Why do most affiliate blogs fail to attract traffic? It’s not because they haven’t produced enough long-form content but rather due to not having anything original to say or any additional value to provide. Your affiliate landing page adds an extra step to the funnel, so make it count.
How would you evaluate good affiliate content then? We pointed out in our previous post that as an affiliate marketer your focus should be on driving conversions instead of increasing traffic. So, what you need from your blog content is to attract qualified traffic that drives conversions.
In this article, you will learn how to avoid creating content around overly broad, generic topics that add zero value to your readers and attract minimal traffic to your affiliate website. Instead, I will outline an intent-focused content strategy that helps you bring conversions by identifying unique details to back up your claims and add originality and authority to your content.
How to use details to add originality?
From a keyword perspective, it’s better to target long-tail and high-intent keywords as they’re more specific and more likely to satisfy the intent of all users who search for that keyword on Google. But when we move beyond topic to the actual content, how do you make sure that your article satisfies this intent in such a way that your readers can convert into customers.
Here are some techniques to do that:
- Explain why your claims are accurate
- Show examples and use cases
- Share the results of your experiments
- Make unique and opposing claims
Let’s take an example. A claim: “Search intent is more important for your keywords than search volume.” This could even be followed by a recommendation: “To achieve success in content marketing, you need to focus on intent.” But does content like this add anything new and useful?
You can find multiple articles on well-established websites that discuss SEO topics such as how to optimize for search intent.
To add details and value to this topic, you could explain why intent is more important than search volume and in which cases specifically. For example, an affiliate website gets money from referrals, so conversions should be your priority. And to optimize for conversions, you need to understand your prospects’ search behavior, i.e. you have to identify their intent and offer content that satisfies that intent.
You could then continue with more details by answering other why and how questions and by providing unique examples from your own experience. For example, optimizing for high-volume keywords is not a good strategy for small websites because you cannot compete with the big players who can have thousands of backlinks for a single article. And that’s why it’s better to target long-tail and high-intent keywords which are more specific but have lower volume. If possible, you could share a keyword research example to prove your point to your audience.
With these details, you have already moved away from shallow, generic content with no additional value to more in-depth content that is much more likely to rank high on Google and attract qualified traffic.
How to make your affiliate content stand out?
Because the majority of blogs recycle the same ideas from other websites, it means that there’s less competition for entirely unique content. This is why uniqueness is your key to standing out.
In the previous section, I explained what techniques you can use to add details to your content that satisfy the search intent of your audience. The next question is how to acquire such details.
We all understand the power of data when it comes to increasing efficiency. Ideally, all business decisions should rely on available data. While in many cases it might remain untapped, you should leverage data as much as possible to make your affiliate blog content stand out.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have access to any company data and only rely on your own blog. Anyone can gather unique data, connect with experts, or present unique insights about their niche. It simply requires that you carry out the research and have something unique to offer. If you’re producing a review or comparison post, use free trials to test those tools before writing.
You can also run multiple tests on your blog and collect the data from those tests. It could be testing related to keywords, conversions, CTAs, banners, or different types of content. Or you could reach out to experts on platforms such as HARO and ask their opinions.
Many SEO tools such as Ahrefs, which was used here, have a content explorer feature that gives you a list of the top authors on any particular topic. Below is an example of top authors who have written on search intent.
You can also find a new angle and say something no one has said before. Or simply make an effort to explain complicated topics in a simplified way and optimize your content for zero click searches. Featured snippets are ideal not only for standing out but also for building authority.
How to build your content authority with details?
To gain recognition as a blogger, you’re better off learning about your target audience and optimizing your topics for their intent rather than prioritizing high volume keywords. A search volume-driven strategy has a tendency to favor beginner-level keywords, which is far from ideal.
Especially in B2B, customers have advanced knowledge and are not looking for generic articles that advise them how to do their job better. Instead, details are what give your content authority.
Let’s take a look at some examples on how using details can improve your authority:
Trending topics can offer a good opportunity to target keywords that have a high search volume, at least temporarily, but are not saturated with competition and are therefore easier to rank for.
The coronavirus pandemic is a perfect example of a trending topic that had a huge impact on content marketing. In our blog, we reacted to it early on and wrote an article about the impact of the pandemic on affiliate marketing, looking at our own paid and organic search trends.
The risk with trending topics is that they’re not evergreen. They may experience a spike at first and then lose nearly all of that traffic just as fast. But this is not what happened with our article. Below is a graph of the sessions over a 4-week period after the post was published.
What if you don’t have enough industry experience to share advanced knowledge? No problem, you can also lend authority from experts. Earlier, I mentioned the HARO platform, which is an ideal tool for connecting you with expert sources. It’s much like being a journalist who is looking for people to interview and feature their insights on a specific topic. But you need of course some domain authority to engage these experts since they will get a backlink from you in return.
Continuing with the pandemic example, we decided to expand on the same topic with a round-up post, featuring comments from our top affiliates and a few other experts that came through HARO. The value of such articles comes from authority. The featured affiliates can describe the situation from their personal experience and provide details we would otherwise have no access to. Since our target audience consists of affiliates, we can assume that they appreciate the authority possessed by these other, successful affiliate marketers.
Another way to build authority with unique details is to cover topics that almost no one else has touched before. Our affiliate dashboard article is a prime example. Reporting templates and dashboards are the backbone of our blog but there aren’t many dashboard articles tailored to affiliate marketers specifically. With a global search volume of 1.9K, as shown in the keyword overview using SEMrush, the keyword showed enough potential, even though the volume in the U.S. alone seems rather low.
And since affiliates need to track their performance too, it made sense to tap into this potential. We could characterize the topic as a pain-point for affiliates to which our dashboards provide a solution. Supermetrics has an extensive template gallery, so by repurposing these templates and sharing them with our affiliate audience we could already set our article apart from the other results.
Offering a first-hand account of a topic is a particularly effective way to build content authority. But if you don’t have any first-hand experience with the topic, you have three options:
- choose another topic that you’re experienced in;
- find experts who can share their experience; or
- do your research to acquire some experience.
There’s no way around it. If you want to create high-ranking content for your affiliate website, you need to know what you’re writing about. Reading a couple of articles on the topic and recycling the same ideas that others have already shared will simply not do if you want to get conversions from your affiliate content.
When you assemble your own data or conduct any kind of research related to your topic, your content becomes much harder to reproduce. You need details to add uniqueness and originality to your affiliate content and to give your readers a reason to stick around. So, choose topics that are likely to convert but not too competitive to rank for, and then use these techniques to build your content authority.
And if you’re not a Supermetrics affiliate yet, you can join our affiliate program and start experimenting with unique content about Supermetrics to earn an additional income stream.
About Johannes Rastas
An Affiliate Program Manager at Supermetrics, Johannes Rastas has worked in communications and marketing in Kyiv and Helsinki. Passionate about marketing, statistics and content, he’s actively looking for new affiliates to join the Supermetrics Affiliate Program. Feel free to contact him on LinkedIn.