consistent effort into writing and publishing content that your target audience will find helpful.
Over time, your target audience will begin to see you as an expert in the niche and vertical, and the audience will trust you to make informed purchase decisions.
The different types of blogs you can publish on your website include:
These posts describe to readers how a product works and how they can use it to accomplish specific tasks. How-to posts provide value to readers and establish your blog and brand as a reliable source of information in the niche.
You could take a few different approaches when creating how-to articles with the overarching goal of promoting products. One effective approach is to provide readers with ways to get the most value out of the product in question.
Another way to approach a how-to blog is to write more general content and redirect them to alternative products that may get the job done better.
Regardless of how you choose to write your how-to posts, here are some things you must bear in mind:
- Looking at the how-to guides published by competing websites can help you get an idea of the type of blog you should publish.
- To make your how-to blogs easy to read, break down the post into chapters and the steps into bullets.
- Adding a table of contents after the introduction will make it easy for your readers to find the information they’re looking for.
- Anticipating the readers’ needs and questions and providing the answers in your content is a sure-shot way to build trust.
Publishing product reviews is an excellent way to promote products and generate leads and sales to earn commissions. Writing a product review is as simple as expressing your thoughts on a product or service based on your experience.
Besides providing valuable information to your readers that they can base their purchase decisions upon, product reviews allow you to include affiliate links in the content naturally.
Product reviews are a key part of most affiliates’ marketing strategy, and you can expect to spend a lot of time writing this kind of blog.
Since these types of posts are common, you will need to take steps to stand out in a huge crowd of competitors. There are many ways to stand out – you could write more in-depth reviews than your competitors or dream up a unique rating system. You will need to do all you can to stand out as an authority in the niche.
It’s important to remember that expressing a product’s negatives is just as important as highlighting its advantages since the main goal of publishing review blogs is to build trust. The more trustworthy your blogs are, the higher the odds of your website driving more sales.
People have a natural tendency to compare similar products – it is an effective way of ensuring they get the best deal. Product comparison posts make this easy for readers.
The idea with these posts isn’t to try to sell any of the products you compare. In these posts, you must provide your readers with all the information they want.
Product comparisons are an excellent way to build trust with your target audience. The tactic has proven effective enough for websites such as CompareRaja to thrive on only these types of posts.
The educational, non-salesy tone of these posts increases the odds of the target audience clicking on your page to find the differences between products they may be contemplating purchasing.
Step 6: Work On SEO
To improve your website’s visibility on search engine result pages, you need to optimize the site for search engines. The key steps involved are:
- Use search keywords throughout your website.
- Ensure all images have keyword-rich descriptions.
- Ensure every blog you post links to relevant materials on your website.
- Link to other authoritative websites in the niche.
- Place your most effective content a click away from the home page.
- Build an email list with a simple subscription form.
- Ensure all your blogs have social media share buttons.
You can also employ tools such as SEMRush to improve your website’s SEO. Some other trusted WordPress SEO plugins include Yoast SEO, Rank Math, W3 Total Cache, and WP Meta SEO.
Step 7: Gather Backlinks
A “backlink” is when another website links to your website. The idea behind backlinks is that websites only link to pages with reliable information, and the more sites backlink to your website, the more reliable it looks to search engines.
That being said, not all backlinks are good. Backlinks from low-quality, spammy websites can impact your SEO negatively.
Here are four effective ways to gather backlinks:
1. Publish Free Tools
Offering your audience a free tool or a template generator that will be helpful for them is an excellent way to attract backlinks.
To determine what tool or template generator will appeal to your target audience, do keyword research with the terms “template,” “tool,” and “generator” in your niche.
Go through the top ten results and find a tool or template that you could easily make a better version of. Commission a developer to build the tool for you, and watch the backlinks flood in.
2. Publishing Skyscraper Content
Comprehensive, long-form guides are also called “Skyscraper” content. Writing comprehensive posts that cover all the aspects of a topic can make the blog more detailed than any of your competitors’ content, making the content attractive to backlink to.
3. Using Infographics
Complementing your written content with infographics is a nice way to provide your visitors with a quick overview of the topic. Infographics with exclusive statistics in them are particularly effective in attracting backlinks.
4. Using Testimonials
Offering to write a testimonial for a competitor’s website or a website in another niche can earn you a high-authority backlink with little hassle.
Step 8: Set Up Analytics
Installing analytics tools or making good use of the ones installed on your website builder will give you a clear picture of how much traffic your website is driving.
It will also provide reliable conversion rate figures and enable you to gauge which content is performing the best.
Most affiliates rely on Google Analytics since it is free and facilitate comprehensive website analysis. However, there are other tools (free and paid) that you can use for analytics.
Conclusion: Your Affiliate Site is Ready to Go
Once your website is ready, you must continue adding affiliate products to the arsenal of products you promote. Growing your email list in tandem with publishing blogs is an excellent way to build trust and drive more sales.
There are several ways you can grow your affiliate site as a business over time. Once your website attracts a respectable amount of traffic each month, you could consider creating your own product and selling it to your email list for bigger payouts.
You could also sell your skills by coaching other people about affiliate marketing. Many affiliates decide to sell their websites for thousands of dollars in profit and start another affiliate marketing project.
Also, Read our guide on how to start your affliate marketing in India.
With this guide, you’re only eight steps away from generating passive income. Start building your affiliate website today to make headway and make money as you sleep.