It’s not unusual to think about starting your own blog or online affiliate site. Sadly, that, for the most part, is what most people tend to do, think about it. Many are put off by the cost in time, funds and resources that they assume come with operating an online business. This does not need to be the case though. Starting an online blog or affiliate business can be extremely inexpensive and highly rewarding, and not just in the monetary sense.
I am not going to lie though, beginning a new online venture is going to eat up your time, at least in the early stages. However, once you are up and running and beginning to see some traffic many blogs and affiliate sites pretty much run themselves.
In this article, I am going to take you through the stages of setting up an online casino affiliate website. I am going to explain what you will need and how to get the best resources for the least amount of money. Why an online casino affiliate website? Well, two reasons. One is that I have my own casino affiliate website (no surprises there!) and secondly because this type of affiliate website is often considered to be the most expensive and challenging type of affiliate business to set up. I am going to show you why I believe that thinking is wrong.
Although I am going to be using a casino affiliate website as my example for this guide, you could substitute ‘casino’ for almost any other vertical including, travel, food, fashion or finance. Whatever your hobbies or interests the methodology remains the same.
It all starts with the perfect host
In order to get your affiliate website up and running, you are first going to need somewhere to host it. A web host is a place where you store your files for your website. In order to get a casino affiliate website (or indeed any website) up and running, you first need three essential ingredients.
The hosting company is the key element of the three because without it the other two can’t work. It is also the place that supplies the other two elements.
There are a lot of hosting companies around that more or less offer the same basic services. Look for a hosting company that throws in a free domain and/or web creation platform when you purchase one of their web hosting packages. This type of offer really helps if you are on a budget and is often a deal-breaker.
Because the bulk of this article talks about the WordPress platform, I have listed some of the best UK web hosts that specialise in WordPress. There are of course other types of CMS that you can use. Drupal, for example, is another well known but much less popular CMS. Joomla is another. Joomla is actually a very good CMS, capable of building some gorgeous websites. However, the learning curve for Joomla is way too high for most average users, in my opinion.
Personally, I use Krystal Hosting for all my websites, including my casino affiliate website Ken Slots and I have found them to be absolutely brilliant. The customer service is responsive and knowledgeable, and their live chat option is available 24/7 (this may not be the case during Covid-19). Krystal Hosting is also 100% carbon neutral thanks to using all renewable electricity. If you are a ‘save the planet’ type (and why wouldn’t you be) then this could be a major plus when making your purchasing decision.
There are several great web hosting companies around though, so if you are the type of person that likes to shop around, here are a few more excellent alternatives for you to take a look at…
Top 5 UK Web Hosts
*IMPORTANT: The prices quoted above are for basic entry-level hosting packages. All web hosting companies will offer a range of different plans to suit different usage requirements. The cheapest plan may not necessarily be the right plan for you. You should also take into consideration that as your website grows your chosen hosting package will need to grow with it. Scalability is an important factor to consider when making your choice.
As we have already ascertained Krystal Hosting is 100% Green. However, Krystal is a lot more than merely ecologically friendly. They specialise in WordPress hosting (though they also host Joomla and Drupal websites) and have several great packages available. The base package comes in at just £4.99 per month and includes free SSL certificates and daily back-ups.
I have found Krystal Hosting to be an excellent company to deal with. Krystal is an award-winning company which is fast, reliable and with a good suite of products and hosting options to suit every type of website and all budgets.
Krystal’s top of the line WordPress hosting package is called Onyx and is a seriously fast, fully redundant 100% NVMe SSD platform. What does that mean? It means that Onyx is at least twice as fast, reliable and secure than the competitors. Onyx is also a fully hosted package so everything is done for you. At £14.99 per month, Onyx is considerably more expensive than the entry-level hosting plans, but then again you do get a lot more for your money. The good news is that they have a FREE TRIAL offer running at the moment meaning that you can try Onyx for 30 days to see if it is right for you.
Fasthosts is an impressive UK hosting company that offers a wide range of hosting services. You can host any type of website at Fasthosts but they specialise in WordPress. Hosting packages are very reasonably priced with the basic WordPress package starting at just £3.24 per month! Better yet, this plan comes with a FREE domain name, FREE SSL certificate, FREE email and 24/7 customer support.
If you wanted to opt for a dedicated server, for just £60 per month, you could have a 4 core Intel Xeon CPU with 16GB RAM and a 1TB HDD. What does all that mean? Well, you would not need to share server space with any other websites so your site would be faster, more secure and it would come with unlimited bandwidth for scaleability. Right now Fasthosts is offering a 50% discount off your first month. Perfect for the serious affiliate or blogger.
Fasthosts also offer a website builder, similar to Wix or Create, a range of cloud server options and Email packages too. All in all, a good reliable web hosting company with everything that a first-time affiliate/blogger would need.
Another hosting company that we would highly recommend is UKHost4U. Here you can purchase web hosting, enterprise hosting, dedicated servers, virtual servers, register a new domain or use a website builder.
UKHost4U has its servers located in the UK and offers great customer support that is available all day, every day. One of the things that I particularly like about UKHost4U is that they also offer a web design service. This is perfect for anyone who may be considering a casino affiliate website (or indeed any web-based business) as it means you could get your site built and hosted by the same team. Great for negotiating a discount too!
UK2 web hosting has some insane deals on right now for anyone looking to host their own website. Register a .co.uk domain name from just £0.99p or get 60% off WordPress hosting packages! Absolutely mad! Not only is UK2 incredibly cost-efficient right now, but they also have the quality to back it up.
Based in fashionable Shoreditch in London UK2 has UK based servers, a great customer service team and don’t confuse you with technical jargon. These guys keep things simple and are more than happy to assist you in getting your casino affiliate website or other business up and running for a reasonable cost.
Choosing your domain name
One of the things that many website creators seem to struggle with is what to call your new casino affiliate website. As you can see from my site Ken Slots, I chose to go for short ‘n’ snappy. However, that may not be the best choice. A better option and one that may get you more traffic, are to put keyword search terms in your domain name.
In this example, I am talking about casinos, so a phrase that your target audience would be looking for maybe something like top casino bonus offers. A good domain name, therefore, would be topcasinobonusoffers.com or bestcasinobonuses.com or top10casinobonuses.net. You get the picture right? Incidentally, all those domain names are available, so feel free to register your new domain name at Krystal hosting.
Of course, there are other keyword options too. In order to help with doing a keyword search, I suggest paying a visit to Neil Patel’s website Ubersuggest. Enter a search term that you are interested in such as ‘casino’, and a list of relative terms will come up. You can then take one of those relevant terms and incorporate them into your domain name.
Another couple of useful resources for keyword research are Google Keyword Planner (Google it!) and if Google Chrome is your default browser, then you may want to try the Chrome extension; Keywords Everywhere. This is a great extension which you can simply download to Chrome and it runs in the background. Whenever you do a search for a topic that interests you it will automatically suggest a list of relevant keywords. It is completely FREE to use (though there is also a paid version) so I highly recommend it.
Keywords and SEO (search engine optimisation) are beyond the scope of this article so I won’t go into this in any more detail. I may leave this for another article so if you are interested, leave a message in the comments section below.
Managing your content
In order to manage your content, you really have two options. You can manage it yourself using WordPress and a hosting provider, or you can choose a fully managed website such as that provided by Wix. Fully managed web hosts not only have dozens of templates to help with the design of your casino affiliate website but also hosts all the files.
WordPress or Wix which is better?
For most users, the choice over which platform to use largely comes down to simplicity. Do you prefer the convenience of having a fully hosted package, where most of the heavy lifting is done for you, or are you happy to spend a little bit more time and effort learning how to use a CMS like WordPress?
It is important to know, that even though WordPress is a bit more involved than the drag ‘n’ drop simplicity of Wix or other similar options, it is by no means complicated. Neither option requires any knowledge of coding, (although if you do have some coding knowledge that may help with WordPress) and both are designed to make it simple for beginners to get started with any type of website.
Over 75 million websites around the world use WordPress CMS making it the most popular customer management system on the web. The beauty of WordPress is that is absolutely FREE. This makes it an ideal platform with which to start your first affiliate website.
However, for those new to WordPress, it does have a steep learning curve. Once mastered though, it is a great tool with which to base any type of website.
One of the best things about WordPress is that it is FREE! WordPress is open source software and issued through a General Public License (GPL). This license gives all WordPress users the ability to use the software any way they choose, and even make modifications if they so wish.
The beauty of WordPress is in its flexibility. You have options to manage users, alter the look and functionality of the site and create something completely unique to you and your affiliate business all from within the program.
The way in which it is possible to alter WordPress to your specifications is through the use of plug-ins. Plug-ins are essentially pieces of code that you can ‘bolt-on’ to your existing website to extend the functionality. There are plug-ins for pretty much everything, so if you wanted to add a forum, for example, there is a plug-in for that. Fancy changing the design elements of your site? There is a plug-in for that. Would you like to add ratings and reviews or a newsletter or add a greater level of security to safeguard against hackers? There are plug-ins for all of those things. You get the picture.
Pro’s and Con’s of WordPress CMS
Technically not a CMS in the same way as WordPress but a website builder. It does, however, contain CMS elements. There are also a limited amount of apps that you can add. The beauty of Wix is really in the simplicity and ease with you can build a new website and have it up and running. If you are looking for a simple, functional and attractive affiliate website, for almost any vertical then you can do this with Wix.
Pro’s and Con’s of Wix website builder
Of course, WordPress and Wix may be the best known but they are not the only CMS/website builders on the market. Let’s take a look at some…
Other website builders you may want to consider
Another fully hosted website builder similar to Wix is Create. Packages start from £8.49 per month (paid annually) and offer a host of features including UK based support, up to 20GB storage space and full SSL encryption.
The Create platform’s purpose is to provide you with complete control over your online presence. By taking one of their packages, you are given access to simple-to-use tools to build yourself a custom, responsive, affiliate website of your own.
What we like about Create is the community feel, which is reminiscent of the WordPress community. As well as the UK based support which is excellent. Members also get a dedicated account manager and access to masses of other useful resources, including support documentation and video guides, all of which are designed to help you create your business. We recommend that you also join their thriving Facebook community as the users there are committed to helping each other succeed.
Create is currently offering a FREE TRIAL so if you fancy checking it out before you purchase then head on over to their website and take a look at the many features that they offer anyone wishing to build a casino affiliate website.
Another fully-featured website builder and an online store that is well worth your consideration is Dotable. Dotable makes it easy to build any kind of website, from blogs and content publications to gorgeous galleries and portfolios.
Like other website builders, Dotable has a simple drag ‘n’ drop interface that can get your casino affiliate website online in minutes. Of course, you will have to spend time to upload all your affiliate resources but you can still create a beautiful and functional, and importantly, a hassle-free website using Dotable.
I like Dotable a lot, and one of the best things about it is the price. They have a very simple pricing structure with only two options. Build yourself a website for your casino affiliate business or sell goods online with your own store.
Make your new CMS visually appealing
Once you have decided upon your content management system, and in the case of WordPress, uploaded it to your domain, you will be wanting it to look good.
The best way to do this is by using a theme or a template. There is no real difference between a theme or a template. A theme is where the HTML and CSS files are located. These are the building blocks of your website.
WordPress, for example, has tens of thousands of themes available for you to use. These themes will generally need to be purchased and the files downloaded (usually to your computer) and then re-uploaded to your domain.
Templates are essentially the same. They are also made up of HTML and CSS files and dictate the appearance of your website. Wix provides templates as part of its web hosting packages and you are free to choose whichever template takes your fancy from their ‘template library’.
These templates do not have to be purchased as they will be included in your subscription. Because Wix is also your host, there is also no download or re-upload involved so everything is super easy.
Find yourself a suitable theme
If you choose not to go with WordPress CMS but opt for Wix, Create or Dotable instead then you already have access to hundreds of gorgeous themes. We have already mentioned how these website builders have templates for pretty much every type of website. However, for the ultimate in choice and flexibility in website design, WordPress is hard to beat. For the very best themes for your WordPress casino affiliate website, there is really only one place to go…
The best repository for WordPress affiliate, business or personal themes can be found at the Envato Marketplace. Here you can find 12,000 WordPress themes from the finest developers around the world. It is an absolutely amazing resource for those that choose to use WordPress as their CMS and in all honesty, there is little point in looking anywhere else.
Mercury gambling and casino affiliate WordPress theme
For my own casino affiliate website, I use the Mercury – Gambling & Casino Affiliate WordPress Theme. This theme basically does it all and is a great theme with which to start up your new casino affiliate venture.
I chose Mercury because it is fully featured with everything you could ever need. It also comes with 10 great templates meaning I didn’t have to spend too much time on design. Best of all, it came in at just $79 (£61.35) so it was well within budget.
Features of Mercury Gambling & Casino Affiliate WordPress Theme:
Another good reason that you may wish to choose Mercury is that the developer is very responsive if you have queries regarding the theme. Usually, any questions are answered within a few hours. The developers of Mercury also update the theme regularly (nearly every month) meaning that the longer you keep using the theme the better it gets, with updates being free.
You could if you wanted also adapt Mercury for use for a wide range of affiliate projects and not only casinos. However, If you are looking for a simple to use plug ‘n’ play casino affiliate website Mercury is an excellent choice.
It isn’t the only choice though.
If you are prepared to put in the time and effort to get to know WordPress and have the design capabilities (or are happy to hire a designer) there are many WP themes you could use. You may even want to consider taking an online training course from Learning 24/7. They have a WordPress specific course to help you to build your own business online which also covers topics such as Google Analytics and SEO. This is particularly useful, and as the whole course can be done online and lasts only 4 hours it won’t delay you in getting your casino affiliate website up and running.
The joy of blocks
If you do decide to go the WordPress route and opt to purchase a theme from Envato Marketplace then I have one more recommendation for you. This plug-in is by no means essential but it is a great plug-in and can really help you to create a gorgeous looking website.
The plug-in I am talking about is called Stackable and it is available as both a FREE and a Premium version. In order to be able to use this plug-in, you will need a theme that is compatible with the new WordPress Gutenberg editor, otherwise known as the blocks editor. The Mercury theme mentioned above is compatible.
What I like about Stackable is that it doesn’t require any coding knowledge to use. It is very intuitive and simple to understand. It also comes with a ton of pre-set templates that you can adapt very easily in terms of colour or style.
With Stackable you can build amazing headers for your casino affiliate website, or whatever else your niche is. You can insert video pop-ups, feature blocks, calls to action, images and more in many lovely styles and easily make your new website stand out.
Again this plug-in is more for vanity than function, but if you want your theme to stand out a bit more from the crowd then this is a super design plug-in that I would totally recommend. I use this plug-in on my casino affiliate website Ken Slots and I am very happy with the results.
Now to get some cool images
The first time you begin to think about images for your website there is always the temptation to simply download them from the internet. I strongly recommend against this. Quite apart from the copyright issues, you will find that you may not need quite as many images as you think. Once you start adding casinos to your website your affiliate manager will usually be able to help you out with suitable images anyway.
That said, you will still need images, whether that is to illustrate your blog posts or as a background to some other content. The best resource for FREE images that I have found is Unsplash. They have an incredible range of stock images for you to use.
Whatever type of image you are looking for you will find it at Unsplash. You will find images suitable for a casino affiliate website, travel blog or technology news. Independent content creators from around the world make their work available to you for FREE so long as you give them a credit on your website. Unsplash is great for urban images, nature images, people, animals or even abstract backgrounds. The quality is very high and the range of image types is unlimited. I use Unsplash for all the images you see on Big Deal Promotions.
Another resource for images that I recommend checking out is Vecteesy. This is a great site where you can find superb vector images to download and use for free. Quality is first class and they have images for every possible type of business whether that is a casino affiliate website, food or fashion blogger, bitcoin trader you name it.
For the ultimate in FREE graphic resources for every possible kind of website though, you need to check out FREEPIK. This is a super cool search engine style resource for finding everything that you could ever want, image-wise, for your affiliate website. Vectors, stock photos, PSD’s and icons, all can be found at FREEPIK. This site was invaluable for me when choosing images for Ken Slots. I am pretty sure that whatever type of image it is, that you need, to complete your affiliate or e-commerce project, freepik will find it for you too. For bigger projects, freepik also has a premium plan which works out at just €7.50 per month.
OK, so now that you have chosen your CMS platform, and your theme you are going to want to…
Populate your website with quality content
By far the most challenging task when setting up your casino affiliate website is creating all the content. Not only do you need plenty of it but it also needs to be of the highest quality.
Of course, you can do this all yourself, but be prepared to put hours and hours of work into collating and writing and then laying out the content on your web pages. Personally, this is what I do, then again I have the luxury of time. If you are looking to get your website published as quickly as possible with a view to earning money then you may not have that time.
So what do you do? Well, fortunately, you do have several options open to you. The simplest and best way to populate your casino affiliate website (or indeed any type of website no matter what your niche) is to hire a freelancer. The best place to find high-quality freelancers that I have found is at Fiverr.com.
Fiverr – a world of freelance talent at your fingertips
Fiverr gives you have access to thousands of amazing content creators in dozens of languages. Not merely copywriters, but graphic designers (great if you need a logo!) social media experts, WordPress consultants, even voiceover artists or video explainers.
What is more, Fiverr has content creators that operate in your niche. Specialists that understand and have experience of writing copy for casino affiliate sites travel blogs, telecoms, finance, retail shopping sites and much more. This experience could be vital to the success of your casino affiliate website or blog.
For consistently high quality and reliable content for your casino affiliate website or blog… call me!
Let’s Work Together on Your Next Project or PR Campaign
Big Deal Promotions creates high quality, SEO optimised content designed to ensure your casino affiliate website or blog is viewed as relevant and interesting.
If you are serious about populating your casino affiliate website, company website, blog or portal with the highest quality content then you really ought to contact me here at Big Deal Promotions first.
Not only do I have access to awesome copywriters and uber-talented graphic artists, but I will work with you to deliver content at a price you can afford and within a reasonable timeframe.
Before you go anywhere else get in touch with me at email@example.com or better still pick up the phone and give me a call on 07493 198 881 and let’s see what I can do for you.
Sadly though, by hiring a freelancer to write copy for your casino affiliate website or blog you will not be able to stay within the £100 budget. For that, you will have to do it all yourself. However, by getting a freelancer or agency to write the cornerstone copy for your site, you do still have the option to write blog posts and upload other fresh content as your site begins to grow.
How to build casino affiliate relationships
No casino affiliate site is going to get very far without having any casinos to promote. Now that you have the bare bones of an affiliate website it is time to start looking around for some partners.
There are two ways to go about building up affiliate partnerships. The easy way and the hard way. I am going to suggest you do it the easy way, to begin with. Basically, you could visit all the online casinos that you can find and apply to join their casino affiliate programs. This is the hard way. Alternatively, you could apply to just a few affiliate networks and build up your portfolio this way.
Benefits of affiliate networks
An affiliate network is a platform that has gathered together several brands operating in your niche so that you can access multiple programs using just a single log-in. The advantage here is clear, instead of signing up to many different affiliate programs, with different log-in names and passwords, you have access to many brands all on one platform.
Another advantage of using a network instead of doing everything individually is that affiliate networks can frequently offer deals to their affiliates that may otherwise be unobtainable. It also means that instead of having to deal with several different affiliate managers, sometimes in different time zones, you only have one affiliate manager for all your needs. Simplicity is the key here. This is especially relevant when you are just starting out and you already have a lot of work to do on your website. Being able to save time and effort is going to prove vital.
The importance of the Affiliate Manager
Keeping on friendly terms with your affiliate manager will really help you out, especially in the early days, make sure that you have their work email address and their Skype ID. Most affiliate managers don’t seem to respond to emails all that often (they must get thousands!) but they will reply to a Skype chat. AM’s will have skype open all the time when at work on their desktop, so this is the best way to contact them. Just don’t abuse it.
Affiliate Managers are happy to help you with everything that you need to be a success. As a matter, of course, they will supply you with an affiliate tracking link for you to use. They will also supply a range of banners and other creatives that you can display on your website. They may also provide e-mailers, landing pages and even casino reviews should you need. Just ask what they can do for you and take as much as you think you will need.
I have recommended a few casino affiliate programs below to get you started but eventually, you will build up your own portfolio of casinos. Try doing a Google search for casino affiliate networks.
Recommended casino affiliate programs
up to 40%*
up to 60%*
up to 50%*
up to 30%*
*CPA and Hybrid deals also available
Promoting your casino affiliate website
OK, so now you have your casino affiliate website hosted, uploaded and fully stocked with content it is time to promote it. But how?
Actually, this is probably the most challenging part of the entire exercise. Certainly, it is the one area that requires the most knowledge, and also a fair bit of effort. you didn’ think it was going to be easy, did you?
Leaving aside any form of paid advertising for the moment (which I shall) let us concentrate on the simplest ways you can promote your casino affiliate website. I am going to skim over this section just a little bit as I feel that this topic deserves its own dedicated article. If you agree, leave a message in the comments section below.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search engine optimisation is the way in which a website makes itself relevant to search terms that are used to find information on a given subject. Essentially what this means is that it makes it easy for people who are interested in casinos (or whatever niche you operate in) to find you.
SEO is an organic method of promoting your website. This means that your customers will find you naturally based on their search terms and the things that they are interested in. In order to ensure that the customers that you need do find you, you need to optimise your website to give yourself the best possible chance of appearing on that all-important first page of Google.
There are a couple of excellent tools, both compatible with WordPress, that you can use to help you with this. These are the best two SEO plug-ins available. You only require one, so I suggest taking a look and deciding for yourself which is right for you.
SEO for everyone! Yoast is one of the most widely used SEO plug-ins in the world. For anybody with a WordPress website, Yoast has become almost a ‘must-have’ plug-in. It comes with a host of amazing features that will really help you in the promotion and optimisation of your casino affiliate website. It is deservedly the world’s #1 WordPress SEO plug-in.
Yoast will help you to…
- Get more visitors from Google and Bing
- Attract more visitors from social media
- Increase your readers’ engagement
Yoast is FREE which makes it even more remarkable. It does also come in a PRO version for £89, but for most people, the free version is more than adequate. I use the free version on this website.
The young pretender. This is the SEO plug-in that I use on Ken Slots and I find it indispensable. Rank Math is a wonderful WordPress plug-in and I highly recommend it. It has as many features as Yoast and if anything is slightly easier to use. Packed with features including an easy to follow set-up wizard, a clean and simple user interface, tooltips, notices and help tabs, automated image SEO and many others. Rank Math is also free and is a great choice for any casino affiliate website.
Either of these plug-ins are awesome, and whichever you choose they should be the first plug-in that you upload to your WordPress repository.
Now that you have assembled the building blocks of your casino affiliate website (or other niche affiliate website) you are ready to begin your casino affiliate journey. Remember that the processes that I have outlined above, and the recommendations that I have given, will work just as well for any type of website or blog.
My example came in at well under £100 (initial outlay) although you do have to take the residual costs of the hosting package into account. That said, you can get into the blogosphere for a really modest outlay, and you can make money. Of course, I am not going to say it will be easy. This is merely the first step. However, once you begin your journey the rewards are there for those that put the effort in.
If you have any questions or comments about this article please leave them in the comments section below and I will try to answer them as soon as I can.
Breakdown of costs
£4.99 / month
Stackable Block Editor
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