I used to laugh at the idea of blogging, but then discovered I was the fool for judging. What I didn’t understand at the time was that most bloggers are affiliate marketers, promoting other people’s products and services and getting paid for their referrals. Other bloggers have courses they’ve created that they’re selling and others simply sell advertising on their site. The latter folks have so much traffic that businesses are willing to pay to place ads on their site or blog. Think of travel bloggers, who write about their travels and generate a loyal following of readers. That blogger might then sell ad space to hotels, or other travel-related businesses.
If you want to write a blog for affiliate marketing there are a few things to consider.
- Who’s your audience?
- Where does your audience hang out online?
- What problems are they having?
- What solutions do you have to their problems? What advice can you give them? What value can you provide? What products or services might help meet their needs?
- What search phrases are they typing into Google, Bing, or Yahoo to find their answers?
- Do you know how to set up your blog correctly, optimized for the search engines? (This is a biggie)
- How will you promote your blog posts?
How do you select a niche for a blog?
When trying to figure out who your audience is, there are a few questions to ask yourself… What are the things that you’re passionate about? What do you know a lot about? What are the things that interest you? What are your hobbies? What do you want to know more about? The last question is a good one, because the best way to learn something is to turn around and share what you’ve learned with others. Use your content marketing or blog posts to teach!
I wanted to learn how to make money online, so I found a program that teaches online marketing and after applying what I learned to promote my existing wedding businesses, I became an affiliate for that company. So, I’ve got 3 sets of people I can help… 3 audiences; those who want to learn to make money online, couples who are getting married, and other wedding professionals.
Is content marketing worth it?
Content marketing works best for those who regularly have something to say, or a message of some kind to share. It takes a lot of time and effort. Consistency is key and if you’re not on social media all the time already, it will take even more effort. Skills like, copywriting, script writing, graphic design, photo and video editing, camera and light skills, and many others come in quite handy. It’s important to remember that each platform has its own norms and set of rules, both formal and unspoken.
The strategies to earn a following on Facebook or Instagram will differ from YouTube and other platforms. There’s a lot to think about and the learning curve for newbie content marketers is steep, but worth it if you stick with it. There’s a woman in my affiliate marketing community who regularly posts law of attraction and motivational videos on YouTube. In those videos she occasionally talks about the program she’s selling and has not only built a large list of subscribers, but has also made many hundreds of thousands in sales to them.
As a content marketer you’ll provide free value and so people keep coming back for more content. The key is to have an authentic message to share that others benefit from. Consistency is key too. If you don’t stay in front of people, they’ll forget about you and stop caring.
Is content marketing possible without social media?
Absolutely! That’s what blogs are for and you’ll want to have an opt in box so people can subscribe to your blog. Then each time you have a new blog post, send an email to your subscribers to let them know about it. However, you’ll improve your search rankings if your post is shared on multiple social media platforms. Especially if you get a lot of eyeballs on your blog post when it’s brand new. The search engines then think, “Oh, this is relevant” and gives it priority over other blog posts or web pages that it deems to be less relevant.
You want to know how to format a blog post correctly. Then the search engines find your content to be even more relevant. Remember, Google, Bing and Yahoo are trying to create a user experience. They want to keep people on their platforms and coming back regularly so they can sell advertising and user data. You gotta play their game and learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization). And SEO is a whole beast unto itself and part of the reason the learning curve is steep. People devote their careers to SEO and good for me, because I can’t stand it.
But, I’m going to share a few “SEO musts” in just a bit.
Where do I find my target audience?
I’m willing to bet your target audience is a lot like you. They’re probably about the same age, have some of the same values, and enjoy many of the same things. If you use a particular social media site, your audience is likely there too. Think about magazines, books, newspapers and other publications that might have their attention. What websites would they probably visit? What clubs might they be part of? Do they have kids and activities that pull them out of the house? Where might those people hang out online? Are they watching “how to” videos on YouTube?
Where is my target audience? These are the kinds of questions you must ask, so that you’re casting a line into a pond that actually has fish in it.
Can a target audience be everyone?
I suppose. If you’re selling gloves for all ages your target audience is everyone with hands, but niche marketing is usually the way to go. If you’re able to get specific in what you know, who you can help and where to find them, you’re golden because there’s less competition in niche markets. That’s why targeting an audience is important.
What are the best niche affiliate marketing products to promote in 2021?
That’s a question I see a lot online. The problem is that it comes from a place of greed and profit motive. Content marketing is only successful when you’re trying to help people solve their challenges. People’s time is limited. It’s our most precious resource that can’t be bought or replaced, so ask yourself… What main challenges your target audience is having and what potential solutions you could show them? Help, earn trust, then get sales.
I try to provide helpful tips to couples and other wedding professionals by using blog posts, audio clips and a couple videos to market my wedding business, 1st Officiant and my other website Matt’s Wedding Ceremonies.
I try to provide helpful tips to those interested in working for themselves online by using blog posts, YouTube videos, email, and answer online forum questions. That’s how I share the program that will teach you how to make money online through affiliate marketing, Amazon ecommerce, and by creating your own info product. You can register for the free workshop by clicking here if you’d like to know more.
What your target audience is searching for
If you don’t know what search queries your target audience is typing into Google, Bing or Yahoo, you’re screwed. After you’ve identified the challenges your target audience is having and how you can help solve their challenges, start your keyword research. This is part of SEO that I can’t stand. It takes time and patience to research so if you don’t love it, find someone else and pay them. There are plenty of SEO and keyword research professionals on Fiverr.
For example though, most couples are typing into the Google search bar, “how to get married in Arizona.” Or, “Arizona marriage license.” Check out the blog post that brings most visitors to my wedding website here.
People who’ve been asked to officiate a wedding, but don’t know how or where to start usually ask Google, “how to officiate a wedding.” I provide answers to that question on my other website here. I solve their problem by providing part of my ceremony material and process for free.
I write blog posts like the one you’re reading as a way to help those who want to learn affiliate marketing, how to create their own info product, or how to source and sell products on Amazon. Start by registering for the free workshop at the bottom of my website. They usually ask search queries, like “how to start affiliate marketing” or “how to sell products on Amazon.”
Knowing what search terms your target audience types into the search box and using those terms in your blog will get it in front of them.
How to properly format a blog for SEO
I’ve written another article that covers this in depth called, “The Best Blog Format To Improve SEO” and I suggest checking it out. In general:
- Make sure the various sections of your blog post has titles and are formatted as headings.
- Make sure sentences are short and easy to read.
- Have links to other websites and be sure to link to other pages on your own website.
- Make sure photos and images are optimized with titles and keywords as alt text.
- Have keyword phrases underlined, italicized and in bold.
- Make sure each blog post is at least 500 words.
- Improve and revise your blog posts as often as you can. If you notice that traffic has slowed down to your website, updating posts is the easiest way to jump start it.
How to advertise your blog for free
Then it’s important to spread the word and get eyeballs on your blog posts. The simplest way to do that is to post a link on every social media platform you can think of. If you’ve been collecting email addresses and building a list of subscribers, email them to share your new blog posts.
The best advice I can possibly give would be to promote your affiliate offers on the platforms you use personally. If you were consistently on Facebook before taking up affiliate marketing, promote your offers on Facebook. Their paid service allows you to get your affiliate products in front of exactly the right people. Or, you can form a product page, form a group, join groups, or just post the affiliate products you love on your personal page.
If you’re on YouTube several times per day, then it probably makes sense for you to promote your affiliate offers on YouTube. You can do product demonstrations or reviews and use SEO in the video description to advertise for free and build a following. Or, you can film an ad and run it during other people’s videos. Can you envision waiting to press the skip button and staring at the 5 second countdown clock in the bottom right corner? That annoying ad could be yours! Ha!
You can also try free websites like, Craigslist, Kijiji, classifiedads, Yelp, Nextdoor, Indeed, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts, Locanto, Oodle, OLX, Hoobly, and Geebo. More exist, but there’s a decent list to get you started.
Check out my article, “What You Need To Know About Affiliate Marketing Before You Start” to learn more.
The best paid advertising platforms
Money is what buys consistent traffic in the form of paid YouTube ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google PPC and Bing pay per click. But, most bloggers are looking to drive traffic to their site for free.
You can advertise on someone’s website banner, or you can rent space in people’s email lists and they’ll promote your affiliate offer for you. Solo ads are one way to do that. You can learn more about solo ads here.
The key is to know exactly who your target customer is and then find out where they hang out online and promote your blog posts there. This topic is covered in depth on the mentors platform. Register here.
Hopefully you now have a much better idea how to start blog marketing. Know your audience, know how you can help them solve their challenges, know where they hang out online, know how to properly format your blog posts and share it with them.
If you have any questions or comments at all, please post them below!
Matt Nathanson, your online business mentor
Freedom Through Digital Education