Affiliate articles might seem overwhelming but in reality, if broken down, they are the simplest types of articles in the hierarchy of write-ups. The top being an ad copy and the bottom being Donald Trump’s tweets.
Also, the best way to nail a perfect affiliate article is to have a definitive formula. The following steps shall help you write good, if not best Affiliate articles, every time.
- Research First, Introduce next
It is very common to stare at a blank blinking word/Google doc as you cannot come up with an interesting line to start the introduction. Honestly, you’re about to write an expert opinion piece about a Drilling Machine or an Electric Saw and have never used either of those.
The problem lies in the fact that you know little to nothing about the product. When you know nothing about the product, it is hard to think of a creative way to introduce it.
A simple and definite solution is to get started on the buying guide. Type a long line of “dots” and start researching about the title topic. Start writing the buying guide.
After you are done writing the buying guide, get started with the product descriptions. Once you are done with both of them, sit on the introduction.
This time, you won’t need to scratch your head. Your brain is rife with information and you will automatically think of the biggest pain point you think your reader will have and organically start typing out a splendid introduction.
- An introduction to Introductions
There are literally a million ways to introduce a topic. You could talk about a juicy fact that hooks the reader and then walk him to the next sentence. Or you could talk about why he landed on that page and then walk him around. But remember that a single stance may not work always but a great framework can.
Introduce the topic by saying something stark and hitting that the user expects to find out. Never go for generic lines. For instance, if you want to introduce the list of the best wooden sofas, then do not start with the lines
“Sofas are pieces of furniture that people sit on to watch TV on Weekends”
It may be true but that is not what the user expects you to talk about nor is it something that makes him read the next sentence.
Instead, find out what ailed the reader that made him come to the article. Empathize with them. He is searching for the best sofa set. That means that he either has a broken one at home or he has a new place that needs a new sofa set.
Now cash that information. Write about something that resonates with that. Maybe start with something like “A sofa set is one piece of furniture that defines your hall/living room. Depending on the size of the room and your budget, you might prefer a classic wooden set or a portable and economic steel one”.
You can also chip in a personal story of sorts. Something that connects with the user at a personal level. Maybe a story or instance that your fictional self had which led them to start reviewing this product. Stories connect with people. Period
You know this because you’re already done writing the buying guide and the product descriptions. You’re kind of like an undergraduate in Sofa sets by now which made it easier for you to form those sentences. Congratulations.
- Hello, Fact check 1.2.3….
I get it, sometimes, while you are halfway through writing the article, it might get lazy or monotonous. We’ve all been there.
But the moment we tend to write about products with prejudice and only trusting the brand information, we lose.
Trust the reviews more than you trust the product’s actual descriptions. Seller descriptions are not always true. They are trying to sell more product. We are the opposite, we are only trying to sell people what is good and what they would benefit from.
For example, for a particular set of Bluetooth headsets, the description might say that the battery backup is 12 hours. At the same time, you have 10 or more reviews that say that the backup is just 1 or 2 hours. Then it is very important to mention that instead of stating out firmly that the battery back up is 12 hours.
Chances are you may not have enough reviews to conclude, in such cases, trust the description too but with a little scepticism. Mention the 12 hours AND the 2 hours at the same time (mention the fact that the description says so while the reviews claim that). This goes for all the other features too.
Also, be careful while mentioning pros and cons. Fact check if they really are the pros or cons. Add 1+1 when there is a specific feature of the product and its usage. Confused? Let me explain.
One of the products, let’s say a marble cutter, has a description that says it is light in weight. Our common sense says “Yay! Light in weight means easy to grab and get the job done”
In reality, a lightweight marble cutter is a hazardous one. You’re using the device wrong and it might end up bouncing back onto your face cutting it in half. Not so useful right? So checking up about the ideally useful features of a product stands helpful.
Also, if you find something to be a “con”, then instead of giving a cold statement, try and sugarcoat it. Maybe even direct them to a much better product or tell them why this particular Con exists.
It is very important that we need to stay true to our mission. Being helpful in reviewing products.
Thus fact check. Always and again. Just to be sure
- Thou art, not a dictionary
The hardest part about being a writer is not when you able to use fancy words, but its when you know not to. That’s what makes great writers.
If you typed a word and you feel like that could be replaced with something simpler, then do it.
Our job is to make the reader’s job easier in terms of absorbing information. We do not want them to close the tab just to open an Oxford Dictionary to find the meaning of words we think are cool for the write-ups.
Conscious writing is not the case always. Sometimes, we, out of habit, subconsciously type out sentences that make brilliant sense to us and to common sense as well. But that’s not a win for us.
If a reader, who is always in a hurry, feels the need to re-read a particular sentence, we have lost the battle. This brings me to my next and final point.
- KISS (Keep It Simple Silly)
Ernst Hemmingway ruled the literary revolution of the 20th century not for the depth in his stories but for the simplicity of his language. Writers around the world were spellbound of his impact on his readers by writing in simple language.
Up until then, reading was for the educated and sophisticated. But Hemmingway made sure that almost even a peasant can read books. The power of simple language cannot be stressed enough.
Shorter and Simpler words make it easier for readers to eat more information using less time and energy
The rule of thumb is to have 18-28 words per sentence. Anything above should be broken down to 2 sentences. If that is not possible then it is fine. But try, you must.
Another rule of thumb is never to go for longer sentences at the beginning of the article. As you are mid-way through the article, it is perfectly fine to have a few long sentences. If your flow is good, the reader won’t even realize that your sentences are long. (I’ve written a couple of long sentences in this article too, did you find them?)
The Ultimate List of Dos and Don’ts of writing an affiliate article:
- Show Personality
Your articles should demonstrate the writer’s (or ghostwriter’s) personality. This can be by sharing anecdotes and your own opinions (without being divisive!). You should write in a clear and informal way, almost like you’re talking to a friend—and use pronouns and possessive pronouns (e.g. I, me, we, you, your, my, our) to talk directly to your readers
- NO Salesy Language
- Wrong: “You’ll find peace of mind when your dog finally stops barking!”
- Wrong: “You can rest easy knowing your dog’s behaviour troubles are finally over.”
- Wrong: Anything else that sounds like it could be in an infomercial
Instead, use conditional language (if, might, could, may, maybe) to make recommendations:
- Correct: “This might be a good choice for those who want an in-home training option.”
- Correct: “If it’s important to you to find a positive dog trainer, this may be a good place to start.”
- Avoid Passive Language
Write in the active voice:
- Wrong: “To give you the best choice a ton of products were reviewed.”
- Correct: “We reviewed a ton of products to give you the best choice.”
- Avoid Technical Jargon
If you need to use any technical language (or acronyms), explain in clear detail what it means.
- Wrong: “POH is one of the most commonly reported aesthetic complaints to dermatologists.”
- Correct: “Dark circles or periorbital hyperpigmentation (POH) is one of the most commonly reported aesthetic complaints to dermatologists.”
- Always Add Value and Avoid Filler Language
Every sentence should add value to your article; ask yourself if each sentence is necessary and if it enhances the quality of writing.
- Always add useful/valuable information.
- No BS’ing.
- Wrong: “If your dog is acting up, you might need a dog trainer” (…duh).
- Wrong: “This company teaches your dog to walk politely. They also offer leash training.” (…says the same thing twice).
- Wrong: Anything else that doesn’t add information to the article.
For Buying Guides
- Buying Guides should be thorough and ultimate. They should be able to address every possible query and have every possible information there is about the topic.
- It doesn’t matter if we do not have a particular product, it is vital to mention the availability of different models and possibilities. This will help the reader to find more about the products and even while buying outside too.
- Add some great, value-driven information about products or the context in which users intend to use it
- Answers some questions that the reader may be looking for before buying such products
- Consider citing and thus linking to valuable & informational content on the internet that would further help the reader.
- You can even find a valuable informational Youtube video about the topic. Just make sure that the video is not branded and does not ask people to go to a specific URL at the end. (It means its an affiliate video)
- Here are some ideas:
- How to choose [this type of product]
- What are the advantages/Benefits of this type of product?
- Things to look for / Attributes that differentiate these products
- What’s the best way to use this product?
- Address the controversy
- Prerequisites to using the product
Wrapping it up:
The ultimate conclusion of the boring instruction manual typed out above is to make sure that we have enough research about the products we write about. Then it becomes easier to introduce them too. Use simple words and shorter sentences.
All the while, don’t forget to have fun writing.