Writing a blog post centered around a topic you are interested in has never been easier. Approximately 600 million of the 1.7 billion websites that currently exist are blogs. The majority of these blogs are on the microblogging platform Tumblr (488 million blogs) and WordPress (60 million blogs). Moreover, over 31 million active bloggers in the US alone publish blogs at least once a month.
People write blogs because they want to share their hobbies and knowledge with others, find people with similar interests, or improve their writing skills. However, some people write blogs because they can earn some extra money on the side.
Enter affiliate marketing. With this method, bloggers can earn money by recommending products or services they have used to their readers. More companies realize that bloggers can help them reach new audiences, increase brand awareness, and drive more sales. What’s more, they are happy to share a part of their profits in exchange for doing so.
It isn’t as simple as slapping a few links into your newest post and counting on the sales roll in, though. That, sadly, is not how it works. Convincing people to try out your recommended products takes hard work and skill. Even seasoned bloggers might be at a loss with affiliate links.
This article will go through five technical tips for turning your regular blog posts into a money-making machine.
1. Remember to put a disclosure on your blog
Before you start promoting affiliate links, there’s one crucial thing you need to do. Remember to let your followers know that you make a commission from every sale made through your affiliate link. Stating that you are getting paid for promoting products or services via affiliate links might sound like a hassle, but it’s the right thing to do.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, gaining your followers’ trust is critical for driving sales. Your audience won’t trust you if you hide that you aren’t just promoting products in “good faith” but are getting paid for it. Furthermore, if you don’t inform your readers that you use paid links, you can get in trouble with affiliate program owners or government agencies.
Being honest with your readers about getting paid to promote a product builds trust and protects you from legal issues. Many followers appreciate knowing that you get paid for testing products or services from the start. It might even make them more likely to click on your affiliate links.
The disclosure doesn’t have to be anything long or elaborate. It is enough to write that you’ve partnered with a business and that you will get paid if your readers purchase something from the links used in your posts. The disclaimer is also an excellent place to explain what an affiliate program is and how or why you choose the products or services you promote on your blog.
As for where you should put the disclosure, generally, the best practice is to put it at the top of your page. Make it easy for readers to see it before they find any affiliate links.
2. Be careful not to sound too “salesy”
Of course, you want your readers to click on your affiliate links and purchase the promoted products. However, if you encourage your readers to buy the product by describing it in superlatives and without mentioning its flaws, you can come off too pushy.
Nowadays, it’s rare to see a consumer buy a product straight after seeing an advertisement or recommendation. The vast majority of people do online research and compare several product reviews. If your followers notice flaws mentioned in other reviews but none in yours, then the chances they will click on your link and make a purchase is null.
And yes, if you point out the flaws in a product or service you are promoting, then you risk that your readers won’t click on the link you are promoting. But even if they won’t buy a product right now, maybe your following recommendation will be something they need. For this to happen, your readers need to perceive you as an objective source of information and not someone who exaggerates the benefits of a product in hopes of making a quick sale.
3. Focus on showcasing the benefits of the products you promote
When reading reviews or comparing products, most of us don’t look at how many features they have. Instead, we want to know how the product can help us achieve a goal, solve a problem, or simply make our lives easier.
For example, let’s say that you run a cooking blog and are reviewing a blender. Writing about how many features the blender has isn’t going to tell much to your audience. But if you tell them they could create fresh, homemade smoothies in a few minutes without making a mess in the kitchen, doesn’t that sound much more convincing?
Even better if you can share your experiences with the product. You could present how you used the blender to make smoothies for a home party and what the results were. Bonus points if you add photos of the creation process.
4. Ask the affiliate partner for promotional materials
Creating a photo series or a video review for the promoted products is a great idea, sure. But making them for every single product you are reviewing would take quite a bit of your time, and you might run out of ideas quickly. How about asking the affiliate program owner to share their promotional materials with you and adding them to your blog post?
Suppose they have an inventory of product graphics and banners, reviews, and case studies from previous clients, or a series of video tutorials. If that’s the case, you could combine them with your photos to create phenomenal reviews or product roundup posts.
It would be even more convenient (for both you and the affiliate plan owner) if you had access to a database with all the available promotional materials. Thankfully, Post Affiliate Pro provides such a database. With Post Affiliate Pro, you won’t have to search for images or videos to use in blog posts. You can get materials approved instantly or ask the program owner for new promotional materials.
5. Do keyword research
If you want your blog posts to be found and read, you need to be visible in search engines. And it’s nowhere near enough to publish an article on your blog and maybe mention it on social media. If you want your post to rank, you need to learn how to use keywords to your advantage.
Aiming for short and popular phrases might seem like a good idea since many people search for them. But precisely because those phrases are so popular, the competition is fierce. Believe us; you don’t want to get into a fight with the big names on those search results pages. A much better idea would be to look for long-tail keywords related to the product you are promoting. The number of searches for these specific keywords is usually lower. Still, you’ll be able to bring in customers that are looking for the exact product you promote while facing much less competition.
To find long-tail phrases, add your main keyword into a Google search and look at the suggestions at the bottom of the page. Another place where you can find plenty of ideas for more specific search terms is various keyword analytics tools. These solutions can also tell you what the competition for a given phrase is like as well.
For example, two great tools to get started with are Ahrefs and SEMRush. While they are on the pricier end of the scale for software, they will help you with keyword and competitor research for your blog immensely.
Following these tips should give you a framework for creating a successful affiliate blog post without risking your reputation or time. Whether you are starting with blogging or already have a stable following, the basics remain the same. Recommending products you have enjoyed to your audience will work much better than reviewing unrelated and untested products.
Don’t forget about optimizing your post for search engines so that people interested in the same things can easily find your blog.