WordPress & Affiliate Marketing: What You Need To Know

WordPress Affiliate Marketing

If you’re just starting out in affiliate marketing then you might be looking at starting up your first website. For many, the obvious choice is WordPress.

This article is going to cover everything you need to know about WordPress affiliate marketing.

Why So Many Affiliate Marketers Choose WordPress

So why, exactly, do so many of us choose WordPress for our content management system? Surely there are other solutions?

Well, there are other solutions around and, while they work perfectly well, they aren’t as popular as WordPress.

WordPress absolutely dominates the statistics for Content Management Software technologies in use. According to BuiltWith.com, they estimate 53% of all sites are now run on WordPress.

CMS Usage Statistics

With this kind of popularity comes an influx of developer interest.

This developer interest and that fact that WordPress can be easily extended via plugins and themes mean that the ecosystem can handle just about any kind of website that you can imagine.

The top reasons why affiliates in particular love it are because:

  1. It is easy to insert and maintain content
  2. Simple sites are easy and quick to setup
  3. It’s SEO friendly pretty much out of the box (or easily augmented with the popular Yoast SEO plugin)
  4. It’s affiliate marketing friendly (thanks to plugins like ThirstyAffiliates)
  5. You can run it without technical knowledge

In summary, affiliates love WordPress because it is easy to use, extensible and you don’t have to be a tech whiz to figure it out.

Do You Need WordPress?

Technically you can even do affiliate marketing without a website, so no, you don’t actually need to use WordPress.

But we really recommend you to set up your own website and because of the reasons above it’s a great choice.

You’ll be using a platform that has so many more tools than anything like it which means you can let your imagination run wild with what you want to achieve.

WordPress Affiliate Marketing Tools

When it comes to choosing the tools inside of WordPress for affiliate marketing I have a pretty specific list of things to recommend.

First, I’ll go through what plugins you should install on your new WordPress website at a minimum for your affiliate marketing efforts.

3 Essential Affiliate Marketing WordPress Plugins:

  1. ThirstyAffiliates – forgive the self-promotion, but it really is the swiss army tool for affiliate marketers in WordPress. You can cloak your long affiliate links, measure click stats, categorize your links and much more just with the free version. There’s also a Pro add-on for when you want to level up.
  2. Yoast SEO – this is an essential tool for making WordPress as SEO friendly as possible. Additionally, it helps you craft content that conforms to best SEO practices.
  3. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights – easily add Google Analytics to your site. But not only that, see vital stats straight in your dashboard.

Additional Recommended Plugins:

  • WPML/Polylang – these plugins help you provide translated versions of your blog posts in other languages. A great traffic hack & revenue when you combine with the Geolocations feature of ThirstyAffiliates Pro.
  • Wordfence – security is very important. Because of WordPress’ popularity, they are pretty frequent with the security patches. In between those times, you’ll want Wordfence to guard your site.
  • Social Warfare – a great free social sharing widget tool, we use it ourselves.
  • WP RSS Aggregator – import content to your site via RSS feeds.

While there are many (many!) other plugins that would be helpful for your site as an affiliate marketer, I don’t want to overwhelm you with it. The plugins mentioned above have no real overlap and are the best of breed in each area.

Is WordPress Scalable?

When you’re first starting out, it’s OK to use a low-end market web host and a quickly thrown together WordPress blog. This kind of setup can cost you as little as $3-5USD per month (well under $100 a year).

But what happens when you start seeing some serious traffic numbers?

Can WordPress really handle it? Is it scalable?

The answer depends largely on a few things:

1. Your web hosting setup

Once you get beyond a few thousand visitors a month you might want to move away from shared hosting services like Bluehost (a great low-cost introductory host that many people start with).

The next step up is to use a VPS which stands for Virtual Private Server. VPS providers like Digital Ocean can provide the infrastructure that can scale a WordPress website into the millions of monthly visitors and beyond.

Combining your VPS with technology stacks like Nginx and server-side caching can also help even a small VPS scale up to handle large amounts of visitors.

2. CDN

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. CDN’s help you deliver static resources on your site such as images and javascript that don’t change very frequently.

Their super-fast networks of servers can give those files to your visitor’s computer much quicker than your web host can.

It might sound like we’re talking about fractions of a second here but every second counts.

3. Caching

One way to get a bit more juice out of your WordPress site is to serve pages on your site from a cache.

Caching means making a copy of the generated page on your site and storing it for quick retrieval later. It often means that WordPress and PHP aren’t even triggered.

The best kind of cache is a server-side solution like Varnish where it doesn’t have to boot up WordPress at all.

If each request for a page fires up WordPress (as it still does with some of the caching plugins out there) then the benefits of the cache will be limited.

4. Lean and clean code

Finally, one of the biggest impacts that can affect the speed of your site is how well the site is constructed.

At a professional level, you might want to get a qualified web developer involved to do a speed audit on your site.

Have them optimize it so you get a better result on Google PageSpeed and GTMetrix, two excellent sites that can tell you what to do here, and you will cover 99% of what needs to be done.

Start Off Your Affiliate Marketing Journey With WordPress

I hope this introductory article has helped convince you that WordPress is a great choice when it comes to setting up a website for doing affiliate marketing.

If you have any questions please leave a comment below.

6 thoughts on “WordPress & Affiliate Marketing: What You Need To Know

    1. Hi Naina,

      News is hard to monetize. Try inserting product reviews of new products in your niche. Video would be a great one since the attention span of your audience is probably quite low.

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