Here at ShoutMeLoud, I am continually sharing ways in which you can earn money from your blog. One of the most effective ways is through affiliate marketing. In affiliate marketing, you choose a product related to your blog niche, create product awareness, and then when somebody buys a product using your affiliate link, you receive a referral commission from it. If you are a complete newcomer to affiliate marketing, here are some articles that will give you all the information you need to get started:
Here are a few affiliate products that you can get started with:
- Make Money with the Dreamhost Affiliate Program
- Join WPEngine Affiliate Program to Earn a Minimum of $200 per Sale
- How to Make Money with Amazon’s Affiliate Program
If you are already familiar with the information in the articles listed above, let’s get to work on some promotional tips for an affiliate program you may have joined.
*Note: There are other promotional networks such as PPC marketing and email marketing, but in this article I am sharing tips that I use on my own blog which help me to improve my affiliate conversion. At the conclusion of this article I will also be sharing one mistake which most of the affiliate marketers are making! Read on:
Affiliate marketing tips to promote affiliate products:
Nothing beats a killer review post about a product!
A review article introduces the product to your blog readers, and at the same time your opinion guides them to understanding why they should be buying it. Here are few things that you should always remember when writing a review post for your affiliate product:
- Reviews should be honest. Most of the time, people just focus on the good points about a product and fail to mention any downsides. An honest review should include both sides of the coins. Remember to also add product images, and give all the useful information you have to offer about the product.
- Write a review in a personal tone, as people are looking for a personal recommendation in review articles.
- Pick a product that you are more likely to use yourself.
- Take advantage of star-ratings in search engines to get more CTR for your review articles. You can use the Author Review plugin to add star-ratings on your blog posts. Your results in SERP’s will look like the image below:
Blog post promotion:
Another way to promote your affiliate income is by using affiliate links to your own blog post. When doing this, you should always write targeted-posts. For example, when you are writing about How to Select the Best Hosting for your WordPress Blog, you can add a line at the end saying: “I recommend this particular host for a WordPress blog:” (insert your affiliate link).
A DIY kind of article always works great for affiliate product promotion. If your product is technical or needs instructions to be used, you can write a tutorial guide for the product. Here are few examples, for better understanding:
- How to Use the EasyWPSEO WordPress Plugin
- How to Add Additional Domains to your Hostgator Host
Such tutorials are not only handy, but will also help you to improve your search engine ranking. “How To” articles always perform very well in search engines.
Use coupon codes:
Believe it or not, money-saving is always the biggest marketing incentive. Whenever a customer is buying a product and he sees a coupon box, he searches for “Product Name + coupon”, and with the resulting coupon code, you still receive a good commission for the sale.
Remember, your goal as an affiliate marketer is not just to share the coupon, but to make the customer click your affiliate link, else the sale will not count as yours’. (There are exceptions for certain affiliate programs where coupons are considered as sales.)
You can also consider writing a monthly blog post for coupon codes. (Example: Web Hosting Coupon Codes for September 2013), etc.
If you notice on various coupon sites, they will always ask you to “Click to view coupon”, “Click to go on the merchant site” and so on. The reason for this is to drop the cookie. Here is an image as a reference:
Use featured post:
Be it a review post or be it a coupon code post, your goal is to get more views on these posts. Apart from On-page SEO, you should give more visibility to such a post by placing it as a featured post. There is a handy feature in WordPress that allows you to stick any blog post on your blog’s homepage. Here is how you can do it:
In the “edit post” section, click on “Visibility” and put a check mark beside “Stick this post to the front page”. I have tried this with a few pillar posts at ShoutMeLoud, and it has really increased my reader base.
Use banners on the sidebar
When you are getting targeted organic traffic to your blog, banner advertisements work great. For me, a great part of the conversion comes from banner clicks. Prominent banner placement is a worthwhile task. One of the mistakes which many of us regularly make is to add too many banners, which only serves to confuse the reader. To avoid this problem, follow this one rule of thumb:
Never place banner ads for similar products on your sidebar: Banner ads work as a recommended product. With multiple similar products, you are confusing your readers in their decision of which product to buy. It is a good idea to place products that are related to a certain niche within that particular niche. For example, in a blog post about WordPress tips you can place a banner ad for: Themes, Plugins, Hosting, Services, etc.
If yours’ is a multi-niche blog, you should consider using the Adrotate plugin for your ad management. This plugin will help you to show ads based on category and geographical location. You can also run A/B testing of different banners.
Bonus Tip: Link out to the website directly, instead of to your review post. One of the biggest mistakes most affiliate marketers make is that they try to link to their review post or internal post. This is wrong because a product landing page is always optimized for higher conversion, and will obviously be better optimized than your own review post. In the past year I have started linking directly out to the product landing page instead of to my review post, and this has resulted in my conversions skyrocketing.
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Let me know if you have other tips that you follow on your blog to improve your own affiliate conversions.
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