3 Things You Can Do to Beat Big Brands & Make Money as an Affiliate

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One thing that I hate hearing is that you can’t compete in the search engines with the big brands, market places and auction sites.  Not only is that a lame excuse for lazy people, but it is not one that you should ever accept or believe.  If you want to play in the search engines and beat this big guys, you can.  Think about what they cannot do and what you can do better than them.  Large companies and brands have a ton of red tape, have to get sign offs, have to be specific, have to go through a million layers of people and egos to get anything done.  You on the other hand as a small business or Affiliate only have to go through yourself or to the owner of the company and you can get things done at a much faster rate.  This opens up a huge opportunity for you.  Here are three ways that you can compete with the large companies, marketplaces, comparison engines, auction sites and other huge retailers to make money as an Affiliate or a small company.

Compete with product descriptions, on page SEO and a great user experience.

Look at the pages for products on the sites that are ranking.  If it is one of the large market places, retail sites or auction sites, there is probably next to no copy, the image names are probably bad and the on site SEO is usually horrible.  This is a huge opportunity, especially for products that have year round search volume and the pages that currently show up in the search engines don’t provide a good user experience.  The first thing to do is use the keyword planner tool from Google adwords to find variations of product terms and modifiers that can drive traffic for the product.  Next break out your product page into headers, sub headings and make sure you outline what it should look like content wise and for the layout based on the user experience you want to provide.  Now add in the descriptions, product details, add a space for people to comment or leave reviews and make sure you have social sharing available.

By creating the perfect product page with awesome copy, comparison prices or even just one store because you know it can convert, you can compete based on SEO friendliness, having more quality copy and great well-researched modifiers and keywords to pull in long tail searches.  Providing a great user experience is what Google looks for and this is where you can beat the big guys by creating pages that provide this.

You are able to list new products and take over the news feeds and search results before the larger sites can list or release products.

If you know a new product is about to launch, even though large companies will have pages for it, will submit it to market places and will compete with it, they have a lot of red tape to go through.  You on the other hand can launch whenever you want.  If you hear about a new version of a product, have the stats, images and enough to get going, you have the advantage in that you can start with articles for your site, guest posts, backlinks and take control of the rankings.  Once the product hits the market and the larger sites and stores finally launch their sites, you may already be ranking and can also hit the news streams with information first.  When journalists finally write their posts, since you already ranked and have the most detailed pages, you could potentially get links from the larger news and niche related blogs helping you secure these positions and continue to outrank the larger sites.  This is a huge advantage you have over larger sites that rely on datafeeds to update and big box retailers that have a million restrictions on launching product pages.  You probably won’t beat the manufacturer for the product if it’s Apple or Microsoft, but you can more easily beat Best Buy and marketplaces that have to wait for the new datafeeds with the products to be submitted so they can launch their dedicated pages.

Take over the social results and have a personality.

With the exception of sites like Zappos and companies like Nordstroms which people love because of their amazing customer support, you can become the authority and middleman on social media.  Pinterest and other sites are ranking extremely well for product searches and long tail terms.  If you can become an authority, create social triggers and generate enough followers and repins, you can begin to get your boards to rank instead of comparison engines and poorly optimized retailer pages.   Your board, Twitter feed or Fanpage can become an authority and because you control the content and personality, you can become the friendly face people go to before the big brands for advice and use your links to beat them and make money.

Don’t be afraid if you type a product name into a search engine and the top results are large market places and auction sites.  Look at those pages and see what they aren’t doing or what you can do better.  If it’s a large brand, you can beat them by providing a better user experience and quality pages or content.  The thing you need to remember is that even though they have a large budget, you can react a lot quicker, add better copy and you have more flexibility with design, copy and user experience.  They have to go through a million layers before they can react and you can be the first to have a presence on social sites, generate social triggers and get the backlinks to beat them to the search engines for new products, established rankings with low quality pages and when upgrades or new versions of products come out.

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3 thoughts on “3 Things You Can Do to Beat Big Brands & Make Money as an Affiliate”

  1. Love the advice, Adam. 🙂 Quick question for you – when it comes to variations on a KW phrase or long tail; what metric do you tend to look at? Is it search volume and if so, what numbers (generally) are we talking about.

    This has always been a weak point for me, I needs the help. Lol.

    Please advise.

    1. Hi Missy,

      Thanks for your comment. When trying to figure out what variations of keywords to use for modifiers I ask myself what is relevant to the section of the page. If it is about style, I go for colors, about shopping, I try things like buy or order and online, if it’s a seasonal product, I add in seasonal terms like long sleeve polo shirts for men instead of polo shirts or polo shirts for men. After that I look for the search volumes and try to guess what is missing that I might use or search for. I also try to tie in questions and answer them as those are great to get long tail and backlinks. The last thing and most important is to make sure it reads well for your audience. If it doesn’t read well or make sense, and if you keyword stuff and Google does a manual audit of your site, you could hurt yourself and lose all of the work.

      I hope this answers your question.


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