Every profitable affiliate website has a solid content strategy powering its affiliate sales.
Content is the reason why people visit your website, give you their email address, and engage with your posts on social media.
Without great content, you'll struggle to attract any attention online and generate any affiliate sales.
In this article, we're going to cover the three essential elements of content marketing for affiliates:
- The different types of content marketing you can use to promote your affiliate offers.
- The promotional tactics you can use to reach a wider audience
- The best practices for creating content that your audience will want to read.
Before we dive in, let's recap the basics.
- What is Content Marketing?
- 14 Best Types of Content for Affiliate Marketing
- 7 Content Promotion Tactics
- 8 Tips for Creating Content for Your Affiliate Site
What is Content Marketing?
In simple terms, content marketing is the process of creating blogs, email newsletters, videos, etc. to engage your target audience with informative and helpful content.
A quick look at Google Trends reveals that content marketing has seen massive growth over the last decade:
Back in 1996, Bill Gates coined the term "content is king" when writing about the future of the internet.
Why is content marketing so important?
Besides the SEO value of driving traffic to your website, creating valuable and engaging content is vital for affiliate sales.
When you publish useful and informative content, it makes it easier to build trust with your audience.
When people trust you, they're more likely to listen to your recommendations and click on your affiliate links.
14 Best Types of Content for Affiliate Marketing
There are lots of different types of content, with some more suited to affiliate marketing than others.
Getting to grips with the different types of content marketing will help you become more efficient with your affiliate promotion.
Here's a rundown of the best content types for affiliate marketing:
1. Product Reviews
Reviews are one of the most important types of content for affiliate marketing.
When people read product reviews, they already know about the problem they're trying to solve, or the goal they want to achieve.
They're very close to making a purchase.
Reading a review is the last step before they decide which product to buy.
Headphones Addict is an affiliate review website that covers all things headphones.
A review post typically shares the pros and cons of the product, lists the features, and provides a final recommendation.
It should also reveal who the product is most suitable for, and discuss alternative products on the market.
Headphones Addict does a good job of discussing the most important considerations people want to know about Apple AirPods.
In the example product review above, you can see the main sections of the review in the table of contents on the right-hand side.
Product reviews should be comprehensive, covering all the questions and most important features people want to know about before committing to a purchase.
People don't expect a product to be perfect, so don't be afraid of revealing any negatives or bad features of a product in your review.
You'll build a lasting and more profitable relationship if you're honest and upfront with your audience.
By creating informative and honest reviews of products in your niche, you can help your audience to purchase the right products for their needs…
...And generate affiliate commission as a reward.
2. Product Comparisons
Product comparisons are a great type of content for affiliate marketing.
A comparison post reviews two or more products at the same time, comparing the most important features side by side.
They provide all the information that a shopper needs to compare two products and make a purchasing decision.
Comparison posts are also a good way to target lower competition keywords.
In the example below, Techradar uses a comparison post to compare the iPhone 11 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S10:
A good comparison post presents information in an easy to understand format so that the reader can judge the two products.
You can use charts and bullet points to make it easy for users to compare features.
At the end of the post, you should recommend the product that is best suited to your audience's needs.
If the products in your comparison are suited to different audience segments, explain each product's advantages for different users.
3. Longform How-to Guides & Tutorials
In-depth how-to guides and tutorials are a great way to target informational keyword phrases and drive traffic to your website.
An informational search is when the user searches for an answer to a question or specific information on a subject.
Around 80% of total search queries are informational.
Website Setup uses how-to guides and tutorials to promote affiliate products and services.
The step by step guide walks users through the process of creating a WordPress website:
The guide includes affiliate links for the products and services needed to create a website, including web hosting, domain names, etc.
How-to guides and tutorials are a great content type for targeting informational search queries and promote your affiliate offers.
You can create a step-by-step guide, and include your affiliate product as a tool that people need to achieve the desired outcome.
Because the content is actionable, users are more likely to click on your affiliate link and make a purchase when following the guide or tutorial.
You can identify a common problem people experience in your niche, and go through the process of overcoming the problem using your affiliate product.
4. Case Studies & Success Stories
Case studies and success stories detail a specific example or experience of using a product or service.
They provide actionable content like a tutorial or guide, but also reveal the results achieved using the product or service.
In the example below, Matthew Woodward uses a case study to show how he used the Surfer SEO to achieve a number 1 ranking in Google search results:
This type of content is great for affiliate marketing.
You can establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche, promote your affiliate product, and stand out from other review content covering the same product.
Proving the results you achieved with real data adds credibility to your content and your product recommendation.
Case study content is actionable, following a similar structure to a tutorial or how-to guide, but also details the results the product helped you achieve.
This is a persuasive affiliate content tactic.
Let's say you were thinking of buying a skincare product.
If you read a positive review of a skin cream, you might be tempted to make a purchase.
If you found a case study that shows how to use the skin cream, including before and after photos, you're more likely to be convinced.
Listicles are one of the most effective types of affiliate content.
A listicle article is a numbered list of products.
You can rank products according to quality, or create a random list.
Some of the most profitable pieces of affiliate content on the internet are listicle articles.
TopTenReviews focuses its content output on targeting high search volume buyer intent keywords using listicle articles.
In the example below, TopTenReviews has created a listicle article targeting the high search volume keyword 'best chainsaws 2020':
The key advantage of a listicle is that it is easy to scan, making it a perfect content type for the shortened attention span of the modern internet user.
According to a Microsoft study, an internet user's average attention span is now less than that of a goldfish.
As you can see in the example, listicles cover lots of different products, offering multiple recommendations for the needs of each audience segment.
6. Resource Pages
Once your site is up and running, you might find your audience send in lots of similar questions asking which products you recommend using.
A resource page is a web page that provides a full directory of product recommendations.
It's a great way to save time and direct users to your recommended products and affiliate links.
In the example below, you can see the resource page for Making Sense of Cents:
This website is focused on the personal finance niche and covers lots of topics related to saving and making money.
Making Sense of Cents' recommends lots of tools, websites, courses on its resource page.
The majority of these links are monetized.
Resource pages work well for sites with lots of actionable content on a specific niche.
If you run a fitness blog, you could list your favourite supplements, sports wair, fitness apps, etc.
For the majority of affiliate sites, most of the tools and products listed on your resource page will contain affiliate links.
However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't list any tools or products that you are not promoting.
If you think a product is really helpful and offers good value, include it on your resource page.
Infographics are a great way to display lots of information in a visually appealing and shareable post.
They are an excellent way to increase brand awareness and attract backlinks to your website.
Backlinks help you rank higher in search engine results.
You can use infographics to display lots of information and statistics or to compare products.
WPBeginner uses an infographic to compare WordPress.com and WordPress.org:
Infographics are a great type of content for posting on social media.
You can increase the SEO-friendliness of your infographic by using a high search volume keyword in your title.
Infographics are effective because they display information in an easy to understand visual medium.
According to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual.
The disadvantage of infographics for affiliate marketing is that you can't include affiliate links directly in the infographic.
Video is a dynamic and engaging type of content.
Research shows that 66% of consumers prefer to watch a video rather than read about a product.
It's also a highly shareable content format for social media…
...Facebook averages a total of over 8 billion video views per day.
In the example below, Think Media utilizes a video review to promote affiliate products:
Take note of how they use a high search volume buyer intent keyword in the video title.
Video content is especially useful for product review content and tutorials.
You can upload your video content to YouTube, and embed it into your relevant blog posts.
- Try to make your video as professional and natural as possible.
- Think about investing in a microphone to improve sound quality.
- Practice being in front of the camera to get comfortable before you start filming.
- Focus on making the introduction as engaging as possible - you've got a few seconds to convince people to keep watching.
If you post a video review to YouTube, remember to direct your viewers to the affiliate link in the description below.
9. Email Newsletters
Despite the rise of social media over the last decade, email is still an effective channel for generating affiliate sales.
According to research by Campaign Monitor, email sees an average conversion rate of 3%.
Twitter posts only manage an average conversion rate of 0.5%.
Everyday Health is a great example of an affiliate website that uses email newsletters to promote affiliate products and services:
The critical advantage of email is the amount of data and feedback you can use to optimize marketing performance.
There are a bunch of tools you can use to schedule, monitor, and optimize your email campaigns.
It's also entirely free to send emails to your list of subscribers.
Email newsletters can work together with the rest of your content marketing.
You can share your latest blog posts in a weekly roundup newsletter, or create standalone newsletters to promote specific affiliate offers.
The majority of affiliates offer some form of downloadable content to use as a lead magnet and build an email list.
A lead magnet is a free offer that your visitors can access in exchange for giving you their email address.
This also qualifies your list of subscribers.
If someone downloads an ebook on a specific topic, they're likely to be interested in related products and services.
10. Ebooks & Whitepapers
Ebooks are a great way to establish credibility in your niche.
They also work well as lead magnets to build your list of subscribers.
They take more time and effort to produce than a blog post, ranging from 3,000 to 30,000 words in length.
It's important to do your research before committing to creating an ebook.
You need to get to grips with the needs of your audience.
What specific problems does your audience want to overcome?
Thinking Slimmer is a good example of a website that targets the pain points of their audience in an ebook:
Once you have created your ebook, you can create a custom landing page to convert visitors into subscribers.
Thinking Slimmer uses benefit-driven headlines and includes testimonials at the bottom of the page to establish credibility and social proof.
Whitepapers serve a similar purpose to an ebook.
They are usually more concise, packing in lots of data and information on a single topic.
With so much condensed information, white papers can often take longer to write than an ebook.
Checklists are great actionable content to promote your affiliate products.
They can also be used as a lead magnet to build your email list.
A checklist is a concise and structured list of resources and products that people need to accomplish a goal or overcome a problem.
In the example below, Primal Survivor uses a bug out bag checklist to promote their affiliate products and grow their email list:
You can create a checklist in a fraction of the time it takes to create a comprehensive ebook or white paper.
This type of content works well for larger niches with lots of sub-topics and product categories.
You can include affiliate links directly on the checklist.
12. Webinars & Live Videos
Video is a dynamic type of affiliate content, but a live webinar offers the unique opportunity of having a direct conversation with your audience.
Tiny House Expedition is an affiliate website in the prepper niche that regularly utilizes live webinars to engage their audience:
You can discuss hot topics in your niche, review products, and walk your audience through the process of doing a task with a live video guide or tutorial.
Just like publishing a prerecorded video on YouTube, you'll need to direct your viewers to your affiliate links in the video description.
The key advantage of a live video is the interaction you can have with your audience…
...Pay attention to the live comments and encourage your viewers to send in their questions and comments.
Once the webinar is finished, you can post it as on-demand video content.
If you pick an evergreen topic, you can promote your webinar for months to come.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages are an effective way to tackle your audiences' common questions and help people find the information they are looking for on your site.
In the example below, Online Mattress Review utilizes an FAQ page to answer all of the questions that somebody looking to purchase a mattress would want to know:
FAQ pages help people to find their way around the website.
They can also boost your visibility in the search results.
With the boom of voice assistants and smart home hubs, voice search has seen massive growth.
According to Google, over 20% of all mobile searches are now conducted by voice.
When somebody conducts a voice search, they use different language and words to when they type.
They often use full sentences and ask questions.
Google typically uses featured snippets and small sections of content to answer these voice search queries.
FAQ pages enable you to target these voice search queries.
14. Interviews & Expert Roundups
Interviews and expert roundups are a great way to boost your credibility and gain SEO-friendly backlinks to your website.
You can also boost the appeal of your affiliate offers and products by getting well-respected individuals in your niche to discuss them.
In the example below, Home Working Club's Ben Taylor interviews Michelle Schroeder-Gardner:
Michelle is the owner of Making Sense of Cents, the personal-finance website we mentioned earlier.
Experts roundups are a good way to reach wider audiences.
You can leverage the experts' existing audience to reach people who will be interested in your content and your affiliate products.
An interview with a single expert can be a good way to establish credibility and discuss topics in more depth.
The best way to start with this type of content is to reach out to well-known experts in your niche.
If you run a fitness blog, an interview with a DIY expert won't generate much interest.
You need to build a relationship first, so ask if you can contribute a guest post to their website before you dive right in and ask them to appear in a video interview.
If you get knocked back, don't take it too personally.
Once you have built an audience, you'll find niche experts are much more receptive to offers for interviews and contributions.
7 Content Promotion Tactics
Creating informative and engaging content is only half the battle.
If you want to generate sales with your affiliate marketing content, you need to promote it.
You can use several promotion tactics, with some more suited to specific types of content than others.
Here's a rundown of the six most effective ways to promote your affiliate marketing content:
1. Email Marketing
Building an email list should be something you prioritize from the early stages of creating your affiliate website.
Lots of beginner affiliates make the mistake of focusing on building their site and publishing content, overlooking the need to build an email list.
Your email list is one of your biggest assets.
It's composed of people that have taken an active step to engage with your site and listen to what you have to say.
According to McKinsey, email is 40x more effective at generating sales than Facebook and Twitter combined.
When you publish a new piece of content, send out an email to let your subscribers know.
Write a concise teaser email that gives your subscribers an indication of the article's value and gives people a reason to check it out and click through to your website.
After you've sent the email, wait a few days, and check your analytics to see how many people didn't open the email.
Write a different subject line for the email, and send it out again to this group of subscribers.
You can gain additional clicks from subscribers that didn't engage the first time, without annoying those that have already clicked.
If you publish a lot of content each week, you need to be wary of being too promotional and quickly burning through your list.
According to a study by CoSchedule, the number one reason people unsubscribe from marketing emails is that they received too many emails from the sender:
If you encourage your website visitors to opt-in to a weekly newsletter, don't make a habit of sending multiple emails weekly.
Lots of affiliates send out a weekly roundup that contains links to several of their recently published pieces of content.
2. Paid Social Media
Social media paid promotion is a great tactic for cutting through the noise and targeting the people that will find your affiliate content most appealing.
Facebook's Audience Insight enables you to segment your audience according to demographics, interests, intent, and psychographics.
This is great information for narrowing in on the people that are most likely to engage with your content and click on your affiliate links.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, social media advertising is the most popular paid distribution channel for B2C marketers:
Paid social media promotion is also an excellent way to target people who have already visited your website.
If a user has already engaged with your previous content on a topic, you can use retargeting to promote the content you know they will find appealing.
They're more likely to be receptive to your content and affiliate offers if they're already familiar with your website and your brand.
Before you spend your hard-earned dollars on paid promotion, you need to define a clear strategy for your campaign.
Are you trying to increase your list of email subscribers or generate sales for a particular affiliate offer?
Always go in with a clear strategy before you pay for any advertising.
3. Organic Social Media
Despite the growth of Snapchat, TikTok, etc., Facebook is still the largest social media platform.
According to a study by PEW Research, 74% of US adults are daily Facebook users:
That's a vast audience you can tap into and promote your affiliate content.
However, you'll struggle to gain any traction by merely posting links to your content in your status updates.
Organic Facebook reach has significantly declined over the last decade:
If you're going to get your content in front of many eyeballs, you need to be strategic.
That starts with choosing the right channel to promote your content.
You need to understand the types of content your audience prefer on each social media platform.
You'll also need to post at the times where your audience is most likely to engage.
Video content is another way to cut through the noise on social media.
According to Oberlo, video is the number one type of content people want to see on social media.
4. Influencer Marketing
You can expand the reach of your content by leveraging the audiences of influencers in your niche.
Influencers are experts in your niche that have a large number of engaged followers.
They already have the attention of the people you want to read your content.
Once you've built a list of influencers, you need to reach out and forge a connection.
Try to differentiate yourself from the typical requests that these people receive.
Avoid run of the mill expert roundup questions, and try to put a new spin on a topic or put together some great interview questions.
Influencers have built up an audience by making themselves busy, so value their time and try to make it a fun experience.
5. Online Communities/Groups
Facebook groups, Reddit, Quora, and online forums, are ideal places for finding relevant audiences interested in your content.
There are online groups for every niche you can think of, so you're guaranteed to find a relevant group somewhere on the web.
Before you start promoting your content, you need to engage with the members and build a rapport with the community.
If you dive straight in with a promotional post, you're always going to be seen as a shameless self-promoter.
Depending on the group, you could find yourself banned before you even get started.
Answer people's questions, contribute helpful information and engage with community members before you promote your content.
Focus on building relationships and using your content as an additional resource you reference when you post a reply or contribute to the discussion.
6. Paid Search
Paid search is the process of purchasing advertising displayed on the search engine results page (SERP) when somebody conducts a search using keywords related to your content.
SEO is a long term strategy...
...Depending on your niche, ranking your content organically for your target keywords can be difficult and take a long time.
According to HubSpot, 75% of people will never look beyond the first page of Google.
Paid search can be an effective way to increase your visibility in search results and drive relevant traffic to your affiliate content.
However, this promotional is more suited to certain types of content.
Paid search is more suited to content promoting a high ticket offer or driving traffic to a landing page for your downloadable ebook.
If you're a beginner affiliate, you should work on your organic SEO and develop a deeper understanding of keywords and search intent before you utilize paid search.
7. Comment Marketing
Many black hat SEOs use this technique to spam comment sections all over the web with irrelevant comments and links to their website.
That's the wrong way to utilize comment marketing.
These comments are almost entirely no-follow links, and they will usually see you banned from any reputable website that is monitoring their comments section.
Comment marketing can still be an effective promotional tactic if done correctly.
It's important to think of comment marketing as a way to build relationships.
Rather than blasting out a one size fits all message in comment sections, you need to identify the websites that cover topics highly relevant to your niche.
Once you've found those websites, focus on developing relationships with the site community by engaging in conversation, and posting useful comments.
If you have a piece of content that offers value to the conversation in the comments, post a link.
Comment marketing is about establishing a reputation as a source of trusted information in your niche.
If people find your comments interesting and informative, they're more likely to click on your links and read your content.
8 Tips for Creating Content for Your Affiliate Site
To get your visitors to stick around and read your affiliate content, you need well-written content optimized for the web.
Research from Chartbeat reveals that 55% of website visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on a web page.
Affiliate content marketing is most effective when it is:
- Consistent - You need to maintain a regular publishing schedule to grow an audience.
- High-Quality - It needs to be well-researched and well-written.
- Relevant - You need to cover the topics that your audience is interested in.
Here are 8 tips to help you create engaging content and grow an audience online.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you start writing any content, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What common problems do they experience?
- What goals do they want to achieve?
The answers to these questions will help you to identify the topics your audience will be interested in.
You should always create content with your audience in mind.
When you know who you are writing for, you can create content that addresses your audience's needs.
Knowing the preferences of your audience will also help you to identify the types of content that your audience are most likely to engage with…
...And the best channels to promote your content for maximum reach.
2. Keyword Research
Keyword research performs two tasks in the content creation process.
It helps you to determine the topics that your audience is interested in and searching for online…
...And it helps you to increase the visibility of your content in search results.
Keyword research is one of the most important elements of a digital content strategy.
It informs every content marketing decision you make.
If you don't know what people are typing into search engines to find information related to your niche, you'll struggle to attract anyone to your website.
Before you create content, you should know which search terms people are using to find information related to the topic online.
3. Keep it Simple
According to research from Web FX, the average adult in the US reads at a 7th to 9th-grade level.
If your content is difficult to understand or overly complicated, your visitors will abandon your webpage and head back to the SERP.
To make your content accessible as possible, you need to:
- Avoid complicated and unusual words.
- Keep sentence length to a minimum.
- Make paragraphs short and concise.
You can use tools like Hemingway editor to improve the readability of your content.
This tool will analyze your text and provide a Flesh-Kincaid readability grade.
It will also provide recommendations to help you improve the readability of your content.
4. Stick to the Active Voice
You should use the active voice to make your content more engaging.
It makes your sentences more direct and helps you to create a more concise sentence structure.
The active voice is when the subject of the sentence performs the verb action.
A sentence using the active voice follows a clear subject - verb - object structure.
The passive voice is when the verb acts upon the subject of the sentence.
Passive voice makes your sentences harder to understand and less dynamic.
Let's take a look at an example.
Here's a sentence that uses the passive voice:
“Instructions will be provided by the merchant.”
Here's the same sentence using the active voice:
“The merchant will provide you with instructions.”
The active voice sentence is more direct. It speaks to the user and has more energy than the sentence using the passive voice.
5. Avoid Jargon and Technical Terms
You want your content to be as accessible and understandable to as broad an audience as possible.
Unless you're targeting a really specific audience of experts who are very knowledgeable about your niche, don't use technical jargon terms in your content.
- Use the full words when you first use any acronyms.
- Avoid technical jargon.
- Explain any terms that the average reader might not understand.
Always keep in mind that you are writing for your audience, not for yourself.
Here's an example of an overly complicated sentence about digital marketing:
"You can lower the CPC of your B2C PPC campaign by utilizing AI-powered MVT."
Anybody unfamiliar with the technical terms and acronyms is going to struggle to understand the sentence.
Here's the sentence explained in full.
"You can lower the cost per click (CPC) of your business to consumer (B2C) pay per click (PPC) campaign by utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) powered multivariate testing (MVT)."
Even with the acronyms explained, this sentence could still be improved to increase readability.
Try to use accessible language that the majority of people will be able to understand.
6. Make Your Content Easy to Scan
When internet users read a web page, they tend to scan the page.
The majority of your visitors won't read every sentence in full.
That's why you should make it easy for people to scan your content and understand what is covered in each section.
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to find what they're looking for in your content.
- Use bulleted lists.
- Use plenty of subheadings to break up the page - subheadings also help search engines to understand what your content is about.
- Include plenty of white space around your content to make it easy for people to read and navigate their way around the web page.
White space is the blank space around your content, images, headings, and other web page elements.
You'll notice content-heavy websites use plenty of white space around their content:
Beginner affiliates often make the mistake of thinking of white space as wasted space.
This area helps you direct people's attention to the important elements of your page and makes it easier to read your content.
7. Include a Compelling Call to Action (CTA)
What do you want people to do after they've read your content?
Do you want your readers to purchase a product, sign up to your email list, or share the content on social media?
When you create content, it should always serve a purpose.
You should know the next step that you want people to take after they've read your content.
Once you know what you want people to do, you can create a compelling call to action (CTA) that encourages people to take the desired action.
For product reviews, that could be as simple as a "Buy Now" or “Click For Best Price” button that encourages people to click through and buy the product.
For a downloadable ebook or lead magnet, you can create a more compelling CTA by using a benefit that people will receive from downloading the content.
For example, if you create an ebook on dieting or fitness, you could use a CTA like:
“Learn how to shift stubborn belly fat in 3 weeks”
“Download the secret to lean muscles ebook now”
A compelling CTA is an essential part of every piece of content you publish.
8. Measure and Track Content Performance
Content creation isn't a one time and done marketing strategy.
To generate more traffic and affiliate sales, you need to optimize your content and make continual improvements.
To do that, you need to measure your performance.
You can use Google Analytics to see which types of content generate the most traffic, which have the lowest bounce rate, and which topics gain the most traction on social media.
This will help you to identify which types of content your audience will find interesting.
It's also how you know which affiliate products are most appealing to your audience.
You can also use Google Search Console to improve your SEO performance.
See which search terms you are ranking for, and which ones aren't generating much traffic.
If these terms are essential to your niche, see what content other affiliate websites are using to rank above you in search results.
Keeping an eye on the content of your competitors is essential to optimizing your content and SEO strategy.
Content marketing is vital to every affiliate website.
Even if you focus on PPC to generate affiliate sales, you need to provide some value in your content to avoid being penalized by advertising platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads.
Analyze the types of content that perform best in your niche, and see which types of content should be incorporated into your strategy.
Creating informative and valuable content is what generates affiliate sales.
Focus on offering value and use your analytics to keep learning about your audience's preferences to create more impactful and profitable affiliate content.