Starting an affiliate marketing website is one of the most popular ways of making money online. As more and more people are making online purchases and the product range is also growing, affiliate marketing has become a hot topic of discussion these days.
If you are wondering about how to create affiliate marketing websites or planning to develop an affiliate marketing website in the future, then you have come to the right place. In today’s post, we will discuss how to create an affiliate marketing website in WordPress. But first, let’s give you a brief idea about affiliate marketing. If you are already familiar with affiliate marketing, you can skip the following section.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
In simple terms, affiliate marketing is like this – you refer a visitor to a product or service, and you receive a percentage of any transaction they make. Though it is not as simple as that, I think it will do for this post. There are lots of excellent resources available online if you want to know more about affiliate marketing.
But how does affiliate marketing work? You see, affiliate marketing increases sales, which means increased profits. And besides, there are other benefits like more traffic, improved search engine ranking, promotion of the brand or a company, developed marketing, etc. It is a win-win situation for both the producer and the affiliates. By generating sales, affiliates are getting their percentage share while producers are getting more sales of their products.
However, you must know that money will not start flowing right after you have developed an affiliate marketing site. In reality, that is only the beginning of a long journey. You also need a solid strategy and the right amount of patience in order to earn money from this venture. But this is not the place for discussing the plans or anything like that. Here we will concentrate more on making an affiliate website.
How To Start An Affiliate Marketing Website?
WordPress itself is a dynamic and robust platform, but its usefulness has been greatly increased by the plugins and themes. By using these plugins and themes, you can build any types of website in WordPress. And that is true for affiliate sites too.
You may use some fully-functional affiliate marketing WordPress theme to start your affiliate site. However, for this discussion, we have decided to go with a premium plugin – AffiliateWP.
But, why choose a premium plugin while there are free plugin solutions also available? Well, to be honest, none of the freely available plugins are capable of developing a full-featured affiliate website. They can get you started but soon you will find out that you either need to upgrade to the pro version or need to buy add-ons for making your website work. And besides, there is always the issue of support and updates.
AffiliateWP is jointly developed by Pippin Williamson and Andrew Munro, both well-known developers in the WordPress arena. It also comes with everything necessary for creating an entirely functional affiliate website.
Setting up the Plugin
Once you have purchased and activated AffiliateWP, you will be greeted with a welcome screen like the following –
The welcome page provides a basic introduction of the plugin, along with separate tabs for a brief overview of the new additions and the author credit.
You will also have a new menu item titled “Affiliates” in your website dashboard. There are several sub-menus too, which we will discuss one by one. Let’s begin with the first sub-menu, which is “Overview”.
The overview page displays a complete summary of your affiliates. You will find information about the total paid earning, unpaid earning and unpaid referrals for the month, the day and for the lifetime too. There are separate sections for the latest affiliate registrations, most valuable affiliates, recent referrals and last referral visits.
The Affiliates page will display a list of all the members along with their earnings, rate, paid referrals, status, etc. If you want to add new referrals, click the “Add New” button on top. This will bring a page titled “New Affiliate”.
From this page, you can assign any of your existing users as an affiliate. It is also possible to allow people to register for being affiliate, but we will discuss it later in this post.
In the “User” field, type the name of the user and it will automatically produce a list of matched users. Select your desired user from the list. Then, in the “Referral Rate Type”, select the rate type for this referral. In the “Referral Rate”, provide the price for the referral. If you leave this field empty, the default rate will be used instead.
And then, in the “Payment Email” field, provide an email for third-party payment systems like PayPal, Skrill, etc. Leave this field blanks to use the default email address of the user.
Once you have provided the necessary details, click the “Add affiliate” button and a new affiliate will be created. Now if you go to Affiliates -> Affiliates, you will see your newly created affiliates as listed there.
You can view all of your referrals in this page. The results could be filtered by paid, unpaid, rejected or pending referrals. It is also possible to filter the results according to the date or by their reference ID.
The “Actions” column will let you take action directly from the page. You can mark any referral as accepted, rejected, paid or delete it.
This page provides you with detailed information about your visitors. You will be able to view the page they were visiting, their referring URL, the referer (the affiliate), referral ID, IP addresses and the date and time they arrived. The “Converted” column will show whether they made a sale or not.
This is a new addition to AffiliateWP. Creatives are banners or other types of assets that are readily available for the affiliates. If you have pre-made creatives, then your affiliates won’t have to create their banner or assets. Instead, they will be able to start their campaign by using the creatives you provide.
To add a new creative, click the “Add New” button. In the resulting screen, provide the name, a short description, URL, text, image as necessary.
If you choose the creative status as “Active”, then it will be instantly available. However, if you decide “Inactive”, that creative will not be available for the affiliates.
The reports page will provide you with detailed reports on the referrals, visits, and affiliate registrations. In the “Reports” tab, you can view the paid earnings, unpaid earnings and unpaid referrals for the month or a day. The data is also presented as a graph, which could be filtered by the day, week, month, quarter, year or a custom range.
The “Visits” tab will provide a comprehensive report on the visits to your website. You will be able to view the total number of visits, successful conversions, and conversion rate. The data is also displayed as a graph and like the previous one; the range could be customized easily.
“Affiliate Registrations”, the last tab shows a graph of the new affiliate registration in your website. Like the previous two graphs, the range of this figure could be customized too.
The tools page has several tabs. “Export / Import”, the first one allows you to export or import affiliate settings and data as CSV files. It is possible to export all affiliates, specific referrals, and the settings.
The “Recount Stats” tab will let you recount affiliate stats for a particular affiliate. It is possible to recount the paid earnings, referrals, and visits.
As the name suggests, “Migration Assistant” helps you in migrating user accounts, referral data and affiliate accounts between existing platforms.
Then, in the “Currency Settings”, you can define the default currency, currency position, decimal and thousands separator.
The “Integrations” tab lists all the services that are currently supported by AffiliateWP. It supports most of the popular platforms like WooCommerce, WP e-Commerce, Jigoshop, iThemes Exchange, Easy Digital Downloads, Gravity Forms, etc. Check the services you want to integrate and click “Save Changes”.
All the other necessary settings are listed in the “Misc” tab. Here you will find options for allowing new affiliate registration, notifying admins about new registrations, approval of referrals, auto-register new users as members, etc.
AffiliateWP pricing starts at $49, which provides you with a license for using the plugin on one website. You will also receive update and premium support for one year. For $99, you can use the plugin in three sites. There are two more expensive packages, which comes with unlimited websites, unlimited updates, support and multiple professional add-ons. You will find more details at the official pricing page.
We won’t make this post any longer. We believe we have covered all the important things for getting your affiliate marketing website started. Now, it is up to you to do the actual work. Let us know how you are getting on with AffiliateWP plugin. Also let us know if you are facing any difficulties in using the plugin. We will try our best to help you.