Building your own website is an essential step as an affiliate marketer. Whilst some knowledge of HTML will help you in setting up your own website, it’s not necessary.
Affiliate websites differ from most other websites due to their simplicity, which is a good thing for you. The most lucrative affiliate landing pages usually consist of only basic HTML (a very easy and straightforward web programming language). The strange thing with affiliate websites are that the more simple the site design, the more likely the potential customer is to keep reading through the website. This is because pretty icons and layouts have been shown to distract buyers from the core sales message of a landing page, and that is just about all an affiliate website should consist of – a sales message designed to convince a visitor to buy the product you’re advertising.
As an affiliate marketer, your primary goal is to convince your prospects to buy a product or service from the company/merchant you’re advertising. For this reason, your sales message will have the greatest impact if it seems to come from a personal perspective. This is best achieved in the form of a review of the product you’re promoting. Leave the raw advertising to the merchant. What you need to do is convince the prospect how much the product will benefit them based upon your own experience with the product. This “personal satisfaction” that you’ve experienced is the exact sort of thing that a prospect is often looking for before making a decision to buy a product, and if you can butter them up enough before sending them to the merchant’s website, you will have almost assured yourself a sale.
Now, on to the technical aspects. How exactly do you build a website?
Step 1: Register a domain
Depending upon who your target audience is, you may want to register a general .com domain, or a local domain if the product you’re advertising appeals to a local geo-targeted demographic. If you’re planning to reach out to the entire world with your sales message, and your advertising will be viewed internationally, then a general, top level domain will suffice. If however you have a product that you’re planning to only advertise to Australians, then registering a .au domain will give your sales message added credibility, not to mention potentially betting rankings within the local Australian search engines. You may register for a .au domain at an Australian registrar such as Melbourne IT. Doing a simple Google search may bring up the most competitive prices for .au domain registration. Keep in mind that registering for a local domain is usually more expensive than registering for a top level domain such as .com – so don’t be shocked to find that the price for a com.au domain is higher than for just a .com domain.
Step 2: Build your website
After registering your domain and selecting a hosting provider, you will need to build your actual website. Even if you’re a complete novice to website creation, the sort of website you’ll be making as an affiliate marketer is going to comprise of nothing more than simple and straightforward HTML. There are plenty of great tutorials on HTML over at HTML Goodies. If you want to create a website without doing any programming at all, then consider using a tool such as Komodo Edit or, if you’re looking for a paid solution, Adobe’s Dreamweaver is an easy way to get started creating websites. If you need help understanding how to make the files you create live on the Internet, there’s a good introduction tutorial on FTP here.
Step 3: Create your sales copy
The most important step is obviously determining the approach you’re going to take to convince your visitors to purchase the product you’re advertising. If you’re new to writing sales copy, I’ve written a thorough three part tutorial series on copywriting which I suggest you read. Once you’ve constructed your sales copy and included it in your design template, the last step remaining is including the actual affiliate links to the product’s website that you’re advertising. It’s essential that your affiliate cookies are set up correctly so that any referrals you make can be properly traced back to you. You may even want to do a test purchase just to make sure that they are.
Hopefully you now have an idea about how to go about making your affiliate website. Once your site is live, you will need to advertise & market it. Advertising your website is an entirely different topic, and if you’d like to learn how to do this from the ground up then I suggest heading on over to our Journey Into Internet Marketing tutorial series.