Affiliate sites are a great way for individual bloggers and web masters to make money while producing content on a hobby or passion. This tutorial will take you through the steps in making an affiliate site.
How Do Affiliate Sites Work?
An affiliate website starts with interesting, helpful, and entertaining content. At the same time, the site also provides referrals to purchase products or services by linking the products in the posts. If the reader follows those links to make purchases, the affiliate site may qualify for a set commission of those sales.
Painless Partnerships With Huge Profit Potential
By giving commissions to sales, popular bloggers, writers, and content producers finally have a direct way of making money without bombarding readers with ads. At the same time, sellers benefit by generating more sales.
Many bloggers with constant traffic do not realize how easy this process can be. In most cases, applying takes minutes. Once accepted, you receive a special URL that identifies your affiliate site. To refer users to a specific product in an online shop, one obtains a special URL to a specific product that notifies the seller that the link was from the affiliate site. In both cases, the seller website makes obtaining links for the blogger/ affiliate site rather painless, as simplicity will generate mores sales.
Steps Of This Affiliate Site Creation Tutorial
In most cases, you need to have your site created before you apply. Sites like Amazon want to check your site. Once accepted, Amazon gives you 6 months to make at least 3 sales, which serves as a probationary period of the partnership. If you don’t have a site made, Step By Step WP has you covered. This tutorial will walk you through the steps, and provide you with templates. That way, you can get your landing pages created, write a few blog posts, and then apply to be an affiliate.
- Get Hosting For Affiliate Website
- Create Affiliate Site
- Apply To Be An Affiliate Partner
- Create Great Content
- Outreach and Guest Posts
Get Hosting For Your Affiliate Site
Cost ~ $75 for 12 months
If you don’t have hosting, this is the default place to start. This is the company that will store your website on their server. If you need a hosting recommendation, it is hard to argue with wordpress.org, the company that maintains the WordPress framework. WordPress recommends three hosts, and this site runs on one of them, SiteGround. They have great customer service, and they continue to innovate for the small website owners that are starting out. Here is a video tutorial demonstrating step by step instructions for setting up hosting with SiteGround.
Use this link to SiteGround to show appreciation for these free resources.
Create Affiliate Site
Install Plugins and Themes
This tutorial uses almost exclusively free resources, except Elementor Pro. Elementor, the free version, is amazing in itself, but it doesn’t allow you to create blog post templates. With Elementor Pro, you can create post templates and blog page templates that will present your content professionally, which leads to more sales.
In the past, you might purchase a theme because of a layout or design. These days, you make one purchase (Elementor Pro). Install a free theme, use free templates you can customize, and you have much more control over your site. This tutorial provides free templates, and Elementor Pro provides several free templates. If those options don’t work, start with a template and customize it, or create any header, footer, page, post template, and blog archive page from scratch with Elementor Pro.
Free Theme – Astra
Astra is a lightweight, minimal theme that was created by the same group that created Elementor. Since the same teams work on these resources, it adds another level of safety when it comes to compatibility.
- Elementor (optional)
- Spectra (Templates and Gutenberg Blocks)
- SEOPress (apply SEO to your pages)
- Free Security Plugin Included in Siteground.*
- All in One WP Security (increase site security) *
- Free Optimize Plugin included in Siteground.*
- Autoptimize (increase site speed)*
- Under Construction (optional)
*If you don’t opt for SiteGround, use Autoptimize for page optimizer, and All in One WP Security for security.
If you like the WordPress Gutenberg Page Builder, you will love the spectra plugin. It comes with page templates and some great free blocks. If you like the Elementor Page Builder, you probably will like the templates coming from Elementor Pro (Upgrade link below).
To backup your site, you can use UpdraftPlus, and put backups on your server, local computer, or Google Drive. If you used SiteGround for hosting, they provide automatic backups. You can roll back for free if you have the Grow Big package, or pay to have a backup installed if you have the Startup package. Once you spend some decent time on your site, and you have many hours invested, then start thinking about automatic backups on UpdraftPlus.
Install Some Template Pages
Install Templates From Spectra Plugin
If you like the Gutenberg Builder in WordPress (the builder WordPress comes in) the easiest way to get started with a template is installing Spectra (see free list above). Then in the dashboard, go to pages, new. Once your new page is open, you will see the spectra template logo at the top. Open that up and import the template into your page.
Install Templates From Elementor Pro
If you prefer the Elementor Builder, you might like the templates in the Elementor Pro package. Get Elementor Pro Here. They provide many great options. To try a page template from Elementor Pro, create a new page, and “edit in elementor.” Inside the elementor editor, select the folder in the middle of the area for templates. You can insert entire pages, blocks, or insert your own templates that you saved from another page.
Free Option For Pages
If you don’t want to install Elementor Pro, and you like using elementor, you might be able to use some of the sections provided for free with the free version of Elementor for your Home, About, and Contact pages (as discussed above).
Install Elementor Pro (optional)
Cost ~ Elementor Pro cost varies by package for 12 months
With this plugin, you can create almost any look for your pages, posts, and contact forms. The days of buying a custom theme and being limited by that theme are over. Use a free theme, and create your site’s header, footer, pages, post templates, and archive templates in Elementor Pro.
The templates provided by Elementor Pro are more than enough to get started.
Get Elementor Pro Here.
Apply To Be An Affiliate Partner
If you are done with your site, you probably have some pages like Home, About, Contact, and Blog. It is also probably a good idea to write a few posts that show up in your blog page. Once your site is created, you are ready to apply to be an affiliate partner.
If you want to branch out beyond Amazon, you can research different affiliate site resources, and see what sites might pay more commission. The downside to Amazon is that the commission is less, but the upside is that people are more comfortable making purchases through Amazon.
Create Great Content
This part requires lots of work and dedication! It takes lots of time to create quality blog posts. Additionally, if you look at the Tech Review Posts on this site, you will see that the posts incorporate photos, links, and buttons to help readers/ customers find your affiliate links.
The Intersection Of Passion and Content For Realistic Search Expectations
Affiliate sites that are passionate about a topic can do well, but passion is not the only key. If you love iPhones, you might not do well sharing iPhone reviews because there are huge sites that will outrank your site at every turn. If you find an niche area you like to write about, you might be able to carve out some interesting content and gain readers. As you start out, you might want to target lower search volume keywords, where there is less competition. Check out Google Keyword Planner to find target keywords to write about that are not highly competitive.
Internal links are links within your posts that point to other posts. Internal links are an important way to signal to the search engines what other posts are about. It may seem redundant to link other posts within your posts, but both readers and search engines appreciate the additional information.
For example, if one post talks about a Govee motion sensor review, and within that post, you have an internal link to using a motion sensor as a car alarm, it strengthens the signal to the search engine regarding each post’s intent.
Nofollow Referral Links
If you are an affiliate partner, and you put a link in your post that might lead to a sale, you should add a “nofollow” tag to each link. This is also to signal to search engines that you don’t intend to link a product 5 times in a post to look spammy. More reading on “nofollow” links.
Outreach and Backlinks
Increasing traffic by search engine optimization (SEO) is turning into a huge industry. Hopefully, your niche isn’t too hard to break into the search engine’s good graces! Depending on how much you write, it can take 3-6 months, plus or minus, just to see views and posts start to increase positively.
One way to increase traffic is look at the first page search results of some topic you want to write about. Then, write something better. Reach out to some websites, and see if they want to link your awesome post. This takes lots of effort, and you will get turned down a lot. This process can be so frustrating and difficult that agencies charge well for this service. If you can convince a few to link to your post, then your traffic will increase.
Another SEO technique is to examine your competitor’s backlink profile. Some services charge for this, and sometimes, you can sign up for a one week trial. During this week, download all the info on your competitor’s site. Find out where they obtained links, and see if that web master would be interested in your better content.
Hopefully, your affiliate site is up and running! Don’t hesitate to leave any questions in the comments or check out more video tutorials on the YouTube channel.