Basic tips on setting up an affiliate site with WordPress

Affiliate marketing is promoting someone else’s products and earning a commission on sale. In some occasions you might be rewarded on just providing the traffic. In this article we will cover the very basics that you need to start up your own affiliate site.

Affiliate marketing with WordPress

WordPress has grown into a full blown CMS from it’s roots (Just another blogging platform) and can be nowadays serve different purposes. However it is still a great content machine for affiliate marketers promoting someone else’s products.

Good and appealing content

There really isn’t a way around this. Your site should be both visually appealing and have great content as well. If you aren’t a developer, there are nice plugins available that you can utilize to improve your sites visual aspect. For best results, you may have to spend a few bucks on a paid plugin or a paid theme. Envato is a great source for premium WordPress themes and plugins.

Few recommendations:

  • Kalium WordPress theme
  • Revolution slider
  • Visual Composer

Best solutions for you of course depend on what you are planning on promoting and if possible, customised solutions without page builder is usually a better option to build WordPress sites. If you are for example promoting Amazon products, you might be well off on setting up an eCommerce store with WooCommerce.

Essential WordPress plugins for affiliate marketer

Getting traffic to the site is the number one priority for every affiliate marketer and therefore SEO is the top priority for most affiliates out there. However in this article we won’t be looking at any of the SEO plugins since they are already covered in the previously released article about Top SEO plugins for WordPress.

Google Analytics

Analytics is also important for affiliate marketers and you should do more than just the basic analytics installation. Analytics is often times forgotten in the beginning, but you should always take some time to plan what you need to measure. View the recent post on how to install Google Tag Manager on WordPress and also checkout how you can exclude internal traffic in Google Analytics. Specially at the beginning including the internal traffic makes the data look a bit too positive to what it actually is. Since external links are essentially your product(s), you also want to track outbound links with Google Tag Manager

Url cloaking

Url cloaking. Url cloaking is a common practice used among affiliate marketers and it means redirecting the url. Since as an affiliate, you will be most likely sending a lot of outbound links which may have negative impact to SEO. Solutions to this is url cloaking. Instead of directly linking to the website you are promoting, you create an inner link that you will redirect to the affiliate link. Pretty Link Lite is a free plugin that does this for you. Why there are other options out there, and you can of course do this manually in code, Pretty Link Lite is what we use here and have the most amount of experience as well. There is a pro version available as well, but the free version will do the basics as well.

Tools for engagement

While it is nice to get people coming to your website, it is also equally important to make them return. Number one reason should be of course having great content, that is worth consuming. However people may need to be reminded every now and then and here are few ways to do so:

  • Email marketing – Start collecting email list and sending newsletters when you have new content on your site. You can of course include affiliate links directly into your email. Try MailChimp.
  • Push notifications – With push notifications you can send alerts to your visitors and notify them, that there is now new content available.

Banner icon: Designed by Freepik