Affiliate marketing can be a lot of fun, and it can be profitable, too.
As an affiliate marketer, you have the ability to focus on promoting niche products that you already love and explore different angles for promoting them.
It’s hard work, though. There’s more to promoting a product than simply writing content. In order for you to make money from an affiliate website, the people who read your content have to click on links or buy the products.
Knowing where to put affiliate links on your page so that people will click on them sometimes takes a bit of finesse. The process takes time, patience and usually some tweaking to find what works for you.
I’ve written this article to help you learn about a few different positions on your page that are good spots to place affiliate links. Leverage spots at the top of the page, at the bottom of the page and inside the content text to earn more money from your affiliate links.
I’ll also share a few tips that have worked for me over the years, with the hope that we’ll be putting extra money in your wallet soon. When you’er done, visit this page on writing product reviews that convert.
1. Links at the Top of the Page
Placing links near the top of a page is a great way to get the attention of anyone reading that page. There are upsides and downsides, though, and you’ll have to weigh your options against the results you get if you put affiliate links here.
One thing to consider is that affiliate links near the top of the page can affect that page’s rank on search engines. If you get most of your traffic to a specific page from links through another page, the page rank might not matter. In this case, posting affiliate links near the top of the page might be a good idea. If, however, you get most of your traffic directly from search engines, you might want to reconsider placing links at the top of the page.
Top-placed links generally get the most clicks on that page but also have the lowest conversion rates. This is the case in my experience. I have two affiliate links at the top that generate the most clicks for that page but don’t really convert shoppers to buyers.
This is partly because, at the top of the page, readers haven’t had time to get enough information to make a solid purchasing decision. Once they’ve clicked and see exactly what it is they’re looking at buying, they’ll often move to other pages to learn more about it before they make a final decision.
The risk is that potential buyers will move on completely before buying, which means you could lose out on a commission. To decide whether or not to use a top-of-the-page position, watch the data from your website. You’ll have to experiment to see whether or not this position makes a difference in sales.
Here’s one more thing to consider: if you’re already making the most money possible from a page, then it doesn’t matter if your clickers don’t convert to buyers. Again, you’ll just have to watch the data, experiment, track what happens and adjust the positioning if it becomes necessary.
If you do decide to use top-of-the-page affiliate links, consider using a review type of link. You can make your own five-star rating system (be creative!) or have a ‘fill in the blank’ code that you paste into every page. Your links can even be as simple as just a few hyperlinked words of text. If you want to create your own review system but don’t feel you have the expertise to make images or write code, you can hire help from oDesk or a similar website.
If you use WordPress, you could also consider getting a plugin to help generate a snapshot type of review at the top of the page. Both WP Review and WP Product Review are good choices. They’re free plugins that allow you to add an affiliate link.
2. Putting Links inside Posts
Placing affiliate links directly into the text of the content you write can be effective for getting clicks and conversions. These links are in a position to add value to what your reader is already learning. This makes the links intriguing as well as easy to access, and they can be effective for making sales.
You do want to be careful not to overuse in-text links, though. Your reader can get annoyed if there are too many internal links, so don’t throw in an affiliate link for every product you’ve ever mentioned on your website. Do consider adding links that are relevant to your reader, though. Use links that could provide real value to your reader’s shopping experience.
There are two main strategies that I use:
2.1. Mentioning a Related Product
As you write your content, you might think of an awesome product that you think your reader might really be interested in. Quickly mention it and use an affiliate link to connect your text to the place where your buyer might learn more or purchase the item. If it’s placed well in the article and the post is a high-traffic one, the link could bring in some extra sales.
For example, if you’re promoting hand or ankle weights for workout enthusiasts, you might also mention creams for sore muscles and create an affiliate link to a cream that you’re also promoting.
Here’s another example. I watched a video about adding an extra fuel bottle to my motorcycle. If the producer had written an article to go along with the video, he could have mentioned a necessary mounting clip for the fuel bottle and then added an affiliate link so that people could buy it right away.
Many of the related products you’ll mention will be a little hard to write a full review about (who wants to read a full review about a mounting clip or a sports cream, anyway?). Using an affiliate link could be very useful in situations like this one.
If you have a reason to write a full review, though, write and post a full review and then add an internal link to your own review.
2.2 Give your Reader a Place to Buy
Sometimes in-depth reviews of products can be longer than 2,000 words, and readers might not want to read the entire thing. If they’re ready to buy or have a short attention span, you can help them get off the review and onto the purchasing page with a few well-placed affiliate links.
I call these exit points, and I make sure to leave some relevant ones at key points in the article.
Here’s an example: I’m writing a review of the perfect kit for home brewing beer. There are a lot of points I’ll want to cover in the review, but one key consideration is whether buyers should invest in a plastic or a glass fermenter. After I write this paragraph, I can either link to a review of the glass fermenter kit or add a direct affiliate link to the kit on the vendor’s site.
As with any of the link placements, experiment and see which method generates more sales for you.
There’s one more thing to mention here. One of the main advantages to adding an affiliate link inside the text of the article is that it’s more than just a ‘click here to buy now’ call-to-action. Instead of being a hard sale, links that are placed inside the article play on exactly what the reader wants to know. This can make them more effective as well as helping your reader feel like you understand what they’re looking for and can provide them with what they need.
That’s what a relevant link is all about.
3. Putting Links at the End of Posts
Adding affiliate links at the end of a page is the position that most people will be familiar with. Although readers have to reach the end of the article to see the links, there are a lot of ways that you can leverage affiliate links in this position. Readers who make it to this position in the article are interested in what you’re saying and can be influenced by your recommendations.
As with links in the other positions, you’ll need to watch the trends for your data so that you know how and when to tweak your sales copy. You’ll also need to be willing to experiment with different strategies to find out what works best for you.
3.1 Two Tips for Managing End-of-Page Affiliate Links
Sometimes you have to troubleshoot your affiliate links to find out why they’re not converting shoppers to buyers. Here are two tips to help with troubleshooting so you can increase your commissions.
Tip #1: Get More Traffic
The biggest reason that people don’t make sales is that there simply isn’t enough website traffic. Check your website statistics to find out how much traffic your pages are generating. If your traffic is low, you won’t have a lot of data to work with. Use good content to bring in more traffic for your website overall, and then leverage that for your money page. You can do this by driving traffic to your money page from other blog posts you’ve written that are similar.
Tip #2: Find Out How Long People Stay
Take a look at the Google Analytics for your money page, and check out how much time people are spending on that page. If they’re leaving before they finish reading the article, they won’t even get to your affiliate links at the bottom. In this case, you can either add an affiliate link in the text of the article or find ways to help people stay on the page and read until the very end.
Test Many Types Of Affiliate Links!
One of the advantages to end-of-page positions for affiliate links is that there are so many choices. You can choose to use buttons, text links, images, and other methods to bring your readers into a sales funnel that results in commissions for you.
Links are the easiest way to add an affiliate link at the end of your page. It’s easy to see that they can be clicked, and with the ability to play with wording, text links can play on the curiosity of your readers. In my experience, text links tend to get more clicks than other types of calls-to-action.
Text links also work better on mobile devices than images and buttons do. Because there is no ‘hover’ feature on mobile devices, sometimes it’s not even clear that buttons or images are clickable.
Buttons or Button Images
At the end of your article, a button can be an effective call-to-action to move a shopper to a site where an actual purchase can be made. You can create your own image and get results, but I like using various plugins Thrive Content Builder or Elegant Themes Shortcode. While you do have to pay a fee for some of these plugins, they feel more effective than the images I’ve built myself for buttons.
In my experience, images with affiliate links do get some clicks and sales, but they get fewer clicks than buttons or in-text affiliate links. One thing to consider when you’re linking an affiliate website to an image is that the image needs to be very relevant to what you’re trying to promote.
A picture of the product itself might work, but avoid linking random pictures to snag extra sales. There’s no real business strategy in it, and a reader might see it as a sign of desperation. Instead, use relevant images that show you have a genuine understanding of what readers are looking for and that you can help them find it.
“Call To Action” Links VS Contextual Links
The way you present your link could have an impact on who clicks it and why. For example, in a text link, you can add an affiliate link to a phrase that happens naturally in the content. You could also make a completely separate, more promotional link that stands on its own, such as a ‘click here to buy now’ phrase.
Once again, you’ll have to experiment and watch the data to see which style converts better. My personal rule of thumb is to use the ‘click here to buy now’ phrase when I’m doing an obvious promotion. It fits well with sales copy and makes it easy for shoppers to find the purchasing page. For more finessed articles, I use the in-text style of affiliate links for a smoother transition.
More Tips for Making Money with Affiliate Links
On your website, your money pages will be the pages that are specifically designed to make a sale. I’ve written several of these over the past few years, and I’d like to share a few extra tips with you.
a. Write Comparison Reviews
Comparison reviews are really helpful on a money page. All you need to do is find the top two or three brands for a specific product, compare them, and write an in-depth post detailing the pros and cons for the different brands. Because you’ll be using the brand names in your posts, there’s a good chance that your review post will show up on search engines when someone searches for that particular product.
You can also make money by adding affiliate links to both or all the products you review. That way you can make a commission no matter what option the reader chooses.
b. Use Templates to Make Writing your Posts Easier
You’ll be able to put out high quality content much faster if you use a template for your comparison review posts. Here are some things that I use for my reviews:
- Product or products at a glance
- Introduction & Use
- Pros & Cons
- Related Products
- Conclusion or Pitch
c. Send Your Own Traffic to Your Money Pages
This is a fairly simple strategy to get your own traffic to your money pages where you can make a sale. One easy way to do this is write a money page and then write ten blog posts that drive traffic directly to it. These low-competition posts can be a powerful way to bring people into a sales funnel where you can make money. This is an easy funnel strategy to use.
d. One Product VS Multiple Products
One way to make money is to focus your website on a single product. In this situation, all (or most) pages on your website are trying to drive traffic to that one money page.
Another strategy for making money is to target as many products as you can and write a lot of reviews. If the content is high quality and you can put out enough volume, it’s a sure way to work your way up the ranks.
e. Keep the Reader on Your Page
If you don’t give your readers enough information, they’ll leave your post to do another search and you’ll lose the sale. However, if all the information is on your website, there’s a better chance for you to get your readers to a place where they can convert to buyers. This is true even if they have to click on an internal link to get to another one of your posts. Think about what questions a buyer will have and make sure you address them all in simple, clear ways.
f. Watch the Traffic Connection
As you add links to your money pages, remember that traffic means sales and sales means commissions for you. Adding affiliate links to a site with low traffic won’t make you money. It’s essential to drive traffic to your money pages if your affiliate business is going to succeed.
If you aren’t making money, low traffic might be the only reason. Instead of tweaking your already-published pages, focus on building traffic. Look at the volume and the quality of the content you’re creating. Do you need to post something more often? Write longer posts? Have someone edit your posts before you hit the publish button?
If you don’t know how to write good content or what to write about, research the topic. Make the necessary changes to your content creation process. Your traffic will increase, and you can begin tracking statistics. When you have enough data, you can analyze your money pages and decide whether or not to change up your strategies.
Meanwhile, have fun practicing with affiliate links. I would love to hear where you place your affiliate links and what kinds you use. What works best for you? Please comment and share the methods that help you find success.