One thing 2020 has taught us is the importance of an online presence. And many people have taken the extra time at home to start side hustles. The Internet is the way to do it.
So much of the buying process has moved online which means there is a larger pool of searches and potential customers. Affiliate marketing is positioned just right to capitalize on this increased web activity.
Building a website and designing a website are different things. The process below will help you build without needing to write any code. The good news is there are many tools available to everyday people, and we will point out which ones are worth choosing to save you time and money.
As an entrepreneur, your time is most valuable, so let’s get started.
7 Steps to Build an Affiliate Marketing Website
1. Choose your Niche
One of the first rules veteran affiliate marketers point out is finding your niche. Narrow down your focus to a single industry with only two or three affiliate products you promote.
“Choose a niche and work with companies within it. You can be an affiliate for just about anything, but readers won’t trust your opinions or click your links if you’re not an authority. Similarly, a reader might even write off your entire site as spam if it’s stuffed with irrelevant links. Do your best to select affiliate programs that fit naturally with our content.”
Kyla, WP Explorer
Your objective will be to create as much content as you can about the topics within your niche. So be sure to pick something you enjoy and have knowledge about – otherwise it will become a chore to you and eventually you will stop.
Some examples of niches:
- Web Hosting
- Fashion & beauty
- Video games
- Fitness & nutrition
- 3D printing
- Science experiments
- DIY crafts
Some niches are more profitable and competitive than others, so be sure to do some research before committing to a niche. You should look at what other content creators have published to get an idea of what you could create. Perhaps there is a topic that is not covered, or topics you know much more about.
If you can create content that is updated with new information, or in a format that is more engaging, then it is an opportunity to explore.
The list goes on and almost every category has a way to implement affiliate marketing. Often the key to winning is finding ways to be creative in how you deliver your content.
2. Pick a Domain Name
First, you need to name your website by picking a domain name. For example, nexcess.net.
This can be changed later so don’t feel stuck if you can’t decide just yet. Most hosting companies will let you use a temporary domain as a placeholder.
It’s common practice to find a domain name that is the same name as your business name or your personal name. You can also select from different TLDs (top level domains) like .com and .net.. For about $15, you can register a new domain for a year.
Try to avoid using hyphens and keep the length as short as possible. This helps visitors more easily type and find your website. Make it memorable and easy to say.
Also, take the time to check social media platforms to see if the matching username is available.
3. Choose WordPress
WordPress has now become the leading CMS (Content Management System) for building websites of all types.
It doesn’t matter if your site is a blog, store, membership site, or forum. WordPress is very versatile because it is free and open source.
With WordPress, you are the owner of your website content, which means you can use affiliate links to monetize. This makes WordPress unlike other platforms that restrict what you can have on your site and even delete your work if they choose.
Many independent developers have already created themes and plugins you can add to your site to make it look unique and function exactly how you want. That sounds technical, but it’s actually very easy to install and remove plugins with only a few clicks. The good news is that most plugins are free to install.
“WordPress is a great choice for beginners, being user-friendly and only having a small learning curve, but experienced developers can create superb websites with it, too.
Not only is the WordPress software itself free, but it is highly customizable. WordPress also has a strong community behind it with tutorials, YouTube channels, dedicated support, forums, and groups. You’re never far away from help if you need it.– Devesh Sharma, WP Kube
WordPress sites need to be hosted in order to be accessible on the Internet. Nexcess has built specific hosting plans optimized for WordPress sites to be fast and secure. With Nexcess, it is very quick and easy to set up your hosting, so you can focus on building up your site.
We host your websites on our servers where our experts manage the routine tasks of security and performance. This is called “managed hosting” because unlike shared hosting, you would normally be responsible for the maintenance of your sites.
Daily backups, automatic updates, and uptime monitoring is taken care of when you host your site with Nexcess. But if you do need help, we are always available 24/7 by phone, chat, and email.
We also offer hosting plans optimized for WooCommerce stores, which is a specific type of WordPress site that utilizes the WooCommerce plugin to turn your site into a streamlined online store.
4. Get Hosting for Your Site
Next, it’s time to set up your hosting account. Nexcess offers various plans for the needs of all types of websites. And if you already have a website, our team can migrate if for free to Nexcess.
For this guide, we will use the Spark plan. It is a great option for new websites and beginners, while still getting amazing performance. There is even a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) if you want to test it first.
There is the option to save by prepaying annually for your hosting, or to pay on a monthly basis. There are no contracts, and you can always upgrade once your website has started growing.
Once you have selected your plan, you will create your Nexcess account. Just enter your name, email, and create a password.
Select which of our data centers should host your website. We have locations all over the world:
- Southfield, Michigan
- London, UK
- Sydney, Australia
- San Jose, California
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Then create a nickname for your hosting plan. For example, “My Travel Blog”.
Enter your personal information.
Enter your payment details. If you have a coupon code, you can apply it here and see your discount. Click purchase.
Next, you will receive a welcome email with your receipt and a link to login to your account. It will also provide contact information for our support team if you ever need some help.
From your Nexcess dashboard, you will have access to your domain names and website settings.
To login to your WordPress dashboard for your site, click on Environment. Your login credentials are found there. Next, click App Admin. Alternatively, you can type your domain’s login URL in the browser. For example, https://mydomain.com/wp-admin/
Both of these methods will take you to the login page for your WordPress site.
5. Install a Theme and Add Plugins
Enter your credentials to login to your WordPress dashboard. Here is where you will be able to design your site, create blog posts, add plugins, and much more.
It may look a bit intimidating, but as you explore, you will find it is very easy to navigate. A great thing about WordPress is the community and the large amount of helpful resources to help with just about any question. It’s only a Google search away.
Next, you need to install a theme. These are pre-built layouts that change the design of your website. Go to Appearance, Themes, and Add New. You can always come back and change it later. There are even premium themes you can buy such as the Astra theme.
Click the Install button – it’s that easy. Then go to Appearance, and Customize to see what your theme can do and make it look how you want. Once you have configured the theme to your liking, click Activate to update your live website.
Plugins are extensions that add a function to your website. Let’s say you want your visitors to be able to contact you directly from your site – there are several plugins that will do this. Go to Plugins, and Add New. Just like themes, you can search for plugins that fit your needs.
Pay attention to the reviews and what people are saying about the plugin. Also, take into consideration which plugins have active support, since you don’t want to build functionality on your site around a plugin that may not have support down the road, leading to vulnerability issues.
6. Publish Your Affiliate Content
This is the meat of your affiliate marketing strategy, and the reason people will come to your site. A good practice is to publish often and publish valuable content.
Another reason WordPress is so popular is because creating posts is not difficult at all. This helps content creators be able to publish new content more quickly.
To reiterate – it helps immensely to focus on topics you are passionate about. Boredom will hinder you from working on new content and ultimately earning any affiliate income.
“If you are looking to build an affiliate marketing website the key to your success is keeping it as niched as possible. Affiliate marketing and SEO go hand in hand. So do your keyword research and keep things as niched as possible. Publish as much quality content as you can for the first 6-9 months. Stay the course and you will start to see significant traffic and conversions after those first 9 months of hustle.”
Kelan & Brittany Kline, The Savvy Couple
Over time, if you have created quality content, then it will begin to rank on search results and be shared. This is the true test to know if you are adding value to your audience. The result of that will be them beginning to use your affiliate links.
While creating your content, you should be aware of, and seek out, affiliate opportunities within your niche that fits well with your target audience.
7. Promote Your Affiliate Links
Determine which products your audience will benefit from the most and which offers affiliate commissions. Most companies will have an affiliate page that lists these details.
Promoting too many affiliate products can have a negative effect on your image. The foundation of being an affiliate marketer is earning a level of trust with your audience. These days, the Internet collectively has become more aware of how to spot websites with the sole intent to sell.
Once you have been approved into an affiliate program, you can begin using your affiliate links. Each company provides you an affiliate account that you can log into to see your performance and earnings. Here, you can copy your affiliate links.
Then you can insert your affiliate links into your articles. YouTube allows affiliate links to be placed in the video descriptions. And Linktree is a tool for adding affiliate links to your Instagram bio.
To add affiliate links in WordPress, go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Posts, then Edit under your selected post. Affiliate links can be embedded into text, buttons, or images. Select or highlight where you want to add the link and click the hyperlink icon. Paste your affiliate link into the field and press Enter.
Finally, click Publish in the top right corner of the page to update the change on your live website. Shortly, any new visitors to your site will be able to use your affiliate link.
Serious affiliate marketers monitor their traffic and conversions. Installing Google Analytics will show you the activity on your website. Some WordPress plugins like Google Site Kit let you see your traffic data from your WordPress dashboard.
Simply pasting affiliate links is not enough. To be successful, you will need to find what strategies work for you to promote your affiliate content. Connecting with other like minded authorities in your niche is a great place to start.
Sign Up to Become a Nexcess Affiliate Today
Now that you have built your website, you may be a good fit for our Nexcess affiliate program. If you believe your audience would be interested in our hosting services, sign up to become an affiliate. We hold regular affiliate contests for opportunities to win extra cash and other bonuses.
Subscribe to our affiliate newsletter to learn more.