Did you know that your author website can help you generate additional income?
Many authors underestimate the power of a good website. Your dedicated website can help you communicate with your current readers, help you gain new followers, and even serve as a platform for new releases. However, you can also monetize it directly through your blog.
But starting to generate blog-driven income can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. Fortunately, through the help of affiliate marketing, there are 5 certain types of articles that writers can use to start making money with their websites.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Before we get into the best articles to profit with, you need to understand the concept of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is essentially active advertisement. It works by you registering yourself as an affiliate seller for an online marketplace (such as Amazon, Walmart, B&N, etc.…) and getting compensation for products sold directly through your links.
For instance, if you place an affiliate link in your blog post that directs readers to a Ray Bradbury book, you’ll get compensated for each book purchased through your link. Often, this applies to more than just that book. You may be eligible for commission on everything that the customer purchases on their site provided they came through your link portal.
While affiliate marketing is a great tactic, be careful in what you choose to market. You should only promote products that you actually believe in. Readers have this uncanny ability to see through sales talk. If you’re pushing a product just for the sake of selling, they’ll know.
5 Articles Every Author Should Have on Their Blog
Putting affiliate links inside your blog posts is a great place to start, but you’ll find yourself going nowhere fast without an effective strategy. Sales links buried inside opinionated columns or narrative articles aren’t real money-makers.
That’s why you need to create special articles that are able to properly drive sales while continuing to provide top-notch information and value for your readers.
“Best Of” Articles
“Best of” articles are some of the most common blog posts you’ll come across and for good reason. They provide many different opportunities for adding affiliate links while maintaining your honest opinion about particular goods/services.
In these articles, you need to create a list of products that is relevant to your area of expertise that can help to solve a reader’s issue or alleviate a pain point.
Keep in mind that these posts generally aren’t for dedicated buyers though. “Best of” articles are primarily frequented by readers who may be in the market for a product and are just looking for more information. That’s why one common tactic in “Best of” articles is to provide a buyer’s guide along with the listed options. It helps you provide tangible value and a chance to convert those simply looking into paying customers.
And these articles don’t have to be strictly “Best of”. Sometimes, the most effective versions of these posts are “Cheapest of” or “Best Budget”.
Here are some killer examples of this type of blog post:
- Best 4 Person Tent (PracticalWilderness.com): This post has super easy to read specifications with pros and cons for each product.
- Best WordPress PayPal Plug-ins (WPBeaverBuilder.com): Beaver Builder does an excellent job in this article of attacking a very common problem many online business owners have. This makes it a well trafficked article with a high chance of customer conversion.
- Best LitRPG Books (TopSciFiBooks.com): While the individual reviews of each book in this list are incredibly easy to follow, it’s the bottom portion of the article that stands out here. It has a very in-depth buyer’s guide that fully explains the genre for those new or curious.
- Best Erasable Pen (NerdyBookGirl.com): The first thing that stands out about this article is simply how easy it is to read and make a purchase. The article gives good descriptions of each product with a clearly defined pros and cons section for each. The Buy Buttons are also distinctly displayed so there’s no confusion for the customer.
- Best 308 Rifle (GunAndShooter.com): In this best of article, the author provides several different options each with pros, cons, and conclusions to help guide the reader.
Product Review Articles
The next type of article you should be writing is the product review. Product reviews are excellent tools you can use to give your reader an in-depth look at a particular product/service. Good product reviews should provide your reader with everything they need to know in order to make an informed decision on whether it’s right for them or not.
However, product reviews are among the most misused type of post. And that’s due to blatant dishonesty of the writer. While we’d love to actively promote everything we can, some products just aren’t that good. And by exaggerating or pushing products that aren’t worth it, you lose credibility with your readers.
But bad reviews aren’t necessarily a bad thing. You can easily capitalize on a bad review by offering better alternatives to the reviewed product. This not only builds trust between you and your readers but helps to maximize your blog’s earning potential.
Unlike the “Best of” article, this type of post caters to individuals who already have a purchasing end goal in mind. If you’re able to convince them through your review, there’s a good chance they’ll utilize your affiliate links.
Check out the following links for great reviews in action:
- Vellum Software Review (Kindlepreneur.com): In my Vellum review, the main goal was to inform my readers about the ins and outs of Vellum. Instead of covering little details, I stuck with big picture items that users might actually care about and the limitations of the program.
- Sig P365 Review (GunUniversity.com): Gun University did a real bang up job with this product review. It’s full of everything you’d ever need to know about the Sig P365 including the best accessories, how to care for them, safety concerns, and even other similar products.
- Gordon Ramsay Masterclass Review (ParticularPantry.com): This Masterclass review is an excellent example of being as thorough as possible to your reader. It covers both of Gordon’s MasterClasses in their entirety and provides multiple chances for you to sign up as well.
Product Comparison Articles
Commonly known as “Vs articles”, these posts can actually have the highest customer conversion rates. Product comparison articles are a specialized type of review in which you’re not just talking about a particular product but comparing them on how they perform against another.
Readers viewing these articles are normally ready to make a purchase. But they’re just unsure between two similar choices. Help them select the right option for them and provide an easy to access way to buy, and there’s a strong possibility they’ll buy through you.
But you need to be careful when writing Vs. articles. It’s OK to have a clear-cut winner or preference; however, you shouldn’t crown the winner at the other’s expense. You should approach these articles with tact. There may be times where one product is clearly the superior but is way out of budget for the reader. Instead, you can offer the other option (or another entirely if it’s not worth it) as a more affordable choice.
Here are my picks for some great Vs. articles:
- Sun Basket vs. Green Chef (FoodDeliveryGuru.com): When it comes to product comparison, one of the biggest factors for determining which is best is price. And this review does a great job at performing a cost breakdown analysis for each service. They also provide coupons for each service for any reader looking utilize either one.
- Bose 700 vs Beats Solo Pro (Tomsguide.com): What really stands out about this product comparison is their unique way of presenting deals on either of the two headphones. The article utilizes an affiliate marketing tool to bring you the best up-to-date prices.
- Kitten Food vs Cat Food (ExcitedCats.com): This article stands out due to its true comparative nature. It does a great job explaining the difference between the two, describes when each is appropriate, and then explains what can happen if you use the wrong product at the wrong time.
List of Resources
These types of articles are can be among the most informative ones for your reader. There are two real directions you can take for these. First, write an all-inclusive article directing the reader to a particular type of resource/tool. If many of the items are products or affiliate services, you’ll have a ton of opportunities to get in some potential sales.
Another approach is to write about all the tools you actually use. This is by far the easiest method. And that’s because you shouldn’t have to do any research! You’ll already be the expert because you’re actually promoting something you use on a regular basis.
Check out these three examples of list of resource articles:
- 40 Different Types of Hammers (HealthyHandyman.com): This is a super informative article. It covers every single type of hammer you can think of and so many more. But it also gives specific uses for each which may lead a customer to buy a particular one that fits their needs.
- Favorite Resources for those Who Work from Home, Freelancers, and More (CommonCentsClub.com): If you’ve ever decided to work from home, freelance, or even save money, this list of resources is full of so many different tools and services that are just perfect. This is one list I’d recommend bookmarking for all writers.
- 100+ Resources for Aspiring Authors (DanKoboldt.com): If you’re an author, this is the list for you. What’s really great about this post is how the author breaks down each tool into groups with an easy to navigate menu so you can get what info you need fast.
List of Recommended Reading
As an author, your fans and followers will always want to know what you’re reading or what you recommend they check out! This doesn’t mean you need to direct them to your books. Instead, offer up other resources or helpful lists and books.
These articles can be particularly beneficial to both you and your readers if there are affiliate links within. This gets your readers to the best knowledge and a potential sale for you.
- How to Monetize a Website (SideHustleNation.com): In this article, I talk with Side Hustle Nation on some other ways that you can make your website work for you. And by doing so, I can help to promote some of the services that I truly find useful.
- 101 New Skills to Learn Starting Today (DevelopGoodHabits.com): This is another amazing list for recommended reading due to the sheer volume of great suggestions!
- Survival Clothing Essentials (SasiOnline.org): This type of article will help to instill a sense of urgency within your reader and help them make quick important decisions.
What Should You Expect from These Articles?
Just because you start writing these articles, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get rich overnight. However, they do provide a legitimate avenue where you can provide factual information and value to your reader while beginning to receive monetary compensation in return.
If you’re looking for more successful examples of blogs and niche websites, you don’t have to search very hard. There are tons out there that you can use to glean some inspiration from.
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