You want to make money with affiliate marketing, but you don’t know how to write affiliate blog posts that get huge clicks and sales.

The problem is that most people are writing blog posts without a plan.

They’re just posting whatever they feel like, hoping it will work out in the end.

Their blog post has no structure, no format, and they’ve got no idea of the correct product placement, what to recommend, etc.

This might work sometimes, but it will never work as smoothly as a well-structured blog post.

In this article, you’ll learn the exact content structure you should use to maximize your affiliate commissions.

The following structure and writing format have worked for me and I’ve been getting sales from people surfing my blog posts day in and day out.

So, without delaying any further, let’s begin with the type of blog post, which provides the highest ROI: list posts.

Why Should You Focus More On Affiliate List Posts?

PERSON-THINKING-SOMETHING

The most popular blog post type is the list article, which attracts more visitors and attention than any other sort of blog post.

Why?

Lists denote order over chaos, are simple to read, and at the same time, easy to skim.

Furthermore, list posts suggest confidence, and certainty since the number in the title indicates how much time it will take your readers to read your blog article.

Example: People would love more to read a blog post like:

10 Ways to Make Money Online instead of: How to Make Money Online

People are confident that after reading your headline, it will take them not more than a few minutes to get an idea of what your blog post is about.

They may just read the subheadings and a few bullet points to get a feel for what you’re talking about if they are in a rush, saving both their time and energy.

Within seconds, you’ll have the ability to significantly influence their purchasing decisions and steer them down their purchase journey with list posts.

Looking at the profitability sides for affiliates, list posts yield the highest ROI followed by product reviews.

WHY?

It takes equal time and energy (sometimes more) to write a single product review and an affiliate list post.

Since list posts offer choice, you can get people to sign up for any of the tools rather than just one.

People are free to choose the one they like without being controlled by you.

Moreover, they get to compare all the tools you mention side-by-side thus making their buying decisions less risky.
It also offers full transparency.

Because consumers can’t select due to FOMO, single product reviews are either a success or a miss (if they don’t have any idea about that product early on).

Moreover, list posts have both higher search volume and conversion rates as compared to individual product reviews.

These were just a few of the major reasons why you should pay more attention to list postings instead of just single product reviews.

How to Create the Ideal Structure for Affiliate List Post?

Creating a solid structure for your blog will not only help you rank higher in Google, but it’ll also create a clear route for visitors to follow and ensure that they convert.

Here are some tips on creating an effective structure for affiliate list posts:

#1. Create An Irresistible Blog Title and Intro

Creating an appealing headline and introduction that will entice readers to continue reading is one of the most effective ways to get your blog to attract more visitors.

The title will be the first impression for search engines, so it’s critical that it’s attention-grabbing and catchy.

Additionally, focus on the search intent, don’t mention the product’s benefit in the blog introduction.

Your readers already know this, which is why they’ve come to you.

The goal here is commercial and they’re here to buy something, they’re hot leads; so immediately pitch them with the goods and start talking about their specifics.

If you waste their time, they’ll bounce away and you’ll never hear from them again.

Moreover, try to keep the intro as short as possible, ideally under 2-3 short paragraphs.

You must catch their attention with the most critical information in this limited space or you’ve already lost them.

#2. Arrange The List Items in The Descending Order of Commissions/Popularity

You’re in the business of boosting your income as affiliates.

You need to strike a balance between the quality of the goods and the commission rates you’re getting from your recommendations to ensure that you’re making the most of your investment while also suggesting excellent products.

You don’t want to suggest something expensive but terrible, or something fantastic but free.

You need to follow a clear strategy to decide which products need to be placed at the top or bottom of the list post.

This can be easily done with a spreadsheet that can help you arrange products based on their commission rates.

Furthermore, it’s essential to research the commission structure beforehand of any affiliate program you’re joining.

Sometimes, it’s best to embed affiliate links in the descending order of commissions, other times popularity is the way to go.

It can happen that a product with a low affiliate commission is highly popular and trending but a product with higher affiliations is not trending at all.

In these cases, you should go with the product that has a better chance of getting more clicks and purchases, which can be easily determined by the data of its popularity.

The decision between the two methods depends on your target audience, your blog or article subject matter, and where you want readers to click on.

You can evaluate whether a product is excellent and even deserves inclusion on your list by browsing Facebook groups for these items where consumers are their regular buyers.

If you’re promoting as an Amazon affiliate, looking for reviews around it will help you a lot.

#3. Figure Out the USP Of the Product and Hit Hard

Every product has a USP (Unique Selling Proposition), whether it’s just a towel.

Figure out the USP of the products you’re promoting and try to emphasize it as much as possible.

The more you highlight the USP, the more people will feel like they’re missing out if they don’t buy it.

Figure out what makes your offers different from everyone else’s, and then hammer that message home.

Ex. if you’re promoting ActiveCampaign (an email marketing software), its USP is marketing automation and lead scoring.

  • So how would you emphasize the USP?

Here’s a little example:

  • The power of ActiveCampaign lies in Automation.
  • If that’s what you need for your business, give it a try.
  • Moreover, coupled with Lead Scoring, you can assign individual scores to every lead which helps you decide who are your most loyal customers.
  • The higher their lead scores, the more loyal they are to your brand.
  • This way, you can personalize your email campaign for more profits and send only relevant offers to such customers based on their lead scores.

This is just a sample, and you can further extend it to match your blog style.

#4. Make Them Imagine And Live The Benefits Of The Product

If you’re just mentioning the technical jargon of the product or its features, you’ll hardly make a commission.

You’ll need to use words that’ll make them imagine how good the product is & what benefits they’ll be getting out of it.

You need to paint a picture in their minds with words so that they can truly experience what life would be like if they’d use your product.

How great they’d look, feel and sound compared to now.

The more you can have your prospects imagine themselves using your product, the better off you’ll be.

Once they are engaged in an imaginary scenario with your product front-and-center, they’ll begin to experience the benefits of it.

Even if it’s just a tiny fraction of what the ultimate uses will be, that still will move them forward toward buying.

Future pacing puts people in a position where they already possess something before they’ve even purchased it.

That feeling is incredibly powerful and one reason why so many ads show celebrities living a certain lifestyle is that they want people to believe someday they could have what those celebs do.

Here’s how you can achieve that with an example:

Ex. Since we know now that ActiveCampaign comes with marketing automation, lead scoring, and other features like lead segmentation, etc. you can use these features and make your readers imagine, and live its benefits.

Here’s how:

  • Moreover coupled with Lead Scoring, you can assign individual scores to every lead which helps you decide which customers regularly buy from you.
  • The higher their lead scores, the more loyal they are to your brand.
  • Feature-To-Benefit: This means leads with higher scores have a higher probability to buy even pricier products and the ones with low scores won’t.
  • Feature-To-Benefit: This way, you can personalize your email campaign for more profits and send only relevant offers to such customers based on their demographics and purchase history.
  • Feature-To-Benefit: Moreover with their marketing automation, you can just set it to forget it and let the system do the work while you can focus on other important aspects of your business.
  • Feature-To-Benefit: You can also make a great first impression on new leads with your email marketing automation by sending them a series of automated welcome emails.
  • Feature-To-Benefit: This will demonstrate that you care about them and their experience with your organization.
  • Feature-To-Benefit: You can also segment qualified leads using features like automatic lead segmentation.
  • This way, you can segment which leads are hot, warm, and cold and then target them with your sales pitch accordingly.
  • Feature-To-Benefit: You can even remove low-quality leads with email list cleanup.
  • What’s the finest thing?
  • Feature-To-Benefit: With their automation platform, all of these procedures can be fully automated so you don’t have to perform them manually over and again.
  • You can just set it once and it’ll keep running around the year on automation so that you can focus on other important aspects of your business such as product design and sales.

Let’s extract all the features of ActiveCampaign from the above text:

  • Lead Scoring
  • Marketing Automation
  • Email Personalization
  • Welcome Emails
  • Lead Segmentation
  • Email List Cleanup

If I would’ve mentioned just the above features, do you think people would buy from me?

Absolutely not.

But with the above paragraph, I made them imagine how these features can benefit their businesses to make more profits.

This is what you’ve to aim for.

If you’re not a pro copywriter, you can always take the help of AI Writing tools to write such sales-driven and persuading content that holds the power to entice your readers to imagine the benefits and take action.

#5. Allow People To Grasp The Idea Of A Product In Less Than 3 Secs

People won’t read your whole blog.

They will scan for subtle details like its main benefits, pricing, pros & cons, how it’s compared to other products on the market, etc.

In a fast-paced, loud, and chaotic world, people don’t have the time to read all of your copy.

They will only spend 3 seconds on your list item before they decide whether they want to continue or not.

Making a clear table of contents with a list of bullet points that mention each list item, will help your visitors to quickly find what they’re looking for.

Make your affiliate list items scannable by using:

  • Bullet Points
  • Feature To Benefit
  • Pricing
  • Pros & Cons
  • Product Comparison Tables
  • Who’s the ideal customer for this product

Let’s take an example of how I make my post scannable by taking an example of a product I’m promoting named Writesonic.

Whenever you publish a new post on your affiliate blog, take a look at how scannable it is.

scannable-affiliate-list-item-benefits
scannable-affiliate-list-item-pricing
scannable-pros-cons

If you find an item that doesn’t pass this test – rewrite it!

Take the help of the Hemingway App and aim for a grade reading level 6.

It’s unlikely people will give your affiliate product another chance after seeing a poorly structured list item.

Invest in quality affiliate marketing themes and plugins like Thrive Themes that help you track and test every little detail ranging from CTAs, headlines, opt-in forms, affiliate link placements, etc.

Apart from offering you all of the pre-populated blocks like reviews, star ratings, pros and cons blocks, etc. that will help to make your post pop out, add visual appeal, and preserve the structure.

It’ll also help you track and test everything with just a single click.

6. Have A Strong CTA With No Distractions Around The Affiliate Link

A strong call to action button is imperative for success in your affiliate posts.

You want your site visitors to click your affiliate links without having any distractions that will confuse them whether they should buy the product or not.

Remove all advertisements, lead forms, and other images from around your affiliate links to make them more visible.

You don’t want them to focus on something else other than your affiliate link or CTA button.

Use a strong CTA button with a contrasting color palette to make it stand out like here:

distraction-free-affiliate-list-items

You may also use reverse type or size to make your links stand out.

Make sure the call to action is included in each part, especially when describing features, advantages, and drawbacks.

Place a call to action (CTA) next to your product’s most appealing USP.

Consumers are more likely to click on the affiliate link at this point because they’ve identified the product’s most significant benefit and they’re highly convinced that this tool will benefit them.

#7. Pay Attention To The Placement Of Affiliate Links

The best 3 places to place your affiliate links in your list post are:

  • Headings
  • Within paragraphs
  • End of each section

Placing your affiliate link first in the heading gives it an ‘anchor’ which means that when people see your link, even for a split second, they will be subconsciously affected by the link and are more likely to click on it compared to other links later on in the post.

The second place goes to within specific paragraphs of your blog post.

People usually read the first 2-3 sentences of each paragraph within a list before they go onto the next one.

So placing your affiliate link in this space gives you another chance to put an ‘anchor’ into their mind that makes them click on it.

Ex. Suppose you’re promoting ActiveCampaign, so whenever you find this exact keyword, you can anchor it as your affiliate link within paragraphs.

Finally, place your affiliate links at the end of each section within your blog post.

This final point is most important because people will keep scrolling throughout the long posts if there is no clear call to action for them to do something.

The last thing you want is for them to stop reading when they get to the bottom of your article without doing anything.

Take a look here at a single list item of where and how many times I embed affiliate links:

affiliate-link-at-end-of-affiliate-list-item

#8. Always Cloak And Track Your Affiliate Links

Moreover, always cloaking your affiliate links is the best way to protect your affiliate income.

Several affiliates have reported that they’ve seen a huge loss in their affiliate revenue as hackers replaced the owner’s affiliate link with theirs in their blog.

If you’re using email marketing software to give affiliate referrals to your followers, certain email services will not allow it since sending affiliate links will reduce their deliverability rates.

However, if any email service provider even allows you to include affiliate links, it’s very likely that your emails will be classified as spam because Gmail has a strong spam detection system.

Gmail scans all incoming communications and flags them as spam if they contain any long and ugly affiliate links.

To avoid such situations, use link cloaking tools like Pretty Links to ensure that your affiliate links aren’t replaced by hackers or your emails aren’t sent to spam.

Moreover, many affiliate programs will allow you to track your conversions while others won’t.

If tracking isn’t provided by default by your affiliate manager, you can use Google URL builder to do that for you.

Simply putting that affiliate link in this free tool and entering tracking details will make your links trackable.

Entering tracking details like from which post the conversion was made, its placement, etc. will help you track them efficiently.

This is the cloaked affiliate link example you can use for inspiration:

yourdomain.com/recommend-[product-name]?tid1=[name-of-blog-post]&tid2=[link-placement]

Just remove the square brackets and don’t forget to add hyphens (-) between different words to make your cloaked link readable.

Tracking your affiliate links will allow you to identify which blog posts or link placements are yielding the highest ROI for you.

Once you’ve identified such blog posts that perform the best, you can then further optimize them, build links to only such posts, and promote them heavily using paid ads to maximize your ROI.

You can further move that list item up in your list if list item #10 is performing better than list item #4.

#9. Always Mention FREE Tools At The End Of The List

You don’t want to reduce your affiliate commissions by mentioning free tools at the top or mid of the list.

But once your readers have exhausted all of their opportunities and reached a dead end, they will thank you for mentioning a free tool that can help them achieve their goals.

In fact, you don’t even have to mention this until the end of the post because if you’re writing in-depth content throughout the body, by then your readers will already be sold on buying from your affiliate link

But, there will be instances when people will only visit your post for free alternatives.

You don’t want to disappoint them.

No matter whether or not your consumers will buy from your link, you should always try to satisfy their search intent.

Doing so will lower your bounce rate since you’re serving a larger audience that includes those seeking free items, thus ensuring higher Google rankings.

Moreover, including “FREE AND PAID OPTIONS” in your blog title will encourage more people from Google searches to visit your post, thus increasing traffic.

Also, since it’s a free tool, you also don’t need to write a lot about it.

Few details will do and since it’s free, people will already try it and they can explore themselves what it offers.

Take a look at how I promote free tools effortlessly:

#10. Place Ads Strategically

As mentioned before, you don’t want to distract your readers from clicking your affiliate links with ad units, lead forms, etc.

Why?

Suppose, if you mentioned ActiveCampaign and placed ads in its list section.

Ad networks will show ads of products related to ActiveCampaign (or your target keyword) like other cheaper email marketing tools.

The user will get distracted by seeing a cheaper alternative to ActiveCampaign and will click on the ad rather than clicking on your affiliate link.

Though you’ll make little ad revenue, you’ll lose out on the 30% recurring affiliate commission you could make for life if that reader would’ve signed up for ActiveCampaign.

The same can happen with lead forms too.

That’s why you should always focus to have a clean UI with minimal to no distractions.

Remove everything you find distracting.

Have a look here:

distraction-free-affiliate-list-items

But still, if you’re placing ads in your affiliate list post, make sure you’re adding them near such items which are absolutely FREE.

Since you’re not being compensated for recommending free items, placing ads near them will help you with additional ad income.

This way, you won’t regret the time and effort it took you to mention free items in your list as you’re making ad revenue out of them.

And at the same time, you’ll be able to satisfy the search intent of people looking for free options as well.

#11. Always Add A Conclusion With Your Resources

Always add a conclusion at the end of your blog post.

Why?

Because this will be the last time you can recommend them the best product on the list or any other alternatives.

In the conclusion, suggest to them the product according to what you feel is best for your readers and can also give you the highest benefit.

To further elaborate, you can mention 3 points like this below:

  • If you’re looking for the best and fast results, my opinion will be to try [Most Premium Product On The List]
  • If you’re under a tight budget and can’t afford to break your bank, then [Mid Tier Product] will be the best for you.
  • And if you’re looking for a free alternative, then [Free Option] is the way to go.

To further optimize your blog post for more affiliate commissions, you can include a few tools that you regularly use and place their affiliate links in a reusable block that you can use on every post of yours over and again.

This will also ensure that even if your users aren’t buying from the list items, they can check out such few tools you regularly use and can try them out.

This also works in cases where you’re writing purely informational content and you can’t include any affiliate links within the post.

But by using reusable blocks, you can always include a list of 2-4 tools you love the most at the end of such blog pieces to further maximize your ROI.

This is what Jeff Bullas does on his blog and you can take a look here at the way he concludes his blog posts:

affiliate-list-post-conclusion

Wrapping Up

conclusion

Writing an affiliate post is no easy task.

There are enough nuances you need to take care of starting from selecting a winning product to writing and promoting it.

I’ve discussed the most important ones in this guide and I believe these 11 tips will definitely help you scale your affiliate commissions.

Whether you want to write a comprehensive list or a quick two-three sentence list, make sure to structure your content carefully.

This will allow your readers to grasp your points quickly and create a deep impact on their minds.

One final tip: stay away from generic affiliate posts, which only give a short description of a recommendation and then sign off.

Instead, add insights into what makes that product valuable to people who are looking for it, because nobody wants just another recommendation – they want valuable information.

Lastly, if you’re about to write an affiliate post for the first time, choose products wisely because it will likely be one of the determining factors in whether you’ll win your reader’s trust or not.

At the end of the day, you want to sell products that will help people, build trust with your readers, and make huge commissions for your family.

Happy affiliate blogging!

Originally published here