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9 Key Affiliate Marketing Tips for More Money & Traffic

Are you an affiliate marketer who wants to earn more money? Then read on—the following nine affiliate marketing tips were learned over my decade of experience creating and growing six-figure affiliate websites.

Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn passive income online. But it requires constant learning to keep up with the competition.

Here are my best tips for affiliate marketing to increase your traffic and, ultimately, your income:

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the single most valuable skill I’ve ever learned as an affiliate marketer. Being able to get your content to show up in Google search results provides recurring, free, and high-quality traffic—which is exactly what you need to make more money.

To prove my point, here’s a screenshot showing my Google Analytics traffic breakdown, with nearly 90% of my traffic coming from Google over the last month:

Google Analytics organic search trafficGoogle Analytics organic search traffic

SEO can be broken down into three main areas:

  1. On-page SEO
  2. Link building
  3. Technical SEO

On-page SEO involves things like:

But optimized content targeting the right keywords isn’t enough to rank. One of the most important Google ranking factors is backlinks from other websites pointing to your website. These links tell Google that your website is a trusted authority on the internet.

There are many ways to build backlinks to your content. They often involve email outreach to other website owners, so you should get comfortable writing emails.

Lastly, you’ll need to learn some basic technical SEO. Don’t worry—it’s not as hard as it sounds. You don’t need to know how to code or anything like that. These days, there are WordPress plugins, such as Yoast SEO or Rank Math, for virtually any SEO task you need to do.

In fact, Ahrefs has a free SEO WordPress plugin to help you audit the content on your website, monitor your backlinks, and see how much organic traffic your pages are getting.

Ahrefs' SEO WordPress pluginAhrefs' SEO WordPress plugin

In conclusion, learn SEO and you will get more traffic and make more money.

Keyword research is arguably the most crucial skill you need to learn. You have to know what keywords people are typing into Google to find information about your affiliate products and how you can create content that matches the search intent of those keywords.

You can use Ahrefs’ free keyword generator tool to come up with keyword ideas. Just type in a broad keyword related to your niche, and you’ll get back a list of related keywords:

Ahrefs' free keyword generator toolAhrefs' free keyword generator tool

I never write a blog post without a target keyword for SEO. In fact, I always recommend focusing on creating content hubs in order to fully cover a topic—and help improve your chances of ranking highly on Google.

Amazon Associates is usually the first affiliate program every affiliate marketer starts with. It’s great because Amazon has products in almost every niche imaginable… but its commission percentages are abysmal.

At ~3% commission, you’ll need to sell approximately $3,333,333 to make a six-figure income. You read that right—over $3 million just to make $100K. Ouch.

Starting with Amazon is fine. But once you figure out which products are making you the most money, it’s a good idea to go directly to the manufacturer or another retailer that will offer you a higher commission on those products.

You can see what products are bringing you the most income by going to your Amazon reporting dashboard, clicking on the “Earnings” tab, and sorting it by “Revenue.”

Amazon Associates Earnings reportAmazon Associates Earnings report

From there, you have to do some detective work to find another affiliate to promote that sells the same or similar products. It takes some Google searching and phone calls to find the best deals. But it’s worth it, as long as you’re making a significantly higher commission.

Keep in mind that you’ll probably need to make at least double the commission to make it worth switching. In fact, I aim for a minimum of 8% commission to make the switch. 

This is because Amazon’s 24-hour cookie policy means you earn on anything someone buys within 24 hours of clicking on your link, even if it’s not the product you initially recommended. Additionally, Amazon has spent billions perfecting its conversion rate and brand reputation. So if you link elsewhere, you will almost certainly have a lower conversion rate.

It’s a good idea to test other affiliates before you fully switch over. Change out a few links and monitor how they affect your income for at least a month. If it’s higher, change more links. If it’s lower, change it back and look for a different partner with a better website or a higher commission rate.

lowered the commission rates of most categories. Worse still, most of the other corporations tend to follow Amazon’s lead and change their commissions shortly after.

But beyond expanding to work with multiple partners, you should also consider other income methods entirely. Display ads, drop shipping your own products, or making an online course are all great options to avoid keeping all your eggs in one basket.

standard operating procedures documenting how you write, upload, and publish your content.

For example, here’s what one of my spreadsheets looks like:

Content organization spreadsheetContent organization spreadsheet

I like to include basic data about each page, such as the keyword it’s targeting, the content hub it’s a part of, and what keywords it’s ranking for—which I pull from Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

Just head to the Organic keywords tab and click Export in the top right to download a sheet with all of your rankings data.

Organic keywords report, via Ahrefs' Site ExplorerOrganic keywords report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

From there, you can upload the sheet into a Google Sheet and customize it to fit your particular needs and style.

refresh your old content to keep it relevant and to improve (or at least keep) your first-page Google rankings.

Final thoughts

As an affiliate marketer, it’s important to continually learn and hone your craft. The tips outlined above were learned over a decade, and I’m still learning new things every day.

Here are some other guides with more affiliate marketing tips and tricks to help you continue learning:

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