It’s not just happening with affiliate marketing. Everything on the internet is changing. And, although it’s making our lives a little bit more challenging, it’s actually a good thing all around.
Before we go on, I’d like to say that if you’ve been doing affiliate marketing for a long time, it might be time to consider selling your own products. You know the in’s and out’s of the market. It’s time to start out on your own.
Things are getting real on the internet. No, I’m not talking about the Internet of Things. Although, that’s a pretty awesome thing happening to our world right now. I’m talking about things getting figuratively real.
Like, Google is slowly figuring out ways of measuring originality and authenticity through their search engine. They’ve been weeding out spammy things such as irrelevant backlinks. Gone are the days of linking the word “puppies” to a G.E. dishwasher listing.
This is a good thing for the people of the internet. But it has made life harder for the online marketing world. SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing, all started taking hits back in 2011 when Google released their Panda Update.
Affiliate Marketing For Your Audience
Let’s say you’re a graphic designer and you’ve decided to do a little bit of affiliate marketing work on the side. Let’s also say your affiliate is a design software company and they have a free flyer maker program on their site.
You could write a blog post on your site called “Ten Ways to Make Stunning Flyers With ____’s Free Flyer Maker.” Boom! Instant platform to link out to your affiliate’s products in a viable and authentic way.
This is where affiliate marketing is already going. It’s all about your audience and giving them an authentic and useful experience.
You have to think of your affiliate’s product as a solution. People don’t go to the internet looking to just buy your product and be done. They go to the internet to fix their problems.
Even if you aren’t in affiliate marketing (why you’ve read this far and aren’t in affiliate marketing beats me) and have your own product, you should be in the mindset of providing a solution to consumers.
If your audience is a bunch of artists and graphic designers, they didn’t come to your site to buy sex toys. So, although you might think it a great and lucrative thing to be an affiliate of some sex toy company, you’re not going to get very far trying to sell to graphic designers and artists. They come to your site for graphic design solutions.
If they wanted sex toys, they would have searched for sex toys.
And if you are throwing in misleading links to sex toys in your blogs or content, Google’s going to dock you plenty on your SERPs. So, good luck figuring out how to genuinely sell sex toys as a graphic design solution.
Trust The Fungus
Let’s say one of your affiliates is a mushroom producer. You might have a lot of fresh produce affiliates and run some sort of fresh produce blog. So, you write a blog about recipes involving fresh produce.
But, when people click on your blog, all they find are reasons you should buy this or that from this or that fresh produce grower. No recipes.
Are consumers going to trust you now? You bet your ass they aren’t.
These kinds of strategies are going the way of the dodo thanks to new trends in authenticity and originality. It’s all about who people trust now.
And really, the only way you are going to build trust with an audience is through the long game. Only 0.6% of affiliate marketers have been in it for the long haul. By long haul, I mean since 2013. That’s not very long at all.
But in today’s market, you are going to have to make a long game of it. Create a long term marketing strategy that includes genuine content that doesn’t mislead.
Since we’re on the topic of trust, something that gets a lot of politicians screwed is the fact that they aren’t honest about who their handlers really are. They get caught red-handed all the time taking money from people they shouldn’t be taking money from.
A lot of people feel the same way about online marketers as they do about politicians. And, of course, I’m an online marketer.
But part of what helps people trust you and your content is being honest about who your affiliates are. People want to know where the money is going, even if it’s not always their money going somewhere.
People appreciate honesty. Especially since 60% of adults can’t get through a ten-minute conversation without lying. People are getting lied to all the time. So, when you are honest, it will show. And you will gain an audience who trusts your brand.
Be Fresh, Man
I really hate it when I search for some current information and I find information from 2001. I mean, seriously? How did that shit stay on the first page?
When that happens, it sucks. And I can guarantee I’m not alone. The internet is constantly getting new content. And information changes rapidly.
I know it takes more work, but you gotta keep your content fresh. You can’t just copy data and information about the housing market from pre-2008. I’m being absurd, I know. But I’m trying to make a point here.
You want to drive traffic to your site? According to the Moz, you’ve even got to keep your old content fresh. Refresh it. Every few months if necessary. Add in some new information on the topic.
The internet might be a tougher place for marketers, but that’s not always a bad thing. I mean, you could just give up your freedom and get a boring old 9-5 job. You might not make as much money, but hey, life might be easier!