This guest post is by Peter Lawlor of B2Web.
One of my favorite methods of monetizing my blogs is by promoting products as an affiliate.
As an affiliate, I have the opportunity to learn all I can about a product I promote, and share what I know, including likes and dislikes, with my readers.
I’m constantly experimenting with ways to pre-sell products, with a focus on quality content and dressing up reviews with eye-catching and informative techniques.
In the end we have two goals when promoting products as an affiliate:
- Attract targeted visitors to your pre-selling page.
- Persuade visitors to click your affiliate links.
Pre-selling is both an art and a science
The art of pre-selling lies in the unknown qualities of your posts that encourage people to click your affiliate links.
It could be:
- the way you present information on the product
- your shared experience of the product
- the design of your website and/or post layout
- contextual aspects of your affiliate link placement.
The science of pre-selling entails:
- attracting traffic, be it organic traffic from the search engines or paid traffic
- the formatting of tried and proven pre-selling techniques (i.e. tables, charts, and quality of a review).
Taking all of these criteria into account, I use and test six methods for dressing up product reviews and other pre-selling pages when promoting products as an affiliate.
6 Tips for dressing up reviews and other pre-selling articles
1. Use images
I use a slightly unusual approach when procuring images for my pre-selling posts and pages. Many bloggers go to large image retailers and grab an eye-catching image for the post. I rarely do this.
Instead, I use screen capture software and capture many images from the vendor’s website. I also use any images provided by a vendor (usually physical product vendors have several images affiliates can use). For example, I may use an image of a vendor’s home page at the top-right of the post.
One type of image I like using in my posts is pricing images for products that offer various packages, and present these in a stylish pricing comparison table. I simply screenshot them and include an affiliate link to the vendor’s order page on my blog.
If you’re selling a digital product or web-based software, buy the product or sign up for a trial offer so you can take screenshots of the back end of the service. You can use these screenshots to show how easy it is to use a product, or turn a series of screenshots into a how-to tutorial.
2. Tables and charts
I love websites that use tables and charts to present a great deal of information in a succinct manner. For example, you can set out the product features and specifications, along with a brief write-up, in an attractive table or chart. I also like using tables and charts to compare products within a product-line or industry.
I use WordPress and both TinyMCE Advanced plugin and/or the WP-Table Reloaded plugin for creating tables and charts.
3. Demo videos
You can take the image screenshot method further by creating demo videos of the product you promote. For example, if you’re promoting web-based software, you can do a screen capture video of yourself using the service. Again this forms a great pre-selling demo that informs your readers about the product.
If you’re promoting physical products, you can make videos of yourslef using it, assembling it, or pointing out its various features.
4. Quote boxes
Some bloggers like to include quotes taken from reviews and testimonials of the product they’re promoting. You can dress up re-published reviews with the Quote tool in the WordPress visual editor.
I use the Quote tool for parts of a post and reviews other than quotes. It’s an easy, fast, and stylish method to split up your posts for your readers.
5. Coupons and sales pages
A coupon and sales page is a no-brainer for any affiliate marketer. Many vendors, whether they sell physical products or digital products, routinely offer coupons, sales, and discount opportunities for affiliates to promote.
As a blogger and affiliate marketer, you have a great opportunity to earn commissions with these discounts. You can create a dedicated post setting out the discounts your readers can use.
Be sure to do some keyword research first to see what type of “sale”- or “discount”-oriented keywords consumers in your niche use to look for deals. Then, optimize your sales and discount page for the most used terms. Personally, I like displaying multiple coupons, sales, and discounts in a table.
6. Bullet points
Using bullet points isn’t new, or an earth-shattering technique. However, it merits mention because bullet points are effective in dressing up any type of web page, including pre-selling pages.
At the end of the day, it’s a great idea to try different techniques, both in your writing style and the visual presentation of you your product promotions as an affiliate.
How will you do it?
There certainly is not one way to promote products as an affiliate on a blog. The key is offering your readers variety and providing information in a useful format that helps them with their buying decision.
Although the above “dressing-up” techniques help you pre-sell, the most important element of your reviews and other pre-selling articles is the quality of your content.
What’s been your experience of pre-selling affiliate products? Share your tips and advice in the comments.
Peter Lawlor is a contributor to B2Web which is a site all about using WordPress which includes video tutorials, in-depth video-based reviews and theme recommendations such as the Genesis Theme by StudioPress.