Content Strategy - Ads vs. Affiliate marketing

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A lot of BS members are focusing on ads to monetize their sites and advocating a high volume content strategy. However, I'm wondering if you would have a similar approach for sites monetized only with affiliate marketing. With Ads, you can target nearly every keyword under the sun, as long as the site can rank for it authority-wise.

Would you be more picky in the keyword selection, if you would run an affiliate site? Informational content that is in the pre-purchase phase could be valuable to educate visitors before a purchase. However, content that is in the post-purchase phase might not be worth the effort from a monetization point of view.

PS: I'm asking because, I'm running an affiliate site in a B2B niche in a non-English-speaking country. The affiliate payouts are great, but not the potential for ads.
 

bernard

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Would you be more picky in the keyword selection, if you would run an affiliate site? Informational content that is in the pre-purchase phase could be valuable to educate visitors before a purchase. However, content that is in the post-purchase phase might not be worth the effort from a monetization point of view.

Yes, you need to be way more picky with what kind of content you produce in my experience, but equally, you need to have a very different plan for how to meet and greet those visitors.

With ads, you just want them to read and stay on the site, with affiliate, you want them to read your product reviews and round up reviews.

There's a lot of "how to lose weight" searches as an example, but even if you can get a lot of those sent to some kind of offer with a popup or ads, it's not going to convert very well.

Some of them will convert though, in which case, you can make a better argument for informational content, but it will take much longer to earn itself back.

So you need to funnel them into more commercially oriented pages, by using links, email collection and the like.

In any case, as an affiliate, you want that informational content to back up your commercial content, purely for SEO reasons anyway - content silos and as linkbait.
 

Boy

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You gotta be pickier with keyword selection, so start with monetization in mind. Find out how you can capitalize on post-purchase intent keywords with offers.

However, content that is in the post-purchase phase might not be worth the effort from a monetization point of view.
That might be an add-on or upsell that's a solution to their problem. It may be partnering with a solutions provider to drive qualified leads. Depending on what B2B offers your selling, they may be very complicated to set up or configure for maximum efficiency.

There are companies/consultants charging $5,000 to onboard new HubSpot users. To anyone who's worked with any CRM before, that's about the easiest thing in the world. Fortunately, people are not willing to learn the software so consultants hop on 4 video calls and do 1.5 hours of labor for $900/hour.
 
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Yes, you need to be way more picky with what kind of content you produce in my experience, but equally, you need to have a very different plan for how to meet and greet those visitors.

With ads, you just want them to read and stay on the site, with affiliate, you want them to read your product reviews and round up reviews.

There's a lot of "how to lose weight" searches as an example, but even if you can get a lot of those sent to some kind of offer with a popup or ads, it's not going to convert very well.

Some of them will convert though, in which case, you can make a better argument for informational content, but it will take much longer to earn itself back.

So you need to funnel them into more commercially oriented pages, by using links, email collection and the like.

In any case, as an affiliate, you want that informational content to back up your commercial content, purely for SEO reasons anyway - content silos and as linkbait.
Thanks a lot for your reply. Very helpful.
Are you funneling your visitors from informational content to round-up review / product reviews, or are you trying to place you affiliate links directly in informational posts?

What is the best way to funnel your visitor, with contextual links within the text or with related posts at the bottom of your informational post?
 

ToffeeLa

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Are you funneling your visitors from informational content to round-up review / product reviews, or are you trying to place you affiliate links directly in informational posts?
I do both: 'ads' within informational content and then integrated links to related content with more commercial intent (for those who are tempted by the informational content).
 

bernard

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Thanks a lot for your reply. Very helpful.
Are you funneling your visitors from informational content to round-up review / product reviews, or are you trying to place you affiliate links directly in informational posts?

What is the best way to funnel your visitor, with contextual links within the text or with related posts at the bottom of your informational post?

I do both.

My typical schematic is this, and everyone feel free to critique:

1. Intro
2. Also Read: Link to money page
3. CTA - top 3 products in niche
4. Subtopic 1
5. Also Read: Link to another money page
etc

What kind of CTA I use depend a lot on what kind of search it is. I quite like "mini-reviews", which is like a brief, one scroll length, text explaining the product, why you should buy it and so on. Essentially a data rich ad.

I will typically mention savings, efficiency, etc.

Let's say someone googles about how to lose weight. Then I will promote some kind of diet plan. I will have tested that diet plan and written a review about it. In my CTA, I will then do a 100-200 word mini-review, include a photo, and a big button "Buy at xyz" and below it, I will have "or read review" and link to my review.

If I am promoting a product, then I will do a top 3 product comparison table, write a few words for each, some facts, button to buy for each.

This could be if I did a post on "Rowing machine workout plan", then I would have a "Top 3 rowing machines" at the top.
 
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You are leaving money on the table by skipping ads.

Nowadays with the shift in topical relevancy, we need to add as much informational content as possible which essentially helps us ranked better for the affiliate pages.

I see many sites which pump out quality topical content like crazy beating big newspaper sites through relevancy,

This type of content does not convert so well but ads work well, especially since you can scale up content and have much more informational content.