Are you wondering how to promote affiliate links to generate income from your site?
Affiliate link promotion is about building a diversified strategy using several methods that work together to drive traffic.
Enjoy this list of 19 creative strategies to promote affiliate links.
What is an Affiliate Link?
Before we get into too much detail about how to promote affiliate links, let’s ensure that we have an understanding of what an affiliate link is.
When you sign up for an affiliate program with a company, you will receive a link to use on your site. When visitors click on this link and later make a purchase that you recommended, you will earn a commission from the sale.
The amount of commission that you earn can vary greatly. So can the time length of the “cookie,” which shows your affiliate partner that the purchaser came from your site recently.
There are many different cookie types and commission structures for affiliate links. Check out our blog post 36 Best Affiliate Programs for Making Money With Your Site if you want to learn more about this topic.
Your Affiliate Link Strategy
As you read through this list, think about how each link promotion method can be a part of your overall affiliate marketing strategy.
We think about affiliate strategy in the same way as building a brand.
It’s not about throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. You need to have a good reason for choosing your approach, and be able to justify it.
Don’t decide on a promotion strategy just because everyone else is doing it, or because you were told it is a “must have.”
Let’s say that you were in charge of branding an upstart online company that sells sustainably sourced succulents that are delivered to your door.
If your main mission was growing this brand, you can be sure that you would need to be able to track all of your marketing dollars to know how your Facebook ads, blog posts, and email marketing are performing.
Track your affiliate link promotion strategy in something as simple as a Google Sheet. Record metrics like Cost Per Sale (CPS), Click Through Rate (CTR), and Return on Investment (ROI) to determine what is working the best for you.
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself when you are deciding on an affiliate link strategy:
- Can I research this method to determine if an audience exists?
- Can I accurately measure the performance of this method?
- Can I conduct testing to see which methods work the best?
- Could this method have a negative effect on my brand?
- What is the maximum possible ROI on this method?
All right, let’s jump into the best ways to promote your affiliate links.
We don’t talk too much about ads in this article, and the truth is, you shouldn’t rely on them for your marketing strategy.
Don’t get us wrong, we know that display ads, Facebook ads, and many others have their place in affiliate marketing. They can be used effectively to draw traffic to your blog and to promote many of the other methods that we touch on, like online courses or ebooks. You can even use ads to direct a user to an affiliate link, but we will be discussing this in another article.
The problem is, paying for each user that you bring to your site presents certain challenges. The goal of earning money through affiliate marketing is to earn income by scaling your offering. Unfortunately, you can’t scale an ad. You can make it more efficient and get more clicks for fewer impressions, but you eventually reach a point of diminishing returns.
After all, you will still need to pay for each click. As a comparison, evergreen content can take time and money to create, but as its SEO ranking improves, each lead that you bring in comes at no additional cost to you.
Regardless, Facebook Ads and YouTube ads are especially popular and effective for promoting your site. You can use these ads to direct people to a product (like an ebook or course) or to a particularly successful article that you think can benefit them.
If you are using Facebook Ads, be sure to comply with their advertising guidelines. Facebook prioritizes user experience, so you will need to have a quality landing page, and check whether your chosen affiliate program allows Facebook paid ads.
Check out this guide to promoting affiliate links on Facebook to learn more.
This may be the most obvious way to promote an affiliate link. At Brand Builders, we promote blogs as an effective way to grow a follower base online in many different formats.
High-performing blog posts balance expertise with information scarcity.
Your posts need to be valuable to your readers and provide information that is not easy to find elsewhere on the internet.
High-performing blog posts also use other forms of media like infographics, video, and data to drive their point home.
Try these blog post promotion methods to jumpstart your affiliate marketing strategy.
Commenting on blog posts is an under-the-radar way to put your affiliate links in front of customers. Just keep in mind that this method is built on trust and authenticity.
If your comments are perceived as being too salesy, spammy, or not useful, they will be removed. Always comment with the goal of helping other users solve problems, and be honest about your affiliate links if asked.
It is important to comment soon after a post is made to have the best chance of your message being seen. You can follow blogs you like with an email subscription or RSS feed.
Find related blogs in your niche by searching on a site like Medium.
If you are creating well thought out content, but aren’t getting great engagement, it may be time to try writing a data-driven blog post.
Data-driven blog posts are a favorite of Neil Patel, who has used them to build successful blogs through content marketing.
A data-driven post is more than just an article with a few statistics thrown into the mix. It needs to include information proven by experts, or from your own testing that supports an argument.
Including data in your headline is essential, as well-chosen data can make readers stop in their tracks and read through your post to find out more.
So how do affiliate links fit into this? You can slip your links into your post easier when the purpose of the article is to inform, not to sell.
Here’s an example. A post about the Hubspot 2020 State of Marketing Report could use the following headline:
“Only 24% of marketers plan on increasing their spend in content marketing in 2020.”
During this post, you could use more data to explain why increasing your business’s spend on content marketing is a good idea. You can then refer users to your favorite content marketing tools through affiliate links.
Be sure to credit trustworthy data and link your readers to their content so they can always explore more. Also, try investing in data visualization methods like infographics.
Here’s Neil Patel’s step-by-step guide to great data-driven content: The Beginner’s Guide to Data-Driven Posts
When you are creating content for your site, it seems smart to write about things that are topical and relevant. Product launches, rising trends, and newsworthy items can bring a lot of short term traffic to your site.
However, we recommend thinking about your content as a marathon, and not a sprint. Your goal should be to gain stable traffic over time.
Evergreen content is a great way to make this possible. By definition, it is content that remains relevant over time.
Some examples of evergreen content include:
- Case studies
- How-to guides
- Lists of helpful resources like books or white papers
Avoid using statistics or news that are constantly changing. Ensure that your articles are properly optimized for SEO as well.
The goal here is to ensure that your article can rank well for niche keywords in the long run, which will allow you to have sustainable traffic.
SEO-evergreen content is the ultimate own vs. rent scenario. Why pay “rent” to advertise your affiliate links when you can make an investment to “own” your space on the Google rankings?
Here are some evergreen content ideas you can use to boost your traffic.
Guest posting is not only one of the most effective ways to promote your affiliate links. According to Neil Patel, it’s also the best inbound marketing strategy that you can use for your product.
Patel likes guest posting because it is an effective way to generate more traffic, links, and brand visibility. He advocates for using niche research skills to find blogs that are aligned with your own blog or product.
From here, you can develop relevant content to pitch to other blogs. It is important to pitch content that you can prove will generate traffic, based on articles that have been successful in the past.
Guest blogging works because affiliate marketers benefit from building an ecosystem where they can share knowledge and use each other’s platforms for mutual benefit.
Explore online communities for guest blogging opportunities like My Blog Guest.
Bloggers and affiliate marketers love a good product review. It is one of the easiest ways to create relevant content about products in your niche.
Let’s use consumer electronics as an example. There is always a new gadget out there waiting to be reviewed and compared to its competitors.
But it can be easy for this style of blog post to become stale.
You can use the following strategies to create a product review that stands above the rest and can generate earnings through your affiliate links.
First, make sure that your review empathizes with your readers.
Many online reviews read like a laundry list, with features and specs listed off with little regard for the reader. Remember that you are making this review to solve someone’s real-life problem.
Use realistic examples of your own pain points and buying journey, and make it easy for your readers to draw parallels.
Second, be sure to make your reviews as visual as possible. Media like video, infographics, and even the humble screenshot can help you get your point across much easier.
The internet has enough poorly-constructed reviews. People are hungry for content that helps them make their decision confidently.
If you can accomplish this, then you can gain your reader’s trust. And trust is a promising way to earn money through your affiliate links.
Check out this article on product review that sell for more tips and templates you can use for your product review.
Sometimes, it seems like blog posts get all the attention in the affiliate marketing world.
Don’t get us wrong, we know that they are an incredibly effective way to build an audience and promote your products. However, there are plenty of other ways to accomplish the same goal.
If you have a set of skills that could be used on a camera or microphone, you should explore these multimedia options for affiliate link promotion.
Upstart affiliate marketers are used to hearing about how they can use affiliate links to sell ebooks. The great thing is, they can be used the other way around too!
Think of an ebook as a longer-form blog post. In a lot of ways, an ebook is a super blog post, containing the most highly-coveted information within your niche.
In addition, links that are used in an ebook can be perceived as having higher value than those on a blog. Think about it: your customer knows that they had to pay for the content in the book, so they have a greater chance of clicking through to learn more.
Keep in mind then, when you are using affiliate links in your ebook, you will need to add a disclaimer at the beginning. This is just the same as any blog post containing an affiliate link.
You should also confirm that your affiliate agreement allows for publishing the links in an ebook.
When you use this method, frequency and value are key. Don’t use too many affiliate links in your ebook (or else readers will think they are being sold to even after they have already bought the book).
One problem that using affiliate links can create, is that the link can become useless if it is changed or deactivated after the ebook is released.
We recommend two solutions to this problem.
You can either link directly to a landing page, or to a resource page. A resource page can be a page on your site that is meant to be a companion for your ebook.
The links for every product or offer that you discuss in your ebook can live here, meaning you can always keep them updated.
Ebooks are a great way to share your insights with the online community, but creating one can be easier said than done.
Try using a site like 99Designs to outsource cover design, layout, or other tasks to ensure that your final result looks professional.
Email remains one of the most effective ways to build and maintain a community of readers online. A study by McKinsey & Company showed that email can be as much as 40 times more effective than social media for customer acquisition!
When you have built a trusted audience through email, you can reward them for their trust by offering exclusive content.
The other great thing about email is that it is relatively inexpensive to use email marketing software when compared to other marketing channels. As an example, Mailchimp offers up to 2,000 subscribers and 10,000 monthly emails with their free plan.
These tools will allow you to perform functions like running A/B tests, analyzing KPIs, and segmenting your users. These will be crucial to ensuring that you are using your affiliate links effectively within your emails.
Of all the methods we discuss in this post, email marketing is the most personal. Keep the following points in mind as you develop your email plan to ensure that you are maximizing this important channel.
- There is a lot of trust involved when someone shares their email address with you. Follow industry best practices and build goodwill before you ever even think about making the sale.
- Segment your email list into different groups based on intent. Send these groups different emails to help move them along your funnel.
- Keep things personal. Make your email efforts a conversation between you and your customer and be aware of the tone that you are using.
Someone on your email list should see many emails (that bring them value in some way) before they ever see your affiliate link. Trust us, it’s much easier to manage a healthy email list than trying to replace lost subscribers.
Thinking about giving email marketing a shot? Check out Authority Hacker’s Best Email Marketing Software in 2020 list to find the tool that’s right for you.
Online courses were already starting to see a lot of growth in the past decade. eLearning Industry states that revenues in the industry have grown more than 900% since 2000, with even more growth forecasted.
Then the COVID-19 crisis happened.
Suddenly, universities and colleges were thrust into having to provide their learnings online. This is something that sites like Coursera were already doing a great job of, and now the demand for courses in all disciplines has increased.
Offering a course online has been made easier through Learning Management Systems (LMS) like LearnDash. These can be integrated directly with your WordPress site.
As an example, a course about personal finance can include links to your favorite online expense tracking tools. You can include screenshots and tutorials on how to use these tools so that your customer feels that the additional purchase is worth it.
Just remember, if you have already charged a premium for your course, don’t focus too much on telling attendees to buy more from somebody else.
One way around this is to offer a course for free. This is a great way to get new users excited about your site and to make them more willing to purchase something from you.
Here’s a step by step guide to creating an online course from WPBeginner: How to Create an Online Course with WordPress (the RIGHT WAY)
Although producing podcasts isn’t meant for everyone, podcasts can be one of the most effective methods of building an audience.
There’s something incredibly authentic about being in someone’s ear when they travel their daily commute or clean their kitchen. You can build high levels of trust, and speak candidly about the products that you truly enjoy using.
Podcasting has a relatively low barrier to entry. All you need is a microphone and some basic audio editing software.
You can place affiliate links in the “notes” section of your podcast. You can also refer your listeners to your blog posts where you are promoting links.
If you can tell authentic and informative stories with your blog, podcasting is worth a shot.
Are you worried about the idea of starting a podcast? Read this article by ConvertKit to see why it’s not as hard as it might seem.
Affiliate marketers flock to YouTube like flies to honey. Chances are, if you have been reading articles like this online, you will be served an affiliate marketing-related ad the next time you watch a video.
This is because video has proven that it is the best way to engage with customers, whether as a form of content or as an ad. If you are creating video, it better be posted on YouTube, which Ahrefs states is the most visited website in the world by search traffic.
Promoting your affiliate links on YouTube can be done in a few ways.
You can use ads to direct viewers to your blog post or landing page. YouTube ads are cheaper on average than Google PPC or Facebook and have competitive click through rates.
Think about how much more impact a five-second snippet of a YouTube ad can have than a static ad that is scrolled past on your Facebook feed. It’s almost no contest!
You can also create your own videos like product reviews, tutorials or “best of” guides about your niche. Affiliate links can even be placed in the notes section of the video.
This marketing channel requires investment and expertise, as you will need video production equipment and software. You will also need a dedicated content strategy for your videos, where you will leverage your existing channels to promote new releases.
However, video shouldn’t be considered intimidating. Video formats like whiteboarding and animation are great for those who aren’t comfortable getting in front of the camera.
You can either learn these skills yourself or outsource video production on a site like Fiverr.
It is difficult to say which method is best to use here. Ads can still be expensive to run, depending on the niche, while getting a dedicated following to subscribe to your channel can take time and investment.
We recommend investing in your YouTube presence if you know you have an affinity for video. As always, authenticity goes a long way – especially when you are in front of the camera!
Are you a little camera shy? Check out this list of ways to create videos without being on camera.
Webinars are a popular way for affiliate marketers to interact with their followers.
They are becoming prevalent, as marketers realize how effective they are for building meaningful connections with their customers.
A long-form blog post has value, but according to YouGov, 72% of consumers prefer videos to learn more about products and services.
You can use a variety of platforms for a live webinar depending on where you find the majority of your followers. Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Twitch are all great options.
If you are planning on hosting a live webinar, it’s important to treat it like you would any other live event. Prepare by hosting a “mock event” to work out any technical difficulties.
Investing in equipment like a phone tripod, external microphone, and a backdrop goes a long way in conveying your professionalism.
When you are deciding what content to focus on, think about something that is best explained visually.
Try talking about a topic you can demo using a whiteboard or screen sharing, and post notes with an agenda and summary information so your viewers can follow along.
Most importantly, the promotion of your webinar should be part of your multichannel affiliate marketing strategy. One of the best options is to create a dedicated landing page for your webinar and promote it through your blog and social channels.
Your affiliate link should be included as a subtle pitch near the end of your webinar. It’s important to provide value to your viewers and frame your pitch as added value.
Curious about what goes into the setup for a webinar? Watch ActiveGrowth’s video on their ideal webinar streaming setup.
Social media is an invaluable part of your multi-channel affiliate marketing strategy.
These platforms are great for community-building and engagement, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still drive sales through your affiliate links.
Invest time in finding the right mix of social networks for your site. Finding out which platform your niche audience spends the most time on is a great place to start.
It is also important to keep your eyes open for changing trends. Things move fast in the world of social media, and new social networks like TikTok can become extremely popular in a matter of months.
The great thing about Facebook is that there seems to be at least one public group for any given niche. These groups are virtual communities, where like-minded people discuss their hobbies and interests – and they are a great place for you to promote your affiliate links.
Facebook groups are built on trust. It can be difficult to get into these groups at times (you will often need to request access from an admin), but it is much easier to have your access revoked.
You should participate often in group discussions and offer your affiliate link as a way to solve people’s problems. Never make spammy posts about your link or you will make a bad name for yourself and your brand.
Curious how to leverage the power of Facebook groups? Check out this guide by Ad Espresso.
Instagram has become a must-have social network for digital marketing programs. There are now over 1 billion users worldwide and the average user spends almost an hour on the platform daily.
To take advantage of this engagement, you can build a follower base using high-quality content. This takes time, and you need to stay on top of trends in how users share information.
You can share your affiliate links in your posts, and through the link in your bio.
Make sure to create a lot of content that isn’t sales-focused. If your users feel that they are bombarded by links with every post, they will unfollow your account.
Instagram is about promoting lifestyle-oriented material that acts as a companion to blog posts. High-quality content like professional-looking photos, custom graphics, and video work best to draw users in – it’s not enough to only post photos anymore.
Keep in mind that Millennials and Gen Z make up most of Instagram’s users. You may need to cater your content to users with shorter attention spans on this platform.
If you have several links that you want to share with your followers? You may have realized that you can only post one in your bio.
Try using one of these tools to optimize your bio link, allowing your followers to view multiple content pieces.
LinkedIn is another social media platform that you should be using in your affiliate marketing efforts, probably even more so than Instagram and Facebook.
It is home base for your online business presence, and you should be leveraging it to network with collaborators and leaders in your industry.
Like Facebook, there are professional groups that you can join on LinkedIn. However, these groups are often affiliate-focused instead of niche-focused.
Once you have built your network, highlight your best-performing blog posts on the “Featured” section of your profile to direct traffic towards your affiliate links.
You can include affiliate links in LinkedIn posts too, but only minimally. LinkedIn is a platform for professional growth, not sales pitches.
LinkedIn has some of the best potential for great content to grow explosively through your follower network. Make sure to produce content that has the best chance to solve problems and improve people’s businesses.
Strategies for standing out on LinkedIn are always changing. Here are SEM Rush’s tips for 2020.
Oh, the humble Pinterest. As much as this social network succeeds and grows, it always seems to fly under the radar compared to giants like Facebook or Instagram.
The fact is, 1 out of 2 US millennials use Pinterest every month, and 72% of users use Pinterest to decide what to buy offline, according to Omnicore.
As long as you disclose affiliate relations, it is easy to set up and use affiliate links within Pinterest. It is known to take more time than other networks to find success, but the payoff is generally larger.
A big reason for this is that unlike Facebook, you don’t have to pay to make your Pins seen by a large percentage of your followers. Pinterest rewards great content with strong sharing ability. It’s just up to you to build a community and engage them.
Learn more about Pinterest and affiliate marketing with this article by Brady from BrandBuilders!
Generally speaking, affiliate marketers are big fans of Quora, the popular question-and-answer platform.
Many use it for niche research, exploring emerging trends, and learning about digital marketing. It can also be used to promote your affiliate links.
However, you are not able to post an affiliate link directly as the answer to a question. An easy work-around for this problem is to post a link to your own blog posts.
A good best practice is to answer a question in short form, then provide a link to those who are looking for more detail about the topic.
An added benefit of this strategy is that the more questions you answer, the more you learn about your niche. You can also build relationships with other users, who could turn into future partners for guest blog posts and other pursuits.
Some of our favorite marketing thought leaders endorse Quora using their own platforms.
This blog post by Neil Patel talks about how to use Quora for research.
Reddit ranks even better than Quora in terms of finding useful information about a topic online. However, Reddit online communities are notoriously heavily-moderated. Using affiliate links or being too sales-focused with your post will get you banned from subreddits (Reddit forums focused on a certain topic).
Use the same approach as Quora here. Link out to a blog post or landing page, and help provide value to the other members of the online community.
You can even mention in a post that your site contains affiliate links (honesty goes a long way on Reddit). As long as you are confident about why you are promoting your affiliate links, your fellow Redditors may not react negatively.
Be sure to use Reddit as a resource for research, and contribute to the community regularly.
If you are new to Reddit, making your first post can seem like a difficult task. Check out this handy guide to make getting started on Reddit easier.
Twitter has seen big changes since it first took the world by storm in 140 characters or less. Today, 22% of US adults use Twitter in 2020, which is a slight drop from 24% in 2016.
However, even as fewer people overall use the social network, the kind of people that continue to tweet has transformed.
Now, 10% of users create 80% of all tweets, and you can find industry professionals, thought leaders, and media personalities among this group. Twitter is a great way to engage in discussion with these users, and answer questions in real time.
Direct users back to your blog post or landing page from this platform. The newly-increased 280 character limit is probably not enough to describe your offer, so grab people’s attention with snappy copy, then persuade them to follow your link.
Curious about where to find other Twitter users who are interested in your niche? Try the Followerwonk research tool to learn about other users.
Hopefully, you have noticed the same themes coming up again and again throughout this list.
Promoting your affiliate links should always help to cultivate the trust that your readers have with your blog. The old adage “it’s easier to keep an existing customer than get a new one” definitely applies here.
Treat your readers like gold, and always focus on solving their problems.
Most importantly, always keep a record of how each method performs. It can help you make data-driven decisions to find your ideal mix.
Do you still have questions about how to promote affiliate links? We would love to hear them!