How to Setup an Affiliate Marketing Business – Part 3/7

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Once you have chosen a niche that you’re willing to stand behind for the next five years, it’s time to establish your home on the Internet; this will be your foundation for long-term success.

Do You Need a Website?

As a new affiliate marketer, you may ask if it is necessary to own a website. While I think it is a good idea to have one, there are other options. For example, you could start out using Squidoo, Hubpages or Blogger.

However, when you use these options, you’re giving control of your business to someone else. You are subject to their rules, which could change at any time. Do you want to put your business at risk?

This means your blog could disappear without warning. In fact, you could lose your entire business in an instant. It’s just not smart business to hand that much control over to someone else.

The best way to ensure that you have control over your business is to have your own website. Purchase a domain name and acquire affordable hosting, so you’re in control of your business and not someone else.

Steps to Create Your Foundation

You’ll find it’s not nearly as expensive to have a blog as you originally thought. Registration for a domain name is around $11 a year. Monthly hosting starts between $5 and $8 per month, depending on the hosting provider you choose.

You can download the WordPress blogging software today and have an operational blog within minutes. Naturally, it will take some time to design it to your liking, but this is easy to accomplish.

How to Setup an Affiliate Marketing Business – Part 3/7Perform these three simple steps and you have a blog:

1. Register a domain name

This will be the home address of your blog – also known as your URL. When you choose a name for your affiliate marketing business, make certain it reflects the topic of your niche – or if you want to brand YOU, then make sure you pick your first and last name for the domain.

2. Register for a hosting account

You’ll need somewhere to point your domain name – also known as a hosting account. In the past, Hostgator and Bluehost were the best choices. Currently, this isn’t the case. There are many options to choose from, but if you want a great hosting provider with superb customer service, let me suggest A2 Hosting.

3. Download WordPress software

Once you have acquired a domain name and hosting account, it is time to install WordPress. Even if you’re technically challenged, you can still install WordPress with relative ease, You can complete this work in a matter of minutes, so don’t fret.

Please read “5 Important Things To Consider Before Installing WordPress,” which is a great post by Jan Kearney. Most hosting accounts provide a “simple install” for WordPress, but I’m going to ask that you install the software manually, per Jan’s advice.

While you cannot keep out hackers, determined to get into your blog, you can make it nearly impossible to get through – IF you install the software manually.

Other WordPress Steps to Consider

After installing WordPress, you will want to add a theme that fits with the topic of your chosen niche. There are free and paid options to choose from, but I would suggest you stick with an easy theme until you are comfortable working inside of your blog.

There are certain settings inside of your blog that need “tweaking,” such as the dashboard and plugin settings. You will add a title and description, along with giving access to the search engines to crawl your blog pages.

You will set the proper time zone for your location, adjust the user settings for your personal profile, and change how you want to display your RSS feed and blog posts.

In parting, I’d like to restate that you aren’t required to have your own website, but relying on a third party service can be risky business.

The best option is to establish a blog of your own on a self-hosted account. If you still want to work with third party services – use them as a way to drive traffic back to your own blog.

In Part 4, we’ll discuss how you can drive traffic to your new Internet home and why it’s important to start growing your audience before you promote any products. See you then!

Did you install a copy of WordPress manually or did you use the simple install method? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Thanks for reading,
- Bonnie

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About Bonnie Gean

Bonnie Gean is a full-time writer and Internet marketer with over 20 years experience in home-business. She shares the goods on building community and in-depth product reviews.

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Comments

  1. Hi, Bonnie…Though I’ve blogged for years on a few of the different free blog platforms, I didn’t like the risk of losing everything at their whim, and set up my websites using HostGator hosting this past summer. I’m afraid that I used Quick Install for them. :(

    I have a question for you…I was using eJunkie to load my article packs on my plr website. Do you think this would work for selling plr graphics packs from my art website (which is where I’m posting from today because I’ve taken everything off my plr site to revamp it completely)? Or should I sell graphics packs from my regular plr site?

    Thanks for any suggestions, and enjoy your weekend!
    Becky recently posted…Digital artist trading cardsMy Profile

    • I don’t use eJunkie at all, so I’m not in a position to tell you whether it’s a good choice over loading the packages directly to a website.

      I’m sorry I don’t understand your question. WHY would you sell PLR graphics from an art website instead of selling them from your PLR store? What are the benefits to using this approach?

      If it were me, I would place everything related to PLR inside the PLR store and sell them from there. If you wish to build an affiliate team, then use eJunkie OR grab yourself the WordPress Affiliate Platform plugin and install it on your PLR website. (That’s what I did.) If you want more information about the plugin, my affiliate link is: http://www.bonniegean.com/affplatform where you can read about it.

      I love having the affiliate management and PLR store all under one roof… but that’s me. :) Only you can decide what’s easiest for you.

  2. I was on blogger until about a month ago when I realized (like you said, that someone else owned everything and things could change at the drop of a hat.) I actually paid someone to build my wp blog, but now I am facing a big learning curve. It probably would have been a good idea to do it myself.
    Salma recently posted…Second Child Mommy GuiltMy Profile

  3. Wonderful information. My husband installed mine manually. I think, I will double check.
    I definitely love the freedom of being self-hosted, but when I moved from wordpress.com it decreased my likes and comments, because I can’t get that free traffic from the word press dashboard.
    Megan’sMom Tronci recently posted…7 Swans-a-SwimmingMy Profile

    • You can get more comments and likes by making yourself visible on different blogs within the same niche and participating in article writing challenges (like the one I hold on Facebook) and through other writing venues like the Ultimate Blogging Challenge.

      As you grow your audience and drive people back to your blog, the likes and comments should increase.

  4. Hi Bonnie,

    I love your step-by-step approach, it’s so easy to follow. One thing – are you going to mention the plugins you would use normally? It would be so good to know! I can use your posts to set up an affiliate business from scratch.

    Best wishes,

    Galina
    Galina St George recently posted…How to Never Give Up – 12 Ingredients We All Need to SucceedMy Profile

  5. A self-hosted WP site is totally the way to go even if it does cost a few dollars. Many are afraid to jump in and don’t realize the risk they are taking with those other sites, but I guess it’s all about comfort zones.
    An added bonus with a self-hosted site is that the content is always yours, even when you want to clone one site into something new, as you helped me do.
    Marilyn Thompson recently posted…How to Write Super Star Blog ContentMy Profile

  6. Not being very tech-savvy, when I decided to incorporate a blog into my web site, I had someone else set it up. However, I like the step-by-step outline you’re providing for others, it makes it seem a little less overwhelming if one wants to do it on their own.
    Thanks.
    D
    Debra Jason recently posted…Blog Your Magnificent StoryMy Profile

  7. Great piece Bonnie. I agree 100% hosting your own WordPress is the best way to go. I’m a bit of a control freak though, so I am slightly biased :)
    Misty Spears recently posted…Failure and Success Plus Some Decisions I Am MakingMy Profile

    • When it comes to self-hosting a blog, I think more people SHOULD be a bit biased and not hand over the control of their business to a third party service.

      I am like you, Misty… I like control of what I do online. I don’t play well by the rules enforced by others. :)

  8. Thank you Bonnie for the reminder to install manually!
    Katria asked about security plugins – I’d chosse either Better WP Security or WordFence at the mo. One or the other, not both :)
    Jan Kearney recently posted…How to Create Pinterest Rich Pins to Power Up Your Pinterest MarketingMy Profile

  9. Bonnie this is a fantastic breakdown for building your blog. You keep it simple and straight forward. Love that. Do you have a favorite security plugin you can recommend?
    Katrina recently posted…Blog Help: Are You Making These 5 Mistakes with Your Blog?My Profile

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