New to content marketing and wondering how to build an audience as an amazon affiliate?
Look no further, we got you!
Everyone who published content knows that people do not snowball to your website – rather they trickle in. Sometimes very slowly.
Building an audience requires patience and a thought through strategy.
To give you a list of actionable advice to kickstart your following, we asked experts in the field what they use every day.
Here are their 10 key insights.
Identify your proto persona
A proto persona is the description of your ideal customer. Being able to narrow down the characteristics of your target user, lays the foundation to build an audience for Amazon Affiliates.
Creating a target user and understanding their values & interest, helps you to design and build content that suits the user behavior. It ensures that you hit the sweet spot of your audience.
We decided to start our list with identifying your ideal persona for a reason. Everything else flows after that.
Sales, Marketing, Website Design, Content – all should be built around your customer. Without having clarity, you won’t achieve product market fit.
“The most important secret is identifying your dream customer. Getting to understand who he is and how to communicate with him. You need to understand what’s going on inside your dream customers’ heads when they’re trying to move away from pain and move toward pleasure!”George Petropoulos from PassiveTactics
Two concepts are relevant for your audience.
The first concept is customer research. Find ways to get data on your relevant customer.
What sounds like a difficult task when you are at the very beginning, it is actually easier than you think. Start by reading relevant website, get a sense of what are the topics. Join social media groups and see what people are sharing. Follow the links, see what is relevant to them.
Aggregate that information in one sketch and boil it down to the fundamental characteristics. That’s a great start!
“Floating out survey forms can be a potential source of information. This establishes a direct link with the customers and hence, you can get reliable information. Various software like Google Analytics can be used to determine what your audience liked. Your next project can be based on the same and you can narrow down what customers you want to focus more on.”Christian Velitchkov, Co-Founder of Twiz
Also, there are several helpful Amazon Affiliate tools, like SEO website checker to get a list of backlinks, seeing how website are connected & what content is relevant.
The second concept is personalization.
When you’re creating new content, it should not be generic. The content should pickup cues from your audience. Make sure to tailor the experience exactly to the preference of your audience. This es essential for your conversion rates.
“When building an audience, I always try to make sure that customers understand what our value really is. This value they can only understand when they feel completely safe doing business with us. Be consistent with your content and make sure it is more and more engaging, trendy, and relatable so that it perfectly captures your audience.”Nathan Hughes, Digital Marketing and SEO Manager at Diggity Marketing
Once you identified your dream customer, it’s time to look at ways how you can attract them to your website. That’s where keyword research comes in.
Keyword research means finding search terms that your target user might enter into Google when looking for information or products. Knowing the relevant search queries, is the basic to build the right content.
Keyword research is one of the most important things for Amazon Affiliate marketing.
Finding relevant queries has two key advantages.
First of all, relevant queries should be the at the hart of your content. They help you decide which content to produce. Writing a post around a relevant keyword, means having an article relevant to your visitor, which is essential to build an audience.
Understanding not only the topics of interest, but also the user intent helps you to choose the right form of content. For example, just differentiating between informational or transactional queries, you can tailor your content to fit the need of your audience.
In addition, putting the keywords in relation to your competition, gives you a view what content might be more (or less) successful. Doing research on which keywords yield an opportunity to rank in a top spot, is crucial. Otherwise, you end up writing excellent content but only few people will ever see it.
“It’s the one thing if you get wrong but everything else right your affiliate marketing efforts will fail. If you don’t write great content you can still rank well, but not with the right foundation, your keyword research.”Troy De Ville from Carmel Bay Coffee
“My number one recommendation for generating sustainable traffic would be to focus on publishing content targeting low competition keywords. I’ve found review content to work really well for this. If you can publish the most in-depth and up-to-date review on a particular thing (e.g. physical product, software, app, course, etc.) you can rank quite easily, and bring very targeted traffic to your site.”Dylan Houlihan, Founder of Swift Salary
Built a Strong Reputation
When building an audience as Amazon Affiliate, it all starts with trust. Your visitor is much more likely to follow your recommendations, if you are a credible source.
In the same veins, when you are seen as an expert within the field, you will also get more attention from like-minded individuals.
For instance, if we get featured in SEO and affiliate marketing related publications, we receive relevant traffic. The evaluation of Amazon Affiliate best practices based on the analysis of thousands of product comparison tables, got us a several mentions, relevant traffic and even sign ups for our newsletter.
Sometimes we see related sites as “competition”. However, connecting with “peers” can be extremely beneficial – for both parties.
If your referred to by related parties, not only helps your brand, but also with your ranking. Backlinks from topic-related authorities are arguably the most important SEO drivers.
“One thing that makes me successful in affiliate marketing is that I’ve built a strong reputation in my niche. Rather than just creating a one-page campaign, focus on creating assets, funnels, and other valuable items. Concentrate on one area and master it. This is a rule I’ve followed for years, it allows me to partner with exclusive advertisers that no one else has.”Tanner Arnold, President & CEO of Revelation Machinery
When building these connections, it’s essential to be seen as “value add”.
A reputation can come through manual outreach, but it well be less successful if you don’t have value to your counterpart.
You are additional value if you are an industry legend – but that might not be relevant to most of us. Rather, the average Amazon Affiliate, can focus on building relevant content and research, from which others in your niche profit as well.
One example of content that profits everyone in your niche are statistics or info content. If you have a study on the durability of a running shoe, others can quote your study. That way, you are building a reputation and other sites build credibility with their user base. It’s a win-win situation.
That does not mean you have to write a research paper or eBook. Simple, but helpful content is all you need to get started building an audience.
“Before starting the Affiliate program, I first focused on creating a lot of fishing-related content like “How to fish for Bass” and that sort of thing. This allows me to build traffic to my site and makes it look more professional. Then I started to review products with direct links to the products on each title. Here my commissions start to come.”Steven Zhang, Editor-In-Chief from LureMeFish
Even simpler, if can also create a resource page, giving an overview on your industry. That gives you the chance to mention relevant peers. Once published, those peers often reciprocate. Featuring other businesses or products helps with their views, in turn, they might be willing to mention you.
“When blogging, Include a link to another company’s website when you discuss their product or service in a blog post. Not only does Google like it when your site has outbound links, but the company mentioned might see your post and connect back to you.”Alina Clark, Growth Manger of CocoDoc
Not rent, but own your audience
A quick way to get started building your audience, is by guest posting in blogs.
That gives you an immediate boost for your reach.
But it comes at a cost – the cost that you don’t own the customer.
To create a following, customers have to be locked into your ecosystem.
Creating content and affiliate links through third party platforms or “bridge” landing pages, prevents visitors to engage with your brand.
“Audiences don’t really engage or trust with bridge pages – they scroll through, maybe click your links and drop their email address, leave and forget about you. Because you’re lacking trust and value – you didn’t make the connection in the first glimpse.”Mudassir Ahmed, Owner of Blogging Explained
An additional risk is that your success depends on your third party, which can be a risk. If they publish competing content, rank lower or penalize your content in any way, there is very little you can do.
Publishing outside of your content zone should be seen as marketing effort.
An essential step after “renting” someone else’s audience, is to lock in visitors into your ecosystem.
Getting them onto an email distribution list is a good start.
If you already have a blog, make sure that visitors that come from “outside”, see the value in your site. For instance, by showing them related post or having a credible bio page, you can demonstrate the value of your site.
That attracts visitors to come back.
Learn about your products and monetize your audience
When you build an audience as an Amazon Affiliate, you need to put investment into perspective with return.
The investment is producing and market your content. For a sustainable investment, you also need a return, a commission, from your content. Therefore, it’s important to think through your business model from the beginning.
And in the beginning, your product referrals start at the same point: The product recommendation.
For a solid and helpful recommendation, it goes without saying that you need to understand the product that you are marketing.
Therefore, you need literally learn about your product.
“One thing that makes me successful is that I learn about a product that I’m promoting. Never sell a product you don’t know. Always do your homework, find out what the product is about, what its benefits and drawbacks are, and so on. It’s also crucial to understand why this product is superior.”Ben Rose from Trainer Academy
Doing more research also means a higher investment, which should also demand a higher return. Next, we’ll take a look at monetization options. Monetization of your audience will keep you motivated to create more & better content.
The simplest form of product referrals is an Amazon comparison table. Affiliate tools can help you creating, designing and maintaining the compare charts.
TableLabs, is a SaaS tool for Amazon affiliates to package affiliate links in a product comparison table or product showcase box. By improving the aesthetics of your affiliate link, it, helps any business who owns content to monetize traffic. With an intuitive drag & drop. Content creators can create their own “ads” as product comparison tables in under 5 minutes.
The monetization of your audience can come through multiple channels. Affiliate Marketing can be more profitable than simple ads, because it can be more tailored to your audience and you are independent of cookies.
Unique people are in unique places
Most Amazon affiliates want to create a following in a niche subject.
What is often overlooked is, you can’t use mainstream channels and expect to reach a niche audience.
It’s like asking at Time Square in New York, who wants to buy a particular fishing rod. There will be a few, but your conversion will be quite low.
In contrast, asking the same question in a store for fish equipment near a beautiful lake, people will be eager to listen.
Building a relevant audience is often easier if you market through the right channels or focus groups.
In the same way, when you want to create relevant content, it’s best to do research in the same peripherals. You have to find out where your audience usually spends their time when they are not on your website. Understanding what (other) interest they have, helps you to think through your affiliate marketing funnel.
To differentiate your content, you are looking for unique insights, with emphasis on “unique”.
Your content will be more thoughtful, if you researched top fishing tips near the beautiful lake and not on Times Square.
“I’ve found Facebook groups in whatever niche to be the best source for lesser-known insights. Authentic content keeps people on page longer, allows them to trust you, and ultimately leads to more sales.”Daniel Morris from Fire and Saw
Multi channel affiliate marketing
Most Amazon Affiliates start with a blog. Creating a website and publishing articles is an easy and quick way beginning to build an audience.
Leveraging more than one media choice, offers your visitors more options to consume your content.
Under the umbrella of building an audience, a multi channel strategy is a great way to reduce risk, as it reduces the dependency on one channel. Your Google might be good today, but it might not be a few months from now. As long as you still have a following on social media or other channels, you will find it much easier to recoup your ranking.
To be honest – it takes time to build up a second channel. To give you an example, for both our newsletter (shameless plug: Subscribe below) and social media profiles, creating a following is slow.
But: When we send out a newsletter, we get a decent number of views on the content we’re featuring. It’s free advertising. Specifically, Amazon Affiliates can integrate not only affiliate links but also links to your product reviews.
“Being a CMO, I think building an email list of affiliates is one of the key steps in increasing your affiliate traffic. This is a list that you must compile on your own. In exchange for people’s email addresses, you might provide a free eBook or free software. Remember that before you can start sending compensated offers, you must first supply them with good value.”Eric Rohrback, CMO at Hill & Ponton
“It’s important to keep in mind that people first look for free information before they decide to buy anything, and that’s all of us. Take advantage of that and provide helpful tips on whatever your niche is, and you will start to notice the click rate go up.”Abby Herman, Director of Strategy at Snap Agency
Newsletter is one way to build an audience – there are other, simpler ways too. Rather than expending your media platform (website, newsletter, videos) you can also add more products as “channels”.
For instance, create a course about your niche. Host relevant tours. Find opportunities to engage your target audience beyond product recommendations.
“My golden nugget is adding my affiliates into my course curriculum. As an art teacher, my students want to use what they see on camera. I have a blog with some topics pointing at my affiliate links, but my main traffic comes from my students.”Sandra Mucha, Teaching artist
Leverage Social Media and Influencers
Since we are already on the topic on building an audience by adding more channels. Let’s take a look at the elephant in the room: Social Media and Influencers.
Social media is a medium to gain visibility. People share content with their friends and like minded people.
This does not mean that all post need to go viral or that you need a million followers to make it worthwhile.
The benefit comes from engaging an audience that you otherwise would not reach. For example, someone might not search for a new pair of running shoes. But when seeing a post about running shoes, that person might be still interested.
Social media gives you additional exposure.
“The best tip I can give to those starting out in affiliate marketing is to mainly focus on targeted outreach within communities that have the highest chances to convert. You should engage with audiences that essentially have the same interests as you or have problems that can be solved with the help of your expertise. This means paying attention to social media platforms and forums like Quora, Twitter, Reddit, etc… and check to see what people are asking about or responding to the most.”Eden Cheng, Founder of WeInvoice
Plus, influencers (you or others) influence the decisions of their audience. This positively affects conversion rates, as people have a natural trust into the people they follow.
Most of us will have a very small following – or even none at all.
This is where influencers come into play. They can increase your visibility.
The increased visibility comes with a price. Sometimes monetary incentive (pay per post) or just quit pro quo (both are posting about the other).
When deciding with which influencers to partner, it’s important to recognize the return of investment. Not every promotion will be profitable.
“Affiliate Marketers can team up for a cross-promotional campaign in which one party promotes the other on their social media sites. They can even collaborate with them on new content that features the affiliate product. It’s important to note that affiliate marketers shouldn’t partner with just any influencer with a large following. Analyze their social media profiles to see how engaged their followers are with their material.”Pranchil Murray, Head of Customer Success at Malwarefox
Finally – not all social media channels are alike.
When talking about social media, most Amazon Affiliates think about the usual suspects like Facebook, TikTok or Instagram.
Don’t forget about online forums.
Specifically, for informational content, it’s still very common.
While online forums would not allow you to directly advertise your articles or products, they give you an entry to your audience.
Hence, you can view online forums as comments under your article. Best to give a quick and easy answer, while offering a link for further reading.
One old nugget – websites rank usually higher than user generated content, meaning online forums. That means that if you find relevant queries where forums are ranking high, it would be a great keyword for your next article!
Host events to build an audience
Events offer a unique opportunity to build your audience. While often started as one-offs, it’s a great chance to significantly boost traction in a very short time.
Webinars, Workshops, (virtual) summits, raffles and more are great ways to gain visibility.
As an example, webinars allow you to interact with your audience directly and live. This increases your trustworthiness and generally, the reputation of your platform.
Given the close relationship with your audience, your clients are more likely to transact. It also allows you to educate the benefits of your Amazon affiliate recommendation in more depth.
“By holding your webinar in partnership with a relevant influencer, you may make it even more interesting. It can help you acquire more registrants by increasing the perceived value of your webinar. Additionally, ask the merchant for a special discount for your attendees. It will entice consumers to make a buy even more.”Darshan Somashekar, Founder & CEO at Solitaired
The same holds true for summits. In the age of remote meetings, this becomes even easier.
Invite peers and industry expert to give talks or participate in discussion forums. They act as marketing vehicle for your event.
“A smart and fast way to build your own audience is by piggybacking off of other people who already have massive audiences. When I was getting started in affiliate marketing, I hosted an online ‘virtual summit’ where I brought in around 40 influencers from my niche as speakers. They each already had their own huge audiences, so I was able to get them to promote my summit and, in the process, build my own Facebook group and email list.“Zeky Ahmed, independent digital marketer
One thing not to overlook when conducting an event.
Setup up ways to convert visitors into regular audience. Each visitor ideally joins your email list, follows on social media or even shops your Amazon affiliate products.
It all starts with SEO
SEO, short for Search engine optimization, means making your content visible to relevant queries.
As you are building your Amazon Affiliate audience, growing leads is essential.
Even if you have evergreen content or are solving visitors’ problems without a doubt. People have to find your content to become part of your audience.
Making sure that the marketing of your content is successful, inorganically and organically, is a top priority.
Successful SEO means both distribution as well as content optimization.
“You can accomplish SEO over time as part of your other content marketing methods. Sharing material on social networking sites and online forums, for example, can aid in the organic development of backlinks.”Steve Scott, CTO at Spreadsheet Planet
Similarly, you want people to see & click on your content.
For that to happen, you need to rank in a search engine.
“Without driving traffic to your affiliate site, an audience will never be built. You need to optimize your pages in order to rank higher in SERPs, and this is where SEO comes in. In affiliate marketing, the game begins before building your affiliate website. By choosing the perfect keyword-rich domain, you’re already gaining an advantage.”Israel Gaudette, Founder of Link Tracker Pro
When you decide which content to build, don’t solely focus on the product itself.
For most SEO, informational content ranks better than obvious transactional article. Everything else equal, an in-depth guide will attract higher conversion than an obvious commercial article.
“Having a general perspective of a more extensive niche is an excellent way to catch the audience. For example, being affiliated companies that offer bathroom essentials, the content can be more than just giving product reviews about it. You can have a dedicated website that talks about hygiene and self-care and then incorporates product mentions and reviews. With this, you’re targeting people with a purchase intention, but you also get an audience curious about products they can use for various circumstances.”Harrison Wall, Business Strategist for Sleep Junkie
This closes our best tips to build your Amazon Affiliate Audience.
Do you have any additional insights? Let us know in the comments.