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Freelance writers have a lot of writing opportunities. One of the biggest resides in the world of affiliate marketing.
Content writing for affiliate marketing can be a really profitable way to earn income as a freelance writer. This is especially true if you already know about a niche topic that affiliates themselves aren’t skilled at writing about.
In this post, I want to talk about how content writers can earn money writing for affiliate marketers plus some of the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the practice of earning a monetary commission by promoting a company’s product or service.
An affiliate is rewarded a commission for providing a specific result to a company – whether it’s sales, leads, downloads, etc.
In other words, an affiliate promotes a product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convinces them to purchase the product. If the consumer does end up buying the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue made.
How content writing for affiliate marketing works
Content writing for affiliate marketing means you will be writing the content that the affiliate marketer’s affiliate link goes in. The affiliate then publishes your written content onto their website, and you will get paid for writing the article.
The affiliate marketer will give you a topic and keywords to write about and will expect you to incorporate these elements into your article.
As a freelance writer, it will be your job to come up with a relevant title and to create a smooth integration of their affiliate links into the article.
As a freelance writer for an affiliate marketer, the kind of articles that you create will vary. Depending on who you work for, you may be asked to write product reviews.
Or sometimes you may be asked to write about a news event that’s going on in the industry that the affiliate marketer works in.
Alternatively, you may be asked to write simple how to guides.
Or, an advertorial may be requested of you since advertorials are a less aggressive form of advertising than a standard ad or product review.
Why you should do content writing for affiliate marketing
Believe it or not, there are a lot of benefits to working with affiliate marketers as a freelance writer. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider it:
1) Work comes to you
As you may already know, finding work as a freelance writer can be tough. I’m sure you’ve been rejected by various publications before and have found that finding steady work can be cumbersome.
But with the right affiliate marketer, they will usually bring the work to you. Also, they will give you a brief outline or overview of what they want you to write about. So you don’t have to come up with original article ideas on your own.
2) The pay is usually good
If you know the niche well and you can type fast, writing for affiliate marketers can be highly lucrative. It can be lucrative enough to pay your bills. If you can find a highly-successful affiliate, you can make some serious money writing for them.
You will find that the more expensive (or profitable) the product you’re writing content for is, the more lucrative the gig will be – as you can charge more for your work.
3) It could open up a second stream of income for you
Writing for affiliate marketers can show you how simple it is to earn money by simply recommending products to interested people.
The more you create content for affiliate marketers, the more you’ll see the process of how content should be structured to guide a reader to click on an affiliate link.
This means you could create a second stream of income writing for yourself, and promote products that people in your industry may find helpful.
For example, imagine if you wanted to show other freelancers how they can improve their writing ability and productivity in less time.
You could suggest writing tools that other freelancers will find helpful, and earn money by offering your suggestion. All you would have to do is become an affiliate for these helpful tools.
This could open up a new income stream in your spare time alongside writing for freelance clients.
Challenges of content writing for affiliate marketing
While it may sound blissful writing for affiliate marketers, you should know that there are some challenges to working for them also (as there are with any business owner).
Some of these obstacles are things that you will face writing for any business owner, and some are unique to writing for affiliate marketers.
Here are a few challenges you will face writing for affiliate marketers:
Competition is always a concern for the budding freelance writer, and it’s no exception when writing for affiliate marketers.
Even if you’re highly skilled and qualified for the job, you may be passed up on an opportunity for a cheaper, less skilled writer. It’s just part of the game.
A lot of affiliate marketers feel that they can “get by” by saving money on a less experienced writer – especially when their profit per sale isn’t too high.
Freelance platforms such as PeoplePerHour and Upwork have freelancers competing against each other around the clock.
While you may offer quality services, an affiliate may choose someone else because their rates are lower. In most cases, this is usually a bad decision on the affiliate marketer’s part as they sacrifice quantity of words over quality.
Nevertheless, it’s still a real concern that you face as a freelance writer.
2) You could be asked to review a product you’ve never tested
I feel that if you’re going to write a product review about something, you should personally buy the product and test it out yourself. But as a freelance writer, you may be asked to write “blind” product reviews.
Reviewing products you’ve never tried yourself gives off a dishonest vibe, and writing quality reviews is tough if you’ve never seen, touched, or used the product yourself.
Writing quality reviews isn’t an easy task and you need a great understanding of the niche – especially when you don’t have access to the product you’re reviewing.
3) Keyword overload
One of the most frustrating things about freelance writing for an affiliate marketer is the weird keywords that may be handed to you.
Now, understandably, people use keywords to find products and information related to their search query. And typically with most clients, writing around certain keywords is not a problem.
But sometimes, you’ll get clients who give you keywords that don’t make sense reading or speaking out loud.
For example, can you see yourself writing a 1,000+ word article around the keyword phrase: “Basketball shoes $50 buy online”?
The flow of an article would be nonsensical when inserting an “exact match” keyword like this into your writing.
If you’re ever faced with a keyword like this to write about, mention your concerns to your client.
If they’re adamant about you writing content around a keyword like this, despite how nonsensical the article will sound, just suck it up and write it anyway.
At this point, you’re writing the article exactly the way they want it and you’re being compensated for it.
If you choose to take on the assignment, my advice would be to do your best to write a quality article regardless of the nonsensical keyword terms given to you.
You’ve written it to their specification and it will belong to them once you’ve been paid for it.
Final thoughts on content writing for affiliate marketing
Freelance writing for affiliate marketers allows you to write about niche-specific topics that you may already know about.
You can use this knowledge to present yourself as a knowledgeable writer in your field, and it can help to seal a long-term partnership with an affiliate marketer if the opportunity presents itself.
The sky’s the limit if you write for an affiliate marketer, so be prepared for potentially endless writing assignments that can ignite a surge into your freelance business almost immediately.
Want more advice about freelancing? Take my free mini-course Get on the Right Path to Freelancing here.
Images by Image by Kevin Phillips
Randall Magwood is an internet marketing coach and the author of several marketing books designed to improve any online business’s sales and profits. He's the creator of the New Marketing Outlook Blog and enjoys studying internet marketing in his spare time. To learn more about how Randall can help your business, visit his website at: NewMarketingOutlook.com