It’s likely that you’ve come to the affiliate marketing business because you’re an expert in your niche. If so, that’s great.

As an expert in your niche, whether it’s dog training, marathon running or advice for job seekers, you’re well-positioned to write great content for the people who visit your site.

And if you’ve been doing affiliate marketing for a few years, you’ve probably already noticed that it’s getting more and more important to have the best possible content on your site. Having great content improves the likelihood that others will read and share your content. Once you’re getting others to share your content, you’ll start seeing the traffic you need to make money with affiliate marketing.

On the other hand, lousy content isn’t going to help your business. You might score for a keyword or two, but if your content is boring, people won’t read it. And they won’t share it using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Lousy content means that your traffic will be limited.

If you’re waiting for the importance of great content to change, you’re going to be waiting a long time. Last January, Lead Google Engineer Matt Cutts blogged about “content farms,” websites with low-quality, shallow content. Cutts said Google will continue to tweak its algorithm to favor sites with original, high-quality content. If it were up to me, I would do whatever I could to follow Google’s advice.

Your expertise is your authority

If you’re wondering how you’re going to improve your content, this is where your knowledge and expertise can help.

Regardless of what you know, it’s likely you’ve spent a lot of time giving advice to your site’s visitors. Through that advice, you’re been able to hook them in, get repeat traffic and get backlinks, recommendations of your content that take the form of links on other websites. And Google uses the number and quality of those backlinks to determine your authority, which influences your success in the search engine results.

In order to keep your site high in the search engine results pages, or to improve your rankings, you’re going to have to keep creating content. In fact, as Google continues to place additional emphasis on quality, original content, it’s likely you’re going to have to work even harder.

What’s the formula for great content?

Here are four tips for creating quality content for your site:

  1. Make it unique — Never steal or plagiarize content from other sites. If you’re reusing content from one of your sites, rewrite it.
  2. Make it matter — Think of every page on your site as an opportunity to add value for your visitors.
  3. Structure it — Your navigation should be easy to follow and each page of content should be easy for readers, with subheadings and appropriate images.
  4. No shortcuts — If you’re looking for a solution such as a content spinner, one of those horrible automatic article rewriters, stop and think for a minute. Would you want to read something creating by poor-quality software like that?

In addition, each page of your site must have enough content to make it relevant in Google’s eyes. While the ideal word length is between 400-700 words, you can start off with a bare bones minimum of 300-350.

You should also remember to write with your keywords in mind. However, if you overstuff your keywords, it will hurt more than it helps. Stick to a keyword density of approximately 2 percent, and be careful to avoid going over 4 percent.

A great strategy that the most successful bloggers use is to simply write about your topic, getting all of the information you need into your article, then going back and sprinkling your keywords into the content.

If you write this way, it’s likely you’ll get more readers, and that will certainly lead to better results in the search engines.