Today, we are chatting a bit about the challenges of placing your affiliate links strategically.
When you decide to start affiliate marketing, there are several factors to consider as you dive deeper into it. One of the most challenging pieces of affiliate marketing on your WordPress blog or site is the placement of your links. I have talked about this in posts here and in my workshops, but let’s revisit it and I’ll share with you my own experiences from years of affiliate marketing.
Widget Areas – Look at Them All
Our first tendency is to look at those widget areas. They seem to be crying for content. And when you discover all those marketing tools, such as banners for products or services that you become an affiliate of, the temptation becomes even stronger. It might be in your header, sidebars, footer or even other widget areas throughout your site. But a couple of things come into play here.
- Do you want your site to become filled with hypey, look-alike ads?
- Are people paying attention to those areas in the first place?
Now let me start with a disclaimer. Apparently they work for some people because you will find them here and there throughout their site. As a visitor, we may not know if they are either affiliate ads or regular ads, but in any case, some sites can get them to work. But more than likely, you won’t find the most success placing you ads in widget areas.
Within the Context of a Helpful Post
After much experimentation, I have found my own affiliates to work best within the natural flow of a blog post. I write a post about an eCommerce plugin for WordPress, explaining what it does and the features it has. Typically I do a text link at the beginning of the post and at the end. It’s that simple.
But the key here is to make your post helpful. Provide a solution to solve your readers problem. And don’t tell them the how, but also the why.
Banner Ads Within the Post
Another option is to use those banners, but put them either at the beginning, mid-way or at the end of a post. Again, I have seen successful affiliate marketers do this well.
Be Consistent, But Don’t Overdo It
No matter what space you are in, you will hear people say that they avoid posts that are filled with nothing but affiliate links. My advice? If you keep it limited, and you provide your readers with a solution, it will work for you. But the key is, don’t overdo it. Any post filled with links can be a distraction, so keep it clean and simple.
As you probably have noted, there is no silver bullet here. What hasn’t worked for me has worked for others. The key to all of this is testing the placement. Use a plugin like Thirsty Affiliates so you can track your click-throughs. Or even better, get a heat map through Crazy Egg or another similar place and see where people are clicking on any page. And of course, you can do tracking through your Google Analytics as well. Just make sure you find out what isn’t working and figure it out so you can hit that sweet spot.
Of course, there is so much more to affiliate marketing, including gaining your customers trust, that we will be talking about in future episodes.
Till the next time.