Taking part in an affiliate program is a fantastic way to make a full-time living or earn extra cash.
According to Glassdoor, the average affiliate marketers make over $77,000 per year, with some creators quickly hitting an affiliate income of six figures across their affiliate networks.
And as you've probably seen, plenty of affiliate marketing success stories are out there.
However, how much you earn through affiliate marketing depends on your aim.
Some content creators will use affiliate sales to boost their income, whereas others put it as their primary source.
Regardless of your bracket, as an affiliate marketer, your main goal is to promote products and services to your audience and earn commissions for every sale made through your affiliate marketing links.
However, the success of your affiliate marketing strategy largely depends on the type of content you use to promote those links.
This guide discusses the 12 content types where affiliate links should be included to maximize affiliate potential and how to maximize your earnings to thrive in the affiliate space.
What are affiliate marketing links?
Affiliate links are special URLs.
Each custom affiliate link contains a unique identifying component that allows companies to track clicks and sales resulting from an affiliate's referral.
As you can see, the affiliate link in this YouTube video has the creator's name in it.
The affiliate marketing partners can now track all the traffic from their website from this link, thus seeing exactly how effective their partnership with the creator has been.
When someone clicks such a link and makes a purchase (either through buying a product or service, signing up, or carrying out another type of action), the affiliate earns a commission for sending the customer that way.
Commission amounts vary depending on the product or service being promoted and the terms of the affiliate marketing programs you're connected using.
How should I promote my affiliate links?
Promoting your affiliate marketing links effectively is essential to your success as an affiliate marketer.
But, as you've probably seen in recent media and online content, there's a bit of umming and ahhing about how actually to go about it.
Take influencers and content creators as an example.
Some audiences don't mind affiliate marketing links and are happy to enjoy products and services while also supporting the individuals they follow. On the other hand, some audiences think affiliate marketing links are dishonest and seedy ways to get affiliate marketing income, especially if the links aren't disclosed.
There's no right or wrong way to go about this. What matters is how you go about presenting and promoting your links to your audience in a way that not only resonates with them but is accepted by them.
Here are some tips to help you with your affiliate program ventures.
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is critical when promoting your affiliate marketing links effectively.
You must understand their interests, preferences, and pain points to promote affiliate partner products that are both relevant and useful to them.
You can do this through market research, following trends, surveys, or analyzing your affiliate site or social media analytics for your highest-performing content.
Providing value is the key to successful affiliate promotions.
Even if you do everything else right, but not this, you'll find it hard to grow your online business and affiliate income.
Your content must showcase the product or service's value to the user. Customers who can't see the value won't commit to investing.
How you present this value is up to you.
The most traditional way is creating high-quality content that educates, entertains, or solves a problem for your audience.
For example, if you're promoting a fitness product, you could create a workout routine or a healthy recipe that incorporates the product, but we'll talk about methods in a short while.
Use Multiple Channels
Posting your affiliate marketing program links in one place limits how much you can make from them.
It's basic math that if 5% of readers or viewers click your links, it's better to have 100,000 impressions than it is to have 10,000. Therefore, post your links through multiple channels to help you reach a wider audience.
However, remember that each channel requires a different approach, so tailoring your content to your platform is important.
As discussed, being transparent about using affiliate links with your audience is important.
The best way to do this is by simply disclosing that you may earn a commission if they purchase through your link. Being upfront and honest about your affiliations can help build trust with your audience and prevent negative feedback or backlash.
Test and Measure
Finally, testing and measuring your affiliate marketing efforts is vital to see what's working and what's not.
This can be done by tracking clicks, conversions, and earnings through your affiliate program's dashboard.
You can then use this data to optimize your content and promotional strategies for better results.
12 Affiliate Link Content Types
At the core of affiliate marketing is content.
Content that connects and communicates with your audience showcases the value of the product or service you're working with and gets them excited and committed to investing and buying themselves.
But the world of content is vast and wide, so we've considered the 12 most important types of content your affiliate marketing programs need to succeed.
Let's get into it.
1. Blog Posts
With over 5.8 million blog posts uploaded daily, it's no wonder that written content is the most popular form of affiliate marketing content. Written content is far easier to produce at scale than visual content, and it's far more diverse in what you can achieve with it.
Let's break it down and explore the five types of blog posts that are most effective for your affiliate marketing business.
1a. Product Reviews
Product reviews provide an in-depth review of a product.
Usually, these discuss the product in question, highlight all the features and benefits, and then go on to detail the personal experience that the writer had with that product.
Product reviews are usually incredibly honest, focusing on the benefits and drawbacks of an individual product.
This provides potential buyers with all the information they need to decide whether this product is for them. Within the guide, you'll find links allowing the buyer to purchase there and then.
Product Review Example: Kinsta Review – A Top WordPress Hosting Solution in 2023
1b. Product Roundups
Product roundups are popular if you want to cover multiple products in a range, allowing you to showcase various products within a specific niche or category.
While there is an element of comparison between the featured products, they're typically all presented in a positive light, having been handpicked by the author or reviewer.
They'll typically provide a brief overview of each product, including its features and benefits, as well as its pros and cons.
You've probably seen this content when you've searched for posts like “Best apps to make me more productive,” “Best places to go this summer,” or “Top-Rated Products of the Year,” for example.
Product Round-up Example: Best Website Hosting in 2022 (Ranked & Reviewed)
Listicles are a simple list of items or products related to a specific topic or niche. These are helpful for an affiliate marketing business because they allow you to showcase various products (and add relevant links) within a single article.
These lists can be comparative but are more likely to showcase available options, such as listing available web hosting providers or suitable locations for a vacation.
By providing a list of relevant products to your audience, you can provide value and encourage them to purchase through your affiliate link.
Listicles Example: 22 Best Affiliate Marketing Networks in 2023
1d. Tutorials or How-tos
Tutorials are simple step-by-step instructions on using a product or service or achieving a certain goal or outcome using the linked product.
These are great as they allow you to provide valuable information and guidance to your audience that can help to establish you as an authority in your niche.
By providing detailed and informative content, you're demonstrating your knowledge and expertise to your audience, which can help build trust and credibility and highlight a product's benefits.
Tutorials Example: 5 Rules to Help You Write Winning Blog Post Titles
1e. Product Comparisons
Similar to product roundups, product comparisons take a more competitive approach. This content still exists as a great way to help your audience make informed purchasing decisions, but it does so by presenting them with a side-by-side comparison of two or more similar products.
A product comparison typically highlights each product's key features, benefits, drawbacks, or limitations.
This allows your readers to see how the products stack up against each other and make a more informed decision based on their needs and preferences.
Comparisons don't have to be done on a product vs product level. Comparisons can be about anything, such as email marketing vs social media marketing.
This approach allows the author to bake in more affiliate links across marketing channels and appropriate products.
Product Comparison Example: Email Marketing vs Social Media – The Best Bang for Your Buck in 2023
Ebooks are valuable content that every affiliate should consider using to promote their affiliate marketing links. Sometimes eBooks and guides are used interchangeably, but they are slightly different.
A guide can be an eBook but can also be presented as an article on a web page. An eBook is typically a download and is a pdf or other type of ePub format.
Sure, these are longer-form content pieces that take longer to produce, but they provide in-depth information on a specific topic or niche that ooze value.
Not only does this enable you to provide a comprehensive overview of the products you're promoting, but it also provides real value to your audience.
By using high-quality images and highlighting the key features and benefits of the products, you can provide value to your audience and encourage them to make a purchase through your affiliate link.
What's more, ebooks can be easily shared and distributed through your affiliate website or email list, increasing the reach of your content and potentially increasing the likelihood of a purchase.
When creating ebooks for affiliate marketing, it's important to focus on providing value to your audience.
This means choosing relevant topics useful to your audience, creating a well-designed and visually appealing ebook, and being transparent about your affiliate marketing links.
Ebook Example: How to Make Extra Money Online – $50 to $100 Daily (download is at end of post)
Video content is mind-blowingly popular, with over 82% of all internet traffic in 2022 coming from video. Therefore, it's a great way to promote your affiliate marketing links.
Videos engage your audience, showcase the features and benefits of products, and build trust and authority with your viewers. They can be entertaining, inspiring, educational, or basically anything you want.
We're even at a stage where a video can be about anything, but the creator will insert an affiliate ad section into their content as part of their marketing campaigns.
Nord VPN and ExpressVPN are renowned for doing this throughout the entertainment industry, working with creators and receiving tens of millions of views.
However, if you're looking to keep things within the affiliate marketing industry, here are three types of video content that work well for affiliates:
- Product demos: A demonstration of how a product works. These videos can be used to promote products by showing viewers how they can benefit from using them.
- Tutorials: Videos that teach viewers how to do something. These videos can be used to promote products by showing viewers how they can benefit from using them.
- Review videos: Videos that provide an in-depth review of a product. These videos can be used to promote products by providing viewers with detailed information about their benefits, features, and drawbacks.
Use each video type to highlight products' unique selling points, provide value to your viewers, and encourage them to purchase through your affiliate link.
Try to keep things personal and place your insight into the content showcasing a realistic and authentic experience. Don't hesitate to add your opinions and insights to nurture those strong relationships.
However, and most importantly, focus on quality.
There's nothing worse than trying to sit through a boring, poorly structured, and edited video. Create high-quality content that's informative, entertaining, and engaging. Focus on connecting with the audience through your content, then emphasize your links second.
When selling is your first priority, you won't get the results you're looking for.
It's big business and a fantastic opportunity for an affiliate marketer to find success.
Hosting a podcast is a great way to connect with your audience, provide value through informative and entertaining content, and build trust and authority with your listeners.
However, just like the other forms of content, the quality of the content itself must come first.
If you don't have interesting guests or conversations, you're not discussing interesting topics, or you're just sitting in a room trying to sell, nobody wants to tune in.
Instead, focus on creating a show that's going to attract listeners. Choose your niche and figure out ways to talk about the topic to engage listeners so they don't want to turn it off.
After you've focused on growing your show, you can add your affiliate network links and encourage those sales.
Webinars are online seminars or events that allow you to connect with your audience and promote products. These airings are usually interactive and enable viewers to get involved in one way or another.
This could be through asking questions, engaging in the live chat, voting for certain things to happen, etc.
Webinars are usually live-streamed in real-time, but they can be recorded and rerun later for the return value.
6. Social Media Content
Never deny the power of social media.
With over 4.76 billion people on social media, growing by over 137 million users a year, there's never a better place to get new eyes on your content or what you're offering.
Many types of social media content can be used for affiliate marketing, such as posts featuring product reviews, comparisons, promotions, and stories or live videos showcasing products or experiences.
Each content type can highlight a product's unique selling points, provide value to your followers, and encourage them to purchase through your affiliate link.
Of course, the greatest benefit of using social media as an affiliate is that it allows you to reach a large audience quickly and easily.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are widely used and can help you connect with a wide range of people interested in the products you're promoting.
Guides are very similar to how-to and educational pieces we've covered but are usually a little broader.
A guide could be a recipe, an instructable, a travel itinerary, or a walkthrough on improving your golf swing.
These guides add affiliate network links to the mentioned products or services.
Examples of online guides from Web Tools Advisor include:
8. Coupons & Discounts
Everybody loves free stuff.
Whenever you're online, and you see a sale, a percentage off, or a reduced price, you usually can't help but take a look to figure out whether you're getting a good deal. If it's a product you've been after for some time, you'll likely commit now.
Offering coupons and discounts are a popular and effective way to promote affiliate marketing links because they make them even more enticing.
Squarespace does an exceptional job of hosting its own affiliate program with stringent guidelines and regulations to gain access. However, affiliate marketers can offer their audiences up to 10% off the standard price once in.
Not only is this an enticing deal, but it always helps build the credibility of their affiliate marketers and favor their audiences, making them even more likely to stick around and want to be a part of the community.
9. Resource Pages
Resource pages are a useful content type that every affiliate program should consider using to promote their links. Resource pages can be relatively simple and typically consist of a collection of useful links, products, and tools related to a specific topic or niche.
They also tend to overlap with the other content types we've explored above. For example, you might have a listicle of the “10 WordPress Hosting Platforms” or a list of new AI tools and plugins.
The aim of this content is to provide pure value to readers.
Some tools, products, or services you list may not have an affiliate program, but that's okay. You can simply add affiliate marketing links as and where you can.
Resource Page Example: Web Tools Advisor software tools and discounts resource page
Slideshows are a dynamic and visually appealing content type that's unique and interesting but is gaining popularity. A slideshow can be as simple as text and images, but modern ones are clearly made with a professional aesthetic in mind.
For your affiliate program, you may be interested in using slideshows for showcasing several different kinds of content, including;
- Product comparison charts
- How-to guides
- Online courses
- Product showcases
- Case studies
- Promotions & deals
Remember, slideshows work because they allow you to present the products visually engagingly.
Use high-quality images and highlight the key features and benefits of the products to grab your audience's attention and encourage them to purchase through your link.
We're big fans of FAQ content.
FAQs, or frequently asked questions, answer common questions that readers may have about the products or services you're promoting.
There are few ways better to bring value to your audience than FAQ content because you're directly answering any questions they may have, alleviating any questions they have.
And don't be afraid to get creative with where you post your FAQ content.
- Host a live Q&A session
- Add an FAQ section to your blog posts
- Create an FAQ-based blog post or article
- Create FAQ-styled social media posts
Whichever approach you take, use your FAQ content to address any concerns or hesitations that readers may have toward a product or service.
By providing clear and concise answers to common questions, you can help to build trust and increase the likelihood of a purchase.
And finally, interviews.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking interviews are just like podcasts. Interviews can cover all kinds of content and may be written up or quoted in blogs and articles, quoted on social media, recorded for content, or highlighted as an authority piece.
Interviews are engaging. They're informative.
Imagine you're talking with an industry leader about productivity, and you're an affiliate website that focuses on productivity apps and services.
Having a field expert is a great way to bring traffic to your website and build your authority and reputation as an information source because you get your info from the best in the niche.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Affiliate Links
As you can see, there are plenty of ways affiliate marketers can use content to flesh out their link network and engage their users. However, deciding the type of content you'll use is the first hurdle.
Creating the content and maximizing its success chances is a whole other game.
If you're an affiliate marketer, you want to get the most out of your affiliate marketing links, so here are some tips to help you do just that.
Conduct audience research
One of the most important things you can do as an affiliate marketer is to understand your audience.
This means conducting research that can help you identify your audience's needs, interests, and preferences. This information can then be used to create targeted content that speaks directly to your audience and promotes your affiliate programs effectively.
This is just so important it can never be understated.
The average conversion rate for an affiliate program is 0.5% to 2%.
That means for every 100 people who see your affiliate content; two will make a sale.
But don't worry; this isn't a problem. It means you need to focus on that 2% of people and determine why they converted. Ask and answer the following questions.
- What was good about your content?
- What spoke to them?
- What pain point did you address, or what convinced them?
- What about your content engaged them, or what did they find interesting or engaging?
By understanding your audience this way, you can find out what part of your affiliate program strategy works and what you can double down on.
Use A/B testing to test CTAs
CTAs, or calls to action, are essential to any affiliate marketing strategy.
It's part of the process where readers have absorbed your message, but now it's time for them to move on to the next step. i.e., converting.
Your CTAs must be clear and concise, have no fluff, and clearly define the action.
However, to find the best CTAs and to see what works, use A/B testing.
This means developing two CTAs and trailing them to see which performs better. After a set period of time, test the winner with another CTA, and see which is best.
Keep refining your CTAs this way until you find the one that gives you the best results possible.
Promote your affiliate marketing links
We see so many affiliate managers missing this simple step.
Nobody will know to click if you're not talking about your post's affiliate link. We're not saying it's all you should discuss, so you risk coming across as pressuring and sales-orientated.
Instead, just offer a quick mention that details how the links exist, how you may make some money, and can be supported by purchases made through the link, and the reader can have access to a great deal.
There are many ways to promote your affiliate links, such as through social media, email marketing, and content marketing.
Choose the promotion methods that work best for your audience and niche.
Build your email lists
Email is renowned for being the most effective communication channel for selling.
Statistics say email is even 40x more effective at selling than Facebook.
This makes sense since customers have actively given you their email with the intention of you communicating with them. They're asked for you to message them, which means they're already engaged in whatever you're sending their way.
Therefore, include some links promoting your affiliate site, whether you're sending updates on the other content you're putting out, running a newsletter, highlighting a new offer, or sending a message.
Email Marketing Resource: The 21 Most Effective Email Marketing Best Practices
Affiliate tracking tools
In these modern times, you must use tools to help with the tedious tasks of your affiliate marketing strategies.
Most often, this is one of the most popular online marketing tips and refers to tracking your stats, data, and metrics to see what's doing well in your affiliate system and what needs improvements.
Tools provide valuable insights into which products perform well, which promotion methods are most effective, and which CTAs drive conversions.
And these tools can be found anywhere.
If you're using affiliate networks like CJ Affiliate or programs like the Amazon Affiliate program, you'll have access to a built-in, dedicated account management, affiliate manager suite, or affiliate dashboard that details all the data and metrics you need to know.
Some of the top affiliate networks offer a dedicated account manager depending on the affiliate level you've achieved.
By using these tools and choosing the right affiliate program for your promotion efforts, you can improve your affiliate marketing, increase your commissions, and simplify your marketing efforts.
The Best Content Types for Affiliate Links Wrap-up
As an affiliate marketer, using various content types to promote your affiliate links effectively is important.
But remember, it's not so much about the links themselves, but rather you take the time to create valuable content that actually benefits your readers and viewers.
Through the product of valuable, high-quality content, you'll attract a large audience who trusts you. You'll have authority, credibility, and a reputation strong enough for people to value your words.
Only then will they be happy to click through your affiliate marketing links.
From product roundups and comparisons to social media content and podcasts, each content type offers its own unique benefits and can help you reach and engage with your audience in different ways, so don't be afraid to experiment and see what works for you.
With these strategies in mind, you can effectively promote your affiliate marketing products and succeed in the competitive world of affiliate marketing.
Have a content type that you've had affiliate success with? Let us know in the comments.