Building and grow your affiliate website has become less and less complicated these days. Unlike many years ago, you no longer need to learn HTML coding or programming to get started on your site. All you need is a few clicks of the mouse, and your website is up and ready to go!
Why do people put up their own blogs? There are many reasons why people set up their own affiliate sites and one of these is to generate income.
This is the primary reason for all of my websites, and if this is also why you’re reading this article, then you’ve come to the right place.
Generating income out of your own affiliate website is a better option than operating any other kind of legitimate business, so first step is to learn how to grow your affiliate website.
How to grow your affiliate website
First of all, you do not have to deal with paying real estate rent, inventory, staff management, or any of the usual headaches that go with operating your own business and grow your affiliate website.
Unlike with other businesses, you can start an affiliate site anytime, practically anywhere, and learn as you go.
If you’re mindful of a few basic techniques, you need not invest a whole lot in order to get started and actually earn from your blog.
On the other hand, if you put up your own restaurant business, for instance, you will need to invest, more or less, USD 150,000, which you will not begin to recoup until after several years of operation.
If you play your cards right, you may hit breakeven in three years, but when there are huge marketing costs at the start of your restaurant operation, it can take longer than that.
Depending on the nature of your product, profit margins may also be negligible during your first few years after breakeven point, and, as evidenced in this global CoVid19 crisis, startups are the first to go during such precarious situations but it's not problem in case to grow your affiliate website.
This poses a huge investment risk for highly invested startups.
As for operating your own affiliate marketing business, you can start to earn in half a year with an operating expense of just a few dollars. This might sound too good to be true, but with regard to cost and operation, I know this to be facts.
Also, affiliate blogging does not require you to be in an office which is a plus if you value mobility and time-efficiency. You can operate your site from the comforts of your home or wherever you are as long as there is wi-fi connection.
There isn’t a need to comply with any licensing documentation or experience and college degree requirements to get yourself started on affiliate marketing. All you need is to know are a few basics and the rest you can pick up as you go along.
As with all businesses, not all affiliate businesses succeed. The good thing with the latter, though, is that failure does not cost you an arm and a leg.
Since you’re not renting or paying off some fixed or startup marketing costs, the only valuable investment you run the risk of losing is time and a few dollars.
If your affiliate site does not take off, you can always close it down and build a new one with a meager financial investment, but we are here to show you how to grow your affiliate website.
I, myself, have set up more than a hundred sites in the last 10 years and I can say from experience that almost anyone, with ample effort and perseverance, can succeed in this affiliate business, and that, you can derive sustainable income from running good websites.
So, if you think this is your type of business and are ready to give it a try, then read on.
Before we go into the actual process of setting up your own affiliate site, let’s clarify a few terms first. As a newbie, as I once was, it’s understandable to get confused with jargons so I thought it best to clarify contexts before we start.
What is a website? What is a blog?
Technically, a website is a collection of information that is located on the worldwide web and a blog is a website that aims to provide information or service to its readers. Examples of websites are Wikipedia, company websites, Amazon, and Facebook.
We can say that not all websites are considered blogs although all blogs are essentially websites.
As you may have already noticed in this article, the terms, website, site, or blog, are used interchangeably so you do not need to bother about the specific differences.
When you encounter these terms, then, know that they all mean the same thing in the context of this article.
That said, let’s now proceed to how you can get started and grow your affiliate website.
Build, Operate, & Grow Your Affiliate Website Using 5 Basic Principles
So let's start with how to grow your affiliate website!
1st Principle: Understand the three building blocks of your website.
There are three essential things that constitute the foundation of your website. These are your domain, website hosting, and content management system or CMS.
Without these three constituents, you cannot build a website.
At the same time, by just having these three, one can build a website and get it up and running in a few mouse clicks.
So, what are these basic components of a website before you start to grow your affiliate website?
Your domain refers to the location of your affiliate website. Your domain address enables online users and search engines to find your website in the huge worldwide web.
Your website hosting is the storage location of your content and website code.
Content Management System
Your content management system or CMS is the software that builds, maintains, and operates your website. This is why CMS is also referred to as your website builder.
Your CMS is the one responsible for making your website mobile-friendly and visually appealing to readers.
There are several CMS options for you to choose when building your affiliate website.
In this example, I shall be using WordPress as your website builder. Not only is WordPress free for you to use (which is good news), it also is one of the widely used CMS by newbies and big brands for its versatility and user experience.
With WordPress, you can have access to a lot of cool features for your blog, and it also gives you many hosting options, which I will explain in the succeeding paragraphs.
So, just to give you an idea how much you need to invest to get started, here are some ballpark figures to take note of with regard to website operation and maintenance needed to grow your affiliate website:
Domain – USD 15 / year
Website Hosting – Less than USD 70 / month
CMS – USD 0
If you’re a complete newbie and have no inkling as to what website you want to put up or if you feel you need starter lessons to understand a bit more before you dive in, I recommend this beginner course, which is free and does not have an email opt-in.
2nd Principle: Choose simplicity & efficiency to grow your affiliate website.
I enlisted as a member of the Wealthy Affiliate community in order to set up and host all of my affiliate websites, and it's great start point for newbies to grow your affiliate website.
For beginners, I highly recommend doing this as well because it will save you a lot of time and trouble while you’re still learning the ropes. Also, this will speed up the process of getting you started online, which is where you need to focus your efforts on.
As a Wealthy Affiliate (WA) member, you will be allowed access to tools that are designed quite specifically for affiliate marketers such as you.
WA members no longer concern themselves with finding the right domain or website hosting, which could be tedious if you’re uninitiated. These first two components will be taken care of by WA so that you can get right to content-building.
The domains that the WA offers to its members are justly priced at an annual fee of USD 15 and I can say that the WA hosting service is tip top.
To be a member, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee of USD 49, which enables you to have an optimized WordPress hosting for a maximum of ten sites. This is pretty useful if you plan on growing your affiliate site, so it becomes a sustainable income stream.
There’s also a 24/7 technical support service for members, which is very important when you encounter technical problems along the way.
To get started on your CMS, you can open up a free WordPress account with the Wealthy Affiliate, which is uncomplicated to install. If you decide to expand, later on, you can always upgrade to a more suitable plan.
There are some amazing benefits that you’ll soon discover as a Wealthy Affiliate member. However, you may not completely understand them all at this point but they will help you to grow your affiliate website.
As you build and grow your affiliate business, you’ll be able to learn how to maximize all these features to your advantage. Let me cite a few of these features that aren’t provided by other hosting companies:
- Spam Block – ensures that your visitor engagement is secured.
- Site Health – provides you with information on your website’s ranking and indexing
- SEO plugin – proves useful when you start content production and need to optimize content for search engines
- Image Optimizer – helps in speeding up your website page loading
- Site Speed – amazingly boosts the loading time of your website
- SSL Certificate and Site Security – important features to ensure your website protection and security
- Hosting Management – useful when troubleshooting
For better understanding, I’ve further broken down the website set-up into four easy steps. These are:
Pick the type of website you want before you grow your affiliate website.
You have a choice of setting up a free affiliate site or a premium one when you decide to sign up to the Wealthy Affiliate company. To determine if its platform is to your liking, you can opt to sign up for a free membership first.
Decide on your website name.
I’m assuming that your purpose for building your website is income-generation, so I recommend that you use ‘.com’ as part of your domain name.
If you’re already a member of the Wealthy Affiliate, navigating your free domain to a ‘.com’ site is just a click away. There are other members that complete the beginners’ training first after they’ve built their free website, and then, navigate their free site to a ‘.com’ site. It’s up to which you prefer.
Select your design theme.
When you use WordPress, your chosen theme will automatically dictate the succeeding design features of your affiliate site such as the format of your menu, sidebar, font, and color. Your blog must look attractive in order to grow your affiliate website.
Once you’ve picked the theme that you think is apt for your site, you will, then, operate under its format to tweak or polish up your website design, which includes content publication or interlinking.
Here’s a quick tip. When you deliberate on your theme, opt for something simple at first. This constitutes a white backdrop and black, straightforward text format.
Control your urge to animate everything or make it too design driven. Stay away from too many graphics, unique navigation processes, or anything that is too time-consuming to implement.
Focus on what counts the most at this initial stage and don’t spend too much time on design.
Producing articles is more crucial at this development stage because valuable and effective content is what makes your site rank among search engines. If your rank is low, your traffic suffers and it will be hard to grow your affiliate website.
You can devote time in polishing your website’s look later on but, for now, just decide on a simple but fitting one and move forward!
Run your CMS.
On average, jumpstarting your affiliate website is a 30-second process. After logging in, you can already begin to publish your articles.
You only have to click on ‘build my website’ and the Wealthy Affiliate system will immediately do so.
It’s that simple.
Know that your website content determines rank, which determines traffic, and leads to eventual sales.
As an affiliate marketer, sales equal income, but before that you need to grow your affiliate website.
So, once you’re done with these four steps, you’re actually only done with the easier part.
The more challenging part of the business is to make sure that your site ranks well and doing so involves several other things that include consistent, smart, and effective content production.
Don’t worry. If you’ve accomplished all the things that we’ve discussed at this point, then you’ve already made some progress toward achieving your goal.
If you’ve not yet enlisted as a Wealthy Affiliate member, here’s the link to create your free account with them and jumpstart your career as an affiliate blogger:
Again, you can opt to join for free for as long as you want.
Within the Wealthy Affiliate community, you can converse with like-minded entrepreneurs such as yourself who, themselves, are on the same journey as you are, or you can ask the veteran players for some advice on direction and techniques.
I’ve known of affiliate marketers who gave up, early on, because they lacked the support to keep them going toward the right direction.
As a beginner, having someone to share your concerns or obtain advice from helps make the future prospect less intimidating and more achievable.
This is one of the benefits that you get to enjoy when you become a member of communities such as the Wealthy Affiliate which will help you to grow your affiliate website faster.
3rd Principle: Get cozy with your WordPress standard design.
Although blogging is becoming more and more common these days, most people still believe that to build and operate a blog, you have to have programming knowledge.
Well, those days are gone.
Over the past decades, technologies have advanced so much that it only requires a few mouse clicks in order to build and get started on your own website.
To further enhance the user experience, content management systems such as WordPress has even enabled website owners to prettify their sites with myriad themes and features.
There are three basic WordPress elements that you should be familiar with as a website owner:
- Menus and Widgets
There has been a recent development with WordPress such that you have the option to select the original editor (classic) or the block editor (the newest) template.
Since I’ve used the classic template since I got started on WordPress, I’m sort of attached to it already.
In your case, know that both templates have pros and cons and I leave it up to you to choose.
Since the block template is the updated one, you may opt for this as there are new feature developments every year. If you’re tech-savvy, you will find this really cool and easier to manage.
If, like me, you prefer the standard features, go classic. You’ll discover that instructional materials found in YouTube are still mostly using the classic mode so it will be easier for you to figure.
Don’t fret if you want to go block mode. You can always change mode anytime and it’s pretty easy to do so.
Themes to grow your affiliate website
Your website’s theme is an essential design element that will dictate how your affiliate blog will appear to your readers.
Whatever theme you choose will affect the overall appearance of your website as each theme has its own unique format and design features.
If you’re not sure yet what theme you would like to choose, don’t stress. What is good about WordPress is that you can easily switch themes whenever you need to.
Under the free WordPress package, you get to choose from over more than 10,000 design formats while with the premium paying package, the choices multiply many times over.
If you need my recommendation on what theme to choose, I suggest you pick the Generate Press design which you will find by clicking on, ‘Appearance,’ and then click on, ‘Themes.’
The Generate Press theme is uncomplicated but comes with a lot of choices for customizing your look. Again, begin with the most functional first. Later on, you can switch to more complicated themes if you like.
With lots of possibilities to customize your WordPress template, it is understandable to get tempted to spruce up your site with wonderful, stimulating, and compelling themes especially for beginners. I know this because I also used to get sidetracked with it myself.
It's not helping that the designs are quite visually arresting but know that most of these ornamentations do not considerably impact your chances of profiting from your blog. Later on, you’ll get what I mean.
Another thing that will entrap you is that to be able to maximize those features, you will need some background and skill.
I’m not saying that you say, ‘no’ to sprucing up your design. On the contrary, I encourage you to find time to learn them – but not this time. While you’re still on the building stage, all you will need is the standard functional format.
For logos, you can just obtain a cheap one from sites such as Fiverr.com. So, how do you go about it?
First, click on, ‘Settings.’ Go to, ‘Reading.’ Check that ‘Your Homepage Displays’ is ticked on ‘Your Latest Posts.’ If not, do so. After that, you’re done.
Since time is limited and content production is what fuels an affiliate website, it would be wise to maximize your time on focusing your efforts on the latter first.
Instead of spending so much time with your website design, I suggest that you dedicate your time to learning the ropes in affiliate marketing. This is wise counsel especially for those who are complete beginners in this online business.
Keep churning out effective and valuable content consistently first. More of this content means increased chances of sales conversations, and, as you should already know by now, sales equals income to an affiliate marketer.
Unlike other personal blogs, an affiliate website is not essentially about what you are doing at the moment, whether eating or exercising, unless your blog is about Health and Wellness.
The focus of your content should be on fulfilling the needs of your targeted niche. I’ll mention some of the techniques that you can apply in article writing that can impact visitor traffic to your site and generate eventual sales.
Menus and Widgets
Like with our mobile devices, the menus and widgets in WordPress are those that you can tinker with. For every WordPress theme, there will be unique menus and widgets.
For instance, one theme may have more than more than five menus while another would have only one. Some may only include a sole widget in their header while another would have many corresponding widgets on the header, footer, and sidebar.
To build your menu, you first need to create one, append pages and links, save your work, and locate it according to your theme format.
Of course, you’ll need to publish basic content about your blog to give your readers an idea about what to expect from your site.
If you’re a smartphone user, you probably know what widgets are. They are sort of similar to menus, with the addition of several other features.
Again, your widget choices would depend on your chosen design theme.
Your can add an email opt-in in your site, plugins, unique widgets, code, images, and more plugins.
The widgets you choose can be located in your header, footer, or on your sidebar, depending on what design you picked.
It’s easy to get carried away with this task, but, as I earlier mentioned, don’t succumb to this temptation. Less is more in this case so you can be efficient and are able to focus on the critical parts.
This goes without saying that you should skip the animation and videos so as not to burden your website’s storage and slow it down.
What are these plugins? You can liken them to the apps that we use and download on our mobile devices.
These plugins usually act as additional features and functions for your site.
An example of these plugins that you might fight very useful is the SEO or caching plugins. There are so many plugins that you can add to your template that can contribute to enhanced functionality or user experience.
Another one made available to you are the those that enable engagement with your website visitor or other features that your visitors can view and understand your content more.
One such plugin is the star rating plugin. This is especially useful when your article is a product review because charts, such as these, help break the monotony of text, increasing the viewer’s understanding of your article.
To keep track of the number and type of plugins that you installed in your affiliate site, just click on, ‘Plugins’ on your taskbar and the list will be displayed.
Like other design features that keep things interesting, plugins can be fun to tinker with.
As I illustrated awhile ago, these plugins can support visitor interaction, traffic-building, and sales conversions. Take heed that you do not overload your site with too many plugins, though, as they can dramatically slow down your website, which can decrease your chances of ever converting.
One last thing, you do not need to have background knowledge to add plugins to your site. It’s no-fuss and quite straightforward.
Just don’t forget to pick a plugin that’s recently updated. You may also need to have your plugins regularly updated, with some exceptions to this rule.
Stay away from plugins that have not been updated for over 12 months as it could be detrimental to your website’s security and safety.
How Else Can You Tweak Your Site Design to grow your affiliate website faster?
Some of you may have already discovered that there are almost limitless possibilities to spruce up your website.
As you continue to be adept with WordPress, you’ll discover so much more of these, realizing that you do not need knowledge on coding all along.
For over ten years, I’ve been managing my websites on WordPress. Although I’ve learned a lot about WordPress, I continue to employ freelancers to code my designs so I can focus more on other crucial matters.
If you also wish to do this, the going rate for hiring a skilled developer is USD 35 per hour, give or take.
Because these are really specialized designers, they can tweak any of your design aspects faster than if you would do it yourself.
Of course, since you’re just starting out, do not trouble yourself with these things. Work on your budget first and focus on the important tasks.
4th Principle: Aim to earn & master the ways of doing so through your site.
Ninety percent of your work as an affiliate marketer is content production. Yes, you will need to polish those writing skills so as to attract high-quality visitors to your site.
Most of the time, online users surf the internet for information on almost anything, from the latest recipes, electronics on sale, to instructional material for gadget repair.
Surfers would also key in questions such as, ‘Can my cat get sick by eating tuna flakes?’ or ‘What’s the best lens for panoramic shots at dusk?’
With you in position to provide such information or answers with your blog, you will now have to polish up those creative writing skills so as to convert this engagement into income.
Affiliate marketing business demands a lot of writing, and if you’re one of those who do not feel confident about this skill, you can always hire freelancers to do this task.
I do advise, however, that you educate yourself on the rudimentary principles of writing and SEO or search engine optimization.
Since blogging is content-focused, it would be wise to hone these skills so you can effectively drive content production for your website, especially since you’re hiring freelancers to do the writing.
As the website owner, it is you who are most knowledgeable about your subject matter and income goals so you will need to provide direction and guidance to these hired writers to ensure that they are producing the kind of material that will attract sales-converting traffic to your site.
Also, even if you have freelance writers, it is still ill-advised to completely depend on them.
Eventually, you will need to improve on your writing skill and SEO knowledge as you go along, and the best way to do this is to practice, practice, practice. Own your business by being good at it in every aspect. Write, persevere, learn, and improve.
If you think your article is not that good, don’t worry. You can always go back to it and edit, or you can update it with a better one.
Just keep at it until you’re good at it. Every successful blogger started as a newbie just like you.
That said, let’s proceed to how you can actually profit from your affiliate site.
Sign up with affiliate programs.
Most firms have their own affiliate programs. If you find one that is relevant to your website, you can sign up with them, which does not involve any fees.
Usually, you will be asked to fill out an application. Once approved, you will be given a code that is unique to your website and which will be used by the program to keep track of the sales that originated from your website.
You earn from the commissions from these consummated sales, and depending on the product you’re marketing, it can range from 1-100% of the total sale value.
With the global pandemic ongoing, there are boundless possibilities by which you can profit through your affiliate marketing business.
Online migration has never been this fast and encompassing that it is up to your creativity and resourcefulness to tap into this rich mine of opportunity.
Here’s a tip. Write articles that address people’s needs and wants. Know what people search for on the internet and let that guide you as you compose your blogs.
Given that there are so many products and services out there and so many variants for each of these, this means that there are so many topics to blog about.
To keep your affiliate site fresh and interesting, you can vary your approach and style.
You can publish product reviews, instructional videos, charts, and so on.
Do remember that your main objective here is to focus on a particular subject matter which appeals to your targeted niche.
Based on this, you can choose which relevant products to recommend to your market and you do this through content-writing.
Should you be interested to know more on affiliate marketing, I’ve included some links in the succeeding portions of this article until the end for you to check out. Here’s one link that will provide you ideas on what topics to target and the relevant products which you can promote:
Market affiliate products through display advertising.
Earning through your affiliate website can also be done through display advertising. It is one of the simplest to do. Plus, there is no pressure to make a sale in order to earn from it.
All that needs to be done is to publish your content and append the advertising code. That’s it! The advertising networks will then take care of the selling themselves.
The important thing is that you already have good traffic in your website. If so, companies will allow you to put up the display ads on your site.
You do not even have to worry how to do it because the ad firm will worry about these things such as where to locate the ads in your article so that it gets clicked by your readers.
Since it’s such an easy task, the payout is also not that remarkable. They go from several cents for every click.
So, to earn a decent income from display ads, you need to have large and good quality traffic in your site. This ups the chances of ad clicks.
To generate a decent profit out of this, you’ll need to have at least thousands of visits a day to your site.
Since you’re still starting out, this may not be the best way yet for you to earn considerable profit, but it may be one of your options as soon as you’ve gained enough traction with your affiliate site.
Also, as this is a passive way of earning income through your site, this option is usually ideal for those who are no longer active with the blog and are planning to sell eventually.
Sell Your Website.
You must be asking why, at this point, this counts as an option. Well, this is about how you can profit from your affiliate site, isn’t it?
Well, you must know that should you choose to close down your site and spin off into another, you can always consider selling your original site for a hefty sum.
Of course, you must first build and grow your affiliate site such that it becomes an attractive prospect to would-be buyers.
Usually, when you have a high-quality website, you can sell it for more than 20 times its monthly revenues. In other words, if you’re profiting at a monthly amount of USD 2,000, then you can sell your site for more than USD 40,000.
So, you see, as long as you do well with your affiliate site, there’s always something to gain from it, whether through passive marketing effort or dynamic campaign.
If you decide to move on after having established your blog, there is still huge earnings to be had from selling it.
Either way, you earn.
So, you’re not actually just earning on a regular basis, you’re also growing an asset that will prove more valuable in the long run.
For the meager financial investment you put it, I’d say this is quite a good deal.
5th Principle: Never stop growing – continue to educate yourself as you go.
Now that you know the process of starting an affiliate website, the last thing to do is to ensure that you keep getting better at what you do each day.
There are so many other things that you need to equip yourself with in order to succeed in this business.
I know it’s exciting to embark on something new and promising, but the thing is, like any worthwhile endeavor, affiliate marketing also requires hard work, skill, and perseverance.
To achieve your success goals, you need to keep getting better at what you do. You need to expand your knowledge and polish your skills.
This is where you turn to those who’ve made it to the top. One of the ways to do this is to tap on free trainings and other resources that can better equip you for the long journey ahead.
If you wish to enroll on an affiliate training course, here are some of the recommended options for you to consider.
Free Courses on Affiliate Marketing
For training on the basics of affiliate marketing, you can click on this beginners’ course. It’s free and can provide you with helpful techniques on content production and traffic building: https://onemorecupof-coffee.com/learn-affiliate-marketing/
You will be given additional information on SEO and keyword research which are important factors to getting your website to rank well with search engines.
Remember that the key here is to build traffic in your site through content. The more traffic, the better your chances of generating income.
Membership in the Wealthy Affiliate will help you to grow your affiliate website faster
Affiliate marketing is not a fly-by-night business. It takes time to build, grow, and profit from it.
During the long and exacting journey, you will commit a lot of mistakes from which you will pick up important lessons.
A lot of affiliate marketers often give up during these initial stages and it will help if you have a supportive community to back you up and provide guidance. Also, if you are given access to the right resources, your chances of success are increased.
This is where membership to affiliate communities such as the Wealthy Affiliate come in handy.
If you’ve read enough about affiliate marketing before coming across this article, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Wealthy Affiliate.
The company has been providing services to affiliate startups and even intermediate marketers since 2005 and I, myself, started out my affiliate journey with them when I enrolled in their beginners’ training in 10 years ago.
You, too, can go the same route as I did.
If you’re reluctant, you can always join them under a free membership program, where you get to check out what they have to offer.
There, you will be able to interact with affiliate marketers who are also starting out such as yourself and share information.
You can also seek counsel from some of the veteran members who are more than willing to help you out.
If you decide to enlist as a Premium member, I can mentor you as one of my referrals, of which I make a 50% commission.
I remain an active member of the community, and check into the site every day to assist all my referrals.
To know more about the Wealthy Affiliate, click on my full review about it. I’ve got to warn you, though, that it’s an 8,000-word review since I’ve been a member of the community for 10 years already.
If you’ve not the time to read it, I suggest you just try it out. One thing I’ve learned in my years of affiliate marketing is that taking decisive action produces results.
And oh, before I forget, once you get to join the Wealthy Affiliate, you will also be provided a hosting for your site and a content management system, which are essential to jumpstarting your website.
With these taken care of, you can readily begin your career as an affiliate marketer, with the support of millions of like-minded entrepreneurs and myself by your side every step of the way.
Other Training Options to grow your affiliate website
If you feel you need to expand your knowledge and skill a bit more, I’ve outlined some of the other trainings that you can explore and discern the one that best suits you.