What Is An Affiliate Website? A Money Making Machine

Have you been researching affiliate marketing?

Maybe you’ve heard it’s a great way to make money online and are interested in learning more about what is an affiliate website.

Or maybe you want to know how you can make your own income producing affiliate website today.

People want to know about affiliate marketing and how it works.

Why is this a hot topic?

Because affiliate websites can make you a ton of money!

And the majority of affiliate marketing programs require that you have your own website in order to join their affiliate network.

Another major perk to creating an affiliate website is that it is a very inexpensive business to start up.

You can look at the cost difference between an affiliate business and a traditional “brick and mortar” business right here.

You’ll see two major differences between these two business models.

Most notably, the cost of start-up and the implied risk.

We’re talking under $500 to $1,000 dollars for the first year of an affiliate website business verses $10,000 to $100,000 dollars for a traditional business.

With an affiliate website business, your risk is low and your earning potential is quite high.

Image that links to a free course to learn how to build your own affiliate website.

Now there are a good amount of factors that go into making a successful affiliate website (and I’ll discuss this later below) but if you can imagine the potential in affiliate marketing, then you’re halfway there.

In today’s post, we’ll discuss:

  • The benefits to owning your own affiliate website.
  • What it takes to create a successful online business.
  • And give you a step-by-step guide to create your own successful affiliate website.

But you should know there’s more training material inside my recommended training course.

Now that we got that out of the way, lets dive in.

What Is An Affiliate Website Exactly?

An affiliate website is any website or blog that utilizes affiliate marketing techniques.

So what does that mean?

A graphic of an affiliate marketing tree with various components of affiliate marketing represented as branches to the tree.

Well, any website with advertisement banners is a form of affiliate advertising.

Also, text links.

Whenever you see a link that takes you to a website where you can purchase a product or service, again, is another style of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is performance based advertising.

In other words, an affiliate website will only receive a commission if the visitor they send goes on and makes a purchase.

So for example, you click on a link from one of your favorite blogs or websites and that link sends you off to say…Amazon.

Or any eCommerce website for that matter where you can purchase…

  • Products
  • Services
  • Educational Classes, etc.

Then if you buy something from Amazon, the affiliate site would earn a commission from whatever products you purchase.

In affiliate marketing, there are four players.

1). The Merchant – The person providing the product or service. In our example above, this would be Amazon.

2). The Affiliate Network – Contains the products from the merchant or a series of merchants.

They also handle the payments and sales commissions. Again in our example, this would be a subsidiary company of Amazon, called Amazon Associates Program.

3). The Publisher – This would be the website owner who is publishing the content to market the product.

4). The Customer – The website visitor that clicks on the Publisher’s advertisement and then is taken to the sales page of the Merchant.

Affiliate marketing websites use tracking links and banners throughout their websites to market products.

If the website sees a lot of traffic, that means more potential customers which equate to higher potential sales and increased revenue.

Building affiliate websites is a bit of an art form – at least you want to know what you are doing. It’s far more than just throwing up a bunch of banner ads and affiliate links throughout your website.

How To Build Beautiful Income-Producing Websites

The first thing you need to know is – just like any other business – time, dedication, and hard work are key to producing earnings through your affiliate website.

In addition, there are several things that you need to understand in order to get your site ranked on the first page of Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Understanding core principles on how to…

  • Produce content that converts (written and video)
  • Drive traffic with keywords
  • Optimize your site for search engine rankings
  • And properly link your site and affiliate programs

Will make the difference between profits and failure for your affiliate website.

Thankfully, it’s not that complicated to get into. It’s not like we’re asking you to learn a new language.

An image of a traffic sign that says financial freedom next exit.

But here’s the thing:

You want to do this right from the start so that your site won’t come off (in the eyes of the almighty Google Monster 🙂 ) as an affiliate spam site.

Instead, you want an affiliate website that is based on a solid reputation and provides value to your audience.

So if you are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme, then affiliate marketing isn’t for you.

You really need to give yourself a good 3 –  6 months to build your affiliate website. And just like doctors, lawyers, architects, or any other professional career, you need to be educated.

Become Awesome at Online Business: 100% Free Training >>

Benefits Of Owning An Affiliate Website

When you create your own affiliate website, you’re actually building a virtual online store or business.

The internet never takes a break, it functions 24/7, and so will your affiliate website.

This, too, is one of the greatest advantages to having an online business versus a traditional business.

My favorite benefit of creating an affiliate website is that you generate a source of passive income.

Now obviously it takes work to create the site, build it out, generate traffic and so forth, but once you have your site built up, it can produce an incredible amount of money on autopilot.

There’s nothing’s better than waking up to ten new sales that were generated last night while your were sleeping.

Last week I took a well deserved vacation to the coast. After going for a jog and swim at the beach, I returned to my hotel to see 5 new sales.


This is clearly one of the greatest benefits about building an affiliate website. Here are a few others…A graphic of an alarm clock sleeping.

  • No more stinking Alarm Clocks – Get up when nature calls
  • Be your own boss – When you create an affiliate website, you’re actually creating your own online business.
  • No more traffic jams – This is another major time and money saver. To see how much money you can save just in transportation, check out this post. 
  • Work or travel anywhere you want – When you generate income online through an affiliate website, you’re no longer a slave to a particular location. All you need is internet access 🙂

These are just a few of the benefits that go along with creating an affiliate website. I’m sure you can think of many more…

How Big Are The Commissions?

Commissions can be structured as a set price, or they can be done as a percentage of the purchase price for the product in question, it depends on the merchant.

The range can vary from 1% to 75% of the sale price depending on the product.

Below is a look at the commission structure of a few products from the popular retail outlet Best Buy.

A screenshot of Best Buy affiliate marketing categories and associated commissions.

Do You Really Need A Website?


A website is the foundation to any online business and can eventually turn into your own brand.

Most affiliate programs require you to have a website in order to be approved as an affiliate partner with their company.

Now there are a few programs that allow you to be an affiliate without a website.

But this isn’t a good move, especially for people who are new to affiliate marketing.

You would be forced to rely on PPC (pay per click) campaigns or spamming social websites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

If you’re new to affiliate marketing or PPC campaigns like Google Ad-sense or Facebook, then you could lose a great deal of money by not knowing what you are doing.

You can learn how to use these programs but first you need to build the foundation to your website.

I built the foundation to this site in 30 hours. It took me 5 days and I worked 6 hours per day.

It was a fun process and super easy.

That is, of course, with the right support and guidance.

Don’t let putting up a website intimidate you.

This used to be my problem. In today’s tech savvy world you can put up a website without much hassle. You can learn to put a site up for free in under a minute by reading this post.

Image that links to an article about real affiliate marketing success stories from real people.

Make Your Affiliate Website – The Correct Way

If you want to get into affiliate marketing and start building your own affiliate website then you want to do it right from the start.

There are 5 steps to make money online that I recommend to anyone looking to create their own affiliate website. And these are…

  1. Build a Website – You can review the fundamentals of building websites right here.
  2. Decide on a Niche for your website. This is really just the theme or topic to your website. This could be nutrition, fitness, building model airplanes, whatever. There’s millions of niche ideas to tap into.
  3. Write quality content based on your niche and products you support.
  4. Bring traffic to your site through SEO techniques and Keyword Research.
  5. Monetize your site – This is where we add Affiliate Programs, Google Ad-sense, or sell products directly on your affiliate website.

You want to build an affiliate website that is successful and makes money, right?

So create a website that gives value to your audience.

Value is established through quality content that helps somebody out with something.

Most of the time, this includes helping your audience come to a decision about a product or service.

This is accomplished with product reviews or articles based on your own experience with said product or service.

If you have a professional website, provide users with valuable information and then link your website correctly, you will create a money making affiliate website.

So now let’s review Affiliate Programs, plus I’ll show you how to add affiliate banners and links to a website.

Need some supplemental online income while you build your affiliate website? Check out our recent post to learn some clever ways to earn easy money online.

Adding Affiliate Links and Banner Ads In WordPress

There are thousands of affiliate programs available. You can get a better understanding of how to find these programs by reading this article, Internet Marketing Online Affiliate Programs.

I’m not going to go into all the programs available because that would take us about a year to get through.

There are affiliates for almost every product.

Just one little affiliate program that we mentioned earlier was through the gigantic retailer Amazon. eBay also falls into that category.

An image of a Best Buy banner ad that functions as a form of advertising for affiliate marketing.
Example Of An Affiliate Banner

For the purpose of demonstration, I’m going to use the affiliate network Rakuten LinkShare, formally known as LinkShare.

They are one of the top affiliate networks available and are very easy to use.

Below is a video where you can see how I add Banner Ads to the sidebar and link content.

It’s really pretty easy to do. Check it out.

Another idea could be to earn by simply showing ads, Ezoic is a good platform to start with.

Start Your Own Affiliate Website Today

The number one piece of advice I give people who want to start an affiliate website is to get help.

You can certainly put up a website on your own, write some content, and try your hand at ranking your website or pay for website exposure, but this is not the path to success.

It’s the path to heartache and failure.

If you’re going to learn how to build an affiliate website that achieves natural rankings and provides your users with valuable content, get a proper education.

You’ll save yourself time and money by working with professionals who have been making successful affiliate websites for years.

What do I recommend?

Here’s My Top Recommended Training Program >>

About the Author

Hi, I’m the founder of Learn to Grow Wealth Online. My goal is to help you create a brilliant online business. One that is profitable and will grow wealth for you and your loved ones well into the future. If you're willing to put in the effort, I can help you create your own source of online income.


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    1. You bet Tim, happy to help. If you need help picking up traffic to build your own site, or you need proper training in internet marketing, get hooked up with our Internet Marketing Training course.

  1. Thanks for this post. I’ve been looking into affiliate marketing and this post cleared up a lot of questions I had.

    I also have looked into the Wealthy Affiliate program and think they have a very solid system to teaching internet marketing.


    How long does it take to make money. What to expect in terms of investment and time.


    1. Great questions Dale and something anyone needs to know before starting an online business.

      It takes some time and dedication. I get this question quite a bit, so I wrote this post.
      I think it will answer all your questions.


  2. There is no doubt that affiliate marketing is one of the biggest way to make money online. When I made $50 on very first sale commission I got surprised but also happy. Your guide is helpful for all to understand how they can make money with affiliate marketing.

    1. Nice Nimish,

      That’s great to hear. I know what you’re feeling, those first sells are so sweet. The cool thing is that if you continue to build, so do those online sales. Pretty soon you have traffic 24/7 and the site is independently making money.

      To learn more, click here.

  3. Hi there,
    Great post on What is an Affiliate Website. You’ve cleared some confusion I have after spending several months with a MLM/Network Marketing company that I shall not name here. But what a relief to know that there are legitimate online businesses you can start that are based on things that I like.

    I enjoy arts and crafts with my kids and I have some great ideas for a niche craft site. I want to sign up for the training program Wealthy Affiliate, but I wanted to know if they have specific courses for my niche idea.

    Thanks for your help Todd,

    1. Hi Darcy,

      Thanks for your feedback on my affiliate website post. To answer your questions, I would recommend Wealthy Affiliate’s Online Entrepreneur Course for you. This course is all about taking your own niche idea and building a helpful website that is designed to cater to your niche audience.

      This is easily the best course in the market to develop your niche into an authoritative site – regardless of the niche idea.

      Start with the Free Starter Membership that WA provides and I’ll send you a message with a link to the first course. Then all you have to do is take the daily classes and TAKE ACTION on what you learn.

      Hope this helps and see you inside WA.

  4. Hi, Todd

    Thank You for an indepth post and the education on money making affiliate websites.

    There certainly is a massive opportunity for people to achieve financial freedom through affiliate marketing if they are prepared to work hard at building out a website and attracting visitors.

    AWESOME video too on affiliate marketing and I have just learned something new from you 🙂

    I have just bookmarked your post for future reference.

    Cheers. Neil

    1. Hi Neil,

      Awesome to hear from you and thanks for your feedback on my affiliate website post. Many people don’t understand what is an affiliate website, so I just wanted to break it down so that it’s easy to understand and that now is a great opportunity to take advantage of creating your own affiliate website.

      Now is a great time to get started in affiliate marketing. The online market is growing at outstanding rates and niche sites continue to grow in popularity.

      Thanks as well for your feedback on the video, hopefully it shows how easy it is to start adding affiliate products to a website and how easy it is to get started in affiliate marketing.

      If you’re interested in learning how to start your own affiliate website, check out this educational program for the best online education in this industry.


  5. Hi Todd

    You have such a resourceful and wonderful website here. 🙂

    You are so right to say that just like any other business – time, dedication, and hard work are key to producing earnings through your affiliate website.

    I totally agree, we just don’t expect to get rich overnight if we do not put in our hardwork, determiniation and dedication. 🙂

    I strongly believe that building an affiliate website can be a great way to become a money making machine. You just need to find a great niche market with the right products and services that you believe and trust in, that will be yr immediate step to making money online. 🙂

    Great job, Todd! I wish you all the best!!

    Jewel Carol

    1. Hi Jewel Carol,

      Thanks for your kind feedback on my Affiliate Website article. It’s a fun process to learn how to create a really great affiliate marketing website. Even more fun when the commissions come in, right 🙂

      As I continue my journey in the online world, I find myself meeting more and more amazing people who have been working at affiliate marketing and website development, and it’s incredible what can be accomplished with hard work, determination, and time. I recently meet a couple from Germany (here in S. America) that has been doing affiliate marketing for 3 years and it’s incredible to see what they have created.

      They have 2 affiliate sites and have now branded their company, they put on large conferences/workshops to teach others how to find the “nomadic” lifestyle through affiliate marketing.

      It’s really fun to see your business grow and flourish. It just takes time and consistency.

      Great to hear from you Jewel and best of luck to you and your business as well.

  6. I’ve seen scammers out there lately claiming that you don’t need a website to make money with affiliate marketing. How are you supposed to learn how to market if you don’t have a basic understanding about how websites and traffic work? I think everyone should learn how to build an affiliate website but of course, I am a bit biased towards this business model.

    1. Hi Steve,

      I think you hear those type of statements from people who are selling “Money Making Systems/Scams” where you can use their selling website platform.

      But I agree. unless you have a huge social network where you can list your affiliate program and bring new people into an existing system or website, it’s not possible.

      I just spoke to a couple of friends that are web developers and they are making tons of money, like 10K – 40K per month. But their extremely talented. They target a specific market that is affiliated with a program or product and then use PPC campaigns.

      If the product or service is solid and you’re good at putting PPC ads, you can do quite well. But, like you, I’m biased and believe in the website. I don’t think any experienced online marketer or website developer would tell you differently. But again, I’m also biased on the subject.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.


  7. Great Article Todd, you have done a great job with this post. Having the proper education to affiliate marketing is extremely important, this isn’t something you can just jump in and start making a profit without the proper knowledge on how things work.

    You have nicely laid it all out there on how to get started in the right direction. Your article will definitely help someone who is interested in becoming an affiliate marketer, and I would highly recommend Wealthy Affiliate as the best online education for those interested in internet marketing – such a great school… I look forward to your next post! 🙂

    1. Thanks Jennifer,

      Appreciate you kind remarks and absolutely, if anyone wants to get started in building an affiliate website, Wealthy Affiliate is the place to learn.

      Starting an affiliate site can be a lot of fun. But if you’re new to affiliate marketing, you want to learn how to put your site up correctly from the get go. My first couple of sites that I put up were a disaster. It’s pretty tough to figure out everything that goes into building an online business by yourself.

      I needed structured learning and I needed the right information. And that’s what WA offers.

      Take care and have a great day.

  8. Great article Todd. I think you are so right when you say that you have to get a proper education in internet marketing. To me this is most important and it is also refreshing that you say it will take at the least a few months before you will start making any sales. With all the get rich schemes that we see it is so easy to get the impression that affiliate marketing is just a matter of creating a site and putting up a few affiliate links.
    I actually joined Wealthy Affiliate a few months ago and am most impressed with the training, but what I appreciate most is that everything is in one place.
    By the way, awesome video – did you learn how to do that at Wealthy Affiliate as well?
    Thanks for the post,

    1. Hi Peter,

      Thanks for your feedback on my article. Hopefully people will understand what is an affiliate website, or at least a proper one. I hear you on misconceptions of affiliate marketing and get rich schemes.

      To me affiliate marketing is based on a passion. Something that you love and can provide valuable knowledge to your website audience. And if you have a few products that you use, believe in, and know are beneficial to others, then you might as well provide that information to the public. And get paid for your positive referral.

      The more that I review online money making programs, the more I value the education and training at Wealthy Affiliate. They provide so much knowledge that it’s hard to keep up with all the information at times.

      And yes, I did learn how to make the video using Wealthy Affiliates training. And thank you for your kind words on the video. I thought it could be a little better, a few too many an’s, ah’s, and hum’s. But hopefully it will show people how they can find affiliate programs and start their own niche websites based on their passions, knowledge base, skills, etc.

      And yes Peter, you are right. It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and hard work. But the rewards are amazing. Glad to see that you got started on the right track with Wealthy Affiliate. We’ll have to touch base inside sometime, share tips and training 🙂

      Thanks again for your feedback and have a great day.


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