Provide Value To Your Audience
You must earn your audience’s trust before they start making purchases you recommend. Part of earning their trust means always providing value.
Don’t promote products you don’t believe in just because there’s a nice affiliate reward. Readers will see through this and quickly walk away.
The following are four tips for always providing value for your readers.
Tip #1: Match Your Niche
Are you a fashion blogger? Affiliate links to beauty products, spa services, and idea books for makeup make sense. They fit nicely with your niche and wouldn’t seem out of place to your reader.
An affiliate link to a new computer? That connection isn’t as obvious. While there may be certain situations where it’s appropriate (like if you’re posting a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how you blog), your readers won’t connect the dots as easily. It will look like you’re just in it for the money.
Pick products your ideal reader will benefit from.
Tip #2: Don’t Just Link Drop
Stuffing your posts full of affiliate links isn’t a good strategy. It overwhelms your reader and cheapens their experience on your blog. Instead, have a purpose behind every link you include.
Are you talking about how you use a specific product each day? Go ahead and include the link. Are you comparing two products? Link to both of them.
For every affiliate link you use, make sure it ties into the content and makes sense.
Tip #3: Be Honest
No one wants to read a gushing, over-the-top review. There are pros and cons to everything, so many people don’t trust that perfect reviews are genuine. Honestly talk about the product. Share what you love, what you like, and what you wish were different. Or share who might really benefit from this product and who probably won’t.
This honesty helps your readers learn to value your opinion. It helps them learn to trust you. And if you gain their trust, you will earn a lot more from the products you recommend.
Tip #4: Know Your Readers
If you want to succeed as an affiliate marketer, you must know your audience. Understand their pain points. Then find products to solve them.
Also, know their budget. If you only recommend big ticket items because that’s how you earn the most, you might miss spending from frugal readers.
Back in chapter one, I covered creating your reader avatar. If you haven’t done it yet, find time to do it now. You must know who you are selling to, or you won’t sell anything.
Promote On Social Media
You can include affiliate links in your blog posts, but that’s not the only way to promote them. If you disclose, you can share your affiliate links on your social media channels. This includes both your business pages and your personal ones.
Just remember, no one likes the annoying salesperson. Don’t let your feeds get bogged down with affiliate links. Instead, include this type of link in your rotation to keep a variety going.
Here are two ideas for wording that don’t sound super salesy, and still offer some personal insight or value:
My kids love playing with Jenga blocks while I work. They’ve been building towers, making letters, and creating tunnels for their toy cars. While they play, I get some quiet minutes to knock out a blog post. Win-win! See if your kids love it as much as mine do [insert affiliate link, and disclose by stating this is an affiliate link or by using #afflink].
Throw a picture in to make it even more personable.
Are you thinking of starting a freelance writing career? This course by Gina Horkey was the best investment I made in my business! What do you have to lose? [Insertyour affiliate link and disclose.]
Make sure your content matches the platform. If you’re trying to use an affiliate link on Pinterest, make a pin that your readers will click on. On Twitter, use relevant hashtags. On Facebook, tag the company or brand.
And always, always, always disclose that it’s an affiliate link.
Promote To Your Email List
You can include affiliate links in the emails you send your subscribers. Well, usually. There are exceptions.
Including Amazon affiliate links in your email violates their terms of service. This includes sending out your blog post via RSS feed to your readers. If your readers can click on an affiliate link from your email and wind up on Amazon, you are in violation and risk losing your account.
Other companies may have similar policies. The fine print is important. Ignorance is no excuse. Take time to learn how you can promote your links.
As long as email marketing is permitted, you can include a properly disclosed link or two in your regularly scheduled newsletters.
Just don’t let affiliate links take over your emails. No one wants to read that, and your unsubscribe rate will spike.
Promote Using Video
Another idea is to create a video review of the product and include your affiliate link in the comments.
Are you doing a Facebook Live? If you talk about a product in it, include your link in the comments there, too. Remember to disclose.
Video content is shared more frequently; it’s a great way to bring more viewers to your content.
Promote Within Your Products
Are you creating an eBook or a course? If an affiliate product is a good match, include the link.
Of course, you must check the terms and conditions again. This wouldn’t work for Amazon links. That’s because you can’t include Amazon links anywhere but on social media and on your website.
Including links in your products will work for many other affiliate programs. As before, read the fine print so you know what’s allowed.
And you can always link to a resource page on your blog, which then provides the Amazon affiliate links for your readers. This is a workaround that many bloggers use.
Even if you aren’t creating a product, a resource page is another way to promote affiliate links on your blog.