We’re half way through our Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing series (see: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3); this is where things get REALLY good – where things come together and begin make money with content.
It may seem like a stretch but your website content becomes a product and, simultaneously, a vehicle for distributing your message.
That is, a product in the sense that people find value in its information and a vehicle because it comes packaged with your affiliate promotions.
The lucrative gain for content in the realm of affiliate marketing become “money pages”.
These “money pages” consist of the following:
- Evergreen content pieces
- Silo content pages
- Authority reviews
- Sales pages
Of course, you’re in no way limited to a single medium for your content distribution nor are you restricted to what you do with your affiliate business but most website owners employ these four main types of content pages to sell their community members on affiliate offers (or their own products).
The following post, as part of this series, will explore these four main types of money pages and will give you an easy-to-understand guide on how to implement each into your new, exciting affiliate venture.
What Makes a Money Page?
A money page combines three main elements:
- An engaging topic
- A story to connect with
- The solution to a problem
The money pages go beyond simply educating or entertaining an individual; money pages are sought because they present a problem and give real-world solutions. In affiliate marketing, the solution is often coupled with an affiliate link earning the owner a cut of the commission.
If you cover the three main elements of a “money page” than you’ve already completed 80% of the work; the following 20% is leveraging each for your economic gain.
This brings us to the good stuff – the main money page formats …
Evergreen Content: Branding and Authority
Evergreen content, as you could expect, is content that has longevity – much like an evergreen tree.
On the web, there are billions of web pages, packed with content, and an exponential amount added each and every day; this makes you wonder how in the world you can stand out with such competition.
The combination of evergreen content (combined with an affiliate offer) sets the ground for long-term earnings regardless of trends, search engine updates, or new competition because it covers a topic that remains engaging no matter what the date and it’s so thorough (and valuable) that it’s continually cited by existing (and future) content creators.
Evergreen content comes in many forms:
- Highly structured and detailed tutorial
- An industry expose or case study
- A biography or documentation of a specific, past event
- Highly resourceful lists aimed at all levels of expertise
The most common is the tutorial which, when crafted in the right fashion, becomes the definitive article on the topic which individuals reference when learning the topic.
But, there is more to evergreen than meets the eye:
- It needs to be a topic which doesn’t dramatically evolves
- It needs to be revised and updated when new information comes to light
- It has to be lengthy – much like a book
Evergreen content builds branding and authority because it’s so widely recognized as the “go-to” piece on the subject; the more the content spreads, through linking and word-of-mouth, your business grows and when you inject affiliate offers, as the solution to the problem, you effectively create a sales page which converts time and time again.
How To: Make Evergreen Content
There’s no true blueprint to evergreen content because it greatly depends on your competition, your ability to market the content, and your general niche topic.
However, here are some ways to create the most thorough piece of content for your website:
- Aim for a lengthy, detailed post that takes a person from beginner to master
- Include additional media such as audio, video, and downloads as bonus resources
- Use the story, need, and solution angle
- Treat the work as a book (so you put every bit of effort to make it accurate)
- Cover a topic which people generally pay for
How about offering a 5,000+ definitive guide to video marketing (rather than selling it as an ebook)? What about a complete tutorial on mastering a song on a guitar? Perhaps a biography about a famous individual that doesn’t receive enough exposure?
All great, viable ideas that will make your website stand out. Yes, it will take almost 10x the amount of work to piece this content together but it becomes the flagship piece of your website – a reason for people to remember your brand (and share it). Once you built that branding, all other efforts in your affiliate promotions will fall on open, and accepting, ears because you’ve built authority.
Silo Content: Collecting the Best-of-the-Best
A silo page collects the best content, from your website, and gives a visitor a thorough understanding about a topic (or the representation of your site).
You an often see this method of money pages done when website owners collect series posts in one area; it allows the reader to start from the beginning without hunting down multiple posts which may have been scattered across many months of publication (buried in the archives).
The bonus to these silo pages is the curating.
You’re able to take the exact pieces of content you want the reader to dig through which can be updated and tweaked to include appropriate affiliate offers based on any number of factors.
- A silo page collecting a series (but aimed to include additional beginner level tutorials)
- A silo page with all your income reports
- A silo page tailored just for advanced users (with bonus reviews and giveaways)
In a lot of ways, it’s like creating landing pages for specific advertising campaigns. You’re using the unlimited space on your website to tailor these pages to fit a sub-group within your visitors; doing this allows you to test and refine your message which, in return, increases your chances of conversions.
How To: Make Silo Pages
It’s quite simple:
- Install (or browse) an archival plugin for your website (or just use the sitemap)
- Examine your most popular posts (can also be done using analytical tools)
- Brainstorm 3 – 5 silo page ideas based on related, relevant content pieces
- Determine your most desired action in the readers of these pages
- Apply or update affiliate offers on these pages as part of a “resources” section
- Inject an opt-in list form and social media links as a bonus capture
As noted: think of it as if you’re creating an interactive book on your website.
All the “pages” (the content pages) are already there and all you need to do is create a table of contents.
Add in some affiliate offers, refine each post so it naturally guides them to the next, provide benefits, needs, a story, and some solutions, and you’ve just repurposed existing content into a new money page.
Authority Reviews: The Definitive Voice
A common approach to a money page, for this example, could be a review.
A review allows a visitor to project their being into the shoes of the reviewer and imagine their life as if they own the product or subscribe to a service.
A review may open with a short, engaging story about why you’re in need of a new laptop (because your old one died); it can detail how you spent countless hours reading reviews, comparing models, and visiting stores for the hands-on experience. In time, you settled on your specific laptop because it fits your needs. You share the laptop specs and technical information, how you currently use the model, and give your overall feedback. In the end, you link over to the product page through your affiliate link.
What’s going on here?
For starters, you’re creating a story people can relate with (the laptop broke); these readers may be in the market for a new laptop so the story allows them to connect. You bring the person through the process (and agony) of sourcing a new laptop which takes many hours (so you’re saving them time). You explain your needs (which coincide with their own needs) and give them a glimpse into what it’s like to be the owner of said product (projection). You put the person into a positive thought and mood about the product and by giving them a call-to-action, you bring home the affiliate sale.
This is a common example of what happens in a review format but, as noted, there are many different forms of money pages; but they generally all include some kind of connection with the audience and a direct call-to-action to purchase it in the end.
One more thing: Your desired result may not be for an individual to purchase a product – you may be “selling” them on your brand to have them join your community, social media following, or email list.
How To: Make Authority Reviews
The key to a successful, authority review is: YOU HAVE OWNED AND USED THE PRODUCT.
This cannot be stressed enough.
People are fickle and easily spooked – they will see through your attempt to review a product which you don’t truly own nor have you experience using; once people see through – they bounce.
That’s why it’s imperative that you own the product because ownership will reveal a wealth of information about the product/service which people seek to understand; likewise, it gives you the ability to tell a story about your usage of said item which allows people to connect.
When creating a review:
- Include lots of multi-media such as pictures, diagrams, and video
- Structure your content for easy scan-ability with tables and charts
- Include multiple call-to-actions (you never know when they’re ready to buy)
- Use every product/service mention as an opportunity to add your affiliate link
- Leverage other online reviews in your favor
- Show results and how you’ve changed after buying the product/service
For great examples, just take a look at the major computer review websites such as CNet which go into great detail about the very specifics of the products and explain how it fits certain criteria of the sub-groups of visitors.
A review will greatly outperform most sales pages because it’s not being forceful.
Sales Pages: Forming Your Funnel
The last of our money pages is broken down to the sales page which is nothing more than a straight forward, hard selling page of your website.
Generally, these pages are reserved for:
- Your product or services
- An affiliate promotion, giveaway, or contest
- A list building campaign
Sales pages should remove all elements that cause distractions – a full-width page is your best option and these pages can easily be created if your WordPress theme, website code, or marketing tools support the feature.
The sales page, like these other money pages, will generally tell a story to connect, present a problem, and offer a solution; it’s these pages that really hit home with personal, “pain” items which puts the individual into an emotional-ready state to make a purchase.
How To: Make Sales Pages
The sales page is one of the few pages you’ll want to consistently tweak on a regular basis because it’s presenting such a hard call-to-action; it’s aimed at creating conversions, first and foremost, and optimizing the page will be the tweaks that up sales in a ready fashion.
To make these pages, you’ll follow the similar approach to the review with the exception that you’re speaking on behalf of the product – you’re directly telling people that they need the product.
You’re not beating around the bush – you’re being very up-front with your intentions.
A few ways to cultivate a better response (without driving people away from this aggressive selling approach) is through:
- Short, fire sales to force people to take immediate action
- Giving away bonuses to each individual
- Offering different tiered plans (that are limited in quantity)
- Using other’s authority (within your niche) to endorse the products
- Wrapping the sale around a massive social media campaign
- Advertising the sales page using online advertising channels
Again, you’re asking for someone to buy, right up-front so make sure that each and every piece of copywriting include on the page (including the graphics and other media) gets straight to the point.
Escalating the Income Potential
You’ve made it this far – congratulations!
If it was possible, I would have placed this part of the series in the very beginning before any ground work has been laid into the website.
Why? Because it creates a revenue model from the get-go.
Many affiliate marketers try the web 2.0 approach to their business whereas they build a massive platform and try to monetize afterward which often spells disaster because people have already been cultivated into accepting free information.
The money pages strike right when it’s hot and knowing how you’ll integrate them, based on your content marketing, will ensure that everything builds toward these pages; you’re creating a funnel to each of these pages with every new piece of content or marketing campaign.
In time, your authority and brand will scale enough that you’ll gain access to exclusive launches, joint ventureships, increased income for advertising, and the ability to promote and sell your own products.
Put these money pages in place and, more importantly, make them work.
They’re the passive income models you so readily seek; they’ll do more for your bottom-line than the one-off email drop; these things perform. But, you need to do the work.
Now over to you – what ways are you monetizing your website content to make your money?
Comment below and be sure to share this post.
Part 5: Traffic Generation