I’ll explain four ways to help you get backlinks to your affiliate content with white hat guest posts that Google will like.
And that your competitors can’t replicate.
So you found a niche, launched your site, and now you’re starting your outreach to help promote your Amazon Affiliate site. First, pat yourself on the back for getting this far!
I recall back in 2013 when I was learning about guest posting, I thought:
No one will link to my affiliate site…and if I happen to land a guest post, then I’m certain that the blogger won’t link to my product review that’s so clearly an affiliate post.
And I know lots of people think the same thing. Please leave a comment if you do and explain your concerns and hesitation.
Let’s get to the 4 ways that’ll help your site rank higher in the SERPS.
1. Publish Awesome Content
It’s the price of admission. If your content isn’t great, then you’ll have a hard time publishing a guest post on someone’s blog with a link to your crappy affiliate article.
The idea of publishing “Epic Content” is overdone at this point, but the idea holds true for getting links to product reviews that are affiliate oriented.
Some people have said in the past, and some still do, that if you publish “Epic Content”, then you’ll be able to earn naturally occurring backlinks. It’s possible to get such links, but it’ll take longer.
How about some examples of Awesome Content (other examples of Amazon Affiliate Websites).. There is some contrast between the 2 which may surprise you.
- Best Home Bluetooth Speaker from The Wirecutter
- Currently ranking #1. (As I’m writing this)
- Checking in at 5,300 words.
- An audio expert wrote the article, plus 2 other competent audio experts helped as listeners.
- 6 sources referenced.
- Check out the backlinks it has from 97 referring domains where 44 are dofollow. (from Ahrefs)
- The Best Bluetooth Speaker from TechRadar
- Currently ranking #2. (As I’m writing this)
- Checking in at 2,500 words.
- The author seems to be a staff writer with a focus on audio.
- No sources referenced.
- Check out the backlinks it has from 379 referring domains where 283 are dofollow. (from Ahrefs)
The Wirecutter’s article is longer, seems to be written with more detail, and by a more qualified expert.
The TechRadar’s article is shorter but has more products mentioned. The post also has far more links than The Wirecutter.
Aside: This search query is a good example of a site with more links but inferior content ranking #2. So Google must see that searchers enjoy the content from The Wirecutter more than TechRadar.
So I’m not saying you have to hire an expert in the field like The Wirecutter to have Awesome Content. I’d expect you’d at least have a comprehensive and helpful guide that can help a visitor to your site learn more about the product.
I’m pretty sure that The Wirecutter and TechRadar didn’t publish guest posts, so that means people naturally linked to these posts. These are 2 big websites, so that’s why people linked to them.
If you publish solid content, then you’ll be able to place links in your guest posts to your affiliate posts.
Build a Relationship
My technique for getting guest posts is pretty simple. It’s 2 steps.
- Comment on the blog.
- Ask to guest post on their site.
The longer you can wait before asking for something, the better.
Try to be a friendly person and don’t ask for anything (like a guest post) for a while.
How long? It depends.
- If you have several interactions throughout 10 days, maybe that’s plenty of time.
- If you have 1-2 interactions over 4 weeks, then you should strengthen the connection.
It’s more about the quality and number of interactions versus the amount of time to network with the person. In Project Go White Hat, it took a few weeks to get started, but I was able to get about 20+ guest posts in 5 weeks. Most of the links went live in the last 10 days.
You might be thinking that you should interact as much as possible, as fast as you can. Well, that might be a terrible idea if the person takes a few days or a couple of weeks to reply to emails, like me for example.
If people (i.e., marketers) email me, then send me 2-3 reminder emails in a week, I will ignore them. I’ll also mark the email as spam. I hate that approach where people use automation software to send emails that fake interaction. That’s just me and the fact that my modest blog somehow attracts several emails a week.
I’ll get off my soapbox now.
So don’t rush it.
Resist the urge to send automated emails. More and more people are sending automated emails, and that will make them less effective. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, then send emails manually.
Here are a few ways to network with your potential online friends:
- Comment on the blog.
- Sign up for the email list, then reply to the blogger.
- Share their content on a social channel, preferably their favorite one. Tag them if possible.
- Link to them in one of your blog post, then tell them.
- Be Nice.
I talk through each of the 5 points in the video below.
The punchline is that you’ll get better links, links that are very hard to replicate by your competitors if you spend more time networking before asking for a guest post.
Make the Guest Post an Attractive Idea
Some people aren’t interested in publishing guest posts on their site. I find that’s the case with new bloggers since they feel like they have something to prove to the world. So they want to write all their material.
You won’t be able to convince someone in that case, but other people are on the fence. Maybe they haven’t published a guest post before, but they aren’t against it.
Here are 3 ways that help you land a guest post:
- Let the blogger know you will mention a couple of products in the post and recommend they add their own affiliate links to the post. Then, it’s a potential money making post for them. (To help them understand the benefits check out How much do Amazon Affiliates make.)
- Link to other guest posts that you’ve done in your pitch email (when you ask to guest post). If you don’t have any guest posts to reference, you can link to 1 or 2 of your most popular or successful posts. You want to demonstrate that you can write a post that other people like.
- Make sure the topic is relevant to the blog, the audience, and the topics the blog includes. It should go without saying, but I know people have a hard time with this. If you’re pitching to a parenting blog, then you probably won’t be able to land a guest post about homebrewing beer or going to a beer festival. If you’re stuck trying to come up with ideas, list posts are a widely accepted go-to topic that you can fit into nearly any blog.
When the guest post is an attractive idea, then it’ll be much more likely that your affiliate post link will be published.
You’re going to get rejected more than what feels comfortable. If you’ve worked in sales, then you know you need to be able to handle the constant rejection.
If you spend more time networking, then you’ll have a better conversion rate.
More importantly, the links that you add in your guest post are more likely not to be removed when the blogger publishes it.
Even if you don’t get to link to your affiliate post, then you’ll still be getting a link to your homepage in most cases via the bio line. That’s not a bad link to have, and if you check out the backlink profile for some websites, you’ll see that that most of the links go to the homepage.
This isn’t a fast track way to get backlinks. Steps 1 & 2 take time to execute.
If you take the time to publish excellent content, getting the backlinks will be easier.
If you nurture the relationship with the bloggers, then you’ll get more guest posts, and the links to your affiliate post will stay in your guest post.
You might find that you start landing backlinks without having to guest post if your content is fantastic and if you’ve made friends with other bloggers.
If you have any tips for guest posting or getting links to your affiliate content, let me know in the comments.
What makes me hesitant about guest blogging is that I am not sure that it is worth the huge time investment in it, I mean after all of that effort will a link or two be able to improve my rankings?
The process is really slow and I am not sure about the outcomes, This is a beginner’s type of fear due to not having any previous experiences and I am not really sure what to do or what is going to work, especially when there are too many options and too many opportunities to go after.
Right, Karim, I understand that concern.
It’s time-consuming and probably expensive. You can study other sites or competitors and see if backlinks seem to help their rankings. If you see a correlation, then you may have more confidence to try it.
You’re right about all the opportunities too! The only thing you can do is try something, see if it works, and adjust from there. That applies to most situations.
Thanks for the comment!
Bloggers have become smarter and have started charging a good amount of buck for guest posts. More like paid posts.
Have always found it difficult in getting guest posts these days, and other backlink acquisition ideas are even costlier. I really wonder what’s gonna work now without breaking the bank?
Yes, I predicted the change in landscape as the supply and demand leveled out. 🙂 It’s buried in several of the deep cuts on my YouTube Channel. 🙂
I guess the idea is to get an ROI so the cost should be justified by the profits on the other side.
So someone with knowledge and 0 investment wouldn’t be able to make it to the first page with just content. The reason why I’m saying this is, I tried reaching out to a lot of websites and I explained to them that I’m an expert on what I’m writing, but a majority of the ones who replied just asked me to pay and get the work done.
Let’s take 2 scenarios, In the first scenario, the first page of search results is ruled by High Authority websites + Good quality content + Network (Hearst Media, DotDash Media etc.)
In this case, How do I outrank them? I’m someone who can add highly researched articles, but the authority website also had a similar quality article and they do have the benefit of backlinks from their network.
In the 2nd scenario, the search results are filled with High Authority websites with Mediocre content. Even in this case, I won’t be able to rank without high-quality backlinks.
Others won’t link back to us without payment. So in a case like what would you suggest? Is there some strategy to outrank authority websites from media networks. I posted this on the Google Webmasters community, but no one has responded yet.
Here’s the link to the post in the community: https://support.google.com/webmasters/thread/9948106?hl=en
Hey John, thanks for the well thought out question. I disagree with you – You’re asking if it’s possible and making conclusions and assumptions based on a very limited data set: Just your experience.
First, check out the keyword golden ratio…that’s how you can outrank the big boys and girls.
Next, I haven’t ever claimed this: So someone with knowledge and 0 investment wouldn’t be able to make it to the first page with just content. I think it’s possible without links, but links are better to have.
Last, it may be hard to get links, but it’s possible. So if your approach isn’t working, change it. Try something different.
Hope that helps! It’s a good question so I’ll probably do a podcast/video on it.