Write Quality Content for Affiliate Marketing Sites - Wordable

How to Write Quality Content for Affiliate Marketing Sites

Running an affiliate marketing blog can be a great way to earn income, either as a side-hustle or a full-on career.

Just look at the results below of a poll on how much affiliate marketers make off their blogs per year.

affise how much can you earn from affiliate marketing poll results

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Whether you’ll be part of 18% who makes $20k a year or less, or the 11% who are making a million, depends on your time commitment and your industry. You make bigger commissions in affiliate programs for loans than you do if you’re an affiliate for gardening supplies.

What doesn’t change is the importance of the content you produce.

Bad content can, through a mix of aggressive backlink campaigns and paid digital marketing strategies, rise to the top for a short period – but good content always wins out.

In this post, we’re going to give you six highly effective strategies to help you write content for affiliate sites that will rank in Google and convert readers into buyers.

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1. Pick a Topic You’re Passionate About

Another version of this advice is: write what you know. But we don’t think you have to limit your affiliate marketing to focus only on what you know. You can write towards what you know or you can start an affiliate blog about what you want to know.

But just a piece of advice: the undeniable truth is that successful affiliate marketing requires a significant amount of content and time.

It’s recommended you post anywhere from 3-5 blog posts a week if you want to grow your organic traffic.

how often should you blog by hubspot

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Add that to the fact that most affiliate marketers don’t see a sale until 3-6 months into their strategy, and you can see how you might publish 120 long-form blog posts before you make a dime.

So, if you’re going to be writing most of the content yourself, it’s easier and more efficient to pick a topic you’re ready to invest hundreds of hours into.

Plus, when it comes to affiliate marketing, we’re talking about YMYL (your money/your life) content – that’s where you’re asking readers to trust you in either giving them advice on how to live their life (health and wellness blogs, for example) or how to spend their money (all affiliate blogs).

It’s easier to recommend something you actually have an interest in. You get a steady affiliate income by having your readers buy what you’re recommending. This requires trust, which requires expertise. Readers pick up on that expertise and start to trust you more. One great example is this website for parenting LittleLittleSteps started by experienced stay-at-home moms that share their experience in parenting and are very passionate about what they are doing.

SEOs and content writers understand this need, which is why there is a significant push to showcase expertise, authority, and trust (EAT) across your affiliate site.

One of the ways we can gain a reader’s trust is to be incredibly knowledgeable about what we’re writing. It’s hard to do that if you pick a topic you know nothing about and a topic that you don’t care about.

Pro-Tip: If you’re new to producing affiliate marketing content and don’t have a lot of time, consider covering a niche topic. Niche topics are hyper-focused topics – like the best iPhone cases – that only require a dozen or so blog posts.

2. Every Post Should Answer at Least one Question the Reader has

Every piece of content on your affiliate site should answer a question.

If you’re having a hard time understanding what the question is, focus on your keyword/topic.

If your keyword/topic is the “best vacuums for small apartments,” the question is: What are the best vacuums for a small apartment?

This may sound trivial and basic, but the truth is plenty of content struggles to adequately answer the question.

A bad example of an intro for a piece about the best vacuums for small apartments might go like this:

You want a good vacuum because a vacuum with lots of suction will keep your carpets and floors clean. Plus, by keeping your floors clean, you can reduce allergies and sleep better at night.

Sure, maybe that’s true, but what does that have to do with vacuuming a small apartment?

Remember: the reader got your page by clicking on either an ad, link, or an organic search result. This means they took action to go to your page because they wanted to learn more about something.

Right now that intro is asking the question of why anyone vacuums at all, which is a completely different topic.

Let’s try that intro again:

The best vacuums for small apartments are super portable. Plus, they’ll come with a wide range of accessories that allow you to adapt to multiple cleaning surfaces.

Notice how that’s a whole lot closer to what the user is actually asking.

This isn’t as simple as you think, so here are some pointers.

How to make sure you’re answering your readers’ questions.

Conduct SERP research to see what other affiliate marketing sites are covering.

SERP stands for search engine results page. It’s what pops up when you Google a question or phrase.

Google takes your query and returns (as best as it can) relevant pages, ads, and images to try and give what you want.

When you’re writing content for an affiliate, it’s critical that you understand the SERP for each post.

Is your post covering – at the bare minimum – the topics being covered by similar posts within Google’s search engine results?

You can look to the People also ask section in Google for ideas:

people also ask section on Google Search

You can see that people are also asking about handheld vacuums and where to store their vacuums. So, it might be a good idea (read: it is definitely a good idea) to cover those two topics in your post.

You can also scroll down to the bottom of the search results page for related searches:

google related searches results

By looking at this, you can see it’d be beneficial to cover cordless vacuums, plus Shark and Dyson vacuums.

Another way to check if your post is answering your readers’ questions is to look at your affiliate site’s analytics.

  • Check Google Analytics to look at the average on-time metric. This shows you how long someone generally stays on your page. If this is really low (under a minute), that shows you they get to your page and leave quickly – perhaps because they don’t think your post can help them.
  • Check your affiliate commissions. Once your page starts getting traffic, check to see if you’re converting. If not, it’s possible that you’re not providing the kind of content your reader is looking for.

Finally, read other customer reviews.

Chances are if you’re looking up how to write content for affiliate sites, you’re an Amazon affiliate member. The Amazon affiliate network is one of the biggest affiliate networks.

And for good reason. Who doesn’t use Amazon for something? But more than just a place to buy products, Amazon can be a great place to research products.

Thanks to its active user base, Amazon is home to a plethora of user-generated reviews about all kinds of products. This means you can research by category (even if the affiliate product you’re recommending isn’t on Amazon) and see what customers are looking for.

3. Create the Structure of Your Article to be Reader-Friendly

Article structure is critical. It guides your post and your readers.

A good content structure helps keep your reader engaged. When someone is googling “the best blenders for smoothies” they aren’t generally looking for an academic paper or an op-ed.

That’s a bottom of the funnel, high-intent to act keyword. In short, they want to spend their money to solve a problem.

You want to create a structure that works with the reader’s intent.

Let’s look at a post from a mattress affiliate site.

mattress affiliate brands

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The H2 on the page – Best Mattress Brands of 2020 – re-affirms our search intent. And then, in an organized comparison table we get brands with short descriptions.

The content writers of this post understand that we’re looking for a mattress, so they don’t waste time explaining why we need a new mattress. Instead, they jump right into the features of each brand.

4. Make the Content Relevant to Other Posts on Your Blog

You want your content to exist within your archives as something relevant and supplemental. This is significant for two reasons.

  • You want to show Google (and your readers) that you have a long history of writing about this topic and adjacent-topics.
  • You want to have an internal link strategy.

If you’re writing an affiliate site about coffee, then it follows that your content strategy will be mostly about writing blog posts related to the world of coffee.

The good news is there are more topics than you think – and the more research you do, the more you’ll see this is true.

You can write about different types of coffee beans, where the best coffee beans come from, how to store coffee beans, how to grind coffee beans (which can lead to you writing about the best coffee bean grinders), and so on.

After you have 30+ posts, you can really start to utilize internal linking. Internal linking is linking from one post to another.

If you wrote a post about the best espresso machines, you could most likely from that post to your post about how to make a latte (which you need an espresso machine to do).

Why is this important?

It creates structure, it has SEO value, and it keeps the reader on your site.

5. Write in a Way that Boosts your Credibility

Affiliate marketing requires that you write about another product or service. It isn’t your own service, it isn’t your own company. You’re writing a product review to get an affiliate sale.

Why does this matter?

Because writing content for affiliate sites requires that you reference other sources of content. You can’t just write your own thoughts down. Or, you can, but it won’t be seen as credible.

Who cares what one person thinks of a drip coffee machine?

If you’re going to tell me the best mattress of 2020 is a memory foam mattress that helps side sleepers, I am going to want to know how you know that.

There are a few ways to do this, but let’s focus on the two most important.

1. External link to highly-credible sites.

Where you link out to matters. It matters not just to your reader, but to Google. Just like how links to your site boost your credibility, where you chose to link also affects your credibility.

Sites with outbound links to high-authority pages perform better, overall, than their counterparts who don’t use outbound links.

What does this all mean? Simply put, within your industry there are experts and there are amateurs. When you link to another site, do your best to link to experts, whether that means medical professionals or peer reviewed articles.

2. Have a review process outlined and stick to it.

How did you come to make your list of the best coffee grinders of 2020?

Did you try each out, filming the results? Did you rate them by noise, ease of use, cost, or how simple it was to clean them?

Did you instead read hundreds of reviews across multiple sites, collect warranty information, and find the lowest price?

These qualifiers matter.

By telling your readers how you selected a product, you gain their trust.

6. Write Towards Your Goal

Sometimes we see writers who are afraid of being too pushy go so far the other way that they aren’t selling anything.

This could be because they’re amateur writers who can’t tell the difference between overly-salesy and being helpful, or it could be they don’t have faith in the affiliate product they’re recommending.

Both are signs of a bad affiliate site.

Good affiliate marketing sites give readers ample reasons to buy.

helix mattress price

Plus, a smart affiliate marketer puts an affiliate link in a clickable CTA.

When someone clicks on a blog post that is called “golf club sets for beginners” they’re looking to make a purchase.

If you picked a topic you’re passionate about and outlined your review process, don’t undermine your hard work by not writing towards your goal.

You want your readers to make a purchase based off your copy. You don’t want to lie to get there. Don’t forget returns come out of your affiliate commission. Plus, you don’t want to get a reputation as a bad affiliate blog. But you still want your readers to convert.

When looking at your blog posts, ask yourself: is there a clear journey from header to intro to a CTA that takes my reader to the product that works best for them?

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this post on how to write content for affiliate sites that will rank and convert.

Affiliate marketing is a huge industry that’s going to keep on growing. In fact, it’s expected to hit 6.8 billion in 2020.

And while certain strategies are likely to change – such as where exactly your CTA box will get the most clicks – what doesn’t change is the basic function of an affiliate site. The same with the best practices of content marketing – drive value, know your target audience, and understand the competition.

An affiliate site works best when blog writers with a passion to write value-driven product reviews. The more an affiliate marketer focuses on helping their customers make a decision, the better the outcome for everyone.

Writing affiliate content is labor-intensive. Publishing it on WordPress doesn’t have to be. Try our exporting tool for free and see how much time you save each week.

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