Perhaps you have been told that it is not necessary to own a website to run an affiliate marketing business. You have, perhaps also been told that you do not require any training to be a successful affiliate marketer.
A quick google search will bring such blog posts with such headings as: “Is a website important for affiliate marketing?” or “Can I do Affiliate Marketing Without a Website?”
You have come across such answers as: “Absolutely for affiliate marketing, you don’t need to have a website, you only need traffic or audience……….. What is a must is only to paste the affiliate link on your post for verifying the sales made through your post or video.” Or “You don’t need startup capital. You don’t need experience. You don’t need an office. You don’t need a community. Heck, you don’t even need a website”.
So, what do you need?
The following have been suggested as the necessities: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube Channel, and setting up Landing Pages. While having such social media accounts ensures an audience, it does not mean that they are your specific targets for what you want to promote.
Secondly, if you go into the hustle of designing 1-page websites (Landing pages), why not a fully functional website with good content!! Although these avenues are portrayed as easy, they are not good at getting good conversions. Most affiliate programs require a trusted affiliate, and a website that fully exhibits good traffic will offer such trust.
So if you want to be a successful affiliate marketer, do not waste your time with these fancy ideas; invest in building up an affiliate website or a blog website, where you can promote to the targeted audience, other than social media followers, who may not even be interested in your promoted products/services/brands.
Having a website, be it for a small business or blog, or affiliate marketing business, has many advantages, which, in my view, far out way all the portrayed costs. Here-below are a few of them:
Advantages of having a website
Building a website requires a low budget
Although it is portrayed that it is costly to build a fully-fledged website, in actual sense it is cheap and manageable to build and host a website. Currently, many basic websites are free, and depending on the features you want to add, the cost can range from as low as $6 if you are using a web builder, to $11-30 on WordPress for a functional website. However, if you hire the services of a professional web designer, the cost can range from $1000 to as high as $10,000.
An affiliate website will enable you to access your target audience 24/7
An affiliate website and indeed any business website enables you to connect to your niche worldwide, and 24/7. This should not only enhance exposure but will also increase your sales due to enhanced demographic coverage. In other words, a website provides your consumers with around-the-clock availability in terms of access to products, and information
An affiliate website will enable you to create a niche brand that is visible and recognized
Your niche is your focus audience to whom you promote the various products they like. If you provide valuable content that explains to their satisfaction the products promoted via your website, you will create a brand, which will be sought after through referrals by the satisfied audience. This kind of branding is hard to establish via social media.
An affiliate website will enable you to understand your customer’s needs
It is possible to interact with your customers if you allow them to ask or comment or give feedback on their experience with the products/services/brands you promote. This should enable you to either improve on the content to answer their questions or concentrate on
An affiliate website will give your business credibility
When it comes to credibility, as an affiliate, consumers (your niche), the merchant, and sometimes the affiliate network/owner of the affiliate program, are very important. To be recruited into the affiliate program as a publisher, the affiliate is recruited to have a well-designed and running website. Moreover, the website must demonstrate to have good traffic. Additionally, a professional-looking and user-friendly website, will not only give confidence to the merchant and the affiliate network, but consumers too will consider your business credible over those who neither do have a Web presence nor have a poor Website presence.
An affiliate website will meet consumer convenience
Apart from the above benefit, it should be noted that being available to meet the needs of your clients at any time day or night, provides another added convenience, that is; giving them access to products and information whenever they need it.
An affiliate website will offer you a Competitive Opportunity
Having social media accounts is great, but when used in affiliate marketing, you will be competing with other affiliates who on top of having websites, they have also incorporated social media into their websites!! You cannot compete with them. So if your competitors have websites with good content that drives traffic, to keep up or to match their competition, then having a website is a must.
An affiliate website will allow you to build a good customer base
A well-designed website will allow you to set up a good communication platform with your clients [the customers/followers]. You may ask them to sign up for your newsletter or products/services/brand updates, which will help you to collect their contacts. This will, in turn, enable you to interact with them regularly, thereby building a strong customer base.
With the above-highlighted advantages, anyone pondering on going affiliate has perhaps resolved to invest in an affiliate website and then run a professional business. Briefly, let us see what you should not overlook when building an affiliate marketing website.
How To Build An Affiliate Marketing Website Step-By-Step
Choosing a niche for your website
A niche is simply the audience you have chosen to serve. They share an interest in the products/serves/brands you are promoting. This is where your passion and interests play a vital role. What niche are you passionate about? Are you interested in walking the talk? Will you offer ample time to make it work? If the answers are in affirmative, then this is perhaps the right niche.
Avoid broad niches. For example, Men’s health if chosen as a niche, is not suitable because it is very broad and encompasses very broad aspects. Yet managing back pain in men could be a specific niche with a specific target.
Note that the right niche should let you mention products easily, avoid too much competition and enable you to cultivate a loyal audience. So avoiding broad niches will not only provide you with a loyal audience, but many of them will convert into buyers, thus increasing your revenue.
Find affiliate products in that niche to promote on your website
You have chosen your niche and you have both passion and interest in pursuing it. Then go ahead and establish which products you can promote to your audience and who are merchants and are they authentic. Once this has been determined then go to the next step.
Search out for an Affiliate Program best suited to your niche
Find out which merchants offer the products/services/brands you intend to promote on your niche site. Find out further, whether the merchants run an in-house [private] affiliate programs or out-source the services of an affiliate network in your planned niche. Ensure that this is done before you start learning how to build an affiliate marketing website.
Hosting an Affiliate Marketing Website
After establishing both the niche and the affiliate program you will work with, it is then the right time to embark on the task of building your affiliate marketing website.
After choosing the niche then you will need a domain and a domain name. A domain is like your plot on the internet normally specified by an IP [Internet Protocol] address. The IP address is fundamental for communication on the internet and is specified by a specific pattern of numbers. So for the easy location of the website, a domain name is used, for it is easy to remember than the numbers.
Once you have a domain name, then you would have obtained the address that users will use to navigate to your website. Note that for consistency of your brand and Search Engine Optimization [SEO] it is advisable to choose a domain name relevant to your chosen niche.
When this is done, you will require that your website is hosted. By analogy, if the domain name were a plot number for a piece of land, the hosting is like the land title onto which your plot is but a part. This is where all the files and data related to your website will be stored.
You may, however, not know all of these, but they are various Affiliate Training companies that offer training in affiliate marketing. These can help you to at least learn the basics before embarking on the task of building your website. One such company is Wealthy Affiliate, an all-in-one platform, which will not only teach you affiliate marketing but will further walk you through website building, indexing in google, and hosting. They have all the tools for both training and running your website at one source.
If you are a complete newbie in affiliate marketing or online business it may be a good idea to go through training and setting up of the website step-by-step under professional guidance at Wealthy Affiliate.
Set Up Themes and Plugins
Even though your first website should be presentable and attractive, you should not try to design a fancy website. Keep it smart and simple. Moreover, you should not try to outsource the services of professional website builders. As one working on a budget, try to learn how to do it yourself. Since you don’t know how to code to build an affiliate marketing website that works for you, as a newbie, you may find it easy to use a website builder for WordPress.
WordPress offers free training for building websites and you may later use paid services as your expertise in building websites grows. Importantly, WordPress, which is a content management system (CMS) with hundreds of attractive and easy-to-use themes, makes getting your website up and running simple.
In case you are not sure which one of the themes is suitable for your niche website, you may outsource the service of HubSpot, which has compiled a list of the best themes for affiliate marketing websites.
Once your website is set up, plugins, also called an add-on or extension, (may be defined as software add-on that are installed on a host program, thereby, adding new functions to a host program without altering it, and finally enhancing its capabilities.) may be installed to further help add and track your affiliate links. However, the Wealthy Affiliate platform, that I have referred to, above is a platform with all what you need to set up a fully functional and running website.
They have fully managed WordPress site-building tools and hosting of your website. At Wealthy Affiliate, they will take care of everything for you, including security, speed, backups, reliability, spam protection, and data protection, among others.
The basic plugins are already set up and you will be guided on niche-specific plugins, which you may install and update from time to time.
For more information on how to start a fully functional and running affiliate marketing website, enroll for a free starter membership at Wealthy Affiliate.
Create Niche-Specific Content
Once your website has been set up and ready to go, the major task will be to add niche-relevant content. Note that your success or failure will depend on how good and relevant is your content.
Once you master how to write high-quality niche-specific content, your website will not only be getting high traffic but you will also get conversions as well. The content may be categorized into:
Product reviews and comparisons
How-to guides and tutorials that feature products and services
Social media posts
Deals and coupons
The above categories are used to provide a prospective buyer with all the information required of him/her to make an informed decision to buy the product as directed through the affiliate links.
If you are a newbie, do not invest in powerful software just yet. You may use the free keyword research tools that will enable find topics with good search volume, yet they are not very competitive for your new website.
Once again you will find the Wealthy Affiliate platform very profitable as you will not only be trained on how to generate good content ideas but you will be exposed to their research tool that you will be using from time to time, to generate less competitive keywords for writing high-quality content.
Other online forums such as Quora may be a source of valuable answers to both questions as well as issues that affect people in your niche
Set Up Analytics
Setting up analytics is an important aspect that will help you grow your business website, as it will provide you with visitors’ data that will, in turn, help you identify their activity on your website. In addition to the visitors’ data, the web analytic tools will help you to collect website data, such as user experience, online content, and devise functionality, among others.
The most popular and free version that websites can use is Google Analytics. Google Analytics will enable you to access the information needed to help you shape the success strategy of your business, by discovering things you probably never knew about visitors to your site.
Moreover, Google analytics analyses site searches and can arrive at what potential customers are looking for when they visit your website, thereby providing insights into what people are searching for on your website.
From this information, you will be able to determine which areas are strong and which ones need improvement. Armed with this information, you will be able to can make the necessary changes/corrections i.e., either additions or subtractions, to your website’s navigation and product/service offers. The outcome of these changes will be making your website more user-friendly and improving the performance of your website, thereby increasing traffic.
As an affiliate, you should understand these three important metrics:
The first metric is Clicks:
This metric will tell you how often your visitors engage with your links — and which links perform the best.
The second metric is Earnings Per Click (EPC): This metric measures your earnings per click. From this, you will know which of the affiliate partners (merchants) your audience tends to buy the most and which link positions are the most successful. Henceforth, it will be possible to prioritize the links that yield the most profit.
The third metric is called the Bounce Rate: This metric will enable you to understand why visitors are bouncing off your website. This phenomenon called, Bounce Rate, is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after visiting only one page. Understanding this is one of the most important metrics because this is telling you that visitors are coming to your website but are not finding what they are looking for.
Note that a high bounce rate is a red flag that signals an urgent/immediate action to identify the reason behind it so that it can be addressed as soon as possible.
If you find that your website is not easy to navigate or that your landing (typically home) page is not attractive enough for them to explore your site further, or the content is not what they are looking for, address these issues and make your website attractive to your audience.
Having gone through these major steps of building a website for your online business or specifically for affiliate marketing business, you may not need to worry much on how you will learn all of this. I need not emphasize how this will be simplified if you enrolled for an affiliate marketing training with wealthy affiliate. This, as you will find, is your 1Stop training platform for online business and with a strong bias in affiliate marketing.
Although some advocate for no need for a website if you want to run an affiliate marketing business, I have clearly showed you that this advice is not fancy but misleading. I have highlighted the advantages accrued from having a website, which cannot be compared an any way to no website kind of affiliate marketing business.
I have also walked with you through the major steps that are involved in building a website, highlighting that it s not as expensive as those advocating “no website requirement” for successful affiliate marketing portray. In a nutshell you should be convinced that even when you are operating on budget, it is possible to build and set up and fully functional website that will give your business credibility.
I have also advised that if you are a newbie with completely no knowledge in IT, and yet have passions and interests in particular areas, which you can invest in as an affiliate, then you can enroll to affiliate training programs and have proper training in this lucrative business field. Specifically, I have singled out Wealthy Affiliate platform as the known 1Stop platform with all of what you would require to train and also build a fully running website for your business, be it affiliate marketing or any other online business.
Finally, we at ommegaffiliate.com have analyzed the pros and cons of having an affiliate marketing website and have found that the pros far out weigh the cons and are hereby advice you to build a credible affiliate marketing business that will be trusted by consumers, affiliate networks, and the merchants. This is possible when you have a website, having quality content and good traffic.
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