Rome wasn’t built in one night. A successful Affiliate marketing website takes time and passion to turn all of the hard work to fruition. If you are looking for a step-by-step guide to build a successful affiliate marketing website for beginners.
Look no further because you have come to the right spot. Affiliate marketing only have been around here for three decades since it first made the debut in 1989 as a form of passive marketing.
Yet it is becoming popular with a number of bloggers and new affiliate marketers looking to learn how to make money in their niche sites.
But I will be the first one to tell you that affiliate marketing website can be quite a lucrative method to build sizable passive income stream. It is not a “get-rich” fast scheme at all.
You will need to put your effort and time to build your website before you actually see the first drip of passive income from affiliate marketing.
In this step-by-step guide to build a successful affiliate marketing website for beginners, I am going to explain how to get started with your first niche website.
Before we start, let’s go over the basics of affiliate marketing first and we will head into the step-by-step guide to build your first niche website.
Understanding the Fundamental of Affiliate Marketing
While the fundamental of affiliate marketing is pretty simple and straightforward. Not all affiliate programs that you are going to partner with will have the same policy or procedures. In fact, they various and some are generous towards affiliate marketers while some are stringent.
Which is why I feel it is important that you understand the basics of affiliate marketing so that you can get into the game without any issues or hassles. In this part, we will talk about these points:
- How Affiliate Marketing Works?
- Is Affiliate Marketing Actually Legit?
- Why Affiliate Marketing is Better?
- Where to Learn Affiliate Marketing?
At the end of this article, you will master the fundamental knowledge of affiliate marketing. So let’s get started with the first point.
How Affiliate Marketing Works?
In order to build a successful affiliate marketing website, you need to understand how this works. Fortunately, affiliate marketing is the easiest and most straightforward concept of marketing form.
All you have to do is partner with an affiliate program that you are interested in promoting their products on your website. When you become an affiliate partner at the company’s affiliate program, they will give you links with unique affiliate ID which is used to track your referrals and reward you commission for each sale you make.
On your website, when someone visits your website and clicks on your affiliate link, it creates browser cookie and attach to the visitor which is used to track them. When they make the purchase on the company’s platform, you will earn commission sale.
Before you can withdraw the commission sale, it goes into what is called holding period. Typically it is done to protect both you and the merchant if the customer decides to return the product for whenever reasons.
After the holding period ends, the commission sale becomes available and goes to your bank. Depending on the affiliate programs that you partner with, most will pay within 30 days which is known as Net 30.
Another common payout dates is Net 45 and Net 60, which means the merchants have 45 days and 60 days to pay commission to you, respectively.
Basically affiliate marketing works like this:
- Promote merchant’s products on your website.
- Visitors clicks on the products promoted on your website.
- Visitors buys the products and your commission sale goes into holding period.
- After a short period, that commission sales goes to your bank and is available for withdrawal.
- Rinse and repeat for other sales.
Affiliate marketing is a never-ending cycle and will repeat as long as there is interest in the products. Which means you can sell the same products as much as you can.
Is Affiliate Marketing Actually Legit?
Sure, you bet. Affiliate marketing is absolutely legit and anyone who is looking to make money on their websites can do that. All you need to do is join one of these affiliate programs and promote their products on your websites.
The only difference between affiliate marketing and your job is that you will be considered as self-employed. Which means you earn money for promoting products on your websites.
Money that you make off your websites will be used to pay taxes. Though, if you make less than $10,000 as self-employed you are not required to pay taxes at all.
Upon registering an account with these affiliate programs, you will be promoted to fill out W-2 forms which you can use to claim refunds if you pay any taxes.
Certain some affiliate programs don’t require W-2 form and prefers to send commissions directly to your PayPal — which in that case you will only get Form 1099-K if the total payments cross IRS threshold in a given calendar year.
As long as you promote products and earn the money, it is all yours and completely legit.
Why Affiliate Marketing is Better
If you are new to marketing and wants to learn how to make money online. You might be tore between starting an eCommerce and affiliate marketing website. There is a number of reasons why affiliate marketing website is a better option for beginners.
First of all, affiliate marketing is incredible affordable. You do not need to buy products or fees in order to earn money — unlike eCommerce stores which you need to buy products and stock them then wait for customers to buy them.
Affiliate marketing also have absolutely zero overhead costs. It doesn’t cost anything to be in the program and you can join as many as you want to promote their products on your website. All you need is access to the Internet.
Secondly, you don’t even have to interact with angry customers. If you have worked in the front end, you probably know how this feels when an angry customer demands for refund or replacement.
All of the customer inquires are directed to your merchants who will handle them and even help retain them so you do not lose out on commission sales that easily. With eCommerce store, you have to handle angry customers which can be a very displeasing sense.
Lastly, affiliate marketing website is easy to build over the time. Like I said before, there is no overhead costs. Which means you can expand quickly as you want to and your audience reach is virtually unlimited.
This makes it easy enough for you to promote high-paying products to your audience who is looking for solutions. You even can showcase merchant’s products anywhere you want to on the sidebar or header of your niche site.
Over the time, affiliate marketing website will become profitable in form of passive income that accumulates growth year-by-year. This is what makes affiliate marketing a popular choice for beginners and new affiliate marketers.
Perks of why affiliate marketing is better choice for beginners:
- Incredible affordable.
- No overhead costs.
- Don’t have to interact with angry customers.
- Great growth potential over the time.
- Easy to expand.
Where to Learn Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
There are a lot of affiliate marketing courses for beginners to learn how to do that. But these are the top three affiliate marketing courses I highly recommended for the best and in-depth experience.
Not to forget to mention that they are also reputable and have proven track record of success. That being said, Wealthy Affiliate is one of my personal favorite affiliate marketing course for beginners due to their rich content and informative lessons.
But the other two courses in this guide is also recommended if you are looking to create and sell products on your websites to maximize earning. Check out these affiliate marketing courses.
One of the best affiliate marketing course to learn right now for beginners is Wealthy Affiliate. It is home to the world’s biggest affiliate marketing course on the Internet with millions of like-minded affiliate marketers.
Wealthy Affiliate is rich in informative content thanks to a massive number of courses that is frequently updated to the latest information. You also can take advantage of video lessons and participate in classroom where you interact and ask the expert questions.
In addition to that, Wealthy Affiliate offers premium members option to host domain and web hosting at their platform which is equipped with dual industry-grade servers from Amazon Web Services for maximum performance and speed.
Starting your own website is completely free with Wealthy Affiliate’s SiteRubix tool. If you are a first timer to Wealthy Affiliate, you can get 7-days free premium membership via this link.
Commission Hero is absolutely a must-have affiliate marketing course for beginners who simply want to sell their product on FaceBook and Twitter. It’s pretty easy to sell as long as you follow their affiliate marketing lessons.
Unlike Wealthy Affiliate and ClickBank University, Commission Hero requires you to be willing to spend some of your money. Which means you will lose some of your money while you are promoting your products.
But in general you will see break-even within three months and profit growth with the following months afterwards. Commission Hero teaches you how to build an effective pre-sell product that sells fast and will earn you several hundred dollars in days.
If you are willing to risk some of your money (which isn’t always guarantee to turn into profit, by the way) in order to promote your product on FaceBook and Twitter, then Commission Hero is a good affiliate marketing course to learn.
You can learn more about Commission Hero via this link.
Another popular affiliate marketing course is ClickBank University. It is similar to Wealthy Affiliate, but ClickBank University is geared towards ClickBank products as they teaches you how to use them and maximize your earnings potential.
Wealthy Affiliate is the only product that you can sell on recurring basis, but ClickBank is home to some of the biggest niche marketplace and you definitely can make a living because they pay well.
ClickBank University is great for beginners and new affiliate marketers who is interested in driving traffic and earn decent bucks for each sale. In addition to that, they have exclusive community of like-minded affiliate marketers who helps each other grow.
You also can learn how to make pre-sell page with ClickBank Publisher Track in conjunction to Affiliate Track. They recently updated to version 2.0 and have helped several thousand affiliate marketers succeed, so can you too.
Click here to learn more about ClickBank University.
Step-by-Step Guide to Start Your First Affiliate Marketing Website
In this step-by-step guide, we are going to break into parts that covers each step extensively so you understand the importance of how to build a successful and profitable affiliate marketing website:
- How to Pick a Niche for Your Website
- How to Pick Perfect Domain Name
- How to Pick Web Hosting Plan
- Install WordPress Site Builder
- Partner with Affiliate Programs
- Create Social Media Accounts
- Blog and Promote Your Posts
- Engage Your Audience
How to Pick a Niche for Your Website
The first step to build a successful affiliate marketing website is that you need to pick a niche that you are interested in. It can be your favorite hobby, skill, or something you feel comfortable and confident talking about.
A niche website generally means a highly specialized website. Technology is an example of niche, but it is very broad because it can be defined as computer, smartphones, drones, cameras and anything that fits technology. Which doesn’t really help your visitor identify what the website is about.
So to help your visitor understand what your website is about, you should niche further. Which means going from technology to one of these focused categories. If you are going to talk about smartphones as your niche website, that’s ideal thing to do.
Now, why am I talking about niche and why is it so important that you pick one of your website. First of all, having a niche website helps separate your website from competitors and attracts quality traffic that actually increase the conversion rate which will be profitable in the long run.
A niche website tells your visitors what it is about and helps establishes your site as a trusted and authoritative website. It will become the to-go pit stop for the visitors whenever products they are looking for or need answers to their questions.
How to Pick Perfect Domain Name
This part is where many of us are stuck with choosing the perfect domain name for our websites. Plenty of us have experienced this type of feeling when we check out other websites and see how beautiful and organized they are. Plus their domain name is so fitting.
It drives all of us crazy sometimes and then we go back to our hosting service provider because we are not happy with our domain name, only to be told “no”.
In fact, your domain name doesn’t even have to be that perfect. But there are general rules of thumb that you need to keep in your mind when picking a domain name for your website:
- Keep your domain name simple and memorable, like two or three words combined together.
- Keep the character length of your domain to 15 or less to make it easier for visitors to remember you.
- Don’t use double letters for your domain because this is prone to errors when visitors tries to visit your site.
- Use keyword for your niche in the domain name to help your visitors identify what it is about and get SEO boost.
One thing I want to point out about using double letters for your domain. You will never want to do this at all. For instance, if you pick “planeengine.com” which is prone to visitors making errors when they enter in their URL address as “planengine.com”.
I am sure some of you have experienced this before only to be taken to a 404 error page and the website doesn’t exist. If you want to get direct traffic, then you need to avoid double letters between these two words.
Lastly, you will always want to include the keyword of your niche in the domain name. For example, if you are going to blog about cameras. Then you will want to include that keyword in your domain name, something like, “ecameras.com”, “smartcameras.com” or, “procameras.com”.
You get the idea. KISS your domain (keep it simple and sweet). I recommend purchasing domain names from NameCheap as they are the cheapest and you can point to your web hosting service provider like Siteground.
How to Pick Web Hosting Plan
The next step you need to do is pick a web hosting plan. This is pretty much straightforward and simple because all you need to do is visit Siteground and pick their cheapest hosting plan which is roughly $4 per month on an annual billing (~$50 / year) before renewal kicks in with standard rate.
If you plan to stick with just only one domain and prefers to start off small, then Siteground’s StartUp web hosting plan is a good choice. But as far as I know many bloggers and affiliate marketers pick GrowBig plan because it is a popular choice.
Plus you get support quickly to answer any inquires or concerns you may have throughout your time with Siteground. In addition to that, you can add more domains to that web hosting plan if you are looking to expand.
Generally, GrowBig web hosting plan is better choice because you will have more resources to yourself since there are fewer people on the same server as you are. This means more speed and resources to your website in exchange for better user experience.
I highly recommend Siteground because they are the best premium managed hosting service provider right now on the Internet. But if their pricing of web hosting plans is a bit out of the park for you, A2 Hosting and DreamHost are also two alternative web hosting service providers that I recommend.
Granted, they don’t have the same world-class speed and performance that Siteground does which is pretty critical for ranking your website to the front page in the search engines.
Regardless, they are good options for those who prefers to budget their money. If you are curious to learn why I recommend Siteground, read my in-depth Siteground review to find out.
Install WordPress Site Builder
Once you purchase a web hosting service provider from Siteground, your next step is to get the nameservers from your web hosting service provider and update your domain’s custom DNS.
This process generally takes 5 to 10 minutes at most. After you update your domain’s custom DNS, you need to go to your web hosting service provider and navigate to cPanel.
In your cPanel. you will find a tool called, “WordPress Installer.” Click on that and select your domain to install WordPress. This process doesn’t take that long at all.
After it is completed, your website goes live and is ready for you to start blogging your first post. At first visit, it feel overwhelming because the site is pretty much empty and that you have so much on your plate to do.
Don’t fret. Over the time you will add content to your website and it will gradually become packed with posts, links, and images. You also can pick any free themes on your website and customize to your own liking.
If you prefer, premium themes is also available for purchase as they are generally optimized for search engines and provides good user experience.
Partner with Affiliate Programs and Earn Money
One of the reason why I don’t recommend partnering with companies’ affiliate program right in the beginning is that some of them do require your website URL address in order to register.
Once your website is all set, it’s time to find affiliate programs that you would like to partner with and promote their products on your website.
For beginners, I recommend Amazon because they are the easiest affiliate program to start making money thanks to their popularity and high conversion rate. But you won’t grow that much with them in the long term due to low commission rate and short cookie duration.
So you should only partner with Amazon as your stepping stone. Share-A-Sale and ClickBank are two affiliate programs that rewards well to the affiliate marketers thanks to their generous commission rate and long cookie duration length.
You also can partner with Wealthy Affiliate and promote their product while you learn how to affiliate market on your website, which is pretty sweet deal if you are into that.
Create Social Media Accounts
The next step is creating social media accounts for your website. These social media accounts are absolutely must-have if you are looking to grow and expand your reach.
Facebook generates around 1.62 billion visits and Twitter attracts 145 million visits on daily basis which reveals there is huge social marketing potential that you can easily tap into.
Your first two social media accounts should be Facebook and Twitter since they have a lot of traffic and helps establish your website’s footprint early in this phase.
Over the time as you acquire followers and fans, you can focus on expanding to other social media platforms such as Instagram, SnapChat and even Pinterest to reach even more people.
Blog and Promote Your Posts
Now that you have both website and social media accounts ready, it’s time to write and publish blog posts. During this phase, you won’t generate that much of organic search traffic so you will need to rely on your social media accounts for traffic.
This is completely normal and it takes time for Google to see your website as valuable resource to potential visitors before they can rank you in the search engines.
Every time you publish a new post, share it on your Twitter and Facebook accounts. If you prefer to automate it so that the posts automatically gets shared on these social media accounts.
I recommend using one of these free automate social publishing WordPress plugin:
Engage Your Audience
Engaging your audience is very simple, yet an incredible and powerful way to increase your brand awareness and website visibility.
Whenever someone comments on your blog post, these comments are keywords and contributes toward your website’s ranking. Google loves engaging post content and ranks them higher in the search engines.
Engage your audience by replying to the comments. You will find out that there are going to be some people who are smarter than you are, and you get to learn through interacting them.
This is great because it increases the value of your website and you learn new thing that can be used to refine and improve the quality of blog posts.
Not engaging your audience is a wasted opportunity. So, make sure to take advantage of this and engage your audience as often as you can to show you care about them.
Conclusion of Step-by-Step Guide for Affiliate Marketing
There’s so many reasons why affiliate marketing is the best option for beginners and marketers who is looking to make money online.
Starting your first affiliate marketing website can be a mixed feeling of excitement to overwhelmed to determination. Whichever your niche site is about, you will be able to succeed with passion, time and commitment.
Some affiliate marketers see their first sale within 2 weeks and some don’t see until few months later. Success of affiliate marketing website depends on you and how you are promoting your content.
If you are struggling with your affiliate marketing website, Wealthy Affiliate is a great place to ask for resources as a freemium member.
Majority of the affiliate marketing website success depends on these factors:
- Quality of content (The longer, organized and more informative it is, the better it will rank)
- Search Engine Optimization (I recommend RankMath SEO / Yoast SEO)
- Speed of your website (Reduces bounce rate and increases conversion rate)
- Ease of navigation (Good website layout, easy for your users to navigate around)
- Matches your visitor’s intent (Do you have what they are looking for?)
- Good headline title (powerful, yet convincing enough to grab their attention and read your content)
That’s all you really need to know for basic affiliate marketing website. Generally affiliate marketers will learn and develop this skill over the time as they gain experience.
But for some beginners and affiliate marketers who would like to jump into the water right away, both Wealthy Affiliate and ClickBank University are the best affiliate marketing courses to get started.