If you’ve got a website, it’s possible to earn a good income from affiliate marketing but you’ll need to get the foundation right first. This means having good content on your site and also having an active blog with regular entries.
With such enormous competition for top-level affiliate marketing, you’ll need to be able to attract visitors to be able to monetise your content. Once you’ve decided on a niche and found an affiliate program to sign up to, you’re almost ready to go.
The final step is to write a blog specifically for the purposes of affiliate marketing, including the relevant links. But how do you go about it? And should it be different from a regular blog? Here’s everything you need to know to make your affiliate marketing a success.
Don’t Skimp on Research
Even if you think you know the subject, don’t bypass the research stage. By putting in the extra preparation you’ll get far better results and in the long term it will pay dividends.
For an affiliate marketing blog, this means identifying the target audience that will be interested in what you’ve got to say. If you’ve got a steady number of visitors to your blog already, you’ll have a natural audience but you may need to hone your content to speak to a particular subsection more specifically.
If all has gone to plan, you’ll have chosen a subject you can write about well – and with conviction. However, to give your content an extra boost, take some time to scout out the affiliate brand and observe their customers. Social media is an excellent place to do this, and it’s an easy way to get a feel for their market.
While you might want to take a more targeted approach with your blog entry, it’s important not to lose sight of how you attracted your followers in the first place. This means maintaining the tone of voice and style that made you popular; you don’t want to completely change your style just because revenue is now involved.
Outsourcing Vs Writing it Yourself
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question and much depends on your individual circumstances. Your own writing ability, time and revenue are just some of the factors you’ll want to consider.
Many people start out writing a blog with passable skills, without it ever being a real strength. If you can convey personality and character that’s fantastic, but to generate a decent income you’ll need the full package. This means being hot on your grammar, syntax and spelling and also using a vocabulary which is diverse yet accessible. If this sounds like a bit more than you’re willing to do, outsourcing the writing could be a better idea.
The amount you could potentially earn from affiliate marketing could also help you to make a decision. If it could bring in a high level of income, you might be more comfortable paying for an expert writer. In turn, this will help you to achieve an even greater income stream, creating a positive cycle of wealth.
If on the flip side, you’re not expecting to earn much from the blogs, you might decide to write the blog yourself.
Don’t forget to place a value on your own time too though; if you weren’t writing the blog, what would you be doing instead? If you’re forgoing a lucrative business opportunity to spend time writing the blog, it’s questionable whether it’s a good use of your time. You’ll find freelance writers available for all budgets so balance this cost against your potential earnings before making a decision.
How to Structure Your Blog
You’ll need to get your blog seen if you want to monetise the content, and this means understanding SEO. Search Engine Optimisation – or SEO for short – is all about helping your content to be ranked high on search engine results.
Many people believe that if you’re not on the first page of Google, it’s pointless being in the game. With so much competition, very few people will click past the first page rendering your site invisible. You’ll therefore need to become an expert on SEO writing to get your blog seen by the maximum number of people.
You may have read that in the past Google hasn’t been keen on sites which include affiliate content. This is true, but it’s not because there’s a problem with the idea of affiliate marketing. Instead, it’s due to the fact that many blogs have thin content which offers little value. This is what Google is penalizing rather than the presence of affiliate marketing links, i.e. links to products or other sites.
There are several SEO tools online which can help you to identify key phrases. Don’t pack too many in or you’ll risk looking like spam, but a light sprinkling of different terms and variants will help you appear relevant. Position is important too. Choose to add these keywords in early rather than later.
SEO is an enormous content which deserves a blog post of its very own, but one point which is worth mentioning is low-hanging fruit. SEO is a competitive market and if you use a tool, you’ll see the top terms that all the big boys are fighting over. There are tens and tens of lower-rated terms which are more or less ignored; include these and you’ll be up against far less competition, making it an easy win.
Tips and hints
When writing your blog, you’ll need to be loud and proud about your affiliate marketing links. Don’t try to hide the fact that you’re being paid to promote the product or service as you’ll look disingenuous and your followers won’t be impressed.
There’s no need to subtly slip in the links, instead include them in an open and honest way. You could even bold them for extra emphasis. Provided there’s value in your blog and it’s not just sales patter, it won’t affect how the audience perceives your content.
One top tip, however, is to always include anchor text rather than just the link to the site. Make it relevant to your content rather than just a generic word, and you’ll give yourself another little boost on the SEO ladder.
Enjoy a Passive Income
The best part about affiliate marketing is that it creates a passive income once you’ve done the work at the start. Follow a few simple rules and publish good quality content and you’ll be reaping the rewards for a long time to come – cha-ching!