Starting an affiliate marketing blog is actually quite easy. You can start an affiliate marketing blog in just a couple of hours or less. If you set aside an hour or two and follow this step-by-step guide to starting an affiliate marketing blog from start to finish, you will have your very own website all set up and ready to make you some money.
Before You Start: What You Should Expect From This Guide
Before you spend precious time going through this guide, there are a few things you should know upfront:
You’ll need about $40 – This $40 will be spent on a domain name and website hosting. Is it possible to start an affiliate marketing blog for free? Yes, technically it is. I won’t get into the details here, but I highly recommend you sign up for your own web hosting and domain name. The service I recommend will set you up with both of those things in one place. You also don’t need this money upfront. If you use this discount link it is only $2.99 per month, so after a full year of having your own domain name and web hosting, you’re actually looking at less than $40.
This is NOT a get-rich-quick strategy – In this guide, I will help you lay the foundation of your affiliate marketing business. You don’t need any programming skills and setting up your affiliate marketing blog really will be a pretty straightforward process. However, learning how to start an affiliate marketing blog is just the beginning. Truly earning money with an affiliate marketing blog takes time. This is true for any business though, isn’t it?
No programming skills are needed at all – If you don’t know anything about computer code, you’re in the right place. For those who are more advanced and want an expert level tutorial, this isn’t it. This guide on how to start an affiliate marketing blog is for the complete novice. I’ve created this guide to be the easiest, most straightforward, and easy-to-understand guide as I possibly could. It may encourage you to know that when I first started affiliate marketing, I knew nothing about how to build a website. In fact, I’m still not all that great with computer code and honestly I don’t care to learn it.
Doing Things In The Right Order
When starting your affiliate marketing blog, it’s important to do things in the correct order. Listed below are the steps I recommend you take, and I recommend you do the steps in the exact order that I’ve laid out.
Step 1: Identify A Niche Market
Before we get into how to set up your actual blog, you need to identify a niche market that you want your blog to be about. This step can be a bit tricky for the new affiliate marketer because finding a great niche to go after takes a certain kind of balance.
For example, let’s say I’m passionate about cars. Well, creating a site just about cars is way too broad. So, maybe I’d focus on classic cars instead. That would be a niche within’ a larger market (cars –> classic cars). Heck, I’d probably even drill down deeper and pick a specific type of car like classic Ford Mustangs.
What I recommend is to be very specific and go after what would be called a “micro-niche”, but give yourself room to expand later on. For instance, when I’m first starting, I might make my car website about a specific year of the Ford Mustang, like the 1969 Ford Mustang. It could take me months to create content just about the 1969 Ford Mustang, but eventually, I’d likely want to expand the site to include additional models and years.
The point is to be highly relevant to your future website visitors. Say I’m a car guy looking for facts about the 1969 Ford Mustang. Sure, I could read a boring Wikipedia article or an article from some big brand website, but what if I found a website by someone who is so passionate about the 1969 Ford Mustang he created an entire site about it? By doing this, you’ll seed your site to gain followers, links, and shares on social media. By the time you’re ready to expand, you’ll already have a great reputation going for you.
The lesson here is, if you’re afraid your niche idea is too narrow, you’re probably on the right track. You can always expand later. By narrowing your niche, you have a much better chance of having early success which will serve as motivation to keep pushing.
Here is a great video on what you should consider when choosing a niche…
Step 2: Perform Keyword Research
First of all, what is “keyword research?” This is simply researching what people in your target audience search for when they use a search engine like Google. Creating a helpful website is worthless if nobody ever finds it, and most people will find your website by doing Google searches. So, the key here is to create a list of at least 100 “keywords” that people use in search engines.
For example, this page you’re currently on right now is specifically created to show up in search results when people search for “how to start an affiliate marketing blog.” by doing keyword research, I was able to see that people often type this into Google. I’ll show you how to write content to rank for specific search phrases a bit later, but for right now, you just want to make a giant list of these keywords so that you have article ideas that will last you months.
Now, the next question is, how does someone perform keyword research? Well, there are lots of ways, including using expensive “keyword research tools” like LongTailPro.com. My biggest recommendation, however, is to watch the below video and learn how to perform excellent keyword research for free.
Step 3: Register A Domain Name
A domain name is simply the URL of your website. For example, the domain name for this website is “AffiliateMarketerTraining.com”. Finding a good domain name you like can be a bit tough because most of the “good” domain names are taken. Here are a few tips to consider when registering a domain name:
Only use a .com domain – I personally only register .com domain names and I recommend you stick with a .com domain as well. There are lots of new extensions you can go with, but still, to this day, nothing is as trusted as a good ol’ .com domain.
Make it brandable – Try to make your domain name brandable. As a personal example, I have a site DogFoodInsider.com and also created CatFoodInsider.com as well. The eventual plan is to have a whole bunch of “insider” branded domain names in the pet industry.
Try the “radio commercial test” – Your domain name should be easy to say and understand. In order to ensure you have a domain name that is easy to understand, try the “radio commercial test”. Pretend your website has a radio commercial and your domain name is said over the radio. Would it be easy to understand? If so, you’re on the right path!
Leave yourself room to expand – Previously, I had the example of making a website for classic Ford Mustangs and starting with the 1969 Ford Mustang specifically. I wouldn’t want to have a website domain that is specific to the 1969 Ford Mustang because eventually, I’d want to expand the site. Think about where your site will be in 2 or even 5 years from now.
Where Do I Register A Domain Name?
You can register a domain name at any “domain registrar”. There must be hundreds if not thousands of domain registrars available, but in this tutorial, we’re going to set up web hosting and register your domain name at the same time using the same service. I promise you it will be very easy.
How To Find An Available Domain Name
Before we actually register your domain name, you have to find a domain name you like and one that is actually available. This really is a trial and error process along with your own creative juices. Check out the tool below to search for available domain names, but don’t register it yet! Just search for and find an available domain name you like, and we’ll get it registered shortly.
Step 4: Setting Up Web Hosting
In order to start an affiliate marketing blog, you’ll need to have a “web host”. Keeping things simple here, but basically, a web host provides you with the ability to actually broadcast your website over the internet. The service I recommend for web hosting is called Bluehost. They are a very well known web host and specialize in people who are new or don’t know much about web hosting and building websites. They are also very competitive on price at less than $3 per month using this discount link. Here is the step-by-step process to set up
Visit Bluehost.com now follow the remaining steps. Things are going to go quickly now, so try to keep up!
Once you’re on the Bluehost.com homepage click on “get started now”.
Step 5: Choose Your Hosting Plan
For this step, you can choose whatever plan you want, but I reccomend just going with the Basic plan. You can always upgrade this later and for your initial needs, the basic plan provides everything you need.
Step 6: Enter Your Domain Name
Your Bluehost hosting plan includes domain registration. So, simply enter the available domain name you found earlier. You’ll notice a checkbox that says “keep non-house affiliate cookie”. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter if you check this or not and you can change it later, so don’t even worry about it for now.
Step 7: Put In your Personal Details
Step 8: Enter Your Subscription And Payment Details
You can choose to pay monthly or yearly, so simply choose your preference. You’ll also be asked to enter your payment info.
Step 9: Check Your Email
Once you’ve submitted your payment info, you should get a welcome email from Bluehost. Go ahead and click on “Create your password” to continue your account creation.
Then, go ahead and log in!
Step 10: Install WordPress
By now, you probably already know what WordPress is. If you don’t, know what WordPress is, basically it is the largest website and blog building platform in the World, and it’s totally free. Bluehost has made it really simple to set up a WordPress blog.
First, you’ll want to pick a “theme” and choose how your site will look. Don’t worry, you can change this later:
Now that you’ve chosen a theme, Bluehost will go ahead and automatically install WordPress for you!
Choose whether your site will be used for personal or business use:
Step 11: Launch Your Site!
In just one click, you will have your domain name and website live on the internet for all to see!
Step 12: Familiarize Yourself With The WordPress Dashboard
This step does take some time. Learning how to use WordPress has a little bit of a learning curve, but you don’t need to know any computer code or have technical skills to use WordPress. Simply click around and try to get familiar with how to navigate the backend menus.
Step 13: Create Your First Page
For now, let’s get your first Page set up. The tutorial below shows you how to create an about me page for your site in under 5 minutes.
Step 14: Create Your First Blog Post
Well, you wanted to learn how to start an affiliate marketing blog and here we are. We’re ready to create your very first blog post! If all goes well, this will be your first blog post of hundreds, if not thousands. The video below gives a pretty good tutorial on how to create your very first blog post.
Step 15: Find And Apply To Affiliate Programs!
No matter what niche industry you picked, there is always something to promote. Maybe it’s a training course from Udemy.com, a company that offers a generous affiliate program. Or maybe it’s a digital product you can promote through Clickbank.com. One of the largest and most popular affiliate programs is the Amazon Associates affiliate program.
One thing you can do is just go to Google, type in your niche, then type in “affiliate program” in quotes. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at all the products and services you can promote.
A word of caution: Don’t apply to affiliate programs too early. It’s going to take months for your affiliate marketing blog to get enough website traffic that you can truly monetize. Worry about creating high-value content and value to your site visitors first. If you do that, the money will come later.
Congratulations! You Have An Affiliate Marketing Blog!
If you followed all of the above steps, you now have a fully functional affiliate marketing blog. You have a domain name, website hosting, an ‘about me’ page and your first blog post.
So, what do you do from here? Now that your affiliate marketing blog is all set up, what should your day to day tasks be? At this point, it’s all about content, content, and more content.
Remember that keyword research we performed earlier? You should have a list of at least 100 keywords. It’s now time to start writing as many articles as you sanely can. If you do this consistently for several months, your efforts will begin to pay off. Most new affiliate marketers get burned out quickly and don’t keep at it, but those who do are rewarded. You have to make it past the point where most people fail.
How To Make Your Content Rank Well In Search Engines
As you begin the process of writing high-value content for your website visitors, you also need to keep in mind that you’re also writing for internet robots (actually, we call them spiders). Search engines need to know exactly what your page or post is about. We can help our websites rank well in search engines for our keywords by following some steps called “on-page SEO” where SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
There are two things I recommend you do right now. First, install the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. It’s completely free and will tell you exactly how to optimize your posts for search engines. Here is how to install it on your WordPress site:
You should also watch the following video on how to optimize all of your pages for SEO:
Follow The C–>T–>P–>M Process!
Fortunately, I learned about the CTPM process early on and it is still the backbone of my content marketing strategy. When you first start an affiliate marketing blog, you’ll be tempted to just make money as quickly as you can. This is the wrong way of thinking and often leads to an early failure. The CTPM process has proven to work time and time again. Here’s what CTPM stands for.
C = Content
T = Traffic
P = Presell
M = Monetize!
You must create high quality CONTENT before you can expect to get a lot of website TRAFFIC. You must then PRESELL that website traffic by gaining their trust before you could ever expect to MONETIZE.
Notice how monetizing is the last part of this process? At this stage of the game, your main focus should be to create useful content. If you do that, the traffic will come, and that pre-sold traffic is what will eventually allow you to monetize. It’s a process. Don’t rush it!
The CTPM process is so important, I created this dedicated blog post about it.
Have The Patience To Succeed!
Learning how to start an affiliate marketing blog should be the early stages of a long-term business plan for you. Affiliate marketing is a BUSINESS just like any other business. It takes a lot of time and effort to truly succeed. If you fail, it will most likely be because you stopped working on your business.
If you succeed, it will be because you were able to do something most people can’t do, which is having the patience to put in lots of hard work now in order to have that pay off (hopefully) later on. I can promise you, it is so worth it. It took me 2 years from the time I first started blogging to now earning a passive six-figure income as I travel the country.
Some Final Thoughts
I really hope this tutorial on how to start an affiliate marketing blog was helpful. There are so many people who want to start affiliate marketing but feel overwhelmed at the thought of building a website. I hope this made that process easier for you. No doubt, you will run into issues and have so many questions along the way, but all the tools and resources you need are out there. I know it’s an overused phrase, but if I can do this, you can too. The key is patience, persistence, and always learning. Do something to move your affiliate marketing business forward each day, even if it’s just for a few hours, and by this time next year, who knows where you’ll be?