Abby Slutsky has been refining the art of including products in her articles. She hopes that this can help other writers do the same.
Given that the shopping season is upon us, many new writers and hubbers may be trying their hand at including products in their articles to take advantage of affiliate marketing opportunities. However, it can be challenging to balance promoting a product without having your article evaluated as spammy. Here is my experience together with some tips to help you create the perfect article.
The Amazon Program: My First Experience
When I first arrived on Hubpages I successfully wrote several articles that were immediately approved. Then I joined the Amazon program and attempted to include a product or two in my article. Uh oh! The spam patrol told me my article was not up to quality standards and too spammy.
Although the editors meant well, I found the complaint vague, so I wasn't sure how to fix it. I had written blogs for private clients, but I had never tried affiliate marketing before. Therefore, I was fairly certain that the complaints related to the products I was trying to market. However, identifying the problem was a far cry from fixing it.
What I Did to Learn How to Fix the Problem
Initially, I read an article about top earning hubbers. I reached out to one or two of them without success. Then I began taking looking at the 'Hub Community' area and reached out to a hubber who was active on it. Glenn Stok was kind enough to read my article and gave me my first solid tip. He suggested that I change my title to tell the reader upfront that I was going to be mentioning products.
I read a few of his articles that contain affiliate marketing, and many of them are book reviews. A reader expects to see links to the books Glenn is reviewing. More importantly though, when a title reflects what you are going to try to market, it also helps you obtain your target audience. You really do not want to try to sell a product to someone that does not have an interest in it.
Additionally, I read a few articles written by Susana S., who I have never conversed with. I browsed her articles because she was mentioned in an article as being a top earning hubber who exceled at affiliate marketing. I read her articles with an eye for determining why she excels.
She has a conversational tone that makes her assessment of products seem genuine. I also noticed that her titles clearly convey the types of products she is going to discuss. I think Susana S. also has a knack for making the reader feel that they need--as opposed to just want-- the item she mentions.
Helping Others and Editing Spammy Articles Helped Improve My Own
Since I was fortunate to have experience editing and writing, I dove right in and decided to help others when they wanted assistance passing the quality assessment. I was one of the newer hubbers to do so, but since I have been writing a long time I was able to do it. Often it is easier to pinpoint a mistake when you are looking at someone else's work. Additionally, you can review comments left by other reviewers to see their suggestions. The combination of these two things made it easier to become proficient at marketing products without being too spammy.
Some common mistakes I saw and recognized as things to avoid when marketing products were:
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- Attempts to market products that had little or nothing to do with the content of the article.
- Mentioning products without providing any personal experience with those products.
- Promoting products that were created or sold by the person writing the article.
I have seen all three problems depending on the particular article I read. Promoting your own products and writing an article that sounds like a personal advertisement seems to be the least correctable problem, and you are unlikely to pass the quality assessment doing it. Some writers even go as far as to make the name of their company the author.
My personal issues with spam fell within the range of providing insufficient personal information or being too salesy. Sharing your personal experience can include the positive and the negative of the product or tips on how to use it. Try to be honest enough to encourage your reader to trust you and value your opinion. For example, in my article about gifts for people working at home, I recommend my specialty coffee maker, but I also mention that it takes up a lot of counter space. A quick story about how a product helps you can also add a personal yet persuasive touch for encouraging readers to buy.
One Last Tip
Pay attention to the clues you receive from HubPages when you include affiliate marketing in your articles. Try to stay close to the recommended word count descriptions, and avoid recommending too many products for the length of the article.
No More Spam
Even implementing these tips, you may occasionally not pass the quality assessment because of the way you market the products you mention. Sometimes you may pass the quality assessment, but the editors may snip one or more products.
Nevertheless, once you get the hang of promoting products without being spammy, you will find that it is not that difficult.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Abby Slutsky
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on December 06, 2020:
Thanks so much for reading.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 06, 2020:
This is a good article that explains why the Hubpage police have so frequently removed an item from my articles. I seldom include a product anymore for that reason. Thank you for this article, Abby.