What do you think of when you hear “affiliate marketing website”?
Perhaps it conjures images of earning passive income while relaxing on the beach. If so, you’re not alone.
But before you pick out your favorite spot, you have to lay the groundwork and create an optimized, attractive, conversion-driven site. Adding affiliate links is the easy part, but building a profitable site takes strategic planning and execution.
In this post, we’ll dive into how to create a website for affiliate marketing from scratch. You’ll learn insider tips on selecting the right niche, choosing profitable affiliate programs, the ideal content for SEO, and designing a high-converting site that brings in sales.
Your website can be your passport to paradise — if you do the work.
Is It Best to Make a Website for Affiliate Marketing?
If you’ve never done affiliate marketing, build an affiliate site first, rather than jumping right into creating an affiliate business.
Here are three key reasons why.
1. Learn the Ropes with Lower Risk
When you first start in affiliate marketing, you’ll inevitably make a few mistakes (everyone does). Though you’ll learn a lot through trial and error as you build and optimize your initial site.
But why make those mistakes on a complex, expensive business you want to nurture long-term?
By learning on a simple affiliate site, you keep the risk low. If you pick a bad domain or build ineffective links, it stings, but won’t sink your business. It gives you the chance to tweak your approach and keep progressing.
2. Avoid Analysis Paralysis
You don’t need to obsess over every decision with an affiliate site. It’s just a learning experience, not your end goal. You can get started faster without stressing over minor details.
The trick is taking action: researching keywords and products, creating content, building niche relevant links, and monitoring results. Hands-on experience is the best teacher.
3. Lower Upfront Investment
Going full steam into an affiliate business requires significant time and money — upfront. But you can launch a simple affiliate website with minimal costs.
If you have some capital to invest, consider outsourcing content creation and link-building, rather than diving into expensive tools and developers. As you learn, you can reinvest earnings to scale up.
An affiliate site lets you gain invaluable experience before deciding to transition to a larger affiliate business. Once you have some wins under your belt, expanding becomes much less risky.
Can I Build a Website Only for Affiliate Marketing?
Absolutely! Many successful affiliate marketers operate websites dedicated solely to promoting affiliate products and earning commissions. It’s a primary way to make money blogging.
As you learn how to create a website for affiliate marketing, the key is to focus on a specific niche. Don’t just randomly put affiliate links on a page. Instead, carefully target products relevant to your niche audience.
For example, you could create a website focused on reviewing hiking gear for outdoor enthusiasts. Or build a site covering tools and resources for photographers. In the sections below, I’ll give you more details on choosing and validating your niche.
With insightful content and strategic affiliate links, you can operate a website purely for affiliate earnings — but be sure to disclose affiliate relationships clearly, according to FTC guidelines. Consult your legal team if you have any questions, to ensure you’re following all relevant regulations.
How to Create a Website for Affiliate Marketing: From Concept to Cash Flow
Building an effective affiliate marketing website takes research and planning, in addition to optimizing your pages for the best possible performance.
In this section about how to create a website for affiliate marketing, I’ll outline six key steps to follow from initial idea to launch.
Step #1: Pick a Niche
Choosing the right niche is a critical part of how to build an affiliate marketing website. Generating a list of possible ideas, and then validating your top picks before moving forward is a good strategy.
Brainstorm with these practical ways to generate niche ideas.
- Hobbies and passions: What topics do you already have interest or experience in?
- Topic lists: Use sites like SimilarWeb or Exploding Topics to browse trending niches.
- Amazon best sellers: Filter by category to find hot products.
- Competitor research: See what’s working for existing sites already ranking for key terms.
- Available domains: Find high-quality expired domains you could use as the foundation for your affiliate site.
Once you have some potential ideas, validate the niche by researching the competitive landscape.
Find a site ranking well for relevant keywords in that niche, and conduct an informal assessment. Can you match or exceed the authority of that site, given the effort you’re willing to put in?
For example, can you create content that outperforms the current content on that site? How competitive are the keywords they’re ranking for? What would it take to get into the game in that niche (and win)?
The goal for your SEO reporting should be within reach but still require some work.
Validating upfront helps ensure you pick a niche where you can realistically compete and thrive.
Step #2: Find the Right Affiliate Program
When I first started learning how to create a website for affiliate marketing, I looked into different partnerships. The first program I joined was Amazon Associates.
Yes, Amazon did reduce commissions in 2020. But even at lowered rates, you can still earn solid income through their massive product selection and high conversion rates.
As you gain experience, you can branch out into additional programs, including niche-specific options.
However, having a single Amazon affiliate account opens up a world of possibilities for your site. I’ve found products to promote for nearly any niche I want to pursue.
The Amazon affiliate program provides everything you need to get started and begin earning commissions as you learn the ropes. Down the road, you can scale your earnings by adding additional programs.
Step #3: Consider Products to Promote with Amazon
Once you’ve picked your niche, the next step to building a successful affiliate site is finding products people want to buy.
Try these proven methods to find profitable affiliate products in your niche.
- Competitor research: Use Google to identify top-ranking affiliate sites in your niche. See what products they’re featuring and recommending. These are likely solid options.
- Amazon best sellers: Head to Amazon and browse high-ticket best sellers in categories related to your niche. Popular products are typically solid affiliate opportunities.
- JungleScout: This tool analyzes Amazon data to show you monthly sales estimates, revenue potential, and more for products.
By letting competitors and existing sales data guide your product selection, you mitigate the risk of promoting untested offers. For the best conversion potential, choose affiliate products tailored to the unique needs of your audience.
Step #4: Choose a Domain Name
Your domain name is a crucial part of your brand. And when you choose the right one, you’ll have an important asset that grows in value over time.
Here are some factors to consider when selecting a domain.
- Cost: Domain registration typically ranges between $10–20 annually, but premium domains can cost hundreds or even thousands.
- Branding potential: Choose a name aligned with your niche that can help build your authority.
- Competitiveness: Generic domains like “hikingtips.com” are harder to rank. More specific names can help your SEO.
- Age: Existing domains have trust benefits for SEO, but you can still rank new domains. It’ll just take more effort.
Ideally, you want to find a unique, affordable domain name that clearly identifies your niche. Your domain name should help search engines immediately understand your focus while making your site more memorable.
Should you pay for a premium domain? That’s up to you. But even if the domain costs a bit more upfront, it can pay dividends as you build your affiliate marketing site.
Step #5: Select a Web Host and Site Builder
When creating your affiliate marketing website, you need to decide on your hosting provider and website builder. WordPress is great for beginners starting an affiliate site.
WordPress powers more than 40% of all websites, so having WordPress skills is extremely valuable for any digital marketer or web developer. The platform is beginner-friendly but can also support advanced functionality through plugins and customization.
For hosting, don’t just go with the cheapest option. Invest in quality hosting with features like:
- One-click staging, so you can test changes on a copy of your site before deploying live.
- Daily automated backups that can provide an essential failsafe against disasters.
- Optimized performance with fast, reliable hosting that keeps visitors happy.
Your affiliate website is worth doing right, so don’t cut corners on hosting. WordPress, paired with premium hosting, provides the best foundation.
Expect to spend $25-30 per month for robust WordPress hosting. Top providers like Kinsta offer enterprise-grade features at reasonable rates.
Step #6: Create Content for Your Niche
The key to a successful affiliate marketing site is consistently publishing high-quality, valuable content. Your goal is to establish expertise and authority around keywords and topics related to your niche.
Here are some best practices for creating compelling content.
- Conduct thorough keyword research to identify high-value topics and phrases to target.
- Create an opportunity model to map out potential content pillars that align with customer search intent.
- Focus on in-depth, long-form content like tutorials, guides, and reviews rather than short blog posts.
- Optimize your pages for specific keywords by including them in headings, meta-descriptions, content, URLs, etc.
- Embed affiliate links and calls to action relevant to each piece of content.
- Prioritize promoting affiliate products you have researched rather than random offers.
- Provide a mix of articles, videos, reviews, comparisons, and other types of content (look for my examples below).
Want to refine your content creation process for SEO, so that you drive more traffic and sales? Then learn more about joining TTT Academy.
4 Affiliate Marketing Website Examples
Let’s look at some examples of successful affiliate marketing websites (including specific pages, and why they work).
Here are four sites to inspire new ideas for your own site.
1. Homepage Example
NerdWallet’s homepage does a great job of showcasing the site’s value to visitors through expert financial guidance and tools.
The simple, clean layout focuses on driving clicks to high-intent categories like credit cards, banking, and loans, so NerdWallet can monetize through relevant affiliate offers on those vertical pages.
2. Review Page Example
PCMag has been known for its in-depth reviews of tech products since its online inception in 1994.
The lengthy, information-rich reviews establish PCMag’s authority and trustworthiness, and they seamlessly integrate relevant affiliate links so readers can easily purchase products after engaging with the content.
3. “Best Of” Page Example
Wirecutter’s “Best Of” pages, like this “Best Toasters” page, demonstrate their thorough research process and methodology for selecting the top products in a category.
This comprehensive approach builds trust and positions Wirecutter as an authoritative source. Their data-driven recommendations encourage readers to purchase via affiliate links.
4. Educational Page Example
Kinsta has expertise in hosting and WordPress, and they publish in-depth educational articles that establish authority and provide value for readers.
These pages incorporate relevant affiliate product recommendations, like hosting plans or WordPress plugins so that the company can monetize its educational content.
Ready to Build an Affiliate Marketing Website?
This guide covers the key steps and best practices for building a successful affiliate marketing website from initial planning to launch.
I’ve given you a strong foundation for exploring how to create a website for affiliate marketing, but there’s a lot more.
If you want to shorten the learning curve and create your own affiliate site with expert guidance, check out my TTT Academy course, Creating a Money Site from Scratch.
The course includes step-by-step video tutorials that walk you through every stage of building a profitable affiliate site. You’ll have access to the same proven framework I’ve used to create multiple successful affiliate websites.