4 Smart Tips for Running an Affiliate WordPress Blog in 2017 and Beyond

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t run a money-making affiliate WordPress blog in 2017.

The idea that affiliate marketing is dead is a cliche that’s often pushed by those whose sites have floundered in the past or those who’ve never tried to get a blog off the ground in the first place. That being said, you can expect to slap five 300-word articles on a site and expect big returns, either.

Running an affiliate site and actually seeing returns for your blood, sweat and tears often represents a sort of snowball effect. That is, once the traffic and sales start coming, bloggers are much more likely to ride high on their momentum with more content, link-building and general outreach to grow their online presence.

But if you want to build a successful site that eventually results in full-time income, you can’t have a blogging strategy that’s stuck in 2005. Instead, consider the following tips as cornerstones of any successful affiliate marketing campaign today.

Make Sure That Your Site is Protected

Beyond coming up with a complicated password and investing in a secure password manager to keep unwanted logins out, there are plenty of ways to further protect your WordPress account.

For example, change your default login from “admin” and keep your plugins updated on a regular basis to avoid any sneaky activity. Meanwhile, having a backup of your site and its content is always a good idea in case of an unsuspected site failure or hack.

Take Advantage of the Right Plugins

The beauty of WordPress is its wealth of plugins, right? This rings especially true for affiliate marketers looking to take advantage of plugins to..

  • Push their lead magnets and opt-ins: OptinMonster is a great tool for crafting well-timed pop-ups and opt-in forms that drive sign-ups in droves
  • Build your email list: free plugins via MailChimp for smaller sites and Constant Contact for larger affiliate empires are both trusted names in the email marketing space
  • Track your performance: Google Analytics is the one stop plugin to determine what’s working and what isn’t in terms of your on-site content

Don’t Mess with Black Hat SEO

Google has no qualms with punishing sites that they feel are trying to skirt their algorithms. Given the recent number of sites who lost rankings due to Google’s Fred update, there’s a constant reminder for affiliates to do their SEO work by the book. Shady link-building campaigns and other schemes could land you in hot water and cut off your income stream overnight: simply put, it’s not worth the risk.

Content Isn’t Always King

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can effectively outrank your competitors and drive more sales by clinging to the “content is king” cliche. While sites that produce more blog content typically do achieve more leads, you need to make sure you’re putting out legitimate, actionable posts rather than keyword-stuffed garbage. Meanwhile, promoting that content via social and email to attract buyers is arguably more important than simply blogging for the sake of blogging.

There are plenty of hurdles to overcome when building a successful affiliate site to the point where you’re driving the numbers you want. Even so, these tips can help steer you in the right direction and keep your site running smoothly on your journey to more traffic and leads.