Part 01: Create a Website – A Beginner’s Guide
Almost every business in the UK will have a website, often referred to as their online presence. There is a very simple reason for doing this.
In todays modern world a lot of people search online before they buy something. It is where the phrase “Google it”came from. Online shopping, banking, booking holidays is now simply part of everyday life. This behaviour has created new opportunities for many businesses to add new revenue streams and grow their business.
It has also created amazing opportunities for individuals to also create websites and turn those into a source of income. So for people who want to earn some additional income, or even replace their job, the opportunity is there to do that online. Many people consider building a website, and they do this for a number of reasons. Some simply do this to express their own thoughts, some to capture things that are important in their life, some to promote a cause, others to talk about their hobby, and some just do it for fun.
There are many reasons, but for many people it is about starting an online business, and trying to monetise their website or blog. They either want to create some form of extra money or even want to make this their full time income.
There are many ways of doing this and I have provided a short list of some of those below:
- Ecommerce websites – where you can sell physical or digital products
- Information websites – where you can sell information such as eBooks, CDs, DVDs, Software, training etc
- Advertising Websites – Placing adverts on your website
- Business website – where businesses can showcase their products and services
- Affiliate Marketing – where you sell other people’s products and get paid a commission
- Auction Websites – where you can buy and sell items, the most popular being eBay
Since I started running my own online business I have tried some of the above, but I have had the most success as an Affiliate Marketer in association with the Amazon Affiliate Marketing Programme. This is something that I enjoy doing and it has also benefited me financially. I have gone on to build several of these websites as an Amazon Affiliate based in the UK.
In this case study, I will be building from scratch an Amazon Affiliate website with the following domain name. theperfectgrind.co.uk
This type of website sits under the general heading of Affiliate Marketing. In its simplest format it basically means that you build a website around a particular subject or topic. Many companies then have what is called an Affiliate or Partner programme. You can sign up to that programme and become an affiliate. From there you can create links to the products that they sell.
You can then place links on your own website that contain your affiliate link. When people read your information, they may click on one of those links and buy a product. If they do that, then the company will pay you a commission.Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular methods of making money online for individuals.
Here are the main reasons why that is the case:
- You do not need to own a product
- You do not have to hold any stock
- You do not have to deliver anything
- You do not have to worry about dealing with complaints
- You do not have a direct relationship with customers
Compare this for example to eBay. On there you need to have something to sell. You need to list the products, sell them, package them, weigh them, work out postange, print off dispatch and invoice details, ship them by going to the Post Office, and follow up with customers if anything goes wrong. Then you also have to make sure your customer feedback is strong to keep your account in good standard.
I did it myself for a year and it was a ton of hard work and long work days just to keep it going and make an average amount of money. With affiliate marketing you let the company worry about all of that. You simply focus on building a good quality website and let others do the donkey work.
Almost all of the big companies will have some sort of partner programme that you can join. These are free to join, though there will almost always be an approval process. Different companies pay different levels of commissions and they will all have their own specific details. You can visit their affiliate pages (partner pages) and check them out. You will also be able to find out the details about how to get approved.
Why Do I Use Amazon?
Personally I like Amazon for a whole range of reasons. There are four important ones for me though:
- Buyers trust the Amazon brand
- Amazon has a wide range of great products
- They are very good at getting people to purchase products
- They pay good commissions quickly and easily
I have an Amazon account and so do many other people in the UK. Purchasing on there is simple and easy, and thousands of transactions are carried out everyday.
As an Amazon affiliate, you can grab all of those benefits and make them work for you. As I mentioned though, many of the larger businesses in the UK also have these types of programme. I have tried some of them and they work really well. I prefer Amazon for the reasons I have already mentioned.
Amazon also pay a good commission rate and include a volume bonus as well. So they pay a standard rate of commissions per product, and the more products that you sell this commission increases. The commission does vary depending on the product type and on the number of units sold and it can all add up to make a good overall amount. I will cover this later in more detail, but suffice to say for now, it works very well.
Amazon also has a very good support programme in place for their affiliates. They offer helpful advice and try to make your role easier. That can help a lot and especially if you are new to all of this. In this case study that is what I am going to be talking about going forwards.
What is Involved in Becoming an Amazon Affiliate?
That is the simplest method that I can think of to explain to others what is involved, should you decide to build a website like this. There are a number of steps involved in starting with nothing, and building a high quality website, that has the opportunity to earn you money online.
What Steps are Involved?
- Finding out what the topic for your website will be
- Testing and validating that topic using market research, keyword research and checking the competition
- Setting up the technical parts of the website such as a domain name, web hosting and content management systems
- Finding good content, writing it and publishing it
- Understanding search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Promoting your website
- Growing your website
There are as you can see 7 steps to follow to be able to produce a good quality website. In this case study I will explain in detail to you, and step by step, what it is you need to consider, so as you can make an informed decision, and find out if this is something that you should consider doing.
Is Building an Amazon Affiliate Website for Everyone?
In my experience and in my opinion it is absolutely not ideal for everyone. I would qualify that by saying that almost anyone could do this. However, I have found that you need to have a strong mindset to get this done and make it happen.
Building a website like this is hard work, requires a lot of self-discipline and a rugged determination to see it through. A good quality website will take around 1 year of work before it can start making you money, and even then, there are just never any guarantees.
This method of making money online is certainly not a “Get Rich Quick Scheme.” It takes time, patience, knowledge and a lot of effort to make this happen. If you are prepared to put the hours in, then it has a good possibility of creating financial rewards.
Absolutely no-one can tell you how much you can earn from a website like this. The reason is that there are just too many variants that combine to create the amount any website can earn. Some affiliates make a full time living from their site(s), some can earn a nice part-time income, but many earn nothing or a small amount. There are simply no guarantees.
In this case study I show you how to go about the entire process and my end goal is to have a high quality Amazon Affiliate website that will earn me good commissions in about 1 year from the date it is launched.
If that is of interest to you, then please follow along as that will help you understand the steps that I go through to make this happen.
My Website Introduction
When you start out, one of the first questions that people ask is “What should my website be about?” The good news is that there is a vast array of topics available, and with many of them, it is quite possible to be able to build a great Amazon Affiliate website.
The one that I will be building in this case study is basically about my love of coffee. I would strongly suggest to anyone starting out that they should build their website around a topic that they enjoy and have knowledge about.
In my case that happens to be coffee. For many years I was a devoted tea drinker. I had tasted the odd cup of coffee but I simply preferred the milder taste of tea.
That was until I went on holidays with my wife to Casalattico in Italy about 20 years ago. This is a small village in the Province of Frosinone in the region of Lazio. Her grandmother was born there and we had always wanted to visit her old home at the bottom of the beautiful Apennine Mountains.
It was there that I tasted my first “espresso” and discovered the delights of freshly ground coffee. Instantly I became a huge fan of this delightful brew. Previous to that I had only ever tried a cup of instant coffee or a cup of filter coffee in a hotel. However, this Italian espresso was a whole new taste sensation, and I had to find out exactly how it was made.
That was where I began my journey into the whole world of coffee beans, roasting methods, grinding methods and the different brewing methods. This was something that I wanted to share with the world so as they could enjoy the pleasure of the “perfect cup of coffee.” I could of course have started a website on woodworking, football or any number of my other interests.
However, I have a lot of knowledge about the coffee making process, a deep passion for it, and I now know the secret to the perfect coffee is in the grind.
Making Money from a Website
I have built other websites and I have monetised those with Google Adsense. That is an advertising programme where you place their adverts on your website and if visitors click on those ads, I receive a payment from Google as a reward.
It is a good method of monetising a website. When I was doing this I also found websites online who use different Affiliate programmes as their main method of monetisation. Like any entrepreneur that intrigued me so I investigated this option in some detail.
I have mentioned already that Affiliate Marketing is basically writing about a topic, and including someone else’s products or services if they are relevant to your written work.
The general public do tend to check information online when they are considering making a purchase. If they find your website in their online search, and find the information helpful and useful for their purpose, then they may click on one of your links and make a purchase. If they really like your website, they may bookmark it and return again, and some may even share your website with their friends and family.
That is when I first considered affiliate marketing and that led on to the Amazon Affiliate programme.
Combining Different Monetisation Methods
It is also possible to combine various methods of monetisation on your website such as the Adsense programme from Google, an affiliate programme with a large retailer, and if you wanted, you could also write a book about your topic and promote and sell it there as well. There are a number of methods to increase the value of your website.
The strong advice though is always to write about something where you have good knowledge about and a true desire to write helpful and entertaining articles on your website.
I would like to share this potentially lucrative opportunity of making a website with you and how to use the Amazon Affiliate Programme and other methods to monetise your new website.