So here it is… The moment you writers have been waiting for. You’ve created an awesome niche, designed a beautiful website, filled it with search engine optimized copy and content.
Traffic to your blog is booming. Your audience trusts you since you’ve offered them so much amazing content for free. Now, it’s time to monetize your site and start raking in the passive income.
In other words, you’ve put in all the effort up front and you’re ready to capitalize on it. If you’ve followed the steps I outlined in this series, you have the opportunity to capitalize off a $12 billion industry.
Ready to start making passive income with affiliate links on your blog? Keep reading and I’ll show you how.
The Structure of an Affiliate Blog Post
Your goal as an affiliate marketer isn’t to make a sale. It’s to give your readers high quality information about a product to help them make an informed decision.
Just like we learned last week, no one’s going to use your affiliate link if they don’t trust your opinion.
How do you get them to trust you? Stay consistent, be honest and transparent, and only write about products you love.
That, and tell your readers that you get their problems and have what they need to solve them. How? By creating the perfect title, introduction, body, and conclusion.
Your first chance to convert the sale is with your title.
If you’ve optimized your site and your blog posts, new readers will find you through Google. The very first thing they see is your title and this is the make or break moment.
Use the template method for an attention-grabbing title every time. Just make sure your title and the content in your post are related to avoid being a click-baiter.
AIDA. Know it, love it, use it in all your blog posts. This is the formula you need to use to create an award-winning introduction.
And a good introduction in your content is extremely important for affiliate marketers.
When a new reader stops by your page, you only have a few seconds to show them that you understand what they need and have the solution to all their problems.
You do that with the AIDA formula.
A – Attention
Do grab your reader’s attention with something controversial or give them a statistic that seems unbelievable. Do try to include a link to something that proves the statistic or goes in depth about the controversial topic.
But don’t be fluffy and definitely don’t be offensive. Also, don’t say something that is in no way relevant to the rest of you content.
I – Interest
Do cultivate interest by connecting your controversial or unbelievable statement with the main topic of your content.
Don’t forget that a reader who found you through search engines is probably already interested in your affiliate product or else they wouldn’t have clicked on your title.
D – Desire
Do speak to your reader’s desire. Do get into their heads and try to understand why they clicked on your article. Do consider their time, money, and troubles to keep ’em reading.
But don’t make it obvious what you’re doing. And definitely don’t plug your affiliate link by telling your audience they can save money on the product you’re reviewing if they use your link (this comes later).
A – Action
Do include a mini call to action and compel them to read the rest of your article.
Don’t try to use this CTA as your affiliate link because you need to inform your reader about the product before you direct them to buy it.
The product you promote should be related to the blog topic you’re writing about.
In my opinion, the best way to do this is through review content. Reviews are an excellent way to convert affiliate sales for one reason: people often don’t know exactly what they want until someone tells them about it.
A Hubspot review found that 1/3 of the consumers polled said product reviews were extremely important when deciding what to purchase.
Vendors publish reviews and star ratings for this very reason. Social proof that a product is legitimate and actually does what it says it will convert sales every time.
Another powerful way to use affiliate links in reviews is to compare the same type of product but from multiple vendors. That way, you’re almost guarunteed to make a sale since you’re including a product for different readers’ needs.
Remember when I told you not to plug your affiliate discount in the introduction? That’s because you should only talk about your affiliate link in the conclusion or in the body.
I recommend waiting to talk about your affiliate link until the CTA of your conclusion. Many affiliate links include a discount for readers, which is a great way to be transparent.
Even if you don’t offer a discount, don’t forget to let your readers know that they’re clicking on affiliate links. This can be as simple as including a statement at the bottom of the post that mentions your use of affiliate links.
How to Use Affiliate Links in Your Content
An affiliate link should never be located in the introduction of your post. Instead, you should incorporated links either in the body or the conclusion of your content.
As long as you follow this rule and are always honest about using affiliate links in your blog posts, you’ll start earning passive income off your affiliate links in no time.
Here are two more things to consider when using affiliate links in your blog content: the kind of link readers like to see and the number of links you should use per post.
Naked vs Anchored Links
Naked links are those you post directly in your content. Anchored links are those you hyperlink with a related phrase AKA the anchor text.
When including affiliate links in your blog posts, I recommend always using the latter. Anchored links are a lot more appealing to the eye than long, ugly naked links.
When using anchored links, try to use 2-5 words as the anchor text. These words or phrase should be related to the product you’re linking to.
For example, if you’re reviewing an eBook about being a freelance writer, you could use the phrase “best freelance writing eBook” or simple the title of the eBook.
You can also anchor the link to an image or an image’s caption.
Link density is the number of affiliate links you have on your website. It can also be used to talk about how many affiliate links you use per blog post. Both of these densitities should be low.
Here are some tips about link density on your website:
- Only using affiliate links in your blog posts
- Don’t use affiliate banners to avoid being spammy
- Always remember that Google will penalize your site for having too many affiliate links
Next week we’ll talk about other places to use affiliate linkage to improve CTR. But all of these methods are off-site, meaning they don’t contribute to your website’s link density.
Here are some tips about link density in your blog posts:
- Only include one affiliate link per 1000 words
- If you do have more than one affiliate link per post, make sure the products you’re linking to have something in common
- Not every blog post you write should include an affiliate link
The one time I think it’s appropriate to use more than one link per 1000 words is if you’re reviewing multiple products in one post. But even then, it’s best to only link a few of those products– the ones you’ve actually tried out or own already.
Next Week: How to Improve Click Through Rate (CTR)
So there you have it, writers! You’re finally ready to start earning passive income off your blog with affiliate links.
But don’t tune out just yet! Next week we’re talking all about click through rate and how to improve it.
This will include a section on using affiliate links in:
- email marketing content
- newsletter content
- social media content
Until then, happy writing!