Affiliate marketing has been big business for almost as long as the Internet has been around, but the business is constantly changing. The core idea behind affiliate marketing remains the same as it’s always been – get lots of traffic to your offers, and build a great sales page so that the traffic converts.
Sadly, getting traffic is becoming more and more difficult. The size of your audience is expanding, but the number of people that are running affiliate sites is expanding too, and the search engines are cracking down on a lot of the older, spammy link-building techniques. This means the blog commenting bot you saw advertised on that affiliate forum won’t do much for you. However, there are a lot of other ways to build links. Here are a few ideas for you.
Far too many affiliates focus on picking out a huge list of products, building sales pages, and hoping for the best. It is possible to succeed with a huge network of products and sites, but there’s a good chance you’ll burn out if you do this. Instead of trying to make money off a huge network, why not focus on a handful of products that you truly love, and genuinely believe in.
Content marketing means creating awesome content that your competitors simply can’t match. Instead of just putting together a sales page, add value. Write reports that actually inform or entertain. If you sell protein powders, write an app that people can use in the gym to track their workouts. If you promote dating sites, run an agony aunt style column that provides genuinely useful dating advice. Sales pages don’t get links, great content does.
If you are going to go out and seek people to exchange links with, don’t waste your time on link lists, top ten sites, spammy blogs, or barely related, low traffic sites. Pick high quality sites with content related to yours, and send personal emails to the owners of those sites. Make it obvious that you’ve read their site, and take the time to explain what your site is and why they should link to it. Link exchanges do work, but you’ll need to put some work in to earn quality links.
Guest posting is a great way to earn natural-looking links to your site from a range of other sites. Next time you’re reading an affiliate forum, see if you can spot some site owners that work within your niche and would be interested in taking posts from you. While you’re browsing the web for leisure, look out for blogs that you like reading, and take a look at their about page. If they accept guest posts, send them something.
Make sure that the post you write is interesting, well written, and useful. Yes, it takes time to write good posts, but it’s worth it if you want to develop a good name for yourself online.
Product reviews are essential for affiliates. If you want consumers to buy the product you’re promoting, you need to prove that they can trust it. Build up a relationship with a few good reviewers, and send them samples for your best products.
Giveaways and Crowdsourcing
Crowdsourcing is a good way to build buzz around your product. You can start fairly small; use your social media profile to promote some giveaways, and ask people to comment on your profile, share your content, or post something interesting (a funny image related to your niche, a poem, a short video – anything easy to create that will attract viewers), in return for an entry into a completion for a free product. Crowd sourcing is a great way to get organic links to your product pages, and it can be good PR too!
Wayne Barker writes for the affiliate marketing forum Twist. With a bustling community at Twist you are bound to find the information that you need to succeed.
1. Affiliate marketing – Wikipedia.org
2. Content marketing – Wikipedia.org
3. The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging – Kissmetrics.com