Link building for affiliate marketing. 

It’s not fancy. 

In fact, maybe it’s not something you considered when you decided to become an affiliate marketer. 

You dreamed of guts and glory. 

You envisioned yourself as a modern trailblazer, quitting your horrendous nine to five and sitting by the beach as you made automatic money from your blogs. 

You imagined a luxurious, worry-free life. 

But when it came to the details and nitty-gritty of affiliate marketing…

…well, let’s just say you skipped that part of “school.”

Let me tell you this. 

Successful affiliate marketing is impossible (or if not 100% impossible, at least herculean), without a workable white-hat link-building strategy. 

Sure, link building for affiliate marketing is hard. 

It’s much more than leaving spammy comments on random blog posts (in fact, this tactic is black hat and will result in no good). 

But it’s worth it. 

The good news: it’s doable. 

So if you dream of one day running a successful affiliate marketing business and sipping mojitos by the beach as you make automatic money, it’s time to learn some badass link-building strategies. 

In this blog, I’ll show you how. 

Ready?

Let’s dive right in. 

Why Is Linking Building for Affiliate Marketing Important, Anyway? 

First things first. 

Maybe you’re shaking your head right now.

“I’m an affiliate marketer,” you’re thinking. “I’m not some life coach or course creator who needs to build a strong online presence through quality content and a huge backlink profile.”

My answer to you: they’re the same thing. 

You see, a ton of affiliate marketers think there’s an ocean between affiliate marketing and other types of blog monetization. 

I don’t agree. 

Rather, I think of affiliate marketing as one way (in a pool of many) to monetize a website. 

That means the same rules that apply to coaches, course creators, and e-commerce sites…

…apply to you.

You need a steady stream of high-quality visitors if you want consistent sales. 

And the way to get them is to rank well on Google, which you can achieve partly by attracting a ton of quality backlinks. 

For example, let’s say you’ve signed up to promote dog food. 

To get visitors and buyers on your site, you’ll need to show up on Google search. 

However, landing a top 10 spot on the SERPs isn’t a piece of cake. 

Check out what Ahrefs says about how many backlinks you need to get that coveted spot. 

Link Building for Affiliate Marketing Ahrefs

Source: ahrefs.com

Yup, you’ll need 141 websites linking to you for the chance to rank on page #1 of Google. 

Sound like a lot?

It is.

But I’m not here to discourage you.

I’m here to show you why backlinks are important, and what you can do to get them. 

With time, skill, and my no-fail strategies, you can attract hundreds of quality sites to link to you. 

Before I give you the strategies you need for success, though, let’s talk about…

Ever get a comment on your blog that went like…

Link Building for Affiliate Marketing Backlink quality

Source: mentalfloss.com

If you have, I bet you scratched your head and wondered what kind of drunken, thesaurus-spouting lunatic accidentally clicked the “post” button on your blog comments. 

Here’s the thing, though.

It wasn’t an accident. 

And the person behind the garbage comment wasn’t a drunken, thesaurus-spouting lunatic. 

It was simply a lone blogger looking for a link. 

Because here’s the funny part: people would do anything to cut corners for backlinks. 

Sadly (or thankfully), it doesn’t work. 

Nor does building a ton of spammy sites and turning them into link farms for your own site.  

If you want long-term success, you need to say goodbye to spam and be willing to spend time, talent, and energy on your link-building strategies. 

Why? 

Because thousands of low-quality links will do you no good. 

Google is the ultimate spy and punisher, and even though you might win for a brief moment with your spammy tactics…

…it won’t be long before you’re penalized and banished from the coveted top SERP spots. 

That said, you need to walk a fine line between quality and quantity. 

As an affiliate marketer, you can’t afford to be a perfectionist. 

So while you should avoid spammy backlinks at all costs, it won’t hurt to accept links from low DR sites (as long as their content is high-quality and consistent with your site).

Go online, and you’ll be inundated with a ton of link-building strategies. 

Some of them will work, and some of them won’t. 

To save your time, I’ve compiled a list of proven-and-tested strategies that will work with time, patience, and persistence. 

Here are my top four.

  1. Naturally Compel People to Link to You

Know what’s funny?

How many link-building strategies are out there (especially the spammy ones).

I mean, if people wanted to link to something…they just would.

No questions asked. No payment required. No strings attached. 

The truth is, the best way to attract links is to actually have something worth linking to. 

It really is that simple.

For example, check out this post by Brian Dean that garnered backlinks from 6,699 unique domains. 

Link Building for Affiliate Marketing

Source: ahrefs.com

Curious to know what the post that gained nearly seven thousand backlinks in less than two months is like?

Let me tell you one thing about it: it’s not a useless, spammy post. 

In fact, here is it in the flesh:

Link Building for Affiliate Marketing Google's 200 Ranking Factors

Source: backlinko.com

If you check it out, you won’t see thin content that accidentally got thousands of backlinks through voodoo or secret get-rich-quick tactics. 

Instead, you’ll see a 6,000-word blog focused on helping SEOs rank better in the SERPs. 

In other words, it’s a thoroughly helpful, comprehensive, high-quality post. 

It’s the best post on this topic you can find.

See where I’m going with this?

In the end, you can trick and lie and spam your way to the top of Google for a few days. 

But to get real, lasting, quality backlinks, you need 10x content that will blow people away and compel them to link. 

That said, you can’t simply pick a random topic, write 10x content around it, and expect it to generate thousands of backlinks. 

You can’t write about that time your dog made friends with your neighbor’s cat, sit back, and wait for your coveted links to start pouring in.

What you need to do instead: publish the types of posts that are known to be backlink magnets. 

(Heads up: these aren’t product comparisons or product reviews either.)

Here’s a list of content types that generate tons of backlinks:

  • Long-form information. Like Brian Dean’s 6,000-word blog I mentioned above, these posts are comprehensive and take readers from Point A to Point B in their journey (whether that’s learning how to do SEO or grow white strawberries in their backyard). Remember, you need to spark a change in your audience’s lives by the time they finish reading these posts. 
  • Statistic roundups. There’s nothing like a stat or fact to sway people’s opinion. That’s why linking to a blog post packed with current stats is so popular. If you don’t have the resources for in-depth research, you can simply write a statistic roundup, compiling research done by other people. Here’s an awesome example of a statistic roundup blog: 
10 Email Marketing Statistics

Source: oberlo.com

  • Free downloadable resources. These are similar to long-form content, but they offer the added benefit of building your email list. To create these resources, research your audience’s pain points and build short ebooks, cheat sheets, and resources to help them. Ask for their email addresses in exchange for these free downloads. Trust me, if your resources are spectacular, you’ll find yourself attracting a ton of backlink love. 
  1. Reject the Idea of a Shady Site 

Read “best SEO practice” blogs and you’ll come upon the same advice again and again.

“Quality content trumps site design.”

And it’s true.

Quality content, easy site navigation, and fast loading speed should all be at the top of your priorities list if you want your audience to stay. 

But that doesn’t mean your site can look like this:

Link Building for Affiliate Marketing GatesnFences

Source: gatesnfences.com

Nope!

Publish a site like this, and your visitors will run for the hills. 

They won’t stay to read a single word, much less drop you a backlink.

Why?

Because sites like these scream SPAM.

And when people don’t trust you, there’s no way they’ll link to you. 

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind if you don’t want your visitors to click the back button like it’ll save their lives is to build trust with a credible, trustworthy-looking site. 

That’s because 94% of first impressions relate to your site’s design, and 75% of credibility comes from design. 

This doesn’t mean you need an overly-fancy site.

In fact, the opposite is true.

What you need is a clean, professional-looking, easy-to-navigate site. 

This kind of site builds trust and encourages visitors to stay longer. 

Here’s a great example to be inspired by: 

Nerdwallet

Source: nerdwallet.com

  1. Set Out on a Backlink Outreach Journey

Here’s the biggest lie you’ll ever hear in the online world:

“If you build it, they will come.”

While this line may have worked for Kevin Costner’s character in the hit movie Field of Dreams, it won’t work for you. 

Sure, you should spend time building a trustworthy website and publishing quality content. 

Without that essential combo, none of the best link-building strategies will ever work.

But here’s the thing.

They’re not enough to get you thousands of backlinks and propel you to the top of the SERPs.

To achieve this goal, you need to have a link-building outreach strategy.

I know, it sounds scary. 

But it doesn’t have to be. 

Here are three outreach tactics you can use to get those backlinks piling up.

  1. Share Newly Published Posts with Influencers 

Social media is a huge platform with 4.48 billion users.

Backlinko site

Source: backlinko.com

That said, you might not have thousands or even hundreds of followers to share your posts with.

Want a better idea for getting your content to a wider audience?

Ask influencers to share it. 

Now, I know, you’re shivering in your shoes just knowing you’ll be kept in the “seen zone” by these popular guys.

But that’s not always true. 

Check out these three tips for increasing the possibility that influencers will share your post:

  • Mention the influencer in your post, with a link to their site.
  • Add a quote from the influencer. 
  • Mention the products or services the influencer is selling, plus a little heartfelt praise.

Of course, not everyone will get back to you.

But the ones who do will be worth it.  

  1. Take Advantage of Broken Links

Here’s a truth you can use to your advantage in your link-building strategy:

Everyone hates broken links. 

This is true of you, and this is true of other site owners. 

Which means, if you reach out to a site owner and tell them one of their links is broken, they’ll perk up.

If you tell them you have a similar article they can replace the broken link with, they’ll thank you. 

The good news is, finding broken links is super easy when you have a comprehensive SEO tool like Ahrefs

All you need to do is type in the domain of a site you want to link to you.

Then, click “broken links” in the “outgoing links” section. 

Link Building for Affiliate Marketing Ahrefs tool

Source: ahrefs.com

When you do, you’ll get a list of all the broken links within the domain.

You can then reach out to the site owner, tell them the links are broken, and suggest they link to a similar post that you’ve written.

The truth is, not everyone will respond to you.

This is especially so if you’re a new and unknown blogger.

But if you stick to this strategy while growing your site’s credibility, you’ll start to see real results. 

  1. Win with Infographics 

Infographics bring life to a dull wall of unending text.

They drive points home and seal facts into people’s memory. 

Check out this example and try envisioning this funnel without the infographic’s help: 

Link Building for Affiliate Marketing Email marketing funnel

Source: venngage.com 

Here’s the caveat, though: they’re not easy to create. 

If you don’t know how to make them yourself, you can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to hire a professional to do it for you. 

That sounds bad, but it actually makes infographics even more special.

Because what if site owners didn’t have to make them? What if they could just snap a screenshot, give credits, and use the infographic on their blog?

Great thinking. 

You can use this to your advantage. 

With basic designer skills, you can create attractive infographics to distribute to site owners. 

All you’ll ask in return is credits, with a link back to your site. 

  1. Write Quality Content for Your Competitors 

Guest posting. 

It’s a conotroversial practice with a shady history. 

You see, back in the dark ages of SEO, tricksters used this tactic to cheat their way into the top of the SERPs.

What they did was pay for a guest post, then embed a ton of links back to their site. 

Now, if you plan to gain backlinks through this doubtful guestposting strategy, you should stop right now.

That’s because black hat guest posting is dead, and you’ll most likely be wasting your time planting nofollow backlinks into a low-quality paid guest blog. 

Here’s what SEO expert Matt Cuts said about it way back in 2014:

Blogging for SEO

Source: mattcutts.com 

This doesn’t mean, however, that you should never guest post. 

You can (and should) still do it, especially if your aim is to add value and improve the lives of the audience on someone else’s blog. 

And if you write a spectacular post that goes viral, you’ll attract a ton of eyes to your own site, which will in turn convert visitors into loyal fans.

In the end, you’ll get a domino effect that leads to huge success. 

I know, link building for affiliate marketing wasn’t something you planned to do initially. 

What you wanted when you started on your journey was to quit the job you hated and chill by the beach with a cocktail in your hand.

So when you heard you needed a link building strategy, your brain went into overdrive. 

“Is affiliate marketing really that difficult?” 

“How the heck can I compel people to link to my content? I mean, hundreds of backlinks before I even have the chance to rank for my chosen keywords?”

If this is you, I understand.

But don’t worry.

Link building for affiliate marketing isn’t as scary as it sounds.

All you need is a gameplan.

So start today. Go back through this blog and make a list of my proven affiliate marketing link buildinmg strategies. Make a schedule for yourself. Take the first step. Improve that site. Write better content. Reach out to influencers. 

With patience and persistence, you’ll be on your way to stellar success.

Image credits:

All screenshots taken by the author, October 2021.