I just spent some year-end time working on all of my existing affiliate links. I’m going to share these strategies with you if you have just started in the space— or are thinking about starting. Because knowing some of this stuff upfront will help you plan better.
Much of what I talk about here can only be implemented if you are using an affiliate link manager plugin with features like the ones in Thirsty Affiliates Pro. We have been using this plugin for years and could not live without it.
Give Your Affiliate Links a ‘Wellness Checkup’
I’ll warn you up front. None of this is a quick fix. But having your affiliate links organized will save you a ton of time.
Stats, Conversions and Sales
It’s pretty obvious that you should be looking at clicks on links, conversion rates from the perspective of the the vendor end of things, and the products that are bringing in the most sales. But it might be time to start doing even more:
- Compare the clicks to the referral sales you are getting. If you are seeing a lot of clicks and next to nothing sales, there is something wrong. Either: 1) you are overpromising what the product or service actually delivers and the person is disappointed once they get to the site or 2) the price may make it out of reach for your average reader. Of course, there may be a reason that is out of your control: the sales pitch may suck on the other end, the site your reader ends up on when they click though. So look that page over carefully and decide whether you are wasting your time sending readers to a landing page that is poorly built and written.
- Group your affiliate links together in categories so your readers van better find and digest them. The Thirsty Affiliates plugin lets you create categories for your links, and view reports on the click-throughs. This is helpful if you want to compare certain kinds of products and services that are attracting more clicks. For example, if you had affiliate links to a lot of WordPress plugins, group them by things like contact forms, eCommerce plugins, etc.. This helps you see what your readers are interested in. Also, group them by vendors. If you have 100 links and 10 vendors, you can easily compare one to another.
Repurpose and Boost Existing Posts
I talk a lot about repurposing content. This strategy is useful when you are doing affiliate marketing. Consider:
- Keeping an eye on high-ranking posts. Revisit your high-traffic posts using something like Google Analytics. Find creative ways to add new links to these posts or replace the ones that aren’t working. You may need to rewrite the post entirely. For example, if you created a post and it was titled, How to Make Sales Using a Page Builder, and the page builder you wrote about isn’t converting, rewrite it using another page builder to see if it gets better traction.
- Expanding on the posts. A perfect way to build more content for the coming year’s editorial calendar is to take products that you are an affiliate with and have written a post about and pull each feature out to do a separate post on. This way you catch more people with specific questions or problems and can elaborate on the solutions. Using Thirsty Affiliates as an example, you could write on the feature that uncloaks URLs and how important that is for Amazon links. This stand-alone post then solves a specific problem. (BTW, you can expect to see that post soon.)
Search and Replace
When you are going through your affiliate links at the end of the year, operate in a search-and-replace mode. Let’s say you have a service you have used for some time. Often, it’s a natural fit to add that affiliate link as a resource. But maybe they went out of business or you found someone better. This is a good time to search and replace. Thirsty Affiliates lets you open an affiliate link and easily scan all the posts where you have talked about that service. Now it will take you some time to go into each one and change it, but it will pay off in the long run.
Get Rid of Dead Wood
Clean up those links that are broken or don’t work anymore. Any good affiliate link manager plugin will list all of your links. Go down the list and determine if something shouldn’t be there anymore. Maybe you no longer want to recommend them. It’s too easy to add them and forget they are there. You may want to delete not only the link, but the text in the post, too. Or you may end up doing some similar to the search-and- replace I mentioned.
Just remember. You don’t want people clicking and getting 404 errors, with no page found. That can be frustrating and you may lose them as a return reader.
That should keep you busy for awhile.
Having a plugin like Thirsty Affiliates Pro will help you will these strategies as well as others that you will fine tune for your own needs. Check out our post here on the plugin and here’s to great success in the new year!
An audio option for this post.