Once you’ve chosen an affiliate product or program to promote on your blog you cannot just slap a link to it into your sidebar and forget about it. The task then is in thinking about how you’ll drive readers to it.
Similarly to contextual advertising – positioning of your links to these programs is essential – as is the way you actually link to it.
Keep in mind that with affiliate programs you have two tasks that need to be completed in order for you to earn something from them.
- Get readers to click on the link/ad to visit the affiliate program’s page
- Have readers actually purchase the product
Here are a few techniques that you might want to keep in mind as you fine tune your affiliate programs for the end of the year:
I’ve had the most success with affiliate programs when I link to them from within contextually relevant content in my posts.
I’m much more likely to get people to click on an affiliate link (and potentially buy it) for a particular model of digital camera if the link is in a post on that camera than if the link was in a sidebar of every page on that site.
Contextual linking to products helps both in getting people to click on your links as well as increasing the chances that they’ll buy the product.
I’ve written earlier in this series about the positioning of AdSense and Chitika ads and many of the same principles apply with affiliate programs. As you place them keep in mind that there are key points on your blog where your reader’s eye will naturally be drawn to. In content/posts is a good start but also consider the flow of your posts and at what point your reader might be ready to make a purchase.
For example if your affiliate link was in the first line of your post you’ll probably not get great results – however if it is later in the post once you’ve given some relevant information on the product and have outlined the pros and cons of buying it you might find people more ready to explore buying options.
The way you link to affiliate programs has a bearing both upon whether people click them and what frame of mind they’ll be in as they arrive at the site. A few tips come to mind:
- Don’t trick Readers
The chances of converting a click on a link into an actual sale are very small if you trick readers into visiting an affiliate link
- Don’t lie – false recommendations of a product won’t do you any favors if you are trying to build your blog’s reputation. I link to affiliate products in two ways. If I actually recommend the product I say this in and around the link and encourage readers to buy it (giving them both pros and cons of doing so). If I don’t know much about the product and can’t genuinely recommend it I don’t – I simply link to it with a ‘get a price on this product’ link (or something similar).
- Genuine Recommendations - I find I get higher conversion rates on people buying affiliate products where I give a review of that product that highlights both it’s strengths and shortcomings as a product. People appreciate you giving them a realistic expectation of the product rather than hyping it up.
Tomorrow I’ll write more on driving traffic to your Affiliate programs.
This post has been a part of the How to Fine Tune your Blog for Christmas Series.