This article appears in an abbreviated format in FeedFront Issue 48. It was written in conjunction with the Track A SEO Panel at Affiliate Summit Europe 2019, This is the full article that was written prior to editing down to 500 words. It can only be found here! Thanks for reading.
Are you new to Affiliate Summit or the affiliate marketplace? I welcome you with open arms! This is such a great community to be a part of. Neil Patel? Gary Vaynerchuk? We’ve all been where you’re sitting.
You’re probably a little bit overwhelmed. The good news is that we all were. Over time it gets easier as long as you open yourself to constantly learn. Let me get your brain thinking about the possibilities.
Affiliate marketing starts with one question. What product or service do you want to market? If you’re smart you’ll choose your niche carefully. It will be something that you care about deeply. Most importantly, it will be a niche where you can fill a need.
Why Should You Listen to Me?
They say you never forget your first. I’ll never forget the first niche I consulted in affiliate marketing. Armed with a sales background, a rhetorical theory degree, and a copious understanding of inelastic markets, I chose to fill a need in something that you all have to do at some point or another in your life. I was deeply passionate about this topic which carried me through years of stress and gave me the resolve I needed.
It started with the most humbling moment of my life: a DUI that almost killed me.
Have you ever received a speeding citation? Did you perhaps have your son or daughter educated online for a drivers license?
If your answer is yes, you have been impacted by me in your life. I managed to build and optimize the affiliate programs at DriversEd.com, Aceable, and I Drive Safely. I’m incredibly lucky for what I fell into. I survived a terrible accident. I made the very most of my opportunity . In addition to surviving, I was given the gift of learning over the past few years in a growing environment. Over time I truly became a subject matter expert. I achieved a 46% conversion rate on one of my partner sites. I was improving education while I did it. It was an incredibly rewarding time in my life.
I never saw any of it coming. Not like this.
We put drivers education in 3D. We hyper-targeted geographic clicks from all over the country to dynamically land on state specific landing pages. We were ahead of our time. You still can be too.
Aceable recently acquired DriversEd and escorted me out of an industry I loved. Even with a bitter taste in my mouth, I haven’t stopped loving affiliate marketing or the impact I can make on someone’s life. Instead of sulking, I see more and more opportunities every day as what I am now: a publisher.
That’s what happens when you’ve impacted millions of lives and millions of dollars. I’m afraid my passion will never stop. Lucky for you, I can’t attack everything and I’m here to share.
Open your mind with the largest and most attractive consumer market there is
I can’t play in every single market. One of the things I enjoy is sharing my wealth of market insight and pushing my colleagues to be their best.
My ideas come out of everything. Some of the strangest interactions that I have had in my life have lead me to incredibly valuable realizations. Most of my epiphanies have come out of content marketing and it’s value in everyday life and search results.
One of the largest consumer markets in the world is still doing a terrible job of content marketing for itself. It’s the retail clothing industry.
I recently had a conversation with a woman. I told you these interactions were weird. This one was sourced off of Tinder before I found the current love of my life in the UK.
Every interaction has meaning. This one certainly did for me and we never went on a date.
The woman I connected with had holdings in the woman’s underwear space. I loved her message. Her aim was to grow a local and all inclusive brand of bra and panties for women into a national brand. It turns out the Victoria’s Secret body isn’t one of the most attainable things in the world. It ostracizes women who have bodies that are completely beautiful yet never seen in advertising.
In an odd first interaction, I sent this woman a comprehensive SEO report. I just wanted to help. As I dug, I found an industry that was severely lacking in creating a content marketing message.
Like many brands, her’s was battling the transition from brick and mortar to online. She was in a desperate fight for survival. It’s a battle SEARS, GameStop, Best Buy, Toys R’ Us and many other fortune 500 companies have fought. Some have won, at least for now. Others have lost everything. We’ll never see them again.
For her, the last few years had been spent transitioning and simply becomming functional.
The E-Commerce Focus that Caused a Content Marketing Miss
Shopify is probably a company you’ve heard of. They’re always at Affiliate Summit. Their share price on the stock market is an indicator of industry transition. The surge from $25 to $178 at time of writing shows just how big and aggressive this move has been over the last 5 years.
Every business, small or large, has focused on transitioning to E-commerce. Fortunately for you, they missed on content marketing.
Name a brand you buy from and go see if they have a blog. You’ll find that most do not. That massive gap spells opportunity for you. It’s available in so many spaces in addition to just retail clothing brands. These opportunities are everywhere!
What the woman I met and so many others have forgotten is the power of writing to a product. Bras, panties, shirts, shoes, and clothes in general are always coming out with new iterations. That means there is constantly new search terminology and volume to write to as topics.
How does the fabric feel? How does the price of this product compare to previous iterations? How is the fit? These are all questions that we have as consumers and they all get search volume.
Without someone to catch these terms, customers will be left disappointed. Maybe they’ll go to the name brand like Victoria’s Secret and trust blindly resulting in a product return. Maybe they’ll bounce out of the experience altogether and deny themselves something they need.
Or maybe they can find trust in you…
When you think about your next market or website, think about the things I’ve pointed out here. How can I make this sale easier for my customer? What can I do to help them feel more comfortable with the transaction they’re trying to meet? What need can I fill?
You are the new age salesman/saleswoman. Be consultative and help your customer find the product that they want.
You will not only get paid healthily for your writing, you’ll feel good about yourself and how you market. Impacting someone’s everyday life is such a positive influence on a confusing society. Isn’t that what affiliate marketing, and to a greater extent life, is all about?