Honesty and marketing are like oil and water right? Wrong. You can run an honest affiliate marketing website that your readers will appreciate, respect, and click through using these simple steps.
1 – Write About What You Know
If you have a depth and breadth of knowledge use it as the major foundation of your affiliate website content. Your experience and/or education can act as a wonderful tool in your overall website reviews and all of the other informational pages you should add to your affiliate website.
Using your own knowledge and experience to write affiliate website content doesn’t just tell your readers that you know what you’re talking about – it also offers them a perspective they haven’t yet heard. For example, if you have experience with a particular product, that experience may be very helpful in someone’s decision-making process.
2 – Don’t Fake It
We can’t always write about what we know. Though most affiliate marketers will argue that creating an affiliate website based on your special area of expertise is your best bet, that isn’t always possible.
As a ghostwriter, I have written about MANY different products – including some with which I have had absolutely no experience. Despite that major hurdle, I was always able to provide readers with a beneficial experience which gave them enough information to make an educated decision and encouraged them to click through the affiliate link.
If you don’t have a lot of knowledge about a particular product, DON’T FAKE IT. People will see through you in a second. All it takes is one person to spoil your website’s reputation. If someone finds out that you’re not for real, your affiliate link clickthroughs will plummet.
Here’s a quick, yet comprehensive, list of things TO ABSOLUTELY NEVER EVER DO on your affiliate website:
- Don’t claim you have used a product when you have not used it. People will figure it out, eventually, because your claims probably won’t live up to reality.
- Don’t claim you are an expert on a topic you really don’t know much about. Again, someone will figure this out and blow the whistle on you.
3 – Research What You Don’t Know
If there’s something you don’t know about your product, tell your readers you aren’t quite sure about that particular thing but also do a little research for them. For example:
“I’m not very familiar with this particular type of bicycle tire, but most of what I’ve read about it sounds quite positive. In fact, on (link) Bike Freaks (link) website four out of five reviewers had great things to say about it. It appears to be made of high-quality rubber which will stand the test of rugged terrain and days left to weather in the sun.”
Notice that the affiliate marketer in the example did not lie and tell her readers that she’s used that particular bicycle tire when she has not. Furthermore, she didn’t just say she hasn’t used it and carried on – she did a little research for the reader, presented them with that knowledge, and provided a helpful link so the reader could continue that research elsewhere.
(Side note tip – When including links in your affiliate marketing website always set them to open in a separate window so that your reader doesn’t get lost and have trouble finding his or her way back to your website.)
4 – Tell Your Readers Who You Are and What You Know
As I discussed in my post about affiliate marketing homepages, you can use your homepages and About Us page as a place to tell your readers about your knowledge level. Tell them whether you are an expert, a professional, someone who is self-taught, someone with a lot of experience with these products, or a researcher.
Sometimes, when I create content for affiliate websites I actually have some experience with the products. Though I usually write in a ghostwriting capacity and do not divulge personal information, I can talk about my knowledge level and I can say that I have had experience using the products.
Other times, I have no experience with the products. For example, although I am a step-parent, I am not a biological parent and my kids were already school-age when I entered their lives. Therefore, I have had no experience (AT ALL) with baby carriers. Yet, I found myself writing about them just last week. AH THE INSANITY!
Well, not really. I told my readers that I am a researcher. Essentially, any quality affiliate marketer is, first and foremost, a researcher. There is nothing wrong with telling your readers that you are a researcher and that you have scoured the deepest crevices of the interweb to come up with the information you are presenting them. In fact, they may thank you for such unbiased information.