Are you looking to build a profitable affiliate website? Or, do you already have an affiliate website that you want to optimize to boost your revenue? Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. With the right strategy, you can optimize your website so that it attracts the right traffic, in turn bringing in more affiliate revenue to your table.
In this article, we’ll show you how to build a profitable affiliate website using WordPress.
What’s Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you choose a product you like, promote it online, and earn commissions when someone purchases it through your referrals. Affiliate marketing is one of the most reliable ways to make money online for publishers.
But, before you can start making a living through affiliate commissions, you’ll need to have a substantial online following so that you can promote the products to them. The easiest way to build a follower base and make money from promoting affiliate products is by creating your own affiliate website.
Before we dive into how to get started with affiliate marketing, let’s take a quick look at building an affiliate website using WordPress.
How to Build an Affiliate Website Using WordPress
While there’re many free website builders out there that let you kick start a website quickly, it’s always better to invest some cash into setting up your website, especially if you’re looking to make a living from affiliate marketing.
For most users, a self-hosted WordPress.org site is the perfect solution because it gives you full control over your website, even if you’re not tech savvy. It also comes with tons of designs and addons to choose from so you can build any type of website you could ever imagine.
Best of all, you don’t need to have a big budget to build a WordPress website that generates decent revenue. When you’re getting started, you only need to pay for registering a domain name and a WordPress hosting plan to host your site.
A domain name is your website’s address. This name is what your users will type in their browsers to reach your site (For example, monsterinsights.com or google.com).
Website hosting is your website’s home on the internet. This is where your content and website files will be stored.
A domain name typically costs $14.99/year and hosting costs start from $7.99/month. If you’re looking for the perfect WordPress hosting for your site, we recommend choosing Bluehost. In addition to offering quality service for affordable prices, Bluehost is officially recommended by WordPress as one of their preferred hosting providers.
Better still, Bluehost has agreed to offer our users a free domain name and over 60% off on web hosting.
Now you can get WordPress hosting for just $2.75 per month plus a free domain along with it.
For a detailed step-by-step guide, you can read how to make a WordPress website.
How to Start Affiliate Marketing in WordPress
To get started with affiliate marketing, you’ll need to choose a niche topic for your site, choose products based on the niche, and start creating content on your site to promote them.
After selecting a product, you can get an affiliate link and promote the product through that link on your site.
As you grow as an affiliate marketer, you’ll likely use the same affiliate link on tons of different blog posts. For that reason, managing and organizing your affiliate links in WordPress is essential. If you use an affiliate link management plugin like ThirstyAffiliates, you can organize all of your affiliate links in a single place, so finding and replacing them won’t be a hassle.
For instance, if the company that you promote modifies their affiliate link, you won’t have to dig deep into every blog post you’ve published to find and replace the affiliate links you’d added. Instead, you can change it in the ThistyAffiliates panel, and all the affiliate links on your site will be automatically updated.
Apart from link management, the plugin also allows you to cloak your affiliate links so that you can turn your ugly affiliate links to pretty links.
Affiliate links are typically long, ugly-looking URL’s, like this:
ThirstyAffiliates helps you to cloak such affiliate links to make them short and branded URLs, shown below:
Now you can use the cloaked affiliate URLs anywhere on your site. It’s easy to add affiliate links with this plugin.
For detailed instructions, read our step-by-step guide on how to add affiliate links in WordPress.
How to Earn Affiliate Revenue by Attracting the Right Audience
Just because you built a site and started promoting products on it doesn’t mean you’ll start earning affiliate commissions right away. To generate affiliate sales on your site, you need to ensure that you’re attracting the right audience who actually wants to read reviews and recommendations on your site before purchasing the products you promote.
How can you determine if your website attracts the right traffic and the intentions of your site visitors?
If most of your traffic is from search engines, you can look at keyword intent to identify whether you’re attracting the right traffic.
Generally, there are 4 types of keyword intents:
- Navigational, where users search for a particular website.
- Informational, where users search for the answer to a question.
- Investigational, where users search for information that may eventually lead to a transaction.
- Transactional, where users are ready to buy.
As an affiliate marketer, you’ll want to rank your website for investigational keywords. Your potential prospects use investigational keywords when they try to compare products and search for reviews and recommendations.
Some of the phrases you’ll often see in investigational keywords are:
To find the actual search queries used by your organic visitors, you can go to your queries report in Google Analytics by navigating to Acquisition » Search Console » Queries.
To know more about choosing the right keywords, you can refer to OptinMonster’s keyword research guide.
How to Optimize Your Affiliate Marketing Site to Boost Commissions
Now that you’ve started attracting the right audience and, hopefully, made some affiliate revenue, the next thing you need to focus on is optimizing your affiliate site to boost your affiliate earnings.
To boost your revenue, you’ll need to start tracking your affiliate links in Google Analytics. By tracking affiliate links, you can figure out:
- Most profitable traffic sources: Once you understand your most profitable traffic sources, you can focus on promoting your content where it gets you the best ROI.
- Top earning pages: Determine the highest converting pages on your site, so you can optimize them to make even more money.
- Content opportunities: Come up with new content opportunities to earn more affiliate income.
The easiest way to track affiliate links is to use MonsterInsights on your site. It’s the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and enables you to take the full advantage of Analytics tracking, including affiliate link tracking, eCommerce tracking, ads tracking and more.
A few benefits of using MonsterInsights for optimizing affiliate sites are:
- You can identify which internal links are affiliate links in Google Analytics.
- You can easily differentiate your affiliate link clicks with other clicks so you get an accurate performance report on how your visitors are engaging with your affiliate links in Google Analytics.
- Google Analytics can identify from which page the click came from.
MonsterInsights lets you track affiliate clicks as events in Google Analytics.
For more details, read how to set up affiliate link tracking in Google Analytics.
Once the setup is complete, you can view your affiliate links report by going to Insights » Reports » Publishers from your dashboard.
In this report, you’ll find your top 10 affiliate links with the total clicks for each link.
If you want to view the performance of all your affiliate links, you can click the View All Affiliate Links Report at the bottom of the report. Clicking on that will take you to the affiliate marketing report in your Google Analytics account.
You can also find the top events and pages report just below the Events tab.
We hope this guide gave you valuable insights on building a profitable affiliate website using WordPress. If you’re also monetizing your blog with AdSense, you can learn how to optimize your ads using Google Analytics.