Hands down, one essential skill an affiliate marketer will need to master is copywriting. There is no success in affiliate marketing without powerful copy delivered strategically. Even with the best web design, content marketing plans, and linking strategy, affiliate marketing efforts fail without compelling writing.
Let me repeat that for clarity: You WILL FAIL as an affiliate marketer without great copywriting.
Sticking banners on your site and calling it a day is no longer enough for successful affiliate marketing. You're in a new world of competition that includes ad blockers, custom Chrome extensions, and more. People find ads pesky, and there are too many ways for them to get around every type of advertising for you to rest on your laurels.
Don't panic! Affiliate marketing is still a popular way to make money, especially with the ease that social media marketing brings to the table. A strategy is critical, though. As more and more millennials discover the benefits of affiliate partnerships, it gets harder to break through the noise and see a profit.
As if that wasn't enough, CPC (cost per click) is going up across a variety of platforms. PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns are costing marketers more, and it doesn't seem like it will lower in the coming months or years.
What does that mean for affiliate marketers? It means it's more important than ever to use copywriting to head your marketing campaigns. Successful affiliate marketing in 2020 requires strategic and engaging copy.
If you're not ‘classically' trained as a writer, don't fret. With a little help, you can train yourself to deliver copywriting that ranks your content, drives action, promotes loyalty, and builds an empire.
How do I Write Engaging Copy?
Let's start with a quote:
“The secret of all effective advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships.” – Leo Burnett
That's it in a nutshell. Take concepts that your audience is familiar with, resonates with, wants to change, or wants to understand and make those concepts accessible. As a successful affiliate marketer, you're making experts in one form or another everywhere you go!
There are more than a few ways to produce fantastic copywriting for your affiliate website without being a professional copywriter, but we'll give you our top four. Here's how:
Headlines Should Draw the Reader In
Headlines are kind of a big deal when you're writing for affiliate marketing.
The bigger the text, the more likely your eyes will be drawn to it first. That's why your headlines need to be compelling enough to keep the reader invested in continuing through the rest of the content. You're fighting against dodgy attention spans here, so this is important.
The hierarchy of your content is also essential. Your headline should grab, the subheader should guide. Remember that you want people to reach your call-to-action, and building a flow that takes readers from one point to the next will help.
Whether you're crafting a landing page, a sales page, ad copy, or any other type of content, the headline is going to be the first connection between YOU and the audience.
Spend a lot of time crafting a headline that does one or more things:
- Builds curiosity
- Hints at a problem being solved
- Offers something compelling
- Entices and excites
Be a Keyword Fanatic
As an affiliate marketer, you'll get used to worrying about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Getting ranked higher can spell plenty of strategic thinking on your part, even for something as simple as a social post. It's well worth it, in the end, to figure out what keywords work for your affiliate marketing strategy.
Sometimes it can even mean writing longer content with more keywords (spread out and seamlessly integrated in the copy) and using keywords that your readers will likely search. Keyword research and optimization is a skill in itself, but understanding how to pick and use your target words will make your job much easier.
Why the long content? It's a mistake to stuff keywords into your writing and expect great results. Those long-tail keywords are pivotal, but they're noticeable when used repetitively throughout the text, especially without value. Nobody wants to stumble through chunky content.
Bad: Need to fix broken lenses? Many people use The Affiliate Product 2000 to fix broken lenses because to fix broken lenses, you need a great product. The Affiliate Product 2000 will fix broken lenses without all the hassle!
Good: It can cost a fortune to maintain your glasses properly. The Affiliate Product 2000 is the go-to solution to fix broken lenses without the need for a second mortgage. We wanted to give our customers a way to extend the life of their glasses in a way that didn't break wallets in half or take years of saving.
To be thorough, we tested our product against thirty others that claimed to fix broken lenses at a low cost. Across countless metrics, we beat out the competition at half the price!
In the example above, the longer content used fewer keywords, but in a way that was less clunky to read. Many WordPress plugins will help you find the best keywords, and many SEO tools allow for strategic research.
There are also plenty of plugins and tools that will make your search engine optimization efforts more straightforward to manage. SEMrush has a great content checker that will assess the overall messaging and keywords used in your content. It will even recommend keywords that work better with your desired outcome, and list links that would give your content more authority.
Pretty Links even goes through your old content and updates keywords with links, improving your link strategy and keyword effectiveness. Use the tools at your disposal to improve your SEO rankings!
Understand Your Customer Pain Points
Here's another quote for your desk:
“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.” – Blair Warren
Even with the best copywriting skills, you have to know your customer pain points to make an impact with your writing. Who (or what) is the enemy you're helping them conquer? How are your words aligning with what they need and want to hear?
Ask yourself how your content helps to change potential customers' lives, and what their life will look like if they never touch your product.
You can find out by:
- Creating detailed buyer personas
- Visiting forums your target audience might use
- Asking your audience directly
- Researching the product's target market, and reading up on their site copy (if they have it)
Pay Attention to Word Choice and Personality
The words you choose will either move or deter your readers. That fact might seem obvious, but it's a secret weapon in every professional copywriter's handbook. Becoming a great copywriter is going to take you back to a term you probably haven't heard since your school days: persuasive writing.
Persuasive writing consists of using power words, logical arguments, and emotional connections to move your readers to action. In affiliate marketing, the words you choose should help your audience decide that the product, service, or software you're promoting is precisely what they need.
This ties into customer pain points heavily, because your copy is solving a problem, but also encouraging trust. We all know that trust is gained, and most trust is gained over time. Adding personal anecdotes and stories, speaking to your audience in a way that resonates with them, and being clear about how you want to move forward will help to build trust faster.
It's about focus! Making the reader feel like the center-of-attention can work wonders. Words like you and us pull the reader out of their head and into your content.
All of this is about creating emotional connections through your copywriting. Choose words that drive readers to feel something. That something will depend on what you're selling, but remember to keep your target audience in mind. How do you want your reader to feel, and what words will push them in that direction?
The book Words That Sell by Richard Bayan is an excellent resource for power words. There are many lists of power words, but here are a few to keep at the forefront of your brain when writing:
- Ready to Go
Include these types of words in your copywriting (especially in your headers) to increase your conversion rates and overall website traffic.
Copywriting and affiliate marketing go hand-in-hand. Write the best copy of your life with relevant and researched keywords, headlines that pull in readers, and words that build trust and urgency.
Do you have copywriting tips or questions on how to make a difference in your affiliate marketing? Let us know in the comment section below!