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7 Step for a Killer Affiliate Marketing Content Strategy

October 26, 2022

If you want to generate revenue from affiliate sales, you need one ingredient above all else:

Traffic.

Without traffic, you won’t get any new visitors to your website. And without visitors, say goodbye to affiliate buyers.

While paid traffic can be effective, the thinner margins for affiliate marketers make it much more challenging to get a positive return on investment. That’s why so many affiliate marketers turn to content marketing to generate their traffic and attract new buyers.

But you’re not the only affiliate marketer out there publishing content. That’s why you need a solid affiliate marketing content strategy in place to stand out from the crowd and attract your ideal target audience.

Keep reading to find out how to create a content strategy to generate fresh leads for your affiliate business — for the long haul.

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What is Content Marketing (in the Context of Affiliate Marketing)?

Content marketing is a content-first approach to the promotion of a brand. Instead of advertising your products or services using direct response strategies, you wield content as a tool to attract, nurture, and convert your audience.

The strategy for content marketing is simple. You create content that people want to consume and publish that content to generate traffic and interest in your brand or website.

 how affiliate content strategy works

You can use several types of content for your affiliate marketing strategy — including but not limited to:

  • Blog posts and articles
  • Social media posts
  • Videos
  • Newsletters
  • Infographics

When you create your content, you can feature affiliate links throughout the body. Those affiliate links can either be the primary focal point, or they can act as secondary elements.

For example, let’s say you’re an affiliate for a barbeque brand. You can create a review post about a particular charcoal grill and insert your affiliate link. But you could also insert the same affiliate link in a blog post that briefly discusses charcoal grill cookouts as one of your must-try summer activities.

You can also use content without any affiliate links to generate traffic for important keywords and grow your audience to promote to these readers later. For example, people interested in buying a charcoal grill may also be interested in a blog post about the best types of meat cuts.

Why should Affiliate Marketers use Content Marketing?

Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective affiliate marketing strategies because of the way it can boost your SEO and increase your organic traffic.

Just how effective is content marketing?

55% of marketers report moderate success with content marketing, while 26% said their efforts were very or extremely successful. That means a total of 81% have reported some degree of success from this approach.

Content marketing also builds authority and trust in your niche so people become more likely to buy from you.

But content marketing doesn’t just help you generate traffic. It’ll also help you establish your priorities with affiliate marketing. You can make more informed decisions on which products to prioritize depending on which content performs best.

reasons to use a content strategy

Using the traffic you generate from search, you can grow your email list and keep nurturing that audience using newsletters.

Keep in mind that content marketing is a long-term strategy — it takes a lot of work to get going and start generating traffic. On the other hand, your content can produce traffic for a long time with proper maintenance.

However, getting those long-term results requires a strategy. You can’t expect to get your content to rank just by throwing spaghetti at the wall until something sticks. For instance, 78% of companies that succeeded with content had a documented strategy. And 81% of those who were unsuccessful didn’t have one.

You decide which approach you want to take.

How to Develop an Effective Affiliate Marketing Content Strategy

Here’s how to create the most relevant and effective content to generate the right traffic for your affiliate marketing business.

1. Survey your Existing Data

Before you start pumping out content on any topic you can think of, stop for a moment. Brands with high-ranking content publish their stuff with intention. Their results are no accident.

Look through your best-selling affiliate products to get ideas for content. Because you already know these products have good conversion rates, they’re less risky topics to tackle first.

If you have existing content, analyze what keywords they’re already ranking for. If you have no content on the first page of Google, check if you have anything ranking on the second or third pages. Mark these posts as high-priority — you’ll get faster results by optimizing content that’s already ranking close behind the first page.

You should also check out your high-performing content in terms of engagement. Which of your social media posts or newsletters are people engaging with the most? What current blog posts are already generating sales for you?

You can use all of the above data as a baseline for what’s already working and where you can start.

What if you have no existing affiliate business yet or have no content? Choose a niche first, and make sure to get specific.

Pick something that interests you, because you’re going to need to create tons of content for it. If you have little to no interest in a niche, you’ll run out of steam quickly.

But you should also choose a niche with potential for profitability. Do people want the products in that niche right now? Is the commission rate for that affiliate program worth the effort you’ll have to invest?

2. Create a List of Important Keywords and all Products you Want to Promote

Based on your initial survey, you can create a master list of everything you want to promote. This should include all your affiliate products and links, but also your top-performing topics.

You’ll also need to perform keyword research to figure out what terms you’ll try to rank for. Use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Moz to perform some research. If your site is brand new, you won’t have any data for what you’re ranking for, but you’ll be able to check out your competitors.

3. Establish your Affiliate Marketing Goals

Once you have a master list of your products, content topics, and keywords, it’s time to figure out your goals and your priorities.

Are you trying to sell more of a specific product? Or do you just want to generate more revenue? Maybe you’re trying to build a business you’ll be able to resell later. Or maybe you want to grow an email list that you can use for further promotions down the road.

establish your affiliate marketing goals

Your affiliate marketing goals will influence what approach to take with your content strategy.

For instance, someone who wants to grow their email list should prioritize top-of-funnel content, whereas someone who wants short-term revenue should also implement bottom-of-funnel content in their strategy (more in the next section). With the help of the WordPress Survey plugin you can create contact forms and offer users to join your affiliate system.

4. Map out your TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU content

Not all keywords have the same user awareness. Some people are ready to purchase right away, whereas others are still learning about a topic.  

That’s why you should choose your content types carefully. Someone searching for ‘how does charcoal grilling work’ won’t be ready to pull the trigger on a charcoal grill purchase, so it doesn’t make sense to target that keyword for a product comparison or buyer’s guide.

You can also choose which medium you want your content to be in. The top five formats that content marketers leverage in their strategy are videos, blogs, images, infographics, and case studies — so you don’t have to stick to blogs alone.

Top media formats that content marketers use

(Image Source)

As you develop your affiliate content marketing strategy, create content for each stage of the buyer’s journey — TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU.

TOFU or top-of-funnel is the stage where you’re trying to attract customers. These types of keywords (e.g., “how to manage my projects”) are best suited for:

  • How-to content
  • In-depth tutorials
  • Resource hub pages

MOFU or middle-of-funnel is the stage where you’re engaging with prospects. These types of keywords (e.g., “project management framework”) are ideal for:

  • Case studies
  • Webinars
  • Email campaigns

BOFU or bottom-of-funnel is the stage where you’re guiding prospects towards your solution. These types of keywords (e.g., “best project management software”) are the time to whip out your product focused-content, such as:

  • Product comparisons
  • Product reviews
  • Buyer’s guides

Creating TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU content will help you reach your prospects as they move through the buyer’s journey.

5. Create Buyer Personas

Before you create your content, determine your target audience and what defines who they are. These will be your buyer personas.

Survey your existing audience if you have one to find out more details about their:

  • Pain points
  • Existing beliefs
  • Desired outcomes
  • Common objections

You can also perform research on your competitors if you don’t have an existing audience.

6. Prioritize Low-hanging Fruit first

You can’t tackle all your content at once. So choose low-hanging fruit first or the simplest tasks that will drive more immediate results.

For example, you can optimize content that’s ranking on the bottom of the first page or the second page of the SERPs. Or, you can create relevant content for medium-search volume keywords that have low-authority competitors.

If you have an affiliate product that’s already performing well, you can create content with this product as the central topic, too.

7. Balance Quality vs Quantity

Tons of high-fluff content written by writers you pay a slave wage won’t help you rank. So don’t expect outstanding results if you’re trying to pay writers $10-$15 an hour.

 problogger writing job offer

But too few outstanding posts won’t give you the volume you need, either. That’s why you need to carefully balance quality vs quantity.

What ‘balance’ looks like for your affiliate business depends on your resources — your time, budget, and/or team.

Execute an Affiliate Marketing Content Strategy with Confidence

No one content strategy for affiliate marketing will look the same. But once you have full knowledge of your audience, your goals, your current status, and your competitors, you’ll have all the pieces you need to build out a strategy you can execute with confidence.

Remember that your strategy can and should evolve over time. You’ll start ranking for keywords you didn’t expect, one affiliate product will outperform others, and a new competitor will start outranking your best posts. Stay flexible and on your feet if you want long-term success.

Wish you could skip the time-sucking process required to publish high-ranking content? Try Wordable for free to start publishing content from Google Docs to WordPress in a single click.

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Brad Smith
Brad is the CEO of Wordable. His content has been highlighted by The New York Times, Business Insider, The Next Web, and thousands more.
Brad Smith
Brad is the CEO of Wordable. His content has been highlighted by The New York Times, Business Insider, The Next Web, and thousands more.