Your affiliate marketing commissions largely depend on your website traffic. Creating the right content for the right audience lays the groundwork; the trick, then, is to make sure that you promote it the right way for maximum, profitable exposure to those who will click on your EPN affiliate links to buy what you recommend. In this final installation of a three-part series, we turn once again to award-winning entrepreneur and owner of several seven-figure online businesses, Syed Balkhi, for actionable insights, tips, and tools from his recent presentation at Social Media Marketing World. Today’s post focuses on the various ways you can promote your website and grow your traffic.
There are many paid opportunities to promote your website; to really break through the noise, though, you may think you need a substantial budget and a sophisticated marketing plan.
This is not only not the case but there are also many ways to promote your site where the only necessary investment is your creativity, persistence, and hard work – what businesses of all sizes depend upon, particularly when it comes to marketing and promotion.
Here are six free or low-cost ideas to help you better promote your content, drive traffic, encourage engagement, and increase opportunities to expand your potential for earning more affiliate commissions.
Get creative with organic reach on Facebook.
While you don’t have to be on every traffic-driving social media channel – just those that best reach your target audience – for most publishers, Facebook is an important part of the marketing mix. It’s the largest social network in almost all markets, with 1.28 billion daily active users on average each day. For a variety of reasons, up to and including a recent tweak to the Facebook algorithm done for similar reasons as Google’s Fred update, getting significant organic reach has been increasingly harder to achieve for brands and businesses.
Balkhi has a smart, low-cost technique that will help you boost visibility for your posts, and encourage the crucial interaction that will help keep your content showing up in your audience’s News Feeds.
First, you must add a Facebook Advertising Pixel on your website. (Click here for instructions on how to do so on a Wordpress site.)
Next, you put a small amount of money (e.g. $5.00) into boosting a strong pillar article (an informative, evergreen post) targeted to the audience that reflects your site readership. These are the folks who have recently visited or interacted with your website. This means that they know and appreciate your brand, and so there’s a much greater chance that they’ll like the post, and perhaps your page as well.
Because engagement is an important driver of organic reach on Facebook, you should see an increase in distribution for the next few articles you share. Add fuel to that fire by reposting older content that has done well for you on Facebook in the past. Boost those posts (approximately every third one) to get more exposure, continue to expand your reach, and win over new fans, too. (Balkhi’s traffic increased 332% by using boosts with a custom audience!)
Become a guest blogger.
Contributing content to sites that speak to your desired demographics has a ton of upside: It introduces you/your site as a source of interesting, valuable information; positions you as a thought leader; and to link back to your site. There are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare to pitch:
● You’re not doing this to sell, you’re doing this to add value: If all you can think about is promoting your site or yourself, guest blogging probably isn’t for you.
● Know your host blog: Do the legwork to be sure what you’re pitching is what they need. Understand topics, tone/voice, and what resonates most with their audience. In addition to perusing the site and reading several posts from contributors, you should also check out SEM Rush. While it may be known as a great resource to research your competition, it also can give you valuable insight about your target host blog, including keywords and topics.
● Provide at least three titles when you email the editor: Be sure to include brief summaries, too, to give the editor options.
● Follow up: You’re the one pursuing the opportunity, so stay on top of it.
● Expert bonus tip from Balkhi: To up your chances of having your content included in highly trafficked sites, get involved. For example, join Forbes Coaches Council.
Be a guest on a podcast.
With 57 million Americans listening to podcasts each month, there are thousands of shows where you’d be the perfect expert guest. Balkhi points out that this can help provide you with social proof, influencer love, and SEO, too. And much like guest blogging, it will help you further your position as a go-to person in your market niche.
Host other bloggers on your site.
Asking others, especially influencers, if they’d like to contribute their content to your website is another great strategy to boost your site’s visibility and drive traffic. All of the biggest content-driven affiliate marketing sites actively recruit solid guest bloggers – not only do they benefit from thoughtful articles, but it also attracts more traffic and new eyeballs.
Contribute to Q&A and aggregator/community sites.
You are an expert in your industry or niche, and sharing your wealth of knowledge is a fantastic way to get exposure for you and your site. Quora, Yahoo Answers, and Stack Exchange are a few examples where you can share your knowledge to build a positive online reputation. To find more sources where your expertise may be considered especially valuable, use Bloomberry, which is a resource that scours all of the Q&A sites and ranks top websites.
Not only can you get great content ideas for your site, but you can also find places to contribute to that can help position you as the industry expert on a particular topic. Similarly, you can submit your content to aggregator sites like Reddit -- just make sure it’s quality, and not spammy.
Reach out to others.
Sometimes the best promotion is to give credit where it’s due. For example, when you link to an outside blog, let them know – send an email giving them the heads up and asking if there’s anything they’d like to change. According to Balkhi, this can not only help you network, but you may also get backlinks, social shares, guest post swaps, new business... and of course, more traffic.
These proven ways to promote your website and grow your traffic directly and from referrals cost next to nothing – but can pay off in a big way. You can build a valuable affiliate site by investing your time, effort, and focus into promoting the awesome content you create.
And always remember: