There are a million different ways to sell affiliate products. My favorite way is through blog posts. So, in this article, I'm going to showcase a handful of affiliate blog post examples that are absolutely next level and then show you how you can emulate them for your own commissions.
Over 2,000,000 blog posts published each year and these posts are the extreme outliers from all that noise.
As you read through these affiliate blog post examples, I challenge you to ask yourself, "how can I use this tactic with my audience and products?"
I highly recommend you don't emulate these articles exactly.
These writers are rock stars and can compete with the biggest names in the business for top real estate on search engines. Most people can't do that, but they can use the same underlying tactics that these posts show to drive conversions in any niche.
Ok, here are the rules for the posts I've selected.
- No Adsense Articles. Those are great, but I consider writing posts for raw Adsense traffic to be a different beast and the same affiliate principles don't apply.
- Ethical Marketers Only. I'm not going to glorify scammy marketers here. Making a lot of commissions isn't enough to merit being on this article. I trust all the creators I've mentioned in this post and am gladly linking to their content.
- Blog Posts Only. There are countless examples of awesome ways to sell affiliate products (videos, tools, etc) but this article focuses only on blog posts that are part of larger blogs. I'll write about these other mediums in a future post depending on the popularity of this article.
Ok, ready? Let's go!
Example #1 Matthew Woodward | WPX Hosting
Title: Testing The 12 Fastest WordPress Hosting Providers
Author: Matthew Woodward of MatthewWoodward.Co.Uk
What It Sells: WPX Hosting
How He Sells It: Unprecedented testing of all the web hosting options on the market right now. Through rigorous research shows objectively why WPX Hosting is the best option for most bloggers. This is the ultimate "sell without being salesy" approach.
How to Emulate:
- Show why the products you promote are better than your competitors with real world tests and examples.
- Go deeper than anyone has ever gone on the topic.
- Create ORIGINAL research (builds backlinks fast).
I literally got the idea to write this post after I read this post.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that it is the single greatest example of using an article to sell an affiliate product that I have ever seen in my life.
Why is it so good? He crunches SO MUCH data and makes it a no brainer for you to buy the hosting that he recommends, WPX hosting.
I switched to it immediately from WP Engine after just skimming through the article.
Oh, and it was so good that WPX Hosting is literally using it on their own homepage!
Think about that... the company he's promoting is promoting HIM on their own website because his research was so compelling and sells the product so well.
I've literally never seen that in my entire life.
Affiliate marketing doesn't get any better than this.
Now, the man put in TONS of work here. Reading the depth of the review makes your head spin when you consider all that was involved. But, he now has a premier article that will make him money for a long time.
Do you have what it takes to do deep research to prove your product is superior to your competitors? If so, I recommend you do it.
Example #2 Chris Fong | ASM11
Title: Amazing Selling Machine (ASM11) Review: Will it Work For Me?
Author: Chris Fong of SmartBusinessTrends.com
What It Sells: Amazing Selling Machine course
Commission: 50% of $4,997 (more if paid monthly)
How He Sells It: Tells a story that shares his own results. Crushes competitors on the term thanks to his own experience and proven results.
How to Emulate:
- Tell your own story about how you used the product.
- Build backlinks to your article.
- Continually update to remain relevant year after year.
- Add bonuses
I could have chosen many different blog posts from Chris Fong.
He is the king of ranking review posts for big name softwares in the marketing space.
Now, I've been in the Amazon FBA space for about 6 years now. I am familiar with the Amazing Selling Machine program and have been tempted to try it myself.
But, I haven't, so I haven't written about it.
Chris has gone through it and has seen big results. He can then share his story and promote the course to others AND get a 50% commission on a program that is almost $5,000 if paid in full.
Now, I want to go deeper into review posts, so let's do that.
More on Affiliate Review Posts
The review post is one of the most common and straightforward tactics used by affiliate marketers to make sales.
Many affiliate marketers, present company included, have done very well with these types of pieces (blog and video content included).
However, things are changing and what has worked isn't going to continue to work at the same level.
The basic review post isn't as effective as it once was and it's time that affiliate marketers like you and I adapt and change our approach.
But, the traditional review post is dying for 4 reasons.
#1 They've Been Abused
Most reviews now are written by people wearing metaphorical rose-tinted glasses.
Their reviews are little more than biased ads from affiliates like me and the public understands this. They aren't dumb.
Affiliate marketing as a system is to blame for this, but it is the nature of the beast.
This doesn't mean that all reviews are fake or that everyone doing them is shady. It just means that the public is less swayed by a post at the top of Google promising an honest review than it once was.
There is just too much incentive for people to hyperbolize for a buck. Ranking on page 1 for an affiliate product review search term usually means some commissions. It's hard to take up that valuable real estate just to give a poor review of the product and not sell anything.
For instance, I rank on page 1 on Google for many high-value terms for a solo service called Udimi. I wish SOOOOOO badly that Udimi worked well and I could use them and refer them. They have a great affiliate program and I could have made bank. But alas, the service is bad and the concept of solo ads is flawed.
If I didn't care about my reputation and the value of my brand, I could have easily spun this article to end up promoting Udimi in the end.
Oh, and don't get me started on the second abused post type that people don't buy anymore...the "Don't Buy (Lucrative Affiliate Product) Until You Watch This" post...so cheesy and overplayed.
#2 They're Boring
We're spoiled by click worthy headlines. We just like things to get our attention and make our decisions on what to click on easier.
Most of the affiliate products that I buy aren't a result of review posts anymore. They're from something like a review post, but more entertaining.
That brings me to the review post alternative that will work better.
Do this instead....
Instead of a straightforward review post, share your product experience differently. It doesn't have to be a formal review to have the same effect that review posts once did.
Here's a recent example that got me to buy a product called the Whoop band.
The article was written on Medium by someone who I had never heard of. Since the article told about his unique experience though, I didn't feel like I needed to know him to trust him.
The post didn't read like a salesy review; it read like a story. A real human experience.
It currently ranks on page 1 of Google for "Whoop," just below the brand itself. It gets about 2,100 organic visits per month and many more via social.
Oh, the article also doesn't even include affiliate links... It could have and would have made a lot of sales.
I highly recommend you read the post to get some inspiration for your own products.
This type of post solved the two big issues regular reviews have.
- I didn't feel the need to trust him, since it wasn't a straight review post.
- It wasn't boring at all. The headline had intrigue and made me want to click.
Which would you click?
I'm clicking on the first one all day every day.
Here's another example of an article ranking on page 1 for a huge search term "P90X".
Although this post didn't end up selling P90X, it could have and many people would have bought it.
Yes, even though the article is about why it didn't work, it could have easily been written to show who P90X would work for based on the writer's personal failure.
Beachbody affiliates would KILL for that page 1 real estate.
I've brainstormed some headline alternatives to the traditional review headline. These have the same selling power as review posts but are less salesy and much more interesting.
- I didn't expect this to happen when I started using (product)
- Why is no one talking about this (product) feature
- Doing this one thing paid off my (product) subscription for (time)
- (#) Ways to Use (Product) for (Results)
- I almost gave up on (product) and then this happened
- (#) Reasons why I finally switched to (Product)
These headlines all include the product name for SEO purposes. You will still want to rank for the product name and will want that in the headline. For emails and social, you can completely remove the name to add to the intrigue.
For inspiration, pay attention to a lot of the social ads you see across Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
This one for example..."6 Reasons People Are Switching to This Clean Deodorant."
If you're doing any sort of review post or review alternative post, doing these things will help you make more sales.
#1 Stop Reviewing Only the Things That Pay You
Again, our followers aren't dumb. Just because an article doesn't directly sell something doesn't mean it's a waste of time. Some reviews are just great for driving traffic and building goodwill with your readers.
Oh, and you can leverage the fact that you aren't an affiliate in the title, like this guy did with a post he ranks on page 1 on Google for the term "Clickfunnels Review."
That post is worth a ton, even without the affiliate commissions from Clickfunnels that that spot would draw in.
#2 Stop Giving Everything Rave Reviews
Personally, I have a hard time bashing people's products or services. Luckily, there are enough out there that really earn the bad reviews they get. See my post on Outride Social for an example.
Making a bad review is an opportunity for promoting a better alternative inside the post. This could be an affiliate product. Be careful though, you can look like a real jerk if you're unfairly burning your competitors to sell your own affiliate products.
If you're going to do reviews, you need to accept that some things won't be great and you have to be honest about that.
#3 Do Your Research and Share Examples
Kill the doubt people may have that your review is fake by sharing real-world examples of how you're using the product or service you're promoting. Show your results. It's hard to argue with results.
Ok, let's move on to the next example, which is not a review post.
Example #3 Robbie Richards | SEMRush
Title: 137 Experts Reveal Best Tools For Keyword Research in 2020 (With Leaderboard)
Author: Robbie Richards of RobbieRichards.com
What It Sells: Mostly SEMRush
Commission: 30% recurring per month (plans range from $99- $399)
How He Sells It: Leveraging the opinions of trusted experts
How to Emulate:
- Create articles that leverage the input of other thought leaders in your space.
- Continually update.
- Build backlinks.
Get out your note pads because this post is a masterclass in hacking the authority of other influencers to drive tons of affiliate sales.
Affiliate marketing isn't just about reaching a lot of people and getting your offer in front of them. It's about building and maintaining trust.
Do you know a great way to get trust fast? Get 137 trusted experts to endorse what you're selling for you!
Here's the formula Robbie used to create a blog post that drives tons of organic traffic to lucrative keywords like "Best Keyword Research Tool" and "Keyword Research Tools."
01 Compile a List of Relevant Influencers to Participate
This part will be easier when you have a reputable site like Robbie does, but the next step shows how to make it much easier to get people to participate...
02 Offer a Do-Follow Link to the Site of All Participants
This is the secret sauce to getting people to take part. Robbie's site has a very high domain authority and a link back from him is something savvy bloggers would gladly pay $100+ for if they could.
03 Create a Leader Board of All the Responses (See Image Below)
The post currently has 137 participants. That's a lot of data, but definitely worth taking the time to go through and count it all.
SEMRush is a great affiliate program (30% recurring last time I checked) and this post surely sells quite a few subscriptions.
One thing to note is that this blog post was originally composed in 2015! Robbie continually adds to it and builds links to it, ensuring that it continues to rank for his most profitable search terms.
This is a genius way to get tons of traffic AND leverage the credibility and opinions of others to drive conversions.
Example #4 NerdWallet.com | Refinancing Services
Title: FedLoan Servicing Customer Service: What It Can Do and How to Contact
Author: Anna Haelhoski at NerdWallet
What It Sells: Student loan refinancing (small percentage commissions but on very high ticket offers)
Commission: Unknown (private deals)
How He Sells It: Interactive calculator showing savings
How to Emulate:
- Create a tool or widget for your blog posts that show how your product will save time, money, etc. Make the choice easy and quantifiable.
Valued at over $500 million dollars, NerdWallet.com is the pinnacle of affiliate marketing success.
Most of us affiliate marketers can't afford to advertise during prime time television, but NerdWallet is on a different level than 99.99% of affiliate marketers.
Why? Because they are the authority in the highly lucrative consumer finance space (credit cards, mortgages, refinancing etc).
They aim to answer "every consumer finance question," and they have become the most trusted source for all things related to personal finance.
If you search any common terms on Google like, "best credit cards," you'll see that they absolutely own the niche.
This article is powerful though, and I felt it was worth sharing here.
It promotes several different refinancing services and they provide the readers with a free calculator that will help them see exactly how much they could save if they switched.
Here is the flow of the tool.
First, they ask you to explain your situation.
Then they show you the potential alternatives that could save you money if you switched.
Finally, they make the decision easy by quantifying exactly how much you're going to save.
Nothing makes a sale as easy as immediately showing quantifiable results like this.
"Buy X and Save Y."
This is a marketer's dream scenario and this clever little tool helps them do just that.
Now, this article's value is massive because of the keywords it ranks for, but I'm guessing the true value is even higher than the 1.9 million per month estimated because of the extra sales that this calculator will drive.
Now, I'd not suggest competing with NerdWallet and trying to make student loan refinancing calculators, but think of ways that you could incorporate calculators or little widgets into your own content.
I bet you could think of something cool, regardless of what niche you're in!
Did you like this article? Would you like me to write another post in this style showcasing videos that sell affiliate products and other creative tactics wealthy affiliates are using? If so, leave a comment and let me know!