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How-Tos: Building a Successful Affiliate CBD Website

Written By Ellese Symons Jan 16th 2022
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Market analysts expect the CBD industry to be valued at nearly $4.25 billion by 20241 and maintain an impressive 16.2% CAGR through 2030.3 These impressive numbers suggest there could be no better time to embrace the income-boosting potential of hemp-derived products. When you don't have the resources to develop a product line or rebrand white-label CBD as your own, you have two options: reselling wholesale products or becoming a CBD brand affiliate. 

CBD wholesalers purchase products below their retail value and resell their investment for a healthy profit. But it's an arrangement that requires up-front payments, keeping enough inventory on hand to keep pace with consumer demand, and taking on the role of a product distributor. CBD affiliates, on the other hand, earn passive income. In this CBD guide, we'll explain what affiliate marketing is, cover its income-generating potential, and explore the processes involved in building a successful affiliate website.  

Affiliate Marketing 101: What It Is & How It Works  

Marketers accepted into affiliate programs can earn an impressive income without having to maintain an inventory, process orders, or navigate sales taxes and shipping costs. Instead, they leverage their skills (and connections) to direct consumers to their affiliated brand websites through links that monitor and track transactions. CBD brand affiliates include those links in their social media content, blog posts, product reviews, and email campaigns to monetize their media channels. 

When anyone following an affiliate link to a brand website places an order, the person promoting their products earns a commission based on the amount spent. Most companies track that consumer over several days to several weeks to ensure delayed purchasing decisions are properly credited for each referral. Some arrangements also provide affiliates with coupon codes and other incentives to ensure consumer loyalty. Although many CBD brand affiliates rely on their social media influence alone, most find that adding a well-developed website into their media mix dramatically increases their income-earning potential. 

Why CBD Affiliates Market Products on Industry-Adjacent Websites  

Social media sites make it easy to reach a vast audience, attract new followers, and engage directly with consumers. While highly valued by affiliate marketers, the lifespan of a social media post is relatively short. Not only are they buried quickly in follower feeds, changes in platform policies and basic algorithms can limit their visibility and reach. 

Supplementing the impact of social media with a well-designed website adds a degree of transparency to affiliate arrangements while also providing a space to consolidate their marketing to a single location. Cross-promoting multiple channels on an engaging website typically results in an increase in follows, likes, notifications, subscribers, and other key indicators of influencer success. 

Getting Started: Planning & Creating Your Affiliate Webpage  

As an affiliated CBD marketer, you're taking on the role of a brand ambassador. They are the "merchant," you are the "advertiser.”2 With the right arrangement, you'll have everything you need to ensure a smooth start and continued success, including marketing materials, engaging content, and digital marketing assets. If you have a robust social media presence, there's no harm in applying for an affiliate program before launching your website. 

However, many companies prefer reviewing applicant websites prior to approval to ensure they're  partnering with affiliates aligned with their core values. But you won't need a small business loan to get your website off the ground. Most people creating CBD-adjacent websites on their own can have their project designed, refined, and launched within a few hours in just three simple steps. 

Register Your Domain Name  

Your domain name becomes the most recognizable component of your URL, the part before the " dot com" or "dot org." You can keep it simple by registering your name or choose something catchy that aligns with your business or brand. Once you have a few ideas, check their availability with a domain registrar such as Google Domains, Namecheap, or GoDaddy. But before committing to a contract, be sure you understand the terms and conditions and how long your fee secures your domain. You'll need to renew your domain name before the expiration date. 

Once you have confirmation of a domain name, you can begin building your website.5 But you may not have access to the name you purchased for several hours (or possibly days) after completing your transaction. To avoid downtime, you may want to select your cloud hosting service first. Some make it surprisingly easy to determine availability and purchase a domain through their platform.   

Choose a Platform & Build Your Website  

A quick internet search will direct you to multiple companies offering affordable web hosting services. The best providers offer unmetered bandwidth and secure hosting. On some, you'll share resources with multiple subscribers, but no account holder can access the data of another. With VSP hosting packages, on the other hand, you'll share a server, but each subscriber has dedicated resources and storage space. 

Most web hosting platforms provide user-friendly tools that make it easy to build a professional-looking website using customizable templates. You'll have the ability to choose a theme, choose from a complete library of images, customize your navigation bar, and install the plug-ins you'll need to manage your affiliate links, publish new content to social media, and more. As an affiliate, you won't need to worry about installing a shopping cart or payment portal.   

Create & Cross-Promote Relevant Content  

 Publishing informative, engaging content on a blog helps keep a steady flow of internet traffic to your website. A simple SEO keyword ranking tool can help you identify the best options for nearly any CBD-related topic. To keep your visitors coming back for more, plan on publishing fresh content at least once each week. 

When you publish a new article, product review, or CBD-related video on your website, take a few minutes to cross-promote on any other media channels included in your marketing strategy. But before you begin writing or recording, refer to any stipulations provided by your merchant. Most reputable CBD brands provide their affiliates with detailed product information and strict guidelines detailing how their products are presented to consumers.  The FTC also has guidelines governing affiliate marketing

Why You Should Join the CBDistillery® Affiliate Program  

When you join the CBDistillery® affiliate program, you're promoting rigorously tested, quality-assured products from a respected brand. We have more than 2 million satisfied customers, and our products have generated over 44,000 verified 5-star reviews. As a CBDistillery® affiliate, our commitment to providing high-quality, fairly-priced products makes it easy to monetize your media channels without risking your standing with your followers or tarnishing your reputation. Associations matter. 

Based on a 2019 CBDistillery® survey of 1,900 customers, most of our respondents reported positive results using our hemp-derived CBD oil tinctures, topicals, softgels, and gummies for relaxation, better sleep, and pain, stiffness, and inflammation after physical activity. An impressive 89% reported that our products calmed their minds, and 88% reported benefits for mild or temporary anxiety. You'll find our affiliate program on Impact Radius. 

Impact Radius is a platform that connects social media influencers, publishers, and bloggers with the top brands aligned with the interests of their audiences. The platform offers comprehensive tracking features, so you can count on getting rewarded for every conversion. You'll also have access to a suite of automation tools to manage your partnerships, sponsorships, and campaigns. You're free to join multiple affiliate programs.4 Once we get your campaign with CBDistillery® live, you'll have the links, SEO, promo codes, digital marketing assets, and the content you need to help keep a steady stream of visitors to your domain while profiting from their purchasing decisions. 

References: 

  1. Conway J. (2022) CBD Product Dollar Sales in the United States From 2022 to 2026. Statistica. 

  1. Frankenfield J. (2022) Affiliate Marketer: Definition, Examples, and How to Get Started. Investopedia. 

  1. Grand View Research. (2021) Cannabidiol Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report by Source Type (Hemp, Marijuana), by Distribution Channel (B2B, B2C), by End-use (Medical, Personal Use), by Region and Segment Forecasts, 2021-2028. PDF Market Analyst Report Summary. 

  1. Rose S. (2021) Impact Radius for Affiliates: How It Works, Best Brands to Partner With, and More. Femfounded.org. 

  1. Wilson J, Zamora G. (2022) How to Register a Domain Name for Your Website. PCMag.