WordPress is probably the most popular platform for publishing online. You can use it to promote your personal blog or your business, but it’s also widely used in digital marketing. If you’re thinking about venturing into affiliate marketing business, WordPress can be a valuable option.
However, you should know that only a certain type of WordPress is good for affiliate marketing. Moreover, you have to be very careful about the theme that you’ll pick for your future website.
This article will explain the benefits of WordPress and help you choose the best WordPress theme for affiliate marketing.
A Brief Guide to WordPress
The digital marketing industry has been growing steadily for many years. Since the internet is omni-present in our daily lives, business owners are using online tools to attract us to their products. Nowadays, you can start a business from scratch and WordPress plays a key role in this.
WordPress is the top-dog when it comes to content managing software (CMS). This type of software caused a major impact in the industry because it allowed anyone to create a high-performing, fully-featured website. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting your business and competing with the major players in the industry — if you know how the market breathes, you now have the means to succeed.
The major upside of the software is that it’s free, user-friendly, and open-sourced. Currently, it accounts for more than a half of the entire online blogosphere. This means that more than 50% of the websites and blogs that you visit are made and maintained using this CMS.
However, if you’re looking to start your affiliate marketing business, you’ll be left with a choice — Wordpress.org or WordPress.com. Although there are similarities between the two, there are notable differences when it comes to affiliate marketing.
WordPress.com: Not Suited for Affiliate Marketing
The dot-com version is a great way to start your personal blog or small business. You won’t need a lot of money in the beginning and you can even set up a website for free (albeit with some limitations).
With WordPress.com you’ll have built-in spam protection, automatic backup, server and software updates, an integrated spam-blocking system, and a stable, fixed environment. Furthermore, it has its own hosting so you won’t have to spend additional money on hosting services and maintenance.
All things aside, WordPress.com is not a good choice for affiliate marketing. Here’s why:
It Doesn’t Allow Affiliate Marketing Blogs
The main reason for making an affiliate marketing blog/website with WordPress is to promote affiliate links. However, the regulations of the website strictly forbid this. If you try to do it anyway, chances are that your blog will be removed. This includes all the necessary data, too.
Lack of Plugins
WordPress.com doesn’t provide you with plugins, such as Yoast, that allow you to optimize SEO and keep track of the traffic. These plugins will make sure that your blog or website is properly optimized.
Scarce Choice of Themes
This version of WordPress is somewhat limited and you can’t customize the themes according to your needs. They aren’t optimized for SEO and the theme library is scarce. You’ll have to accept that you’ll share the look of your website with many other websites on the internet.
Lack of Third-Party SEO Tools
The software doesn’t allow you to input any code snippets in the header of your website so, there’s no way to install third-party SEO tools such as Facebook Pixel or Google Search Console. Thus, you’ll have a hard time improving your web presence.
Overall, if you want to use WordPress for affiliate marketing, you should start with WordPress.org right away.
WordPress.org: Setting up Your Affiliate Marketing Program
WordPress.org is also known as “self-hosted” WordPress that allows you to customize your website according to your needs. You have to purchase a domain and web hosting on your own but, in return, you’ll get plenty of freedom.
This WordPress version has tens of thousands of different themes, plugins, tools, and design options that you can use for your website. In fact, the things that make the dot-com version inadequate for affiliate marketing don’t exist with the dot-org version.
- Affiliate websites and blogs are allowed
- You can download all the necessary plugins for SEO
- You’ll find hundreds of themes designed especially for affiliate marketing
- Everything is SEO optimized
- You can customize the website code and add third-party tools
Of course, it takes more time to set your WordPress.org website since you’ll need to:
- Purchase a domain
- Find a good and preferably affordable web-hosting with stable servers
- Install a good WordPress theme designed for affiliate marketing
- Get the necessary plugins
However, after you’ve set everything up, you’ll have a website completely ready to take on your affiliate marketing strategy.
The Importance of a Good WordPress Theme
It can be argued that a good-looking website is half the work done when it comes to affiliate marketing. If your website is visually appealing and replete with captivating content, it will be much easier to engage your visitors and make them pay attention to the affiliate links.
However, the best WordPress theme for affiliate marketing needs to provide much more than just the visual element. It needs to have plenty of other essential features and plugins to make your website relevant.
To conclude, a good WordPress theme is vital because:
- It makes your business look serious
- It turns website visitors into customers
- It has all the necessary visual elements required to sell a product (image, review box, star rating, etc.)
- It’s optimized for SEO
- It contains SEO, content managing, and analytic tools and plugins
- It’s purposely built for affiliate marketing
The following section will explain what to look for in a WordPress theme for affiliate marketing.
In today’s market, the first impression is the most important one. That’s why you should opt for a theme that’s clean and appealing to the visitors. However, when choosing the WordPress theme for your affiliate marketing site, there’s a bit more to consider design-wise.
Ease of Use
A website made for affiliate marketing needs to be easy to navigate. So, the less invasive elements around your content the better. Make sure you find a simple and minimalistic page that will appeal to your visitors.
Professionally Designed Reviews Section
Every e-commerce website needs to have consistent design throughout, including the space for product review posts. The website needs to look professional and have designated space for all the review elements. For example, it would be good for it to have a product review box with a clear image area and a visible space for star (or number) rating.
Fitting Tools and Other Page Elements
A theme may look well at first glance, but the added plugins and page elements may not fit as well as you thought. To prevent your website from losing its visual appeal, you should test out how different plugins fit a theme before you purchase them.
Every good WordPress theme should have a fully responsive design. The majority of your visitors will land on your website via a smartphone or a tablet, and you want them to have the same experience as those that land from a PC.
Some themes run less smoothly than others. The performance of the website is essential for affiliate marketing. Your website visitors are usually impatient, and it wouldn’t be smart to frustrate them any further.
If your website takes a lot of time to load because of a clunky theme, it’s better to avoid it. Even such themes that are purposely made for affiliate marketing can sometimes perform badly.
These are the main problems with website performance:
- The website takes too much to load
- Pages are not responsive
- The bars and plugins do not run smoothly
It’s even recommended that you get a theme that may look less pretty but performs effortlessly. Although the aesthetics are important, making the most of the short attention span of a modern website visitor is even more important.
Plug-Ins and Integrations
The best WordPress theme for affiliate marketing needs to support all the important plugins and integrations. These tools are the focal point of your SEO and content management and provide you with means of attracting visitors to your website.
Tools for E-Commerce
Every serious WordPress theme needs to support Integration with tools such as WooCommerce. These tools allow you to display your affiliate video thumbnails next to your products on the same page, create e-stores, manage payment gateways, etc.
SEO tools are vital for optimizing your website according to the most recent standards and strategies and keep track of your website rating.
Managing Outbound Affiliate Links
A theme needs to support tools like Google Analytics. These tools allow you to track your website’s traffic and engagement, but most importantly — track affiliate links. This way you can record all the traffic that you send from your website to the website of your affiliate.
Product Comparison Tables
The majority of affiliate websites will have a bunch of product review posts. Plugins that display product review tables and allow visitors to access them quickly will increase the chances that they’ll end up on your affiliate’s website.
A theme for affiliate marketing needs to support lead generation plugins. Tools like email list generators, opt-in boxes, and auto–responders allow you to collect email addresses of website visitors (your potential customers). You’ll use these addresses to send promotions and alerts and lead the visitors back to your page, increasing traffic even further.
Social Media Support
Social media platforms play a key role in promoting your product and attracting potential customers to your website. A WordPress theme needs to have social media plugins, at least for most popular platforms — Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These plugins will automatically post all the published articles to your social media profiles and the feeds of your followers.
WordPress themes, depending on what they offer, can have dramatically different price tags. They can go from $15 all the way to custom themes that sell for $2,500-3,000 or more.
Of course, you can find plenty of free themes that significantly limit your ability to customize the website. You won’t have as many design options, nor will you be able to activate all the plugins.
When it comes to affiliate marketing themes, you’re in luck. You can find lots of fully featured themes for as low as $20. However, if you want a better theme, you may need to spend up to $60.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you may need to pay for some premium plugins, too. So don’t go all out on the theme before you’ve saved some cash for plugins.
Different Niche – Different Template
It’s relevant to know your target audience before making the final decision on your website theme. When you’re making a marketing and SEO strategy for your website everything will revolve around your focus group. This will bring new and old visitors to your web page and it largely depends on the theme whether they’ll be interested or not.
This is why a lot of these themes are designed for specific niches. For instance, you’ll find website themes recommended for tech or health content, games and entertainment, biology, agriculture, automotive, and thousands of other niches. You can even find themes designed for adult content.
So when you finally pick the best WordPress theme for affiliate marketing, make sure that you check if it’s designed for any special niche before you purchase it. A theme designed for selling beauty products won’t go well for a blog about dogs.
Even Passive Income Comes with a Price
Affiliate marketing is a good way to earn some cash, but as you see WordPress.org requires quite a bit of investment before you reap the rewards. You’ll need to pay for hosting and a domain, as well as the theme and some premium plugins.
On the other hand, with a good marketing strategy and a bit of luck, you could earn a lot more than you invest. If you’ve decided to use WordPress to make an affiliate marketing website, follow this guide thoroughly to pick the right theme.
Remember — you can cover all the bases of your affiliate marketing plan, but an inadequate WordPress theme can turn it all to waste.