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How to Make an Affiliate Website (That Makes money) | Step by Step Guide

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If you’re searching for a way to make money online, you might have already looked into becoming an affiliate marketer and starting your own affiliate website. Learning how to make an affiliate website isn’t that hard, but it does require some work, especially in the beginning, while you’re setting things up.

To help make the process easier for you, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to create a website for affiliate marketing so you can earn thousands of dollars in affiliate commissions each month.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this post:

  1. Picking the topic of your website – niche selection
  2. Setting up your website (host, domain, theme, name)
  3. Content creation
  4. Getting traffic to your website
  5. How to find and choose affiliate offers
  6. Setting up sales funnels and coming up with an affiliate sales strategy

These are some of the main topics that we’ll cover in our detailed guide on how to make an affiliate website, so stick around to learn everything there is on the subject and start earning money through affiliate marketing.

Make An Affiliate Website: Step By Step Guide

make an affiliate website

1. Niche Selection

The first thing you need to do when you get started on the process of making an affiliate website is to decide on a niche for your website.

A niche is a targeted and focused area/subject that you know and understand particularly well, or that you have a particularly keen interest in. It is a specific area that you will focus more exclusively on, and it can come from any industry, from accounting to dentistry, nutrition, weight loss, and so on.

While you can have more than one niche that you build your website around, we suggest that you focus on one or two at the most, so you can put your efforts and energy towards a particular group of people within your niche and be able to connect with them and deliver something they’re already searching for or are keen on learning.

This way you will be targeting a group of individuals with the same or similar interests so you can speak to them in a way that resonates with them, instead of putting all your effort towards delivering something to a diverse group of people with different interests and hoping to get a small percentage of them interested in what you’re offering.

Look for a Niche within a Niche

In today’s world, the hardest thing to achieve is to manage to stand out and get people interested in your site and eager to read your content.

One of the ways to achieve that is to target a smaller audience within a wider niche. This is both cheaper and easier since you’ll have less competition.

For example, if you were looking to target the health & wellness niche, it would be easier for you if you were to break it down into smaller targeted segments, such as:

  • Sleep
  • Meditation
  • Yoga and mindfulness
  • Vegan lifestyle
  • Health supplements, and more

These niches can further be broken down into even more specific topics such as vegan health supplements or so on, which targets an even smaller audience and gives you a better chance of ranking and getting people to read and engage with your content.

However, be careful not to narrow down your niche too much and select something that has a really small target audience, such as vegan health supplements for mothers to be in Sweden.

Once you have an idea of what you want your niche to be, see if it has affiliate opportunities and if there are products within the niche that you can promote and sell. If you can’t think of existing or future affiliate opportunities for your niche, it would be best to select another, more profitable topic.

Now that you’ve selected your niche or have at least narrowed it down to a few possible options, it’s time to learn the next step of the process and that’s setting up your website.

How to Make an Affiliate Website – The Technical Part of the Process

Once you’ve decided on your niche, it’s time to set up your domain and find a web host as well as decide on the name of your website/blog.

While this process may seem more technical, and it definitely is, today’s hosting companies tend to take care of most of the moving parts, making everything easier for you. This is an added benefit, especially for those of you out there who find this whole process a bit overwhelming.

Select Your Domain Name

What you want to do when selecting your domain name is to pick something that works now and will hopefully work in the future because it takes a really long time to get your domain name to rank well, since Search Engines don’t trust brand new domains, as anyone can set them up as easy as you’ll be setting up your domain name right now.

There are a ton of domain registrars you can use to buy your domain name from. Some of the most preferred ones include Domain.com, Bluehost, HostGator, GoDaddy, and more.

Select Your Hosting Provider

Most like to describe hosting providers as the land on which your house (website) sits, whereas your domain is the physical address of your website. It’s the web host that provides that space for your website (physical server space).

Web hosting providers specialize in serving and storing websites and typically offer several different plans you can choose depending on your needs and budget.

Some of the main ones people choose include Bluehost, DreamHost, HostGator, Domain.com, GoDaddy, A2Hosting, and more.

Bluehost is one of the most popular ones since it features a one-click install of WordPress (which saves you a lot of time and trouble). It’s also affordable. You can pick up hosting for less than $3 a month.

make an affiliate website

Sign up for Bluehost here →

Although you can separate your domain registration from your hosting provider, you can also stick with the same provider for both services, so you can manage everything under one account. Still, there are some benefits to keeping things separately.

For example, if you’ve already registered your domain name and have found a better hosting provider with a better offer then you can definitely choose to keep your hosting and domain separate so you can get the best deal.

Both the process of setting up your domain and hosting is easy and doesn’t require any knowledge in tech stuff, since they are simplified by the hosting companies to make the process accessible to everyone who wants to create a website or a blog.

Choose a Website Builder

Today, creating a website doesn’t require knowledge in HTML or other languages used for creating web pages. Today, you can use a content management software (CMS) that will do all the coding stuff for you, so you can create a website or a blog without having any coding skills or experience.

This way you can easily make an affiliate website without having to learn how to code.

The most popular and most commonly used CMS is WordPress. Around 40% of the entire internet runs on WordPress, therefore finding someone to help modify or edit your WordPress site will be much easier than it would be if you were to go with a lesser-known and obscure CMS that might require specialist knowledge not many folks have.

Other platforms you can use include Wix, Weebly, Medium, Blogger, and more, although the last two require you to host your website on their server, which will make you dependent on the performance of their platform, although you won’t have to worry about looking for hosting in that case.

With Wix, you can be more creative and will have more space and freedom to design the website you’ve envisioned, using their simple drag-and-drop kind of editor.

However, while there are a lot of CMSs to choose from, WordPress is the only one that stands out from the bunch and is what we recommend you go with.

WordPress is fast, optimized, and secure, it is very versatile and free to use. It’s also SEO-ready, making this process a lot easier, by simply following the steps provided by the YOAST SEO plugin.

Install WordPress

While you can install WordPress manually, you can also have your hosting provider do it for you. You can use your hosting provider’s easy-to-use wizard that will take you through the steps of installing WordPress on your site. Once you complete the Wizard, your site will be ready and you can go onto picking a theme from the selection of free themes WordPress offers, create pages, posts, install useful plugins, and so on.

This is where you’ll do most of your work on your website, and once you set all of this up you can simply maintain everything and post on a regular basis.

Here’s a quick guide on how to install and operate WordPress that’s suitable for beginners, so you can set up the whole process with ease.

Once you’ve completed your WordPress setup, you can go ahead and start customizing your website and adding content to it.

Let’s check out the next step of the process!

Select a WordPress Theme

Your WordPress theme is what controls the visual appearance of your site. These are professionally designed templates that you can install onto your site to alter its appearance.

While you will have a basic theme installed by default once you finish your WordPress setup, you can also go into their extensive library of thousands of free themes and install any one of those on your site.

Visit Appearance » Themes on your WordPress dashboard to see all the available themes in their directory and select the one you find the most suitable for your website.

Once you select the theme you prefer, simply click on the install button and once it’s installed you can customize it by clicking on the Customize link under the Appearance menu.

You don’t need to do all the customizations right away. You can continue the customization process once you add some content to your site.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of setting up an affiliate website, it’s time to go onto one of the most important parts of the process that will get visitors actually interested in your products or services and get them to engage, and that’s creating great content!

Let’s see how you can do that.

2. Content Creation

make an affiliate website

Once the technical part of the process is complete it’s time to start creating content related to your niche, so you can attract traffic to your website and make money through affiliate marketing.

By following a few simple steps when creating your content, you will be able to build a profitable website and grow your business through content creation.

Add Content (Pages and Posts)

If you’ve chosen to go with WordPress as your CMS, there are two default content types it allows you to add to your website and those include posts and pages.

Pages are one-off types of content and typically include your about page, contact page, custom landing page, privacy policy, and more.

Posts on the other hand are a part of the blogging functionality and are the main types of content you’ll focus on when making an affiliate website so you can grow your site and increase your traffic.

Once you’ve set everything up and are ready to add content to your website, you can start off with your main pages, such as the home page, contact page, about page and more. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough content to fill up these pages just yet. Simply focus on adding the basic information since you can edit and update them at any time.

To add new pages, go to Pages » Add New page in WordPress and from there you can simply add content using the page editor.

Write Niche-Specific Content

Once you’ve set up your website and you’ve created your main pages, it’s time to start uploading some content.

The main rule to creating a successful affiliate marketing campaign is to create original and niche-specific content that will provide your readers with useful information on the subject.

You can either write your own content or if you don’t feel like that’s your strong suit, you can use a freelance platform or an agency to find a reliable and experienced freelance writer who can do the job for you.

Upwork and Fiverr are just some of the many available platforms where you can hire writers on an hourly or fixed-rate basis so they can provide content for your website.

No matter if you choose to hire a writer or do the writing yourself, one key thing to have in mind is to always write niche-specific content as there’s no point in wasting your time producing content that your main customer base will have no use for.

Some of the main guidelines you should follow when creating content include:

  • Publishing on a regular basis and sticking to a set schedule, so you can always have fresh content for your readers
  • Being patient, and keep publishing even if you don’t see results, as establishing authority takes a lot of time
  • Optimizing your content for specific keywords – you can find more about SEO below

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

To get your site to rank well on the search engines, so you can get more traffic, you will need to optimize your posts. Install the Yoast SEO plugin so you can improve the SEO of your website and rank better.

The plugin will let you know what needs improving both in terms of SEO and readability, so you can simply follow its guidance and make the necessary changes that will improve the overall score of your post.

Some of the main things you need to focus on to optimize your posts better for the search engines include:

  • Use relevant keywords throughout the posts (title, headings, meta descriptions, tags, and so on)
  • Provide relevant internal and external links (make sure to add links to high-authority domains)
  • Write high-quality content that provides useful information to your readers
  • Add great visual content to make your posts look more appealing (this includes graphs, charts, infographics, videos and more)
  • Add social media buttons
  • Add subscription forms and build your email list (we’ll cover this part later in the guide)

Get Backlinks

A crucial part of the optimization of your site includes getting backlinks from trusted, reliable websites, which can greatly improve your ranking, as Google regards backlinks as a sort of “vote” for a specific page and tends to give pages with high-quality backlinks a higher search ranking. 

Backlinks are inbound links that come from one website to another. They connect your website to other websites on the internet and are considered as a key ranking factor by Google.

However, not all backlinks are equally valuable. Backlinks that come from high-authority, trusted websites have more power than low-quality ones. 

That’s why you should focus on getting backlinks from authoritative domains so you can boost your organic search engine traffic.

The best ways to get high-quality backlinks include:

  • Creating amazing pieces of content that provide useful information that people want to read about
  • Reaching out to potential websites that you regularly outlink to and potentially send traffic to and asking them for a partnership
  • Checking out your competitor’s websites (check out their top-performing posts and content) to find sources for backlinks and contact those sources. For a complete backlink profile of each website, you can use SEO tools like SEMrush.
  • Finding broken links on high-authority websites and offering to write that piece of content for them so they can link to it and replace their broken link.

There are a lot of methods you can use to get more backlinks from trustworthy and high-authority websites, but these will be enough to get you started for now.

3. Getting Traffic to Your Affiliate Website

make an affiliate website

There are a ton of different tried and tested methods of driving traffic to your website that you can use to grow your affiliate business. And while you don’t have to try every strategy under the sun, there are a few that have been proven to help businesses grow exponentially and those are the ones we’ll be discussing in this guide.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a way of increasing traffic through social media platforms. You can do this by creating various different forms of content (images, videos, text, infographics and more) for social media platforms.

Here are the main steps you need to follow to increase your traffic through social media:

  1. Use visuals when advertising on social media, as posts with visuals have been proven to create more engagement than text time and time again.
  2. Make sure your content is easily sharable and interesting enough for your audience to want to share it.
  3. Build your follower count by being consistent and posting on a regular basis. The more consistent you are the more likely you are to be seen. Stick to a daily publishing schedule and schedule your posts for when your audience is most active and engaging.

Here’s a rough estimate of how much you should post on your social media accounts:

  • On Facebook – 3-10 times a week
  • On Tweeter – 5 to 30 times a day
  • On Instagram – 1-2 times a day
  • On LinkedIn – 2-5 times a week
  • Figure out which platform to focus primarily on. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t give all of these platforms a try as each of these platforms are unique in their way and have benefits and downsides that differ from the other platforms. However, figuring out where your target audience “hangs out” or which platforms they prefer to use will save you a lot of time that you might have invested on a platform your audience doesn’t use.
  • Analyze which type of content gets the most engagement and shares to find out how to better engage with your audience.
  • What you post says a lot about your brand, so make sure you stay consistent with your brand’s message.

Google Ads

Using Google Ads is a great way to increase traffic to your site no matter where you are in your search engine optimization journey. Google Ads is great both for new and established businesses and can do wonders for your traffic, no matter what you’re promoting.

You’ll only be paying for the clicks you get, which means that you’ll get traffic from people who are searching for a specific product or service you’re advertising, making them more likely to purchase that product or service.

Google Ads allows you to set your own advertising budget, so you never spend more than what you planned. The metrics provided by Google Ads provide useful details on how effective and engaging your ads are so that you can make any necessary tweaks and changes as you go.

Pinterest

Pinterest is an amazing tool for growing traffic and it can be a huge asset to your business as long as you know how to use it right.

Here’s what makes Pinterest a great tool for driving traffic to your blog:

  • People using the platform are ready to make a purchase. 47% of Pinterest users make purchase decisions on Pinterest, vs 15% on Facebook and 11% on Instagram.
  • It’s a search engine, meaning that people can find your content years after you’ve uploaded it and it won’t disappear in a few hours as it does on platforms like Facebook.
  • It’s easier to rank since its algorithm isn’t as advanced as Google’s is.

Here are a few steps you can take to rank better on Pinterest and use them to drive more traffic to your affiliate website:

  • Use appropriate keywords in your Pin and Board titles and descriptions
  • Apply for rich pins using a plugin so you can have pins that offer extra information pulled from your website, which helps you stand out and get more clicks
  • Pin consistently – at least 10 different pins a day (not all of them need to lead to your website, just make sure they offer useful resources to your audience)
  • Stick with it for at least a year and be patient. It takes time to see results via Pinterest, but when that traffic comes, you’ll be glad you stuck it out

4. Choose Affiliate Offers For Your Website

Once you figure out your niche and your target audience, it’s time to look for affiliate offers within that niche, so you can provide your readers with offers that match their needs and their buying intentions.

Today, you can find affiliate opportunities in almost any niche. However, if you’re not sure whether your niche has any existing or future affiliate opportunities, or you can’t think of at least a few products or services your readers might be interested in buying, you should maybe reconsider your niche in the first place, before you go into a field that doesn’t have a lot of affiliate opportunities.

Now, let’s say you’ve chosen a niche that has a lot of affiliate opportunities, but you still have no idea where to start and how to find the right affiliate program that will work for you. Luckily, we’ve got that part covered as well.

Since selecting an affiliate program can be quite challenging, here are a few simple tips you can use to make the right choice and select a program that will work best for your website.

a. Choose a program that fits your niche

Relevance is the main key to good affiliate marketing. Choose to promote products or services that your main audience base will have use of, so you can have more room for profit.

b. Check the credibility of the company you’re promoting

Do a quick background check of the company, business or product you’re looking to promote to see if they are credible and go through a few of their customers’ reviews to get a better understanding of their work and not end up promoting a suspicious product or service.

c. Check commission rates

See what commission rates the business offers to determine how lucrative the job will be and whether it’s worth your promotion effort.

Read their terms and conditions to see how much commission they pay, how much their products and services cost, and get a rough estimate of what your earnings could be if you were to promote their stuff. Make sure you’re satisfied with what they offer, so you don’t end up wasting your time and effort promoting something that will not bring you enough profits.

d. See if the affiliate program offers useful tools and resources

Some, well-established affiliate programs offer an extensive library of promotional materials, data, banners and ads you can use to promote their products and service so you can create a better marketing campaign that can bring you in more money. Choosing such programs can offer you an advantage and make the process much smoother for you.

e. Check to see if they offer favorable cookie life

Cookie life is the period of time in which you as an affiliate can earn commissions for a sale from a referred customer. The longer the cookie life is, the greater potential you have of earning money on a specific sale since it gives the customer more time to make the purchase. If the cookie life is set to 24h, any purchases made after that will not earn you any commissions, which is why you should look for a favorable cookie life.

f. Read their terms and conditions carefully

All affiliate programs have a certain set of terms and conditions that apply. Some are more general and less restraining, while other programs might have specific conditions put in place that might be a deal-breaker for you and end up costing you your commissions. Such restrictions might include prohibiting the use of certain traffic channels, which might greatly reduce your income, especially if you rely on that specific channel for views and visits.

While these are some of the main tips you can use when deciding which affiliate program to choose, remember that choosing something you’re knowledgeable and passionate about and that your readers will benefit from is in many cases more important than choosing what’s most profitable. If you’re able to find a program with a good commission rate and one that you’re genuinely passionate about promoting, you’re set to make some cash in no time.

5. Setting Up a Sales Funnel and an Email List

A sales funnel is the process an individual takes towards becoming your customer.

Sales funnels are set up to attract and convert visitors to your website into customers. Whether they’ve just found out about your brand or they are a repeat customer, the buying journey they take is a sales funnel.

Sales funnels have three parts:

  • The marketing that attracts potential customers – that’s the landing page of your website
  • The sales process the customers go through before they buy (reading the description of your products, the benefits they offer), and
  • The completion of their purchase

Sales funnels are important in capturing the traffic on your website, by offering products or services your visitors are going to love.

All you need to do to capture that traffic is to create a lead capture page and a thank you page, and that’s exactly what we’re going to show you today.

Remember that funnels work best when you know your visitors well and you’re aware of their needs, likes, and wants.

Here are the main steps you need to take to create successful sales funnels:

a. Get People to Your Website

By creating visitor funnels you can motivate your visitors to become customers by placing the right offer in front of them, at the right time. But first, you have to get them to visit your website.

There is no one proven technique that gets you more visitors. Instead, there are a ton of different methods you can try to get more traffic which you can convert to potential customers.

Use the methods we mentioned above in the content creation section. Make sure to provide useful, trustworthy, and above all interesting content that will engage your readers. Everything you create should be driven by your visitor intent. It should be able to attract people to your website, where you’ve put sales funnels in place and can take them on a journey to buy a product or service you’re recommending.

b. Create a Landing Page

Your landing page will be the first thing visitors and prospective buyers see when they visit your website. Use your landing page as an opportunity to give visitors a chance to learn about your business, including the products and services you offer. Your landing page should clearly describe what your company or business is about and the benefits your services or products offer. It is your opportunity to impress prospective buyers by providing a compelling and interesting copy.

c. Offer Your Visitors Something of Value

To turn your visitors into leads and get them to provide their email addresses, you need to provide them with something valuable, such as a free e-book, informative and useful content of any kind or anything else you have to offer that can be useful to them.

d. Stay in Touch with Your Prospective Customers

Once you get potential leads to sign up and give you their email address, stay in touch with them and nurture the relationship on a regular basis. Be careful not to turn them off by spamming them with emails or content that’s not useful to them.

During this part of the process, you should consider setting up an autoresponder, also known as a campaign that can send out emails to your subscribers on a regular basis over a period of time (more on this below).

First off, you want to send 3-7 emails after they’ve downloaded the resource you provided for them (such as an e-book or something similar) so you can eventually give them an offer for a product or service they might be interested in purchasing.

The emails you send out should be related to the resource you provided in the beginning and most importantly they should provide useful information on the subject.

Repeat this process with different products and services, and you can put a lot of funnels in place that will attract more potential customers and continue to make you money on a regular basis.

How to Set Up an Email List

An important part of the process of staying in touch with your potential and existing customers is to set up an autoresponder so you can send them emails with promotions, useful resources and more.

There are several email marketing providers that you can use to set up this process, including Mailchimp,  Constant Contact, ActiveCampaign , ConvertKit, and more.

These services are easy to use, they give you full control and allow you to establish direct contact with your customers. Using these email marketing providers, you can easily send bulk emails that are targeted and personalized, manage your contact list, segment users into groups, easily create highly engaging newsletters using their user-friendly interface and make sure your emails don’t end up in the spam folder. These are just some of the benefits you can expect to receive when using these email marketing providers, making sure your business runs smoothly and continues to grow.

The main steps to setting up an email list include:

  • Pick your email marketing provider and following the steps they provide so you can set everything up
  • Use their available forms to create an opt-in form where readers can leave their email address and personal information
  • Create a welcome message your readers will receive when they subscribe to your mailing list
  • Write your first newsletter!

Final Thoughts

Starting an affiliate website nowadays is easier than ever before and is one of the best ways to make a steady and reliable income online.

It will also allow you to learn about your niche, build your authority, and help your audience.

If you still need more reasons to start your own affiliate website make sure to check this article to learn about all its benefits and this one to see how much money people are currently making with their affiliate sites.

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