How to attract content publishers to my affiliate program

Affiliate Marketing

You want to attract content publishers your affiliate program – the best of the rest are masters of SEO, aka visibility. 

Remember all those keywords you agonized over in your content strategy? Imagine your products appearing on publisher sites that already rank for them, like Men’s Health or Gear Patrol.

The Content Marketing Institute describes ultra-targeted content as key for engagement — nobody honed those targets more than the top content publishers. 

Content publishers are a fantastic addition to all business owners’ affiliate programs, and a sure way to place your offerings smack in the middle of your audience’s engine search. The best part? You can stop potential customers in their tracks at all stages of the buyer’s journey.

Plus, just think of the creative possibilities. Publishers have a whole host of content types at their fingertips, itching to feature you in their latest review, answer article, comparison round-up, or thought leadership piece. 

Content publisher with a review of period underwear
Image source: Byrdie

But here’s the thing: the crème de la crème of content publishers aren’t piling on your doorstep. So, how do you charm them to join your affiliate program? 

Here at Tapfiliate, the vast majority of our successful clients have hundreds of premium publishers sharing their content daily. The secret(s)? We’ll unravel them with this article. So keep reading to roll with your favorite online publishers.

Say hello to effortless affiliate management for your affiliate program with Tapfiliate! Start your 👉 free 14-day trial and see the difference.

The secrets to attracting content publishers to your affiliate program

Optimized landing page for search engines? Check. 

Competitive commission rates? Check. 

Dedicated social media strategy? Check, again. 

Yet you still aren’t signing on your ideal content producers to your program. 


You’re offering them a dollop of honey when these bees are used to the whole pot. 

Think about it. You’re looking at content publishers who bloom on page one of Google’s SERPs with popular, fresh content. Plus, these affiliate types are regular features in your target audience’s view. Meaning? Content publishers aren’t average — so they demand more than your average package.

Google search results for best camping kettles.
Image source: Google

How can you sweeten the deal? Try out these tips:

Provide value

Content publishers might appear to be keyword experts, but they still answer to one SEO authority: Google. And Google expects them to provide magnetic content with value, always. 

If they’re the right content publishers for your affiliate program, you should share a similar target audience. 

Think about how you can provide value to your target market and highlight that value in your pitch. You should present content marketing opportunities that publishers can clearly see as delicious fodder for their audiences. 

Without that value, you’ll likely be ignored. Some questions you should answer include the following: 

  • How do your products and services help their audiences?
  • Which benefits can they reap in your affiliate program?
  • How does your program offer more value than your competitors?

Study your prospective content publisher with a fine-toothed comb. See if you could find a pain point in their current content publishing routine. Maybe it’s a few poor reviews on a recurring item, or a gap in industry-specific innovation. Whatever it is, present yourself as a solution and asset. 

Ensure your customers are happy

The best content publishers won’t feature companies with poor customer ratings. They’ll steer clear if you have one too many negative Amazon reviews or a shady TrustPilot page. 

Here are some ways to ensure customers are happy: 

  • Recognize and reward referrals and loyalty: Your customers spend their hard-earned cash to keep your business afloat. So if you notice any repeat customers or referrals, reward them with a discount or exclusive, rich content. We’re thinking of value-packed weekly newsletters over daily emails and loyalty programs with abundant perks.
  • Incentivize reviews: Maybe your customers are happy, but they aren’t talking about it enough. So persuade them to leave positive reviews with an after-purchase survey or discount on their next purchase. 
  • Up your customer service game: We know you need a break sometimes, but that’s no excuse to slack on customer service. Today’s customers expect immediate responses — make that happen with enough staffing, 24-hour windows for responses on social networks, or chatbots for self-service. 
  • Correct mistakes fast: Angry customers are more likely to leave a negative review than happy customers are likely to leave a positive one. Unfair, right? But that’s the game — beat it by addressing mistakes and dissatisfaction quickly to prevent negative word-of-mouth. 

Hopefully, you already have a solid customer base satisfied with your product and service. If not? Think of this as a chance to redeem yourself. Go on, finish your homework in the customer service department and then approach your favorite publishers. 

Assess your competitors

Your dream business publishers are already making dough with other affiliate programs. Which ones? Find out with competitor research tools like SEMRush or AHRefs. Look out for: 

  • Competitor affiliate program offerings: Check out their affiliate program landing page, commission rates, and perks for special publishers.
Landing page used by VSHRED to attract content publishers to their affiliate program.
Image source: VSHRED
  • Affiliate partners: Who’s publishing original content about your competitors? Examine each piece of content and look for ways to fill gaps and appeal to them. 
  • Customer ratings: Learn what competitor customers say about their service and products. 
  • Content marketing trends: Where do your competitors fit in the industry updates, and how can you keep up?

You might wonder if content publishers would skim over your pitch if they already work with a competitor. The answer is no. Multiple affiliate partnerships will help them reap even more rewards with multiple income streams. Think comparison blog posts — double the links mean double the commissions! 

Create relationships

Affiliate relationships can make or break your program. Maintaining professionalism and network even after you attain your dream publisher partners is vital. How? Staying accountable and ensuring your payments are timely help maintain trust and credibility. This speaks to transparency, which we’ll cover next. 

Additionally, regular communication (with value, not talking just for the sake of talking) keeps you relevant to your affiliates. Consider sharing an affiliate newsletter and checking in personally every so often. 

Strong relationships with your content publishers will help you create new ones. Once you feel connected enough, ask your existing partners for introductions to other publishers. You might coax them into an introduction over a luncheon — your treat. Or, clearly highlight in your next meeting how you think the three of you could benefit from the new introduction. 

Be transparent

If content publishers have to ask you a bunch of questions — they might not bother asking at all. Move over; they’re already after the next affiliate program! 

Transparency is king, and data is your heir to the throne. 

How can content publishers compare their commission payouts with performance? Of course, they can’t see themselves who in their audience convert to your customers. 

That’s why you have to show them. 

For example, Tapfiliate offers a personalized dashboard for every publisher to access performance data for content campaigns, sales data, and real-time reporting. Plus, our unique sign-in portal makes every new publisher feel at home with your program. 

Start tracking sales driven by content publishers with your 14-day free trial of Tapfiliate now!

Be prepared to pay for placements

You might offer a cheeky 10% commission to every affiliate partner in your program. But successful content publishers might demand a fee for both domestic placements and international placements. Why? Well, they’ve done all the legwork in solidifying their content marketing techniques, defining audience segments, crushing SEO rankings, and producing fresh content for individual readers. 

Say you’re an up-and-coming tea company. Your current affiliate package might work for alocal tea shop brand partnership, but if you want to snag that new tea franchise, you’ll have to up the ante. 

You’ll benefit from unparalleled conversions and traffic, especially from larger publications. But if placement fees aren’t your thing, bring something else to the table. Offer them a sweeter commission rate and mention your unique milestone incentives. For example, Tapfiliate offers item-based, category-based, and milestone-upgraded commissions and other flexible commission types to meet different affiliate needs. 

Work with a PR affiliate

Consider working with a PR affiliate if you’re itching to end up on the radar of larger publications. PR affiliates help you gain regular news coverage and affiliate features and add that extra sophistication to your pitches for premium publishers.

Of course, you’ll need a hefty budget — but the brand press is always worth it. That extra push will garner serious revenue and traffic. 

Dreamday landing page
Image source: Dreamday

Use social media to attract affiliates

Which content marketing channels are your favorite content creators on? Surely, they’re on Instagram or Twitter, for example. Use those social media channels to appeal to them. You might invite them to collaborate on a giveaway, or simply keep in touch with regular impressions on their digital content. Remember, you should post regularly to maintain brand awareness. The top content publishers on your radar will notice. 

This is another area where you can showcase your impeccable customer service skills. Notice any comments on your posts? Make sure you respond to each and every one accordingly. Angry customer waiting on hold? Apologize and tell them to check their inbox. Happy customer delighted with the product? Thank them for their feedback! 

Think outside the box

The content producers you crave in your affiliate program all have one thing in common: success with your audience. But you should also consider the ways they’re different. 

Personalize each offering and pitch to cater to their unique needs and quirks. 

Competitive commissions are always juicy, but what’s the cherry on top for a particular content publisher? You’ll need to liaise with them and conduct research to find out, but once you do, incorporate your findings into your pitch. 

You might consider the following: 

  • Free products for testing, reviews, or content
  • Milestone bonuses
  • Invites to unique events you might be hosting

Start attracting content publishers today

To sum it all up? Attracting content publishers requires an acknowledgment of their worth. If you want to cater to them, your persuasion depends on the following: 

  • Data transparency
  • Custom, generous commissions
  • Nurtured relationships
  • Competitor research
  • Customer excellence
  • Clear value

We can help you with personalized affiliate dashboards, flexible commissions, rich reports, and publishable assets. Ready to find buyers with premium content publishers that your customers already know and love? Sign up for Tapfiliate’s free 14-day trial today!

Chrissy Kapralos

Chrissy Kapralos

Chrissy Kapralos runs a Toronto-based writing agency called No Worries Writing Co. She’s passionate about helping businesses communicate and share their stories. When she isn’t writing about the latest tech and marketing content, you’ll find her traveling, cooking, or watching horror movies.

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