I’m so excited that you are looking to start affiliate marketing website, because it is exactly what I have been doing to make my online income, and I can’t wait to share everything I know with you.
I never imagined I can actually make money without ever owning any product. This is the beauty of affiliate marketing, how neat and hassle-free it is.
What is affiliate marketing
First, let me start off by very briefly explaining how affiliate marketing works, just to make sure we are on the same page.
The idea is very simple. You promote somebody else’s products or services, and when people buy those products through your affiliate links, you make a commission.
There, I said it’s simple, didn’t I?
You simply drive customers to the virtual doorstep of these retailers or suppliers, or whatever company that offers an affiliate program that you can join. But you do not just join anything and everything, you’ve got to select your niche. We will come to that later.
Essentially the sales transactions still take place between the customers and the retailers directly, and does not involve the affiliate marketer. That means you do not have to deal with any delivery hiccups, customer complaints, refunds, etc.
All your work revolves around your laptop or desktop, so you are free to work anywhere, anytime you want. You are not required to meet up with suppliers for any negotiations, nor do you have to take customers’ calls when they are angered by damaged goods.
So you have made a very smart move in deciding to give affiliate marketing a shot.
Don’t worry if you are still undecided, take your time to explore other options as well. Let me point you to a great resource: an experts’ round up on the best side hustles, without having to spend a dime.
How much does it cost to start affiliate marketing website
Upfront, I want to show you this affiliate marketing training platform. It is called Wealthy Affiliate.
It is free to start, and it has everything that you will need to become a highly successful affiliate marketer.
As I go through each step of the way, you will get to see how Wealthy Affiliate can provide either the tools or the training that you need. I will also present other alternatives alongside it, so that you can decide for yourself which will work better for you.
If you are on a tight budget, or just do not want to spend so much money right at the start, not knowing where this journey may take you yet, I can totally understand. So I want to show you these bare essentials that I myself started with.
Website hosting. Domain name.
That’s it. With these you’d be all set up and ready to start building up your website.
|Other top |
|Domain name||Free||$13 to $15 per year|
With Wealthy Affiliate’s free starter membership, you will get 2 websites, which come with free hosting on their servers, as well as free domain on siterubix.com, for which you do get to choose your own SLD (second level domain), which is the part of the domain name before ‘siterubix.com’.
I know it is hard to believe, but yes, it is totally free if you take their free starter membership, which is not even a trial. You can stay as a free starter member your whole life, if that’s what you want.
That is what I started off with, and have never looked back since.
One thing to note is that as you build up your website, it is highly recommended to move on to buying your own domain, as this will give your site more credibility and authority. You can purchase your domain directly from Wealthy Affiliate, at the standard price of $13 to $15 per year. But this can come in at a slightly later stage.
As for other service providers, the website hosting provider that I recommend (in the table above) is HostGator, at a fee of $2.75/month (at the time of writing) for its Hatchling Plan.
Domain name typically costs between $13 to $15 per year, depending on the popularity of the name you choose. The more favoured domain registrars include HostGator (yes, they are like a one stop shop), GoDaddy, and Namecheap.
As you can see, the cost of starting up your own website is really affordable, if it’s no frills. You will definitely want to consider adding other stuff as you gain more experience, like a page builder, and email service provider. But those are not essential to starting up a website, so we will worry about them in future.
Why start affiliate marketing website
If you are already fully convinced about the importance of having your own website as an affiliate marketer, then feel free to skip this section.
Now, a website is like an online property, an asset that you own, through the domain name, which is like your property address.
With this property, people know exactly where to find you on the internet space. This is very helpful in allowing you to establish your brand, among many other things.
One most important advantage of owning a website is that whatever content you create on it stays there forever, and continues to work for you in generating earnings, in the years to come.
This also means that every piece of blog post you write adds on to everything you had created before, therefore building up your website authority, and at the same time forming a rock solid foundation for your business.
As the content accumulates, search engines will reward you with free organic traffic. This means that people searching for answers related to your niche will be shown your relevant blog post ranked high on page 1 of their search results.
By virtue of the search engines traffic, it is highly targeted, as these people are actively searching for what you are offering. They have strong buyers intent. Hence when they land on your site, they are much more likely to convert into buyers, compared to any other source of traffic.
And once you get the trust of the search engines, the organic traffic that they will send to you is unstoppable. This is exactly how a passive income stream can be built. And it is why I am so in love with this business model.
Now that you are freed of the worry of any big financial burden in starting this affiliate marketing website, and have seen how important a website is to you as an affiliate marketer, let’s move on to the very first step in your affiliate marketing journey.
Step 1: Think of a niche
Ideally, this should be something you are passionate about, because if things go well, your affiliate website will be a long term business that you can build into an empire.
So it’s worthwhile to spend some time, a few days at least, to mull over this.
It does not have to be a topic that you know a lot about, but you do need the interest and drive to be researching on it, and dwell on subjects within the niche. In this way, you can then become the expert, or authority, in the niche.
Niche should be specific rather than broad
If your niche is too broad, say cooking. Firstly search engines may take longer to figure out what exactly your website stands for, since your blog posts could be covering subtopics all over the place, like baking, organic food, vegan dishes, cooking utensils, and so on.
Secondly, visitors landing on your site may not find the depth they were expecting, hence do not engage with your content as much as you would like them to.
On the other hand, if you focus on a very targeted niche, say veganism, then you can be sure your content meets the needs of your website visitors, since they landed on your site while searching for stuff related to this topic.
Preliminary research on affiliate programs
Before you firm up on your niche, do a quick search on the internet, to check that there are some affiliate programs that are worth considering. It is not advisable to join so early on, as there is a high chance of being rejected if you have not set up your website and filled it with at least some content.
Also check out the big affiliate networks like Share A Sale, CJ Affiliate, Rakuten, and so on. And not forgetting Amazon. Just look around to make sure there are some products or services that you can promote profitably in your niche.
Step 2: Set up your website
I started off with zero knowledge in building up a website. Wealthy Affiliate played a pivotal role in hand holding me along, every step of the way, with easy to follow instructions suitable for complete newbies.
Now, I am equipped with a lifelong skill and the confidence to build my own websites as sources of income streams.
Everything in this Step 2: Set up your Website can be found in the 10 free lessons of the Wealthy Affiliate free starter members’ area.
Alternatively, if you’re on your own, these are what you need to take care of:
Source for hosting service provider – A few important considerations include pricing, users’ reviews, ease of installation, whether they have a dedicated support team for WordPress sites, and whether it can follow you through as your business grows. My top pick is HostGator, apart from Wealthy Affiliate.
Buy your domain name – If you want to pay for your own domain name right away, use Namemesh, a domain name search tool, to find out if your choice is available. This tool is cool because it offers variations of your domain name to consider, including fun names, SEO (search engine optimised) names, and so on.
Choose something that is catchy and easy to remember, something that you will feel proud of branding it. Avoid words that can be easily misspelled. Your domain name may or may not sound related to your niche, that’s really totally up to you. Spend some time to decide on this, because it will stick with you for the lifetime of your online business.
WordPress.org is the website builder I would recommend, due to its fantastic support, as well as ease of usage. It is an open source platform, where the sky is the limit with what you can create. You do not need to know a single bit of coding to use it. Some other common website builders include Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace.
Choosing a theme is the next step. For a start, choose a free theme, try things out, and feel free to change it if you are not happy with it. However, do note that you should try to fill your website with at least 1 or 2 posts or pages before you can really tell how it will look.
You do not need to get a paid theme until you start making money and have something in mind that you really love, because there are so many free choices to pick from, that are all beautiful and professional looking.
Set up the basic plugins – The only plugins I started off with in Wealthy Affiliate were the All in One SEO Pack, and EWWW Image Optimizer. As I progressed, a few months in, I started to install other stuff like Social Media and Share Icons, as well as Pretty Links.
It is advisable to keep the number of plugins to a minimal, otherwise it may slow down your website loading speed, which is an important factor for SEO (search engine optimisation). You can be sure search engines absolutely do not like to show their users websites that take more than a few seconds to load.
Step 3: Drive traffic to your website
Now, the work really begins, along with the excitement! You are finally ready to start creating content. As you build things up by consistently creating content on your website, search engines will reward you by driving you free organic traffic.
This is how I strongly suggest you build up your affiliate marketing business, since this traffic is free of charge, the most highly targeted of its kind, and at the same time that you strive for search engines traffic, you are also casting a rock solid foundation for your business. This will pay off huge returns in the long term.
Write content that ranks – Again, Wealthy Affiliate’s top notch training provides everything you need to know about writing content that search engines will absolutely love. Everything that I know today, I learnt from there. And I believe you landed on my website because it appeared in your search results. So it absolutely works!
Keyword research is one important aspect of writing to rank. The only keyword tool I have ever needed is the one within Wealthy Affiliate, and it’s called Jaaxy. You do get 30 searches per month if you are on their free starter membership.
There is so much more that I am not able to cover here in this post. Sign up as a free starter member with Wealthy Affiliate (they don’t even need any credit card info), and you can see for yourself.
Affiliate marketing is here to stay
You are on to something big and life-changing, having decided that you want to go into the affiliate marketing business.
The whole world is online these days. Everyone is taking their shopping online. Before making purchases, most people do their research. If your website is able to cater to their needs by providing your experience and wealth of information within the niche, then you have built for yourself a sustainable income stream.
What you need now is an established training platform that is able to let you set up an SEO-ready website with easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, as well as entire modules on driving free traffic and monetising it.
Check out Wealthy Affiliate at zero cost and zero risk, you really have nothing to lose.
And for reading all the way to the end of the post, I believe you have it in you to make this work. Here is your FREE PDF Guide: 4 Simple Steps to Making Money Online. Fill in your details to claim it:
If you have any concerns or questions regarding anything in this post, do comment below, and we will start a conversation from there.