Affiliate marketing is an exciting part of being an online influencer. With this kind of marketing, you receive a commission from any product or service purchases readers make through your links and offers—at no extra cost to them.
This powerful source of passive income has the potential to earn you thousands of dollars while you sleep—and it’s only getting better. Forecasts reveal that consumers spending on affiliate marketing in the U.S. is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022.
Affiliate marketing requires a partnership between the business and the affiliate (that’s you), as well as a following large enough to warrant the collaboration. If you don’t have many followers on social media or aren’t consistently updating a blog that brings new readers regularly, you might not be ready for affiliate marketing.
If this is the case, don’t worry. You can start by creating content for products and businesses you already use and work with and build your following until you’re ready for an affiliate partnership.
The best way to prepare for affiliate marketing is to have a plan. Whether you’re a social media influencer, blog writer, videographer, or have a following in any other area; you can start affiliate marketing.
In this article, we’ll discuss the types of affiliate marketing content to focus on, creating an affiliate marketing content strategy, and some examples of great affiliate marketing you can learn from.
6 types of affiliate marketing content to appeal to your audience
The affiliate marketing space is crowded. So, to generate revenue, you need to create great content that entices readers to purchase from your affiliated businesses. These are some of the top types of affiliate marketing content you can include in your content marketing strategy:
Reviews are written articles or other content formats (i.e., videos, for example) that showcase your opinion about a product or service. Product reviews should tell a story that connects with readers while sharing helpful information about the experience, features, and a final recommendation.
People value reviews. In 2021, nearly 70% of buyers read between one and six customer reviews before a purchase. Reviews can also include multiple products, as seen in product roundup posts on sites like Wirecutter.
Review tip: Be honest! Readers value seeing pros and cons before they purchase a product. It’s better to be upfront about flaws instead of disappointing readers when they buy.
2. How-to articles
Many products require hands-on experience after purchasing. Through your content, you can showcase your affiliate product while educating your readers on how it’s used or how to complete a task using the product.
Your how-to article can focus on a specific product or be generalized with product recommendations at the end. You can publish a how-to article on any text-based platform or as a slideshow or carousel on image-based platforms.
Here’s how popular lifestyle blog Cup of Jo uses a how-to article while promoting popular luxe linen company, Brooklinen.
How-to tip: When writing how-to articles for affiliate marketing, use a conversational tone. Remember that you may not be writing to an audience of experts who already have a good understanding of the subject. Use short paragraphs and bullet points whenever possible so that readers can skim the content for quick reading.
3. Resource pages
Just like review posts, resource pages can be a valuable way to earn money from the purchases of trusting readers.
Resource pages allow you to link to products and services that have helped you or your business perform more efficiently—and can also help your target audience do the same.
That’s what freelance writer Kaleigh Moore does with her “Master List” page.
Resource page tip: Make your resource page front and center on your homepage or about page. This ensures that readers see it often and increases your click-through and conversion rates.
4. Landing pages
Landing pages are not typically the first thing that come to mind when you think about affiliate marketing. However, landing pages are a valuable part of the marketing funnel that transitions readers into leads.
Website landing pages can link to just about anything, which gives you the freedom to use any visuals or calls to action you prefer. Keep in mind that some terms convert better than others in different industries, but generally, most can be optimized through research and testing.
Safewise, a website specializing in home security and safety, rounds up affiliate products to display on their 2021’s Best Smartwatches for Kids post. The initial landing page shows these products with links for instant access for readers. The rest of the post continues with the comparison review with other affiliate links.
Landing page tip: Make sure your call to action is easy to spot for better conversions. Once readers are drawn in by your headline, they’re most likely to click on the first link or CTA, so make it count.
5. Email lists
Emails are a valuable part of marketing campaigns and can target your leads. Email campaign workflows can respond to reader activity on your website or virtual space and send a call to action email based on their position in your marketing campaign or promotional funnel.
Email campaigns are great for generating repeated sales by bringing customers back for more. You can send newsletters to your email list daily, weekly, monthly, or at whichever time interval you discover works best for you. Some ways to add affiliate content to your email marketing are:
- Recommending your latest favorites
- Writing mini-reviews
- Sharing links to a resource page or affiliate landing page
- Including links to product round-ups and reviews on your site
Email affiliate marketing tip: Share limited discounts on affiliate products like Everyday Reading does in their email.
Here, Janssen Bradshaw from Everyday Reading advertises a sale to their email list. This method promotes an offer that some readers may not have heard about, catching them through their email list. With a clear CTA right in their inbox, it’s easy for readers to engage and leads to faster conversions.
6. Comparison guides
Comparison guides are similar to reviews, in that they detail the benefits and drawbacks of a product or service. These guides, however, go one step further in comparing how a product holds up to its market competitors.
A comparison can subtly encourage customers to take the final steps in purchasing after being convinced the product’s features will beat the highest competition.
See how Oh So Spotless offers a comparison guide on two vacuums that are top-of-the-line to help their readers decide which one to purchase.
Comparison guide tip: While you might have a verdict, highlight strong pros for each product, allowing the reader to choose the best one for them.
How to create an affiliate marketing content strategy that drives passive income
Affiliate marketers don’t always start with a content strategy, which is understandable. Still, it’s crucial to create an affiliate marketing strategy if you’re going to succeed. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, we recommend looking into some affiliate marketing tools to launch your new venture.
Once you’ve done that, follow our tips for creating an affiliate marketing content strategy:
1. Choose a non-saturated niche
This is the most important part of your strategy because it narrows down your audience to a market that hasn’t been tapped into yet. It’s much easier to rank on search engines for longer-tail keywords with a smaller, engaged audience than a massive generalized subject. For example, it may be easier to rank for “best dog food for sprocker puppy ” than it would for “best dog food”.
To choose your niche, think about two things:
- Your interests: Consider your personal preferences and what you could see yourself writing about almost every day. A good way to think about it is by asking yourself what you could talk about all day. Narrow down your “passion niche” to an even more specific audience by choosing one sub-category of that topic.
- Niche profitability: You’ll need more than interest; you also need a niche with an audience and not so many content creators. To find these, you might need to do some research. For starters, research by Diggity Marketing highlights the pet care, home decor, and personal finance niches as fast-growing, but yet to be saturated niches. Other new, growing niches include cryptocurrency, psychology, and gaming.
Monica Lent, the founder of Affilimate, agrees with niching as an effective content marketing strategy. She recommends marketers “siphon off search volume by being more niche, more expert, and more of an authority for a smaller, passionate group of people.” Monica also emphasizes that marketers should “think about building a website based around identity as opposed to simply products.”
2. Research your target audience
Before you can start creating content, you need to research your target audience. Knowing who your audience is will help you to understand better what they want and need, which will help you create more effective and relevant content marketing campaigns.
To research your niche audience, try these two tips:
- Check in on their communities. You can join a few of their Facebook groups or follow a social media leader in the industry to see what other people are doing and creating. This is an excellent opportunity to check comments sections to see what sort of questions your audience is asking, allowing you to answer them. Keep in mind, the closer you can get to your target audience, the easier it will be to offer relevant content.
- Use keyword research tools: If you’re short on time (or aren’t much of a lurker), search your topic on AnswerThePublic.com to learn what your audience is asking. This tool gives you a web of questions people are asking, breaking it into who, what, when, where, why, and how questions. For in-depth keyword research, use tools like Ahrefs and Semrush. These tools reveal more important details like keyword search volume, so you know which kind of content to invest in. Use these ideas to create relevant content that attracts your audience like a magnet.
3. Create valuable content
Content creation is the most time-consuming part of your content strategy. You have to write interesting content to bring in readers and customers.
Following SEO best practices will increase website traffic, so make sure you create content that will rank in search results. Also, as you create affiliate marketing content, pay attention to your customer’s position in the marketing funnel.
Most affiliate content is geared toward leading customers to purchase, and as such, is bottom-of-the-funnel or conversion stage content. Still, some of your content like how-to articles, product introduction blog posts, or videos may be more targeted toward awareness and evoking interest. Ultimately, know the goal of your content.
Finally, sharing the “testing process” that you use to test products with your audience boosts your professionalism and helps to build trust. It also offers insight into your review process, and everyone loves the exclusive sneak peek at what goes on behind the scenes.
4. Choose top-rated affiliate programs
When you're writing content for your target audience, choose affiliate programs that will appeal to them and their personal interests. Doing so will legitimize your brand and attract customers that are already interested in what you have to offer.
It is also vital to select programs with products and services within your audience’s regular budgets and in line with their lifestyles.
To find affiliate programs for your audience, search for your target industry and “affiliate program.” Here’s an example for a search in the pet industry. The first result lists popular pet affiliate programs.
These networks act as the middle man, provide security, and offer streamlined data. For example, Amazon Associates, a large affiliate network, allows users to see how many link clicks and products purchases their sites have generated within a specific period.
Lastly, remember to check the affiliate program’s commission details (you want to make a solid profit) and reputability before signing up. It’s also critical that you know the program’s rules. For example, Amazon prohibits partners from using links in emails and PDFs.
5. Build your network
As the affiliate, your job is to promote your associated products and services to people in your audience. You can expand your audience by collaborating with a niche influencer whose audience resembles yours. If they promote your content to their audience, you can grow your following while reaching a much broader population than the followers you already had. Building your network through these mutually beneficial connections puts your promotion in front of more eyes, increasing your chances for sales.
You can partner with any of these types of influencers:
- Bloggers with a large reader base
- Social media niche influencers
- Podcasts with many regular listeners
- Content creators looking to monetize their work
Building your network can also generate organic backlinks, which improve your website’s search engine ranking and is great for SEO.
6. Monitor your analytics
Reviewing conversion rates is essential to know whether or not your marketing strategy is working. The key to monitoring analytics effectively is knowing which metrics are worth tracking. Depending on which affiliate program you’ve partnered with, you will have access to different data sets.
Two critical metrics to track are:
- Conversion rate: follows this formula: conversions ÷ visits x 100%. Your conversions are the number of people who made a purchase, and your visits refer to the number of people who saw the content—whether that’s your affiliate landing page, product review post, or downloadable case study. This value represents how successful you are at turning your audience into paying customers.
- Return on investment (ROI): Calculating your ROI follows this formula: return of investment ÷ cost of investment.
Use these two data points to improve your content, investment purchases, and online presence. If your conversion rate is less than 0.5%, it means there’s room for improvement. Review the top search results to understand which bottom of the funnel keywords to target to improve your conversion rate.
Each person’s ROI will be different depending on how you conduct business. Regardless, you want to be making money, which means your ROI should be at least 1 or higher. Many affiliate marketers aim for ROI targets of 2-5. If this isn’t the case, review your affiliate program or investment purchases to see if you can earn more significant commissions elsewhere.
5 best affiliate marketing content examples and what they’re doing right
Creating good affiliate marketing content isn’t easy, so we’ve compiled a list of examples to show you what content really shines. Here are five different takes on affiliate marketing content that stand out from the rest:
Buzzfeed has a large following and is part of many affiliate programs. Here, they’ve collected all of their latest holiday gift guides in one place to make it easy for shoppers to browse and purchase all in one place. Buzzfeed then earns a commission from each purchase made through its links.
The Bucket List Family is one of the top-rated travel influencers. They’re also a massive affiliate sales generator for the travel industry. Their Friends Club creates an exclusive feeling by granting access to even more affiliate marketing promotions and deals through a paid subscription. This increases their passive income and allows them to monetize their older content as an affiliate website.
Unbox Therapy has taken affiliate marketing to a new level. This entire Youtube channel is based on the excitement of opening something new! Lewis Hilsenteger, the host and featured personality, reviews products then offers affiliated deals so you, too, can enjoy unboxing something.
Unbox Therapy focuses on technology and content targeted for men, which means there are many other niches for which you can use this technique!
Sprocker Lovers is a great example of a brand that focuses on a tightly-focused audience. A small number of people own a “sprocker” spaniel dog, but those who do will be pleased to find a website dedicated just to them. Anyone searching for information about this dog breed is also likely to end up here.
The authors then capitalize on their niche market by joining affiliate programs to promote products targeted to these dog owners.
5. The Spruce Product Testing Guide
The Spruce is known for its lifestyle blogging and product curation. As a trusted affiliate site, they go through an extensive research process that they describe in their post titled, “How we test products.” This content goes the extra mile for readers by answering exact questions such as, “why trust us?” This business exemplifies dedication to its audience and brand.
How Jasper can help
Kickstart your career as an affiliate marketer with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). Jasper is an AI writing tool that uses its knowledge of 10% of the internet to generate content that captures attention and converts.
With 52+ templates to choose from, Jasper helps you check off your content creation to-do list even faster by doing the heavy lifting in the writing department.
Here are a couple of comments from affiliate marketers who use Jasper regularly.
With help from Jasper, Amanda Weston can make sales on products that aren’t even relevant to her industry. The high-quality content that Jasper creates leads her audience to click on even more links and make more purchases.
Reema Singhal knows how to make sales fast with content that converts. She uses a combination of Jasper templates and other affiliate marketing tools to optimize her writing and get amazing results. Plus, she shares tips you can use for your affiliate marketing business.
To get a sense of what Jasper can do, here are 3 top Jasper writing templates in action.
1. The Long-form assistant template
This is the best template for creating blog posts, long-form content, and guides. Jasper is an expert at reading what you’ve written above the cursor and predicting what comes next. The Long-form assistant template can save hours of writing time when you have lots of products to review.
Notice how Jasper takes the information provided in the left-hand sidebar and generates relevant content around professional cameras. Jasper implemented each of the keywords provided for this article and began writing advice for the content piece. Jasper even listed which factors will be considered throughout the comparison for easy bulleted lists later on.
2. The AIDA framework template
This template uses the oldest trick in the book. The AIDA framework template hooks readers with an attention-grabbing intro, builds interest, creates desire, and concludes with a call to action. You can combine these four pieces into a post or caption that converts readers instantly.
Jasper uses the AIDA format and input information to generate multiple outputs in the tone of voice provided. This example offers an enticing headline, main message, and CTA that can be implemented on a landing page, email, or social media post. Jasper takes what’s described in the left-hand sidebar and generates features that compel readers to learn more.
3. The Blog post outline template
Writing how-to articles and tutorials just got a lot easier with Jasper’s Blog post outline template. Save time coming up with outlines by adding in your article title and tone of voice, and let Jasper complete the rest. This example shows how Jasper might approach a “top 10” styled article. Outputs include outlines for the article itself and some of the first options in the list for you to research.
In this example, the author of a real-estate post now has an easy-to-follow outline to generate longer content. Jasper checks the internet for relevant items on the list and offers this list as well. Ultimately, the first two or three outputs might be combined for the article outline and program list. All that’s left for the writer is to fill in the content for each headline (which Jasper can also help with) and describe each of the ten programs.