How a combination of switching ad networks, creating targeted content, growing your readership, and optimizing your site navigation help maximize profitability on your affiliate website.
Have you ever wondered why some affiliate sites never take off while others pull in six figures or more? What’s the secret to maximizing profit on an affiliate website?
The popular personal finance blog, NerdWallet, is a great example. In 2021 alone, this site raked in close to $380 million.
According to Authority Hacker, a survey run by STM (StackThatMoney) Forum showed that 20% of affiliate marketers earn less than $20,000 per year, while 20% earn over $1 million per year.
This significant income disparity begs the question, “what are these site owners doing differently?”
If you want to join the cohort of high-earning affiliate marketers, then maximizing profitability on your site is essential.
We’ll show you five ways to improve your site monetization and get a higher return on investment (ROI) from affiliate websites.
1. Create appropriate content
The content you publish is the foundation of your website. Selecting the right offers to present — and nailing the execution — is a key step toward creating a high-profit website.
But how do you decide which products, subscriptions, courses, or other affiliate offers to write about?
Let’s start by considering the potential payout.
We’re not saying you should restrict yourself to promoting five-figure courses.
However, writing a dozen articles about a SaaS company that offers a free plan and only charges $8/month for its premium version is a fruitless effort.
Even at a 50% lifetime commission, you’ll make less than $50 annually from each conversion.
The best affiliate offers strike a balance between affordability and payout size.
You should also target offers that provide lifetime commissions and show low user churn rates.
Products that offer a large, one-time commission can work if there’s sufficient demand in the market.
Once you have a catalog of products, services or affiliate offers ready to go, you must consider how to present them.
You might think that longer articles with more product choices will generate the highest revenues for your site.
Sadly, that’s usually not the case.
Writing a 4,000-word guide on the top 20 products for a specific niche may serve as a good pillar post for driving traffic, but adding too many items to your product guides could attract the wrong type of traffic.
Someone searching for (and willing to read) a top-20 list is more likely to want industry news.
Those with actual buyer intent prefer to see a top 5 or a one-on-one comparison since it avoids the need to scroll through a lengthy listicle.
Providing too many choices to a site visitor (even one with high purchase intent) may reduce them to a state of analysis paralysis. This decreases the profitability of your traffic converting.
Covering a smaller selection of products makes it easier to create in-depth and unique content on every single affiliate offer you promote.
Think about it.
Would you rather read an article about 50 different products or a comprehensive guide with screenshots, videos, and durability test data that covers five products?
Finally, create a variety of comparison articles on your website to maximize affiliate sales on your recommended products.
Users who read comparison articles have already done their research and narrowed their selection down to the two products in your article.
This means they’re on the brink of a buying decision (the perfect time to present them with your content).
2. Create an info product
While selling affiliate products is a great way to generate recurring and (almost) passive income, your site monetization doesn’t have to end there.
Creating info products — like e-books or courses —takes your affiliate site’s profitability to the next level.
Instead of receiving a commission for every sale, you keep 100% of the revenue.
Even though creating info products takes more effort than selling someone else’s product, most of that effort is temporary.
Once you’re done creating a resource, you can sell it again and again with no additional effort (outside of minor updates to keep it relevant).
Launching a profitable info product requires you to answer several key questions:
- Is the info product relevant to your audience?
- Is the info product priced correctly?
- Does the info product provide genuine value?
If the answer to all three is “yes,” then move on to the next stage: pricing.
Pricing is a particularly tricky aspect to tackle since there’s no universal standard for what constitutes a “fair price.”
It depends on who you plan on selling to, what type of content you’re offering, and how much content you include in the purchase.
Niche sites, with a small but high-value audience (like SaaS marketing blogs), see great success even if they price their guide-style info products at $99 or more.
Conversely, fitness blogs selling a diet plan are better off pricing it at an affordable $19. This makes the info product inexpensive enough for the majority of their audience to purchase.
You should also consider how high to raise the price of your info products without seeing a drop in purchase volume.
If you get regular sales on a $9 e-book, how many buyers would walk away if you changed the price to $19?
If the answer is “barely any” then you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t raise your price.
3. Switch ad networks
Site owners usually sign up to AdSense first, and many new domains are approved after the first few articles go live.
However, sticking with AdSense long-term leaves money on the table. Once you start seeing 10,000+ monthly views on your website, it’s time to review options like Ezoic and Mediavine.
To qualify for Ezoic you must have a minimum of 10,000 monthly page views, although there is an Ezoic Access Now program for smaller sites. The program is open to websites with less than 10,000 page views and is set up in under 15 minutes.
If your site has done 50,000+ sessions in the past 30 days, consider applying to Mediavine.
The payout per 1,000 views is slightly lower than Ezoic (at $10 to $30 per 1,000 views), but the Mediavine team is much more hands-on.
Mediavine takes care of ad configuration for you — all you have to do is insert a code snippet on the side header.
If your goal is to keep your site as passive as possible, then Mediavine is a viable option.
4. Start a mailing list
A major qualm that site owners have with affiliate revenue is unpredictability.
You could land a featured snippet on Google’s search results one month, only to see your traffic fall off a cliff the next — particularly after the release of a core update.
The best way to reduce traffic volatility and revenue fluctuations is to start a mailing list.
Instead of relying solely on new traffic coming through search results, you’ll build an audience that keeps returning for more content.
As well as boosting your recurring traffic, nurturing your mailing list presents additional opportunities to increase the profit from your affiliate sites.
Your mailing list is particularly useful for launching new affiliate offers or info products — which improve your sales revenue.
As an alternative to updating your old content, you could feature new offers on your mailing list to generate interest and purchases from existing readers.
These tactics always work best when you have a loyal and dedicated fanbase.
Lastly, you could diversify your revenue by accepting sponsorships. Brand marketers will pay to advertise in newsletters that have aligned audiences.
Regardless of your approach, a growing list of subscribers offers you the chance to generate more revenue.
5. Optimize your website
A survey by Digital.com asked 1,250 people how long they’d be willing to wait for a page to load.
The results were staggering.
Half of all respondents said they’d abandon a website if it took longer than six seconds to load.
Here’s how to get faster loading times on your website:
- Switch to a faster hosting provider instead of choosing the cheapest option
- Compress images with plugins like ShortPixel
- Eliminate unnecessary page redirects
- Install fewer plugins and delete any you’re not using
- Keep popups, form embeds, and other external script elements to a minimum
Beyond loading speed, another way to optimize your website for maximum profitability is intuitive header navigation.
If the primary function of your website is a blog, it’s a good idea to reserve the header for content categories and move the contact or about pages to the footer.
You should also ensure your website is mobile-friendly since 54% of all traffic comes from mobile devices.
Similar to a loading time of seven seconds or more, poor mobile optimization could alienate half of your site visitors.
Whenever traffic starts plateauing or even dropping, the natural reaction is to create better, longer, or more content.
While content is a key factor, on-page fixes are an equally effective way to save sites in decline.
Maximizing profitability on your affiliate website is a combination of creating content specific to your readers, choosing the best ad program for your site, retaining and growing your readership, and optimizing your site navigation.
If you follow these core principles, attaining — and maintaining — a rewarding affiliate income will happen faster than you think.
Do you have other tips to maximize profitability on an affiliate site?
Drop them in the comments below.