Affiliate marketing helps bloggers make money off their products recommendations, something that can generate an extra income stream beside the usual AdSense and advertisements monetization.
But to be a successful affiliate marketer as a blogger, you need to be comfortable with using various tools and plugins that are available on your blog platform (i.e. WordPress).
While running a basic affiliate marketing campaign requires nothing but a Word editor to write your reviews, running a profitable affiliate marketing campaign will require much more than that.
That’s because there are many aspects of affiliate marketing that can only be done using tools:
- Recording Videos
- Taking Screenshots
- Cloaking your Affiliate Links
- SEO your Posts
Once you master those skills and their tools, you will be able to compete with other top affiliate marketers in your niche.
Recording Videos for your Posts
Videos content are easier to comprehend than textual ones, people love to sit back and relax while watching videos. The human brain responds and absorbs information better when it is visual, as text on the other hand requires more concentration and thus more effort to absorb data and information in it.
There are many great and easy to use tools that can help you record videos like Camtasia and SnagIt. They help you to record what is on your screen, so that you can do your video demonstrations without the need of any major video editing skills.
You can use this to your advantage in affiliate marketing, just like what other successful affiliate marketers are doing.
Here are some cases where video content can boost your affiliate sales:
- Product walkthrough videos
- Demonstrating problems’ solutions
When you are reviewing your affiliate products, it is better to show your visitors the product in-action. These videos are called walkthrough videos.
People get very excited when they see what the product can do in front of their eyes; it allows them to imagine what they can do when they buy the product. This excitement feeling alone can convince your visitors to buy your affiliate product, especially if it does something amazing or does it very fast and with less effort.
Another powerful video technique when promoting affiliate products is to find a problem in the niche (preferably technical) and show your visitors step by step how to solve it.
For example, if you are an affiliate for a web hosting company, a common problem that people usually struggle with is installing WordPress on their hosting account. Doing a video showing people how to install WordPress on your web hosting can help people switch to your affiliate hosting company through your affiliate link.
Just take a look at the staggering number of views generated on these types of videos:
So if you have an idea for solving a problem, you can check YouTube and see how many views this problem has generated. And if they are high then you could do a video yourself and add it to your blog.
How to Add Videos to Your WP Posts:
After you have created and saved your videos, it is best to upload them to YouTube so you can easily embed them on your blog.
Open up your video on YouTube and click on the “Share” tab then “Embed”:
YouTube will then generate a link for you that you need to copy.
Note: If you want to further customize how the video will appear on your post (size…etc), you can click the “SHOW MORE” button below the link.
Once you have copied the embed code, you need to open your Post editor on WordPress and switch to HTML view:
Paste the code that YouTube gave you in a separate line and put it where you want it to show on your post.
Taking Screenshots for your Content
Screenshots are the basis of any affiliate marketing campaign, they help you prove a point (like what I am doing on this article) or highlight something important.
The most common way to take a screenshot is to hit the “Prnt Sc” button on your keyboard, and then open up your Paint program and hit Ctrl+V to paste the screen shot in there and save it.
But the problem with Paint programs that are shipped with Windows and Mac are that they don’t offer much special effect elements like arrows and such.
However, there is a great tool called SnagIt that not only takes screenshots of anything on your screen, but also allows you to add arrows, rectangles, highlighters and other cool special effects.
One of these special effects you will find is most helpful is the ability to blur any section of your image.
When you are taking a screenshot and want to hide your username or password then your basic paint program will not be much of a help, and that’s why you need a special tool like SnagIt.
Cloaking your Affiliate Links
Affiliate links are ugly by nature, because they have so much tracking codes in them like your affiliate id and the product id and the affiliate network.
Hiding those ugly and long affiliate links and turning them to a shorter and more readable version is called Cloaking. Affiliate marketers cloak their affiliate links for many reasons.
Some affiliates don’t like to show the URL of the product so that no one can just copy it and navigate to it. This will allow your visitors to skip clicking on your affiliate link and in turn you will end up losing your well earned commission.
Others cloak their affiliate links so they can be memorable and not confusing to their readers.
There are many free WordPress plugins that will allow you to cloak your affiliate links, one that stands out is the Hidden Affiliate Links plugin.
You can check how the plugin works from the documentation on their page. It is very easy to use.
You will be able to turn affiliates links that looks like:
Into a better cloaked link:
Onpage SEO for your Content
SEO is an integral part of any affiliate marketing blog, and with simple content optimization you can rank your new posts in a very short time with little to no effort.
The first thing you need to do is to create a Google’s Webmaster account for free, as it will help you find out which keywords you rank for.
Google Webmaster tool allow you to also find out if there are site problems that you need to address (like loading speed…etc) as all this will affect how well you rank on Google.
Google will require you to prove the ownership of your blog by simply adding an HTML code to your blog, which could easily be done within WordPress itself.
Another important plugin that you should install is the free Yoast SEO plugin, it detect problems with your content and help you solve them to better rank on Google.
In fact I have never seen a blogger that doesn’t use this tool on his blog. With affiliate marketers needing to write so much content to build their trust in the niche, it can be hard to find writing ideas that the niche needs.
This is where Google auto-complete comes into play. When you go to Google’s main page and type in any keyword, you will notice that Google offers suggestions.
Those suggestions are based on what people are searching for, so head over to Google and type in your niche keyword followed by “a,b,c and up to Z”
You can use these suggested topics to write posts about knowing that these are problems that people are looking for.
And with the help of SEO plugins you have installed, you can end up with high ranking posts with just minor on-page content adjustments.
Affiliate marketing tools offer affiliate marketers the kind of automation needed to run a profitable blog. With other affiliates competing with you on many products, you need any edge you can get. And this is what affiliate tools offer you.
You need to be open-minded and ready to try various tools without any technical fears, and luckily WordPress is a major platform that offers various tools in pretty much every area of affiliate marketing.