Writing To Sell: A Copywriting Guide For Affiliates

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SuperAffiliate QuickJumps

  1. Make MORE Money With Your Existing Traffic
  2. Help, Don't Sell
  3. Write In The Voice of Your Audience
  4. The Landing Page As A Sales Funnel
  5. Checklist of Key Copy Elements
  6. Copy Formatting Secrets That Increase Sales
  7. Educational Resources

Make MORE Money With Your Existing Traffic

Affiliates often take the limited view that they're nothing more than traffic brokers responsible for funneling as much traffic as possible through their tracking links into our sales websites.

Certainly, it's not your job as our affiliate to “close” sales.

We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually testing and adjusting our website design, ad copy, offers, guarantees, prices, packages, and MORE to ensure we're doing the best possible job of converting your referred visitors into satisfied buyers!

However, we also know from over ten year's experience that our top-earning affiliates consistently take a more active roll in selling our products:

Starting with the written copy — the ad copy — presented on their websites!

So the following lesson aims to give you a crash course in the more advanced copywriting secrets used by “Super Affiliates” to earn six- and seven-figure commission incomes.

We're going to teach you the secret to making MORE money from your existing website traffic by better qualifying visitors and compelling more of them to click through your affiliate links.

Help, Don't Sell

So you may be wondering:

If the product isn't MINE to sell, how do I write ad copy for it?

Good question. The first step is shifting your view of what “ad copy” is.

As an affiliate, your job is to recommend products to your website visitors, offering them honest opinions, reviews, and information that allow them to make informed buying decisions.

Help, don't sell.

Because when you offer visitors guidance in finding solutions to their problems without the pushy sales hype, your product endorsements are instantly viewed as more credible and trustworthy, and this visibly increases the sales conversions of your referred traffic!

Write In The Voice Of Your Audience

A big step in establishing rapport and earning the trust of your website visitors is learning to write in the “voice” of your audience.

Think of it this way:

As an affiliate, the written content of your website needs to close the gap between what your audience is typing into the search engines and what you ultimately want them to buy.

And the first step in accomplishing this is mirroring their LANGUAGE PATTERNS and TONE.

Much like you can put a conversation partner at ease in a live social setting by subtly matching their body language, you can develop instant rapport with website visitors by using the same language they are typing into the search engines in your written copy.

To illustrate this point, let's pretend you're an affiliate for GenF20, SellHealth.com's best-selling HGH releaser and anti-aging supplement.

You could create a website extolling the benefits of L-Argenine, one of the supplement's primary ingredients, known for its positive effect on HGH levels.

This may be a GREAT approach if you're planning to target people who are using Google to search terms like:

l-argenine supplements
argenine supplement
argenine anti-aging
benefits argenine
side effects argenine

These are people who are already somewhat knowledgeable about L-Argenine (they're actively searching this term), so your web copy can match their educated approach and tone.

On the other hand, if you're planning to target people searching terms like:

anti-aging solution
anti-aging supplement
how to look younger
feel younger
more energy look younger

Then you're going to have limited success driving this traffic into a page that launches straight into a scientific discussion about the benefits L-Argenine.

When visitors first arrive at your website, you have roughly 10 seconds to make a connection by demonstrating that your website has information, products, or solutions that relate DIRECTLY to their search query.

And best way to accomplish this is by:

Using the exact SAME keywords they're typing into the search engine in your website headline, graphics, and body content!

Of course, this approach assumes you have intimate knowledge of the keywords your audience is typing into Google.

So if you haven't already, you will need to do some keyword research.

You can start with Google's FREE Keyword Research Tool.

But you'd also be wise to read our lessons on Search Engine Optimization and Google Adwords to further your knowledge of keyword research.

Both articles dive into this important topic in much greater detail, offering insights into how this ad copy strategy can also positively impact your listing position in the search engines.

Plus, consider adding Google Analytics (FREE) to your website. It takes 5 minutes, it's so simple a non-techie can do it, and you'll get valuable information about the keywords your existing traffic is using to find your website.

SHORTCUT:  I've been using a WordPress Plugin called, “Google Analytics for WordPress!”  It's a MUST HAVE for WordPress users.

The Landing Page As A Sales Funnel

Once you understand the value of speaking to your website visitors using the same keywords they're searching in Google, the concept of landing pages makes perfect sense.

Landing pages are nothing more than subpages of your website with a very narrow focus.

Instead of using a general homepage as the single point of entry to your website, you create topic-specific, keyword-rich landing pages that speak to visitors' immediate interests and needs.

For example, as an affiliate for GenF20, you might create four topic-specific landing pages:

  • www.yoursite.com/largeninebenefits – this page would focus on the benefits of L-argenine and recommend GenF20 as an excellent source of L-argenine for anti-aging.
  • www.yoursite.com/antiagingsupplementreview – this page might review 3-5 anti-aging supplements, recommending one or two of your favorites (i.e. GenF20 of course!).
  • www.yoursite.com/tipsforlookingyounger – this page would offer readers tips for looking younger through supplementation, introducing them to HGH and it's benefits, ultimately recommending GenF20.
  • www.yoursite.com/improvememory – this page would focus on improving memory through supplementation, discussing how GenF20 aids those looking to increase overall energy, focus, and memory.

Wouldn't it be nice to own “yoursite.com” since so many use it as their example?  HA!

As I'm sure you can imagine, topic-specific landing pages like these are infinitely more successful at converting lookers to buyers. And even better, they tend to rank well in the search engines, too!

Some excellent topics for affiliate landing pages include:

Example Landing Page #1

Honest, Well-Researched Product Reviews:

Try the product yourself, do research into the ingredients included, read product studies, review endorsements and testimonials.

Then write an honest review, highlighting both the good and bad points about the products you're recommending.

Yes, that's right, highlight the GOOD and the BAD! Readers respond to reviews that mention a couple of product negatives; glowing endorsements are viewed suspiciously by today's savvy consumer!

Example Landing Page #2

Sell With A Personal Success Story:

Without a doubt, personal success stories are POWERFUL sales tools.

If you can try a product yourself and show proof of results with pictures, video, statistics, etc. — this is by far the most effective, believable way to endorse a product.

(To see samples of video endorsements, search VigRX Plus™ on YouTube.com.)  And if you would like to promote VigRX – please signup to become an affiliate for the health and wellness industry first.

Telling your story helps the reader to identify with you as someone who understands their needs. And seeing proof of your results gives instant credibility to the claims made by the sales website.

It obviously takes a bigger commitment to promote a product this way.

But the long-term sales results typically make it well worthwhile!

Example Landing Page #3

Educate Visitors To Win Sales

Another effective way to win visitors' trust is by educating them.

Fill your website with topical articles, blog posts, free reports, and more.

When visitors see how much quality content you've made available free of charge, they'll be more inclined to view you as a reliable, trustworthy topic expert – and they'll be more inclined to respond to your product recommendations!

Checklist of Key Copy Elements

Effective ad copy that successfully persuades visitors to take action, click your affiliate links, and buy product tends to include the same elements…

No matter whether you're writing an educational article, a testimonial-style product endorsement, or a review of multiple related products.

So next we're going to provide an overview of the key copy elements you should aim to include in every landing page you create:

Include A Compelling Headline

Entire books are published on the single topic of writing compelling headlines.

We've seen a simple headline change increase response by as much as 400% and it's without a doubt the single most important piece of copy that appears on any page of your website.

Because it's typically the headline message that visitors use to make their “stay or go” decisions.

Your headlines need to:

  1. Incorporate the keywords your visitors are searching, and
  2. Offer visitors a compelling reason to keep reading.

Why should someone read your landing page? How are they going to benefit? What are they going to get?

These are questions that your headline should answer.

If you're stuck trying to write a compelling headline, get started using words and phrases like…

“Discover…”
“Learn The Secret…”
“7 Tips To Help You…”
“How To…”
“Overcome Problem X With A Simple Solution That Offers Benefit Y”
“How I Did X… And How YOU Can Enjoy This Benefit Too!”
“The Fastest Way To Overcome…”

Example:

“Discover Why The #1 Most Popular Anti-Aging Treatment Is A Scam…

And How I Achieved Benefit X, Y, & Z With This Little-Known Secret!”

“The 7 Nutrients Missing From Your Diet That
Can Make You Look 10 Years Younger”

“Reviews Of The Top 3 Best-Selling L-Argenine Supplements”

Remember that the BEST headlines are always specific!

As a general rule, it's also a good idea to avoid offering the PRODUCT as the solution in your headline. Help before you sell!

Highlight Benefits

If you're a student of marketing, you may have already heard the popular adage:

“People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.”

Simply put, people buy benefits — not features.

You buy toothpaste because you want whiter teeth, fresh breath, to avoid getting cavities, and to avoid painful, costly dentist visits.

You purchase vitamins because you want to prolong life, prevent disease, and enjoy the benefits of good health, like fewer colds, more energy, etc.

So while it's important to highlight product features in any ad copy you write, it's more important to highlight the product BENEFITS!

You can do this by creating a master list of a product's features and then brainstorming as many benefits as you can for each one. For each landing page you create, highlight benefits that you believe will be most appealing to the group of web searchers you're targeting!

Establish Two-Tier Credibility

As an affiliate, there are two-tiers of credibility you should aim to establish:

First, if you want visitors to buy into your ad copy messages, you need to establish YOUR credibility. Feature any relevant credentials, industry experience, or expertise you may have.

Or, alternatively, you can establish your credibility by presenting the visitor with overwhelming value — i.e. large quantities of information and content they'll find relevant and useful in solving their particular problem.

Once you've established YOUR credibility, the second step is to begin establishing credibility for the product/company you're recommending.

“I believe in this company for reasons X, Y, and Z.”

“This product stands shoulders above its competitors for reasons X, Y, and Z.”

“I give this product a 9.5/10 because…”

Most SellHealth products are doctor-endorsed, backed by large volumes of client testimonials, and manufactured in cGMP certified pharmaceutical labs — claims that most of our competitors can't make.

So these are all good points to highlight to begin establishing our credibility before the visitor leaves your website.

Show Proof of Results

A good way to further establish credibility and build value in the product you're recommending is by showing proof of results.

It can't be overemphasized:

Personal success stories with picture proof of results typically generate AMAZING click-throughs and sales.

Smart affiliates test products themselves so their recommendations are authentic, believable, and include a level detail and product knowledge that you don't see in 95% of affiliate sites.

However, if you're not interested in testing a product yourself, you can always refer to the proof of results shown on SellHealth product pages.

Build Value In The Offer

The purpose of the value build is to prepare the reader to see the price tag.

Your goal is to build overwhelming value in the product to prevent sticker shock and ensure the potential client sees the offer as an excellent deal.

While as an affiliate you don't necessarily need to reveal price yourself (and in many cases it's best if you don't), you can increase your overall sales conversions by explaining why you believe the product is a good value.

  • Do you get a large quantity of product for the price?
  • Do you get superior quality of product for a comparable price to competitors?
  • While the price might be higher than the competition, are you getting a superior quality of product that produces FAR better results?
  • Is the product packaged with free gifts or bonuses that will be of interest to the reader?

These are all points you can cover in your ad copy when establishing the value and preparing the reader to hand over their credit card information.

Remove The Risk

Today, online buyers are a skeptical, savvy bunch.

So a key step in closing sales is risk removal — proving potential customers have nothing to lose in handing over their credit cards.

The sales website will be ultimately responsible for removing risk. But as an affiliate, you can speed the sale along by highlighting how the offer is risk free.

For example, you can:

  • Give an overview of the guarantee
  • Mention how long the company has been in business
  • Talk about how the product has a long track-record of success
  • Reference testimonials to show proof others have used it successfully
  • Reference medical studies that back up product claims
  • Emphasize the costs associated with NOT solving the problem

By doing these things, you lend your credibility and name to the product, making referred visitors more receptive to the sales messages on product websites by reducing their perceived risk!

Drive Urgency

Whenever possible, it's a good idea to highlight the reasons why visitors need to take action today.

Simply adding what marketers call “urgency drivers” to ad copy can have an immediate impact on your sales conversions.

That said, mistakes are often made driving urgency, so be careful when you do this. It's not about including giant, flashing “Buy It Now” buttons on your website. It's about educating the reader about the benefits of taking action today and the costs they may experience if they delay their decision.

Costs may be monetary as well as physical, emotional, and social.

Include A Clear Call To Action

Finally, no landing page is complete without a clear call to action.

This sounds ridiculously obvious, yet it's an often neglected element of written salescopy. You need to ASK the visitor to take the next step and provide them with CLEAR DIRECTION on how to do so.

“Visit site XYZ.com to get more information.”

“Click here now to read success stories.”

“To view the full product description, click here.”

“To learn more about how you can enjoy benefit X with product Y, click here.”

These are all direct calls to action.

Copy Formatting Secrets That Increase Sales

No conversation about writing good ad copy would be complete without a discussion of text formatting.

Experience tells us that how you format your copy is just as important as what you say. So here are a few layout secrets we've learned in the trenches:

  • Black text on a white/light background is always the best choice for body copy — i.e. the main text of any page. It's the most readable.
  • Inverted text (light text on a dark background) should be limited, and should NEVER be used to highlight key calls to action.
  • Choose three fonts maximum to format any copy. One font for headlines and subheadlines, one font for body text, and one font for pullout text like testimonials and quotes.
  • Good font choices include Verdana, Tahoma, and Arial.
  • Also limit the use of colored text. One font color for headlines and one for pullout text is enough.
  • Limit use of bolding, italics, and underlining — they all make text more challenging to read. Use each sparingly to highlight BENEFITS.
  • Start articles with one-line hooks… Sentences that are short, eye-catching and interesting to read.
  • Avoid stacking long paragraphs. A page filled with long paragraphs looks daunting to read, so the visitor simply won't read it!
  • Vary your sentence and paragraph length. This helps to increase white space throughout your text, which improves overall readability.
  • Only center headlines and subheadlines. Centered text is difficult to read.

Remember, simplicity is preferred by today's online audience. Keep it readable!

Educational Resources

While we hope you enjoyed this lesson on copywriting for affiliates, it's worth mentioning that we've barely scratched the surface of this important topic.

Adjusting the written content of your website to do a better job of funneling visitors through your affiliate links is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways you can increase your sales…

By making MORE money with the same volume of traffic!

So to help further your education in writing to sell, check out these copywriting and direct marketing authorities:

These Are Books in MY Library!

The Copywriter's HandbookBy Robert W. Bly

Copywriting 101 – Article featured on CopyBlogger.com (FREE)

Advertising Secrets of the Written WordBy Joseph Sugarman

The Ultimate Sales LetterBy Dan S. Kennedy

Scientific AdvertisingBy Claude Hopkins

Influence: The Psychology of PersuasionBy Dr. Robert Cialdini

Tested Advertising MethodsBy John Caples

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