How to Set Up An Affiliate Program on Your Website

Affiliate marketing isn’t a new concept to those who’ve been in the blogging business for a while. You receive a small commission for recommending goods and staples from different companies you’ve signed up with. It’s an effective avenue for monetizing your lifestyle blog.

But if you have recently decided to turn your blog into an actual business – selling digital or physical goods – you may want to take a look at this “affiliate” thing from a brand’s POV.

Here’s why you should consider setting up an affiliate program as an additional traffic stream for your own biz.

The Benefits of Setting Up an Affiliate Program

CD power couple Gabe & Anna Liesemeyer (aka @inhonorofdesign) decided that it’s time to share design inspo beyond the ‘gram and recently launched an amazing home décor e-shop.

They already have an established following on social media and on their blog so they can promote their business to their readers. But hey, who doesn’t want even more traffic especially when just starting out?

By setting up an affiliate program you can tap into the power of your blog BFFs and other amazing bloggers out there. This translates to:

  • Brand awareness buzz for your brand new website/service/product
  • More traffic and sales
  • More email leads

How to Setup an Affiliate Program In 4 Quick Steps

Step 1: Decide on your program scope. The terms and payments will differ depending on your goals. You may enlist others to help you:

  • Promote your paid products/services for a % of each sale on their website and social media using affiliate links
  • Promote your digital paid offers (e.g. eBook, e-course) via their email list. You pay a fixed price per each click or per post/promo email
  • Promote a free offer – a part of your sales funnel. This way you can attract a cohort of interested peeps and pitch them your “main course” – a paid product – later down the conversion road

Step 2: Create an Affiliate FAQ page.  This one should clearly state the terms of your program; the payment terms and rules for joining. If you plan to test your program with selected-few affiliates first, keep this page short and on-point. You can always expand it later on based on the questions your first affiliates will ask.

Step 3: Create a landing page for your main offer. If you plan to promote one product or service (e.g. an e-course), design a dedicated landing page for it. Check out this post for an example.

Step 4: Install an affiliate plugin for WordPress. Here are the options we recommend:

AffiliateWP (paid) – an intuitive, robust plugin with multiple great features including affiliate registration and approval; real-time reporting, easy affiliate link generation and sharing, payout management and more! Works both for eCommerce affiliate programs and one-time affiliate deals.

WordPress Affiliate Manager (freemium) – again, you can setup flat or percent based payouts; create custom rates for affiliates; track various metrics and pay your promoters via PayPal. This plugin is a good “test” option as it is free. But you may want to consider upgrading if you plan to regularly enlist affiliates.

Ultimate Affiliate Pro WordPress Plugin  (paid) – this plugin offers the most customization options for your program. You can create different commission tiers for different groups of affiliates; setup lifetime commission for your most trustworthy affiliates, issue bonuses and set up recurring payments. It’s a great choice for those ready to run a large scale affiliate program for their biz.

You will then need to install and configure either of these plugins to create a registration page for new affiliates and start onboarding them.

If you’re a CD Babe, are thinking about trying this out, and have and questions, just reach out to your CD  support team or consultant for further help!

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