We’ve told you how affiliate marketing works and by now you should have a very good understanding how the process works from consumer to the affiliate. In this section we are going to teach how to start your very own simple website with our trusted and recommended sponsors as well as show you the most effective types of websites for making money.
Since affiliate marketing is online based, it is recommended to have two kinds of websites:
1 – The first site you should throw up is a personal blog or company website if you’re a registered business.The reason being is because in order to start promoting affiliate products and programs, you must first be approved by the affiliate network. Having a personal blog or business website is a great way to showcase credibility and that you are serious. It is NOT necessary but highly recommended.
2 – The remaining sites will obviously be your affiliate marketing website where you will be selling your affiliate products once you’ve been approved by affiliate networks and determined what niche to go after.
What You Need To Run a Website
Even if you’ve never run a website before it is pretty simple as you need two things: hosting and a domain.
Domain is essentially the URL you would type into the browser to reach a certain website. 90% of the time you would want to use a .com but if worse case scenario a .org and .net was suffice too. We don’t recommend using a top level domain other than the three listed. We recommend that you do NOT use any copyright or trademarked terms in your domain name as that will simply end up with a cease and desist letter (happened to me once). That is never fun. Our recommended domain registrar is through Godaddy. A typical domain will run about $10 per year. Don’t sign up for any offers during check out except for the domain privacy option. This option hides domain owner information from the general public. If you do not purchase this option then anyone can look up who owns your domain and pay a visit to your house! It is recommended as well but not required. Typically domain privacy protection runs about $10 extra a year. Do NOT purchase a domain until you read our next segment as domain keywords can make a difference.
Web hosting is where you will actually have a website with the physical files on location. The domain you select will be forwarded to your web host. Some people will argue why can’t you just use a Tumblr, WordPress, Blogspot, etc type of web site where you simply have a domain forwarded there. In our opinion it lacks professionalism and loses credibility big time. What looks better to you: dogtraining.blogspot.com or dogtraining.com? I would go with the latter as it is easier to remember plus once you start building out pages it would look better. There’s no shortage of web hosting companies as its a very big industry. We’ve personally use (not for Secret but other smaller sites) and highly recommend Hostgator web hosting for the great prices, features, and most importantly 24/7 tech support. We recommend purchasing the Baby Plan as it gives you unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, and most importantly, unlimited domains. Trust us when we say you’ll start buying tons of domains when things work out.
WordPress Content Management System
Once you have both the domain and hosting purchased and connected, your website should be showing just a basic coming soon type web page. A website needs some type of Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. CMS allows very easy creation and updating of websites. We highly recommend and use WordPress 99% of the time. In fact, this website is run on WordPress as well as CNN, NASA, FOX News, New York Times, and many others. The best thing about WordPress is that you can virtually modify every aspect of it from design to add-on features. It also has the biggest following when it comes to users and people love to help each other out.
Within your hosting Control Panel you will have the option of installing WordPress on the fly or you could also download WordPress from the official website but it would require more steps. For the sake of this guide we won’t get into details on how to put it all together step by step by rather give you a general guide on what you need to do. If anything your web hosting tech support will be able to walk you through it.
Once you have WordPress installed it will look very plain out of the box. By default WordPress is in the format of a blog. You can upgrade the look of WordPress by installing themes or templates that give it a better appearance. A lot of themes retain the blog format while other themes make WordPress appear like a traditional website. Our best advice is to keep it simple and clean layout since there is no “best” theme. There are thousands of themes out there so a simple Google search will give you a great selection to choose from.
What Types of Affiliate Marketing Websites Work Best
Product Reviews - The infamous product review websites… This is a very popular method where the author is an expert in a particular field and gets hands-on experience for a product/ service and gives their personal opinion on the product. This is a very competitive market if you are trying to go after something broad such as cameras or laptops. An example would be http://www.steves-digicams.com
Product Price Comparisons – Everyone wants to get the best deal and one of the best ways is to check online to see who is selling something for the cheapest. This method is very similar to product reviews and can be combined but there are also some websites that are strictly just product price comparisons. Again it is very competitive if you want to market something broad but very effective for niche products. An example would be http://www.pricegrabber.com
Coupon and Rebates – Very similar to product price comparisons, many websites strictly offer coupons and rebates. We would say this method is fairly tough as there are some big name websites that make a killing off this but if you go after something niche enough then it may just work. An example would be: http://www.slickdeals.net
Niche Marketing Sites – These types of websites are what you will see the majority of the time when it comes to affiliate marketing. We will cover how to find the right niche in the next topic but basically these websites are usually small to medium sized and go after a very specific niche. Usually it is something you’ve never would of imagined but that’s the beauty of it as there will be little to no competition. http://www.birdcagesblog.com
Personal Blogs – Generally a personal blog of yours could potentially work. You would either have to: be a guru in your field and know what you’re talking about or branded yourself in a way that you’re known for something and have a following. If you’re just rambling about your life then don’t expect to make money but if you’re a bird cage builder then a blog like the one posted above would work.
Don’t forget you can do a combination of all methods combined!
We covered the essentials on what you need to get started with affiliate marketing. The domain, hosting, and CMS are the backbone and you are responsible on filling it with great content. Our next section we will cover how to find the right niches which also will come into play with what domain you choose to register. So if you’re anxious we would recommend waiting for the next article as it will make sense on why a domain can make or break your website. Like we said, we could get really technical with the steps but that would just make this guide a little over your head. Any questions you have feel free to email us and we will help you get it sorted.