Long before anyone had heard of a blog, savvy affiliate marketers used content to make affiliate sales. When I first started affiliate marketing in the 90s, affiliate text links were primarily placed in website articles or newsletter articles. It’s just as effective in today’s blog content and even more critical, as banner ad blockers become the norm.
How to Make More Affiliate Sales With Content
Producing exceptional content that subtly sells isn’t all that difficult, but it does demand time, effort and practice. You may offer information in text, video, podcast, graphics (such as infographics and memes) or any combination thereof.
Types of content to consider for affiliate marketing are:
- Product comparisons
- Gift guides
- Any information related to your niche that speaks to your ideal customer.
When possible, promote products that you’ve used, love and know inside and out. Show readers how you’ve benefited from them and share any tips you’ve learned. If you’re comfortable with video, use it to demonstrate the product. That said, if you have the expertise to choose a good product without trying it, it’s fine to do so as long as you’re honest about it.
You can create the content and then look for the best affiliate advertisers to include, or you can produce content around a specific product you want to promote. Most importantly, keep your ideal target market firmly in mind as you write or otherwise produce it.
TIP: The best affiliate programs facilitate deep linking, and it’s a trick of the trade when content marketers write about a specific topic. Deep linking allows you to choose any page on an advertiser’s website to promote, then create a custom link with your affiliate ID. This allows you to link to specific products, tools or additional information about the topic you’re covering.
Content That Converts
The type of content that converts best, will almost invariably solve a problem.
- Present a problem
- Dig into the cause
- Offer a solution from one of your advertisers
You should see far better results with this type of content than a simple news or review post.
Basic Components of Content That Sells:
- “Evergreen” content that will be useful for a long period of time will serve you best. Try to choose topics that will have ongoing appeal so you can continue to earn from it for years to come.
- A concise, descriptive headline will help draw in readers.
- Hook them in the beginning by providing a brief overview of what will follow, touching on the most intriguing information. If applicable, state the problem you’re solving and how it will benefit the reader.
- Next, expand on the problem you’re about to solve (or the goal you’ll help readers reach).
- Offer solutions that feature your affiliate product(s). Back them with your experience, social proof, solid information sources and case studies when applicable.
- What benefits will the reader enjoy by applying these solutions? How will it improve their life? What has it done for you that it may also do for them?
- Subtly address any known sales objections (such as price, for which you would emphasize the value and ROI).
Relay your enthusiasm, but be careful to not sound too “salesy”. When you’re writing, the link to the offer should look so natural that it doesn’t feel like a push for a sale at all. Like the Folgers coffee in a Hallmark movie, it’s just there. You’re offering a helpful solution or resource that will benefit the reader.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to end with a ‘call to action’ to make the sale. In fact, I usually discourage that with a few exceptions. I often end with a question to encourage engagement. Engaging your ideal consumer should be a primary goal of your content, be it on your website, in your newsletter, or on social media. An engaged consumer buys more.
Remember to follow all disclosure laws and recommendations in the country you’re operating in. The Competition Bureau of Canada has strict requirements for posting reviews and opinions on social media. In the U.S., the Competition Bureau’s counterpart is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, check out How to Start Affiliate Marketing in Canada. Please ask any questions in the comments below or join us in the Online Business Facebook group for further discussion.
You may also be interested in reading:
Gift-Buyer’s Journey: Content Strategy Doubles Sales (Infographic)
The 7 Most Profitable Types of Blog Posts
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.