If most of an affiliate marketer’s traffic comes from search engines, then the only way to make money is to rank highly in search engine listings. The administrators of major search engines are very secretive about the algorithms they use to rank web sites, but most count backlinks, or links to the site from an outside source, very highly. Not just any backlinks will do, however. The best links come from popular sites with relevant content, and the very best ones, oddly enough, are the ones the affiliate places for free in any of several categories of web sites.
Old-fashioned message boards are still very much alive, and very useful to marketers, since they often target narrow interest groups. Just join an appropriate forum, read the posts, and make sensible, relevant comments that make no mention of the affiliate site. Most forums allow users to set a signature line that appears at the end of every post, and many allow links in this sig line. If the link points to the web site, one additional backlink is generated for every post.
Backlinks from topically relevant blogs can be hard to come by. One way to generate them is identical to the forum strategy: have the link in the signature line. For blogs that do not allow this, it is possible to link from the content, but this should be restricted to occasions when the linked content is highly relevant to the blog post itself. Otherwise the marketer can get a reputation as a spammer, which leads to few sales and is a quick way to get banned from most blogs.
Another way to get backlinks from other peoples’ blogs is by guest blogging. This involves writing a quality article and allowing someone else to post it on their blog. The link should not be in the article, but rather in the biography box that appears at the end. Arranging to write a guest blog post can be quite simple. Some blogs invite guest posters. They may have an actual web page that tells how to go about it. In other cases it will be necessary to contact the blog owner with a proposal.
Web 2.0 sites
Sites at which users generate the content in a social media context are referred to as “Web 2.0” sites, in contrast to old-style sites where the owner produces the content. These sites, many of which allow users to write articles which include links, are a natural for backlinks, with the bonus of guaranteed relevancy since articles are written by the marketers themselves.
Quality backlinks are the foundation of lucrative affiliate marketing. Placing links by hand takes time, but the time is well spent in terms of return on investment, since the result is the sort of highly qualified traffic that converts easily. Manually placing backlinks in forums, blogs and Web 2.0 operations gives marketers an inexpensive and highly targeted way to improve their search engine position and attract not just traffic but potential customers.
About the Author: Justin is a professional blogger currently representing monetise.co.uk – best affiliate network.