Hosting Affiliate Marketing – Is there still money to be made & what are the best programs?

571 websites are created every minute.

When you add these to the existing 1+ billion already online, you come to a realization:

That’s a lot of websites!

It won’t surprise anyone then when I tell you that the internet hosting services industry is worth $20 billion.

The amount of money and level of competition in this market makes for a thriving affiliate marketing scene.

But, has the hosting ship sailed? Can you still make money in hosting affiliate marketing? Is there too much competition? Are there still good offers out there?

Hosting Industry by Numbers

What are People Searching For?

Web Hosting Service Google search trend

Hosting Keywords

Keyword Difficulty Volume (desc)
godaddy 48 1,660,000
bluehost 38 199,000
hostgator 31 157,000
how to make money online 39 78,000
how to start a blog 76 54,000
free minecraft server hosting 60 33,000
best email service 27 10,000
how to make money blogging 57 8,900
site builder 62 8,500
cheap web hosting 54 8,500
web hosting reviews 76 4,900
amazon web hosting 73 3,800
best web hosting for small business 35 2,000
best hosting for wordpress 50 1,900
best web hosting sites 77 1,500
cloud server hosting 89 1,200
quickbooks hosting 42 1,100
what is vps hosting 30 1,100

Branded Keywords

There are some huge players in the hosting market.

Top Ten Global Web Hosting Market Share
Source: Host Advice

GoDaddy, Hostgator and Bluehost have the largest market shares and this is reflected in the number of searches for their brand names.

The three companies are searched for around 2 million times per month. People are clearly interested in them.

Therefore, it makes sense to find their affiliate programs. The easiest way to make money is to recommend products that people actually want. If you can generate enough traffic to articles that allow you to recommend these products it is the easiest way to convert your readers.

Best X For Y

Best X for Y style posts are often where you will make your money with any affiliate marketing website.

In the hosting industry it is no different. However, the level of competition (or keyword difficulty) makes this a tough task.

This gives you an opportunity to identify what route you want to take your site and how you want to segment the market.

Are you going to focus on individuals, businesses, bloggers or ecommerce sites?

Keywords like “best hosting for wordpress” or “best web hosting for small business” allow you to focus on your chosen target market.

After deciding your target market and how you will monetize, you can begin to create supporting content suited to that market.

Competition

The difficulty of these keywords is a problem.

Keyword difficulties of 50-70 mean that you will need to put in a substantial period of time, effort and resource before you can rank organically for any of these keywords.

If you do not have money to sustain you during this period, this means you will need to find traffic from alternative sources in order to subsidise the time it will take for your site to rank organically.

This could be social media traffic, paid search or Facebook ads.

It is not impossible to do but it will distract you from the core task of building organic traffic that will sustain the site in the long term.

Who is Doing Hosting Affiliate Marketing Well?

Website Setup

WebsiteSetup.org

Website Setup is a simple website that is framed as a way to help people launch their own website.

websitesetup.org Ahrefs overview

According to Ahrefs, the site generates 341,000 visits per month from organic search. They have also done a great job building links to the site with over 2,800 referring domains.

As you can see from the image below, the page with the most traffic on websitesetup.org is the homepage.

In fact, the homepage receives traffic of around 77,000 per month.

websitesetup.org Ahrefs top pages

The reason for this is that the homepage is an article.

In fact, the homepage is an extensive guide that shows people how to launch and set-up a website, including hosting.

how to launch and set-up a website, including hosting

The article takes users through every step that is involved in setting up a website. Included in this is how to set up web hosting and who to use.

Where do I get a domain name and hosting?

This is a very simple way to monetize.

It is simply a text link within an article but it turns out to be very powerful. That is because the article shows you every detail with screenshots. It is also because it is impossible to complete the tutorial without purchasing and setting up hosting.

This allows Robert Mening to give away the article for free and make up to $125 from each person who completes the tutorial.

With 77,000 visitors, it is safe to assume that this one page alone generates significant revenue.

Many people follow this format, including Neil Patel:

Neil Patel bluehost recommendation

However, main people feel that the only reason people recommend bluehost is because they are one of the highest paying affiliate program.

Even if bluehost is the best, which I do not believe it is, this calls the integrity of the people who recommend the product into question.

What Deals Are Available?

Advertiser Category Deal Network
GoDaddy Hosting Up to 40% commission GoDaddy
AWin
CJ
HostGator Hosting Up to $125 per signup HostGator
Impact Radius
Rackspace Hosting $50 per signup Rackspace
1&1 Hosting Commission table CJ
AWin
DreamHost Hosting Up to $120 per signup DreamHost

Pros of Hosting Affiliate Marketing

  • High Commission: For each signup you can generate you can generate a large on-off fee or ongoing revenue.
  • Lots of Search Volume: A lot of people need websites and do not understand hosting. This creates opportunities for affiliate marketing.
  • Opportunities to Expand: Opportunity to grow out from a hosting brand into a wider online marketing website.
  • Lots of Offers: There are a lot of hosting companies that face huge competition. This leads to a lot of different companies offering affiliate programs.

Cons of Hosting Affiliate Marketing

  • Too much Competition: There are a lot of well established websites with well established reputations that will be difficult to overcome.
  • Too Narrow a Niche: There are not that many ways to branch out from hosting.

Should You Start Hosting Affiliate Marketing?

No. Probably not.

There is just too much competition out there.

In terms of comparisons, reviews and guides, it is very difficult and time consuming to rank for keywords that will generate revenue.

If you have the time, skills and finances to wait for your site to rank or the capability to get traffic by alternate means

Alternatively, hosting affiliate marketing can be a good source of income as part of a larger website.

For example, if you were creating a course that taught people how to set up a website, grow organic traffic, build an email list plus more. If, as part of this course, you are showing your students how to set up their site, using affiliate links to hosting sites is a great way to supplement the income of the course.

But an out and out hosting website?

I would say that it is time to try something new.

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