Create content that your competition can’t compete with
While brands spend months approving their content strategy and holding fruitless meetings, affiliates can be creating content of such a high standard, that competitors simply won’t have the resources to compete with, and Google would be foolish not to drive traffic to.
Use Google Trends
Breakout trends are much harder to predict. From electronic cigarettes and online TV, to selfie sticks and cinnamon flavoured whisky, even the most experienced industry experts often have a hard time predicting as far as six months into the future of their industry.
Regardless, reading the predictions of experts in your industry is a good place to start. If you want to know what products might be worth promoting in the travel industry in 2015, for example, you might want to experiment with search queries like:
You could even try to predict which countries are about to increase in popularity, and begin promoting hotels, flights, and other products that might help people traveling to that area.
Promote products that raise your affiliate income by an order of magnitude
When I began affiliate marketing, I promoted products ranging from $0.10 commissions to $100 commissions. It soon became clear that, while having a large volume of low commission sales can create a solid foundation for your affiliate revenue, true growth comes from high commission sales.
My strategy for growing affiliate sites has always been to find products that add value to the site’s readers, and that also have the potential to increase the site’s revenue by an order of magnitude.
Focus on topic targeting, not keyword targeting
Google’s attempt to reduce the SEO community’s focus on keyword targeting hasn’t exactly been subtle.
From removing keyword data in Google Analytics and exact-match keyword targeting in Google Adwords, to improving their understanding of similar terms, it’s becoming harder for digital marketers to target individual keywords.
While on the surface this may seem like bad news, it’s arguably a blessing in disguise as it encourages a shift towards topic-targeting, and a focus on capturing long tail traffic.
Experiment with unusual content formats
Been writing ‘how to’ articles in the third person? try writing in the first person. Don’t forget, the person who is going to read your blog and the person who is going to ultimately buy your product is a human being. People love a good personal story and there is no other way to write one unless you switch your style from third person to first person. This allows you to speak authoritatively and push your point across more forcefully. Content written in the first person ‘speaks’ to the reader and is known to have 56% higher conversion rate.
Pick your promotions
Don’t go affiliating with any item out there! Choose what to promote based on real findings that the product is a good one. Doing otherwise will just get your readers to lose trust in you! While you are making an effort to be transparent, be honest as well! If there’s something you don’t like, don’t be afraid to say it. This will make your readers trust you more and it will feel less like a paid promotion than a friendly piece of advice.
Don’t give up if you haven’t made a fortune overnight. Remember, affiliate programs take time to start showing you the money. Some programs even offer lifetime payments like when you refer someone and keep making money from them.