Running an affiliate marketing website is a great way to generate a consistent stream of passive income to help cover the cost of your essentials or fund your other projects and passions.
Getting started with affiliate marketing requires some start-up expenses. Also, you will need a vision and understanding of what it takes to build an effective affiliate marketing website.
- What affiliate marketing is
- How to create an affiliate marketing website
- How to generate traffic for your site
- The best website builders for affiliate marketing
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of referring people to a product or service in exchange for a commission. It is like operating a curated storefront: you find products from businesses and creators you believe your audience may like. When you direct a person to a product they decide to buy, you get a percentage of the sale as a reward.
It is an excellent way to capitalize off your online following of people who trust you and are curious about your recommendations. This is also great if you have a particular area of expertise and feel comfortable recommending products and services in a specific category.
How Do I Create an Affiliate Marketing Website?
Setting up an affiliate marketing website is relatively simple, though it will take some work. Here are some quick steps on how to get started with your website:
- Pick a niche: The best way to get started with affiliate marketing is by finding an underserved area or one you have a solid understanding of to provide good content and recommendations. A broader category gives you more opportunities to convert people but dilutes your selection a bit and may reach beyond your area of expertise. Find a niche you feel is not being served properly and fill the void.
- Select an affiliate program: An affiliate program is an agreement a vendor provides to pay you for each customer you direct to them. The most common is Amazon Affiliates. But you may find alternatives that better serve your chosen niche, like eBay Partner Network or Overstock Affiliate Program.
- Pick a domain name and web host: To set up your affiliate website, you build the site by securing a domain name and setting up a service with a web host. There are many options — check out Digital.com’s guides for selecting the best web host and generating the best domain name.
- Build your site: Once you’ve secured your domain name and the necessary hosting, you can start building your website. This can be challenging if you have little experience, but some tools can help you get started. Check out Digital.com’s guide to picking the best website builder. Focus on options that provide search engine optimization (SEO) tools and e-commerce support.
How Do I Generate Traffic for My Site?
Getting people to your affiliate marketing site is important, as each visitor is a potential customer who can generate revenue. There are several ways to increase the number of visitors to your site. Implement as many of these techniques as possible to maximize your traffic.
- Publish the related content: One of the best ways to generate traffic for your website is by having content related to your niche. Articles get picked up and indexed by Google, and SEO techniques can push your content high up in the search results, leading to more people clicking through to your site. Consistently publishing quality content will bring in more visitors, who may become customers.
- Get email subscribers: A reliable way to attract potential customers is in their inboxes. Collect emails by creating options for visitors to subscribe to your site. Most sites have tools for creating newsletter sign-ups. The more people you can contact directly, the better your odds of selling your products.
- Spread the word on social media: A strong presence is a wonderful way to convert followers into website visitors and, eventually, customers. Building a social media presence with an audience that trusts and respects you is an ideal way to show off your expertise and share your content, which can lead to more sales of products.
- Buy ads: Another way to get your site seen is by purchasing ads. This gets your site seen in search results as well as on related websites and social media platforms. Set a budget and pick a targeted audience likely to be interested in your niche to get the best results.
Which Website Builders Are Best for Affiliate Marketing?
You must secure a domain name and web host to set up your affiliate marketing site. You also must build a website. This can be intimidating, especially if you don’t have much experience, but with the right tools, it’s simple.
See Digital.com’s guide for selecting the best website builder so you get the right option for your needs and experience level. Generally, WordPress is a relatively straightforward and easy platform, with many themes and tools that make putting together a website simple. If you’d like more help setting up the site or more tools for converting customers, consider options like Hostinger or Squarespace, which have built-in tools for SEO and e-commerce.
Do I need web hosting?
When setting up your affiliate marketing website, you must decide whether to pay for a hosting plan. While you might be able to start with a free site, it’s best to have a host to utilize all the plug-ins and tools needed to optimize your site and maximize your traffic and revenue fully.
Consider a modest plan that can host all of your content and handle the amount of traffic you will need to generate to make your business viable. Use Digital.com’s guide for picking the best web host to find the right option.
Which web hosts are best for affiliate marketing?
The best web hosts for affiliate marketing websites will include the ability to build sites with familiar tools like WordPress. They also offer sufficient bandwidth and disk space for your content and are available at an affordable price, so you don’t start too far in the red when setting up your site. Bluehost and Hostinger are among the best web hosts available for affiliate marketing.
How Much Will It Cost To Build an Affiliate Marketing Website?
Starting with affiliate marketing shouldn’t break the bank, but it does include some upstart costs. You will need to pay for your domain name and hosting web service. Also, you may need to pay to use certain website-building tools and platforms that help optimize your site and its content. If you have the money, you can also farm out the content creation process to freelancers, which may save you time but will cost more. Advertising also costs money if you choose to go that route for exposure.
Depending on how much you can spend and how much work you are willing to do, you can set up an affiliate marketing website for under $100. Expect recurring annual costs to run you about that much, with additional costs for advertisements and content creation. Even a more expensive setup should cost you under $1,000 per year.
Can you create an affiliate marketing website for free?
You can create an affiliate marketing website for free, but it is more difficult. You won’t be able to produce high-quality content because of limitations on free sites and are unlikely to rank as high in search results, even with proper optimization. However, if you have a big social media following or can own your niche, it is possible to succeed without needing a web host or dedicated domain name.
Should I Take Courses To Create an Affiliate Marketing Program?
Depending on your experience with affiliate marketing, web hosting, and website building, it can be worth your time to take a course on creating an affiliate marketing program. There are plenty of free online resources to guide you through this process. But if you value expertise and mentorship, taking courses on affiliate marketing programs may benefit you.