Copyblogger.com editor Brian Clark provided a three-article series earlier this year that offers helpful insight into how online publishers can overcome issues associated with traditional advertising methods and make money with affiliate programs: Why Affiliate Marketing Will Save Free Online Content
Clark notes that traditional advertising tactics don’t translate well to the Web, what with limited control over where the reader accesses content (RSS, email, etc.), and the ease with which Web surfers can dismiss, block and simply ignore ads around the edges of a page. His advice? Since the Internet is a buyer’s market, become the buyer’s trusted advisor. He believes (as do we) that it’s possible to recommend quality offers without alienating the visitors you’ve worked hard to attract.
He goes on to say that making money with affiliate marketing requires attention and trust, but the real secret is engagement.
“If you have a page with an affiliate offer that ranks well for searchers in buying mode, that's pretty high engagement,” he says. “You need a trusted, authoritative site to pull that off, which means strong content and plenty of links.”
He details a few ways for affiliate marketers to develop good sources of traffic. They include building sites with rich, unique, frequently changing content that can be picked up by search engines and sites like Digg. In the process you can develop a relationship with buyers and become their “trusted advisor” that can recommend products and services. He also outlines some tips for how to effectively do e-mail list building. Best practice is to develop a relationship with users and get them to sign up for a newsletter with valuable content that you can then use to selectively promote advertisers on.
Clark also details five copywriting tactics (endorsements, reviews, tutorials, bonus offers and articles) to bring in immediate and long-term revenue from affiliate programs.
The take-away? With the right content and copywriting strategies, affiliate marketing is a lucrative option for proactive publishers. We tend to agree.