If you’re landing on this page, I’m going to assume that you have little to no experience of developing affiliate marketing campaigns. There are obvious requirements before you can start making money. And I say that very carefully, because there’s no guarantee you’ll ever make money.
You realize there are hundreds of thousands of fledgling affiliates who know more than you and still don’t make a penny, right? Have high hopes and low expectations.
Before I break your spirit completely, allow me to explain the purpose of this page. Sooner or later, you’re going to need to have your own website to push traffic to affiliate offers. You can “direct link” people to offers, but it isn’t always profitable and as a business model – it’s vapour thin. You’re not adding any value. You’re just a middleman that both sides can live without.
So to get your own website, you need hosting and a domain (MySiteName.com). You’re spoilt for choice here. Let me narrow down the options so that it’s a little less of a headache.
You’ve gotta have somewhere to host your site. But the requirements for a web host can range from $5/month – for an economy shared hosting plan – to dedicated server solutions where you’ll be paying hundreds. Be sensible with your initial investment.
Everybody on a tight budget loves a slice of Host Gator action. This Australian company offers incredibly cheap web hosting starting at $4.95/month. It’s functional with good support and should be more than adequate for an affiliate marketer to get his feet wet. I would recommend the “Baby Plan” on the basis that it allows unlimited domains. That means you can host many different sites on the same package. If you don’t have a web host, this is where to start.
WiredTree is a hugely popular choice for affiliate marketers needing to squeeze maximum performance out of their sites. If you need a managed VPS or a dedicated server, you can’t go wrong with these guys. If you don’t know what those are, then stick to Host Gator. With WiredTree you get reliability, good support and value for money.
Storm On Demand (Liquid Web)
A company to watch out for in the future, and a hosting provider to consider if you’re looking for a solution that scales and grows to match your needs. Storm On Demand brings “cloud hosting” to the table. Unlike typical web hosting where you’re charged a fix price for fixed bandwidth, disk space and etc – Storm On Demand scales to suit your usage of resources.
If your website experiences a day of sudden crazy traffic, Storm On Demand will automatically upgrade your hosting on the fly to cater for the demand. Or if you find that you’re not generating enough hits to use your bandwidth allocation, they will automatically downsize you and you will pay less. It’s a nice idea and it’s something you’re going to see a lot more of in the future.
Don’t Sweat! – If this is beginning to sound too confusing and technical, forget about WiredTree and Storm On Demand. Just get your web hosting with Host Gator and worry about technology later.
If you don’t have a domain for your website, you can kiss goodbye to any sense of credibility. Domains are cheap to buy so there’s no excuse. Always remember to add private WHOIS protection. This means nosey strangers can’t go dicking around your personal details and looking at the owner of the site in various domain registers. It doesn’t protect you on every level, but as an affiliate marketer, it’s a layer of privacy you should welcome with open arms.
So where to buy domains?
Pretty simple really. Register a domain for as little as $2.99, although you can expect to pay $10 for a domain worth having (dotcom). Namecheap chucks in free WHOIS protection and runs a monthly coupon allowing you to get a dollar off your purchase. The coupon changes from month to month, and I don’t plan to update this often, so get your Google on if you’re looking to save those pennies.
Help For Those Who Don’t Know How To Code Webpages
Just because I was lucky enough to move in to affiliate marketing from a web development background, I don’t expect everybody out there to be the same. You’ll be pleased to hear that it’s pretty simple to create a website in 2010. There are tools out there to make your life a Sunday morning breeze. A breeze without requirement of HTML knowledge.
WordPress is the ultimate showpony for creating a website on the fly without having to know jack about the technicalities of it all. Seriously, it’s so easy. WordPress is the platform behind many websites, including this one. It’s a flexible beast that can be skinned in to many different shapes and sizes. Are you wondering how this page came together? Take a look:
Yes, creating a website is as simple as typing a bunch of crap and pressing the “Publish” button.
I could write all day about the benefits of using WordPress, but the bottom line is this:
If you need to create a website but don’t have the coding expertise to do it yourself, you need WordPress. It’s your guiding light. Get it now. You will need to host it yourself, but installation is simple and there are piles of support files out there if you get stuck.
Ready to move on to the next step? Show me some good affiliate networks