If you’ve been a regular reader of Spice Up Your Blog, you should already know that blogging can be a full-time career. Signing up to be an affiliate marketer is one such way to make money online via blogging, but it’s certainly not enough to start your own blog and take part in an affiliate program to rake in the cash.
You’ll first need to get visitors on your blog, which isn’t the easiest thing to do if you’re just beginning your blogging efforts, and you have to convince them to click on your affiliate links/ads to actually get paid.
The answer to the first problem can be found in the biggest driver of Internet traffic: search. You have to get your blog high up in the search engine results pages (SERPs) to attract people, and so you need optimize your site.
Although there are general principles to follow, SEO for affiliate marketing blogs has its differences that you should understand to effectively increase your rankings.
Focus on a Niche
It’s good to have a target audience for any sort of blog, but you can run a successful one even if you branch out to cater to a broader range of relevant markets. An affiliate marketing blog needs to be much more focused with its content, and subsequently, its audience.
You can’t spread yourself too thin creating content for all sorts of different products. Not only do you dilute your potential customer base targeting too many different audiences, you will also fail to establish authority for any of those markets. Big brands will keep you from rising to the top of the SERPs.
Such a content strategy encourages nothing but promotional content, and Google will see your blog as spammy, leading to penalties that will drop your blog further down the rankings.
Go Long-Tail with Keywords
You might be tempted to go for the simple 1 to 2 word phrases as your targeted keywords because of the traffic they get, but chances are you won’t be getting much visits (if any!) using such popular keywords. Authority sites get the lion’s share of the traffic from those keywords, so don’t bother wasting any more of your resources on them.
Use long-tail keywords instead that don’t have insanely high competition for them but still get a decent number of searches. That way you don’t have to deal with big brands, and you can realistically start building authority for those keywords yourself.
Remember, you are already targeting a specific niche to create content for in your affiliate marketing blog. Long-tail keywords fit just right in considering how people use such search terms to look for specific items.
Focus on Linking to Highly Relevant Sites
A critical element to off-page SEO is building links from quality sites that are relevant to each other. For affiliate marketing blogs, this practice has to be applied with more care to ensure a good link profile. Even if the site you plan on linking to tackles a tangentially related industry relative to your blog, you can’t expect much increase in traffic.
Just because you’re promoting athletic wear on your blog doesn’t mean you should be building links to sites that talk about dieting, even if it falls under a general umbrella of “fitness”. You need to get more qualified leads from more relevant sites to get them to actually click on your affiliate links/ads.
Create Valuable Content Consistently
Quality content is mainly what people are looking for online, so search engines put the sites that have quality content at the top of their SERPs. You are first and foremost running a blog, so your bread and butter for increasing your rankings in the SERPs is writing useful posts.
A good post idea to get you started is an objective review of the product you’re promoting. “Objective” is bolded because your readers will find you more trustworthy if you’re willing to highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of the product to show that you aren’t mindlessly just shilling for money. Tell them how they can truly benefit from using the product.
There are other types of content that you can use for your blog that aren’t just text-only articles. Mix it up, and keep publishing so that you build your authority on the subjects you’re tackling. A constant stream of fresh updates is good for SEO.
SEO for your affiliate marketing blog requires a more focused approach. Concentrate your efforts into promoting particular products with content targeting the right people using the appropriate keywords.
About the author
Gabby Roxas is relationship marketer for Hostingfacts. She also has a background in marketing and a photography enthusiast.