Affiliate marketing is a form of Internet marketing in which you advertise products or services sold by others on your relevant web site. You, the affiliate marketer, get paid commissions for sales made through your marketing advice and referrals to the merchant site. However, with evolving digital marketing landscape affiliate marketing is no more ‘niche’ and simple ‘money making’ process.
Today the name of the game is persuasion which warrants the need of effective content marketing strategies coupled with a no-nonsense website design that gives more value to the end-user. Its common sense that in order to succeed in Affiliate marketing you need to offer something which provides genuine value to the end-user and not just a ‘fill up your boat’ kind of content.
There can be endless possibilities and decisions to be taken regarding how you want to earn money for the affiliate products/services you will be promoting. But first steps to succeeding with affiliate marketing is to focus on building a website that is user friendly, easy to navigate and conveys your marketing message to the end-user in a clear-cut manner.
To ensure preparedness for the success in Affiliate marketing you always need to know all the hurdles, bottlenecks and irritants which you are likely to meet along the way. It’s about deciding all the basic concepts, cutting the right deals and performing all the necessary tasks in the right time frame.
So, irrespective of the method you follow to stand out in the crowd as an affiliate marketer, it is obvious that the website can potentially play a significant role in your success story. But how much does it cost to build an affiliate marketing website or blog? Here is what you will need to consider.
How Much Does It Cost to Build an Affiliate Marketing Website or Blog?
With all its infrastructural facilities the modern World Wide Web provides almost everything and anything at the click of a button. With growing competition in the digital media and increasing demand for Mobile-Friendly responsive websites it is almost impossible for you, as an affiliate marketer, to succeed with a low-end website design.
If you want to stand out in the crowd and get the desired results from your affiliate marketing campaign then you need to constantly keep upgrading the quality of your content and opt for the best website builder tools available out there.
If you are serious about becoming a successful affiliate marketer then there are certain necessary basic things which you will need to spend money on. These include:
#1: Domain Name (approx. $10)
Domain name is your brand’s or blog’s Web address. And it is imperative that you choose a domain name that is highly relevant to the topic or theme your blog will cover. And though domain name might sound like an obvious step to creating a website, it’s imperative that you dedicate sufficient time researching your niche and available domain names to find a great match to the subject of your content.
There are countless options out there where you can purchase domain names. Godaddy, Namesilo, Porkbun, Namecheap, are just a few of the name brands which you may get in touch with. They all offer you the basic domain names with .com extension starting from $10. You obviously have complete freedom to choose the one you like or suits your business’ needs.
#2: Hosting ($35.40 / 1st Year)
Web hosting is the backbone of your website. It’s like the house where your website lives, where your website files are saved and from where your page is hosted for others to see. Web hosting is like the heart of your website because without it there is no way your website can be seen by anyone on the Internet.
You can choose from a wide range of hosting services out there on the web however with so many brands claiming to be the #1 hosting company, finding a webhost that truly delivers on its promise is very challenging.
There are various web hosting plans available with popular hosting brands such as Bluehost, Justhost, Hostgator and iPage etc.These come with a wide range of plans to choose from starting from shared hosting to dedicated web hosting delivering the maximum power. But as you are just starting, your website’s needs can be easily fulfilled by a shared hosting plan.
For those who aren’t familiar with shared hosting; in laymen’s terms it is simply a space that a webhosting company provides on its server for use by a number of internet sites. Each of these sites has its own domain name, and thus the files for each are stored separately, on a distinct hosting area of the server. All these sites shares the same RAM, hard disk space and other resources and therefore are described as ‘sharing’ the same hosting space on the server.
Now the obvious fact is that the more people sharing the same server, the slower your site will be because the server is busy responding to everyone else’s pages too. But there is a flipside to it. You can get a much cheaper hosting because it is shared. Also, many customer oriented companies like BlueHost to ensure every client is getting sufficient performance from their shared hosting, have certain measures in place to prevent misuse from any one user. These measures includes allocation of specific amount of memory ( like 256MB/512MB), cpu cores (like 1 or 2 cpu cores), bandwidth and space to each individual website that is hosted. These settings can be viewed by logging into your hosting account and accessing your CPanel. The shared hosting plans generally start at $2.95 per month that’s around $35.40 per year. But be reminded that you should choose a plan based on the expectation of traffic your website will get. If you are expecting ~10,000 visitors a month, starter plans are more than enough. For anything beyond, you will have to upgrade to higher plans.
#3 WordPress Premium Theme – $35
WordPress is the most widely used blog-publishing platform in the world due to its constant updates and noteworthy plug-ins. WordPress themes can be accessed for free from official WordPress repository however the premium themes carry features which are not readily available in free themes and therefore are way too powerful, niche-oriented and often easy to manage. That’s why I recommend using a premium theme.
Premium themes can be customised to enhance your blog offering considerable more interactive and optimized reading experience. A premium theme is also better search engine friendly and will give your blog the must needed extra SEO boost to better rank on SERPs. Further all the premium themes you will find in ThemeForest, Elegant Themes etc are structured in a way that they can be updated with a minimum of efforts and do not clutters your blog. This in turns helps you to keep your blog tidy and organized with easy to use the features.
For blog themes, I recommend using ThemeForest. It has a huge collection of high-quality, feature-rich premium themes starting from as low as $35. Most of them comes with integrated page builder, CTA button, parallax scrolling, beautiful custom widgets and many more such useful features combining with beautiful design elements and colorful layouts.
#4 Thrive Architect $67 & Thrive Leads $67
Once you have set-up your website, you will want to start marketing your site. One of the most powerful tools on the market to help you get a lot of traffic and sales is Thrive Leads. Thrive Architect is a WordPress plugin that offers numerous pre-made website designs you can open, edit, duplicate and customize, in order to adapt them for your business. It is the only WordPress plugin that allows you to create a complete website and turn it around in just minutes. It includes page templates, sales funnels, landing pages and enhanced social media compatibility for greater Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest exposer.
Thrive Architect and Thrive Leads are both developed by ThriveThemes, a WordPress focused company that aims to make it easier to grow your business using WordPress. They have a lot of powerful and all-in-one tools that enables you to create and sell online without effort. My favourite tool is ThriveBuildr, a plugin which instantly shows a popup box without losing traffic to your website and allows traffic to “opt-in” to get a free report or a video on what you are selling in just seconds. It is truly a must-have tool that allow you to build targeted subscriber list without any upfront costs.
#5 Email Marketing ($15/Month)
Digital marketing is an extensive term which includes a wide range of marketing activities such as search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, social media marketing, mobile marketing, and email marketing. These are all to convert visitors into leads and customers. You may be familiar with SEO, paid ads, and the social sharing buttons on your blog, but have you ever heard about email marketing?
Email marketing is one of the most popular and most effective forms of digital marketing. It can help you to accomplish multiple goals in the digital marketing industry. Earlier, advertisers used to use email marketing to drive sales and promote their products/services. However, it has transformed into a marketing tool to grow engagement and build better relationships with your readers and subscribers. Through email marketing, you can also make your brand more recognizable, improve online reputation, boost lead generation by capturing contact details of your audience, and drive sales with right offer and content.
You can use email marketing to grow your blog traffic, build your email list, and make money from your blog. Also, it is a low-cost marketing tool which can be automated. Further being the most preferred choice of communication for the users as compared to any other medium email marketing is among the leading digital marketing channels which can help you to achieve significant goals without having to spend hundreds and thousands on paid ads. However to truly harness the maximum potential of the email marketing, it is necessary to invest in email marketing services.
The best one I recommend for affiliate marketing is GetResponse because it’s the cheapest to get started with.
How to Be A Successful Affiliate Marketer?
To be a successful affiliate marketer, it is paramount that you market products that will be most relevant and beneficial to your audience. In order to gather this information, you want to set out to examine their frustrations, and perceived problems to identify which products might solve them.
Once you have identified a product category that might prove beneficial to your audience, it is essential that you do your market research to evaluate the viability and potential of the product. You will want to consider the interest level, the demand, and potential competition of this product category. Once you have considered these factors your next step is to create an optimized content marketing strategy that is most likely going to result in success and profits for your business.
Affiliate marketing is really an opportunity to start your own online business. It is extremely easy to start and to maintain. With affiliate marketing, you can start working from your home and make a living off the profits you make from your online efforts. You can find an affiliate product in any niche from within your industry or outside and get paid commission once someone who takes action and buys it.
So, take a deep breath and dive into the world of affiliate marketing. It is a promising industry with lots of opportunities for the beginner.