In order to start your new blog, you’ll need to first have a domain name and hosting account. Some people simply register a WordPress blog on WordPress.com but the problem with that is that you’re then at the mercy of other people.
You don’t want to wake up one day and see that your hard work has been deleted by an overzealous moderator of some sort. So host your WordPress blog on your own domain where you have total control.
There are two very different ways you can install WordPress. One requires a lot more technical effort on your part, but is more secure. The other is quick and easy, but some say has vulnerabilities attached to it.
Fantastico is an automated WordPress installation feature usually included in your hosting account if you have cpanel. HostGator is one such company that offers it. It will install the blog for you once you enter a few details to register it.
But while it’s an easy install option, some people warn of its ability to be hacked by unethical spammers. Still, for newbies it’s a wonderful way to get started so we’ll cover that first.
Log into your cpanel and click on Fantastico De Luxe under the Software and Services section – it will look like a smiley face icon. Under Blogs, click the WordPress option and choose “New Installation.”
Choose the domain you wish to install WordPress on from the drop down menu and if it asks you for the directory, leave it blank if you wish it to be on the root of the domain or put “blog” without quotes if you want it located at domain.com/blog.
Grant yourself admin access with a username and password and Click Install WordPress and Finish Installation. Make sure you bookmark the login page so that you’ll know where to go whenever you want to manage or post to your blog!
Manually, the install steps for WordPress are a bit trickier. You’ll go to WordPress.org and download the software yourself. Unzip the file and follow the install instructions on their site verbatim.
You’ll be renaming files, integrating it into your domain, and running the install scripts. It’s best if you have an FTP client available for this so that the process goes smoother for you.
Using WordPress for Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is very enticing because it doesn’t require that you create your own products – you’re simply profiting off the creations of others. But it’s not automatic money, either. You do have some work to do to generate traffic and sales.
The first thing you want to do is register a domain in your niche with keywords anchoring the domain for relevancy. You might not be in the “make money” niche – you might choose to promote fitness products, for example.
Once you get a domain and have reliable hosting, install the WordPress blog onto your domain using Fantastico De Luxe or the long installation method if you’re more tech savvy.
You want to get all of the settings in place before you begin adding content, such as the permalinks so that each post has a URL that’s search engine optimized. If you have custom graphics or a premium theme, install them prior to content creation as well.
Google might be knocking on your blog door quickly or it may take awhile to find your blog, but you want to have some sort of content for them to crawl and index as soon as possible.
Before you begin affiliate marketing, you need to keep in mind that your blog is going to act as a beacon for visitors in your niche. Those people will be relying on your recommendations, so it’s best if you truly identify the products that can fill their needs.
You can promote a variety of tangible and digital products depending on your niche market. You need to get signed up with the affiliate programs at ClickBank, Share-a-Sale, Commission Junction, and Amazon to name a few.
Start making a list of items you want to promote. Your blog will review and recommend certain products, so you’ll want to explain what the product is, why it’s a good investment, and how it compares to its competition.
The more personality you breathe into your blog, the better it will convert. A cold blog where the visitors don’t get to know the author doesn’t build trust with a target audience. You can sometimes get complimentary review products from digital product creators, if you indicate that you’ll be reviewing it. But if not, make sure you buy a copy or item so that your reviews are real and unbiased.
A good balance of pros and cons is crucial to the authenticity of your blog. If everything’s always rainbows and unicorns and you never find anything wrong with a product, then it will sound off alarm bells to your visitors, who will know you’re just in it for a quick buck.
Place banner graphics and text links in your sidebar and rotate them, while keeping an eye on conversion statistics. Have a banner that’s horizontal placed beneath your header. And whenever you write a new blog post, make sure you hyperlink to the affiliate product using your affiliate URL.