When I made the big, bold decision to make money online, affiliate marketing was the obvious and most attractive solution for me. No inventory, no selling, no boss, no customer service — oh, yeah, I was “all in”!
Just get people to click my affiliate links and I was gonna be rich!
Anyone else suffer from that illusion when you first started?
It makes me cringe when I think back to that time, but hey, it did sound that easy.
But it wasn’t that easy.
I ran into two main problems:
- I had no clue how to make a web page, and
- I knew nothing about marketing.
I am a self-taught online marketer. I learned everything I know in the trenches and let me tell you, it’s been a brutal process. Like me, there are many one-man and one-woman shows out there who are learning the same way I did — and I admire them all.
The internet offers everyone an opportunity to make extra money, replace their full-time income, or succeed beyond their wildest dreams — but it’s not an overnight miracle type of thing.
We have to learn, and try, and do, and break things — and that is exactly the process I went through as I started my journey into affiliate marketing.
Making Blenders Un-Boring
The first big stumbling block is when you try to start writing content that will include your affiliate links.
What the heck do you type about these products? Say, for example, you’re wanting to offer blenders from Amazon.com as an affiliate. What the heck do you say about a blender??
Blenders = B-O-R-I-N-G, right?
Funny thing is, while blenders might be boring to you, those that read your page have blenders at the top of their list of Things to Buy — meaning, it’s not boring to them.
However, you can bore your readers off your page. Many affiliate marketers will just rephrase information about the product that they find on the Amazon product page and put that on their web page.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is boring. It also makes us an “unnecessary step in the sales funnel“. Why would Google show your page, which just repeats what is already on the Amazon page? Google disregarding your site is another can of worms that it is best to avoid.
So What CAN You Write That Will Please Your Readers And Google?
1. Analyze Reviews
In the reviews area on an Amazon page, there is a gold mine of information about that product from real consumers. Many times, just scanning through the reviews pops an idea into my head that I can run with. Other times, I see a recurring issue/concern with the product that needs to be mentioned and expanded on.
Do not overlook the reviews for content ideas and topics worth covering.
2. Dig Into Forums
On my blog, I give away a guide I wrote called The Mind Eraser Method. This method utilizes Google and forums and, by using this method, you can find a wealth of information, consumer opinions and concerns, and content ideas for your affiliate page.
Forums are made up of real people having real conversations. Dig for this info. It will make your page better and, most importantly, very helpful for your readers.
3. Make the new familiar and the familiar new
I watched a great TED Talk with Rory Sutherland (vice chairman of Ogilvy Group) some time ago. Sutherland is an amazing and insightful advertising genius and I love hearing his talks.
In his talk (you can read the transcript here), Mr Sutherland compares advertising to poetry and says:
“Poetry is when you make new things familiar and familiar things new. Which isn’t a bad definition of what our job is, to help people appreciate what is unfamiliar, but also to gain a greater appreciation, and place a far higher value on those things which are already existing.”
Hearing that sent a lightning bolt through me. That is exactly what we, as affiliate marketers, should be doing!
People will come to your web page that have no real knowledge of the particular product you are promoting. You can (and should) use your content to introduce them to your product. In other words, make the new familiar.
Video overviews are great for this as they show the product in action and said product becomes familiar to your readers.
There will be other people who come to your web page that already know about your product, but are looking for more information and insight before making a purchase. These people do not want to read the same things they have already read all over the internet.
Give them something new about the product. A new angle, a new benefit, and/or a new way of using it. Share something new about a product they are already familiar with.
Don’t Sell, Qualify
Remember, as affiliate marketers, our job is not to sell — the sales pages are designed to convert the sales. Our job is to help the reader know what they want, so they want it when they get to the sales page.
Affiliate links do not help the reader. “CLICK HERE!!” plastered all over your web page does not help the reader. Copy/pasted product features do not help your readers, either.
By helping your reader and not being an unnecessary step in the sales funnel, you will find more sales in your affiliate account.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.