Imagine getting to work for yourself and share products you love to make money. You can do this, but you need to know how to launch an affiliate website and set it up for success.
I’ve started a couple of affiliate sites, and it’s not easy. But launching is surprisingly simple and quick; it’s the growth stage that’s the most difficult.
Before we get into the launch process, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.
How Long It Takes to Launch an Affiliate Website
You could launch an affiliate website within a few hours. However, if you want to make sure the website has a good chance of becoming profitable, you should spend a couple of days to weeks to get it ready.
That way, you can increase the chances of making money. If you want to launch your new website right, here’s what you need to do and how long you can expect each stage to take.
Before You Launch
Before you can launch your new affiliate site, you need to come up with a topic. I recommend choosing a niche and making it specific so that you can compete with existing sites.
Assuming you want to turn your website into a business, you’ll want to spend some time researching profitability. Check out some other niche websites to get ideas.
Once you choose a niche, come up with some blog post topics to write. Start with topics that have little or no competition so that you can start to rank on Google more quickly.
You can even write a few of those posts to make sure the topic is interesting enough for you to want to keep going. Finally, you’ll need to invest in a domain and website hosting.
This can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on how fast you do your research.
When You Launch
You have your website host, so now you need to install WordPress and connect your domain. Choose a theme and write your first few posts if you haven’t already.
Now, you probably won’t get many people viewing your site right away. But in case you do, it’s good to have a few posts ready so that they can view more of your content.
I’d also recommend adding a resources page to your new affiliate website. It’s a great place to add all of your affiliate links in one spot to promote to your audience.
Launching can take a few hours to a few days, depending on how many articles you want to start with.
After You Launch
Launching an affiliate website can be exciting because it’s all new. However, you need to keep the momentum going after your site goes live.
Set aside time to write and publish at least two or three articles per week. You can publish more if you really want to grow your website quickly, or you can publish less often for slower growth.
However, you’ll also want to dedicate time to marketing your new affiliate website. Create an Instagram account for the blog to promote it, and add a Pinterest board to your account just for the blog.
Running your new affiliate website can take anywhere from an hour or two a week to the schedule of a full-time job.
What You Need to Launch an Affiliate Website
If you want to launch an affiliate website, you’ll want to have a few things ready to go. Make sure you gather the following to help make your new affiliate website a success.
The most important thing your affiliate website needs is a place to “live” online. You can choose from a lot of website platforms, but I’d recommend using WordPress with the host SiteGround.
Starting a free website may seem like a good idea, but they often come with restrictions. For example, you aren’t able to monetize with a free WordPress site.
And other free sites through Blogger or Wix come with subdomains, which don’t look as professional. Those are fine if your website is a hobby, but an affiliate website is most likely a new business.
It’s best to invest a few dollars a month on a basic website hosting plan now. Then, you won’t have to move everything later once your website starts to make money.
Along with a host, you’ll need to register a domain through a registrar like Namecheap or Google Domains. You can get a domain through your host, but that gets tricky if you ever want to move hosts.
Plus, shopping around allows you to find the best deal on your new domain. If the name you want is unavailable, come up with some other alternatives.
Sure, you could get the domain ending in .net, but .com is the most memorable. And you’d be competing with the existing domain that does have the more popular ending, so you could lose traffic to the other website.
After you set up your website with WordPress, it’s time to choose a theme. You can use the default theme that comes with your new website, but I really like the theme Astra.
It looks really nice and is perfect for a niche affiliate website. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers talk about the theme, which encouraged me to give it a try.
And if you upgrade, you’ll get access to even more features to customize your site and make it stand out. Most themes are easy to customize, so you can choose whichever theme you like.
The next big thing you’ll need to launch an affiliate website is blog content. If you’re a writer or blogger, you can create the content yourself.
Otherwise, you may want to outsource the content to freelancers or a content marketing agency. Obviously, content is going to be the biggest expense if you don’t write it yourself.
Not only do you need a few articles to launch the site, but you’ll need more content to grow. So keep that in mind when choosing whether you or someone else will write the content.
Sure, you can use an AI writing tool to do the job, but Google is starting to penalize AI-written content. If you go this route, make plenty of time to fact-check and edit the work.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an affiliate website without some affiliate programs. You don’t need to join affiliate programs before launching your site, but you should have some in mind.
When you’re ready, start with one or two programs to promote. That will make it a lot easier for you to manage the programs and learn how they work.
After you start earning money with a few programs, you can slowly add more. Be sure to look for programs that have high commission rates to increase your earning potential.
You’ll also want to stick to relevant programs based on your niche. Sure I could promote the best dog food on this site, but that wouldn’t make sense.
Do Affiliate Websites Make Money?
When you first launch an affiliate website, you can’t expect for it to make a lot of money, or any money. With one of my websites, it took four months for it to make anything, even then, it was only $0.70.
It took well over another year before the site started bringing in $10s or dollars a month, and it’s still in the growth phase. But if you choose the right niche and promote the site, it could replace your day job or business income.
There are no guarantees though.
How Do You Create a Free Affiliate Website?
If you have no money, you can start your affiliate website for free with a platform like Blogger. You can use a subdomain or pay a few dollars a year for a domain.
But the hosting part is free, and you can add affiliate links. You’ll also be able to connect to Google AdSense if you want to place display ads as well.
Can You Be an Affiliate Without a Website?
You can be an affiliate marketer even if you don’t have a website. Use your social media profiles to promote your affiliate links to help drive sales.
Email marketing is another option, and you can build trust with your audience. However, I’d recommend creating a website eventually so that you have more control over how your content looks.
Do Affiliates Get Paid Monthly?
The payment schedule depends on the affiliate program and whether you reach a given payment threshold. For example, Amazon Associates does pay monthly, but you have to have earned at least $10 in commissions.
Other programs pay you as soon as you earn a certain amount, so you don’t have to wait a month. I’ve even seen the occasional program that will pay you as soon as you make a sale.
Can You Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money?
You can start affiliate marketing without any money. If you don’t have any money, you can use social media to promote your links, but I’d stick with products you already own.
Promoting products that you’ve used or know are of good quality will help you build and maintain trust. So wait until you can spend money before you start promoting products you don’t have experience with.
Is It Hard to Get Into Affiliate Marketing?
Getting into affiliate marketing can be difficult at first, especially if you have no audience. You don’t need thousands of followers, but you do need people to sell things to.
Also, some affiliate programs are harder to join than others due to follower or website traffic requirements. Luckily, there are just as many programs that don’t have any minimums.
If you want to launch an affiliate website, you might wonder how long it will take. At best, you could get a new website up within an hour or two.
But if you want to do your site justice, prepare to spend a few days or weeks on the project. Then, you’ll need to keep posting new content to help the website grow.
Are you looking to learn more about affiliate marketing? I’ve been going through the Affiliate Marketing Superstars course and have learned a lot!