Using AI for affiliate marketing is a HOT topic this year! The idea of doing affiliate with AI isn’t a new one, but the potential for it to transform your business has never been greater.
Artificial intelligence (AI) itself isn’t a new concept either – the term was first coined in 1955 by John McCarthy and has taken great strides since then! However, the very first AI tools in the affiliate marketing space, such as article spinners, were rudimentary at best, and often frowned upon by users and search engines.
In recent years, we’ve finally seen new technological breakthroughs that truly boosted the popularity of next-generation AI tools with content creators, bloggers, and digital marketers. Major examples include Dall-E and Jasper, both launched in 2021.
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But nothing has disrupted the online marketing industry as much as the rise of ChatGPT, launched on November 30, 2022, by OpenAI. This AI tool signaled a shift in old paradigms and changed how affiliates view and approach affiliate marketing.
Now, whether you are a new or experienced affiliate marketer, you might be unsure how best to use AI with affiliate marketing to improve your workflow and boost your success.
Well, in this article, I’ll cover five powerful ways you can use AI with affiliate marketing (and earn more commissions!). Here they are:
Campaign ideationCopywritingImage generation Data analysisOptimizing sales funnels
And in addition to the above, I will cover some useful AI tools for affiliate marketers, if you’re ready to take the next step in your affiliate marketing journey! Let’s get started.
The Role of AI in Affiliate Marketing
Before we get into the details, here’s a short recap of what affiliate marketing is all about. This recap is perfect if you’re new to affiliate marketing or reading the ClickBank blog.
As an affiliate, you help consumers make purchasing decisions by answering questions such as:
Is the product a good fit for my needs?What are the alternatives, and how do they compare?What are the pros and cons of the product?Where can I buy the product or find the best deal?How do I use the product?
In exchange for helping consumers by promoting products, product owners/sellers will pay you a commission on the purchase price when someone clicks your unique affiliate link and then makes a purchase.
However, creating high-quality content for affiliate marketing can take many hours of research and can be a painstaking process.
You can save valuable time by employing AI as a part of your content marketing strategy!
AI allows you to:
Streamline cumbersome tasksBe more productiveScale your content marketing strategyWork more efficientlyCreate more content in the same period
All of the above can lead to more sales. Of course, you might also choose to spend more time with your family and work fewer hours.
5 Ways to Leverage AI for Affiliate Marketing
1) AI for Campaign Ideation
AI can help you brainstorm or generate ideas and analyze patterns and trends for new campaigns.
Now you might think that idea generation is relatively straightforward. And you are right. But what might surprise you is how AI can analyze patterns and trends.
For example, I asked ChatGPT: “How can ChatGPT analyze patterns and trends?” and received the following response:
“As an AI language model, ChatGPT can analyze patterns and trends through its training data and underlying architecture.”
It continues to mention how it accomplishes this by using training data, statistical patterns, language understanding, contextual analysis, extrapolation and generalization, pattern recognition, and time-series analysis.
Furthermore, according to ChatGPT:
“It’s essential to understand that while ChatGPT is proficient at identifying patterns and trends in the text data it has been trained on, it may have limitations in recognizing patterns in other types of data, such as numerical data or visual patterns.”
Here is another example.
When I ask ChatGPT: “What are the most important affiliate marketing trends in 2023?” I get the following response:
“I can provide some general predictions and expectations based on the trajectory of the industry up until my last knowledge update.”
Some of the affiliate marketing trends, according to ChatGPT, are influencer partnerships, AI-driven analytics, personalization, voice search optimization, the rise of niche markets, video content dominance, regulatory changes and compliance, blockchain and affiliate tracking, and mobile optimization.
Some of the above points, such as the rise of niche markets, are hardly new trends and have been around for years.
Does this mean ChatGPT pulls random information verbatim from the internet to answer questions? It might, but generally, it is more complex than that.
In answer to my follow-up question: “What are the sources for the information?” ChatGPT responded as follows:
From the above response, it is clear that ChatCPT can extrapolate potential developments based on historical trends.
However, as good as AI is, consult multiple sources, and the latest expert opinions for the most current information, as suggested by ChatGPT.
2) AI for Copywriting
Copywriting is writing words that will entice your audience to perform an action you want them to perform, such as clicking on your affiliate link. It is one of the most crucial skills separating a successful affiliate from an underperforming affiliate.
Super affiliates understand how to make their audience want to act by following sound copywriting principles, such as AIDA – attract their attention, get them interested, stir up their desire, and tell them what action to perform.
Whether you use landing pages, blog posts, videos, email, or paid ads to reach your audience, if you cannot effectively convey your message and emotionally connect to your audience, you will not achieve good results.
For years many affiliate marketers, especially beginners, struggled to write good copy, resulting in low conversion rates. However, AI has made it easier for affiliates to write compelling copy. No more staring at a blank screen for hours, wondering what to write.
But having said that, AI cannot read your mind. You need to train AI tools, such as ChatGPT, on your requirements and tell them what you want.
For example, here is a simple prompt for ChatGPT: “My target audience is overweight women in their twenties. I am an affiliate marketer who promotes an effective weight loss solution. Write a Facebook ad that would appeal to my audience.”
And here is the result:
The first sentence (“Attention all wonderful ladies in their twenties!”) is not great as it does not convey the pain point and solution you are offering. And you will probably have to make some edits based on the product you are promoting. However, it is a good start and only took seconds to create!
Notice how ChatGPT even included a call to action (CTA) and hashtags for Facebook! And you can regenerate the response and add additional information to fine-tune your prompt for the best results.
NOTE: I used the free default (GPT-3.5) version of ChatGPT in the above example.
Of course, ChatGPT is only one AI tool you might want to use for copywriting purposes. Another popular tool is Jasper.ai – preferred over ChatGPT by many successful affiliate marketers.
For more detailed AI copywriting tips and advice, including how to use Jasper.ai, refer to my article Tips on AI copywriting for affiliate marketing.
3) AI for Image Generation
Few things are as cumbersome as reading a long blog post without images to break up or illustrate the text. We are visual beings, and the absence of images might make text appear boring to many people.
To overcome this challenge and keep visitors interested longer, it has become common practice to include relevant images, where appropriate, such as blog posts.
The easiest way to add images to your content is to use stock photos – there are many free and paid sites for this purpose.
As confirmed by Google and explained by Search Engine Journal:
Stock images do not hurt organic search results.Stock images may not perform well on image searches.
Google typically views stock images as descriptive. Although they might not hurt your organic search results, based on my research and experience, all else being equal, blog posts with unique images rank better in the search results.
As an affiliate, you have four options:
Use stock photos in your blog posts – not the best option but a good option if your images are highly relevant to your content.Take relevant screenshots – screenshots can help illustrate your text, making it easier to understand in the context of a screenshot. Take unique photos using your camera or phone – a good option, especially if you are reviewing a product as an affiliate and taking photos of how it looks and works (if you have the product). Use AI to generate unique and engaging images – the best option after taking unique photos using your camera or phone.
There are many free and paid AI image generators. It includes Midjourney, Runway, and DALL-E2 (from OpenAI).
However, your image is typically only as good as your prompt. And this is where many affiliates become unstuck because they do not know how to write a good prompt.
The good news is that you can use an AI tool, such as ChatGPT, to write the image prompt and then use another AI tool to generate the image.
For example, here is a simple prompt you can use in ChatGPT if you are in the home & garden niche and want to promote TedsWoodworking (listed on the ClickBank Marketplace):
“Act as a prompt generator. I will describe an image to you, and you will create a prompt for image generation. The image I want to generate is for woodworking.”
Based on the above prompt, ChatGPT generated the following image prompt:
And this is the result when I enter the prompt into Runway:
Generating the above image took less than a minute using the free GPT-3.5 version of ChatGPT and Runway’s Basic plan (free).
As you become more familiar with AI for image generation, you can create images limited only by your imagination.
4) AI for Data Analysis
Historically, data analysis typically relied on manual processes. Not only were these processes time-consuming and cumbersome, they were also prone to human errors. And turning data into actionable information that is easy to interpret and understand was often a challenge.
Today, AI uses tools like machine learning, allowing an algorithm to extract and formulate data and uncover patterns based on user needs.
Top AI tools for data analysis include Tableau and Polymer.
Tableau is an analytics and data visualization platform that does not require users to have any coding experience. By using Tableau GPT and Tableau Pulse, you can get personalized data insights to help you solve problems faster and more efficiently.
Polymer, like Tableau, does not require users to have any coding experience. It is very popular with online marketers, content creators, and affiliates. After uploading a spreadsheet, the program transforms it into a user-friendly database.
In addition, Polymer allows you to connect with Google Ads, Facebook ads, and Google Analytics 4 to generate live reports and dashboards.
5) AI for Optimizing Sales Funnels
An affiliate sales funnel is the marketing term for the journey someone goes through before buying a product you are promoting as an affiliate.
Some marketers suggest you only have to post your unique affiliate link on your website or another channel, and people will click on it and make a purchase, earning you an affiliate commission. However, it is typically not that simple!
People often do not realize they have a problem or trust you enough to make a purchase based on your recommendation. It is especially the case when they do not know you. Why should they trust you?
By building an affiliate sales funnel, you can establish a rapport with your target audience by warming them up and gaining their trust before telling them what to do – click on your affiliate click and purchase the product you are promoting.
Put it this way, if you know what you want, you will go directly to the merchant and purchase it. However, many people think they know what they want but require more information or reassurance that they are making the right decision.
As an affiliate, you can guide them in the right direction or reassure them that buying the product you are promoting is a good fit for their needs.
AI can help you achieve more conversions faster. And it does not matter whether you use paid ads or rely on organic traffic to reach your target audience.
AI can help you create a high-converting ad or text (and images) for your landing page. It can also create social media posts, YouTube content, and an email sequence.
And if you have an existing funnel that is not performing well, AI can help you optimize it and improve your conversion rates.
AI tools for affiliate marketers
The range of AI tools for affiliate marketers is increasing exponentially as many new tools are launched or under development.
If your primary motive for using AI tools is copywriting, refer to my article on the ten best AI copywriting tools for affiliates.
Here are some of the most popular AI tools for affiliate marketers:
1) ChatGPT (OpenAI) – Copywriting and ideation
ChatGPT needs no introduction. It is the most popular AI tool on the market today. Whether you want content ideas, a killer affiliate marketing headline, headings for a blog post, or a complete article, ChatGPT can help!
It has a free plan (GPT-3.5) and a paid ChatGPT Plus plan (GPT-4) – $20 monthly.
2) DALL-E2 (OpenAI) – Image generation
DALL-E2 is the sister of ChatGPT, but unlike ChatGPT, it only covers image generation.
Image pricing is very competitive – one text prompt generates four images and costs one credit. Credits cost $15 for 115. It equates to $0.13/prompt or $0.0325/image.
3) Jasper.ai – Copywriting and image generation
Jasper pulls data from several of the best AI models, including OpenAI’s GPT-4, Anthropic, and Google’s models. It then incorporates recent search data, your brand voice, and optimization tools like SEO and grammar.
Pricing starts at $49/month (billed monthly) or $39/month (billed yearly) for their entry-level Creater plan. They offer a 7-day free trial for users to test out their service.
4) Midjourney – Image generation
Midjourney is to image generation what ChatGPT is to text generation. It is one of the best image-generation AI tools on the market.
Pricing starts at $10/month (billed monthly) or $8/month (billed yearly) for their entry-level Basic plan. In exchange, you get 3.3 hours per month of fast GPU time. You can also buy extra GPU time for only $4 per hour.
NOTE: GPU stands for Graphics Processing Units that interpret and processes each prompt.
5) Runway – Image and video generation
Runway might not be as well known as Midjourney or DALL-E2. However, it is a fast-growing company that does not only do text/image to image but also text/image to video.
The company has already raised $141 million in 2023, including from Google. And it made the Time100 most influential companies 2023 list.
Runway has a limited free plan, and monthly plans start at $15/month (billed monthly) and $12/month (billed yearly).
6) Content at Scale – SEO Copywriting
Content at Scale claims they are the fastest-growing AI writing tool for SEO and delivers the most human-like content on the market, bypassing even the most stringent AI detectors.
Plans start at $250, making it the most expensive AI copywriting tool on our list. And you have to contact them to request an invite to join.
7) Originality.ai – AI content detector & plagiarism checker
Originality calls itself the most accurate AI content detector and plagiarism checker for content marketers. It is a great tool for checking how original and human-like your content is before publishing it.
They offer a pay-as-you-go plan for $30 that gives you 3,000 credits (1 credit = 100 words) and a monthly subscription plan that costs $14.95 for 2,000 credits.
AI With Affiliate Marketing Challenges
There is no doubt that AI can be a valuable weapon in the arsenal of any affiliate marketer.
However, before you start dreaming of earning large affiliate commissions with little effort, thanks to AI doing most of the work, I have to point out some challenges you may face on your journey.
Using AI to create great images and give you ideas on topics you should cover and possible headlines you could use, for example, is a good idea. But using AI to create all your content, such as blog posts, thinking you will rank well in Google organic search results might be a slippery road.
In principle, Google does not have a problem with high-quality AI-generated content.
According to Google Search guidance about AI-generated content:
“Our focus on the quality of content, rather than how content is produced, is a useful guide that has helped us deliver reliable, high-quality results to users for years.”
However, using AI tools to manipulate or gain an advantage in search results violates Google spam policies.
Google advices creators who are considering using AI-generated content as follows:
“As explained, however content is produced, those seeking success in Google Search should be looking to produce original, high-quality, people-first content demonstrating qualities E-E-A-T.
Creators can learn more about the concept of E-E-A-T on our Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content help page. In addition, we’ve updated that page with some guidance about thinking in terms of Who, How, and Why in relation to how content is produced.
Evaluating your content in this way, whether you’re using AI-generated content or not, will help you stay on course with what our systems seek to reward.”
NOTE: E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
In addition, Google expects affiliate pages to add value by offering meaningful content or features. Examples given by Google of good affiliate pages include:
Offering additional information about the priceOriginal product reviewsRigorous testing and ratingsNavigation of products or categoriesProduct comparisons
Based on the above, copying & pasting AI-generated content into your blog without editing the content and adding value might not give you the results you are hoping for.
English statesman Francis Bacon once said: “Money is a great servant but a bad master.” I would argue that the same principle applies to AI.
Spark by ClickBank + AI Boosts Affiliate Success
AI can help you to achieve better affiliate marketing results.
However, if you are new to affiliate marketing, there are many things you should learn first before using AI to amplify your affiliate marketing skills.
If you do not know or cannot apply the principles behind affiliate marketing, AI will not be of much use to you.
To assist new affiliates and help them get off to a good start, we developed Spark by ClickBank – a bundle of high-quality affiliate marketing courses created by ClickBank in partnership with our in-house marketing experts, plus other experts throughout our industry.
These courses are mostly video-based training designed to give you a head start and cover everything from copywriting to email marketing and Facebook Ads to TikTok.
When you sign up for Spark by ClickBank you will receive the following:
70+ In-Depth LessonsAccess to Our Private CommunityTraffic-Focused CoursesMonthly “What’s Working Now” InterviewsWeekly Group CoachingExclusive Access to VIP CommunityClickBank Curated Resources
The content includes courses and lessons by in-house and outside industry experts, such as:
Dominate The Inbox: Email Marketing With Ian Stanley – learn the art of storytelling and email copy that works.7-Day Challenge: Go on a 7-day journey with Ben Harris to that first sale – get an over-the-shoulder look at the exact steps Ben takes to set up a Facebook ad with a ClickBank offer.The $100/Day Formula: Trade secrets from a top-tier ClickBank affiliate – Discover Robby Blanchard’s $100/day formula.
AI Affiliate Wrap-up
Whether you need assistance with campaign ideation, copywriting, image generation, data analysis, or optimizing sales funnels, AI can help you.
And even if you do not require assistance, AI can significantly speed up the process, saving you valuable time. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, you can instead focus on managing your affiliate marketing business more efficiently and strategically.
However, AI in affiliate marketing is only one component that might save you time and help you earn more commissions. But there is much more to affiliate marketing than AI. And it can be a steep learning curve!
With 20+ years in business and more than $5 billion paid out in commissions, ClickBank is the world’s leading affiliate marketplace!
If you are serious about making money online with affiliate marketing and furthering your education, check out our affiliate education program Spark by ClickBank. It consists of in-depth online marketing training that might significantly boost your affiliate marketing efforts.