How to Build an Affiliate Website with WordPress
Wanna make some money? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? And do you know what the best part is? You can make a killing using WordPress as we’ve already seen in the recent past. Today we will build you an affiliate site, so you can go ahead make some moolah, and buy beach houses, Ferraris and the works. All this for you, just so you can learn something new and live large because you deserve it.
The world is yours. – Scarface
More precisely, we will build a product review site using the platform we so love and cherish. That’s because there are different types of affiliate sites as we will see in a moment. We will arm you; give you every tool and resource you need to transmute your dream into reality.
You will make money with your affiliate site, provided you’re prepared to put in the effort required. Of course, you can’t get something for nothing. So wow us in the comment section at the end. That out of the way, grab your seatbelt, it’s pedal to the metal all the way.
Type of Affiliate Websites
You can follow a number of paths with your WordPress-based affiliate business. Although I will try to keep this post general, this section intends to help you in choosing the best affiliate website for you. Here we go.
If you can strike deals with local businesses to score your users great discounts, you can rake in an immense fortune in commissions. The internet is rife with daily deals websites because they are considerably easy to set up and the business model is rather straightforward. The more deals you dispense, the bigger the affiliate commission. You can serve adverts on the side to supplement your income.
A large part of the work revolves around collecting deals from businesses and manufacturers who can provide huge discounts that incentivize users to buy stuff they don’t even need. You can get anywhere between 30% and 50% of every sale you push through. A good example is Groupon, though there are tons more.
An easy way to get your coupon site up and running asap is with a pre-styled coupon theme like the Froday WordPress theme. This theme has everything you need for your daily deals site like front-end deals submission, easy theme options, coupon countdown, social integration and more.
If you already have a theme you love, then a plugin may be your best bet. Add coupons for your WooCommerce store with the WooCommerce Coupons Countdown WordPress plugin. It’s a quick and easy way to add custom coupons to any WooCommerce e-commerce website.
Want to start with a free option? Discount Rules for WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that gives you the ability to add basic coupons with a percentage based discounts, add tiered pricing, add expiration dates and more.
Price Comparison Sites
Price comparison sites usually show you a product and its price at different stores. They usually feature product reviews submitted by users, which make the bulk of their content. How does a price comparison site make money? You earn a commission when a user clicks on a link and visits the retailer’s site. You can sell advertising space as well.
Add your reviews (and affiliate links) using the ReHub WordPress Theme. It is a great option for sharing your favorite products and services with your readers using easy to read comparison tables with logos, dates, prices, and more.
The Go Responsive Pricing & Compare WordPress Plugin is perfect for creating comparison tables for just about anything. Add images, videos, features lists, icons and tons more to help your readers decide which option is best for them. Pricing tables area great way to compare & contrast similar offers (like hosting or theme packages).
If the two premium options aren’t in your budget, the WooCommerce Compare Products free WordPress plugin is an easy way to add product comparisons to your WooCommerce store.
Product Review Sites
We are shining light on this area today. Product review sites host expert reviews about products you’ve used or tested. You can also welcome reviews from users who have used said product in the past to enrich your content. You earn an affiliate commission when the user you refer to the retailer makes a purchase or completes any other desired action.
The Puva WordPress theme is a stylish review magazine theme with easy review options for readers to leave their ratings in addition to yours. This way visitors to your site can be confident in the ratings, and hopefully click on those affiliate links.
If you want to add reviews to your current site, then checkout the Taqyeem Ratings & Reviews WordPress plugin. There is seemingly nothing this ratings plugin can’t do with its unlimited colors, unlimited review criteria, custom fonts and multiple review styles.
An awesome free option is the WP Product Review free WordPress plugin which comes with solid options for a free plugin. You can add custom review icons, customizable colors, pro & con capabilities and even a pre-loader functionality.
At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is all about promoting someone else’s products and earning a commission by so doing. By all means, it eliminates the tedious process of product development, meaning you can easily set up your site and start earning in a couple of months. It also means you have more time to concentrate on content development and marketing.
If you’d like to create an affiliate program instead, you know, to promote your products, check out our guide to the best affiliate program plugins.
Why Use WordPress
Obviously, WordPress is beautiful, but there are many other reasons why even the big brands use and love WordPress. We will just touch on some of the reasons why you should use WordPress to power your affiliate website.
Easy & Versatile
For starters, WordPress is easy to set up, learn and use. While coding skills can come in handy once a while, you don’t need any coding knowledge to build an affiliate website with WordPress. You just need the right WordPress theme and plugins and you’re set.Additionally, readily available WordPress themes, plugins, add-ons, scripts and extensions make WordPress quite the versatile platform.
Search Engine Friendly
WordPress is search engine friendly, built on clean code and following the best web standards – all meant to entice search engines. I mean, Google and the likes love WordPress blogs, and if you can integrate a blog section to your review site, you can easily score better rankings and boost conversions.
A valuable blog will also foster user trust, exactly the quality you need to keep the commissions going up, up and up. You can bolster your SEO further by submitting your site to Google and using plugins such Yoast SEO.
Integrate Ads Easily
Using widgets, you can easily integrate ads into your WordPress-based affiliate site maximizing your earning potential. Just paste the ads HTML code into the Text widget and place it wherever depending on your theme. Some themes have specialized ad areas in the header among other places.
Few (if any) content management systems can compare to WordPress in terms of community. WordPress has a great community around it. This community is a great source of free and upbeat support you’ll need as you build your affiliate business.
From bloggers, consultants, fellow contributors, developers, and experts among others, you’ll have the best support you can ever dream of.
That done with, let’s build you an affiliate website using WordPress. First things first, what will you need?
What You Need
- The best WordPress hosting – Your affiliate site has to be super-fast for good user experience. You don’t need downtimes on repeat, and you definitely don’t want to lose your site to a hacker. Furthermore, you need enough server resources for when your site grows. How to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting has your back covered. If you need a quick fix, we recommend WPEngine among these other best WordPress hosts.
- A domain name – Make it short (3 words max) and memorable. Think big, and deep into the future. Make it snappy if you can, just don’t go overboard. Get creative and when you’re ready, I buy all my domains from Namecheap.
- Great WordPress theme – Go with a versatile, preferably multi-purpose theme that will make your reviews stand out. If you’re thinking Total WordPress theme, you are on the right path.
- Niche – Choose a nice you’re passionate about or knowledgeable in. You’ll spend a lot of time working in this niche so it better be pleasurable. You’ll promote products in this niche, and the guys you’ll be selling to appreciate some passion.
- Enough great content – What really is enough content? Publish reviews and blog content consistently without failure. [Easier said than done]
- Patience – It is a virtue
How to Create an Affiliate Website using WordPress
Now that we have the requisites covered, let’s actually build that affiliate site we’ve been blabbering about since the first paragraph. Let’s begin with the most obvious point.
1. Setting up a WordPress Affiliate Site
Setting up an affiliate site is just like setting up a typical WordPress site. Since you need your users to trust your reviews so you can keep earning them commissions, you have to put a little thought and time into your product review site. You simply can’t slap together a site haphazardly and expect to win.
It doesn’t matter the products you’ll review and promote, WordPress comes with a wide range of themes and plugins that will help you to build a professional review site in no time. And since WordPress themes are easy to customize, you don’t even need to go with a specialized review-style theme, although it would be a big leap in the right direction.
That aside, setting up your review site involves choosing the right WordPress hosting, installing as well as configuring WordPress, themes and plugins. As simple as A, B, C.
Installing WordPress is easy peasy work; many web hosts offer one-click installers that make your job a bliss. Go ahead and purchase bonafide hosting from our well-curated list of web hosts and install WordPress on your domain. Add a theme (such as Total or a free one) and set up your plugins (more about this in a moment).
There are a couple of excellent WordPress review themes out there as well, so don’t hold back; feel free to go with a solution that works for you. We’ve shared some great examples up above, but there really are tons of others around the web. After installing your WordPress site, it’s time to start creating awesome content. But first, a few pointers.
2. Choose Your Products and Affiliate Partners Wisely
If your heart is in it, there’s nothing wrong with promoting dirt-cheap products. The only downside is you’ll have to convert a lot more people to make a sizable income from your affiliate venture.
Think of it, if you’re getting 10% of every $10 sale you make, you’ll need to convert 1000 people to make $1,000 a month. If, on the other hand, you get 10% of every $1000 sale, you’ll need only 10 conversions to make $1,000 per month. See where I’m going with this?
Same case goes for the affiliate partners aka programs you go for. I will shun an affiliate program that offers, say, 10% of every sale in favor of the guys offering 50% keeping all the other factors, including price, constant.
Want to promote cameras through your photography blog/review site? First check out a couple of camera retailers and choose only the best affiliate programs. Are their terms favorable? Is the payout big enough to sustain your affiliate business? Do they offer a wide range of products? Do they have good reputation in the market? Is their affiliate program successful? How do they treat their existing affiliates? These are just some of the factors to consider when choosing the products and partners to promote.
Remember if you promote shoddy products just to milk a commission out of your users, your brand image will suffer the brunt of your insolence. You’ll be out of a business faster than you can build one.
Obviously, and we’ve already mentioned this, you need to follow your passion especially if you’ll be writing the content yourself. If you need reminding, you’ll be writing for people who are interested in the products you’re promoting – other niche enthusiasts as Shaun Quarton puts it. If you’re not passionate about the products you’re promoting, but are in the biz because the niche is lucrative, these enthusiasts “…will see straight through lifeless, uninspired content.”
Still on this passion and content business, the products you ultimately promote need to tie in with your content. You simply can’t talk about television sets and then turn around and promote fertilizer. That’s an abomination in the world of content marketing.
Moving on, don’t ignore recurring commissions such subscriptions that pay commissions whenever the subscriber hits the renew button. They can be a great source of recurring passive income that requires little effort to set up.
3. Add Plenty of High Quality Content
Content is, and you’ve probably heard this a million times before, king. You can market the hell out of your review site like Mad Men, but if you don’t have the kind of content that gets users clicking the links, and actually buying, you’re going nowhere.
In how to drive more traffic to your WordPress site, we discussed why high quality is of crucial importance. Whether you’re writing reviews or blog posts, your content needs to be of highest caliber – or at least better than your competitor’s. You should look to add value to the user’s decision making process.
Your content should provide all the answers the reader needs to make a purchase. Look at what your competition is doing, and go a mile further. Your affiliate site should be the last resource the buyer visits before spending the green.
Carry out your keyword research to determine what users are looking for. Use your content to address the user’s pain points, and you have yourself a foundation of a sustainable business. After all, you earn only when you solve a problem for your users. And with an affiliate site, you’re simply showing them why the product you’re recommending is the solution they need. Can’t get easier than that.
Pro Tip: Quality (valuable, relevant, fresh) content will instill trust in your readers.
Keep your content fresh because – stale is just bad. Keep track of trends in your niche and you’ll always ride the wave, instead of following it. Are there holidays deals on offer? Great niche-centric news that can make for a great blog post? Tap into that and stay ahead of the competition. Tools such as Google Alerts and Google Trends among others can be useful in this endeavor.
Add plenty of content – ten blog posts and five reviews won’t buy you a trip to Disneyland. You need plenty of traffic and better SEO rankings, and the only way to get both is to publish high quality content consistently. Note: The more the content, the more the opportunities you have to place your affiliate links. That’s right, you can place your links in blog posts, pages, reviews, case studies, interviews, podcasts and videos among others.
Overall, you should endeavor to publish professionally presented reviews. Push put quality content consistently. Oh by the way, don’t forget to put all these details in your business plan. Sorry I didn’t mention this earlier. You need a business plan; every business needs a strategy.
4. Promote Your WordPress Affiliate Website
Alongside publishing high quality content, you need to make a conscious effort in promoting your site. Do everything in your power to attract visitors, just make sure your tactics are legitimate or you’ll anger the likes of Google and earn a bad rep. Promote your site both online and offline – market the hell out of it.
5. Monitor Your Performance
Even with the best plan, you will need to remain flexible and adapt accordingly as you build your WordPress affiliate business. You evolve continually before striking gold. Before you find the perfect formula, you’ll need to change tactics and strategies a couple of times. It’s inevitable.
As such, you need to monitor and manage your site’s performance. You need to experiment with different types of content and eliminate the products that perform poorly. Tools such as ahrefs and Google Analytics among others offer you a lot of insight into your business.
Tools & Resources for Your WordPress Reviews Site
The tools you end up using to build your WordPress affiliate site depend entirely on your business needs. However, here’s a list of generalist tools you’ll need as you build the next big affiliate site:
- iThemes Security – Bolster your security ten fold. Consider also using HTTPS. Read other WordPress security measure
- WordPress Backup Solutions – Gives you peace of mind knowing you can recover your site easily should something go wrong
- Yoast SEO – The best WordPress SEO plugin in my opinion
- Google Analytics for WordPress – You need to track your statistics so you can make improvements
- Goodbye Captcha – Catch spam bots automatically before they soil your reviews. No irritating captcha too!
- Akismet – This is a popular and powerful spam fighting plugin
- The Best Social Media Plugins for WordPress
- Pretty Link because you need to shorten and cloak outbound affiliate links
- WP Review – Create amazing review posts and summaries
- Lasso – Probably the best all-in-one affiliate program to organize your programs and performance
- AzonPress – Hello Amazon Affiliates
- W3 Total Cache – Site speed is a Google ranking factor nowadays. Your WordPress affiliate should load super-fast, so say yes to a caching plugin already
Popular Affiliate Programs
- Amazon Affiliates
- CJ Affiliate by Conversant (Formerly Commission Junction)
- Independently owned affiliate programs – Look for “partners”, “affiliates”, “Become an Affiliate” etc links
Building a profitable WordPress affiliate site takes time and effort, so don’t expect to make a killing overnight. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme, it’s a venture that will benefit from all the business acumen you possess.
All in all, building a WordPress affiliate site and turning a healthy profit is doable. Many sites on the internet depend and thrive on commissions, so yeah, it is a viable business model. Just play your cards right and exercise some patience. Become a shark and invest your resources wisely. Until next time, remember sparring is training. Here’s to your success: Cheers!
Thanks Freddy. How about the following
1) WP Rich Snippets for reviews
2) AffiliateWP for the affiliate engine? 🙂
Both are great plugins, but WP Rich Snippets can get quite expensive when you add on all of the add-ons 😉 AffiliateWP is awesome (we did a review on it a while back) but it’s for building your own affiliate program, in this post we were focusing more on the affiliates who are joining those programs which is why you didn’t see it up there.
I am using Amazon affiliate marketing these tips of your will help me in making money. thanks..
hi …i want to start affilated site …but my question is how many products i can put in my site….for example — if i create 1 post for every affilated product …thn my question is ….how many products allowed to put in my site posts…?
As many you want (or as many as your hosting plan can handle). WordPress doesn’t have any limitation that I know of when it comes to a post or page limit. But as you add more content (text, pictures, links) and get more traffic you’ll need more & more server space so your website doesn’t slow down. Just be sure you choose a hosting plan that will support your website.
hi I am using Amazon affiliate marketing these tips of your will help me in making money. thanks..
The “Add Plenty of High Quality Content” Is irrelevant to the first 2 options, site price comparisons and coupons site, is not it?
No. It’s very important to have high quality unique content for search engines like Google. You could have all kinds of awesome comparison tables, but if you don’t have any actual content (text) on the site then you won’t be able to “rank” for anything on Search Engines which is usually the best way to drive quality traffic to your site and make affiliate sales.
Very usefull aarticle, TY.
Can “Price Comparison WordPress Theme” can works with the “WordPress Responsive Pricing Tables”
Can complement each other? Is this what you intended?
I want to build a joint reviews with price comparisons, based affiliate program.
Regarding your second comment…Comments are not automatically published every comment is moderated by our staff to prevent spam. To be honest I am not 100% sure if the theme and plugin are 100% compatible it’s best if you can ask the theme and plugin developers because they can give you the best answer.
I bought first the comparison theme……there is no support thee and no even a guide….bought domain name+host at siteground then bought the theme…upload it…..so first thanks.
second they do need give any support….the theme author….nothing. i need to know how do I connect and feed thre the affiliate program…etc…strange, nothing besides purchase confirmation.
Sorry to hear you are having issues with the theme mentioned in the post! It appears that they offer support only via their own dedicated forum. Where you able to receive support there? You could always try requesting a refund for the product if it’s not working as expected here is a link for requesting a refund on themeforest. If you were able to locate a better theme for creating comparison sites, please let me know so I can take a look and update this post accordingly.
Great stuff. Like anything the key is to be consistent. As soon as we set out to do something new the challenges will arrive. Stick with this career and the other side is beautiful!
I am regular reader of your blog and no doubt it all stuff is awesome. The best thing about your sharing and posting is that you always provide content that is helpful for both the newbie and experts. Looking for more stuff and tutorials.
I’m for the first time on this blog and I’m a beginner in site building. Is it really possible to use some free website builders to make a real web business? Or it’s better to buy a programme to be sure for the better result without any problems with database or smth like this?
Hmmm, whether you use the free WordPress cms with free themes and plugins, or a fancy custom build web design & system, the quality of your website will ultimately come down to your content. Specifically I think people are looking for a professional (not-spammy) looking website that is easy to read, loads quickly (so getting a good hosting plan helps) and most importantly has the information they’re looking for. Depending on what it is you need WordPress is perfectly suited for real web businesses, and it’s the cms of choice for many web developers, popular blogs and professionals around the world (here are some of the big brands using WordPress). In any case you can always give it a try by using a free WordPress.com account and if you like it move over to the more flexible WordPress.org (you can see our comparison of WordPress .com vs. org that we put together to understand the difference between the two). And best of luck with your website!
The article is updated that part i love most in article it contains latest tools which can be implemented. Most articles one read are not updated and usually provide old information on particular topic.
Hi, great article, is it possible to set up a affiliate comparison website and compare products?
Hmmm – there’s this Price Compare plugin but it’s over 2 years old so I wouldn’t recommend it. I know there are many free product comparison add-ons for WooCommerce and EDD, so you could use one of those and simply add each product multiple times (once for each affiliate that offers it). But perhaps another reader has a better plugin or idea to recommend?
You don’t mention Zazzle’s affiliate program. I’m a designer there so am automatically enrolled. Perhaps Zazzle has been overlooked because, until now, there wasn’t really a professonial quality plugin to do all the work? Now there’s NiftyGridZPro, which not only creates great grids, responsively designed, it also has optional inbuilt search and pagination. But making it soar is its real-time global slot messaging system. All links are rel=nofollow and best SEO practices used.
Thanks for sharing such a nice post. But what will be your advice if it is an affiliate site of lots of different products. Will wordpress be able to bear such a huge load?
WordPress is very capable, just be sure to invest in good hosting especially if your site is going to have a ton of products.
Really love this blog. Keeping me on this affiliate path especially w WordPress.
Do you need a E-commerce website to do affiliate marketing. Or can you use a regular website for it.
Any website can use affiliate marketing to make a passive income 🙂 though you’ll want to have at least a little traffic since most affiliate programs are based on leads/sales and advertiser programs like Google Ads are often CPM (view based) or CPC (click based).