The moment you enter a blog, and notice that the homepage blog posts are cluttered with affiliate posts, what do you feel like?
You will ask yourself a question, "Is this a blog or an affiliate site?". And you get bored.
Even, if I come across a blog with plenty of affiliate posts, I will not visit that blog again for a reasonable time period. And wait for it to settle down.
According to my observations, affiliate posts are helpful only for 2-5% of my blog audience. It's no wonder that the rest of my audience find my affiliate posts irritating.
Even the worst thing is that, if you have auto mailers like Feedburner for delivering blog updates, in case of affiliate posts you get many unsubscribes.
In order to earn extra money through blogging, you need to publish affiliate posts right?
That's where we need some strategies not to bore readers, even by publishing affiliate posts.
Hide them on homepage and feeds (if you do not want to deliver it to your readers)
Your regular readers visit your blog by directly entering your blog post URL. They will be annoyed by seeing the affiliate posts on your homepage.
WordPress, by default presents all the recently published blog posts on the front page.
How about, removing all the affiliate posts from the homepage?
WordPress being the most flexible CMSs around, lets you do anything.
There's a plugin called WP Hide Post.
This plugin lets you hide any post on Hide on the category pages, tag pages, author pages, date archives (month, day, year, etc.), search results, feeds.
Here as you can notice in the screenshot, I have hid this affiliate post from front-page, author page and feeds.
Hide the posts from feed, to not bore your email list subscribers, feeding them with affiliate updates. It will bore them, and the number of unsubscribes increases.
The question may arise, "Does it hurt SEO of my affiliate post "?. No, simply by hiding the posts from the homepage and feeds does not cause any issues with SEO of that post.
The affiliate posts will still be there in Sitemaps. Therefore, there is no issue with search visibility, indexing and crawling. As long as the post is listed under sitemap, there are no issues.
Even I am ranking high for some of the competitive affiliate terms.
If you are not agreeing with me to hide affiliate posts form the homepage, then may be you are stubborn.
Don't worry, I have an alternative for stubborn people also.
Delivering great value.
Here's my affiliate post on SEMRush. It's the only post that I have not hidden from the homepage or any other.
Of course, it's an affiliate post, but it is not solely intended to promote the product.
SEMRush is also a free tool, so I have included a guide, which is helpful for the buyers and also for all the audience of my blog.
Like this, many tools have both free and paid versions. In that case, include a great guide on how to make use of the tool properly. It will benefit all of your blog audience.
If possible, along with the review and promotional materials, include a case study. It gives a proof for your audience that you have used the product and leveraged it.
When it comes to delivering reviews, be honest. I saw many bloggers simply putting five stars for all the products they are reviewing. No product is perfect.
Negative reviews are needed to build trust with your readers. By this, they will value your future suggestions.
According to me, honest reviews tend to convert much.
Go to your blog. If there are any affiliate posts popping up on the homepage, do something with it. Although you make a few sales with it, you lose frequent visits of your majority loyal readers.
Make readers feel that, your blog only delivers value-added content, which is helpful for the wide range of audience.
Let me know what you think. If you did like the strategy, feel free to comment and share.
What are all the strategies that you are using to not bore your blog audience?