When you’re getting started in affiliate marketing, having and maintaining a website can be a great way to improve your earnings. While setting up your own website can seem intimidating, it is actually relatively quick and simple. In this affiliate marketing how-to, we will cover the two basic types of websites you can set up, their benefits and their drawbacks.
No matter what type of website you set up, it is a good idea to have or use some kind of content management system (CMS), such as WordPress or Blogger. A CMS gives you a pre-built website; all you need to do is create content and drive traffic to your site. Blogging software is a popular type of content management system, and for good reason. A well-maintained blog keeps your website content fresh and interesting and helps drive traffic to your site. Most blogging software can be easily edited to look more like a “real” website and less like a “blog,” if that’s your style.
A free website can be a great way to get started in affiliate marketing. Check into these free blog/free website services to get your own site started.
- WordPress.com – WordPress is a free, open-source blogging service.
- Blogger.com – Blogger is Google’s free blogging service.
- Sites.Google.Com – Google Sites is a service that creates static websites connected to your Google account
- Webs.com – Webs.com offers free, advertising-supported websites.
- MoonFruit.com – MoonFruit offers free websites without advertising. It also offers paid services.
Having a self-hosted website is not nearly as intimidating as it may sound. A self-hosted website simply means you purchase both the domain name and the hosting. There are several free content management systems available that you can install on your servers, and you can ultimately control everything on your website. Getting started with your own self-hosted affiliate website takes just a few steps.
- Do your research. Determine which content management system you would like to use (we recommend WordPress) and the hosting requirements for that system.
- Purchase a domain name. GoDaddy.com is one of the most popular domain-name-selling sites, though a free domain may be included from your content management system.
- Purchase hosting. Pay a site like www.hostgator.com or www.afmu.com to store your website on its servers. Look for shared hosting or website hosting. Match the list of content management system requirements with the features the hosting offers. For good hosting, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $15 per month, depending on the services offered.
- Point the domain to your host. If your hosting offers domain purchasing, then this step is already done. If not, find and write down the “nameservers” of your host, usually in the domain administration or settings section of your host site. Go to the site where you purchased your domain name, and in domain management, enter the nameserver information. It may take up to 24 hours for all of the Domain Name Servers to update, but this should point your domain to your servers.
- Upload content. Go to your content management system’s site and download the latest version. Follow the detailed instructions for installing that CMS on your servers. Many hosting services offer almost one-click installation of WordPress onto your hosting account.
No matter how you choose to get started with affiliate marketing, having your own website is one of the most basic steps. A free website is quick, easy and cheap to set up, but won’t give you as much control. A self-hosted website gives you ultimate control and many more options, but takes a little longer to set up. Either way, you can be up and running in less than a day.