Setting up your affiliate marketing website is straightforward if you follow a process, so let’s run through the steps and make this as simple as possible.
We’re going to base the website on the WordPress platform (the most popular in the world) and walk through the following tasks.
- Choosing a domain name
- Getting your domain name and web hosting
- Accessing the WordPress Admin Panel
- Installing a theme
- Adding some useful plugins
- Adding Google Analytics
- Setting up Google Search Console
- Writing your first blog post with an affiliate link
You can have your website with blog up and running and your first content published in less than an hour. Maybe less than thirty minutes if you’re feeling sharp!
Choosing a Domain Name
Your domain name (web address) is going to represent your “brand”, so have a good think about the name as this is what your target market will see.
Some bloggers use their own name; others use a domain name relevant to their niche.
If you are choosing a domain name for your niche, then a few tips:
- Keep it short and memorable
- Avoid using hyphens(dashes)
- Consider using one of the keywords for your particular niche
- Try and get a .com web address
- Don’t use brand or company names unless you own them
Once you’ve decided upon your domain name, we can run through the steps required to have your website live on the web, submitted to Google for indexing, populated with some content and your first blog published.
Jot down your preferred name. You’ll be checking it’s available in the next step.
Get Your Domain Name and Web Hosting
So, the first components we need to get set up are your domain name and web hosting. How this works is that your domain name points to web space that contains your website files. We’ll
WordPress is the most popular system in the world for serving up web pages and powers over 30% of the entire internet. It’s ideal to use as a blogging platform. It’s got a huge community, loads of themes (to present how your site looks) and thousands of plugins available. We use plugins to extend the capabilities of WordPress.
To put your mind at rest, the platform is used by the smallest players online but also by big guns. CNN, Sony Music, MTV and Bloomberg are a few examples.
So, our first port of call in the exercise is to get the web space to host your website.
Hundreds of companies offer web space, but I can recommend four and all for different reasons. Have a quick read through the list below and pick whichever one matches your personal requirements. Prices are in US Dollars.
Option 1: Hosting with the Wealthy Affiliate Network
This is the most expensive choice out of the four suggestions. Wealthy Affiliate (WA) is not your typical mainstream web host.
I’ve introduced them into the mix because if you decide to join WA, then you will not need web hosting as they provide that feature to their members within the monthly subscription.
What is the Wealthy Affiliate?
For me, it’s like a University of Affiliate Marketing. In a nutshell, pro members get the following:
- Membership of a community of 1.6 million affiliate marketers
- Beginner’s Training Course
- Personal Affiliate Blog
- Affiliate Bootcamp Training
- Live Video Classes
- Video Walkthroughs and Webinars
- Keyword Research Tools
- Training Classrooms
- Affiliate Program
- 1 on 1 Coaching
- Website Feedback
- Website Comments (Engagement)
- Website Analysis
Members also get hosting included for up to 50 separate websites.
The Wealthy Affiliate SiteRubix hosting platform runs on the Amazon c3.large plan. It’s a fast and impressive specification. You don’t need to worry about backups. It’s all included.
The disadvantage is the price. This will set you back $49 per month. I say “disadvantage” because it’s only negative if you decide not to take advantage of the other features of the platform.
If you are only thinking about hosting right now then the options below will be more cost-effective. If you are thinking about affiliate marketing on a wider scale and wish to join a huge community, get a ton of training and have access to some of the most cutting edge research tools then the Wealthy Affiliate Premium plan is the best option.
Click here to join the Wealthy Affiliate or scroll on to consider the other options.
Option 2: Hosting with Bluehost
Bluehost Web Hosting is the cheapest of the four recommendations I am making.
You usually get some knocked off through my affiliate link and will be signing up to the equivalent payment of under four bucks (US Dollars) per month.
The slight downside is that to get the best discount, Bluehost require you to pay for three years hosting up front. You’d be expecting to pay somewhere in the region of $145 today, but then you won’t have to worry about hosting fees for another three years.
Bluehost throw in a free domain name of your choice and you can install WordPress on your new web space with one click. It’s a painless process.
The ongoing support offered by Bluehost is good, and they are a recommended vendor by WordPress.
Cost per month: $7.95 $3.95 (Free Domain Name)
Option 3: Hosting with SiteGround
Siteground is known for excellent support and uptime and is also recommended by WordPress as a hosting vendor.
The Managed WordPress package offered, includes free SSL (Secure Certificate) and automatic updates of the platform, themes and plugins as new versions become available.
The WordPress platform is already set up ready to go immediately after you’ve signed up.
The hosting beats Bluehost when comparing speed and features.
The only advantage Bluehost provide over Siteground’s offering is the inclusion of a free domain name. Siteground will charge you extra for the domain if you don’t have one already.
Siteground only request a year’s payment in advance, so if you signed up today, then the cost would be $63.50 ($47.40 for hosting + $15.95 for the domain name)
Cost per month: Usually $11.95, Currently $3.95
Option 4: Hosting with Cloudways Digital Ocean
Cloudways provide Droplets – your own personal virtual server in the cloud. You can use your droplet with Digital Ocean, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services.
The Digital Ocean is a slightly more technical solution than Bluehost and Siteground if you are a complete beginner. It’s not rocket science, and there is good support available, but you’ll possibly find it the least easy to manage of the four recommendations.
If you are technically savvy, then you may find this to be the best solution available, as you have full control of a virtual server, the hosting is fast, and it’s simple to scale up the specification as and when you get more traffic.
Cost per month: from $10
Accessing the WordPress Admin Panel
Once you have ordered your domain name and hosting and the web host has activated WordPress, then you can log in into the Admin Panel to administer the
- Via a web hosting control panel (a separate login that your web host will provide you with) Or:
- By Directly accessing the Admin Panel through a web browser.
If you are accessing it via a web browser, then the web address would typically be:
Remember to replace <your-domain-name> with the actual domain name you registered.
Once you see a login screen like the one shown below, you’ll know things are going according to plan.
All the web hosts I have recommended provide excellent support, so if you have any issues then contact them directly, and they should be able to resolve any problems.
Installing a WordPress Theme
More to follow! I am currently re-working this section into a small (free) online course. In the meantime, this tutorial from WPTuts should help you get setup.
P.S. I hope you found this post useful. If you did then a quick share on social media is always appreciated. A quick click on one of the icons below helps a lot.