WordPress for Affiliate Sites

I am seriously considering switching one of my static html affiliate sites to WordPress. The thought came to me as I was updating my affiliate links on a product-based site where the merchant had switched networks.

The site needs an overhaul anyway, and I was considering various template ideas and options, the obvious kept creeping into my mind: WordPress. I dont want to turn it into a "blog", but was considering using WP as more of a content managment system.

Since this is a product-based affiliate site, there is not a lot of original content. The pages consist mainly of individual product images, descriptions and links. Think of it as an online store, except that the products link to the merchants product detail page instead of a checkout page on my own site...

Some of the reasons that I am leaning towards WordPress as a CMS for Affiliate Sites include:

  • RSS Subscription Options. Looking ahead, as RSS and Interactivity become an expectation of all websites, this seems like a smart move to make to get ahead of competing websites in the same niche. Having an RSS Feed also gives me additional marketing options such as feed/blog directory listings, content syndication and technorati listings.
  • Visitor Interaction. Corresponding via email is old news. People like the opportunity to ask questions or submit reviews! I had considered changing the "Leave a Comment" section to read something like "Post Product Questions or Comments Here" - allowing them a space to create unique content πŸ˜‰ .
  • Hands-Off Mailing List Management. Instead of manually creating and sending an email newsletter to my subscribers, or sitting down to create an autoresponder series, I can simply set up Aweber's Feed Broadcaster. Aweber is the Mailing List Manager that I use for all of my lists/sites. The Feed Broadcaster is specifically for blogs or feeds and automatically emails excerpts from your feed to your subscribers at specific intervals. Since WordPress allows you to have a different feed for each individual category, people could subscribe to specific categories by RSS -or- Email. Targeted + Automated πŸ˜€ . Of course, you can also email your subscribers personally, which is a plus.
  • Automatic internal link structure and cross-linking of related pages. Setting up keyword-rich Permalinks in WordPress, each new page will automatically be added to the main menu and category pages. While this is fairly simple on static sites using SSI (server side includes)... its even easier with WordPress. Also, instead of linking to related products/pages manually, I can use a "related posts plugin" for WordPress to let the site do all of that work for me. No more searching for good cross-references... it will link up automatically!
  • Is it a Blog or a Website? Well that depends on who's asking πŸ˜‰ On the surface, it will appear more like a "website" of course. The point is to keep it organized as much like the product-based site that it already is. However, there are times that calling it a "blog" could be beneficial as well. Someone who specifically wants to advertise on a blog? No problem! Getting paid for reviews? Sure! There are obvious benefits in regards to social networking as well.
  • Integrating Affiliate Datafeeds. Many of the affiliate programs that I work with offer datafeeds. There are some great WordPress plugins and custom scripts that work with datafeeds to automatically populate your 'blog'. You can set them to 'drip' product data in daily, which will help to keep your site updated consistently. Obviously you would use this in conjuction with your own posts, those of paid writers/reviewers, etc.
  • Easy Site/Content Management. Eventually I plan to turn this particular site over to my daughter to manage. It's a site that she enjoys, and often shops from even (lol). At any rate, WordPress is a much easier way to update a website than the traditional steps of editing in a web design program, uploading in an FTP program and then checking in a browser. New pages require adding new links, etc etc. With WordPress you simply log in via web browser and create a new post/page, and then click Publish. It will also be much easier to outsource writing/posting to assistants or paid bloggers.

I do believe I have completely sold myself on the idea *grin*. The only major drawback that I can see is comment spam, though there are plenty of solutions to explore for that I am sure. If you have any thoughts to add, positive or negative, I would be interested in hearing them!

Otherwise, I hope this has given you some ideas that you can use πŸ˜‰


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About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»


  1. Jerry Shown says

    Some very good tips but of more concern is the how-to integrate an affilliate site into a blog. are there examples of blogs that consist solely of an affilliate website? I am a monkey-see, monkey-do kinda guy and require more visual instruction ha ha.

    thanks and keep up the great work

    Jerry Shown

  2. Well, a blog basically IS a website, the only difference being that I dont want it to "look like a blog" so to speak. As in no daily content entries with dated posts constantly updating on the main page. My goal would be to create a dynamic (easy-to-update) website, using WordPress as the CMS.

    If anyone does have examples to show, feel free to leave your links here for others to check out.

  3. Your posts blow my mind about every other day. That is a good thing.

    I'm all for this and was thinking about doing the same myself. Your post has further convinced me that this is the way to go.

    I didn't know about Aweber's feed broadcaster nor did I know about "dripping" content into my blog through affiliate datafeeds. Very exciting!

  4. Thank you, Deborah πŸ™‚

    Aweber rocks in just about every way imaginable. From newsletters to autoresponders to feed notification (email lists for blogs/feeds). They are definitely on top of their game!

    My link for Aweber if you'd like to test drive their Free Trial is http://sswt.aweber.com

    Lynn Terry

  5. This isn't my site but I know it's done in WordPress. Great example WordPress used as a CMS--


  6. Hi there --

    yup, my 'website' is in fact a wordpress blog (...or not...)
    My designer created it, and I'm only recently starting to fully grasp its potential. See for yourself: http://www.yourmoneybydesign.com

  7. Great layout, Nancy - I love the site!

  8. Hey Lynn,

    I had this idea several months ago to convert my wallpaper ecommerce site to WordPress. I had switched over to a new shopping cart and was looking to re-vamp the way things had been done before. I was so fed up with trying to get OScommerce to work and my homemade HTML pages were so hard to manage.

    I loved the idea for several reasons you already mentioned:

    > Easy Site/Content Management
    > Automatic internal link structure

    I also liked the Search Capabilities...so easy!

    You can see my site at:


    I also instituted my own makeshift help desk using WordPress after getting so fed up with the support I was NOT getting with PerlDesk. You can see how that works here:


    I'd love to incorporate some of the points you mentioned above and hear how your affiliate site is working for you! Also any more tips to make what I've got already would be greatly welcome. πŸ˜‰


  9. This is looking great, Carrie! My goal with the affiliate site is to make the WP Makeover look as much like a "website" as possible - with all of the features and benefits of a "blog".

    The one thing that I might suggest with your site is that you use more images like you do on the original (static) page. And perhaps make the individual post titles a bolder color so that they stand out and catch the eye.

    Great job on this! Are you doing a lot of social networking or promoting your 'feed' heavily?

  10. Anak Medan says

    I have been looking CMS for Affiliate... But i need something instant here.. And when i have look at your post here.. You have "kick" me and make me wake up from my dream to love / search another cms...

    Anyway, thanx for nice post in here ...

    regards πŸ™‚

  11. Hello Lynn,

    sorry if i post here on a aged topic, but it seems the most accurate for my question....

    I am wondering if you should share with us a list of plugins that you would suggest for WordPress... i am setting up my first WP website and i would like to know which are the best plugins out here....


  12. Hi Lynn,

    Do you know how to load up several weeks worth of content to be released every few days spread over a month or two?

  13. Hi John,

    In WordPress you can post-date your blog posts to have them publish on the date & time you specify. So you can easily create any number of blog posts to be published automatically at the intervals you set up.

  14. Hi Lynn, is there any free wordpress plugins or scripts use for import affiliate datafeeds ?

    Thanks for your answering.

  15. I'm not sure but you might try a search on Google or ask around in some of the popular forums...

  16. do you have the answer? i need it to post my javascript referral code to my WP blog

  17. The answer to what, Andos?

    Sorry - you lost me...

  18. i try to make sales page with WP and my client want add affiliate system that who buy the product or not, can you recommend me free wp plugins for affiliate system?


  19. It sounds like you need to set up an affiliate program. It depends on the product - is it a physical product or a digital product? If digital, ClickBank is a good option.

  20. Richard Bruce says

    Hi Lynn thanks for the great article! ive been using wordpress now for quite a while and have never looked back, just incase you didnt know Akismet is a fantastic spam stopper for comments!

  21. I use Akismet too - love it! πŸ˜‰

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