Affiliate review sites are usually the first step most aspiring marketers take into the Internet marketing world. It’s a step that often leaves them with cuts and scraped knees because they fail.
Don’t worry, I failed several times before I made my first online dollar.
Why do we fail? There are a number of reasons such as poor keyword research, selecting a bad niche, terrible promoting, bad content, a crappy website, the list goes on.
While I can't address all of them in a single article, I will show you how to avoid creating bad content and doing poor keyword research, by revealing the content plan I use for all my affiliate review websites.
Realize there are only two types of content
Whether you’re creating an affiliate review site or a blog to make money, you only have two types of content:
- Information content – This content you use to build trust, create authority and position yourself as an expert in your niche.
- Sales content – These are your product pages. What you sell, promote or affiliate.
There’s a good chance your website isn’t branded, lacks credibility, trust, authority and everything else that makes a website successful. Consumers will not buy from you.
Information content is what you use to change that. You only create this type of content to brand your website in a better position to sell, leveraging content to shape consumer desire and opinion.
How to avoid poor keyword research
Don’t waste time on targeting product keywords, they don’t yield enough searches to make it worthwhile. For example, see the difference in searches below:
The first keyword is an actual product while the second term is a little more generic and returns more hits. You will be wasting time and resources focusing on product keywords. Instead, focus on best running trainers reviews or cheap sofa beds, keywords that make great lists – consumers love lists.
How to create information articles
These articles will be your first point of contact with prospects. When they type keyword phrases into Google, your articles will turn up. This is your one and most likely only chance to display credibility, authority and trust. These articles need to address their needs, solve a problem or provide them with HUGE VALUE.
Pro-tip: This is not done by hiring freelancers at $1-$5 per 500 words.
Articles should be long, real long. QuickSprout revealed longer content ranked better in Google:
Let’s be honest, 300-500 words is not enough to provide quality value on any subject, don’t churn out generic content, it will not convert.
What to write? let’s take the keyword Nike running trainers as an example. I would create this article in the following format:
- Different types of Nike running trainers
- What consumers should consider based on their needs
- List of 10 of the best Nike running trainers
- Summary of findings
Total word count: 2,000+
This article is what I consider an information article, and will contain no external affiliate links. Prospects are not redirected to Nike trainers on Amazon or other external affiliate stores. Instead, the list at the end (list of 10 Nike trainers) contains internal links to 10 product review (sales content) pages where a review of each Nike trainer has been created.
Why don’t you want to put affiliate links in information content? Three reasons:
- You can’t successfully retarget visitors (discussed later)
- Consumers will not trust you if the majority of webpages contain affiliate links
- Google is putting a stop to websites that contain too many affiliate links
Naive marketers create blogs and affiliate review sites which contain affiliate links on every page. This used to work in 2005, in 2015 you will only receive a penalty from Google:
Two-tier content funnel
What you create using my content plan is a two-tier content funnel that avoids you getting slapped with a penalty, while building trust and credibility:
The dark blue boxes on the left are information articles that are of high value and link internally to sales content. Information articles aim to convince the prospect that your website is to be trusted (by offering high quality content).
Sales content can be landing pages to eBooks you sell, product reviews with affiliate links, opt-in forms, or whatever it is you them to do. Using copywriting skills, the right call-to-actions and images, it’s here where you make the sell.
Prospects who click-through to product pages are qualified leads. Place retargeting pixels on these pages to retarget prospects who didn’t convert first time round. Not everybody is ready to buy right now, they may need more time, perhaps their wallet was downstairs or they are waiting to get paid. Whatever the reason, we cannot let them go.
By creating a second tier, your internal links are ‘action-triggers’. For example, everyone who lands on the Nike running trainers article and clicks-through to a sales page is a qualified lead. Think of it as segmentation, we are qualifying prospects who are looking to make an action.
You then retarget using Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter or a number of other platforms. If you only had one-tier you would be retargeting too many people who aren’t interested, this is not scalable.
Use my two-tier content plan the next time you start a website. You quickly build trust which is a key indicator in driving sales, avoid becoming a thin content site and can remarket more effectively.