Starting an affiliate website doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it is quite easy these days. Gone are the days when you had to know HTML, Java, and all those complicated programming languages.
Today you can learn how to start an affiliate website with relative ease. All you have to do is be able to follow some simple instructions and apply a little creativity. You know, that right-brain kind of stuff.
So let’s get down to it and create something great!
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: By clicking the affiliate links on this page I may earn a small commission from Wealthy Affiliate, Hostgator, or Bluehost (at no cost to you). Should you use these links, I appreciate your support! Click here for the full disclosure.
What Is An Affiliate Website
Before getting into the details, let’s talk about what an affiliate website really is. So, first let’s understand that the ideal approach to an affiliate website or Affiliate Marketing for that matter, is from the standpoint of helping people.
So, before you do anything you need to have a good understanding of who it is you want to help. This is your niche or niche market. If you’re not familiar with the term, a niche is a group of people that have a specialized requirement or need, which then requires a specialized product to fill that need.
Your niche could be “educational toys for toddlers” or it could be “how to save a marriage”. There are specialized products for each of these groups that you could promote on your affiliate website. Really, your niche could be anything, as long as it has a following of people and there are products to fill the needs of those people.
So an affiliate website could also be classified as a niche website since the website exists to fill the needs of the people in that niche.
If you get stuck on this topic please drop me a question in the comments section or send me an email from the Contact page and I will be happy to help you out. It is critical that you fully understand this concept as it is key to be able to move forward.
The Nuts And Bolts Of A Website
Once you have our niche identified you have the starting point or basic concept for your website. Now we can get started on actually creating the affiliate website.
In order to do that we need to create a materials list of sorts. What parts do we need to start building the website?
There are 3 primary components of a website.
- Domain name
- Hosting provider
- Website platform
A domain name is your internet real estate. It’s the address where your website lives on the internet. There are various types of domains such as .com, .net, .org, .info, .gov, and so on. Ideally, you want a .com domain name as that is most common and holds more value in the minds of people.
There are times when the domain name you want is already taken and you might go with a .net or .org domain. But these are the only types of domains I would recommend, .com, .net. or .org. Simply because they are the most appropriate and carry the most weight in the minds of people.
You want to choose a domain name that goes well with your niche. If we take the example of “educational toys for toddlers”, you could choose a domain name like “learningtoysfortots.com” or a variation could be “learningtoys4tots.com” . The bottom line is you want to easy to remember, keep it short as is practical, and catchy if possible.
What you don’t want to do is use characters like hyphens, such as “leaning-toys-for-tots.com”. Keep it all one together without any special characters.
A hosting provider does a couple of things. First, this is typically where you’re going to get your domain name. Second, it’s the company that will host your domain and website contents.
Some hosting providers are better than others. Meaning site speed, backups, support, and features.
All of these providers have excellent WordPress hosting plans starting at around $8 per month and up. Personally, I use SiteRubix by Wealthy Affiliate, as its a platform built for Affiliate Marketers by Affiliate Marketers. You can also sign up with SiteRubix for free and get a free WordPress SiteRubix domain to start you off. So you can test the waters so to speak.
Your website platform is the real workhorse. The platform you’ll be using is called WordPress. WordPress is open source and free to use. All the hosting providers listed above support WordPress. There are many free themes and plugins for WordPress as well. In fact, WordPress now hosts over 30% of websites on the internet.
This is where the ease of creating a website comes into play. You can literally create your website, using your selected theme (the overall look of your website), with the push of a button. It’s really that easy.
Once your website is created you can log in to your websites back office and start customizing your website and adding content.
Creating A Website Step By Step
All three of the hosting providers referred to above have one-click WordPress installation. SiteRubix being the easiest since it will walk you through creating your free website automatically once you set up login credentials.
Note: If you have opted for a SiteRubix website you’ll only need to enter your domain name and your login information. Everything else will be done automatically and you can skip to the next section on Creating Your Website Structure.
Step 1 – Choose a Domain Name
Choose your domain name. It would be a good idea to choose a couple of other options in case your primary choice is not available. Just remember, don’t use anything with hyphens.
Step 2 – Pick a Plan
If you are using Bluehost or Hostgator you’ll first choose a hosting plan. If you are just starting out I’d recommend the Baby Plan for Hostgator or the Plus Plan for Bluehost. Simply because these allow you to host an unlimited number of domains.
Step 3 – Enter Your Domain Name
Once you’ve selected your plan you’ll be able to enter the domain you want to use for your website. Here you will enter the name and select .com in the drop-down next to it.
If your domain is not available it will present you with alternatives. Instead of picking an alternative I would use one of your secondary choices from Step 1. Remember, you can’t change your domain name once you’ve paid for it. If you decide later that you want to change your domain name you’ll need to buy another and move your website which has its own complications. So its best to choose wisely from the get-go.
Step 4 – Setup Your Account
Once you’ve chosen a domain name you’ll need to choose your billing options, enter account information, and select and extra features. Of the extra features, you’ll probably want SiteLock for security and Site Backup if you want that protection.
Once you’ve paid for your hosting you’ll be able to log in to your hosting control panel. In the case of Hostgator, you’ll receive two welcome emails with instructions for logging in. Bluehost will take you straight into your control panel. If your hosting provider is someone else, just follow their instructions to get logged into your control panel.
Step 5 – Create Your Website
Now that you’re logged into your hosting account you’ll be able to create your affiliate website. Depending on our hosting provider you need to click on the appropriate icon to install WordPress to your domain. For Hostgator it is “Getting Started With WordPress” for Bluehost it is “One Click Install”.
Next, you’ll need to enter your Site Name or Blog Title, Admin Username, Admin Email Address, and Admin Password. I have included below the setup screens for both Bluehost and Hostgator. Note that Hostgator will set the password for you.
Click install and you’re done! You’ve just created your affiliate website.
Next, we will begin creating the structure of your website, selecting a theme, and get started with some basic pages you’ll need to create.
Creating Your Website’s Structure
Now we get into the fun stuff! Learning how to start an affiliate website can be really fun once you learn about all the amazing things you can do with WordPress.
The first thing you’ll want to do is choose an appropriate theme and create some basic pages. I have created a video walk-through below to guide you in selecting a theme and doing some basic setup tasks.
Note: If you are new to WordPress I would highly suggest signing up for SiteRubix Hosting where you can get a FREE WordPress SiteRubix website. It won’t cost you anything. You can use this to acclimate yourself to WordPress without the worry of messing anything up. If you mess it up, just delete it and create a new Free website and start over.
Log in to your WordPress Admin panel by either clicking on the appropriate link in your hosting control panel (SiteManager for Site Rubix Sites) or simply go to your web browser’s location bar and enter: “http://yourwebsitename.xxx/wp-admin”. Be sure and substitute your domain name for “yourwebsitename.xxx”. Also, make sure you have your admin password before going to the login page.
Log in with the username of “Admin” and the admin password provided to you or the one you choose, whichever the case may be.
Follow the video above to do the following.
- Update WordPress to the current version
- Update any Plugins
- If “All In One SEO” is not installed, install it now and activate it.
- Trash/Delete the sample post and the sample page
- Create the following pages
- About Me
- Affiliate Disclosure
- Earnings Disclaimer (If necessary)
- Create your primary Post Categories as shown in the video. Found under “Posts” – “Categories”.
- Choose a theme as shown in the video. Found under “Appearance” – “Themes”
- Customize your theme as shown in the video. Found under “Appearance” – “Customize”.
- Create your primary navigation menu as shown in the video. Found under “Appearance” – “Customize”- “Menu”.
- Customize your sidebar, found under “Appearance” – “Widgets”. Then customize your right or left sidebar, whichever you choose to use.
There are sites such as Termsfeed that have templates and can assist you in creating legal pages.
Note: While I recommend using the GeneratePress theme, there are many other free themes to choose from. However, if you later choose to use a page builder such as Elementor, GeneratePress Free and Pro both work very well with Elementor.
Creating Your Affiliate Website Content
If you haven’t heard it before, Content is King!
One of the most important things when learning how to start an affiliate website is creating content. Content is what drives your website traffic and content is what makes your affiliate website useful to its visitors.
99% of your content will be created as a “Post” versus a “Page”. Why? Because Posts give you two vital elements, the ability to categorize your content (remember those categories we created above) and the ability for users to comment on your articles (posts).
Your content will primarily be made up of useful information and tips focused on your niche, product reviews, and how-to articles. Your content will also be driven by keywords. Keywords are what Google and other search engines use to determine if an article is relevant to what your readers are searching for.
Write your articles as though you were telling a friend about the topic. It makes for a more engaging article and it makes it more readable. Writing to engage people on a website is totally different from other types of writing. Don’t write like your writing a dictionary. Write in an engaging style, using pictures and video where appropriate.
Break up your words into short paragraphs so your content does not read like a book. You don’t want your article to look like a sea of never-ending text.
Anyone can learn how to start an affiliate website these days. With website builders like WordPress, creating an affiliate website can be done with relative ease.
The key to making money with your affiliate website is going to lie within your niche and your website content. Providing information via your website content that is informative, engaging, and useful to your niche readers, as well as recommending quality relevant products, will all help to drive affiliate sales.