How to Write Content for Affiliate Websites

Remember the overall Roadmap of the Niche Site Process.

Remember the overall Roadmap of the Niche Site Process. Click the image to see the full version.

Remember our goal of intercepting a customer on the way to Amazon? Keep that in mind throughout this section… When you think about the content, think about the real goal.
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Here are the steps:

    • Create a list of topics using the keywords from before.
    • Write the content or outsource it. Use the 2 very effective methods (FAQ and RPM) to do it and the Perfect Amazon Review Template.
    • Publish the content.
    • Get all my templates here. You’ll get access to all my private templates, I’ll send you a few emails each week, and some promo emails from time to time too.

List of Topics

How do you figure out what to write about? And, what if you don’t know much about the topic?

You did the keyword research before so you should have a list of content ideas. You don’t need as many as some people may suggest — just 10 to 20 keywords is enough to get started.

A few other people recommend “authority” sites and say you need 100s of keywords to get started and 100s of posts, too. I disagree since that’s just overwhelming.

When I started my first site, I had no idea how to write content for the web. I was used to writing business documents and emails in my corporate job. I was afraid of writing anything. I was afraid people would read it (which is funny because I wanted people to read it). Here’s a YouTube video about how to write content.

It isn’t difficult once we break it down, even if you don’t know much about the topic.

50% of your content needs to target our goal of intercepting a would-be buyer on the way to Amazon. The other 50% should be informational content, like “how-to” type or otherwise helpful articles.

What does that mean?

  • Product Reviews make up the affiliate content.
  • Informational content makes up the rest.

Affiliate content reassures the visitor that he or she could or should buy the particular product. (That’s assuming it’s a quality product based on the Amazon reviews – we don’t want to market products that are low quality.)

What if you don't own the product that's being reviewed?

If you don’t own the product and don’t have a way to actually physically hold it, then here is what to do:

  1. Read the product description on Amazon
  2. Read all you can at the manufacturers website. Download the user’s manual – it’s a goldmine of information.
  3. Read some reviews on Amazon – Five of the 5 star reviews, Five of the 3 star reviews, and five of the 1 star reviews.
  4. Search for forum posts or review websites that have reviews for the specific product.

Using that strategy, you’ll have the information for the technical specifications and all the product details, real owners giving their feedback, and what other reviewers thought about the product. If you think about what you personally want to learn before buying a a product, that fits the bill. I know that’s what I think about when I research a product.

Informational Content

The other 50% of the content should be general topics about or within the niche. It’s super easy these days to find popular ideas.

How to find information topics in your niche

Here are 3 ways to find informational content ideas:

  1. Go to Google and search for existing blogs or websites in the niche. Find the 2-3 most popular websites, then see what they write about.
  2. Find popular forums on the niche and see what questions people are asking.
  3. Go to Quora or Ask The Public to see more Q&A.

That’s more than enough to get you started on the non-review, informational content.

Creating the Content

You can write the content yourself — that’s what I recommend to start out with. It’s cheaper.

Sure, it takes more time but if you don’t have a budget to spend, writing content is the perfect way to hustle and save some money. In addition, you’ll learn more about the niche and community around the topic.

Outsourcing Content for Affiliate Reviews

You can also outsource the content to contractors. Companies like Textbroker and iWriter are completely oriented around content creation so they are a tad more expensive.

The benefit is that getting content from Textbroker and iWriter is hands off once you place your order. But I actually don’t like using any writing service since it’s more expensive and I didn’t like the level of quality for the price point. Other people love it so don’t be afraid to try it.

There is a service that is oriented to affiliate marketers called Content Refined (affiliate link). They do a better job than the general services but it’s relatively expensive. The upside is they do a very good job and it’s thorough. They get the images for you and will even draft and format the content in WordPress for you.

Hiring Writers on Upwork

The other main option for outsourcing is Upwork. The prices are cheaper in most cases. And this is what I do. I love Upwork for hiring writers. You can get all the templates I use right here.

The downside is that you have to spend more time managing the writer, including creating a job post, sorting through candidates, and hiring. It isn’t hard to hire someone on Upwork but it takes you through the full HR lifecycle – hiring to firing.

How do you structure the content?

I’ll show you a standard format for a review, The Perfect Amazon Review Template.

And I have 2 tactics for outlining content in an easy way even if you don’t know anything about the topic or product.

The Perfect Amazon Review

Each section has a purpose. Be sure to check out the free (recorded) workshop to hear about the details (You’ll get access to all my private templates, I’ll send you a few emails each week, and some promo emails from time to time too). Plus I show examples of each part the template as well.

Template for the perfect amazon review format.

Click to see the full sized image. Check out the free recorded workshop on each of the sections – Watch it Immediately. You’ll get access to all my private templates, I’ll send you a few emails each week, and some promo emails from time to time too.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Method

I started using this method on my first Amazon Affiliate Site because I chose a product that I didn’t know anything about.

It goes like this…

  • Write out questions that you have about the niche, product line, or topic in general. If you don’t know anything about it, then it’s really easy to ask questions. The questions serve as an outline for you and help you keep from getting overwhelmed. Here’s a video on YouTube I created using a free tool called Workflowy to outline.
  • If you need help getting ideas, you can check on what other people ask about.
    • Check out forums on the topic. Forums are filled with questions and usually have “sticky posts” with general questions. Example: Home Brew Talk’s Beginners Beer Brewing Forum
    • Read user’s manuals for the products. Most manuals are free to download and have a FAQ or troubleshooting section.
    • Skim Books on the Topic. It’s good to get away from the laptop sometimes, so head out to your local bookstore or library. There are books on everything, and you can get some great ideas from the smart people that wrote books. If you can’t get out, here’s a great hack: Go do dummies.com (publishers of the “Dummies” guides) and see what they have to say. Here is the Homebrewing Beer page.
  • Go look up the answers to the questions.
  • The questions are usually great long tail keywords so you should format the questions as subheadings in your post. That’s H2 or H3 in html.

You can always add more Q&A to the post and add more.

You can give the Q&A Outline to a writer to go research and answer the questions. That’s what I do these days – just give the writer a good outline and they’ll appreciate it and do great.

The Research Paper Method (RPM for affiliate content)

Here’s what you do for the Research Paper Method (RPM):

  1. Research Phase
    • Search Google for the main topic of your content. Normally, that’s the keyword phrase or the title of your article.
    • Spend 1 – 2 hours reading about the topic. Check out Wikipedia entries, read material from the manufacturers website, read the top blogs on the topic.
    • You’ll be an expert (relatively speaking) after researching for that long and have a good idea what to include in your content.
    • Log 2 – 5 of the resources to reference later.
    • Note: You may be thinking, “I can reader it faster and 1 – 2 hours is too much.” I recommend spending time on the research because it lays the foundation for the content. If you do a bad job on research, the whole process is impacted.
  2. Outline Phase
    • Create a half to 1-page outline. It should be pretty short.
    • Refer to your references to get an idea about how to organize the information. You shouldn’t copy them and shouldn’t need to, but you can see what works in their content. Manufacturers tend to do a MUCH BETTER job than bloggers or other niche sites.
    • Don’t try to write the content in the outline. Just write out the main idea for each of the paragraphs and sections.
    • The goal is to have an outline that’s good enough so a freelance writer can write the content. If you give them the reference material, then it’s a simple job for a competent writer.
  3. Writing Phase
    • Ideally, hire a writer. I use Upwork and you can get my templates here. If you provide the writer with the outline and references, they’ll be able to save a lot of time and they’ll appreciate the extra details.
    • If you write the content yourself, then you can use the outline to write the content. Since you outlined what you want in the content, it’s much faster to put your thoughts into sentences.
    • Regardless of who writes the content, be sure to edit. Even if the writer edits their own work, I expect a few mistakes from a freelance writer. Depending on your team, you may have a dedicated editor – that’s what I do.

Publish the Content

Publishing the content is a straightforward process. You need to get the content in WordPress so it can be posted.

The product review content should have Amazon Affiliate links. I like to immediately (or as soon as possible). You can wait on the affiliate links if you want — it doesn’t really matter, but it sure is exciting to get your first affiliate commissions for a site.

You can launch a site with a small amount of content. Publish about 5 product review pages, 5 informational posts, plus one long form piece of content.

Long form is a loose term — I’m talking about 2,500 words up to 15,000 or more. I recommend you start at the 2,500 word range and then add to it over time.

How many words should the content be?

For most content on a new site, I recommend targeting Keyword Golden Ratio Compliant phrases so I recommend to start with a minimum of 1,000 words. Once your site starts getting traffic and you see what posts are doing well, you should go back and add more content to those posts. The idea is you’re improving a post that Google is already favoring in the search results.

If a post is doing well, then you add to the 1,000 words and maybe add a thousand or couple thousand more words.

Should I publish on a regular basis? Like everyday?

It doesn’t really matter. It used to matter, but Google doesn’t care. You can publish 20 articles in one day, then nothing for the next 3 months, and it won’t directly impact your rankings.

If it helps you to publish on a regular schedule, then do it. But don’t expect any benefit in the Google rankings from publishing on a schedule.

Now that you have some content, you need backlinks to that content so your visitors and search engines (i.e. Google) will rank your site.

“If you build, they will come…” Well, that’s a little bit true since you’re publishing Keyword Golden Ratio content. But more people will come if you rank higher in Google Search. And to do that, you’ll need some backlinks. Next is the SEO Plan for Affiliate Sites.

Go back to the Introduction to Amazon Affiliate Niche Site Process and Overview

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