How to Set Up an Affiliate Website

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Make sure your affiliate website is mobile friendly so you don't lose potential customers.
Make sure your affiliate website is mobile friendly so you don't lose potential customers. (Image: dolgachov/iStock/Getty Images)

When you own an affiliate website, you are paid a commission for sales that result after a viewer clicks on an ad on your site. There's a lot of competition, but if you find a good niche market in and create an attractive, engaging website, it can stand out from the crowd and make a profit.

Pick Your Niche

Your affiliate website will do better in Internet searches if you pick a niche for it. The category can be anything that interests you. You don't have to pick a niche that's popular or has a huge audience to be successful. A small niche with a dedicated audience and less competition can garner revenue.

Choose a Website Host That Works Well With Affiliate Programs

You might be tempted to go with a free blog option for your affiliate website, but this choice likely won't net you the same results as purchasing your own domain and self-hosting a website. Some free blog hosting sites like Wordpress.com don't allow affiliate websites. If you set up an affiliate site there or try to run ads on your site, you might find your website is removed just as you're starting to earn commissions. Some free hosting sites strip the affiliate links from your posts, rendering commissions impossible.

Sign Up With an Affiliate Program

After you choose your website's topic, pick an affiliate program that offers products within your niche. For example, Amazon has an affiliate program called Amazon Associates that offers 4 to 10 percent commission on anything sold from its website. Other similar affiliate program options include ClickBank and Commission Junction.

Utilize Modern SEO Techniques

The heyday of SEO link building, in which your website gained an audience and ranked higher on Internet searches by having lots of websites link to the site, is over. With Google's new ranking algorithm, affiliate sites have a tougher time gaining traction. Focus on writing long, creative posts on your website or blog about the items that your site promotes. Host lots of original content and mix in articles that are around 1,000 words long. If you use a service like Wordpress.org to manage an affiliate blog, instead of a free hosting service like Wordpress.com, use SEO-focused plugins to automate the keyword selection process.

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