Building websites takes a lot of energy, irrespective of the business model you follow. 

Whether you are a full-time blogger, agency owner, eCommerce store owner, or a local business, your website is the digital face of your organization.

Especially being an affiliate marketer, your website is like the 24×7 departmental store that generates bread and butter for you. 

Only on your website, you get the maximum liberty to showcase the content of your choice and anyway you want to show it.

Many people overlook the impact of having a good website design. 

Forget about website design when it comes to affiliate marketing; people also question whether it is even a profitable business model in 2021.

Being an experienced affiliate marketer myself, I agree that affiliate marketing has evolved to a whole new level over the past couple of years. 

And you need to put a lot of effort into making your affiliate site profitable and sustaining the recurring earning. 

That being said, I’d say that affiliate marketing is a profitable business model to follow in 2021. 

But just like any other sustainable business model, affiliate business also needs patience and a strategic approach.

Today, we are going to discuss how you can start your affiliate blog from scratch in 2021.

Let’s understand what things you must determine before you even begin developing your affiliate site. 

Basic steps to follow before starting an affiliate blog

These steps will get your mind at the right place at the right time.

Decide your niche

This is the primary step of beginning your journey as an affiliate marketer. 

You cannot be the jack of all and sell every product on your site. 

You have to pick a middle ground and preach to make 4 to 5 figures of recurring income through your affiliate site. 

And that process starts with choosing your niche.

Choosing your niche aligns with the subsequent steps because now you'd know what you need to do in selecting products, designing pages, and writing copy. 

For example, if your niche is women-dominated, then you write your messaging copy and showcase your products differently compared to what you showcase to the audience if your niche is healthcare and insurance to baby boomers. 

If you don't choose your niche, you will try lots of products from different industries and not make sustainable sales from your site. 

Therefore, make sure you pick the right niche. The best way to explore a niche is to research the things you love, be it music, movies, martial arts, cooking, or anything. 

Keyword research

To begin your keyword research, I recommend signing up for SEO tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs that provide 360-degree SEO auditing features, including comprehensive keyword research.

ahref-for-keyword-research

Every website requires SEO, a popular marketing tactic of many marketers who are building and growing a sustainable venture. 

SEO generates free traffic. You can execute as many PPC campaigns as you want or send as many unique emails as you can. But only SEO will consistently give you unique visitors. 

Keyword research is not only a crucial but an endearing process.  

It requires brainstorming, research, observation, and experience to do keyword research for your affiliate blog. 

Your targeted keywords will determine whether your website will get the traction it deserves from the targeted audience. 

If you optimize for wrong keywords, you will get an irrelevant audience reading through the site, which will eventually have a higher bounce rate and lower conversion rate. 

When you begin with the keyword research: 

  • Ask yourself what type of questions that people would ask
  • What type of problem would my ideal customers have 
  • How can I help them effectively? Through videos, long-form guides, or product pages?

Such questions will ignite the phrases that you should search to begin your keyword research. 

Determine if Your Niche Has Profitable Affiliate Programs

When you are preparing to launch your affiliate website, ensure that you can find enough variety in affiliate programs to earn decent profits.

Also, check if the programs have a good reputation. 

For example, few programs give good returns, but if their reviews are not good, you won't get support, and you might not get stable income consistently for a few years.  

The ideal way is to check in popular affiliate networks and check the range of the affiliate programs available under a particular category. 

Here’re few good affiliate platforms:

  • ShareASale
  • CJ Affiliate 
  • Amazon Associates
  • ClickBank

You can also type in Google, “{niche name} top affiliate programs.” Then, go through each page and read the reviews and feedback published on the sites to get an idea of the quality of the programs.

Competition Analysis

Competitors are the best sources to get inspiration to create websites.

Your competitors are showing you what users are getting at the moment. Their websites will help you determine what type of content is currently being shared online.

Again, Google is the best place to begin competitor research. 

Type the targeted keywords and go through each top-ranking page. 

Since these websites are already ranking, they must certainly be doing something right to be there in SERP.

You can also type the name of the products in Google. 

  • “{product name} reviews” 
  • “Top {niche name} products”

Such phrases will give you reviews and listicles, respectively, and you can determine what others are publishing online. 

These steps lay the groundwork to brainstorm what type of affiliate marketing site you can develop. 

Since you are developing one, these insights will give you an idea of design and the UI/UX. 

Talking about the site's design, make sure you also take care of the other parameters while building your site. 

Steps to build an Affiliate Website in 2021

These are basic but essential parameters that will shape your overall brand image in the niche.

1. Find a brandable domain name

This one goes without saying. Your affiliate website needs a brand name that makes it instantly recognizable in front of targeted customers.

Many affiliate marketers use their personal name as the domain of their website. 

brandable-domain-name-search-for-affiliate-site

Well, I'm not against using the personal name. But, having said that, I love creating brands. 

Plus, having a custom domain name gives your business the depth to be an independent entity and leverage you need to scale the perceived value in the market. 

You should do some research and buy a brandable domain name for your affiliate website for long-term gain.

There are lots of online brand name generators like Lean Domain Search, NameWink etc. that you can give a try. 

Most tools work like this — you enter your niche and the targeted keyword. The device will use an internal algorithm to develop custom brand names for you by using the targeted keywords and niche that you'd enter. 

2. Find a good hosting with SSD servers

As already discussed, your website hosting will play a vital role in the success of your affiliate business.

Because the website hosting server is responsible for making your website accessible. 

Do you want people to wait to read the content on your site, or do you want them to quickly access everything on your site and navigate comfortably throughout the session? 

Of course, you want to be the second one. 

For that, your website needs quick loading speed. As soon as a reader makes a request, your server should respond immediately with an updated webpage so that users don’t have to wait. 

To achieve such performance, you have to invest in the best hosting provider.

SSDs have faster reading and writing capacity. Hence, your pages get cached frequently without making a significant difference in server load.  Plus, SSD servers have a high-speed response rate to requests compared to HDD.

Therefore, choose a hosting provider that gives you SSD servers. 

3. Start with WordPress and decide the type of your blog

For Affiliate marketers, I’d recommend WordPress as their sites’ content management system. 

wordpress-cms-for-affiliate-site

The CMS has become mature over the years, and it has got everything that you will need to streamline the technological advancements for your site. 

You have responsive and comprehensive arrays of WordPress-supported themes, plugins, and widgets to quickly implement and tweak your site in minutes.

Plus, the CMS is the most popular one in the market. Therefore, it has a thriving community that helps peers and emerging website owners develop websites.

In affiliate marketing, you get lots of options in the type of website you can make as an affiliate.

Review Blog

On your blog, you can publish reviews and articles of products and services. These pieces will emphasize their unique selling points and value propositions.

At BloggingCage, we often share reviews about digital products.

With the review blog, you hope to sell products by helping people with reviews and detailed walkthroughs. 

You publish long-form guides, articles, and videos as reviews.

A review blog is for the top and middle funnel of the audience who want to know more about the product or the service before making the final purchasing decision. 

Therefore, affiliates often write elongated content pieces. 

Since the customers are investing their hard-earned money, they want solid reasons that make the product a no-brainer for them. 

And to create that appeal, affiliates write detailed walkthroughs of the product and try to answer all the customers' questions. 

Your job as an affiliate is to describe the product and share your experience with it with proof so that the reader can make informed decisions. In addition, you try to create a reputation by winning the trust of the readers. 

Also, the last thing you want from your blog is to make your reader more confused.

Therefore, make sure you give them options for the right products. For example, if you are not satisfied with the product you are reviewing, give them alternatives at the end of the post.

Leave them with suitable options for the product.

Coupon Blog

coupon-blogs-for-affiliate-website

Coupon Blog is also a lucrative format to earn through affiliate marketing.

But you need to put a lot of effort into promoting and advertising your Coupon Blog to make people redeem your vouchers whenever they shop for anything. 

On the Coupons Blog, affiliates partner with brands or sign-up in relevant affiliate networks to showcase relevant coupons. 

Also, they must pick coupons for the brands that customers love to shop for. Moreover, you have to play smartly in designing your WordPress site to sell coupons and vouchers. 

While being persuasive, you should also think about creating excellent offers and discounts that users cannot refuse.

Comparison Blog

Comparison Blog follows a slightly different approach of convincing readers to make a buying decision.

Comparison Blogs are usually targeted at the bottom of the sales funnel, where users cannot decide which option. 

The reader is confused among several products, and they are looking for an expert to help them make the right choice. 

Most customers visit different websites and official brand landing pages to get more ideas about each product. 

Having said that, all those resources would only say novel things about the products so that the customer won't get clarity there. Instead, they will only read the unique value proposition and benefits of the product. 

That's when you can leverage your website to compare the top products to clear users' confusion directly.

Choose products of similar categories. The products should share similar features, have the same value propositions, and have competitive pricing. Then, it becomes your job to write a detailed comparison and give clarity to the readers who can make informed decisions.

Just like reviews, these types of articles are long-form guides to narrate and describe scenarios for products.

Affiliates put a lot of effort into comparing products. They usually order the products for themselves, use them, document their experience, and write detailed blog posts so that their audience can make informed decisions.

How to blog

How to blog shares step-by-step guides and a detailed overview of doing a particular task.

The “how-to” blogs are relevant for all the niches, from healthcare to automotive, from blockchain to digital marketing, from personal finance to anything.

A study done by Backlinko shares how-to articles are evergreen format content pieces compared with other formats like the podcast, detailed guides, infographics, videos, and more.

The goal of the How-To Guide is to educate people in a DIY format to take charge of the situation themselves and achieve a solution.

As an affiliate, your job is to hook the products to explain the necessity and USPs of the products automatically.

Best/Top Blog

Such blogs are in the listicle formats where affiliates share the best 5, 10, or 20 products relating to the niche and subject matter. 

Such blogs aim to reduce the friction for the potential customers of website to website to identify which product to buy. 

Instead, they can find everything listed on a website supported with explanation texts and paragraphs.

Such affiliate blogs focus on deliberate persuasion by sharing pros and cons, pricing of the product, and FAQs.

4. Install Affiliate Booster WordPress theme

When you start building your affiliate site, you need professional development, or you can use a readymade design built specifically for affiliates that take care of the aesthetics of SEO and the digital ecosystem. 

We are talking about our theme, Affiliate Booster.

For this example, we are going to install Affiliate Booster on an affiliate site.

How to setup theme

When you purchase the license, you will receive the login credentials of the affiliate booster website. 

When you download the ZIP file, then install and activate the license key.

Go to your WordPress dashboard and upload the ZIP file. Install the theme.

Under the Appearances option, you should see the “Activate License” option.

Build an affiliate website

The dashboard will ask you to connect your Affiliate Booster account to activate the license key when you click on it automatically. 

Build an affiliate website

Once you log in, you can intuitively connect your license key to the site.

Selecting the homepage layout

You need to install the Kirki Plugin to see the options. 

You can select the home page layouts by going to Customise > AffiliateBooster Theme Panel > Layouts > Home Page Layout. 

Scroll that list, and you will see the list of options under Home Page Layout

Build an affiliate website

Selecting Single Post Layout

For this option too, you can go a similar path. 

Head over to Customise > AffiliateBooster Theme Panel > Layouts > Single Post Layout. Inside it, you will see all the options that you can tweak as per your needs. 

5. Install WordPress plugins

After installing the theme, you need to do a lot of groundwork to make your site look professional, responsive, and appealing to the readers. 

In WordPress, you need plugins that can automatically implement some features for you.

Here're the top WordPress plugins that every affiliate should use on their site.

AffiliateBooster Plugin

affiliate-booster-plugin-for-affiliate-website

Affiliate Booster helps affiliate marketers adding readymade blocks that are attractive and mobile-friendly. 

It has a free and paid version. 

It is a Gutenberg-supported plugin that gives 15 blocks to represent the content creatively on a website.

This is one of the most effective plugins that affiliate marketers should use. 

Marketers often deal with links that mostly are elongated strings of characters that do not look professional and relevant to the targeted customers. 

Pretty Link shrinks, beautifies, tracks, and manages the affiliate URLs for a website by shortening them with the website's custom domain name. 

Therefore, affiliates no longer need to use ‘bitly’ or any other URL shorteners.

Contact Form Plugin

Contact forms are the deal-breaker to generate email subscribers and leads. 

You can utilize these email addresses to retarget them further using Facebook or Google ads.

You need specific call-to-action in the form of website forms throughout the landing page so that customers can stay in touch with you long after they have exited your website. 

And for that, you need website form builders that smartly capture the visitors' details without hampering the user experience. 

Contact Form 7 is an excellent contact submission form plugin that does so.

Brave Popup Plugin

If you want to create promotional pop-ups, then you should try the Brave Popup plugin that can help you implement visually appealing lead capturing forms within minutes. 

It is a drag-and-drop pop-up editor that lets you edit text, buttons, images, and form. 

It quickly creates newsletter options, feedback forms, and contact forms within minutes using this plugin. In addition, it supports customizable delivery frequency to make it more user-friendly and relevant to the targeted customers.

RankMath

plugins-for-affiliate-website

RankMath is a well-known SEO plugin to improve the chances of any website ranking higher on search engine results pages. 

You can measure and track your rankings to constantly get updated for your SEO development. 

It will help you run a detailed SEO analysis from the 30 factors. 

It is entirely customizable with both WordPress Gutenberg and Classic Editors, so it will be automatically supported everywhere, irrespective of whatever you choose.

How to Optimize Your Affiliate Marketing Site to Boost Commissions

Your affiliate website’s optimization is an ever-evolving procedure. 

You always test things, learn things, and acquire insights to act upon them to delight your customers.

To put things in perspective shortly, you need the following things to boost conversions of your affiliate marketing site:

  • Experience
  • WordPress development 
  • Affiliate marketing mentorship
  • Connection and interaction with like-minded people to stay focused
  • Harnessing skills of keyword research and overall SEO 
  • Understanding of practical copywriting and consumer psychology 
  • Passion for building a brand 

The above points have just scratched the surface of what you need to keep in mind to optimize your affiliate website. 

As already discussed, this is an ever-evolving process, so you have to work on multiple areas to stay ahead in the game and keep evolving as an affiliate marketer and keep earning more.

Do let me know what you think about this blog post. I hope you have got a ton of insights and now can effectively and confidently make affiliate websites stand apart from the competition.

If you want to know more about any activity regarding affiliate marketing, I am always a message or email away for any help that I can offer. I am excited to hear back from you!