When done efficiently, affiliate marketing is an excellent way to generate passive income for your business. If you’re already regularly publishing a blog, whether as an individual or on behalf of your business, making a few small adaptations for affiliate marketing will allow you to use the content you’re already creating to make additional income.
But it does take some planning to be an effective income strategy.
At KissPR, building SEO-friendly content that also genuinely appeals to readers is part of the storytelling strategy that we use to earn customers for our clients. In this article, we explain the basic steps of getting set up for affiliate marketing so that you can make money while you sleep.
Affiliate marketing is an alternative to traditional advertising where you partner with companies by promoting their products to their audience, and in return, you receive a commission for sales or other specific actions made through your affiliate links.
For the affiliate (that’s you!), some benefits of affiliate marketing include:
Assuming your business already has a website, all you need is to make sure that it’s ready for blog posting. If you don’t have a website yet, no worries! Setting up a website today is straightforward, with a range of engines such as WordPress and Squarespace, or by consulting contractors that will hand design a website to your exact specifications and needs.
Optimize the audience you already have
Remember that your loyal customers are more likely to make purchases as per your recommendations than people coming in from internet searches who have never heard of your brand before. Don’t forget about your email list — you can harness it to notify existing readers of new blog posts.
Choosing the products that you want to promote so that you can plan your content accordingly will help the process along much smoother. Instead of scrambling to find a product that you don’t necessarily believe in or want to promote to your audience after your content is done, or churning out content solely for the purpose of promoting specific high-commission products, plan your content alongside what products you’re genuinely excited to share with your audience.
But how do you find affiliate products to promote?
Affiliate marketing isn’t exactly a new concept. It’s a well-established form of advertising that is used in just about every online niche and content form. There are now plenty of affiliate networks and programs that you can join. An affiliate network does the work of connecting with merchant businesses for you so that you can choose from a wide range of products to promote. While there are thousands of affiliate networks out there, here’s a few to get you started:
Remember, it is in your best interests to be honest with your audience and promote products that you genuinely believe in.
Again, if your business already has an active blog presence that is appealing to your audience and bringing in new audience members or potential clients, you probably already have this step covered; keep doing what you’re doing.
If not, creating blog content that reaches a target audience takes some time and practice to get the hang of. Not only do you need to write content that is appealing, useful, and interesting, you also need to make sure that your content is optimized for search engines such as Google so that potential audience members can actually find it. For help creating a content plan and getting started with your blog content, get in touch with a digital content expert.
But remember, it is more important to create content that builds loyalty among a smaller audience who are likely to follow your recommendations than to get a whole bunch of meaningless clicks and impressions. With affiliate marketing, you’re rewarded for the action taken by your audience, which often means that they have to actually buy something in order for you to receive a commission. It is therefore essential to prioritize quality over keyword or link stuffing in your blog content; in general, you should be sure that each piece of content gives the reader something educational or helpful. (Learn more about effective SEO.)
Generally, the best kinds of content for reaching a wide audience and bringing in new eyes is investigational content and informational content. Blog posts that explain how to do something or provide tips on a specific topic are more likely to be found by and appeal to a broader target audience than posts that explain the history or technical details of your field without embedding them in a usable context.
In your blog articles, as part of your content strategy as a whole, the ultimate goal is to build Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EAT — an easy acronym to remember, right?) with Google in order to appear in search results, but also with your audience so that they will trust your recommendations. To do so, you need to explain why you are uniquely qualified to answer the questions you’re answering or to provide the information you’re providing.
Once your content is ready, you can start adding affiliate links. Here are a few tips for adding your links:
Affiliate marketing disclosures
Because affiliate marketing is a form of sponsored content, you are legally required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to disclose that you are using affiliate links. Not only will doing so help avoid legal troubles further down the road, it also helps to build trust with your audience by showing that you are fully transparent with them.
It doesn’t need to be complicated; the FTC’s endorsement guides use a short, simple example of what an affiliate disclosure could look like: “I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.”
That’s all you need to say, but it’s also advisable to disclose that it doesn’t cost the customer anything extra to use your affiliate links, and that your review represents your honest opinion rather than paid promotion. Whatever you choose to say, make sure to place it in an easy-to-read location, and use clear, concise language.
Now you know the basics of affiliate marketing and what you need to do to get set up to make extra money through your blog platform. But optimizing your blog for SEO and conversion generation is no easy task, especially if you’re just getting started. Here at KissPR, we specialize in SEO-optimized storytelling to attract and retain loyal customers. For advice on how to get your blog started, guidance on what kind of content you should be publishing, or help writing and promoting content for your platform, book a free consultation.