Are you a blogger who wants to create an affiliate marketing website and turn it into a money-making machine?
Well, buckle up. We've got just the blog post for you as we dive into the exciting (and rewarding 🤑) world of affiliate marketing! We'll show you how to transform your WordPress website into a powerhouse of affiliate marketing step-by-step!
And don't worry if you're not a tech whiz. We’re keeping things simple and explaining how to create an affiliate marketing website for beginners!
So, grab your favorite seat and a cold drink, and let's get started!
How affiliate marketing works
Ever wonder, “How do I start an affiliate marketing website for beginners?”
We're going to show you! But before that, you have to understand affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a way to earn money by promoting a particular product or service.
As an affiliate marketer, you act like a middleman. You have the seller/merchant on one side and the customer on the other. Your job is to promote the products or services to your audience. If they click your link and buy, you make some cold hard cash.
How much can you make through affiliate marketing?
That depends on the commission rate from the merchant. It could range between 2% to 30%! So, keep an eye out for what commission you'll earn. But it’s an excellent way to earn passive income!
Here's how most affiliate programs work:
- You (the affiliate) sign up for an affiliate program offered by a business.
- The business approves or denies you. You get a unique, trackable link to promote their products if approved. You'll also be told your commission rates.
- You promote their products across your website, socials, and other channels, sharing your affiliate link.
- If someone clicks your link and completes the business’s desired action (usually purchasing), you get a commission!
- Do this over and over again to make TONS of money! 💵
Ultimately, affiliate marketing is a win-win for the merchant and the marketer.
The merchant gets more exposure, leading to more sales and revenue. And the affiliate marketer (aka blogger) also earns extra cash without creating a product or handling customer service. Plus, affiliate marketers often promote brands they already use, so spreading the word about them is easy.
You’re probably already recommending products and services you love. Why not get paid for it?!!
Speaking of payment, there are a few financial ins and outs you need to know about 👇
Types of affiliate marketing
Depending on your niche, you'll encounter different types of affiliate marketing:
- Pay per click (PPC): Earn a commission every time someone clicks your affiliate link, regardless of whether they make a purchase.
- Pay per lead (PPL): Earn a commission when someone clicks your link and fills out a lead form or other pre-defined action.
- Pay per sale (PPS): Earn a commission when someone clicks a link and makes a purchase.
So, now that you're aware of what affiliate marketing is and the different types, let's jump into the steps to build a successful affiliate marketing website!
Steps to create an affiliate marketing website on WordPress
- Step 1: Choose a niche based on your passions & demand
- Step 2: Find affiliate programs & affiliate networks related to your niche
- Step 3: Choose your domain name & set up web hosting
- Step 4: Install WordPress
- Step 5: Choose a theme & add plugins
- Step 6: Do keyword research & create a content marketing strategy
- Step 7: Create content & include your links
Step 1: Choose a niche based on your passions & demand
First things first, find your niche!
This is one of the trickiest parts of starting a website. There are so many options. How can you possibly pick just one? And how do you choose the right one?
So, here are three questions to ask yourself to help you decide:
- What am I good at and interested in?: You'll have to create content for this topic regularly. It's important to enjoy it.
- Who do I want to help?: Everyone has a problem they want to solve. Who's the audience you want to serve?
- How can I solve a problem they have?: What unique expertise or value can you bring them to help them solve it?
Asking yourself these questions helps you find a subject you won't get sick of. And, chances are, some people have a problem you can solve in that niche.
So, it's pretty simple: Your interest + problem people are looking to solve = your jackpot niche! 💰
Once you've found it, it's a good idea to make sure people are searching for it. An easy way to do this is by checking Google Trends.
With one tool, you see exactly what the internet is searching for and what it isn't.
So, once you have your chosen niche, it's time to do some research!
Step 2: Find affiliate programs & affiliate networks related to your niche
Okay, now that you have your niche, it's time to check out the affiliate opportunities.
There are three main ways to become an affiliate:
- Join an affiliate network and find advertisers through them
- Apply to companies of products/services you already use
- Reach out to individual companies
Let's cover all three to see what's best for you.
Join an affiliate network
This is the simplest way to access tons of advertisers from one platform quickly.
These networks have done the hard work for you. They compile all the different affiliate opportunities, so you can quickly search for programs to apply to! Affiliate programs vary, but they often require a certain amount of content, a minimum amount of monthly traffic on your site, or other content related to the topic you're applying to.
Here are some popular affiliate networks to join:
- Amazon Associates: Become an Amazon affiliate and promote any product listed on Amazon.
- CJ Affiliate: Great for a wide range of advertisers across industries.
- ShareASale: Another network offering various advertisers to apply to and manage in one location.
- Impact: Gives you access to many advertisers/merchants and some advanced reporting information.
These affiliate networks stretch across niches, so you can search within them and find some of the most popular brands in the world, such as:
- Barnes & Noble
- WP Engine
It's best to list the programs you plan on applying to so you can quickly become an affiliate once you've got some content on your site and affiliate products to promote!
Promote products & services you already use
There are plenty of options to choose from.
Seriously, think of a product or service you use regularly — chances are they have an affiliate marketing program.
So, write down your most-used products and services in that niche, then go to their website and check. Often, they'll have an affiliate link in their footer.
For example, here's the affiliate program for WPTasty in the footer of our website:
Simply fill out the form and wait to be accepted!
Always remember, though. These programs will check your website, its traffic, and its content. So you want some content on your website before you apply.
Now that we know our options, it’s time to grab a domain name!
Reach out to individual companies
If you don’t see an affiliate program for the business you use, try reaching out to them through email or social media!
Maybe the affiliate program is harder to find, or they may not even have one set up. And, in that case, you can be one of the first to spread the word!
So it never hurts to reach out with a friendly message and see where it leads!
Step 3: Choose your domain name & set up web hosting
If it feels like you're naming a child, that's because you sort of are! 👶
A key part of building an affiliate marketing website is picking the right name! Mess it up, and your website will be ruined forever!
Just kidding, of course! 😉
But it is important to take the time to consider your name carefully. For example, a domain like www.stevesawesomewebsiteaboutantiquesandrelics.com doesn't sound the best and isn't memorable.
So, what makes a good domain name? Here’s the kind domain name to aim for:
- Clear: People can quickly tell what your website is about
- Short: Easier to remember and easier to type in
- Contains keywords: Sends signals to search engines for better Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, you can use a domain name generator to get some inspiration!
Once you've got some ideas, head to a domain name provider to see if it's available. You can get your domain name and web hosting together with many of the services listed below:
Once you find a domain name, it's time to pull out your card and pay up!
Don't worry, though. You can often get a domain name and web hosting for a low price.
And that’s it! Now you’re ready to build your website with a WordPress website builder.
Step 4: Install WordPress
Have you ever wondered, “Where can I create an affiliate marketing website?” We recommend you create an affiliate marketing website on WordPress.
Depending on your host, you may already have WordPress installed.
For example, Bluehost and Siteground offer a simple 1-click install so you can get into your WordPress dashboard quickly.
But if your host doesn't automatically include WordPress, you’ll need to install it yourself. This usually involves getting into your hosting control panel and installing it.
Once it's ready, follow the quick setup process, and it's time to choose how your website will look with a nice theme.
Note: It’s important to know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com is like renting a furnished apartment with all bills included. It’s set up, and you don’t have to worry about technical details, but you must pay a premium.
WordPress.org is like buying a house. You have full control over everything and can customize every little detail.
Step 5: Choose a theme & add plugins
WordPress automatically applies a default theme, but it looks basic and probably won’t attract many people to your affiliate content.
So, you can choose a different one to get started! WordPress offers a bunch of free and premium options. So whether you want to wow people with your visual design or keep things clean and simple, you'll find a theme for you.
Some of the most popular WordPress themes are:
Next up are your WordPress plugins.
If you're unfamiliar, WordPress plugins help expand your website so you can do all kinds of cool things beyond just producing content.
For example, here are some great plugins for beginner affiliate websites:
- Tasty Links: When you're an affiliate, you have tons of merchant links to manage. Whether Amazon affiliate links or another business offering an affiliate program, Tasty Links helps manage them so you know which posts contain affiliate links.
- Tasty Roundups: Roundups are one of the best affiliate marketing strategies for your content. Whether the best shoes, top destinations, or something else, creating an expert roundup is a great way to include links from multiple affiliate programs and make some extra cash!
- Formidable Forms: We don't realize it, but we use forms for everything. And Formidable Forms is the best way to build forms on your WordPress site. Plus, you can add quizzes, calculators, and more to mix up how you get clicks on your affiliate links.
- WPRocket: Did you know 53% of visitors leave your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load? That's where WPRocket comes in. It keeps your website fast so you get every visitor you deserve.
- MonsterInsights: Easily track your website analytics right from your WordPress dashboard. See how long people spend on your page, how many visitors you get, and much more, all in a simple report.
Check out our list of the best WordPress affiliate plugins if you want to learn more.
Step 6: Do keyword research & create a content marketing strategy
Now you need to start creating content.
But before you can do that, you have to know what your target audience is searching for! If you don't know that, you're just writing content and posting it without knowing if anyone is looking for it! And if no one sees your content, you can't make any money!
So, this is where keyword research comes in.
Keyword research is finding out what people are searching for so you can make content to help them. Whether showcasing the best products in a niche, creating how-to content to solve a problem, or reviewing items — knowing what people want means you can make more money.
Here are some of the most popular tools for keyword research:
- Google Search: Start typing a keyword related to a piece of content you want to create. People are searching for it if it pops up in Google's Autocomplete. It may be worth making some content targeting that keyword!
- Semrush: While Google Search is free, Semrush requires a subscription. There may be better tools if it's your first affiliate marketing website and you're trying to keep costs low. But its powerful keyword research tools can help you find what people are searching for and approximately how many people are searching for it.
- Ahrefs: Similar to Semrush, Ahrefs is a premium option that helps you find detailed keyword information to be more specific in your keyword research.
Keep track of the information you collect to create a content strategy.
For example, you may notice many people are searching for things related to “winter backpacks.” And depending on your type of website, you could create multiple types of content to help target those keywords!
That way, you spread how you bring in money with affiliate marketing.
Step 7: Create content & include your links
Now it's time to actually create your content!
You've got your keyword research and know what programs or products you want to promote. Now it's time to do the work! Make sure you change up the kind of content you create, too!
In today's age, sticking to one style doesn't cut it. You should create text, audio, video, and everything in between to reach the biggest audience possible! And don't limit it to only your website — spread your affiliate links through email marketing, social media, and other sources!
The most successful affiliate websites have taken the affiliate marketing process and turned it into a machine to create excellent content.
So follow their lead, add affiliate links throughout your content, and watch your new website become a cash-generating machine!
Tips for affiliate marketing success
1. Start an email marketing list early
If you create an affiliate marketing site and don't use email marketing, you're missing out on a huge opportunity.
After all, who's more likely to buy than someone who has asked to hear from you regularly? We don't know about you, but our moms don't even want to hear from us that often 😆. You can bet that these are some important people for your affiliate business!
So add newsletter signup forms to your website and stay in touch with your fans. Then, send out targeted affiliate offers to your email list and watch your affiliate income grow. But be sure to provide high-quality content to your newsletter subscribers; don’t just spam them with affiliate links.
The quickest way to get an unsubscribe is by coming off as self-interested and sales-focused.
But your readers will gladly return the favor if you provide value.
2. Use social media to increase your reach
Social media may seem like a fun place where you post pictures of your food, but it's so much more!
Social media is the opportunity to connect with your audience in a way that you can't through only a website or email.
And that connection goes a long way toward helping increase your commission sales — especially if you use the platforms to create unique content for the products!
So, work social media into your marketing strategy to connect, grow, and, ultimately, SELL!
3. Analyze and adapt to your traffic
A key way to build your audience is to know what it wants.
And you can only know that by analyzing your audience and researching what they want. What is the best way to do that?
The most common type is Google Analytics (GA), but we recommend MonsterInsights because it brings GA straight to your WordPress dashboard. But inside Google Analytics, you can see exactly who your audience is: age, gender, behaviors, and more.
Then, use that information to help create your content.
If you want to know their problems, concerns, or needs, head to some forums!
Check forums in your niche, or use Reddit and Quora to see what people are asking about your niche! And you can pay attention to how many comments/views the posts get. If a post has thousands of views/comments/upvotes, then there are A LOT of people searching for that!
And that’s a great way to get to know your audience more in-depth.
FAQs about affiliate marketing
1. What type of website is needed for affiliate marketing?
Almost all websites can be affiliate marketing websites, but some are optimized for them.
These websites include:
- Review or comparison sites
- Coupon websites
However, you should always check your website type and see if you have any opportunities before launching your affiliate site.
2. How much does it cost to make an affiliate marketing website?
The costs will vary depending on several factors.
First, you can use free platforms to get started and only have to pay for a domain name and hosting. If you choose this route, you could keep your monthly costs low (around $10-$50).
However, if you prefer a more professional and custom design, you’ll need to hire a developer or web designer to create your website for affiliate marketing.
And this will increase the price dramatically.
3. Which niche is best for affiliates?
The honest answer is there isn't a “best” affiliate marketing niche.
And that's because it depends on:
- Market demand
- Commission rates
Choose a niche you're passionate about, and people are searching for, and you'll be fine!
Ready to create an affiliate marketing website?
If you're ready to start your affiliate marketing business, know it's the perfect time!
But also know that affiliate marketing requires a lot of hard work, consistency, and patience. If you'd like to know more, you can check out our post on the best WordPress Amazon affiliate plugins. We cover ways to boost your affiliate income and easily manage Amazon affiliate links.
We can't wait to see what you build! Let us know your ideas in the comments and how you'll get started setting up an affiliate site!