Back when I was far too concerned with being a “serious marketer” who only sold their own products, I’d often think less of affiliate marketers.
In my mind, affiliate marketers were all ClickBank scam marketers who had little to offer other than BS clickbait pieces.
Sure, there were serious marketers like Pat Flynn who I respected. But, the idea of turning my business into little more than a promotional platform for the brand with the highest referral fee felt… dirty.
As time has passed I’ve seen the error in this.
Yes, there are a lot of scam merchants when it comes to affiliate marketing. However, there are some absolutely incredible marketers who are running big businesses promoting affiliate offers.
They’re people who have mastered a particular channel and use it to generate revenue on demand.
In fact, there are plenty of 7 and 8 figure brands out there that are almost entirely affiliate marketing brands.
These brands are experts at growing an audience on a specific topic.
They grow that audience, and then sell access to it on a performance basis.
And in my experience, a lot of businesses out there fail at the early stages because they’re unable to generate a relevant audience.
So, I thought it a good idea to look into one of the new superstars of affiliate marketing.
Someone who built a ~$60,000 / month business through affiliate offers which he then upscaled to 8-figures with the addition of his own products.
The superstar – Adam Enfroy.
He managed to grow a brand new website from nothing to 8-figure revenues in just 2 years.
And it’s one hell of a business he’s built.
If you’ve got a brand that needs an audience (true for every business) and you’re struggling to attract more readers, this is for you.
You can use these learnings to grow your own audience, promote affiliate offers, or succeed at both.
Whatever your business model or goal, you’ll learn a little something about attracting high-intent traffic to your site. Which is worth one hell of a lot of cash.
Who is Adam Enfroy?
Adam Enfroy owns AdamEnfroy.com.
A site dedicated to helping people make more money through their online businesses, specifically through blogging for affiliate offers.
The short version here is that he teaches people how to get content to rank on Google.
But more specifically, how to get high-purchase-intent content to rank. Which means that his site should be the last site high-intent customers see before they go ahead with their purchase.
And as his site is the one that redirects them, he gets the affiliate commission.
It’s pretty standard affiliate marketing practice.
But Adam does it so much better than others in the space.
And that might be because of his accomplished experience in SEO.
Immediately before setting up AdamEnfroy.com, Adam worked in the affiliate and then digital marketing team at Big Commerce.
BigCommerce has a great SEO approach. I’ve written for them and seen the piece go straight to #1 on Google for a very competitive seed search term.
Adam has the benefit of working in brands with a very monetisation focused approach to content.
And he brings that to his own site.
It’s obviously working very well for Adam. SimilarWeb puts his monthly traffic at just under 450,000 people. And the vast majority of it comes from search results.
Before I get onto how he does it, let’s look at why this is such a great opportunity.
The readily available affiliate marketing opportunity
I’ve covered this in detail in our Noom piece.
But that was from the side of the brand, here I want to offer a very brief view of it from the side of the creator.
As a brand, you are judged with a great deal of scepticism from customers.
You could come out and say “we are the best at [SERVICE]”. You could be telling the objective truth and have the awards to back it up.
But the customer isn’t going to believe you. You have a vested interest, and so your claims are of course going to be viewed with a healthy deal of scepticism.
And much like we mentioned in the Noom piece – a lot of brands don’t rank on page one for relevant BoFu search terms.
Here’s the image from the Noom study of the page 1 results for a branded Google search – “Noom Pricing”.
It’s a BoFu search as people looking for pricing are considering pulling the trigger.
And Noom only has one article on page 1. The rest are affiliate reviews.
From a brand perspective, it shows you’re better off using affiliates to “review” your service for BoFu searches. You should view these affiliates almost as an outsourced marketing and sales department.
But from a creator perspective, it shows there’s a lot of cash to be grabbed from targeting BoFu searches for big tools and services.
If you can dial into BoFu search terms, it’s easy to create content with a chance of ranking for high-purchase-intent customers.
Big brands know this.
And they know that paying these affiliates a healthy commission to mention them as an “impartial third party” is an easy way to push people over the edge and sign up.
In short, there’s a huge opportunity here for any brand.
What if you don’t want to promote affiliate offers?
What if you’re a brand yourself who uses affiliate marketers to generate traffic and leads?
For example, you’re a landing page service and get included in the “best landing page builder” roundup posts.
By writing one yourself you’re not only promoting your competition, but you’re diluting the search traffic that goes to third-party reviews that carry more weight.
It’s not an issue.
All you do is switch the focus.
These BoFu searches are super high-intent. Your job as a service or tool provider is to target other BoFu searches that are aligned with your offer.
- A landing page service might promote email services because leads without the ability to send a follow-up is useless
- A growth marketing consultant who sells their advice could “review” growth marketing tools. The tool itself is useless without the knowledge on how to get the most from it
- A coffee roaster might produce articles on the best grinders, coffee presses and other physical goods
In all of the above, the person searching for the second service/product needs the primary offer to get the most from it.
As a provider of a service or tool, you simply target the next or previous level in the customer journey.
This not only brings you relevant traffic and leads, but also helps you create a little brand awareness and trust for your own offers.
Affiliate marketing is less about selling someone else’s product.
It’s about generating traffic and trust simultaneously.
But by including relevant affiliate links, you can offset the cost of getting these articles up and running and pay yourself for generating relevant traffic, leads, and pixel data for retargeting your own products.
It’s like a tripwire product for organic SEO.
Adam Enfory’s Affiliate Content Targeting
Here’s where things get interesting.
A lot of marketers try to copy the SEO approach of brands like HubSpot. They see these brands building huge content hubs like the below.
And what people often do is build this content hub around multiple ToFu searches. If I were to do this on Copywriting, that would be article topics like…
- What is copywriting
- What does a copywriter do?
- Types of copywriting
People are searching for an answer and I could provide it to them with a simple article.
But the purchase intent of these pieces is as low as can be.
People searching around topics like the above are at the very beginning of their journey into becoming a copywriter.
The time it would take for them to become a paying customer of my copywriting course would be – at the minimum – months.
And that’s fine if you’re a brand on HubSpot’s level for 2 reasons.
First, you have almost limitless resources. You can pay editorial staff to churn out this content, run ads to get attention, and have a full sales team to close the sale when the user is ready.
Also, the value of each new customer is a very large engagement. And so you’re still able to cover those costs – even if it takes a very long time.
As a smaller business that’s in the throes of a battle with growth, often working on extremely tight margins and timelines, targeting ToFu simply doesn’t work well.
Even if you’re doing all of your content creation yourself, you have bills to pay – both for your business and personal life.
Waiting months to land a single new client simply isn’t feasible and will bankrupt you before you’ve made your first dollar.
Most brands fall somewhere in between these two. But the point stands. Quick revenue is the goal for many smaller brands.
What you need to look at is the payback period.
You need to look at how much it costs for you to set up an acquisition strategy, and then how long it takes you to cover the costs with your new customers.
For large brands with lots of cash reserves, the payback period can be stretched out. However, it comes out in the wash as the engagements are larger.
Smaller brands need a smaller payback period to stay afloat.
What Adam has done with his site is create an inbuilt short payback period. And he’s done it by targeting BoFu searches.
Adam’s 2 primary article types
Adam generally only focuses on BoFu searches. However, it’s interesting that he generally only uses 2 kinds of article focus.
He’s not building huge content hubs á la HubSpot. He’s focusing on the searches people make right before they make a decision to buy.
Take the software articles he has on his site.
Most are simple listicles that focus on the keyword people would be searching for. For example…
- “CRM Software”
- Knowledge Management Software
- Risk management software
He’s comparing the X best of each kind of software.
Basically, he’s targeting BoFu customers with BoFu searches. Then giving them the last piece of information they need to make an informed decision.
What Adam is betting on is the user clicking on the link in his breakdown of tools to then buy. Meaning he gets the commission.
He’s basically making himself their last point of contact before pulling out their card.
In addition to these listicles and product reviews, Adam also publishes a lot of “How To” pieces.
Again, these are lower in the funnel.
The people these articles appeal to don’t need to be educated on the actual industry or action. They already know what it’s all about.
They’ve made their decision that this is the solution they need to action. But they don’t know how to do it.
And so, Adam simply provides the step-by-step action to help them along.
These articles build more trust, however, they’re still full of affiliate links in relevant places.
As in this piece on choosing a blog niche, Adam drops affiliate links to relevant tools like SemRush.
In both of the above article types, Adam doesn’t need to do anything to convince the user that this is the right path for them to take.
In both cases, the reader already knows…
- The kind of tool they need
- That they want to start an online business of X type
They just need help with the final step to understand…
- Which tool is the right one for their needs
- An easy to follow guide to get their new venture off the ground
They’re right at the end of the stages of awareness and almost ready to buy.
If we’re looking at the stages of awareness, you could say that…
- Listicles and product reviews come right at the end of the stages of awareness
- How-to guides come slightly before them
Adam hasn’t missed a trick here and has linked them together whenever possible to create his own mini content hubs.
These hubs are, as you’d expect, focused on BoFu terms. But by linking them together, he’s sharing the SEO juice he gets from his backlinks across the whole cluster. Which means they should all rank higher as time goes by.
And because his whole site is focused on one topic – building a highly profitable blog – he can link all articles together in some way.
It’s the benefit of having a tight niche focus as discussed in the Ahrefs Study.
This piece on scaling your influence….
…links directly to his blogging guide. Which in turn links to an affiliate page for BlueHost.
You’ll find this all over Adam’s site. From my own clicking around, it appears as though you’re never more than 3 clicks away from an affiliate or product promo.
It’s great for 2 reasons.
First, it means that all of these articles on similar topics share SEO juice and establish Adam as an authority in the industry.
Second, there’s a natural funnel. All content targets people with high purchase intent. However, even the pieces higher up in the funnel will naturally direct people to an affiliate or owned product offer within 3 clicks.
Whether the 3-clicks is by design or not I’m unsure. But it’s a great addition and booster to his success.
Adam Enfroy’s Content Templates
Whenever I look at someone who’s doing content marketing well, they almost always work to very well defined templates.
Adam’s listicle template
Listicles make up a huge portion of the articles on Adam’s site.
And, generally speaking, they follow a set template.
Adam always leads with an introduction that uses a few of the key terms he’s trying to rank for. In addition, he’ll often drop a few stats to either…
- Explain the pain point
- Highlight the benefit
- Help create a story
All of which works to create an SEO optimised lead which doesn’t feel too over produced for search bots.
From his piece on Landing Pages, you can see this below.
With the intro out of the way, Adam gets straight into the meat of the post.
The primary section leads with an H2 of a key question people will ask around the product.
Then, he leads with the first recommendation’s name as an H3, immediately followed by a short descriptive sentence about it.
Following that is an image.
The recommendation’s name is not only an H3, but also the first place he puts an affiliate link to their sales page.
The differentiator sentences are usually there to help people decide if this service is the best for them. Often it’s something along the lines of…
- Summary of intended use
- Summary of pricing
- Summary of ideal user
After the image, Adam offers a short soft promo description of the product before offering some form of comparison to help people make a decision.
In this description, he adds another affiliate link.
This usually takes the form of…
- A pro and con list
- A summary of key features
- A quick explanation of the pricing
And at the end of each entry is a CTA asking people to check out the service itself. When possible, Adam mentions the sign up bonus they’d get for using his link as seen here.
He then simply repeats that for all of the entries.
That’s where most people would end their list. They’d let the list speak for itself and be done with it. Adam goes one step further though.
Once the list is out of the way he puts a lot of information in these pieces to explain the higher level breakdown of the kind of product being compared.
For example, in the landing page he adds sections with titles like…
- “What is a landing page builder?”
- “What to look for in a good landing page builder”
It’s smart because it consolidates the piece for more relevant SEO search terms that are higher in the funnel.
However, it doesn’t bore BoFu searches by hiding the promotions right at the end of the piece.
He leads with the high-intent stuff and finishes with lower intent information.
It feels backwards because, from a standpoint of logical explanation, it is. However, it makes far more sense when optimising for intent.
Adam’s how-to template
How-to articles are slightly higher in the customer journey and stages of awareness.
However, they still have relatively high intent.
Adam uses these to build trust while also promoting products or pushing people towards his listicle articles.
Generally speaking, these articles are less about promotion and more about a process.
They are very long-form step-by-step guides t accomplishing something on your own.
I’m going to be using the “Start a Blog” piece he’s created for this.
These pieces open in much the same way as the listicles. A basic intro which includes some key search terms.
These intros are short and sweet.
With that out of the way, you get an overview which is the entire flow of the article.
Adam then follows this outline to present a step-by-step method to achieving the goal in the headline.
However, where possible and relevant, Adam never misses a chance to promote an affiliate offer.
Or if that’s not possible, link to one of his listicle articles that has affiliate links.
Again, Adam ends the article with the generic, higher funnel questions like “What is a blog”.
I believe he’s doing this so he still has a chance to rank, but doesn’t bury the conversion-focused content below high-level information those most likely to convert already know.
It’s an unusual approach to content. To put higher converting elements at the top and end with low-intent but high-level information.
However, with Adam’s approach to BoFu intent focused content, it makes complete sense.
Focusing on BoFu content and using tried-and-tested templates is a great way to create useful, high-intent content.
But it’s not enough to ensure you get seen by the right people.
Google isn’t just going to rank you because your content is good. There are a lot of people with good content.
Adam knows this and has built a large network of high-value backlinks.
In fact, he has over 522K backlinks, which is incredibly impressive when you consider how long his site has been in operation.
I decided to take a look at some of the backlinks he’s achieved to see if I could figure it out.
Target high domain sites
The first thing I noticed – which won’t surprise anyone – is that a lot of Adam’s backlinks are from high domain sites.
After all, a link back from a site with a DA of 70+ is worth far more than 10 from sites with DA of 15.
Adam has a lot of heavy hitter sites that link back ot him. We’re talking brands like…
- BigCommerce (nice to have connections with a high DA site)
And again, the vast majority of these links are DoFollow links so their SEO impact is passed on.
Spending time for backlinks
Running through a lot of his links, there seems to be a pattern hat emerges.
The links from a few years back all seem to be from guest posting.
Take this piece from Crazy Egg which, according to Moz, has a DA of 84.
Also, this piece from ClickMeeting with a DA of 68.
As you’d expect, these articles come with an author byline that links back to his main home page.
However, within the piece Adam will drop a handful of relevant links back to his own BoFu articles. Like this one in that Crazy Egg piece.
He uses anchor text that’s the same as the keyword he’s targeting for better relevance in Google’s eyes.
He’s basically using high-DA guest spots to farm his own links.
Not exactly a new idea. But he’s done it with far more focus than many others, in short he…
- Makes sure the anchor text is related to the keyword he wants to rank for
- Links back to a specific BoFu piece that has conversion intent for the affiliate promotion
Thus he’s more likely to get those articles ranking on Google for high intent keyword.
There are no basic links back to his home page except in the author bio.
And there’s something else I noticed here…
Using guest posts to build a network
When you get accepted for a guest post on a high DA site, you often have a week or two to churn out the piece of content.
It looks to me like Adam is using that time to negotiate links with others in the space.
Take that Crazy Egg piece once again as an example.
Adam links back to Ryan Robinson with a link that would be perfect for Adam himself – “how to start a blog”.
A little odd to link to a direct competitor.
But not if the purpose is to build a relationship in order to secure another backlink.
It looks like a lot of the other people Adam links to in these guest posts also end up featuring him on their own sites.
In effect, Adam works to secure one guest post on one high DA website. However, thanks to leveraging that spot, he ends up getting multiple links back from 2+ different DA sites.
It’s a genius method of getting maximum backlinks from as many places as possible without having to do the time-consuming outreach work again and again.
Especially because it circumvents the primary rule you’ll find when guest posting.
A lot of sites will only allow you to add one or two links back to your own property. Buyt with this method, Adam can use one article to generate several new backlinks to his site.
I believe that this is one of the primary reasons Adam has been so successful in building a high DA site.
Like most successful business owners, he’s been very smart about milking every last drop of value from individual actions.
The results compound to get 10X gains from 1X acts.
The order you’d need to do this in to copy Adam’s approach
Adam, now, has a very complex machine up and running.
And it’s hard to see how he started out as all of the articles have been updated at least once.
However, if I were to replicate Adam’s method I would focus on that time to pay back.
For example, If I paid a content writer $250 per article, I’d want to focus on getting that back as quickly as possible.
So, I would have them build out a handful of BoFu articles that…
- Are product reviews
- Are target at the point right before the user takes a purchase action
- Promote affiliate offers or products with a high-profit margin
Once I have a small cluster of around 4 articles that are of high quality and have the right promotional elements, I would work on getting a handful of backlinks for them.
In addition, I would add a decent content promotion system into the mix to drive short term traffic.
Then, repeat the process with the next cluster of articles.
By focusing on BoFu searches and working to get early traction that time for payback is massively reduced. Which in turn makes this a potential self-funding project in next to no time.
From there, I would work backwards up the customer journey to then attract MoFu users, then Tofu.
With the BoFu conversion elements in place, each new stage added into the mix should simply supercharge the results from the next level down.
The full Adam Enfroy growth Model
Adam’s built an incredibly effective SEO and affiliate promotion machine.
If we pull it all together, it looks a little something like this.
Here’s how it breaks down.
- Identify high-intent BoFu searches that have relevant high-commission affiliate programs
- Produce listicle reviews and how-to articles around those promotions
- Get a guest post on a high-DA website for the backlink
- Leverage that guest post into multiple other backlinks
- Link how-to and listicle articles into mini-hubs
- Add relevant links to the affiliate’s sales page
- Collect your commissions
Laid out like this, it seems awfully simple. But there are a lot of moving parts to this.
Managing the content team is the least of the worries when you also have to…
- Ensure each piece is optimised for SEO
- Secure relevant guest post opportunities
- Leverage those guest post opportunities into multiple other backlinks
- Ensure that all affiliate programs are up to date and links are working well
- Identifying the best possible keywords to target
It’s anything but simple.
But if you can put in the time, the rewards are pretty spectacular. And that’s whether or not you’re running affiliate offers or trying top get people into your own product sales funnel.
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