Content, content, content – producing quality content is key to connecting with audiences. More than ever, companies are publishing original content through blogs and guest blogs. But does the same rule apply to affiliate marketers?
Blogging has become an essential channel of communication that offers a more intimate way of sharing information and connecting with customers. Most company websites have a tendency of being one dimensional in terms of informing readers about the company. They’re also usually one directional since they “talk at” customers. But blogs are different: they’re a place for companies and customers to engage in ongoing conversations about original, interesting, educational, or entertaining content. Content shared on company blogs can range from product launches, tips & tricks, industry trends to customer success stories, infographics, and everything in between.
Another part of the blog ecosystem is guest blogging. A guest blog is when a blog owner features the writing and opinion of someone else – usually an industry influencer – on their blog to share new insight with their audience. The benefit? Both the blog owner and guest writer are able to share the content with both of their audiences to extend their voice to a much larger reach.
Guest blogging was the topic of discussion in a recent live Twitter chat hosted by SEMrush and Website Magazine – whom we’ve guest blogged for before! The chat got us thinking about how some of the top affiliate marketers out there are also some of the best bloggers that produce great original content. The question is why?
In many ways affiliate marketing goes hand in hand with blogging. What are affiliates but ambassadors for products, services, and brands? Many top earning affiliates recommend products or services through their own websites and blogs, in addition to placing ads. To promote successfully, the best content focused affiliates don’t push people to “BUY NOW” or state false claims and try to trick consumers. Rather, they simply highlight the benefits of the product or service just like any unbiased consumer – this is a much more convincing tactic.
So when it comes to guest blogging, what are the benefits for an affiliate?
Guest blogging is an additional way of building brand awareness by sharing insights and engaging in conversations while increasing audience reach. For affiliates who produce content to promote products, by guest posting affiliates can also tap into the audience share of another blog and potentially grow their own following and conversions.
For these reasons, the best affiliates also publish content and engage in guest blogging. Moreover, having multiple authoritative voices that share the same opinion on specific products and services may be lead to more success while promoting the offer on hand because of additional support. Having more than one individual recommend a product is always better than just one. Just think about when you buy a something on Amazon – the more good reviews a product receives, the more inclined you are to buy it.
Several others who participated in last week’s chat also agree that guest blogging is an excellent way to build your brand and audience reach:
Another question asked in last week’s chat asked us what defines a great blog post.
For affiliate marketers though, blogging in general is a great opportunity to grow their brand awareness based on the credibility and value of their original content. Audiences will trust your recommendations and content if it’s coming from a reliable and expert source. Building credibility and a real relationship with your audience is important.
Indeed for affiliate marketers that blog, content creation shouldn’t just be for pushing backlinks towards a promotion that will earn conversions. Instead, establishing consumer trust and adding knowledge and expertise to an ongoing conversation with audiences is more important.
Charles NGO, one of the most well-known and respected affiliate marketers in the world who has made millions in profit from online marketing, for example, is a venerable expert in the field. He is an amazing affiliate marketer who also promotes his own training program through his website and blog as well.
But even though he’d love for new affiliates to join his training program which he actively recommends, he’s also constantly sharing his expert tips on affiliate marketing through his blog. In fact, when Charles first got started in the industry, he relied on other blogs to get inspiration and learned to be successful in the industry. Now, he engages with his audience by sharing his expertise candidly. Ngo is a top affiliate who maintains his success by genuinely trying to help others make it in the industry as well. By helping them succeed, he earns their trust, and also helps his brand succeed.
Finch Sells is another well-known affiliate marketer who has a blog that shares advice for other affiliate marketers, both beginners and experts. Finch Sells blog has grown into a top resource in the affiliate marketing industry, with one section solely dedicated to sharing ‘affiliate resources’ that is essentially a list of other top marketers to refer to.
Similar to Ngo, Finch Sells shares his expertise by blogging and guest blogging as well. His quality blog content also functions as a sample of his expertise which is provided in more detail in his ‘premium’ content that can be ordered.
Of course, Ngo and Finch write blogs on affiliate marketing itself. The products and services they’re recommending are their own services and premium content, rather than other offers on their blogs and websites. But the point is that these top affiliates build relationships with their audiences based on trust and quality content that brings them true success.
Now, many top affiliates who blog also engage in guest blogging. But an important question for blog owners who already have a trusted following is:
How do you pick the best guest bloggers?
Whether or not they’re affiliates, the best guest bloggers – or rather the best bloggers in general – are experts in their fields. Their credentials and expertise builds trust with audiences, new and old. Major affiliate related sites and networks would therefore choose industry influencers like Finch Sells and Charles Ngo to guest blog for them.
Finch started his affiliate business in 2009. When he first started, he made £1000 a day, whereas his day job paid him £1500 a month. Today through his blog, he’s helping to grow his business while teaching other affiliates how to make money and market better in the context of 2015.
As for Charles Ngo, who has been in the industry for 7 years, he’s made million in profits and has given countless talks at conferences. Both Charles and Finch would therefore be excellent candidates to guest blog on digital marketing [and affiliate] relevant blogs because they are experts in the field with a quantifiable list of accomplishments.
At the end of the day blogging and guest blogging are relevant to top affiliates because good content engages audiences, grows their brand, and adds value for readers who keep coming back. Blogs are a great channel to promote or recommend products by aggregating a loyal fan base while also positioning the appropriate affiliate links, and complimenting all this with the right affiliate ads.
Top affiliates like Charles Ngo and Finch Sells know that producing valuable content is an essential part of becoming successful, and maintaining success and relevance in the affiliate marketing insider world.
However, they’re also aware that the best affiliates, who sell to a fan base built from blogs, know how to balance monetization and reader experience. Not every post should be filled with links and hard sells, but rather, every page should have the potential to lead to conversion. Altogether, successful content focused affiliates/bloggers let their brand, their expertise, and their trusted opinion work the ‘soft sell’ all the way to serious conversions.