Do you need to know how to build an affiliate website?
How about a step-by-step guide that shows you how to build an affiliate website that makes you money and gets approval from Google?
There are thousands of affiliate marketing guides out there, but many of them are out of date and no longer relevant. They teach old methods that don’t work as well anymore, and many that offer sound advice don’t show you how to do it.
Here’s how this guide is different.
This guide will work today — without Google penalties.
Instead, you’ll get a guide that not only shows you how to get free traffic from Google but one that shows you how to build an affiliate marketing website step-by-step from start to finish.
I’ll also show you a free method to drive traffic without waiting or relying on search engines to bring you, visitors — although you can use both.
Are you ready to start?
How Do You Build An Affiliate Website?
Affiliate marketers need to be smart.
You need to build a niche site that offers helpful advice to the reader, and you need to make sure it has all the right policies, content, and offers for your audience.
So, how do you do it?
Don’t worry, we’ll cover all of this, but first, let’s start at the beginning.
1. Choose A Niche & Program To Promote
Before you do anything else, you need to choose a niche – this could be anything from Chihuahuas to running shoes.
You also need a product or service to promote inside that niche — this will be your affiliate product to use with this guide.
How To Choose A Niche
I want this “how to make an affiliate website guide” to make you money.
While you can choose a niche in any market, I want you to choose from one from the following list of markets:
- Relationships & Dating
- Wealth (Make Money Online)
- Internet Marketing
- Weight Loss & Fitness
- Self Improvement
- Personal Finance
These are huge affiliate marketing niches with plenty of products — they have thousands of people searching daily for problems and solutions.
Choose one that interests you the most.
How To Choose An Affiliate Product To Promote
Next, you choose a product to promote inside your niche. For this guide, you will use Clickbank as your affiliate network.
Visit potential sites, and browse the products — look for one that ticks the following boxes.
- A good sales page – would you buy the product?
- Does it have an affiliate marketing page with resources?
- Are there up-sells, or even better, recurring commissions?
- Is the affiliate commission at least 50%
Read the sales page carefully, and if it feels good, sign up to their affiliate program and note your affiliate link for later.
Click on the blue Promote button for your chosen product inside the Clickbank marketplace.
The image below shows you where to place your nickname — press the Generate Hoplink button once you have entered your nickname.
Your affiliate link for the product will show up. Make a note of the link and keep it for later.
2. Create A Free Giveaway
The next step is to create a freebie to give to those signing up to your email list.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and you can do it quickly — a few hours is all it takes, and you will have your own personal product to use as a tripwire.
You have two options:
Let’s start with the short report.
The keyword here is ‘Short Report.’ It doesn’t have to be a huge essay, just a few pages.
Visit the sales page for the product you’re promoting and look at the bullet points benefits — if it’s a good sales page, the benefits should stand out.
Choose one of the benefits and create a short report about the benefit.
For example, if the sales page was in the bodybuilding niche, and one of the bullet points (benefits) was ‘Eat these five cheap foods to sky-rocket your protein,” then create a report about this.
If you don’t know much about the topic, then research Google, Reddit, and Forums.
Here’s a template to follow:
- Title – tell them what the report will do for them
- Add bullet points – in this example, it would be five, one for each food
- Write a paragraph or two for each bullet point
- Summarize the article – tell them what they’ve just learned, how it helps them, and how the below product (your affiliate product) can help them even more
- Add affiliate link and save as a PDF
It’s that simple.
If you can’t do this yourself, pay a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr. A 2000 word report will cost you around $100 — you can get it cheaper, but the quality will be questionable.
The next option is the fastest method, and you will create a cheat sheet. A cheat sheet in its simplest form is just a collection of steps to solve a problem.
Keeping with the above example, you could create a selection of steps for increasing your muscle mass with foods.
Just provide the steps in order, and write a sentence or two for each one.
At the end of the cheat sheet, you introduce the affiliate program you are promoting.
Easy isn’t it?
You can knock one of these up in around an hour. If the affiliate platform has good affiliate resources, you could use their PLR articles and create one from them — some will give you a ready-made report to use (Just add your affiliate links)
It’s a good idea to get a copy of the product so you can learn more about the niche and what your readers will be buying. You can purchase or ask for a review copy — tell them you will be creating an affiliate campaign dedicated to their product.
3. Get A Domain Name, Web Host & Autoresponder
You’re going to need all three (see our recommendations at the end of this step).
The domain name will be the name of your website; for best results, choose one that represents the niche you’re targeting, but don’t overthink it.
Don’t worry about exact match keyword domains because it’s not that important anymore, and they probably won’t be available.
If your niche was blogging and you were promoting a product about ‘getting more blog comments, then a domain name like “bloggingreports.com” ‘blogaway.com,’ or even “bloginator.com” will be sufficient.
As for hosting, all you need is a basic shared hosting account and WordPress. Hosting is cheap for this method, and you can get going for a few bucks a month.
Finally, an autoresponder — you’ll use this to capture emails, send emails, and sell your affiliate products through email marketing.
- Bluehost Hosting — get started for less than $3 a month; they even throw in a free domain name
- Convert Kit (Autoresponder) — simply, the best autoresponder available
- Namecheap – for a domain name, or free with Bluehost
5. Set Up Your Affiliate Marketing Website
You are now going to set up your website and add the essential pages.
But first, you need a WordPress theme, and I recommend the free Kadence theme – that’s what I’ll be using for this guide.
If you wanted to consider some other popular themes, try these:
To install Kadence, log in to WordPress, click on ‘Appearance,’ and select ‘Themes. Next, click ‘Add New’ and search for ‘Kadence.’ Hover over Kadence, select install, and activate.
The great thing about Kadence is that it gives you some beautiful starter sites which you can install and edit to your liking.
Go to appearance, starter sites, and select the one you like — click full site and then start the import. Within minutes the website is imported; you just need to change the text and images to suit your style.
You can have your homepage like the image below with a hello bar at the top advertising your free report:
Or like this one:
You just change the text, images, background, and the orange button takes them to your opt-in page — you can even combine the two.
The video below shows you how to do all of this.
Remember to delete what you don’t need.
For example, if there are sections on the homepage you don’t want, then delete them. Likewise, for any menus you don’t need, get rid of them or change them.
Keep the blog menu, but delete posts that aren’t yours. Then, whenever you write articles in the future, they will show up on the blog.
After this, create the following pages:
- About — Add a few paragraphs about you and how the blog will help the readers.
- Affiliate Disclaimer — A simple disclaimer informing your readers that you’re promoting affiliate products on the site.
- Download Page — The download page is a simple page that links the free report. At the top of the page, tell them to click the link to download the product and that you have an unannounced recommendation, your affiliate product.
- Thankyou Page — This is the page where your readers will go once they sign up to get your free product. Tell them the report is on its way, but you have something special to share with them before they go. (yes, your affiliate product)
- Home Page — This will feature your squeeze page or a link to it.
- Opt-in Page — Your squeeze page.
6. Write Your First Five Affiliate Emails
You’re going to promote your affiliate products through email, so write your first five to get started.
- Email one: The Welcome Email. This email will welcome your subscribers and provide them with a link to the report.
- Email Two: Useful tip and remind them to get your free report again.
- Email Three: Another helpful tip, but this time end the email telling them you have an exciting announcement tomorrow (one that will benefit them greatly).
- Email Four: Tell them about the product you’re promoting. Explain the benefits and how they will improve their life. If the product owner has a free webinar, report, or trial, use this in your email text.
- Email Five: Yes, another helpful tip related to the product, and a nudge at the end to remind them about the product.
Set the emails to go out in the following time frame:
- Email One — Immediately
- Second Email — Next Day
- Third Email — Two Days Later
- Email Four — Next Day
- Final Email — Two Days later
You can add to the number of emails over time with more helpful information and promote other products, but for now, stick to five.
If the product you promote has a good affiliate promotional page, you can use the pre-written emails they provide. In addition, some will provide articles, which you can turn into emails.
For more information on how to add and send emails in your autoresponder, see the FAQ at the end of this guide.
7. Upload Your Free Report To Amazon S3
You need to upload your free report to a cloud storage service so that your subscribers can download it. There are many options, including Dropbox, Onedrive, and Google Drive, but the one I like best is Amazon S3.
The service is free of charge for 12 months. Of course, you have limits on the number of downloads and storage, but the free account should be enough.
Your report will be uploaded to a bucket inside Amazon S3, and you will set permissions to allow downloads. In addition, you will get a link that you can add to your emails and download page.
Whenever someone clicks on the link, your report will download.
The video below will walk you through the process:
Side note: You can set budgets and limits in Amazon S3; this way, you won’t be hit with rising costs.
8. Create An Affiliate Squeeze Page
One of the most critical aspects of learning how to build an affiliate website is understanding that you’ll want to have a page on your niche site that acts as your squeeze page.
You can use a service like Leadpages or do it for free within the WordPress theme.
A squeeze page is a page that promotes one product and has no distractions, so no header, footer, or anything else that distracts the reader from your offer.
I created the following squeeze page with the free Kadence theme and site builder below:
It took me about 10 minutes. It’s just a simple page, and I selected the option to disable the header and footer.
Then I added a heading, subheading, bullet points, and finally pasted in the HTML for the form, that you receive from your autoresponder service.
Let’s have a quick recap before we move on to driving traffic.
You have chosen your affiliate marketing product, domain name, hosting and have set up your website with the primary pages.
You have also created a free product with affiliate links, uploaded it to Amazon S3, and have written your first five emails.
Your website is complete — when you visit your domain name, you should see your homepage with text and links to your squeeze page and blog — check they work.
If someone signs up to your email list, they will get your welcome email and follow-up emails — these will include your free report and affiliate links.
If you’re stuck on anything, refer to the faqs at the end of the guide.
Free Traffic Methods For Affiliate Marketing Sales
You now need to drive traffic to increase your affiliate income — use the below methods:
- Add content regularly: Look for low competition keywords, and write articles focusing on the keyword. Aim to write at least one article each week and also write a review for the product.
- Guest post on high-traffic websites: Create fantastic articles and publish on popular blogs; you can link back to your squeeze page in the bio.
- YouTube: Create Youtube videos from your articles, and publish them to your youtube channel
- Social Media: Share your article links on all your social media sites
The above methods will work, sure, there are lots of ways to drive traffic to your affiliate links, but for now, keep it simple, and stick to the above methods.
You can always try paid traffic later on.
How To Build An Affiliate Website FAQ
When starting out in affiliate marketing, it’s natural to have a ton of questions.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions, but join the Niche Pursuits Facebook Group here to ask any further questions of the community there.
How Do You Add Emails to Convert Kit?
Adding emails is straightforward with Convert kit, and there are lots of tutorials on the website.
The video below will walk you through the steps:
Should I Add Any Plugins To My Affiliate Site?
Yes, add the below free WordPress plugins (or similar):
- Yoast SEO – for SEO
- Wordfence – for security
- Convert Kit Plugin – for emails
- Kadence Blocks – for extra design elements
- Contact Form 7 – for contact forms
- Akismet – to prevent spam
And once you’ve got some content up, try out Link Whisper which helps make internal link building easier and faster.
Where Can I Learn About Setting Up My Hosting With Bluehost?
You can learn more about hosting and setting up your domain name, business email, contact page, plugins, and themes by clicking here and viewing the Bluehost tutorials.
How Much Does It Cost To Build An Affiliate Website?
You can start your affiliate website for just a few bucks.
You can get your hosting for less than $3 a month and your domain name for free if you choose Bluehost or around $10 elsewhere.
Your autoresponder is about $25 a month, and there’s even a free plan at Convert Kit.
Does Guest Posting Still Work For Affiliate Marketing?
Yes, and it’s the best free traffic method besides organic traffic from the search engines.
If you can get your guest post on a blog that gets thousands of daily traffic, you’ve cracked it. You will be linking to your squeeze page or home page (possibly both) in your bio at the end of the article.
I’m serious; guest posting can change your life; just ask Jon Morrow. He created a vast email list, guest blogging on popular sites like Copyblogger.
He didn’t even have a free giveaway; his squeeze page said:
“Blog Coming Soon – sign up to get my articles as I post them.”
He had thousands of subscribers before launching his blog — all from guest blogging.
Oh, and his blog today has generated millions of dollars and continues to be a success.
I love this quote from him.
Blogging isn’t about publishing as much as you can; it’s about publishing as smart as you can.
Just remember to pitch quality articles with quality headlines.
How Do I Build This Up As A Business?
You add more affiliate products and more emails to your autoresponder. In addition, you continue to guest post and build your email list.
Once your affiliate website starts to perform well, you can target the more significant keywords and even dabble in paid traffic. After this, you can create your own products and sell them to your email list.
Another thing you can do is to coach other people on how to do what you’re doing. For example, you now know how to build an affiliate website, so teach others how to do it.
You can even sell your business for a profit and start again on another affiliate website. It’s all about taking action, patience, and never giving up.
Build An Affiliate Marketing Website
You know, most people who read this will get excited and do nothing.
They have the keys to success but won’t even put them in the ignition. Instead, they’ll keep spinning their wheels looking for the next shiny object.
However, if you’re able to put these things into action and to continue learning and building up your skills, there’s every chance you’ll have a successful niche site.
You can check out these online marketing courses for more help, or these more specific affiliate marketing courses are also very good.
This step-by-step guide shows you how to build an affiliate website and become an affiliate marketer — just follow along, put in the effort, and reap the rewards.