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Affiliate Marketing with How-To Articles

Affiliate marketing is a great way to churn a consistent source of income, but it requires a lot of marketing groundwork to generate enough traffic. Chief among these is SEO, which itself relies on highly informative articles that generate user interest.

Affiliate sites do best when they act as information hubs instead of a senseless collection of product links to other sites. To this end, how-to blogs do extremely well because they take the reader through an entire journey, from learning how to solve a problem to gaining awareness about possible solutions (usually in the form of affiliate links).

However, writing doesn’t always come naturally to everyone, and that is perfectly a-okay. You mostly have to keep a few pointers in mind to create those meaty articles that really generate user interest.

We’re going to be honest here and tell you that you’ll have to prepare yourself for a full day’s worth of grind (or week, depending on the research required) if you want to write something of substance.

How-to blogs do extremely well in terms of SEO for two reasons:

  • They usually target long-tail keywords
  • They contain a vast amount of information on a single webpage, saving the reader from having to check out multiple sources to upgrade their knowledge

This earns trust with both search engines and users alike.

This blog will take you through essential pointers to create powerful how-to articles and guides for your website.

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Choose Your Topic

Select a topic that you can focus on for a week or two. If your topic is too broad, try to narrow it down as much as you can. Instead of writing on how to play paintball gun, write on paintball paint removal. That article is a lot more specific, which makes it easier to handle.

Next, prepare a rough draft (no need to wordsmith anything yet) and include as many pointers as you can think of. Don’t be overly critical of your work, and just try to put your thoughts into words. The idea is to create a basic structure of the article that you can work with, including listicles and bullets.

At first, it’s okay to use short sentences and one-liners to maintain clarity. Each paragraph should contain at least one main idea that you can, later on, expand upon. 

Set aside the article and move on to the next step.

Address the Needs of Your Audience

The worst thing you can do as an affiliate marketer is to write on a product that you haven’t tried yourself, have no personal experience with, or simply don’t like.

Instead of wasting your time on such a pointless endeavor, try to give an honest review of a product that you’ve actually used instead of showering it with endless praise in hopes that it would convince the reader to make a purchase.

This is important because your readers trust you and want to know that you’re recommending a product or a service you’ve tried and loved, not because you stand to profit from it. Put your readers at the center of the entire article if you care about making your affiliate marketing website successful.

Now, going back to your piece, put yourself in your audience’s position. Find out what the product solves, why it matters to your audience, and possible alternatives that may perform better.

Pro tip: How-to articles that compare several products to rank them in order of best to worst rank do really well.

Do Your Research

Include statistics, numbers, and, if possible, charts into your article. Infographics are even better, but it’s okay if you don’t have the resources to produce them yet.

Support your article and viewpoints with statistics, quotes by famous people, anecdotes, examples, and references to helpful tools. But make sure you’re using authority websites and credible resources.

Collect all the data you have gathered and put it in a folder for easy retrieval. Don’t forget to keep track of your sources in case your readers ask you to verify them.

Clean Up Your Draft

After you’ve taken stock of your audience’s needs and done your research, you can proceed to create a tighter draft with all the supporting information. Don’t worry if this process takes longer than usual, especially in light of new evidence and information.

The best how-to articles directly address the audience with a friendly conversational tone. So ditch the complex vocab in favor of something more reader-friendly.

Go over your draft again and ask yourself, is it working? Is it too generic and unclear? If so, revisit your sources and other how-to articles. Mimic the techniques and strategies that other writers are using.

Be Honest With Your Information

Most affiliate marketers are guilty of misinformation and gross exaggeration. While it may seem smart to oversell a product when it’s actually disappointing, doing so will erode your trust with the readers in the long run, and prove to have a detrimental impact on your readership.

To foster trust, always prioritize honesty over making a quick buck. While you don’t want to focus on the product’s flaws too much, you should make it a point to at least highlight them. Readers love this honesty and will be more willing to buy the product if they know what to expect in terms of pros and cons.

Prioritize Products That Have Proven to be Popular With Customers

Going back to our previously stated point, customers should be the center of your article. If you’re not focusing on products and services that they will love, you’re already missing the mark.

It is also worth noting that you and your readers’ preferences won’t always align seamlessly. If this happens, you should prioritize your readers first, since they are the ones who will be making a decision based on the information you provide.

Provide Pictures (if possible)

The best how-to articles feature original photos (often with instructions). Original photos also give you the opportunity to provide more insight and branding your business. More importantly, you can use original photos to match the content style.  Even if you don’t have a high-quality camera, you can always use your smartphone.

If you don’t have original images, you can find stock photos too. Our favorite sites are Unsplash and Pixabay – both are simple to use.

And if you really want to spice things up, you can include infographics in your how-to article. These are harder to do because you’ll have to prepare them from scratch. Most people take the easier route and hire a graphic designer to do this for them. You can also use Canva with its customizable templates that can be tailored to your style.

Video Content (optional)

If the how-to article requires a lot of complicated moves that can’t be described in words, it’s always a good idea to include a video demonstration of you showing how the product or service works. Keep in mind that videos require a lot of work, including a good grasp of video editing software. But if your video starts to rank higher, it could add to your revenue by generating additional clicks to your affiliate links.

Why You Should Hire Article Writers for Your Copywriting Needs

Article writing for affiliate marketers requires your full-time attention and commitment, which means you probably won’t be able to focus on your business’s core areas. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your content needs, or don’t have enough time, you can hire affiliate marketing copywriters to help you instead.

As professional article writers, they will do all of the keyword research, product research, as well as audience research for you to optimize your goals.

By Dave Brown

Dave leads the content writing services department at Content Development Pros. He’s helped Fortune 500 companies and SMEs alike reach the front page of the internet. When not supervising blogs and product descriptions, Dave likes to play his guitar, spend time on social media, and put his culinary skills to the test!

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