The next step in affiliate marketing is building a website from where you will advertise your affiliate products.
These days it’s pretty easy to get a website online, even if you’ve never done it before. Nowadays there are many tools available that make it a lot less daunting.
Step 1: Register a domain name
The first thing to do is to choose a name for your website and purchase a domain. A domain name is your website address, as in www.yourdomain.com.
The good news is that domain names are cheap (around $10/year), and help give your site an air of authority and reliability. The bad news is that a lot of the nice ones are already taken.
Choosing a domain name is an essential step since it is essentially your business name from here on out, so a lot of people end up getting stuck on this level — analysis paralysis strikes! If you need a little help brainstorming and buying a good domain name, check out this lesson, “How do I choose a domain name?”.
Step 2: Get some web hosting
If you imagine that your domain name is like the signage on the front of a shop, your web hosting would be the actual store building. It’s the place where you store all your website’s files, images and content so that people can view it on the web.
A lot of people get stuck on choosing a web hosting company — don’t let that be you! At the end of the day, most web hosts will be perfectly fine for getting started. Once your site gets bigger and more popular, you might want to think about whether you’re happy with your hosting.
If you’re nervous, opt for a month-to-month payment plan (rather than buying for a whole year up front) until you’re sure you’re happy. If you do decide you hate your host, later on, you can move your site to a new host. Often your new host will be happy to help you migrate everything over.
A few things to be on the look out for when selecting a web hosting provider:
- What is the web host’s advertised uptime? 99.9% uptime is the minimum you should accept.
- What is the quality of their customer support? Submit a few queries or try their live chat (if they have it) before handing over your money.
- How much storage space will you have? Aim for a minimum 5 GB of storage space.
- Cost? You can get reasonable hosting for $5/month or less (for one website). You can also get plans where you can host multiple sites for no more than $10/ month. Shop around!
For more information on web hosting, as well as how to register your hosting and link your domain name to it, look at the “What to Look For in a Hosting Provider” lesson.
Step 3: Set up WordPress to build your site
WordPress is one of the most accessible and user-friendly ways to get a professional looking website online — even if you’re not very technically savvy.
It’s essentially a software that you can install on your website that allows you to design your site and add your content.
WordPress is free, and it has a huge community behind it, so you’ll find a lot of tools and support to help you.
How to install WordPress? Most web hosts will have an easy way for you to install WordPress on your website. If you’re not sure, this is a good question to ask a hosting company before you sign up. Test their customer support team! Just ask them if there is a WordPress installer inside your hosting control panel, and if they have any tutorials.
Important: There are two kinds of WordPress: There’s a free version from wordpress.org that you install yourself on your hosting and domain, and then there’s WordPress.com which costs a monthly subscription to use. Don’t get them confused!
Learning WordPress: We recommend that you spend some time on the official WordPress lessons database: These lessons cover every topic imaginable related to WordPress.
If you get stuck, you’ll also find a lot of WordPress tutorials everywhere on the web. You could try YouTube or Udemy for video lessons, or a regular old Google search. (P.S: One of the great things about using WordPress to build your website is there are LOADS of tutorials out there already!)