I’ve probably created 50+ affiliate marketing websites since 2007. Here are my best tips for making your own websites for affiliate marketing in just an hour or so.
The following is a 3-step guide for how to create your own website that you can use for affiliate marketing. If you are new to web development, fear not, because I know from experience that you can create well-performing affiliate websites without being an expert that create technically advanced websites. The guide is a bit technical, but I’ve tried to describe each step and provide screenshots, so you can follow along.
Once your website is up and running with your website following this guide, you can rest assured that it is set up for success.
The first step to making your first affiliate website is to purchase web hosting. I’ve been a customer of many web hosts, including cheap ones like HostGator and more premium ones like Kinsta. The host I’m currently using and that I’ve been the happiest with is Cloudways. With Cloudways, you can get started with their free 3-day trial. After which, you can select a cheap plan to continue your hosting. Their plans start at $10 for the cheapest DigitalOcean plan. This should be sufficient for one website, and you can always scale your server to have more resources in the future. That’s one of the big benefits of this web host, simple scaling in case your website gets many visitors or if you want to add more websites in the future.
Note that Cloudways suggests going with their 2 GB option as a minimum. This one costs $22/mo, which is still reasonable.
When selecting a location for your server, I would suggest going with something close to your target market. If you want to target the USA, I would host the server in the USA. Ideally, this location is also close to you, as your website will be faster for you if the server is close to you as well.
I usually select the east coast of the USA since I am located in Europe.
When deploying your Cloudways server, make sure to select WordPress in the top left dropdown menu under Application & Server Details. This will install the free CMS called WordPress for you, which is the one we want to use.
After you’ve got your server, you need to purchase a domain name. I would suggest to use Namecheap, as they are not only cheap, but also have great support and all the features that I’ve ever needed from my registrar. A .com domain costs about $12 per year at the time of writing this.
Before going ahead and deciding on a domain and a website niche, you might want to read my best tips for selecting an affiliate niche.
After you’ve purchased a domain name, you need to connect it to your Cloudways server. This is easy, but it can take some time for the entire internet to update the changes to you’ve made to your domain name.
Note that purchasing a domain name is the last money you’ll have to spend for creating your own affiliate website.
To connect your domain to your server, look for the server IP address in your Cloudways dashboard.
After finding and copying your server IP address, go into your Namecheap dashboard, and update your server’s A records.
From the above screenshot, you can see that the A records have been added with a Value of the server IP address. In the host field, I’ve entered @.
Once you add the A records, your domain is connected with your server. It can take some time to update across the internet. One tip is to not try and access your domain name in the browser before adding the A records. I’ve found that this usually makes the domain connect with the server instantly.
If you want your website to be accessible with www. in front, you should also add CNAME records. For CNAME records, you can just enter www in the Host field, and your domain name in the Value field.
The other CNAME records I’ve added are just for email, but I won’t go into that in this guide. Cloudways have a good guide on how to set up email with them on their website.
After your domain has connected with your server, you can add a free SSL certificate. Note that it can take 30 minutes or a few hours for your domain to connect to your server. Until it is connected, you’ll get errors when trying to add SSL. I know a lot of companies try to sell paid SSL certificates, but I believe using a free one is just as good.
The SSL certificate enables HTTPS for your server, so your website can be accessed like this: https://your-domain.com/ -If Cloudways asks you if you want to enable HTTPS redirected after you’ve added the SSL, select Yes.
Using HTTPS has become the standard now for the added security of your visitors. You’ll have a hard time getting anywhere with a non-SSL website.
If you’ve managed to come to this step, your website should be up and running on your own domain. Congratulations!
Now you just need to familiarize yourself with WordPress. To access the WordPress dashboard, you need to enter /wp-admin after your domain name. Like this: your-domain.com/wp-admin – This should bring you to the login screen for the WordPress dashboard. The WordPress dashboard is where you will manage your themes (these are web design templates), your plugins (these add extra functionality), and it is also where you write new content.
The most important settings to change first is to add your website name, tagline, and the correct domain with or without www.
Other important pages in the WordPress dashboard to know about from the start is the Theme page, which is located under Appearance in the left sidebar. There, you can change the entire web design of your website with just a few clicks.
Note that there exists both free and premium themes for WordPress. You’ll have to decide for yourself what theme you want to go with. I believe there are quite a good selection of free ones to choose from.
Another important page in the dashboard is the Plugins page. From here you can install new plugins. I would suggest to search for and install the Yoast SEO and Redirection plugins right from the start for your affiliate website. Yoast SEO will help make your website optimized for ranking and getting free traffic from Google. And Redirection will enable you to create redirections for affiliate links to make them prettier and often display despite users having AdBlock enabled.
Another setting I always change at once after my new website is online is the Permalinks-settings. You’ll find these under Settings -> Permalinks. I would suggest selecting the Post Name permalink setting. This will make your URLs look like this: your-domain.com/your-post instead of the default which looks something like this: your-domain.com/?p=123
To create your first piece of content to add your affiliate link to, go to Add New under Posts in the left sidebar.
By now, you should have created your affiliate marketing website. I realize after writing this guide that I could provide a lot more information, but I don’t want to make it too complicated, so I decided to stick to the basics just to do the minimum to get a solid foundation for your new website.
Getting your website online is just the first step on your affiliate marketing and making money online journey. From here, you should continue to learn how to get free traffic and start making money from your website.