While many bloggers may understand the importance of affiliate marketing, many don’t know how to scale it and actually make money from blogging or which opportunities there are for monetizing the website. Set yourself up with a holistic affiliate marketing strategy and you can earn a good living with your commissions.
What does affiliate marketing strategy mean to you?
You can take a few examples of successful websites that earn millions to motivate and inspire you. When it comes to your affiliate marketing strategy, you need to generate inbound traffic to your blog, apply for the highest paying affiliate programs, have the right affiliate tools and place your affiliate links in the most effective way.
The purpose of an affiliate marketing strategy is to monetise your website by sending targeted and high converting traffic to the products or services that you recommend, otherwise, your affiliate strategy will fail.
It’s not just about Amazon Associates and its products.
Affiliate Marketing Strategy vs Amazon Associates: what’s the difference?
Since Amazon changed its affiliate program’s income structure in 2020, a lot of affiliate marketers have been debating whether or not to leave the Amazon Associates programme.
Many people believe affiliate marketing rotates around Amazon Associates, but although Amazon is the biggest online store in the world, there are many other brands that offer very large commissions for products that convert really well.
Amazon Associates is the official Amazon affiliate program. It’s free to join and you can start earning money quickly by marketing your affiliate links across the Internet. You have a massive selection of goods that you can sell to your audience and it’s really easy to get started.
Affiliate Marketing Strategy
Affiliate strategies allow you to recommend brands with a purpose. It takes into account SEO, blogging, content distribution and lead generation. Most importantly, it allows you to focus your affiliate content on the targeted audience, as well as links to your email marketing efforts.
Affiliate marketing strategies save you the headache of coming up with ways to monetise your content and your blog.
You need to build an affiliate marketing strategy, not just apply to become an Amazon Associate
Your affiliate marketing strategy includes figuring out which products can give you the highest return on investment, how to market them properly and how to inspire your audience to buy them. This means you need to become a product expert, learn as much as possible about what you are selling, identify pros and cons as well as become extremely good at writing product reviews, identifying content gaps and studying your competition.
A recent survey by Awin reveals that content marketing for selling products as an affiliate grew by 175% in the last year, while content marketing costs 62% less than ads. This is why you need you own the affiliate marketing strategy by diversifying your promotional efforts to not just Amazon products, but also to SaaS (Software-As-a-Service), freelance websites, hosting tools, SEO tools, video editing and many more. These are all tools that Amazon doesn’t sell and yet offer a great commission structure.
Includes these elements in your strategy
While bloggers understand the potential of product and service reviews, those in-depth, targeted and expertly written reviews, some may find themselves in a tight spot when it comes to choosing which products to review.
This is because becoming an affiliate involves much more than writing a simple product review, and publishing it and sending it out. It needs to be valuable and you need to send your users down the funnel.Not to mention that your reviews need to rank on top 5 positions on search engines, to have some visibility.
Establishing a comprehensive affiliate marketing strategy will help you become authoritative, a source of great information, highly trusted by your audience and search engines alike. This translates into more leads and referral traffic that you can generate.
Truth is that affiliate marketing strategies include much more than product reviews for Amazon. Here is a list of what to include in your strategy:
- Product research: learn as much as you can about the product you are going to review. This includes trying them out yourself.
- Content clusters: it’s not enough to write 1 review, you need to open up to the topic and become highly authoritative around the whole topic you are reviewing. This helps in ranking better on search engines. For example, about SEO, I have more than 45 pages and articles indexed on Google.
- Types of promotions: consider which types of promotions you want to launch. Often merchants offer discounts so make sure you have an email database to send them to.
- SEO research: use keywords tools to find new products to promote and write content that can rank high.
- Call to action: depending on the content types, you may have several calls to action.
- Funnel stages: content can be written to serve different stages of the funnel, from awareness to decision.
- Joining networks: open up your opportunities to find new merchants promoting their products via networks.
- Payment methods: make sure you have the most common payment methods used by companies to compensate affiliates, such as PayPal, Payoneer or TransferWise.com
- Find the right products to sell: Amazon associates sell in very high volumes but the affiliate commissions are very low. You’d rather have products that offer high commissions and still sell in very high volumes.
- Channels: email marketing, paid ads, social media marketing, podcasts, SMS marketing are some of the successful strategies affiliates are using right now.
Types of affiliate marketing strategies
These are the 4 most popular affiliate marketing strategies you can create to monetise your blog.
1. Price comparison websites
How many times have you searched for this query “best credit cards” to see what offer is more convenient? Of course, you have landed on a price comparison website.
The same goes for flights from London to Rome, where a handful of comparison websites compete for your attention.
Now, these comparison websites are by far the most popular types of affiliate marketing, they should provide in-depth product comparisons to make users inclined to choose one.
My recommendation is to start building a comparison website, maybe you won’t become the next comparethemarket.com, but you can certainly be able to build a blog where you can review, compare and rank several products.
I recommend using a website builder tool to start building your commission earning machine. While many niches such as insurance, mortgage, travel, credit cards are saturated, there are many other niches that are untapped.
You can stick your affiliate links within the product description to make sure every sale is tracked back to you.
2. Software comparison websites
B2B marketers, HR pros, CEOs and CMOs, basically everyone who works within a company and needs software, will go to the website that will recommend you the best software.
A few examples that are very popular are g2.com, where you can compare the best business software and services based on user ratings and social data. Reviews for CRM, ERP, HR, CAD, PDM and Marketing software.
This particular website relies heavily on users’ reviews from people with verified social media accounts that have used the software and published a review on G2.
For these types of products, price is not really the differentiator. What makes the difference is whether the software is actually solving customers’ pain points and that the information is visualised and summarized clearly.
3. Simple blog with product reviews
The most common website, and also the easiest to build, is the product review with an affiliate link, within a blog. Many bloggers monetize their websites this way. Just because it’s the easiest way doesn’t mean I recommend it, because this method is very difficult to actually monetize unless you have a large audience.
A great review, however, goes a long way. It’s the primary and most used form of monetisation because it leverages one of the 6 persuasion techniques, which is social proof. We humans like to be given direction when we are undecided and we often look at what others have said about a product or service.
A great review is one that is clear in its intent, offers concise opinions of what is being offered, and comes at a compelling advantage. You need to make sure that you are reviewing something based on your own experience, provide a concise summary of pros and cons to show potential customers why they should buy this product.
Hard work will pay off at the end
Success doesn’t come overnight in affiliate marketing.
It takes time to build a following and establish yourself as the expert in product reviews, price comparisons and software comparisons.
You need to keep working on building your content, your topic clusters and your audience.
Being successful as an Affiliate Marketer takes a lot of trial and error.
You will face a lot of failures, as well as cash cows. You’ll discover that some products will generate more cash than others and become your cash cow. Then you want to expand and promote more of those in the same product category.
Then you start earning money with affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing Guide Content
- How to become an affiliate marketer– the complete guide that includes also Amazon Associates
- 41 Best affiliate programs reviewed and compared, then broke down into niches: hosting, VPN, cloud storage, SEO, landing page and many more.
- 13 Best toolsfor tracking affiliate marketing sales – reviewed and compared
- Affiliate Marketing Strategy – why your strategy is more than just Amazon Associates
- Case Study + Guide: how to monetize a blog with affiliate SEO
- How to become a Fiverr Affiliate – a complete guide
- New places where to advertise your affiliate links
- 14 affiliate websites examplesto inspire you and motivate you
- Case study: example of a software review that ranks on page 1 on Google within 3 weeks of publication
- Seven affiliate marketing metrics that you actually need plus a dashboard template included for free (no email required).
- How to build a product comparison website.