Affiliate marketing can be finicky. It can be challenging to see how you can make a dent with this industry. As a small blogger, it could be years before you see results, especially if you are following the wrong examples. I am just now starting to see the benefits of affiliate marketing, and I've been blogging since 2011! I want to make sure that you can see the benefits of affiliate marketing far sooner than I did. So, let's talk about the five affiliate marketing content types that drive sales in 2019.
If you are looking for more affiliate marketing content from me, check out this podcast interview I did with Samantha on her podcast Offbeat Grad, I share some of my best secrets there, and I think you'll love it.
Reviews are my absolute favorite way to drive affiliate marketing sales. I have a ton of reviews on this site from fashion to makeup to subscription boxes. I think that reviews can make a huge impact on your sales because people searching for reviews are more apt to purchase from the site you promote. You can have tremendously high click-through and conversion rates on reviews, and the readers are doing most of the work.
To excel at writing reviews, you must invest in search engine optimization. If you are new to SEO, I have a wonderful blog post for beginners that I know you'll find useful. These tips have helped me rank on the first page for keywords that matter like “freshly review.” This strategy has helped me acquire an extra $1,800 in my business since January.
You need to be careful before you put too much weight into reviews. My Freshly review worked because the competition was too corporate or too old. My content filled a Freshly review need that most content on the first page of the results didn't. I've been able to forge a more significant connection with Freshly since this review was posted. They even sent me a box to review in my last Freshly article.
Do Your Research
So, how do you turn a review into a passive income generator? Do your research. When I sat down to write my review for SHEIN, I thought about all the questions I kept hearing often. People wanted to know about sizing, shipping, and ethics. I made sure to address all of those questions in my SHEIN review. What questions did you have before deciding to buy this particular product or service? Address those questions in your article.
I also want you to research the keywords you want to rank for. What's currently taking up the first page of results? You can't get there if you don't see what's currently happening on the first page. As I stated, I noticed how corporate and old all the Freshly review content was. I wanted to make sure I was offering something different.
As you can see by the screenshot below, I was able to turn my article about Freshly into a fantastic source of revenue for my blog. These are the results since July because that's what's been paid out. I also have a few large checks waiting to clear in the next few months thanks to my Freshly review.
The next affiliate marketing content type that drives sales are how-tos and tutorials. People want to learn how to use the tools they are interested in before they purchase them. Especially if you are promoting a tool that can prove to be a rather expensive investment for people. By sharing your experience, other people can bypass issues with the company altogether and invest knowing what they need to succeed.
Besides sharing tutorials on how to use the product, you can also create general tutorials that involve the product in some way. For example, take a look at my most recent Erin Condren article from 2018. In this article, I share how to plan your life in 2019. I mentioned a ton of Erin Condren products, but it was also a helpful piece because it walked through how to set up and use planners in general (although I showcased specifically that I liked Erin Condren planners.) I didn't do a walkthrough on using a specific Erin Condren product, but I talked about how you can use those products to improve your life.
The great thing about how-tos and tutorials is that you can create them in a variety of ways. You can create blog posts, podcasts, videos, and more. Take your time, get creative, and see what kind of awesome stuff you can come out with.
No one wants a general piece of content that doesn't teach them anything. How can you expect your audience to trust you when your tutorials leave them wanting more? Your tutorials should always be detailed and walk through all the steps you need to take to achieve the goal. For example, if you say you are going to teach someone how to find a workout routine they love in 30 days, you need to teach them the exact method step-by-step. Your approach may not work for them, but you need to attempt to do what the title of your post or video says you'll do.
Trust is a huge part of affiliate marketing. You have to build trust if you want to create true influence as a blogger.
Do you want to see a tutorial in action? Check out this video from Latasha James, where she shares how to use the social media tool Loomly.
3) Resource Pages
Next, let's chat about creating resource pages for your blog. If you have an audience that comes to you for your recommendations, utilize a resource page. There you can round up all of your favorite products, software, services, courses, etc.
You may not be an affiliate for every product you mention on your resource page. I would try to join programs for as many of the tools you regularly recommend as possible. If you can't find an affiliate program, see if you can at least find a referral program. Alternatively, contact that company to form a partnership. While they may not be looking to manage an affiliate program, you never know. Asking might make that company consider the value behind an affiliate program for their business.
Resource pages can be more than a money-generating page on your site. Resource pages can also be a timesaver. If people are always asking about your all-time favorite makeup products, create a resource page on your blog dedicated to this. The next time you get that frequently asked question, you can send them straight to your dedicated page.
Utilize The Strength Of Your Niche
If you've ever heard the riches are in the niches, I think that's true of resource pages. General resource pages can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. Even if you have various niches, try narrowing down the intensity of your resource page by creating pages for different niches.
Do you want to see a niched resource page? Check out my good friend Lindsey Hazel's resource page. She helps small business owners create video content with confidence, so her resource page is geared toward the tools that help her create video content online. If you have a specific niche, creating resource pages around that niche is helpful. People already turn to you for specific advice. Use that to your advantage as you are creating a resource page for your blog.
Do you want to build your email list and sell products at the same time? Consider creating a heavily targeted mini-course for your audience. Here's how to make a heavily focused mini-course:
- Go through some of your favorite affiliate links and pick a product that your audience would be delighted to get.
- For example, you might choose Grammarly. Grammarly is a service that helps people write better content.
- If you are targeting bloggers, you might create a mini-course titled “5 Writing Mistakes You're Making That Drive Away Readers.”
- Create the course via your email platform, or if you'd like to create audio or video, use a site like Teachable.
- Throughout the course, mention your favorite tool for combating writing mistakes, Grammarly.
- Promote the course to your audience, watch the enrollments and affiliate income stream in.
- Tweak the course overtime to make it more profitable and increase conversions
With a little creativity, you can create all sorts of courses that lead to your affiliate marketing products. Pick products that make enough commission to make creating a course worth it.
Alternatively, you can promote more than one product, but that can cause confusion which made lead to complacency. If you promote more than one product in your mini-course, you should stick to one product per email. For your first few mini-courses, I encourage you to focus on one specific affiliate marketing opportunity. Build up your mini-course muscle before you try to do it all.
Don't Be Afraid Of The Word Free
So, should you sell this course or should you list it for free? While you can charge a small fee, I wouldn't be afraid of the word free. While you are putting a lot of time into creating the course, you are also trying to maximize enrollment. A fee may cause a financial barrier, or it might make your audience take the class more seriously.
Either way, keep the course simple. Your course shouldn't be a huge undertaking. Even a three-day mini-course can prove profitable for your business. Sit down before you create the course to brainstorm what you want inside it. Your mini-course is not a piece of cornerstone content. You do not need to go above and beyond to make this successful for your business.
Last, but not least, let's talk about roundups and hauls.
Roundups can be helpful if you are sharing a variety of software, subscription services, companies, et cetera. You may want to create a roundup of the top social media management software for bloggers or a roundup of the best cookbooks for beginners. The possibilities are endless! Roundups are also great because you don't have to try everything you include, although I encourage you to keep your roundups updated and try to test more products as you go. Roundups can also be great link opportunities. Maybe in your social media management roundup, you share Buffer, Hootsuite, SmarterQueue, Edgar, and Tailwind. After a while, you could create in-depth reviews for each platform in a separate blog post. Then, you can interlink the roundup in your individual posts and link your detailed reviews in the big roundup post. Talk about going full circle!
Hauls can be beneficial, especially if you are showcasing products like books, clothes, music, et cetera. You are an influencer. People want to see what's been in your shopping cart lately.
Try to make your hauls store specific instead of mixing and matching. Creating store specific hauls is better for SEO, and it helps people see the wide variety of products they can get from that store. You are helping your audience build trust with a particular store which can only help you when your audience decides to go shopping. Make sure to leave links to individual items you haul versus linking them to the main store. Your goal is to make the shopping experience as easy as possible for your audience.
One downside to hauls specifically is that they can be seasonal. Think about it. Clothing stores are always putting out new items. There isn't a lot of overlap between seasons, and things go out of stock all the time. Some hauls are more evergreen like music and books, but clothing will usually always be seasonal. Try to find those evergreen haul opportunities when you can.
Limit Your Roundups To Avoid Complacency
Let me tell you about a roundup I did recently all about plus size clothing. I wrote an article a while ago because I wanted to share affiliate links where I had them and share some great places to find plus size clothing. While the article started with about 18 places to find plus size clothes, I've added to the blog post over time, and now it's closer to 30 places to get plus size clothing. While this is a great resource, I don't get a ton of affiliate income from the post. Why? It's probably a bit overwhelming for people who check out the post.
If you are going to do a roundup, don't worry about making it comprehensive. Don't add all the stuff under the sun. Keep your roundups small and manageable. Instead of 20+, I recommend you stick to 5-10 companies, services, courses, or whatever you decide to roundup.
Extra Tips For Affiliate Marketing Success
To round out today's blog post, I wanted to offer some extra tips for affiliate marketing success.
Speak Your Truth
Don't be afraid to tell the truth about your experience in your affiliate marketing content. Be honest about your feelings, how they evolved, and how things have changed over time for you. People want to hear the whole truth, especially when it comes to reviews. If you didn't like part of a meal, thought the beginning of a book was slow, or didn't like the quality of a piece, be honest. While this is a collaboration with a brand in a sense, you are still accountable to your audience.
Link To Products Multiple Times Throughout The Post
When linking affiliate products, especially for dedicated posts, make sure you link products multiple times. You never know when someone may want to click your link. If they have to try too hard to find it, they'll likely bypass your links and Google the product on their own. Again you are trying to make this process as easy as possible for them. The more barriers or hoops people have to jump through, the less money you'll make with affiliate marketing.
Consider What Different Traffic Strategies Want
While people often go to Google for reviews, they are less likely to search for reviews on Pinterest. Instead, Pinterest users love guides and how-tos. Consider that as you are creating content for the audience you currently have. How can you change your post strategy to make the most of your current traffic?
Pinterest is great at providing information on what's trending on its platform, but so is Google. To find what's trending on Pinterest, use the search bar. To see what's trending on Google, go to Google Trends. Using these sites might give you some ideas to think about as far as ways to implement trends into your current content. For example, you see that crockpot recipes are trending on Pinterest. You might decide to write a guide to picking the best crockpot directed at your audience. You might steer away from a review because people don't go to Pinterest to look at reviews.
For Google, you see that This Is Us is trending. Maybe you want to go to Etsy and find the best handmade This Is Us products to promote on your blog. The possibilities are endless when capitalizing on what's popular and trending.
Understand that trending topics can create some of your best blog posts, but the traffic declines almost as soon as it comes. You also want to consider the evergreen content that can do well on these platforms for that reason. You don't always want spurts of traffic. Create affiliate content that can be successful year-round too.
Affiliate marketing is a beast that you can always learn more about. Best practices for affiliate marketing change all the time, and all you can do is try to keep up with it all. I hope that you enjoyed today's article. Did you get some new food for thought? Are you running to create your first mini-course or create a product review? Let me know what your next affiliate marketing project will be in the comments below!
Do you want even more tips on affiliate marketing? Check out the guest post I recently did on This Girl Knows It for more affiliate marketing success tips.