Bloggers: Increase Your Affiliate Earnings With Longform Content
I kept hearing the phrase “super affiliate” and was intrigued. I figured it meant the “top” affiliates for a company or something, but a super affiliate is defined as someone who takes affiliate marketing seriously. Ya know, the folks who make a living with it. Are you a super affiliate yet? If not, let's get there together!
What can bloggers do to increase their affiliate marketing earnings?
Perhaps you've hit the $100 a month or even $1,000 a month mark with affiliates. That's great, but is it enough? Not for me! Let's explore how you can make more money from your affiliate marketing efforts – without being scammy or spammy. Affiliate marketing is an awesome way for bloggers to potentially make thousands of dollars per month, by simply writing content. Easier said than done, of course – it has to be gooood content – but it's possible. I make a few thousand bucks a month from just two affiliates on one blog! For me, it's all about the longform content.
There are many schools of thought on affiliate marketing, so I'm here to share mine. If you have other tips, please share them in the comments below! 🙂
First thing's first, are you set up? Do you have the longform content written? If not, that's where you're going to start! Your content should be based around an affiliate product or service that solves a problem your readers are having. I use Jasper (aff link) to figure out how to word things, because I'm terrible at selling and creating sales copy. Jarvis creates sales copy for me and helps me improve my blog posts, ensuring I keep everything simple enough for my readers to understand without too much effort. Ya gotta keep it simple or they will just click the “X”!
Choose affiliates wisely.
Affiliate marketing should not be a “cast a wide net” type of effort. It is very targeted: define your target market and deliver products and services to those specific individuals.
Defining a target market is an essential task in building up your affiliate income. So, if you are unsure of who to offer products for, how will you decide which ones would be most beneficial? Keep it simple and specific, like “newly divorced women” or “solo female travelers”.
It's important to know your target market well if you're going to be successful as an affiliate marketer. Sit down with pen and paper or a Google Doc and think about what these people need, what they consume regularly, and what they want when they have extra money.
Make sure the affiliate programs that you select are really relevant to your niche to keep the credibility of your site and entice your readers into purchasing the products they need.
Longform content and affiliate marketing
I use longform content as the main source of my affiliate marketing efforts because I hate social media and I hate typing emails LOL. If you love emails, build up your list and use it as a large part of your affiliate marketing plan. The key is to do what you enjoy, so it doesn't seem like work. I truly love writing 1,000-2,000+ word posts, so that's where I focus my efforts.
Here are a few examples of longform affiliate posts that are performing well:
Whatever you like to write about, whatever your readers like to read about, start there. If you struggle to come up with 1,000+ words, use Google! I teach the “alphabet soup” method in my writing course, because it's super effective. Simply head over to Google to ask questions your readers may have while reading your article.
Using the examples above, the noom article has a meal plan because that's one of the #1 search requests alongside the keyword “noom”. So anyone looking for a meal plan will find it, see the trial offer, and many will sign up for the program.
How can you make your affiliate posts go above and beyond? A meal plan definitely does that! You can use it as an opt-in and nurture that segment of your list with longform content about the affiliate, or you can leave it directly on the blog and see how many people sign up that way. The noom post has no opt-in, but would definitely increase earnings if it had an opt-in and it led to a nurturing automation series.
Do product reviews still work?
Another way many people make money with affiliate marketing is by writing product reviews. Do they still work? Yes and no. Product reviews work, but not in the old school way most of us are used to. Long gone are the days of getting a $25 product in the mail, writing a 300 word blog post about it, and calling it a day. When I do a product review, I buy the product myself (unless it's $100+), and I write a 1,000+ word blog post.
Using the same affiliate example as above, noom, you can see a product review type post here: I tried noom for 30 days and this is what happened. In this post, Kevin outlines his experience with trying noom. This is powerful! If you show your readers you tried the product and love it, they're going to be more likely to purchase it.
One of my coaching clients writes about blogging. For her niche, she can write a lengthy review on each blog host she recommends, and then do a roundup of the pros/cons of each in one post so her readers can see everything at a glance. Interlinking the posts as well as having several long posts on the same topic will help with SEO, which increases traffic, which increases your affiliate income!
Another client writes about mental health. I've found great success with journaling along my mental health journey, so I would recommend journal-based products for her readers. This can be in many forms. I would start with a blog post about “how journaling has helped my mental health” or something similar. You can even grab this journaling PLR to get started.
If you want to make more money from product reviews, write honest and thoughtful critiques of products. Honesty is necessary, as it creates trust with your readers. If a product has any issues, be sure to mention that in the review so that customers know you are honoring their time and efforts by providing thorough criticism. If you aren't honest with your readers, they may buy that one thing, but that's it. You want repeat customers, right?!
My top affiliate products are ones I wrote critical reviews of. I told the pros, the cons, and dug into everything I loved and didn't love. Honesty is what gets your readers to know, like, and trust you. Be transparent and don't ever say something is awesome just to make a buck (I'm lookin' at you, BlueHost promoters).
PRO TIP! Be sure to keep it visual: use bullet points, graphics and screenshots, and even do a short video if possible. Keep your readers engaged long enough for them to make an informed decision and purchase the product you're recommending.
Where should I put affiliate links?
Finding the correct placement for affiliate links is critical. Affiliate banners in the sidebar don’t usually work as well as providing informative content based around the affiliate. However, you can create an affiliate banner and put it inside of your product review post or any related posts as a reusable block. These banners will naturally flow with the rest of your content and usually convert well for me. I remove other ads from these posts, though. You don't want to overload your readers.
You can write a high-quality article about the journey you're on with hair growth. In that article, link out to resources (affiliate links) which will help others grow their hair faster. Instead of sprinkling affiliate links in after the fact, plan your entire piece of content around the problem that the affiliate product or service will help solve.
The best affiliate marketing tip I can give you is to make sure you're promoting products you believe in. I get emails all day long from people promoting my website here and I am SO THANKFUL! I always make sure my products are the best, so YOU can feel confident promoting them.
More affiliate marketing tips
Check the cookies! It is not always possible, but if you can find affiliate programs with a lifetime cookie, or one that offers lifetime customers, that's great! This means the customer you refer will always be tracked in their system and even if they didn’t buy the product right away, you would still get paid for sending them to the store at a later time.
Redirect your affiliate links through your own domain. There are many benefits to redirecting your affiliate links. If a program changes their links it’s easy to go back and change your links. I highly recommend PrettyLink. If you don't have PrettyLink yet, hit REPLY to one of my weekly emails! I will install it for you for $25.
Develop a plan for your affiliate marketing. Every business needs to have objectives and metrics in place to measure success, but this is especially important with affiliate marketing techniques. I failed miserably at this for many years! I've always been great with affiliate marketing, and getting sales – but tracking? Fugghetaboutit.
Don’t give up too soon!
Affiliate marketing is a business that builds up over time. You need to focus on developing your web traffic and email lists while you continue to faithfully offer your market what it wants and needs. As the months go by if you’re applying all the correct methods, your income will increase.
I always tell my blogging students: what you are working on today will pay your bills next year. So maybe your affiliate post doesn't take off right away, but you pay attention to it throughout the next few months, make tweaks where needed, and it gains the traction needed to make you lots of money next year.
Always remember to provide quality content and information while making product recommendations. As your business grows, you’ll find other tips and strategies which work best for you and you can start experimenting a little more. By following the tips and advice in this post, you’ll be ahead of the game and on your way to becoming a super affiliate in no time! 😉