In this post I want to give you a simple outline and the steps required to build an affiliate site that makes money fairly quickly.
If you are just starting out then your best bet is to build a simple content site around a certain product and get it ranked for its keywords. We all know that works but most affiliate marketers drop the ball when it comes to structuring the content.
Sure you can make money as an affiliate with paid traffic too. It’s the fastest way to make your affiliate site profitable, but there are a few drawbacks to paid traffic model. First of all, you need money to burn for testing. It’s highly unlikely that you will score a winning campaign right of the bet. You will need to drop a few grand on gathering data and testing your conversions before any real profit is made. For most people paid traffic is out of reach.
I know that you can start with $100 through some self-serve traffic platforms but still that’s not enough to get the data you need to actually be able to scale it.
So if you are new to building affiliate sites I recommend going the SEO route because it’s low risk.
There are different types of sites you can build. You can create authority sites and basically review many different products on one domain name, or you can have one product per domain name.
I prefer authority sites, but for newbies it’s easier to create affiliate websites that concentrate around one specific product.
I am going to go over each step so that you can swipe it if you want and get to work 🙂
1. Find a hungry market that needs solutions.
This is key step and you should always do this first. A lot of affiliate marketers make a mistake by choosing a product first. You need to know what people are searching for and if they actually spend money in that niche.
Some biggest markets are:
– Health (weight loss, beauty products, cures etc.)
– Make Money (Don’t recommend it if you are just starting out)
I always recommend that you start with promoting health products. They always convert well. It’s a proven market so just stick with what works.
There are many great affiliate networks that specialize in selling health products. Check out Market Health, Sell Health, More Niche, and Clickbank.
Identify the best sellers and research their search volume.
2. Keyword research
This is a very important step because it will help you structure your content properly. What I do is get a list of 10 products that I might want to promote and start researching all the keywords associated with those brand names.
Let’s say I want to promote “Proactol” weight loss product (It sells through More Niche).
I am going to use SEMRush keyword tool to get all the key phrases that I am going to build content around.
So typing in “Proactol” gives me this:
Using this data I now know how to structure my affiliate site and what content pages I need. Basically what you want to do is create a content page for each keyword. For an affiliate site that promotes only 1 product you only need about 10 pages of good content.
I outsource content writing and I suggest you do the same, but if your budget is low then just write it yourself.
Each page you create needs to be optimized for its keyword. Onpage optimization is very important with these sites.
So now we know what keyword we are going after and what product our affiliate site will promote.
It’s time to register our domain name and get a hosting account. For hosting I recommend Hostgator.
When registering a domain name for an affiliate site that promotes only one product, you need to include your main keyword. In this case my main keyword would be “Proactol” so I could register for example “AboutProactol.com”
3. Setting up the site
WordPress is the best option obviously. I recommend that you get yourself a premium theme with multi-site license so you can create more affiliate sites. Thesis is what I use for my sites.
Installing WordPress is easy and I am not going to teach you that here. You can check out the post I made a while back about making money with blogs for more details.
What’s important is that your homepage has the main review and targets the main keyword. It needs to have a clear call to action and links within content to your affiliate offer.
Once you have your site set up you want to put up all the 10 pages of content at once. If you outsource then this whole process becomes very easy.
4. Link Building
The next step is to get links to your site so that it gets indexed in Google and starts gaining traction in the serps.
Without backlinks you won’t rank anywhere and no traffic will be generated. There are many different ways to get backlinks to your affiliate site like directory submissions, article marketing, press releases, link wheels etc.
Article marketing still works but it needs to be done right. Writing exclusive content for other high ranking sites (that are no direct competition) in exchange for a link back in your author bio is the new game.
There are also blog networks that you could join such as Build My Rank (Edit: Those networks got deindexed and I do not recommend using them at all. It’s mostly spammy links that can get your sites penalized.)
Link wheels are effective as well. The key is to create quality link wheels with original content.
5. Scaling up
Once your affiliate site starts making money you should build another one and keep building up the capital for other larger projects. You can also flip the first one when it starts generating $500-$1000 per month.
Selling a site that makes money is easy and will allow you to speed up the entire process of building affiliate sites.
It takes money to make money…it’s very true in internet marketing.
The outline I just gave you works and will continue to work for a long time in my opinion. You should also build an authority site on the side. Content is a great investment. Massive content sites usually do better in serps than smaller thin affiliate sites.
If you want to learn some cool advanced ninja strategies for creating profitable affiliate websites check out these posts:
Making money online takes work! If you don’t take action nothing is going to happen. There is no magic software or tool that can flood your bank account with cash overnight. It just DOESN’T exist!
The only way you could make money overnight is if you either own a mailing list or have some capital to fund paid traffic campaigns.
Anyway, you can follow the simple plan I just gave you and you will get results. It might take a month or two before you start making sales but at least it’s a solid plan that works.