A short guide to getting more referral sign ups
I’ve tried affiliate marketing before but gave up quickly because I found it was too hard. I was to trying sell books via Amazon Affiliates, but to be frank, why go buy hardcover books when you could to the library and read them, or buy the ebook?
Then, I began blogging on Medium with some success and thought why not put a referral link at the bottom of some of my posts? And, woohoo some people signed up — I’m grateful for them too.
It took me a while to realize that doing this was affiliate marketing. Basically, writing good content to drive readers to the website and sign up for membership. So, in this article, we’ll look at my method to get a few referred members.
1. Personal Stories over How-Tos, Whys, and other Article Types
Many people would rather write how-to guides and lists. I get it. Impersonal is easy to write and you make yourself look like an expert. But, to be frank, most people don’t care about experts, they much rather prefer reading stories than how-to guides and lists. Also, even if you write a list, how many people actually read the content below the numbered subheadings?
I don’t have many referred members, so take these statistics with a grain of salt, but so far in my writing career, 80% of members signed up via a ‘personal story’ compared to 20% who signed via a ‘why’ article. I’ve got no idea why but that’s just what I found.
Furthermore, I’m not sure how I exactly did it too. Simply, all I wrote were my exact experiences. I didn’t try to be particularly didactic in my writing. It was simply my failures, reflections, and what I would do next time. These personal stories not only drove more referrals but also more traffic as well.
I guess you know what the takeaway point is here, ‘personal stories’ are your go-to article type to have more people engage more deeply with your content.
2. Being tactical with SEO really matters
I might not be the greatest writer but I can write well enough that I can get some fans. However, no matter how well you can write, unless eyes are on your writing, your blog gets nowhere. Unfortunately in this case, SEO matters, and who you publish with matters too. In other words, just self-publishing without anyone helping you advertise won’t get you anywhere.
For example, 53% of website traffic is driven by organic searches.
This is probably based on Google, but if you have some understanding of statistics, you could use apply this statistic to other search engines. Basically, if you need the right tags and keywords in your articles to be found on any sort of search engine.
For me, who I publish with really matters. If it is a matter of getting many internal views for income, I’ll publish with a big publisher but if I’m trying to get referrals, then going with a publisher who does well with Google rankings really does matter.
What I’ve learned and can share is that you really need to understand digital marketing.
- Use the right tags.
- Make sure your articles are SEO-friendly.
- Choose the right publisher for the right article.
3. Write a lot of persuasive content quickly
I didn’t get my first referral from my first article. More realistically, it wasn’t until my 50th article. To put this into context, it’s taken me about 27,000 views to even get 5 referred members.
This shows tells me two things. Firstly, it’s really hard to convince people to sign up, and secondly, to get someone to sign up really has to do their personal circumstances which you can’t easily predict.
To write a lot of persuasive content quickly, I like to use Neil Patel’s framework:
- Catchy title
- Magnetic Opening
- Each section is filled with value: why is this important, how it will make your life better, some data to back it up, personal story and action points for the reader.
- Conclude with a question
Because I’m writing a personal story with this framework, it takes me about an hour to an hour and a half to write a 1500-word article.
Furthermore, I tend to stick to my rule of 3. I provide 3 examples and I try to get any article I’ve written published within 3 hours of the first letter being typed, or at least the whole process of writing, formatting, and proofreading within 3 hours.
You can use any other method you want to write a lot and quickly in a short amount of time. The above is only my recommendation.
Conclusions: Can you really do affiliate marketing with such a strategy?
The short answer is yes you can. I’ve done it but I would need to say that the work is hard for a ridiculously low probability. I haven’t exactly calculated all of the statistics but even let’s say that on average I have 50% internal and external views, then my chances of getting a referral is still low. (5/13500*100% = 0.037%) When I look at this number, it makes me think if it’s actually more luck than skills. Either way, it won’t hurt if you give it a try.