Alternative Ways to Distribute Affiliate Marketing Content in 2021
9 min read
9 min read
Affiliate marketing is the practice of selling another’s products or services through valuable content. It has the ability to produce passive income for your blog content, if done right.
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Here's how it works:
You create great content, embed an affiliate link to a product you're promoting, and every time readers purchase that product via your link — you earn a commission.
Sounds easy, right?
Once you sign up to be an affiliate, two challenges will follow:
What types of affiliate content will get readers engaged, click your link, and eventually purchase your promoted product?
What distribution channels will you choose for your affiliate content to get maximum visibility, a broader audience, and, as a result, higher conversion?
In this article, you'll find detailed answers to both questions and uncover the top five alternative ways to distribute your affiliate content via different channels.
But first things first:
What is Affiliate Marketing Content?
Affiliate marketing content is any asset you create that features and links to a promoted product for readers to purchase, earning you a commission every time they do.
The most common types of affiliate content are lists of top products in that niche (with your promoted product included) and in-depth product reviews
And yet, it doesn't mean you have to limit your content to the above two formats. Many content types promise big views (more on them below), but your task is to first understand the ins and outs of creating and distributing affiliate content so it converts to sales every time.
According to Statista, U.S. affiliate marketing spending will reach $8.2 billion by 2022. And of course, you don't want to miss out on your share of those profits, right?
If so, let's move on to the next part.
What is Affiliate Content Distribution?
Affiliate content distribution is the process of publishing, sharing, and promoting your affiliate posts. It's the where and how you provide information to your audience so they’ll find and consume it through different formats and channels.
As a rule, distribution happens after you've created your affiliate content asset. Once the draft is ready, you’ll begin researching where to submit it for further promotion.
However, it's much better to plan out where you will publish your asset and how you will promote it before you start writing it. It will help you understand what content format to choose and how to structure it according to the rules of your target distribution channel.
Why is it important?
This year alone, over five million blog posts go live every day. To compete with such an information flood and win the battle for audience attention, you can't simply create good affiliate content.
You need to craft 10x content.
For that, it's worth understanding all the guidelines for your target distribution channel beforehand. It will save time on content creation and increase chances of it being seen. Moreover, it will help you understand how to write the content that engages readers and encourages them to click your affiliate link.
Here are some best practices to follow:
How to Write Affiliate Content That Sells
For your affiliate content to convert, you need to focus on how you write it and what content types engage readers and make them click.
In today's world of short attention spans and content shock, users search and consume information super fast. Not only should your affiliate content grab them and motivate them to read, but it should also bring added value and be relevant to their search intent.
Everything matters here: keywords, formats, structure, and above all, content quality.
And now, for the details.
Choosing the best content formats for affiliate marketing
Here are the most popular content types you can use as an affiliate marketer to promote products:
Product comparisons. Comparisons are a chance to convince users why your promoted product is better than others on the market. Wise comparisons will help confused people understand the difference between similar options.
Case studies. When done right, this is one of the most convincing affiliate marketing content types. Storytelling through real-life examples, actual data, and facts of how someone benefits from the promoted product motivates users to try it for themselves.
How-to articles and tutorials. These are among the most searched types of content. You can write a guide to using the product, or a general how-to article related to activities with the product.
Guides. Detailed, comprehensive guides educating users is your chance to build a reputation as an expert.
Social media posts. With more than three billion social media users worldwide, you can't miss out on this distribution channel for your affiliate content. Facebook and Instagram can give you a much wider reach than your website posts by themselves.
Tons of writing apps exist to help you create a variety of content through the lens of readability, grammar rules, stylistic peculiarities, and SEO aspects.
Picking keywords for affiliate content
Yes, it's tempting to focus your affiliate posts on super-competitive keywords like "best-frozen pizza" or "best blenders for smoothies."
The bad news is that most SEO specialists from big companies already spend thousands to rank for those keywords. Competition is super high, and you'll hardly outperform those big dogs with your independent affiliate content.
The good news is that most of them ignore niche keywords like "how to cook frozen pizza on the grill" or "making a smoothie without a blender" because their search volume isn't as high.
You see the catch here, don't you?
By focusing your affiliate content on less competitive keywords but providing accurate, specific information on those topics, you'll fill that gap and make your content rank higher.
And when users land on your page and see the super relevant content, 100%-tailored for their query, they are most likely to buy.
Structuring your affiliate content assets
For your affiliate writing to work, structure your content type according to long-established and proven rules for web writing.
And while there's a difference between writing a blog post, a review, a listicle, and any other content type format, here are some universal rules you can follow:
Come up with intriguing yet relevant headlines for your affiliate content assets.
Include your target keyword in titles, introductions, and subheads of your content.
Pay attention to your openings: Make them short and catchy to motivate users to keep on reading.
Write in short sentences and paragraphs for better readability.
Use words everybody knows: avoid professional slang, jargon, or fancy phrases that may confuse the audience.
Generating your affiliate marketing content
As an affiliate, you deal with tons of content daily. If you write and distribute each asset yourself, you need to organize the process for higher productivity with fewer burnouts.
First, do your best to create a pre-writing routine:
Use brainstorming sessions to generate content ideas.
Make content plans for each product you promote as an affiliate.
Do research to gather relevant information and outline each content asset accordingly.
Gather the visuals and references: analytics, reports, surveys, infographics, and other content you'll use for your asset to be informative and valuable to readers.
Second, you need to organize the writing process itself.
For that, clean your workplace to eliminate distractions, create and use templates for each type of affiliate content you write (it will help save time and craft content assets faster), and remember to proofread and edit your writing before publishing.
If you have the budget and skills to delegate affiliate content writing, you are also welcome to outsource authors or rely on content writing services. You'll save time and energy to focus more on developing an affiliate content distribution strategy.
3 Types of Distribution Channels for Affiliate Content
Content distribution channels are the platforms that you choose to share and promote your affiliate posts. There are three core types of affiliate (and any) content distribution channels. This diagram from HubSpot describes it best:
Owned. These are channels you can control: your affiliate website, blog, social media accounts, email newsletters, etc.
Earned. These are third-party channels promoting your content or affiliate backlinks for free: influencers, bloggers, or customers mentioning and sharing your content on their websites, forums, guest posts, etc.
Paid. These channels refer to any platform you have to pay to feature your affiliate content. It can be sponsored content, PPC ads, social media ads, paid guest posts on third-party blogs, and so on.
Depending on your content distribution strategy and prioritization, you can utilize all three types of channels or choose those that best fit your needs, budget, and opportunities.
5 Ways to Distribute Affiliate Marketing Content This Year
And now, for the most exciting part:
What alternative methods can you use to distribute affiliate content and expand your marketing endeavors?
Here are the top five:
Content repurposing refers to converting an existing asset to new formats so it can fit more types of distribution channels, therefore allowing you to reach a broader audience.
You take a blog post and convert it into an infographic to submit to corresponding directories (Visual.ly, Nerdgraph, etc.)
You convert an affiliate content piece into a presentation to distribute to SlideShare and other corresponding platforms.
You repurpose a slideshow into videos to host on YouTube or other social media.
You convert a webinar or a podcast into blog posts to distribute on Medium, Quora, LinkedIn Publishing, and more.
You repurpose text content into graphics to distribute on Pinterest, Instagram, and other visual platforms.
Repurposing your affiliate content increases your time ROI as you don't have to create new content assets from scratch.
At the same time, it allows you to cover more channels and win at search engine rankings: Google treats new formats of the same content piece distinctly.
Instead of simply resharing a link to your social media post, you can repurpose a single 1200-word article into 30-40 tweets and backlink to the source. By adapting affiliate content to different styles, you allow the audience to consume it in their preferred method, therefore increasing your distribution.
Content syndication is about republishing the exact copy of your affiliate post on one or more third-party websites.
You can syndicate your writing out to niche content submission communities like Inbound, Growth Hackers, etc. Or, you can reach out to any relevant websites accepting syndicated content and try distributing your affiliate articles there.
The benefits of syndication for your affiliate content include:
Saving time on new content creation and promotion
Increase in backlinks and referral traffic
Lead generation (Finding websites and communities where your target audience is present and engaged in discussions)
How to syndicate your affiliate content? First, you'll need to find syndicates.
Google search with phrases such as "originally published in," "republished with permission," or "originally appeared on" to find the sites open to syndication. Also, consider adding your topic or keyword to the query to get the most relevant resources for your content.
After you've found and analyzed the relevance and benefits of all prospective syndicates, reach out to them and offer your content piece.
Craft a short, direct, and straightforward pitch to increase your chances for approval:
Asking others to republish you is not the only way to syndicate. You can also self-publish (free) or pay platforms to do the syndication for you.
Some paid platforms to consider are Zemanta, Outbrain, Taboola.
Some free platforms worth trying are Medium, LinkedIn, Quora, Reddit.
Another way to distribute your affiliate content is to collaborate with other brands on its creation and cross-promotion.
Here's how it works:
Let's say you promote online courses or webinars. You find like-minded brands whose audiences might be potentially interested in your content. You partner with them to cross-share each other's content through websites, newsletters, social media, and other owned distribution channels to expand reach.
You also need to partner with non-competing brands but those serving the same audience as you.
Speaking of collaboration on content creation, you can ask partners for quotes or invite them to write a guest post on your blog.
Of course, link-building collaboration can be an option, too. Backlinking to partners' content that naturally fits the context of your affiliate posts and brings some added value to the audience can help them with content distribution.
And surely, they'll do the same for you!
04. Guest Blogging
You've heard about guest blogging, haven't you?
It's that very strategy some content creators use to increase brand exposure, build network and writing portfolios, reach new audiences, create backlinks, and drive traffic to their websites.
That's how it works:
You're an affiliate marketer who works on promoting Site 1, and you want to distribute its content to increase the quality of its backlinks. So you outreach to Site 2, with a similar type of business and audience, and offer to write an article for their blog at no cost, but includes backlinks to your website.
They get free content; you get a link. Looks like a win-win, right?
The only problem: Most high-quality websites reject this approach because of "guest bloggers" like the one below:
To change this approach and make honest and genuine guest blogging work for you, do your best to go at it like this:
Forget about cold emailing every website you want a link from. Instead, build networks and relationships for a mutually beneficial strategy.
Become an expert in your niche and offer them truly unique and insightful content that would benefit their audience. Think of what you can give, not take.
Guest blogging is a great way to distribute your affiliate content if you have the time and resources to build a personal brand, grow your professional network, and create top-notch, valuable content for third-party blogs.
Guest blogging won't get you any instant results, though. It's about playing the long game, with a long-term impact.
And last but not least:
Why not consider your email list for affiliate content distribution?
It's not new, but quite underestimated, channel among affiliate marketers. While some believe social media networks are more effective, email actually brings 40 times more traffic than Facebook and Twitter combined!
Collect email addresses, build your email list, segment all the contacts to personalize your newsletters accordingly, and send out your corresponding affiliate content updates at the same time every week.
The best possible time to send emails would be the beginning of (while people enjoy coffee) or the very end of workdays. No one will spend time on newsletters while they are busy. To organize and optimize the process, feel free to choose an email marketing service; many are accessible and still efficient when working with massive email lists.
When you send your latest content assets (blog posts, guides, reviews, infographics, videos, eBooks, etc.) remember to add a clear call to action that motivates subscribers to click.
In a Word
Affiliate marketing content creation and distribution don’t need to be super challenging and confusing. Once you know a promoted product and its target audience inside out, you'll easily develop the best content distribution strategy to get positive results.
Now that you know all the specifics behind affiliate content types and ways to distribute them for maximum conversion, why not expand your affiliate marketing endeavors even more?