Affiliate Marketing Guide – Section 3…
Steps To Take When Affiliate Marketing
Step 1: Create The Best Content In Your Niche
This is the most important part of any affiliate marketing strategy, and the more effort you put into creating great content, the better your results will be.
The more competitive your niche is, the more important it may be to produce better content, this is because you will have to make better content than your competitors.
To do this you can look at what your competitors are doing, and then ask yourself, “what are they missing from this review/blog post?” this will allow you to create a more in-depth post which will help you rank higher than them on search engines, as well as provide to be a better article for your readers.
Great content will also be how you’re going to rank on search engines such as Google, so the importance of this step is the foundation of how well you will do in this niche.
Having great content and asking readers to share your content, will help to build the authority and trust needed to be a huge success.
So what makes great affiliate marketing content?
If you cover these points, you will have the contents of any great content:
To do this you will need to consider your audiences’ needs. You will have to present their needs as being just as important as your affiliate marketing objectives.
Possibly the most important aspect of great content is knowledge. Great affiliate marketing content will need to be knowledgeable enough to give genuine advice.
Although you can pretend to be genuine while promoting a product. Overall and in the long term it is better to always remain genuine. This will lead to readers showing more trust in your reviews and your ‘brand’, which will lead to more money over time.
Don’t shy away from being in-depth. Like this, your knowledge will show through and ultimately help create better content.
Even if you are promoting a great affiliate product, always try to be critical. Tell your readers about any flaws this product may have to help create a balanced view. This will help show that you are genuine which will lead to more loyal readers.
A lot of your readers will be reading your content because they need help choosing what to buy. A useful article will be one that is balanced but also gives clear advice. The ultimate goal here is that you will recommend a product, and should a reader buy that product they will think back and remember how helpful your article was. This will usually lead to reader loyalty and some free word of mouth promotion.
Even if you have the best content, it needs to be accessible on the platforms your target audience is active on.
Although this might sound like a contradiction, it is possible to be an impartial and successful affiliate marketer. By being impartial you will raise your trust level with readers which in the long run will work perfectly in your favor. Therefore you should aim to achieve this from day 1.
As the internet is filled with people looking for a quick sale, promoting products they hate, you will set yourself as the stand out business. When a product is great, say its great, but equally, when a product is terrible, say so. This will quickly allow you to set yourself apart from the crowd, and attract readers to your genuine, trustworthy reviews.
This might sound easier than it is. You will need to keep an eye on what is working, and what isn’t. Once you find an article template that works, keep using it!
You have probably seen websites that you use for reviews. Take a closer look at the page structure, more than likely it is always the same. This is what you should be aiming for to get results.
Creating better content than your competitors is going to achieve two things. Firstly it will help you build the largest possible audience via the search and social method, but it will also convince a large percentage of that audience to buy from your affiliate partners.
When you are creating articles, don’t be afraid to write about products you are not even promoting. Also, don’t shy away from criticizing products you are promoting. There is no such thing as a perfect product, so trying to promote a ‘perfect product’ is always going to come across as fake!
People will read your content trying to get help with buying a product, you need to tell them exactly what to expect, both the good and bad!
Always try to be honest and talk about the pros and cons, the trick to spinning this is to explain in detail what effects these pros and cons will have. For example, if a ‘con’ is only going to affect one group of consumers, tell those consumers that this product isn’t for them but IS for everyone else.
If you explain the pros and cons, you can still be highly profitable. If you are writing about the photography niche, you can explain how a certain camera is good for one group of people, and when you speak about the cons, you can then recommend another one of your products for those who may be looking for a specific feature.
This will allow you to capture your audience, boost your sales, at the same time as building trust and credibility.
Keep in mind that your audience will also have varying budgets, so sometimes although a product will be far from perfect, it is the best product a consumer can get for a specific budget. Try to build this feature into your reviews.
Step 2: Build Your Organic Search Presence
When people need advice on a product or service, they usually turn to search engines such as Google and Bing. Having your website or blog appear at the top of search pages will be the best way to generate a large volume of free traffic. This type of traffic is known as organic traffic and is probably the biggest asset to your affiliate marketing strategy.
One of the most important factors in ranking well in search engines is the quality of your content, this is why creating the best content in your niche is so important.
On a technical level, content that delivers quality and helps an audience make better buying decisions will always earn more links from both readers and third-party websites.
These links, known as backlinks, are vital for establishing your website or blog and gaining a strong search presence. This is because one of the “ranking factors” from Google is based on the “backlink profile” of a website or blog.
We have an entire guide on this topic, so once you are done with this guide, make sure to check out our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) guide to help create a strong backlink profile for your website or blog.
Here are a few other key areas you will need to think about with regards to SEO (search engine optimization):
Don’t be put off with tech jargon, we will get further into some of these later.
The more effectively you can define your niche, the easier it will be to create content that is highly relevant to specific audiences. This will help your website or blog rank for this specific niche.
To target your specific audience, you will need to use keywords in your content. These will be words that consumers in your niche are searching for. Do not ever “keyword stuff” an article, this provides no quality to an article and is a quick way to lose credibility & ranking with search engines.
Make sure you know the fundamentals of on-page SEO so every piece of content you publish has the best chance of ranking well, not just on Google, but Bing and other search engines too.
You will also need to get the technical aspects of SEO sorted, this includes items such as sitemaps, link profiles as well as redirects.
As one of the ranking factors of search engines is page loading times. Because of this, you will want to always remember to keep your page loading times in mind, this means no big high res images or videos. Instead, optimize images, and use 3rd party embeds for videos, such as YouTube.
Possibly one of the highest-ranking factors on Google is user experience. This takes other factors such as loading times into one category to build an overview of your website. Always consider how user-friendly your website and articles are. Use things such as a table of contents, easy navigation, and search functions to help your user experience.
Most searches nowadays take place from mobile. This means that you will need to offer a great experience to both readers on PC, as well as on a mobile device. To do this you can implement AMP on your website, which will give you a mobile-optimized website with just a few clicks of your mouse. This software is usually free.
Aside from covering these core essentials of your website or blog, you should also take a look at structured data. This gives search engines such as Google more information about your content.
Structured data will allow Google and others to pair your content with more relevant audiences. This will ultimately improve your chances of getting affiliate sales. Another bonus to this data is that your content can appear as rich results in searches, this will boost click-through rates and increase your overall traffic numbers.
Another optimization you can make use of is featured snippets in Google search. These snippets will bump you right to the top of the results and will allow users to get a better understanding of what your content is about.
As Google is increasingly showing featured snippets for search queries, this is an attempt by Google to show users what they think they want to see. By feeding this information to Google, they will reward you for your quality content.
Step 3: Promote Your Content With PPC Ads
Establishing a strong search presence is going to be one of your affiliate marketing priorities, but it does take time to build organic search rankings, usually 6+ months.
Paid advertising, on the other hand, gives you the option to pay for traffic from day one!
This can be a great way to generate the traffic you need to get things moving, however, you will have to pay for this privilege. The cost of this can often be more than the amount you will earn from commissions in the early stages of your affiliate marketing website.
Keep it in mind that you are paying for every single visitor to your website. This is regardless if they click on any affiliate links or not, let alone buy a product should they click through to your affiliate partners.
PPC (pay per click) can work in some affiliate marketing strategies, however, it is a complex form of advertising.
Make sure you do your research before spending money on advertising.
For this, you will need to be willing to spend both time and money on experimenting. You will have to experiment until you find a profitable PPC strategy that works for you. At first, you will probably lose money, this is normal and if you choose this strategy you will just have to accept this fact.
One strategy which has worked for us in the past is a strategy that will be loss-making in the beginning. With this strategy, you will forget about trying to sell, instead, you will provide readers with great user experience and focus your efforts on building an email marketing list.
How many times have you gone onto a website and immediately bought something?
If you immediately try to turn your PPC traffic into buyers, you will likely fail. This means you will have lost the traffic, lost the money for the advert, and receive no affiliate commission.
Instead, if you turn your PPC traffic into an email list. You can now work on them in the coming weeks and months, bringing them back more and more to your website which over time will build trust and lead to sales.
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective channels for doing any form of ongoing lead generation. What is even better is that you can automate most of this strategy, meaning you won’t have to put a huge amount of work in.
What to take away from this section:
Instead of pushing any PPC traffic to pay for something, instead, create ad campaigns that will promote your content as well as your landing pages. Now you can encourage users to sign up for your newsletter which will lead you into your next strategy of email marketing.
Step 4: Drive Traffic From Social Media
Social media is a very powerful tool to build your audience. Once again you should aim to use this tool to promote your content, rather than try to just sell.
Choosing the right network to promote content can be crucial. There are two key aspects to social networks you need to take into account.
Firstly, you will need your target audience to be using the network. For example, selling apparel would possibly perform better on Pinterest rather than Twitter.
Secondly, you will need to be able to produce content that your potential audience will engage with on that specific platform. A simple link will not do well, instead, offering articles such as “top 10 camera lenses” will engage the photography niche and lead to more readers clicking on the social media link which will lead to your website, this is where you will review and sell products.
To help you choose the social media network to promote your content, here is a breakdown of the top social media networks:
This platform is an all-rounder. Facebook will allow you to reach millennials to baby boomers, of all professions, backgrounds, and interests. To succeed on Facebook, you will need to create visually engaging content, generally speaking, images and videos tend to be more successful in this network.
Instagram has a slightly younger audience than Facebook and is more business to customer-focused and has the same excellent targeting options that Facebook offers. To succeed on Instagram you will need to have extremely visually appealing content, you can do this through images, videos, or stories.
Twitter is a very fast-paced network that is brilliant for building audiences from the business to customer, as well as business to business model. Due to the fast pace of Twitter, you will need to work hard to keep any potential audience engaged.
Visual content isn’t as critical as other networks, but you will still want to add good images for your posts at the least.
LinkedIn is probably the best network available for engaging with professionals. LinkedIn stands out as a clear favorite in the business to business platforms. Unlike other networks, LinkedIn will require much less visually inspiring content, however, a downside is that LinkedIn is one of the most expensive platforms to advertise on.
Medium will be a great platform to use to get your content seen by a very large audience. This platform will be a great tool to build your brand awareness. What makes Medium a great platform is that you can include some affiliate links, however, this is only if the link is useful to readers.
For example, if you have a post about cameras and have affiliate links on where customers can find these products, this is accepted practice. Just be sure to stay up to date with the current terms and conditions should you plan on doing this.
Pinterest has a higher turnover rate than many of the bigger social media networks. This is because many users on this platform, use it simply to shop for products. If readers are already in the mindset where they want to buy something, all you will need to do is focus their buying on specific products. Once again this is where your credibility and honesty will be crucial.
There are other social media networks out there that you can use to grow your audience, but usually, the networks above are the best places for affiliate marketers to get started.
Facebook is a great network if you are interested in social advertising, with that being said, Facebook is quite bad for organic search and therefore has limited use for affiliate marketers.
To reach people Twitter is by far the best. Content on Twitter will reach a wide audience organically and will bring in results almost immediately. The downside here is that you will have to be very active.
The point we are trying to make is that each social media network h pros and cons. Know which network to use and when. By using all of them you can make use of all the pros while being able to counteract their cons.
Step 5: Network With Other Websites
In step 4 we mentioned a network called Medium. Another aspect of this platform is that other sites with large audiences are always looking for new, fresh content. If your content is relative and useful enough to their audience, you can often reach out to these publishers, and offer your content to get it published on their website.
This method will open the door to an entirely new audience who have an interest in the kind of content you’re regularly publishing on your website or blog.
The goal of doing this will be to make people aware of your website or blog and give them reasons to visit your website. This will increase your audience and in turn, increase your potential affiliate income.
Although we mentioned Medium, realistically you are not just bound to this network, the internet is full of websites looking for content, so realistically you can use this tactic anywhere on the internet!
Find websites that have audiences that might be useful to you, provide them with the content they need, now you can promote your website or blog via this article.