Affiliate marketing has become a widely accepted practice in commerce: asking for a specialized opinion/recommendation has become a right of passage when choosing products or services.
As a leading website building company, Ucraft offers an Affiliate Program to forge long-lasting relationships with satisfied users and give back to our community since any partnership requires mutual honesty and devotion. To illustrate the process, we have initiated some backstage discourse with our Affiliates on their experience - an affiliate marketing success story.
Robert Brandl, the founder of WebsiteToolTester, sat down with us to share his experience as a Ucraft Affiliate. Read on to learn more about challenges affiliates overcome, how trust is gained, and more.
1. How did you start your Affiliate Marketing journey?
I started out over ten years ago. As someone who cannot code, I thought it was extremely attractive to be able to create a website without any programming knowledge. Once I found the first drag and drop website builders, I really fell in love with this idea. I started collecting the information about these site builders and put together a minimal review site. To my surprise, within weeks, I reached 100 visitors per day and started to monetize the site through different affiliate programs such as the one provided by Ucraft!
2. What were some major challenges for you, and how did you overcome them?
At first, there was very little competition, so life was easy. Subsequently, I got a bit too comfortable. After a while, more and more review websites came to life, and some had great SEO expertise. Eventually, some of them even overtook my site in the search results, which gave me new motivation to continuously improve.
Fortunately, I saw Tooltester as a long-term project, which is also why I never opted for dirty SEO tricks (unlike some of my competitors). Fast-forward eight years and all the sites that used to play dirty are gone. A long-term strategy that focuses on honesty eventually plays out.
3. What’s your method for gaining peoples’ trust?
In a world of fake news and misleading information, that’s a very valid question. First of all, if you rank well on Google, that’s probably the most important trust signal. Nothing beats an endorsement of Big G.
Of course, you can only get there if your content is one of the best available on the web, your design is trustworthy, and you successfully communicate that you’re an expert for the specific topic. Explain in great detail why you are recommending a certain product and compare them with similar ones.
4. How do you identify your tone of voice for your target audience?
It’s the principle of sending and receiving. Our main feedback loops are the Google rankings and what people write to us as messages or blog comments. When we write an article, we usually try to picture the reader. For example, a blog post reader around the ‘10 Best Free Website Builders’ will look different from the reader of “The CRM systems for sales teams”. Obviously, it will also help to check what Google is showing at the top for the target topic.
5. What is the best way to engage a more organic audience?
We mainly use blog comments to establish a conversation with our readers. On top of that, we offer a free ebook that is connected to a series of automated emails, where we also request feedback.
6. How do you choose the best USPs for the product?
There are certain features pretty much all the products on the market have. For us, as a review website, it’s key to work out the differences among those products. For one product it may be the price, for another one, it’s support or a niche feature that a certain target group absolutely wants. As reviewers, we have to find these USPs through rigorous testing and by knowing what’s available on the market.
7. How do you monitor your competitors in regards to their strategy?
We do monitor our most important competitors closely and analyze why they rank for a certain keyword and why we don’t. Of course, sometimes you find interesting new tactics and strategies for backlink building or general content creation. Looking at our competitor’s content, often enough we also find that they get inspired by our work a lot.
8. How frequently do you update your website/landing page to keep your audience engaged?
We continuously update our content by publishing entirely new pieces or updating older posts to boost SEO. It depends on the importance of the topic and how competitive a keyword is. But our most important reviews get at least monthly updates, and we launch new blog posts every week.
This is only one successful affiliate marketing example, but there are many. The takeaway for us today: nothing is impossible when effort and a good strategy are combined!