Affiliate Marketing Tips: Traffic & Sales

Next in the Affiliate Marketing Tips series, is how to get traffic and make sales with your niche affiliate sites...

@TaylorMarek: How to get eyeballs and people to buy?

I could start out by giving you specific internet marketing strategies, and I'll share a few of those with you too.

But the key is actually in how you approach the market. It's not complicated, but it is unique to each market and to each type of niche affiliate site. I'll share some methods that I use to create a winning marketing plan for any site...

Step One: Market Research

Market Research is not the same as Keyword Research. That is where it starts, but not where it ends. Keywords tell you two things - they tell you what people are searching for, and they tell you the depth of the market.

Let's take a look at an example of that so you can see what I mean. We'll go back to that french braid hairstyle example, and look at that next to quilting:

Comparing these two sets of results side by side, just from the first 20 keyword phrases you can see a major difference in the market depth. Obviously "quilt" is more broad than "french braid", but even if you narrow that search down to "quilt patterns" you still get more than 10x the overall search volume.

You also want to look at variations of your primary keywords. In the case of "quilt" and "quilt patterns", next I would look at the keyword phrases for "quilting".

I realize these screenshots are small. Open WordTracker's Free Keyword Tool and type in the words/phrases to see the same results in true size.

There are 2 types of keyword phrases:
informational and commercial

Informational keyword phrases are searches for information - and usually for free information. Examples: "how to quilt" and "free quilt patterns"

Commercial keyword phrases are searches for products and represent potential buyers. Examples: "quilting magazines" and "quilting supplies"

Both types of keyword phrases are important to your overall marketing plan. Searches with commercial intent are used to create money pages with a specific recommendation and strong call-to-action.

Informational search terms are used to create free content that appeals to your target market, strategically leading them into your funnel and ultimately into a buying decision.

Commercial = immediate sale.
Informational = build rapport and work up to the sale.

The search volume, or the market depth, is important as this is how you are going to reach your market. It's also how you are going to figure out the best ways to serve that market.

If you choose a micro-niche with very few keyword phrases to work with, even if those phrases have great search volume, you're going to run out of creative ways to reach your market.

A niche with market depth and a wide variety of keyword phrases gives you many more opportunities to reach (and ultimately serve) that market.

Every single keyword phrase is an opportunity to meet and engage with your ideal customer. You use that keyword phrase to determine exactly what they want, and to deliver that one thing to them. Each keyword phrase should be considered a mini-marketing plan in your overall business strategy.

Going back to our quilting niche example, which has great market depth, you would analyze the keyword phrases and separate the informational searches from the commercial searches. The information phrases will be used to reach your market, and the commercial phrases will be used to make sales.

You want to ask yourself 4 questions:

- What are they looking for?
- Where are they looking for it?
- How can I enter that conversation?
- How can I best serve this market?

The obvious first step is to optimize each page of your affiliate site to rank well in the major search engines, so your ideal visitors can easily find you when they search those keyword phrases. See: Web Page Optimization (free tutorial & checklist).

You'll use the keyword phrases to create content, and to frame your offer so that it appeals to your target market. If they are searching for "free quilt patterns" you give them that, and offer a new free pattern every month by email (build a list).

If they are searching for "quilting supplies" you recommend specific products they will need and the best places to order them online (via your affiliate links, of course).

A keyword phrase like "how to quilt" can be used to create a content page that leads into your pages on free patterns and supplies. This might be used on your site, or may be used as an article you submit to or publish on Squidoo.

You want to group all of the related "how to" keyword phrases and use those to create lead-in content to your how-to page on your own site. Not every piece of content has to be a monster essay either.

Those keyword phrases might be used in the subject line of a new thread on a niche forum, a short 500 word article you submit to article directories, used in an email subject line for a 'quick tip' message (that gets archived online), or used to open a discussion on Facebook or Twitter even.

The goal is to create various types of web content that strategically lead your visitor into your list, or to your money page. The email list will use a softer approach, building trust and rapport with your readers so that you become their go-to source for all things 'quilting' (replace with your niche, of course).

So the short answer to "how to get eyeballs and make sales" is this: know what they want, meet them where they are searching for it, deliver a specific targeted solution. Period.

That is marketing. Things like social bookmarking, article marketing, SEO, paid advertising - those are just methods to achieve your marketing plan. Most people mistake the methods for the marketing, and use the methods without a strategic marketing plan at all. Don't make that mistake.

Marketing is about knowing and serving your market.

The methods are a means to do that.

So let's talk methods real quick before we close. I'll share some resources & tutorials with you as I've discussed most methods in great detail already:

I have tons more resources, so if you have any questions at all simply leave a comment below. I'd be happy to answer your questions, or point you to a free tutorial here at ClickNewz.


p.s. Enjoy this post? Subscribe below for more free Affiliate Marketing Tips πŸ˜‰

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»


  1. Beautifully explained Lynn! I wish I had 1/10th of your knowledge and writing ability. I never thought of keyword research and market research as two different things, but it makes sense. Thank you.

    • A high compliment coming from you, Adriana - you are a niche/keyword research queen! And a great friend, I might add πŸ˜€

      This post was lengthy enough already, but there is so much to market research that is helpful (and even fun for research geeks, lol!).

      One of the main things you want to do is find out where you target market hangs out online. It's different in every niche - it may be Facebook, certain forums, social groups (Google, Yahoo, etc), MySpace, you want to see if they are on Twitter too of course.

      In addition to reaching them via search, which is priority #1 in my book, you want to join in the discussions around the web and become a part of that ongoing conversation.

      That doesn't mean you interrupt the conversation with ads and offers. It means you listen, learn, help and be resourceful, ask questions, and become a valuable part of that scene.

      (serve your market - not yourself!)

      This is how you become a market leader and blow your competition out of the water...

      • This is what I totally believe in. Relationship marketing. There's different ways to approach it, but definitely meeting the market where they are and providing valuable resources and information is the one key approach that gets sales.

        I'd bet the farm that Clicknewz and SSWT forums is where your bread and butter is at - because of the time and attention, information, valuable resources and personality you've given these places. You continually give - therefore, you receive. πŸ™‚


  2. Hey, Lynn:

    The informational search vs. commercial search is what I was seriously confused about. Till now. It makes much more sense to me today.

    This article is a must bookmark. Will re read it and soak it up like a hot sun bath. lol. Awesome stuff!

    I will read your SEO article, but first a quick question for you. How important are SEO wordpress plugins like All In ONE or Platinum, and do YOU personally use any on your sites?



    • Hi Missy,

      I don't use any SEO plugins on my blog at all. I simply use the optimization as outlined in that post I linked to. It's mainly about using the keyword phrase in the title of the post, which becomes your title tag, and about getting quality inbound links with that anchor text.

      There's probably a plug-in that will make you breakfast while you blog (lol), but they're just not all necessary. I like to keep it simple. πŸ˜‰

  3. This is a fantastic overview of market research. I LOVE how you use the informational keywords to move people into your funnel. Great idea to use the informational keywords for lenses, and forums ~ hadn't looked at it that way. I've really concentrated on the buying keywords. Going to have to go take a second look around!


  4. Lynn, you're worth your weight in gold (or maybe more, since you look pretty small to me).

    One of the trickiest parts of Internet marketing has to be deciding how much presell to do and when to go for the close. You've pegged that more clearly than I've ever seen it. While I'm sure it varies some from market to market, this makes complete sense.

    • Thank you Wade. It does vary from market to market, and even from keyword to keyword. As I said, each keyword phrase is almost a mini marketing plan in itself. The only way to know for sure what will work and when... is to test, track, tweak (and repeat).

  5. Allen Walker says

    Understanding your market is so important... Great tips! πŸ˜€ Using different keyword phrase with different approaches must be a very powerful method.

    Just a question then... What are the advantages of targeting informational keyword phrases, seeing how commercial phrases eliminate the need for slowly building up rapport and work much faster? πŸ˜›

    Of course, perhaps it depends on your aim as well. Whether you want to build up things in the short term or the long term?

    Oh, and do you have any recommended resources about developing your marketing plan, like examples of building up an online marketing plan and how the methods fit into them?

    • Good questions Allen. I'll work on those resources for you. I may have something in the archives, and if not I'll write something up.

      The advantage to targeting informational keyword phrases is that is expands your reach exponentially. You target the buyers in your market for sure, but then you also want to target your potential buyers and help them make that buying decision. Most people come online for information before they buy - you need to be in front of those people. Pre-sold searchers are terrific, but pre-selling adds a whole new stream of profits to your plan!

  6. Gail J Richardson says

    Lynn,This post have set off a light bulb for me. I have been having a hard time understanding the intent of the searcher. I now see very clearly how to separate them. As always Lynn thanks for this post.
    Gail J Richardson

    • The "intent of the search" and "message to market match" do require a bit of intuitive thinking. It's about trying to get in the mind of the person on the other side of the screen - what are they thinking, what do they want, what will they respond to best, etc. But that's the creative (and fun!) side of marketing. πŸ˜‰

  7. Doug Champigny says

    Great informative post, Lynn - just learning to distinguish between Informational Keyword Phrases and Commercial Keyword Phrases will benefit most aspiring affiliates more than a lot of the paid affiliate training e-books out there!

  8. Joyce Leybag says

    Wow! This is a very extensive and informational posat you have here. I appreciate the part wherein you discuss the 2 types of keywords. I learned a lot from your post. What do you think is better of the 2 if you are doing online business?

    Thanks again for the post.

    • Thank you Joyce. Read through the comments as we discussed that in great detail - advantages of using both, and ways to do that. Let me know if it raises any questions! πŸ˜‰

  9. Free Article Directory says

    Great job explaining Keyword research vs Market research. Thanks.

  10. Christian Russell says

    It's great how you differentiate between method and marketing. It's an important concept. You can have all the tools in the world and really be working them, but if you're not CONNECTING with an interested market that is willing to pay for what you're selling, it's not going to help your bottom line. That's where knowing your market, research and a PLAN are absolutely mandatory.

  11. Elizabeth Ashe says

    This is awesome information Lynn and has me to generate some new ways to market my niche site,that I am working on. It also has helped me to understand commercial vs informational clearly now.

    Thank you!!!

  12. Thank you for this great information, it's very easy to understand. When you said "know what they want, meet them where they are searching for it, deliver a specific targeted solution" things became more clear. Also, thank you for the links to the resources & tutorials.

  13. Lynn - Thank you for all the help that you give. I for one really do appreciate it as a rookie!

  14. If you don't spend adequate time in research than all the time you spend elsewhere might just end up being a waste of time. Research is key to being as effective as possible.

Leave a Reply


Get My Internet Business & Smart Marketing Diaries - Free!