Creating An Affiliate Marketing Website: A Guide For Beginners
You may not have any experience in building a website, but that does not matter. Everyone has to start somewhere and the fact you found this website means you have taken your first step to starting your online business. In his post I will outline everything you need to know for creating an Affiliate Marketing Website.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is creating content on a website in order to promote other people’s products and services. Your reward for doing this, is a small commission for every sale that is made via your website.
How Does It Work?
As you can see from the graphic above, it is pretty simple and only involves four steps:
- A potential customer searches for something in a search engine. This may be to solve a problem or help them make a decision about a purchase
- Your affiliate marketing website has the relevant information to help the potential customer. It will also have details on a particular product that may help them
- The customer buys the product through your website
- Because the link they bought through is an affiliate link, you make money from the sale. This can be a commission from 1 to 75% of the vale of the sale
Why Companies Like Affiliate Marketers
Companies that have affiliate programs only pay out when a sale is made. This means that there is virtually no risk for them. It is much more effective than paying for adverts, as they have a group of people creating targeted content, promoting their products and services. They also get a new set of customers that they can sell to in the future.
Advantages of Affiliate Marketing
1. Passive Income
When you have a regular job, you have to be at work in order to make money. But, affiliate marketing allows you to make money 24/7, even when you are asleep. You will invest your time and effort in to content on your website, but it has the potential to earn money from anywhere in the world long after you have finished it. Once you have mastered the art of affiliate marketing, your efforts will reward you with a steady income.
2. Don't Have To Deal With Customer Support
The way affiliate marketing works means that you have no issues with customer service. All you are doing is recommending a product or service for them to buy. Your only roll is to link the customer with the seller. This is why I chose affiliate marketing over drop shipping, where you need to deal with customer service issues, even when it is not your fault.
3. Work From Anywhere
As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you can work from anywhere in the world. It is not as if you have a load of stock that you need to store in one place and ship it to customers.
4. Relatively Cheap To Start
After buying a computer, a domain name, hosting and some training, you are good to go. You don’t need to buy stock or create a product. This also means you can get going very quickly.
5. Can Do It At Any Time
The flexibility is the thing I love the most about affiliate marketing. I live in the French alps and snowboard all winter. If the conditions are good, I can go riding for a couple of hours in the morning and work later in the evening. As long as I am disciplined enough to get my weekly tasks done, everything is good. The flexibility means that you are not constrained by corporate rules and you can run your business how you want to.
6. High Potential Income
The rewards from affiliate marketing are purely based on your performance. You have to work hard, but you also have to work smart. Eventually you will start to earn good money, if you are really honest with the way you work. As an example, if you were to sell something that got you £30 commission, here is an idea of what you can earn:
Disadvantages of Affiliate Marketing
The main downside of affiliate marketing, is the amount of time it takes to make money. It can take months before you even make a penny. This is especially the case when you are new to affiliate marketing. There is a steep learning curve and there will be mistakes and things you miss out. However, when you get it right, the pennies and cents start turning in to pounds and dollars. Eventually, with persistence and the right techniques, you can make a full time living from it.
Steps For Creating An Affiliate Marketing Website
In order to create an affiliate marketing website, you need to go through a number of steps.
Step 1 - Choose a Niche
Choosing the right niche for you in the beginning is incredibly important. The reason for this, is if you get it wrong you will waste a lot of time and effort on something that will not make you any money at all. It is very easy to come up with ideas for your niche that you think will be fun or that will make you lots of money. However, it isn’t that simple. Your niche should:
- Be focussed on a certain group of people – If it is too broad you will have too much competition and it won’t appeal enough to a group’s interests
- Be something you are interested in – If you are not interested in it, you will get bored quickly. Also, you won’t be dedicated to it enough to create quality and consistent content
- Be popular, but not have too much competition – Some niches have too many affiliate marketers, making it difficult to compete.
Step 2 - Build Your Website
If you have never done this before, don’t worry, it is super easy to do. But there are a few things to look in to beforehand, to make life easier later on.
To build your website, you first need to think of a good domain name. It needs to be brand able and relevant to your niche, but it also needs to let you expand on it later on. One of the main things you domain name should have is a .com suffix. This shows that your website is serious and you are not just playing at having a website.
It is possible to build your website using platforms such as Wix. But this type of platform is more suited to websites for businesses or blogs. To be successful with your affiliate marketing website, you really need to go with a self hosted website.
The majority of affiliate marketing websites use WordPress. This was designed so bloggers could create and maintain their websites without too much technical know how. The best thing about WordPress for me, is the ease of designing websites. They are easy to maintain, but the look of a WordPress website is determined by what theme you choose. Choosing the right theme is very important. This is because getting the look right is critical to the user experience. When choosing a theme, you need to pick one that is “responsive”. Responsive websites work well on mobile devices. Get this right early on and it will save you lots of work later.
Another big advantage of WordPress, is the amount of Plugins available. Plugins allow you to add functionality and features that you would like your website to have.
Step 3 - Attract Your Audience
You obviously need to attract people to your website. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as just posting something and it will pop straight to the top of Google. Big companies pay for their websites to get to the top of Google searches with their big marketing budgets. But as a fledgling affiliate marketer, paying for adverts is not the way to start your business. Luckily, you can get visitors to your website for free. This is done by creating content in a certain way, based around keywords.
Keywords are what people search for in search engines. Therefore, with some research you can target your content to these keywords. By using a Keyword research tool such as Jaaxy, you can see how many times a a keyword is searched for and how much competition it has. This lets you know if it is a keyword worth bothering with. Google bases how well websites are ranked on how relevant it is to people’s searches. Good content based around quality keywords will be seen as relevant pushing it to the top of the search, making it more likely people will click on it.
Step 4 - Make Money
The more people you get to your website, the more money you will earn. This is why you want your content at the top of as many searches as possible, or at least on the first page. But how do you monetise your website?
You need to join affiliate programs in order to monetise your website. If the product or service you are promoting is on the internet, there will be an affiliate program for it. Many affiliate marketing websites join the Amazon affiliate program. This is because there is a big chance that what they are promoting is on Amazon. Also, it doesn’t require approval, which means you can get going with it straight away.
Once you have joined an affiliate program, you have a link for each product that tracks clicks and purchases. Then money will automatically be paid in to your account.
For example, if you clicked on the button below, you will be taken to Amazon, where you will see this inflatable party boat. You won’t be charged for clicking on the button, but if you bought it, I would get 4% of the sale price. Doing this several times a day makes for a very good business.
Like I said before, it takes a long time to make money. However, the time it takes will depend on your effort, your niche, your products, the quality of your content and how good your keywords are. You just have to keep battling away at it and it will happen eventually.
Is Creating An Affiliate Marketing Website Difficult?
Not really no, but there are a few things that you must have in order to make it work.
Creating an affiliate marketing website is one of those things you need to keep plugging away at. By creating quality content with the appropriate keywords, you will make money. But, it takes a long time and is not a get rich quick scheme. It is a slow burner that rewards the most dedicated people.
I can’t stress how important it is to be patient. There have been many times I have thought about giving up because of the amount of effort I was putting in with no reward. Some of this was my fault, for not following my training properly and some of it was the fact that it simply takes time. For example Google’s algorithm makes some websites wait a while before it makes it easy for them to rank content. This is to ensure that the website owner is going to stick it out and keep going.
Willing To Learn New Skills
Everyone has to start somewhere and I’m guessing, you are a total novice when it comes to affiliate marketing. I knew nothing about creating an affiliate marketing website before I built my first one. It is not difficult, but there are some important techniques that will speed up the process of earning money and making it successful.
These techniques include keyword research, SEO, effective writing, post and page design and engaging with your audience. These techniques are easy to learn, but you don’t want to miss any of them out.
Where To Learn More About Affiliate Marketing
With the right training, you can make sure you do a proper job on your website. You will gain skills and learn techniques that will prevent mistakes and speed up the process of earning money.
I did lots of research in to creating an affiliate website and realised good training was key to getting right. Many of the training courses I found didn’t fill me with confidence. There are lots of pushy people being quite shouty in their promotional videos trying to sell me the idea of a certain lifestyle. I didn’t need the idea, I needed to know how to get to that lifestyle. But I found Wealthy Affiliate, who were a breath of fresh air.
Initially what I liked Wealthy Affiliate, was the fact I could sign up to their Free Membership. This give me a chance to see what they had to offer, but it also gave me a chance to see if affiliate marketing was for me.
Check out the video from a fellow Wealthy Affiliate Premium Member below.
The free membership gave me 10 lessons, 2 free websites to play with, access to support, access to the Wealthy Affiliate community and use of the Jaaxy keyword tool. This was enough to help me get a good idea of what was in store for me if I decided to create an affiliate marketing website.
I have been a Wealthy Affiliate Premium Member for a while now. It has a ridiculous amount of resources to help you create and get the most out of your affiliate marketing websites.
The training takes you through every step in the right order, to ensure you don’t miss out critical parts. There are tasks to complete at the end of each lesson, so you know you have done everything you need to before moving on to the next part.
Other Aspects of Wealthy Affiliate
Wealthy Affiliate isn’t just a training platform. It is a one stop shop for your business needs. Memberships include business tools, the training on hoe to use them, technical support and support from the community. The community is huge and full of very knowledgeable people that are more than willing to help you with any questions. You are also assigned a coach, who you can bounce questions off.