Whether you’re running a serious affiliate marketing business, or a hobby blog, most of us blog writers want at least 1 thing: readers. Unless you’re keeping it as some kind of personal diary, there’s not much point to writing a blog if no one is reading it.
This is especially true of affiliate marketing blogs. You need a marketing strategy for your blog. If you’re one of those people who loses their mind when they think about the idea of spending their whole life sitting at a desk, in an office, working for someone else for hourly wages, then you may have discovered affiliate marketing as an alternative. That’s great! And I’m there with you. I view every day of my life as if it were my whole lifetime – is your every day where you would want to be if it was your whole life? Is what you’re doing exactly what you would want to be doing?
Affiliate marketing is a part of what some online entrepreneurs call being digital nomads. When you are making a passive flow of income through a blog, you don’t need to work a job. And when you don’t need to work a job, you can do more of what you want instead. It’s freedom.
No two days have to look the same… if you don’t want them to.
The problem for so many people trying to achieve this lifestyle is that building an actual cash flow through a blog is a lot easier said than done. There are amazing programs like Wealthy Affiiate (this is the one that I used) that can teach you the basics and give you all of the tools you need, and a community of like-minded people to help you out, but when it comes to marketing your blog you’re pretty much on your own.
I had to do a lot of research to learn how to market my blog. But once I found a system, I was blown away by how many strategies worked without having to even pay for ads!
When planning a marketing strategy for a blog, these are a few strategies that you need to be using to get traffic. No traffic = no sales, so don’t skip these!
1. QUORA IS YOUR FRIEND!
It always surprises me how many of my fellow bloggers completely miss Quora. It’s almost a paradise for bloggers!
If you’re not familiar with the website, it’s a space where hundreds of thousands of people come to ask questions, or give answers. Similar to Yahoo Answers, or Answers.com, Quora has an astronomical number of users (it’s one of the top 100 most visited websites on the internet currently), and they’re all seeking information.
As a blogger, your mission entirely revolves around providing readers with valuable information or advice. If you have a wealth of knowledge about a particular topic, a blog is the way you can monetize that knowledge, and you’re going to get traffic to your blog by sharing valuable knowledge.
As an affiliate marketer, this is what you need to do:
- Open an account on Quora
- Set up your profile (explain your areas of expertise, put your website/blog link in your profile)
- Follow all of the topics that you are interested in or have knowledge in (they have tons of categories)
- Start answering questions
Don’t skimp on setting up your profile, because believe it or not, that can ultimately be a portal that will bring more and more people to your site. Make sure they know what you’re about, and how your content can help them.
While a blog post on a new blog can take forever to rank in Google, an answer that you post to a question on Quora can be seen by hundreds of people within a week. This is a screenshot of my Quora profile after answering for only a couple months…
These 5,000+ viewers are all potential fans and readers of my blog. Check out or follow my Quora profile to get some ideas.
What I do is I write long and thorough responses, with as much helpful content as possible. Once per answer post I include a link. Quora is not friendly to referral links. If they suspect in any way that you’re spamming links, they will delete your answer, and possibly even suspend your account, so you need to be tactful about this. No spamming.
This doesn’t mean you can’t get away with dropping some links and making some sales. In fact, I have made a large number of conversions directly through referral links on Quora. I’ve had signs up to several programs that I promote right through a referral link that I put in a Quora answer.
But the majority of the time, the links that you include should not be referral links, but links to your own blog content. Give good answers, and then invite the reader to find more extensive content on your blog post, and drop your post link into the answer.
The more you do this, the more it will convert. Quora was one of the most effective discoveries I made in my marketing strategy.
2. PINTEREST IS YOUR FRIEND!
If you’re in affiliate marketing, you’ve probably at least heard this already. Pinterest is extremely effective for blog marketing. But are you actually doing it and doing it right?
There’s a very distinct strategy to Pinterest marketing and if done right it can quite literally boost your net worth.
Here’s a screenshot of an email notificaition I got from Pinterest yesterday. These are just 3 of my recent pins, and were seen and picked up by 1,400 people in a single week. That’s all completely free and organic advertising.
It’s easy to get discouraged on Pinterest because it seems like there’s just too much competition. There are so many posts, and they’re being made by so many people, how do you stand out?
I’ve written up a detailed post about how to effectively promote your blog or business on Pinterest, but for a quick synopsis these are a few strategies that you need to keep in mind.
1. Make tall posts.
When I first started marketing on Pinterest I made the mistake of throwing any old picture into my Pin boards, no matter what shape, and then trying to write an attractive caption. Don’t do this. Tall pins are by far the most popular and high converting in Pinterest. A tall pin stays in the line of vision longer as someone is scrolling, and it also just shows more. Trust me, it made a huge difference for me.
2. Use big, bold font and lush, colorful images.
My pins that I’ve launched with clear words and attractive pictures got saves and clicks within a matter of days or even hours. See some examples from my recent pins below:
This below is a full image of one of my pins. Note strong colors, bold and clear words and font (the font that I use most often is called Edo).
3. Use the right tools to make amazing images.
I use a free app to create all of my pins called Canva. You can download it right onto a smartphone or tablet. Find amazing, beautiful pictures on Unsplash.com that you can get for free, remember to only save the tall ones, and then put them into Canva to doctor up with your eye-catching words or blog title. Link it to your post and let it go. Your first pins may not go viral, but you can make multiple pins for 1 blog post, trying out different images and words. The more you post, the most chances you have for grabbing attention and growing your Pinterest account.
4. Join Group Boards.
In a sense, this should be your ultimate goal on Pinterest. You should aim to get your Pinterest to about 100 followers at a minimum, to give yourself some credibility, and then start trying to join group boards on Pinterest in a relevant niche. The more boards you can join, you can start pinning into these boards, so that the massive number of people following those boards will see more and more of your pins. If you’re following those rules above + posting in to group boards, getting responses through Pinterest is not just possible but inevitable.
5. Use MiloTree To Build A Following
One of the most important things you will do with your blog, just like any other business, is to build a following. If you’re researching how to succeed on a blog you’ve probably been drowned by people going on and on about how obsessive you need to be about building an email list.
Can you make a lot of sales and repeat customers/readers through email lists? Definitely. But we’re increasingly entering an age where people are tired of getting spammed in their email inboxes. People are more and more guarded with giving out their email (unless it’s a junk email they never check, which would land you in the purgatory of forgotten spam). Following someone on Pinterest or Instagram is significantly less invasive or overwhelming. And it doesn’t leave you with a bunch of extra emails to delete.
Thus, it’s a lot easier getting readers to follow your Pinterest, than it is getting them to hand over their email. MiloTree is a cheap installment you can put on your blog (at $9/month it’s an investment roughly equal to buying a small pack of toilet paper, or a couple cups of coffee), and it’s totally killer for blowing up a follower list.
MiloTree creates a small pop-up on your website to make sure your readers know they can follow you for more content on your Pinterest (and Instagram, and email). Unlike an email, following on Pinterest is a pretty small committment, and it comes with attractive pictures and simple messages. This makes it an easy choice for a reader. By turning 1 time blog visitors into Pinterest followers, you can not only continue adding new readers and building your Pinterest, but you also get to KEEP previous readers.
Building a following needs to be one of your essential goals in affiliate marketing.
3. Believe In The SEO
… Even though it’s not fun. Search Engine Optimization basically means being at the mercy of Google. But the good news is, by following the right procedures you can affect how high you rank.
The reality is that it does take patience. If you’re consistently posting, using a good WordPress website, using the necessary plugins (All In One SEO plugin, for example), picking good keywords with the help of a keyword research tool, and churning out a post at least once per week… add that in with your social engagement and you will eventually start to see posts landing on page 1’s.
This will still take patience. It may be months and months before you even land a ranking high in Google. It took me 5 months of blogging before I ever got onto the first page of anything. I remember when I finally found one of my posts at result number 7. in a Yahoo search page. And a similar post at position number 4 in Bing. Both on page 1. It was exhilirating!
But it takes a lot of consistent work with no obvious results before you can finally start to land rankings. Staying positive, and fighting discouragement, may be the toughest part of the whole business.
These are 4 powerful tips to apply to your SEO:
1. Make sure you’re doing it right. Like I said before, I used a program called Wealthy Affiliate (there are both free and paid options). It’s a wealth (no pun intended) of knowledge and SEO instructions. Really easy to use. And it will guarentee that you have a community of mentors and a ton of easy to use info to make sure your SEO is solid. Beyond this, it will also host your website, give you constant site support, a keyword research tool, and website analytics all included. To read more of the details on that, or if you need help figuring it out, check out this post.
2. Set goals, and hold yourself to them. Commit to do at least 1 or 2 posts a week. Make time for them. Reward yourself when you reach your goals, and stay diligent. Your blog will never pay off if you don’t.
3. Be interactive. You should not only be posting to Google+ (to help ranking), Pinterest, Quora, and Facebook, but you also need to invest some time in commenting, liking, commenting, or sharing other people’s content. The more interactive you are, the more they will return the favor.
4. This is why SEO matters. You can make good money purely through Pinterest and Quora traffic on your blog, that’s absolutely true. You can make it through paid advertising. You can make it through Facebook Groups. There are honestly dozens of ways that you can draw traffic to your blog. But the power of SEO is in its residual value. Let me explain that…
Residuals and SEO
The difference between making fast cash, and growing sustainable wealth, lies in residuals. You can draw traffic fast through social media, and you absolutely should. You need social media to establish your following, it’s essential for building and scaling your business. But the beauty of affiliate marketing through a blog is that unlike most other businesses, the bigger you grow… the less you have to work.
As you land more and more posts on the first page of Google, they usually stay there. This means that your cash flows can be in place on autopilot, bringing in money hands free. You can be sleeping. You can be on a motorcycle ride through Joshua Tree National park, vacationing in Cambodia, visiting grandma, on a Netflix binge in your pajamas, or sleeping soundly… and still making money. Residual income is the strongest and most abundant lifestyle of semi-retirement that exists. And while there are a bunch of solid ways of growing residual income – investing in real estate/rental properties/AirBnB’s, selling insurance, buying businesses, by far the cheapest and most risk free residual income flow that you can create is through a blog.
So take the SEO method seriously. It’s stressful. It’s a long-term time investment that requires a lot of follow through and persistance. But I think you can see that if freedom is one of your life goals, residuals needs to be one of your business goals.
Please feel free to comment any questions, and apply these social media tips to continue growing! I’ve got your back!