Well I’ve worked on turning one of my websites into an affiliate site this week, and let me tell you there is definitely a learning curve.
In fact, as of this moment, the site isn’t even live yet. First I had to identify some software that would handle the tracking of affiliate sales. In the end, I asked some folks I knew and got pointed in the right direction.
Then I decided to create a new sales page, but I couldn’t finish that until I’d completed setting up and installing the affiliate software. Why is that you ask? Well, the sales page has a “buy now” type button on it. When you click it, you’re supposed to go to an order page – well the order page is part of the software so I had to configure that to get the url for the order page.
Then, the order page requires integration with PayPal (or Clickbank). However, I couldn’t set-up PayPal until I’d completed the Thank You Page because PayPal wants to know where to send people back to once they’ve completed the order.
Back to the software. . . Then I noticed that I also hadn’t set-up the autresponder system, which is the tool that automatically sends out confirmation e-mails and future follow-up e-mails. That meant that I needed to go to my autoresponder to get the code and add it to the software.
Once I got all of that configured correctly, I still needed to upload the product and then use my cpanel to password protect the folder that houses the product. That certainly won’t stop the “product theft”, but it will slow some of it down.
I’m pretty sure that when I have all that done this week, it will work beautifully. I can’t say that I recommend the affiliate tracking software yet, but it does come highly recommended. All the other tools here I use quite often and enjoy.
So in somewhat chronological order, here’s the tools you need to create an affiliate site:
1. First of all you need a domain name. I’ve used GoDaddy to buy my domain names, but I host them elsewhere.
2. I’ve used Hostgator to host my sites. I like the cpanel and the price is right.
3. Then you’re going to need the affiliate tracking software. I’m using Delavo, but haven’t used it long enough to give you an opinion.
4. After that it would be helpful to have an autoresponder set up. That way you can send confirmation e-mails, follow-up e-mails, product updates, etc. I use AWeber but envision I’ll change to ByPassPublisher sometime later this year.
5. To get paid, I use PayPal, but I think you’d be better off if you could take credit cards on your site with a merchant number. Unfortunately, no matter how you slice it – you’re going to be giving a piece of the pie away.
6. To load up the software and sales page to your site, I recommend downloading filezilla. It’s a free tool that will help you in everyway. If you’re building a WordPress site, however, you won’t need filezilla. Either use Fantastico in your cpanel, or this free WordPress Installer.
7. The only other tools you may need would be an html editor (like NVU which is free) and perhaps a .pdf creator like Adobe.
Once you have those things in place – you’re ready to go!