Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways through which bloggers can monetize their websites and generate a passive income.
According to Statista, affiliate marketing spending is set to hit 8.2 billion dollars in 2022, up from 5.4 billion in 2017. Thousands of bloggers are venturing into this lucrative multi-billion dollar industry and making money while they sleep. However, their success largely depends on how well they execute their marketing strategies.
Firstly, what is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing model where partners share revenue for every sale. In affiliate marketing, you promote other people’s or company’s products and services and earn a commission for your marketing services. As an affiliate marketer, you find a reputable product, promote it to your audience, and get a commission when someone buys a product through your affiliate link.
A major benefit of affiliate marketing is that it allows bloggers to create a passive income. Getting started does not require a lot of energy or time. In fact, 55 percent of affiliate marketers generate income working from home. Other notable advantages of affiliate marketing include:
- It is highly scalable in that affiliates can promote a wide range of products from multiple companies.
- It has very low start-up costs.
- It allows bloggers to generate recurring income through multiple streams.
Now that you know the importance of affiliate marketing, follow the tips below to create a profitable affiliate system through your blog.
1. Choose the right affiliate products
The first step to a successful affiliate marketing journey is choosing the right product. While there are no explicit rules for choosing an affiliate product, you cannot just promote any product.
You need a high-quality product or service that naturally suits your blog niche and aligns with your content. Here are some guidelines you can follow when choosing an affiliate product to promote:
- The merchant offers a good affiliate program that covers a money-back guarantee to buyers.
- The product or service is nothing short of high quality. If you can vouch for a 4/5 rating on the product, then it is worth a try.
- The product has a decent average commission for every sale.
What you’re looking for are products that resonate with your target audience and solve their pain points. For instance, if you blog about eSports, selling video game accessories can be a good idea.
2. Optimize your website for SEO to attract traffic
To generate sales through affiliate marketing, you need to attract the right audience. It is almost impossible to make sales if your content does not reach those interested in your product and services. That’s why when you’re first learning how to start a profitable blog, SEO is your key to affiliate marketing success.
As an affiliate marketer, ensure your blog ranks for the different types of user intent. This is particularly important for informational and investigational intent where users are searching for useful information before performing a transaction. For this reason, you must create the most valuable and informative content around your niche. By doing this, you will drive more traffic to your blog, and ultimately, increase sales from your affiliate programs.
3. Build and grow your email list
Bloggers can easily increase their affiliate income by building an email list and using it to promote different products to their audiences. The process of building an email list is pretty quick and straightforward. To get started, you will need to collect emails and feed them to an autoresponder. The autoresponder is configured to send a series of pre-written emails every subscriber, including the very first welcome email.
After setting up your autoresponder, it is time to get the target audience to subscribe to your email list. An easy way to lure subscribers is by using a lead magnet. Here is an example where the marketer offers a gift to everyone who signs up for their mailing list. Once users sign up for your email list, start by sending follow-up emails. However, your email messages should not sound overly promotional or include aggressive sales pitches. Instead, find the right combination of creative content that will catch the reader’s attention.
You do not want to sound too pushy as it might discredit you. A good tactic would be redirecting users to the most profitable and highly converting pages of your website as shown in the email above.
With an email list, you can promote new product launches, newly created content, special promotions, or anything that brings money to your affiliate model. The beauty of using an email list for affiliate marketing is that readers who do not convert are taken through your autoresponder.
As they receive your series of high-value affiliate content, there’s a decent chance that they will convert at one point. No reader or website visitor is lost forever unless they hit the unsubscribe button.
4. Create epic blog content that delivers value to the target audience
Every successful affiliate marketing strategy is driven by incredibly valuable blog content. Without informative and captivating content, you will have a hard time capturing the attention of the online community, which makes it even more difficult to earn trust or make sales. This is why smart content marketers are bound to succeed in affiliate marketing, regardless of the niche.
When creating content for your affiliate marketing campaign, focus on commonly asked questions within your niche. These topics have a lot of search volume, so if you craft killer content that provides information that readers might be looking for, you’re in a pole position to drive traffic to your blog.
Keep in mind that the amount of content on the web is increasing exponentially. Days are gone when regular articles would deliver all the traffic and attention you want. You have to be different by publishing friendly inbound content like in-depth blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, videos, webcasts, case studies, newsletters, and more.
There are no limitations on what kind of content you can create. It all depends on your niche as well as creativity. Some helpful ideas for creating high converting affiliate content include:
- Write about events and current trends in your niche
- Write detailed and honest product reviews and include a personal recommendation
- Create an article series for a product you’d like to promote
- Create list posts and feature the products you’d like to promote
- Create product comparison posts, which give your affiliate product an edge over other products
- Create alternative posts for products you’d like to promote. For example, The 5 Best alternatives for Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
- Write how-to articles for promoting your affiliate products
- Create product videos to demonstrate how a product works and educate the audience
The main idea here is creating high-value content that educates the reader and creatively inserting links to relevant affiliate products. In doing so, you can easily influence a reader’s decision and increase the chances of conversion through your affiliate link.
5. Guest blogging
Guest posting is one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies for generating leads and increasing conversions. Affiliate marketers should consider pitching posts to high authority blogs in their niche. Upon landing a guest post opportunity, create high-quality content that demonstrates your industry expertise. This will increase your credibility and inspire the readers to follow you.
A good promotional tactic when guest blogging is including a short bio that mentions your website or blog. You can even add a link to your email sign-up form, where you provide a freebie in exchange for the customer’s email.
Another way or driving more traffic through guest posts is building backlinks to relevant affiliate articles. Every time you land a chance to guest post on a high authority blog, consider writing an article that naturally links to a post on your website. Most websites will allow a naturally inserted backlink as long as it doesn’t ask the reader to purchase a product directly.
The same strategy should also apply to forum posts, discussions, comments, and other places where you can share valuable content and in turn get a useful share of traffic to your affiliate website.
6. Join an affiliate marketing network
There are several affiliate networks where vendors connect with affiliate marketers to promote their products. These platforms act as a middleman by providing affiliates with tons of products to promote at no cost. An affiliate network that even beginner affiliates can join is the Amazon Associate. Getting started on this platform is easy because almost every product sells on Amazon. As such, it works well for every affiliate regardless of their interest.
While many brands work through third party affiliate agencies, some choose to host and run their own affiliate programs. You can check a company’s affiliate program by visiting their website and looking for the “ Partners,” “Affiliates,” or “Referral Program” link, usually located in the sitemap or footer section.
Here’s an example of the SemRush affiliate program on their sitemap:
7. Partner with other bloggers
It may seem obvious, but working with other bloggers can increase your affiliate profit substantially. Once you start gaining traction, consider partnering with other bloggers or influencers in your niche. This can bring a ton of opportunities.
For instance, brands dealing with highly-priced offers like online courses or member programs often recruit their affiliate partners directly. Most lucrative affiliate programs are not open to anyone. By working with other bloggers, they can share and endorse you for great affiliate opportunities.
Additionally, working with other bloggers can help expand your reach. This increases traffic to your blog, and eventually, the number of sales made
Once your affiliate marketing business starts picking up, consider scaling your growth using pay per click advertising. PPC advertising can help you grow your email list and make more sales. All that matters here are conversions, so keep doing everything that can grow your business
In a world where 81 percent of brands leverage affiliate marketing to increase sales, bloggers have a great opportunity to monetize their websites. You do not need to create your own product or service to generate a passive income.
A well-designed affiliate system can help you grow your reach and create an insanely lucrative revenue source. However, you must position yourself as an authority in a specific niche and share valuable content with your target audience.
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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- 5 Awesome Affiliate Marketing Strategies to Generate More Sales
This blog post is about:
- Affiliate Marketing
- How to Earn Money with Affiliate Marketing
- 7 Steps How to Earn Money with Affiliate Marketing: Guide for Bloggers