“Affiliate marketing has made businesses millions and ordinary people millionaires,”
Did you know that 35% of affiliate marketers make over $20,000 every year from advertising their affiliate links? And according to Statista, spending on affiliate marketing is expected to hit $8.2 billion by 2022—which is an unprecedented increase of nearly $3 billion within a 5-year period.
If you do the math, these statistics show that there’s a gold mine of opportunity in affiliate marketing. If you’re not already invested in the industry, the best time to advertise affiliate links is now. But it’s not a matter of jumping on the bandwagon and expecting immediate results.
There’s a structure to the game – i.e. if you want to reap maximum rewards for the long-term. Read on for a comprehensive and experiential guide on the best way to advertise affiliate links for long-term profits. (Spoiler Alert: The trick lies in content creation).
First Thing’s First: How ‘Long-Term’ is the Strategy?
“Make money while you sleep!” This is the promise of passive income sources such as affiliate marketing—and it’s a phrase that’s thrown around too often. But what most people don’t mention is the longevity of ‘making this affiliate money while you sleep’.
For how long can you milk the affiliate revenue streams before they run dry? You don’t want to invest your resources in an advertising model that is only good for a few weeks or months before the affiliate revenue dwindles.
When we say ‘long-term’ we mean at least a couple of years. When you publish an affiliate marketing link, you should do so with the aim that it’ll be active for around 10 years or longer. But this does not mean that it will take a year for the money to trickle into your account.
With the right strategies and proper planning, the affiliate links you advertise can bear fruit in a few months—before they generate revenue that gradually increases over time. The idea is to create a well-oiled machine to churn out profits—and this comes down to content marketing.
Content Marketing and Affiliate Links – A Match Made in Heaven
What is content marketing—and how does it apply to advertising affiliate links?
Simply defined, content marketing refers to the act of creating and sharing text, images, or videos to a wide online audience with the aim of driving conversions. This includes tactics such as optimized blogs, email list building, and social media use.
According to an industry study, content creator and bloggers earn around 40% of publisher commission. Additionally, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) boldly claims that content is easily the best way to promote products/services—with 6 in every 10 B2C marketing teams prioritizing the strategy.
This goes to show the value of content marketing. What’s left is for you to leverage the opportunities it offers to turn your affiliate links into revenue streams.
Here’s How to Build a Long-Term Affiliate Link “Advertising” Model
Picture this; You wake up in the morning to find some extra bucks in your account. You look at the source of the income and you realize it’s from an awesome product review you published 3 years ago. Now assume you wrote several such reviews over the years.
This is the value of gearing your affiliate marketing efforts for the long-term. Rather than expect immediate results, focus on consistent income that’s secured for the future.
It takes more than signing up to a random affiliate program and plastering the affiliate links all over your website. If you want consistent sales—even several years down the line—you need to plan, strategize, and implement best practices. You need to build trust with your audience.
Here’s a breakdown of the steps you can take to build a long-term affiliate linking model through content marketing.
Keyword and Niche Research
SEO (search engine optimization) is at the core of any content marketing strategy. It involves using certain keywords to organically attract traffic from users looking for information or services via search engines.
Wait; what are keywords? They are a phrase that online users enter in their browser search bars to meet their needs. And when it comes to keywords, your options mainly revolve around either ‘short-tail’ or ‘long-tail’ keywords. The former are more than three-word phrases that are often highly competitive and hard to rank for.
Long-tail keywords—which is what we’ll focus on—refer to more than 3 words. They are more targeted and tend to attract more qualified traffic – i.e., people who have a high likelihood of converting.
For example, “affiliate links” is a short-tail keyword while “advertise affiliate links for long-term profits” is a long-tail keyword. Someone who searches this long-tail keyword is specifically looking for an article such as this—and hence he/she is more likely to buy into our offering. In fact, research shows that long-tail keywords lead to 2.5x more conversions that short-tail.
The next question is; how do you find these keywords? A simple way is to use Google’s autocomplete. The suggestions that automatically appear when you type certain keywords on Google are actually potential long-tail keywords. But if you want data-driven keywords (i.e., search volume, competition, etc.) you can use tools such as SEMRush, Ubersuggest, or Twinword Ideas.
Niche Landing Page and Email List Building
Don’t jump headfirst into pushing affiliate products – first build an email list!
In all honesty, you’re not the first person to explore affiliate marketing and you’ll not be the last. It’s a rather competitive space, whereby different players and vying for the same target audience.
For long-term profit-making, you need to build an unbreakable bond with your clients. Ensure you’re the go-to source of content. One effective way to do this is by capturing leads and building an email list.
According to statistics, 8 in every 10 experts are of the opinion that email marketing helps businesses in retaining customers. And if well-implemented, email marketing can increase your revenue by up to 760%. This is why most super affiliates tend to have a long list of email subscribers.
Building an email list starts with launching an optimized niche landing page to capture qualified leads. When the leads enter your pipeline, the next step is to nurture them with relevant content to convert them into loyal customers.
Pro Tip: Make use of repetition, which is a key component to advertise affiliate links for success. Send affiliates links and offerings several times to drive sales. For this, you can use an automation tool to schedule your emails.
Niche Content Creation and Distribution
You’ve researched the best keywords for Search Engine Optimization; you’ve built an email list of qualified leads. The next step is to create and distribute niche content.
This can include anything from digital courses, images, videos, or articles. Regarding the latter, some good content ideas for affiliate marketing include product comparisons, resource pages, tutorials, case studies, or product reviews—with affiliate links incorporated naturally.
ALWAYS focus on creating content that offers value to your target audience if you want to drive affiliate sales. The only reason people will come back to your website or blog is if your content actually meets their needs. So, write content with the readers in mind – i.e., your affiliate sales ambitions should come second.
But creating great content is not enough. You need to ace the distribution too. Some effective ways to distribute content for your content marketing efforts include in-house blogging, guest blogging, email lists, community participation, promoted tweets, and Facebook ads. Aim to be a content leader—and not a follower.
“Content may be king, but distribution rules the land.”
Create Massive Organic Content
When it comes to traffic generation, you can either pay to get your ads at the top of Google’s search pages or rank organically through great content.
Paid advertising may offer immediate results—but it’s also expensive and short-lived. Your paid ad won’t be up forever. And if it doesn’t direct users to an optimized landing page with great content, it only leads to high bounce rates (i.e., viewers who leave your site without buying into your offer).
On the other hand, great organic content advertising may take time to gain traction, but it’ll still be relevant several months or years after publishing. An effective trick is to combine both paid and organic advertising models to reap the maximum rewards of both strategies. i.e., paid ads attract traffic and create brand awareness—while your awesome content keeps them coming back.
The primary message here is that you should invest your time and resources into creating as much optimized and relevant content as possible. Establish yourself as an authority in your niche and watch as the affiliate sales flood in.
Tracking Conversions and Sales
What use are affiliate links if they don’t drive sales? You need to know the affiliate links that are performing and those that are slumping in order to optimize your site—and consequently increase your earnings.
Affiliate tracking allows aspiring or veteran affiliate marketers (such as yourself) to collect invaluable insight on the link clicks, traffic, and sales generated by your affiliate marketing/advertising activities.
Any form of marketing takes time and valuable resources. To ensure your efforts are directed towards meaningful revenue-generating campaigns, you need to know how many leads you got, how many converted, why they converted, and the amount of revenue that was generated from products bought. This allows you to streamline and optimize your efforts for best results.
The easiest way to keep track of your affiliate links is by using click-tracking tools such as ClickMagick, Voluum, ClickMeter, and LinkTrackr.
What’s the way forward if affiliate links are not performing? To increase affiliate conversions, some possible tactics include mastering SEO to ensure you get high-quality traffic, using strong CTAs (call to action) wherever possible, and running A/B split tests to optimize the affiliate landing page.
Common Mistakes in Creating Content for Affiliate Marketing
Raking in cash from affiliate marketing is not rocket science—but it’s also easy to make some costly mistakes that’ll hurt your long-term profit-making ambitions. This is partly why most affiliate marketers earn less than $20,000 in a year—while some make over $150,000 (according to 99Firms).
Below are some mistakes that prevent aspiring affiliate marketing from hitting their affiliate sales targets.
Lack of Expertise in the Niche
Your content needs to be credible if you intend to convince readers. You can’t make a product recommendation if you don’t understand it’s offering. For example, how can you write a convincing and unbiased review about a certain email marketing tool if you don’t know it features or how it works?
Readers will often know when you’re ‘winging it’ for the affiliate revenue. It’s advisable to specialize and focus your attention on a niche to establish yourself as an authority. Ask yourself; would people consult you before making a purchase decision?
Failure to Provide Targeted Affiliate Links
Never sprinkle affiliate links all over your content! You need to put some thought to the products in your affiliate marketing campaign. The affiliate links should be relevant to the content you create. For example, you can’t use an affiliate link on laptops when your blog post is geared towards reviewing mobile phones.
Ensure the content and keywords are targeted to a specific product and offers. Along these lines, also optimize your landing page or homepage to increase your conversion rates. A poorly-designed website can negate all your affiliate marketing and content marketing efforts.
Not Offering Valuable Content
One of the main reasons affiliate websites fail to take off is due to a lack of value. Affiliate marketers who are solely driven by affiliate sales rarely succeed in the long-term.
The readers should be your priority—and the affiliate revenue will naturally follow soon after. This means that your content should be informative, captivating, and engaging to keep target audiences glued and coming back for more.
“If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.”
Overdoing Affiliate Links
Ever opened an article or subscribed to an email list on for you to be bombarded with one affiliate link after another? It’s annoying, right?
You need to realize that subscribers and readers are human. Sure, it’s tempting to push tons of affiliate products—but being over-enthusiastic may overwhelm readers and drive them away. Consider committing to one product at a time to make your offering more convincing.
What is the Takeaway?
Affiliate marketing is an exciting opportunity. Everyone wants to make passive income. But to earn long-term profits to advertise affiliate links, you need to be strategic. Hinge your efforts on optimized and targeted content marketing to generate consistent and incremental revenue over the long-term.
The takeaway is that organic traffic is more than worth the wait when it comes to advertising affiliate links. It offers consistent results that often grow with time—even without additional investment. This article provides a stepping stone to get started on the right foot—including best practices to follow and common mistakes to avoid.