Guide to Affiliate Websites

Affiliate Website Guide

Before we focus on the Affiliate Website Guide, we first need to establish a few points of relevance. Firstly, an affiliate site does not hold any stock. An affiliate site does not ship any products. an affiliate site does not have to handle shipping arrangements. A typical e-commerce site will expect you to hold stock and arrange to ship, not the case with affiliate sites or drop shipping for that matter.

Some of the most common Affiliate programs are:

1. Clickbank

  • Established over 17 years ago.
  • Specialises in Digital Information Products.
  • One of the largest online retailers with over 6 million unique products.
  • Reach is around 200 million customers worldwide.

2. Rakuten

  • Ranks among the top three e-commerce companies in the world
  • Over 90,000 products from 38,500 shop owners
  • In excess of 18 million customers.
  • Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world’s largest by sales.

3. CJ Affiliate by Conversant

  • CJ Affiliate by Conversant reaches millions of consumers shopping online through their affiliate marketing network.
  • The Conversant, Inc. companies include
    • Commission Junction
    • Dotomi
    • Greystripe
    • Mediaplex
    • ValueClick Media

4. Amazon Associates

  • An American electronic commerce and cloud computing company.
  • The largest Internet-based retailer in the United States.
  • Affiliate network, called Amazon Associates
  • Allows you access to over a million products to advertise to your customers.
  • Amazon pays commission on sales generated through your own website by advertising Amazon based products.

5. ShareaSale

  • In business for 15 years
  • Operates exclusively as an affiliate marketing network.
  • Their technology receives accolades for:
    • Speed
    • Efficiency
    • Accuracy
  • Good reputation as a fair and honest business and is well known within the industry.

6. eBay

  • Been online for over 20 years.
  • The ebay Partner Network provides first class tools, tracking, and reporting.

7. Avangate

  • A player in digital commerce
  • Backed by a cloud platform,
  • Focuses on online commerce
  • Subscription billing
  • Global payments for Software, SaaS and Online Services companies
  • More than 4000 digital businesses in over 180 countries

8. Flexoffers

  • A premiere affiliate network
  • Builds mutually profitable relationships between trustworthy online publishers and a portfolio of 5,000+ popular advertisers
  • Over 10+ years of experience in the affiliate marketing industry
  • Offer unparalleled customer service
  • An array of optimized data delivery tools
  • Fast and dependable payments

9. Avantlink

  • The industry-leading technology platform for affiliate referrals
  • Works hard to remain on the cutting edge with constant upgrades and updates to their platform
  • Rapid implementation of new tools and technology
  • Unyielding emphasis on quality over quantity

10. RevenueWire

  • A global ecommerce platform
  • Designed for companies that sell digital products online
  • Combined with industry-leading services like AffiliateWire
  • Ecommerce platform is a player in more than 120 countries

What is an Affiliate Website:

A website which does not hold or stock any products and/or services and yet sells these products could be considered as an affiliate website. The Affiliate site will sell on behalf of other suppliers/provides. Websites selling Amazon products is a great example of an effective affiliate website

Can Affiliate Websites earn money?

Yes, they can and they can also be quite lucrative. If you are looking to get a large ROI, then you should perhaps consider many niche websites. Targetting a specific demographic, based on search analysis will give your site a better chance against larger web sites. The aim of any site is to remain relevant, focusing on a niche can often make this easier to achieve.

Who can have an affiliate website

I guess the question is who cannot have an affiliate website.

  • Are you over the legal age to run a business in your country
  • Are there any laws or by-laws prohibiting these types of websites within your country

If the answer to the above is Yes and No then it looks likely that you are eligible to start up and run an affiliate business website.

Please bear in mind that any earnings from an affiliate business do count as income and appropriate taxes and other deductions will often apply.

How do I get started with an Affiliate website?

Perhaps the best and first thing to do is decide on a niche to sell. This Affiliate Website Guide can only advise but you will need to look closely at shopping trends. Analyse Google search data and identify a product which you feel is trending and in demand. It is often good to start with something you know or understand well but this can also lead you to perhaps focus on too much detail and not enough on the business itself.

Once you decide on the niche, you will then need a website and with that comes the questions of:

  • Hosting
  • Domain Name
  • Website Name

Sometimes tricky to understand at first as you have to consider:

  • Speed
  • Reliability
  • Management Access
  • Cost

Mammoth Commerce recommends 1&1 website because they utilize SSD technology at an affordable price. Management access refers to the ability to access the backend of your website for updates, content refresh, and general housekeeping. Good secure site access is a must to allow you to control your own business more effectively.

The Domain Name

Absolutely should scream out what the site is all about. Yes, you can go for something obscure and catchy, it has definite advantages if you do but if you consider the straightforward approach first, you may find the initial marketing much easier. If your niche is “bus memorabilia”, then would make a lot of sense but only if this is available and is also popular in search trends. If you go down the obscure route then you could be starting off with a need to create a market in the first place.

Website Name

is a fairly easy one to resolve. WordPress sites come with a huge variety of already optimised templates for your business. You could go down the bespoke development route but this will involve costs, some of which may negate any possibility of profit within the first year.

What does this Affiliate Website Guide recommend next; What should I do first?

The below is merely a guide but is a fairly decent one at that. The approach should be systematical and follow a logical process. Take notes and write down any issues encountered or lessons learned as you go.

  • Decide on a niche
  • Analyse your nice for a keyword or phrase
  • Identify the best platform to use for your website
  • Select an appropriate Domain Name
  • Arrange for Hosting for your chosen platform
  • Setup social media accounts and link these directly to your website.
  • Keep your content relevant to the niche
  • Update and review your products regularly
  • Respond to issues or queries from your customers promptly, fairly and with honesty.
  • Re-read this Affiliate Website Guide and ask questions on any points you require to be clarified

Affiliate Website Guide recommends further reading and suggests: Marketing Affiliate Websites and Managing Your Affiliate Website