Freelance writers are always looking to balance two things: writing something good and getting paid for it. It can be a tough line to straddle, but that’s always the goal.
Writing an affiliate post is the most direct way to provide value and get paid…as long as it’s done right.
What is an Affiliate Post?
Are Affiliate Posts Sleazy?
- It’s filled with useful information
- It’s on a respected site
- The author clearly calls out the links as affiliate links
If the links weren’t identified as affiliates, then it’s a little sketch. If the article lived on thebestcreditcardsintheworldbaby.biz, didn’t identify the affiliate links as such, and had no useful information, then that would fall under the classification of sleazy.
That’s the main reason why there is some debate about affiliate posts. Can you really trust a person’s opinion when he/she is getting paid if people sign up?
There is one easy way to tell…and it’s also the secret to a successful affiliate post.
Is the Content Awesome?
The secret to a good affiliate post is to make it so good, so detailed, and so useful that people won’t mind clicking on your affiliate links. In fact, they’ll gladly click on them because you’ve given them so much useful information.
Want an example? Check out this post from Ramit on his favorite checking account. Even if you don’t know him, the post is packed with helpful information that you can use to make a decision. And he also identifies his link as affiliates.
Where do you Get Affiliate Links?
First you need to join any of the affiliate programs out there. The big ones are Linkshare (affiliate link), Commission Junction, and Google Affiliates. Amazon Associates pays you if you link to a product and someone winds up buying something (just make sure your state is still eligible).
Once you’ve joined, you need to find a product or service you want to write about. Ideally, you pick something you’re passionate or knowledgable about. But you can also pick something you don’t know anything about (as long as you’re willing to learn)—it doesn’t matter.
- Join an affiliate program (again, the big ones are Linkshare (affiliate link), Commission Junction, Google Affiliates, and Amazon Associates.
- Find a product or service you want to write about and become an expert on it.
- Create a fantastic, useful article that helps readers learn more about that product or service.
- Identify your links as affiliate links.
- Publish it on a respected online site (could be your site or a guest post somewhere else).
- Stay up on the comments to answer any additional questions readers might have.
If you’ve created something truly useful for readers, they will have no problem rewarding you buy clicking on your affiliate links if they want to sign up for a service or buy a product.
Image by CarbonNYC