Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to monetize online content.
In Skimlinks’ network alone, there are 48,500 publishers – including over half of the Top 100 US & UK publishers by revenue (Conde Nast, Hearst, BuzzFeed, MailOnline, HuffPost etc.) – that use affiliate as the starting point for a new revenue stream and an alternative to advertising.
Affiliate marketing helps publishers get rewarded for the role they play in shopping journeys. If a publisher adds an affiliate link to a merchant in their content, they’ll receive a commission for every sale driven to that merchant as a direct result of someone clicking on the affiliate link. Publishers can add as many affiliate links to an article as they like, but they will need to build each individual link manually which can be time consuming.
However, if they work with Skimlinks, they can automatically convert every link to a merchant on their website into an affiliate link and begin earning commissions when their content drives a sale.
Affiliate is pretty simple and can be very successful if you start in the right way. So based on our experience with thousands of publishers, this post is here to help beginners get started and monetize their content.
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1. Start with what you do best
The publishers that best monetize their content make millions. But that didn’t happen overnight and the publishers didn’t start by trying to write about every product under the sun. Instead the best way to get started is to write about specific products that you know about.
Think about your editorial content, the topics and trends you already write about, and how you can find products that are relevant for those. If you believe in the products you write about and they’re connected to editorial content you already create it will make it far easier to monetize.
Once you’ve established the core products you want to write about, begin producing content and started to make money from it, then you can start thinking about an expansion plan for the things you want to write about.
2. Write Valuable Content
The name of the game online today is adding value to people’s lives. Add value and they’ll come back for more time and time again. So when you think about affiliate marketing and how you can monetize that content, that means making sure any content you create is quality and can add value to your readers’ lives.
To start work out what makes your content different. You need to know what your unique selling point for readers’ is and why they would come to your content over anyone else’s. Look at your engagement statistics, understand the content that is read more than others, and start to repeat that format.
Then you can turn it into commerce content. In the first place it needs to be quality content and second of all, to make it commerce content, you have to engineer the content so that you help people start a purchase journey.
So whenever you mention a product or a brand, add outbound links to where people can find them. Language is important to, the difference in conversions between the phrases “click here” and “buy here” is 60% in the latter’s favour. You can also compare prices adding in similar products at a range of price points, to cater for readers’ of all budgets.
Essentially your content’s value needs to be twofold: valuable content that educates people about the considered purchases they’re making and valuable content, in the sense of making a purchase as a result of reading the article really straightforward.
3. Share The Content Everywhere
When you start with content it is really important to think about SEO and how you can make your commerce content rank well in search engine results. 40% of large publishers revenue on Skimlinks comes from article more than 60 days old. When you start our producing very specific content, you can use very specific keywords, which is exactly what search engines look for when they’re deciding how prominently to rank content in search results. Theme posts around these special keywords and you should see your organic traffic begin to pick up as your most become indexed, and people discover them.
You can go beyond SEO too.
Some of the most successful content in our network is repurposed for email, social media and other channels to enable publishers to share their expertise as widely as possible. If you’re an expert in your area, it only makes sense people will want to discover your content, get advice on purchases they’re making and act upon them in a channel of their choice. So think about how you can generate interest in your content from other avenues than search alone.
4. Keep trust front of mind
Trust is key to affiliate success.
Readers need to trust you’re making genuine recommendations about what they should buy and are savvy enough to tell when you’ve sold them up the river.
So when you write commerce content keep a few things in mind:
Think about whether you would genuinely buy the item
Consider if you like the brand and its products
And in an ideal world, make sure you’ve tested the product and know it’ll be perfect for what your readers are looking for
When you believe in a product or brand readers’ can tell because your enthusiasm will be palpable in your writing. The better the quality of your recommendations, the sooner readers will come to trust you as a place to learn about products they want to buy, and begin buying based on your recommendations.
5. Become data-driven
Once you’ve started using affiliate marketing to make money, you’ll start to generate data which you can use to inform your affiliate strategy and help you make more money.
As mentioned merchants will pay publishers a certain commission when they’re directly responsible for driving a sale. So when you look for merchants to write about, or products you want to review, keep in mind what commission rate they pay. The better the rate, the more money you’ll make if you drive a sale. If you can combine a high commission rate with a product you believe in you’ll have struck gold.
It’s also good to think about conversion rate too. A merchant may offer a high commission rate, but if they have a low conversion rate, it means people rarely buy their products and that reduces your chance of making a sale.
You can access this information and more through Skimlinks Editor Toolbar Google Chrome extension.
We’re confident our platform can help you achieve you monetize your content, help you discover products and brands you can use to create quality content your readers love, and help you get rewarded for the role you play in shopping journeys.