If you're looking to create affiliate marketing website, or you're at the "planning stage" to create one, there may be lots of thoughts and doubts going on in your head. I would say skip all that and just go ahead right now.
Another motivational "don't hesitate, just do it" post?
But I have a true story to share with you.
You Cannot Plan EVERYTHING, You Know That.
James was a talented small business owner. He approached me because he wanted to build a website about his hobby in arts, and he wanted to monetise it. I immediately set up a draft site and gave him a login detail and password. James was very specific about how he wanted his website to look, so we exchanged emails everyday. I added new stuff and made many changes to the draft site as requested by him.
He had many little questions and concerns such as;
- Domain name and web-hosting - how do they work?
- Is WordPress the best platform? What are the alternatives?
- Where can I find free images to use in my site?
- Can I use my own photos?
- How do I resize photos and what are the appropriate / acceptable image sizes for my site?
- Where can I find affiliate resources, and are they safe?
- Which company's products should I promote?
- How much money will I be able to make?
- I don't want anyone to know my identity. Can I use an avatar instead?
- What's the site security like? What if my website is hacked?
- Do I have to reply to comments from visitors?
- How do I renew the domain and web-hosting next year?
Basically James had too many concerns and until every single one of them was clarified, he didn't want to start anything. I answered his questions one by one and explained the options he could take. I repeatedly suggested that he could at least log on to the admin dashboard and "play around" with it. That's the best way to learn. Do something yourself.
"Start building up your site as soon as you can, and you will work out a lot of stuff by yourself. I am more than happy to help you, but you should get used to searching anything on Google before you ask."
It then took him a month to find his image avatar, and he still had many concerns. "How do I receive my commission? Via my credit card? Paypal?"...
I finally said to him, "I can answer the questions, but are you ever going to start your website?"
Setting up a website is one thing but how to monetise it is the whole lot more. Tips and tricks on keywords, promoting, building relationships with your readers and advertisers. And it takes time. The only way is to try walking the walk as soon as you can.
James eventually lost interest and gave it all up. I respected his risk-adverse approach - time is money and, although he invested a lot of time researching (by asking me), he decided that running a website would not be worth spending time for, comparing to the business he successfully owned in a different sector.
The "Real" First Step
Your website is visible to public, and it's perfectly understandable you may want to be happy with the way it looks, from top to bottom and inside out. But just look at the stats above, how many websites exist in the world today - close to 1.1 billion. What are the chances of anyone access to your brand new website at Day 1?
Unless you already have other platforms to promote it, such as social media or forum that allows you to paste a link.
If no one's looking, then what have you go to lose? You will only waste a little bit of money if you pay to have your site hosted and do nothing. Spend just a few hours a day, or even an hour a day to create a home page, menu bar and add some images. Get the "real" first step out of the way - turn a blank canvas into something and publish it.
And remember - if you don't like anything that you've done, you can always delete it completely and start again. This is not something you'll be able to do once your website is on the rails with regular visitors.
Don't Delay The Chance Of Affiliate Earnings
Many people struggle to receive their first affiliate commission in the first 3 months of opening a new website. Without a decent, fairly presentable site, affiliate networks are likely to approve your application. No retailers would want their products advertised in your site if there's hardly any contents. Otherwise their brand could risk being labelled as shabby.
It is so true, you know. It was a few years ago, I built a brand new website with a footwear niche, merely published half a dozen of posts and applied for an affiliate program with one of the world-famous brands. They rejected and explained they did not think my site "would compliment their brand".
Were they saying my website was cheap? Yes, of course. They were saying my website was not up to their standard.
What I subsequently did out of desperation was to apply for an affiliate program with as many footwear manufacturers as I could. All of a sudden 30 shoe shops offered me a contract at the same time. I couldn't manage them all, and it really was a bad move!
A year later, this high-profile brand finally approved my application. But it's not the easiest to maintain a good relationship with this company - they periodically check the content of my site, daily traffic and my sales status.
Having said that, that's not always the case. Usually the retailers / advertisers are registered with an affiliate network and the management is in the affiliate network manager's hand. They don't contact you directly once your application is approved.
In order to start earning commission as soon as possible, your affiliate program needs to be set up as soon as possible. And to do that, not only do you need to have your website created, but make it look like it's going to promote third parties' products successfully.
Create Affiliate Marketing Website Right Here Right Now
Now you know setting up an affiliate marketing website involves a lot of trying and testing. It will take time and effort. So stop wondering about little "how-to's" and take action first - create your website first. Your questions will be answered in time - either you will work out yourself, or someone will help you. I will help you.