How to Create Content that Converts

into Affiliate Commissions

Did you know that most visitors to your page decide whether or not they want to stick around in less than 1 second?

Yea, it’s crazy right?

You have so little time to get your visitors to agree to engage with your content that you’ve got to put so much effort into getting it right from the start. In this guide, we’ll cover some of the basics every affiliate needs to know how to create content that converts visitors into affiliate commissions.

Passive vs. Active Affiliate Marketing

Now that you’ve signed up for an affiliate program that offers products you think appeal to your audience, it is time to promote these products. You can go about promoting brands in a couple of ways. We will settle on the two main types of affiliate strategies most affiliates take: passive and active.

You may also be interested in 5 Best Affiliate Marketing Tips for Beginners Joining a New Program

Passive Affiliate Marketing

A passive strategy involves very little effort on your part, simply adding in links where they seem to fit into your content.

You may be tempted to take this route first, linking to blog posts within your blogs, emails, or informational content. While this may be a good strategy to start with, taking an active approach to your marketing will generally bring in a greater return on your effort.

Active Affiliate Marketing

Active affiliate marketing means creating a plan of action for how best to promote the programs you are a part of while resonating with your audience. This effort turns more readers into buyers.

You can still link to blog posts from your site or social media, but you are doing this while matching the intent of the visitor seeing your content.

For example, if you have a piece of content providing information about the “9 reasons you shouldn’t declaw a cat,” it may make sense to link directly to an affiliate partner who sells cat scratching posts, but if the reader is still deciding on whether or not to declaw their cat, they are not even in the market for buying a cat scratching post.

Instead, you may find that your link may convert better when it points to a post detailing “The 7 best alternatives to declawing your cat” when that post then links out to buying options. In this instance, you may need to create this content specifically to convert your info-gathering visitors into investigators looking for a solution.

Cat Playing Near a Cat Scratching Post

Keep in mind the following factors of an active affiliate marketing approach:

  • Optimize your content for readers, not just search engines
  • Consider promoting your partners’ blog content on social media platforms
  • Create an email list and fire off helpful content to your subscribers while recommending products from your partners
  • Create new content specifically for the brands and products they carry
  • Run ad campaigns targeting non-branded keywords that are related to the brand’s offerings

Optimizing Your Content for Search Engines (SEO)

When you intentionally write your content with the reader in mind following basic SEO principles, you are more likely to generate long-term revenue from your affiliate content. The more your content helps your readers, the more likely they are to trust your recommendations.Having readers stay on your page longer sends positive signals to Google that your content is of high quality, and triggers a rankings boost to your posts. More often than not, a well-crafted SEO-driven article will convert at a much higher rate than one put together haphazardly.

And, if your content has a personalized touch, you’ll increase your rate of email signups, which offers an additional method to market your affiliate partners.

So how do you do this?

Why Does Your Content Exist

With every piece of content you create, ask yourself “WHY” should it exist? What problems do the recommendations directly solve? At what stage in the buying funnel is my visitor at when they first visit this content?

The clearer you are with your why, the better your content will perform at converting readers looking for a solution into buyers of the solution you recommend.

So, before you even begin to write think about the following:

  • What keyword or search terms would someone choose to search in order to find this content?
  • What problem(s) does this post address?
  • What solution(s) does this product provide?

Once you gain a grasp on your reader’s intent when viewing your posts, you’ll find it much easier to provide solutions they are looking for. Do your due diligence with each piece of content you write, making solutions easy for your readers to find, and you’ll see that more visitors convert to buyers.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the first point: Keywords

The Power of Keyword Research

As we mentioned above, before you even begin to write your first words, consider whether or not the content you wish to create has any search demand. You may have the best way to solve “problem a” but if nobody is searching for “how to solve problem a,” then you won’t get very much traffic.

There are tons of keyword research tools out there on the internet that you can use to validate your content ideas. One of the most common ways is to use paid search tools like SEMRush or AHREFS, but you may find great solutions from free tools like “Answer the Public,” UberSuggest, and Google trends.

One of the ways we recommend creating your content for UberNet’s hosted brands is to take a look at each of the product’s features and benefits. All of the marketing language used on product pages conveys a solution to a pain point customers are facing. Follow along and you’ll soon craft copy that converts!

For example:

If you look at Performance Lab’s vision, you’ll see that there is a lot of emphasis put on products containing pure ingredients with no fillers, GMOs, or gimmicks.

There are tons of people searching for these types of products because they are tired of the fluff and filler ingredients that other companies put into their products. You can take this angle and create your content about how Performance Lab’s products solve the “useless filler” problem.

Now, that is just one way you can create amazing content that converts your audience into commissions.

Next, let’s look at how to outline a post to make it as easy as possible for your readers to get to the information they want the most: With content flow and hierarchy.

Organizing Your Content into A Great Reader Experience

Now that you’ve decided on some keywords and an angle for how to promote a product within a post, let’s take a look at optimizing it for the best possible user experience. We can do that with content flow and hierarchy.

What is content flow?

Any good story has an engaging introduction, an easy-to-navigate plot, and a finale that brings it all together nicely. This is the same for high-converting affiliate content.

First, you’ll need to introduce the content in an engaging way in order to hook the reader. Then, you’ll present the content in an easy-to-read manner that is concise, to the point, and super helpful. Finally, you’ll summarize the best parts of your content and briefly reiterate why your product solution is exactly what the reader needs for the problem they face.

Hint: You’ll discover what your readers want by looking at what your competitors are doing for similar content.

What is content hierarchy?

Just like the example above, a well-written story implements breaks in the text to keep the reader engaged, and separates different content pieces into segments. In a book, authors break the content up with dialogue and paragraphs; they segment larger bits into chapters. Blog posts often separate content with line breaks, images, video, and tables.

Let’s look at this hierarchy plainly:

  • Your main topic, discovered from keyword research sits in the post title or h1 tag, and the post url.
  • A supporting topic covers one angle of the main keyword and sits in an h2 tag.
  • If your supporting topic can be broken down even further, place those points in h3 tags. Use images, graphs, and lists to keep the content flowing nicely within your topics.
  • Once you’ve fully covered all subtopics for the first angle, place another supporting topic in an h2 tag. Continue to repeat the process until you’ve adequately covered all the angles associated with your main topic.
  • Where it makes sense within the content, integrate product recommendations.
  • Once you’ve covered all angles related to your main topic, conclude it with your final thoughts which summarizes everything you mentioned before.

Now a structural view of this hierarchy:

    <h1>Title & Article Main Topic</h1>
    <p>Engaging paragraph to hook the reader.</p>
    <h2>First angle</h2>
    <h3>Subtopic about the first angle</h3>
    <h3>Additional subtopics about the first angle, including product recommendations</h3>
    <h2>Second angle</h2>
    <h3>Subtopic about the second angle</h3>
    <h3>Additional subtopics about the second angle, including product recommendations</h3>
    <h2>Third angle</h2>
    <h3>Subtopic about the third angle</h3>
    <h3>Additional subtopics about the third angle, including product recommendations</h3>
    <h2>Final thoughts about the main topic in summary</h2>

Using the above outline, you can fill in each section to create highly engaging affiliate articles that your audience will love reading. This structure also clearly shows Google and other search engines what your content is about and what problems it aims to solve.

Now that you understand how an article is structured, let’s take a look at what makes the first paragraph hook your readers into continuing down the page.

Hook them in the Beginning

The first paragraph is your best place to make a first impression. Use it to draw in your reader’s attention until they feel invested in the rest of the content. It is essential that you hook them quickly, because few readers make it past even just a line or two before deciding if they want to read on and find out more. Use action verbs in this opening section for best effect!

Here are some ideas for an engaging introduction:

  • Use surprising statistics
  • Tell a story or share an anecdote
  • Ask a through-provoking question
  • Use a famous quote

Google often snags bits from your content to use as a featured snippet on its search result page. Google doesn’t only look at the first paragraph for its snippets, but it is often what appears in featured snippets.

Hook Your Reader

Give Them What They Came For

After your introductory paragraph, you’ll begin revealing the least interesting topics first, moving through the content until the most interesting bits engage your reader enough that they will take action on your recommendations.

Great posts are a mixture of entertainment and education. Don’t be afraid to give them bits of your personality while you provide worthwhile solutions. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes while you write.

Ask yourself the following questions before you publish:

    1. Did I solve the problem related to the main keyword I researched?
    2. Have I provided valuable solutions throughout the content?
    3. Do I have clear call-to-action phrases geared to encourage my readers to click through?

Once you’ve determined your article gives your readers great solutions to the problems they are searching for, wait a little while and read over it again. You might be surprised at the insights you’ll gain from taking a step back from your work.