Well, I have written some affiliate marketing tips posts in the past. (New visitors may read the Internet Marketing section of this blog for some interesting posts on affiliate marketing).
This time around I want to concentrate a bit more on blog content marketing and in that context how would you strategize your affiliate marketing efforts. It’s no rocket science but I would like to share some ground level tips based on my five years experience into this domain. The important thing here is that, the moment you start differentiating your blog content medium from the other wide variety of marketing channels, your efforts start showing good results automatically. Let us see how.
Why Blog Content Marketing is different?
When you are market products using channels such as search advertising, email or paid banners, you are essentially having a time bound strategy. In other words, in such cases at any point of time you can decide which products to promote, when to start and you’re your campaigns etc. Needless to say, these channels are pretty effective in pulling off instant success with even unknown or new products. Also, you need to focus and monitor your conversions pretty closely or you might end up losing money fast.
The case is totally different when you use your content (websites or blogs) for affiliate marketing. Here we have some well established content – not only popular with your readers but also with search engines. Since the content on the Internet can have prolonged shelf life, you need to strategize your marketing efforts for much longer term when compared to search marketing etc.
The other important aspect about content marketing is that it’s more of a non-interruption marketing where you don’t force people to buy products.
Blog Marketing Tips
Since we already know that thinking long term is the key, here are the additional tips for successfully marketing affiliate products via your blog.
1. Pick established products with Good brand image
Well, this may not be a brainer! However, the fact is that products that have established over a number of years may sell better than those arrived just now. It’s a difficult deal at times as some new products may offer better affiliate commissions. For example, the hosting products that I chose to promote are still doing a good job – thanks to the long term reliability of the product as well as its brand image.
Along the same lines, if you are dealing with an affiliate network, you need to go with a well established network with proven track record.
2. Beware of the relevancy
Probably, I have talked about this aspect several times – You just can’t sell a product just because of a good proposition. At the end, the product that you promote should be somehow relevant to your content – remember we are talking about content marketing.
3. Avoid overselling via content duplication
Well, you may be tempted to promote the latest product offers and coupons for the month or the holiday season. However, it may be irritating for your long term reader base if you keep churning out the same article over and again talking about a recent coupon. So avoid posts titled as ‘HostGator Coupon code for November 2012’ and subsequent posts with the same content but replacing the month and year. Well, you may get some monetary benefit out of that for short term. But remember, you are probably damaging your content. And without good content, there is no content marketing. Further, good content is created over a long period of time.
4. Indexed old content is better than new repetitive content
Instead of taking the content duplication route (as mentioned in section 3), you may actually use your old posts that are doing well on the search engines to promote your new coupon codes or offers. This is something that works very well for me for a number of years now. In this case, you can even reroute your potential visitors to your new offer pages by using the established old posts are landing pages.
5. Have dedicated pages for your offers
You may use dedicated pages to promote your offers, services and coupons. This again is no brainer but the key is that you have to keep linking your new content to your offer page so that it becomes more search relevant over a period of time. Moreover, you need to keep your offers updated.
6. Continuous product focus
Since we are (shamelessly) talking about long term, you need to keep monitoring about the progress of your promotions on a periodic basis. Well, it doesn’t need to be daily tracking like you do for search marketing but something like a bi-weekly stock taking should work. Things that don’t work over a month or so need to be terminated as far as in-content banners or text are concerned. When it comes to reviews, you can’t do a lot. You don’t need to delete the review post as such unless you were, by mistake, promoting scam products or services. However, you can always write a fresh post on your changed views on a competitive product and then highlight why you had to switch.
7. Write comprehensive and useful reviews
Ok, so you want to market products that offer lucrative commissions. However, if you yourself are not a user of the product nor have you written a good review about it, chances are you end up failing in marketing the same. The product reviews themselves need to be genuine and useful for your readers first in terms of decision making. Please note that NOT all reviews need to recommend a product at the end. You may have review posts where the verdict can be negative thereby alerting your readers to stay away from that product.
8. Avoid fooling people into clicking
A lot of people use hidden links, irrelevant content links, auto-clicking scripts and even irrelevant pop-unders to force land people into undesired destinations. These kinds of cheap tricks won’t really work for long term. Moreover, your content may be even marked as unsafe or spammy by search engines as well as safe-browsing tools.
9. Stop selling Fast-money products
Again, I have stressed this point many times. Most of the quick-cash-making products are nothing but scams. You may not only stop promoting them but stop writing about them as well.
10. Finally, Don’t be Greedy!
Affiliate marketing doesn’t have a quick start success formula that works for everyone. What works for me, may not work for you and your type of content. Take your time, analyze, experiment and derive a LONG TERM strategy that works for yourself.
If you keep the above points in mind, you are sure to be successful in your blog affiliate marketing ventures.