Ok there are basically two schools of thought on how to build yourself an affiliate website; the micro site and the mega site. I know “mega” sounds pretty awesome and no doubt it is, but it’s also a lot more difficult. Even within these genres there are tons of different things you can do to make your sites successful so I guess I’ll start at the bottom. As I go through and give examples I’ll be using the industry standard “widgets” as the product I’m flogging.
The Niche Affiliate Site – Basically here you are going to hone in on a low competition buying keyword. Maybe “buy red widgets” or “blue widgets for sale” or whatever. You want a word that doesn’t have much competition but still will get a little, well targeted search traffic. Ideally here you will snap up the .com domain name matching your keyword but if need be you can buy the .org or .net. Now on your site write some content about how great it is to have your widget, and how you used to have one that you loved and you bought a new one and it was even better. Just put people in the mood to buy. On these sites you’re looking to get 20 visitors per day or so, which you say “hey, that kind of traffic won’t sell a hill of beans!” and you’re right, which is why you need 50-100 of these sites going after traffic. 20 visits times 50 sites is 1000 visits per day and will make you some consistent sales.
Mega Affiliate Sites – Your second option is to make one big site about a lot of different types of widgets, hoping someday to rank for the ultimate “widget” keyword. When you set up a site like this you’ll start with a domain like widgetstips.com or something very general. Next, set up a bunch of pages about every different type of widget you can think of. Then you’ll want to work to get your site ranked for various terms like on your ‘blue widgets’ page get it to rank for “best blue widgets”, “blue widgets for sale”, “cheap blue widgets”, etc… all the time you’ll be building your page authority for “blue widgets” on that page and “widgets” on your site in general.
Anyway these are the two basic types of affiliate site. I’d suggest with starting with some niche sites first since they are easier, and when you start making some money and feel confident go after some bigger fish.