Next to choosing the right affiliate programs, getting your content marketing right is the most important thing you can do to become a successful affiliate marketer.
And unless you’re a pay-per-click guru, it’s likely you’re involved in some sort of content marketing: giving advice, reviewing products, helping readers solve their problems.
But in order to be a great content marketer, you’ve also got to master speaking to, and with, your audience. Once you’re involved in a dialogue with your audience, and when they see you as an authority in your niche, you’ll reap the rewards of content marketing.
Wondering how to get there? Follow these three important tips and you’ll be on the road to content marketing success.
Tip #1 Know Your Audience
When you know your readers, you begin thinking like them. And when you think like them, you’ll be able to anticipate their wants, needs and concerns.
When you’re creating new content, consider why your audience might be coming to your site. What can you provide that they need? Do you have advice on how to do something? Or can you use your experience to write helpful reviews of products you offer through your site?
Knowing your audience goes a long way to building up credibility. If you’re blogging about soccer, don’t start reviewing hockey games out of the blue. In addition to confusing your audience, you’re going to be spending your time creating content that’s not relevant for your site’s primary keywords, and you won’t get as much traffic from that content as you deserve.
Follow this rule of thumb when creating new content: If a visitor to your site would immediately know what you’re talking about and why, it’s likely that’s a good topic for your site.
Tip #2: Be Trustworthy
Web user are smart and almost painfully savvy. They know affiliate links when they see them and they can be skeptical about those links.
If you violate the trust of your visitors by recommending products that you don’t believe in, and your visitors are disappointed in those products, it’s likely they won’t come back to your site.
The same is true for over-advertising. Don’t stuff every square inch of your sidebar with advertising. Pick the ads that are most relevant to your site, the ones that advertise products the most closely linked to your readers’ needs and lose the rest. Your readers will appreciate a site that allows them to focus on the content and be more likely to return. If you’re worried about losing potential income, don’t worry. What you gain from trustworthy readers is more than what you’ll potentially earn from a site chock-full of ads.
Repeat visitors can be a powerful source of traffic. Be sure you’re getting readers to return because they trust what you’re going to tell them.
Tip #3: Be Helpful
Some of the most successful affiliates out there are those who help others. So if you want to build your following with content marketing, what can you do to make yourself more helpful to your readers? Are there ways you could make your content more helpful, useful and informative?
One easy way to make your content more helpful is to make written content easier to read. Remember that readers on the web are more likely to scan than read every word of your article.
Another way to be helpful to your readers is to create “how to” content. Think of yourself as an advisor, helping your readers learn how to do something they’ll research on the web, such as fixing a computer problem or training a German Shepherd.
In short, content marketing requires a lot of hard work, and a willingness to spend the time it takes developing your relationship with your audience.
What are you doing to be a better content marketer? Let us know in the comments!