Affiliate Checklist

So, you want to get started as an affiliate marketer. That is great! DashboardDad is here to help and we have created this affiliate checklist to do that. A checklist is a great way to make sure you’ve got your bases covered. Let us dive in!

When reading this article you might come across words that you are not familiar with. You can check out our affiliate marketing glossary to help you.

Pick a profitable niche

The first thing you need to do is find a niche. It is one of the most important decisions you will have to make.

Say, for example, you are interested in the beer niche. The best place to start is by going to Google Keyword Planner and searching for your keyword.

The goal here is to find out if there are other related keywords in your niche and how much search volume there is. Look for keywords that have low competition. Usually, the more targeted you can get, the better.

Now that you know there is demand in your niche, it is time to see if you can find related products.

You can sell beer mugs or courses to teach people how to make beer. The idea is to find good quality products that will interest people in your niche.

Below are some other things to keep in mind when thinking about a niche.

Find an evergreen niche

These are niches that stand the test of time. They will always be in demand. Examples of evergreen niches would be niches such as weight loss or relationships.

Is there a good opportunity for content?

Although you can make money with a small 3-4 page affiliate website, it does not leave much room for growth. It is better to find a niche that can provide you with an endless source of content to write about. The more content you write and the more valuable the content you provide, the more money you can make.

Is your niche suited to building an email list?

Building an email list can increase how much you can make. Sending out emails that provide value helps build trust with your potential customers. You can also use email to promote other offers.

Don’t limit yourself To one product

When it comes to making money with affiliate marketing, make sure you can diversify. In other words, see if you can find other offers that you can include. You may even be able to group relevant products. By providing options you increase your chances of making money. Especially if the products go hand-in-hand.

Can you make recurring commissions?

Look for memberships, subscription boxes, or even digital products that offer recurring revenue.

Are there High-Ticket Products?

First off, do not go crazy and start looking for thousand-dollar products to promote. The point here is that making a single 100-dollar sale takes fewer clicks than making 10 sales to get $100. If you can get 10 in a month, why settle for 100 when you could have made 1000?

Choose a domain

top-level domain name registration

The next thing to cross off your affiliate checklist is buying a domain name. Here are some of our top domain name tips:

Get a .com

We recommend sticking with a .com. One of the main reasons for this is reputation. The .com TDL comes across as reputable, while other extensions can seem spammy. Most mobile devices have a .com button making it convenient for users to type in your domain name. On a side note, if you are interested, you can see our list here.

The next thing to cross off your affiliate checklist is buying a domain name. Here are some of our top domain name tips:

Include Keywords

It is a good idea to use keywords in your domain name. This can help Google and other search engines understand what your website is about.

Keep It Short and sweet

If possible, try to keep it between 1 and 2 words but no more than 3 words. Shorter domain names make for more memorable ones. They are also easier to type, especially for mobile users.

Avoid Using Hyphens

Hyphenated domain names often come across as untrustworthy. Chances are if you are using hyphens, it’s because the non-hyphenated version wasn’t available. If people forget that you have hyphens in your domain name, they will end up going to a competitor’s site!

Avoid Misspellings And Numbers

The easier your domain name is to spell and pronounce, the better. You want to make sure it is easy for people to get to your website, especially if you plan on making a business website. If you are verbally giving your domain name to someone, you want to avoid explaining how it is spelled.

Use A Domain Name Generator

Coming up with a good domain name can be difficult. If you find yourself struggling to find one, you can use a domain name generator to come up with ideas. Domain name generators create random domain names based on keywords that you provide. There are many domain name generators out there. The two listed below are among the best that I’ve used. Feel free to check them out and come up with something creative and unique!

Name Mesh (opens in new tab) – One of the main reasons I like this generator is because it allows you to specify a maximum character length.

Business Name Generator (opens in new tab) – I find this site works better with a single-word keyword. I am generally pleased with the results. You can also check the availability of the domain with GoDaddy by clicking on a domain name.

Once you are ready to register your domain, we recommend NameCheap. NameCheap allows you to manage all your domains and SSL certificates in one place. NameCheap also makes it easy to update your DNS settings.

Awesome, that’s one more thing off your affiliate checklist!

Register Your Domain Now! (opens in new tab)

Setup web hosting

It is time to get hosting for your website.  If you don’t have a hosting platform in mind we have a few options you might want to consider.


bluehost webhosting

First on the list of recommended hosting providers is Bluehost. Bluehost has been around since 2003 and has one of the best uptimes. This makes it a very reliable option. Bluehost also offers a free SSL for your website and some pretty good pricing plans.

Get Bluehost NOW! (opens in new tab)


siteground webhosting

Second, on the list of recommended hosting providers is SiteGround. University students started SiteGround back in 2004. Since then, it has grown to over 5000 employees. They provide 24/7 support 365 days a year. They also offer reasonable pricing and fast, reliable WordPress hosting.

Get SiteGround NOW! (opens in new tab)

Choose Products To Promote

There are many deciding factors when choosing products to promote.

Does it Have Good Reviews?

Not everyone will have good things to say about a product or service. You want to make sure that the majority of reviews are good honest reviews as well and up-to-date.

Will the product convert?

To answer this question, you need to look at the product page. Is the product page convincing? Is there enough information on the product page to lead people to buy? It is also a good idea to look for things like design, page performance, and if it is mobile-friendly, etc.

How much can you make?

There are several things to take into consideration when figuring out how much you can make such as commission and upgrades.

Apply For Affiliate Networks

affiliate networks checklist

Avoid applying to a bunch of affiliate networks. Apply to the affiliate networks that have the products you want to sell.

You will not get accepted to all the networks you apply to but, that is fine. You can apply again later as you start gaining more traffic. Affiliate networks want to make sure you are going to be ethical and follow their guidelines.

Write Some Articles

Your keyword research is complete. You have products that are congruent with your topic, it is time to start writing some articles. It is a good idea to include a mixture of content. There are many types of articles that you can write. Below are a few of my favorites.


These types of articles are popular. You will find them all over the net. Lists are great for presenting information to people in an organized fashion.

How-To Guides

One of the biggest reasons for scouring the internet is to learn. How-to guides hit the spot.


Checklists are great for providing actionable steps people can take to reach a goal. These also work well in combination with how-to guides.


Review articles are often sought when someone wants to find out if a product or service meets their needs. They want to learn about specific features.

Add Your Affiliate Disclosure

The requirements for your affiliate disclosure will depend on where you live. There may also be specific requirements for the affiliate program you belong to so do your research! We cannot provide any legal advice on what is required but, here are some suggestions:

Include your disclosure at the top of all your articles/posts

Add Your Affiliate Links

Here are some key things to think about when creating your affiliate links:

Cloak Your Links

When possible cloak your links. Make sure you check with the affiliate agreement first. Not all affiliate networks permit you to cloak links. If you are building your site in WordPress, there are several link-cloaking plugins available. Thirsty Affiliates.

Setup Link Tracking

Thirsty Affiliates can track any cloaked links.

Make Your Links Stand Out

Try to make your links stand out so that people see them. Using big colorful buttons with a call to action is a good way to get your links noticed.

Open Links In A New Tab

This ensures that your visitors stay on your site when they click on your affiliate links. If visitors decide not to buy, they can close the tab and end up back on your site.

Set Your Affiliate Links To Nofollow

The nofollow attribute stops search engines from following links when indexing your website.  It also tells search engines that you don’t openly endorse the site you are linking to.

Solidify Your SEO

build your seo strategy

SEO is a huge topic all on its own so, we will only cover some basic setup for your website. You want to make sure search engines can crawl your site.

Create A Sitemap

Make sure you have a sitemap and that it is working! Also, Make sure all the pages you want on your sitemap.  If you are using a plugin such as Yoast to help you with your SEO, it can generate your sitemap automatically.

Choose A Keyword for Your Website

Choose a keyword you want the website to rank for. Be sure to include it in the title of your home page and ideally somewhere else on the page as well.

Create Clean Headlines And Sub-headlines

Make sure your theme uses elements like h1’s, h2’s, and h3’s properly.  Be sure to structure your headings properly.

Add Internal Links

Link to other relevant posts or articles on your site using natural but keyword-rich text.

Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

Make your site mobile-friendly. This is important if you want to rank higher on Google. Builders like Elementor allow you to preview your pages before publishing. They have options for viewing your page as it appears on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

If you are not using a builder, consider viewing your website on your phone or tablet. Make sure it is easy to navigate. You can also use the mobile testing tool in Google Search Console.

Activate Your Site

Once you have your initial content, you can allow Google to start crawling and indexing your site.

To do this in WordPress, go to your Admin. To access the Search Engine Visibility settings in WordPress, follow these steps:

1. Click on “Settings” from the WordPress dashboard menu.

2. Select “Reading” from the dropdown menu.

3. Scroll down to the “Search Engine Visibility” section.

From here, you can choose whether or not you want your site to be visible to search engines.. Uncheck the box labeled “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”.

Congratulations! Your affiliate website is live.  Now it’s time to start getting traffic.

Promote Your Affiliate Website

Waiting to rank in Google can be very slow.  Especially for new sites.  Here are some tips to start getting traffic to your new website.

The great thing about some of these platforms is that Google can pick up your link and rank you even higher.

Promote your site on social media

Letting your followers know your site is live is a good way to start getting traffic. If you don’t already have any social accounts, be sure to create some. Don’t forget to research your niche to see which platforms will work best for you.

Promoting on forums

You can find forums for almost any niche. Get involved by answering questions and providing valuable content. Then you can let people know you have a website where they can find more information.

Answer Questions And Create Posts on Quora And Reddit

Quora is a great place to share your knowledge with people.  Help them get the information they are looking for and make sure you put a link to your website.


I hope you enjoyed this article.  If you have questions and want to learn more, feel free to contact us on our contact page.