Affiliate marketing is one of the toughest types of marketing out there. It requires an innovative approach at trying to sell products on different websites. Even if you have a decent amount of followers, there is no guarantee that you might still be able to get a lot of them to actually purchase the product.

Affiliate marketing depends a lot on link building and the most important part of affiliate marketing is actually the link. Marketers are constantly required to find creative ways of acquiring backlinks and building up new strategies to get people to not only come to their site but also purchase the product via the affiliate link.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing is a performance-based marketing that works by rewarding the affiliates for each customer that they convert into sales. In simpler terms, an affiliate marketer is someone who markets for another big name company for a percentage of the sale.

For example, someone who was an affiliate marketer for Amazon, would sell the products from Amazon on different websites using his affiliate link. If a customer purchases using the link, the affiliate marketer would get a percentage of the sales.

There are four key players when it comes to affiliate marketing: the merchant, the network, the publisher and the customer. The merchant is the original seller who has the product that needs to be sold. The network contains the affiliate offers that can be chosen from and also facilities the payments. The publisher is the affiliate marketer that chooses from the products published by the network and promotes it to his followers. Finally the customer is the person who purchases the products.

What are Affiliate Links?

Affiliate links are product links that contains the affiliate’s ID or username. When companies go for affiliate marketing, in order to track who has made which sale, they add the marketers ID or username to the link for the product. This link allows companies to record and track the traffic that is sent to the advertiser’s website. It also allows them to track the overall sales made by the marketer using the particular username.

The main objective of an affiliate link is to track sales and offer opportunity to those who are interested (affiliates) in selling another party’s products.

Any seasoned marketer will tell you that affiliate link building is one of the most difficult tasks of affiliate marketing. Traditional common tips are only helpful to a certain level, after that you will definitely have to resort to some creative measures if you want to make actual sales. Most common link building tips don’t usually work for affiliate sites but are great for blogs and other websites that sell products.

So, we’ve got a great list of tips that include both traditional and some creative ones to help you master the art of link building for your affiliate products.

Let’s start with some traditional link building tips:

Tips for Effective Affiliate Link Building

Traditional Tips

1. Focus on Research

Research is one of the best ways to learn the murky waters of affiliate marketing. Learn about the different types of marketing strategies that exist, the innovative ways you can market your product, learn the ins and outs of your product. You will also have to do extensive research on your client base, the type of users that are looking for your products and why they are purchasing that product, and so on. The best way to step into affiliate marketing is definitely to do research and lots of it. If you don’t understand your market and your product, you are bound to fail even before you start.

2. Visual Aids

While content is king, it is not everything. In addition to the king, you definitely need the whole round table. So, when you are looking to sell you products, you must also focus on other forms of promotion. The best ones now are visual aids, these include comparison charts, infographics, videos, pictures, reviews, etc. However, don’t just rely on these ones, also include content especially if you want to boost your readership.

3. Avoid 404 Errors

404 Errors are bad, always! 404 are link breaking errors, the cute ones that say “the page you are looking for doesn’t exist”. These errors reduce the confidence that people have on your website. If a link exists and it leads nowhere, people assume that the website is trying to fool them with links to nonexistent pages and it commonly causes more mistrust. You can use chrome extensions like Check My Links and tools like Ahrefs to find broken links and fix them.

4. Avoid Bad Links

Bad links always looks bad to Google and when you are trying to rank on Google, being on its bad side is not favorable. So, it is best that you avoid bad links and try to add links that are more favorable to not only your website, but also the products that you are trying to sell.

5. Offer Relevant Content

As previously mentioned, while photos, videos and infographics do add a little panache to your website, content is always the best way to be recognized. Offering relevant content to the product you are trying to sell can definitely help you turn more leads into sales. Content helps build more confidence in your website and your product.

6. Use Link Localizer

Link localizers are an easy way to redirect your customers to the original site for completing the actual purchase. Link localizers make the process of transferring easy and more efficient, which is why they are a great thing for affiliate marketers.

Now, that we have gotten the traditional tips out of the way, here are a bit more creative methods that you can use to help link building for affiliates. However, we do want to put a disclaimer out there, that some of these tips are definitely frowned upon by Google Webmaster. So, you should definitely use it at your own discretion.

Creative Tips

1. Broken Link Building

This one is a little difficult but if you set your mind to it, it is definitely possible. It requires a little trial and error, sometimes it might work and sometimes it might not. Look for websites that you think are great where you can get your affiliate links published, after that run them through your favorite link vetting program, such as Check My Links mentioned above. You can also scrape the entire site using Xenu Crawler and then use Scrapebox to extract the target metrics. Once you find the broken links on the website, contact the webmaster and inform them, and you can also offer your link as an alternative replacement. You’d be surprise how many webmasters might just say yes.

2. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging might get a bad rep in the world, but it is still one of the most effective ways to actually get your links out there. A good solid article published on a credible website with a PR of more than 10, can definitely help boost your sales. However, the key objective here is to provide a sound, relevant article that offers value to your customers, or you are just throwing money away.

3. Video Reviews

Videos are a great way to generate a backlink as well as get some additional SERPs. Get someone to do a proper review of your product including all the good and the bad. A credible and lengthy review is a great way to generate some confidence in the product and publishing on well-known video platforms such as YouTube, Daily Motion, Vimeo, etc. can help boost your click rates.

4. Competitions

If you have a healthy amount of readers, then this is one of the best ways to get people to click or even use your products. It is also a great way to generate more followers. Competitions that include giveaways can help generate interest in your product. You don’t have to give away your product, but you can also give away other relatively cheaper items such as giftcards, or even subscriptions.

5. Local Directories

Local directories might seem out of fashion, but they are still some of the best ways to get your links out there. Register your affiliate project as a business and submit an address to offer support. After that simply look for a list of directories where you can submit your ‘business’ for citations and backlinks. Adding a registered address increases the trust factor of your website, which in the long run also increases conversions.

6. Buying Niche Specific Abandoned Domains

This is not exactly a white hat tactic, so be very careful when you use this tip. In this you need to find similar niche specific domains that are abandoned. You can find some on, or even use a Godaddy PR Checker Plugin. Try to look for websites that already have backlinks that are related to the niche of your product and simply revive them. Once they are back up and running, all you need to do is maintain them and add your own link to the website.

These are just a few creative methods that can help you branch out in the world of affiliate marketing. However, don’t just stick to one tip, try and use a combination to help you get better results. There are always more creative methods that you can use to promote your affiliates. If you have any of your own, please let us know in the comments section below!