Most people write undifferentiated, “beige” content without any strong value judgments – and it doesn’t convert.
Everything’s a “great choice”, but nothing actually triggers action and makes them buy.
Why? Because no one particular option stands out and makes them feel confident enough to get their credit card out – all you’ve done is give them decision paralysis.
I’ll explain how to brainstorm affiliate content that converts in this article.
This is the Movie Casting method of writing affiliate content, which I recommend you use to pick which products to include in your buyer’s guides.
What is the Movie Casting method for picking affiliate products?
The Movie Casting method for picking affiliate products is where you choose the products you’ll cover in your “Best X” buyer’s guide by treating them like characters in a movie.
Keep this front and center: This requires understanding the different audience segments who are searching for your keywords.
Once you understand your segments, and the types of readers who are coming to the page, you should pick the products to best fit these profiles.
And how do you do this?
Treat it like a movie casting.
The Movie Casting Process
Here’s how you cast your movie:
Protagonist: The Main Character & “Top Pick Overall”
Your best pick overall is the protagonist product. This is the main character, and the product you recommend most.
If you’ve really tested your products, you’ll know which is the best overall. Your main goal is to make sales of this product, and if it isn’t your best seller on the page, then you haven’t picked right.
And then, your remaining characters perform supporting roles and form the collective cast.
The Supporting Roles
The supporting characters are not the “best overall” – that’s your protagonist – but they are the best at one particular use case, or for one particular audience segment.
Think of them like the Power Rangers, one has super strength, telekenisis, the ability to communicate with aninals, etc.
It’s your job to identify each segment, or use case, for people comig to this page, and present these as the solution to that problem.
Remember, not all affiliate articles will feature these segments, and you should analyze your exact audience visiting this page.
For example, an article on the “best heavy-duty carpet cleaners” is unlikely to have a “best for beginners” segment.
Here are just a couple of supporting characters that may make up your cast:
“Top budget pick”:
This supporting character appeals to readers who are concerned most with saving money, but still want something good quality and reliable.
You help solve this major pain point here by picking a reliable yet cheap product that gives them confidence that they won’t have to pay twice when it breaks in a few uses.
The mindset is risk avoidance. Use this messaging in the selling. Ease their worries.
This segment appeals to people with money, and to people who want you to know they have money.
It’s half utility, half ego. Well… maybe like 80% ego.
By highlighting this segment, you let people who self-identify as rich indulge themselves – and the higher-ticket, the higher your commission.
It’s also good for two things:
- Extracting the most money possible from people with a large budget
- Having a very expensive item in your top picks anchors the price upwards, making your other options look relatively cheap in comparison
How to pick your protagonist and antagonist products
Each of your chosen products needs to be the clear best for a type of use, or type of self-identification. If you then cover every audience segment who comes to your page, in theory then you’ll harvest 100% of sales.
This is the key: if you do not trigger wild confidence in one particular option, you will not create a buying decision – especially with higher-ticket offers.
If you really do hands-on testing, then you’ll know at least some of these already. Your top product overall is the one you’re pushing the hardest in this article, so this should be simple to understand, and why it’s the best.
If you can’t figure out which your top recommendation is, then you’re probably not going to make it in affiliate marketing.
Another key rule:
You should only pick as many products to recommend, as there are unique reader segments that are searching for the page.
These segments can either be the best product for a certain type of use based on a use case or a spec, or a certain type of user self-identification. For types of use, use the dynamically important specs you identified using the principles of Dynamic Spec Relativity.
Examples of types of use:
- Best fast vacuum (spec, speed)
- Lightweight pick (spec, weight)
- Best for bathrooms (use-case, bathrooms)
Examples of types of user self-identification:
- Best for beginners (for newer users)
- Best budget pick (for those on a budget)
- Premium pick (for those who seek status)
This is the more difficult part – it requires actually knowing your audience well, to know what types of readers are visiting this page.
How to find the segments to cast your movie
If you really test all the products and are a true expert in your niche, you’ll probably know all the segments that visit each buyer’s guide page, and which products to present them.
But, there are some effective ways you can learn more if you’re not an expert:
1. Amazon reviews
Amazon reviews are great, not just because you get real buying experiences (though many reviews are fake, so focus on 3 and 4 star reviews most), but also because you can filter based on keywords Amazon’s algorithm feels are important.
For example, here’s some from a graphics card product:
You can zoom into any particular keywords you feel are important. For example, “price point” will let you know what budget-conscious people feel, and if this comes up here, it probably means there’s a “budget” segment to cater to.
Reddit is a goldmine for audience segments and pain points, because it’s one of the least biased places.
Just search site:reddit.com “keyword” and you’ll find discussions on which product is best, but more importantly, why they opted for it.
Assume you read a Reddit comment that says the following about a product in your niche:
“I wanted to be able to achieve X, and I saw it was only $500, but when I got it, it couldn’t even achieve Y task!”.
That’s a goldmine sentence. From this, you can glean:
- What they wanted to be able to – the use case
- A price is mentioned, so perhaps a “best under $500” segment is appropriate
- People who want to do X on the surface level, on a lower, less conscious level, also want to achieve Y. You can use this in your copy to trigger action based on this lower-level subconscious burning desire.
YouTube is the best source of product review information. Often written blogs just regurgitate each other, but YouTubers actually have the product and give you their results from actually testing it.
Infer the reviewer’s motivation for buying the product (this is the buyer segment), as well as how they speak to the audience watching.
How they speak to the audience shows who they think the buyers are, as they’re also trying to sell you the product via an affiliate link.
This is basically a worse version of Reddit, as for product / affiliate queries it’s much spammier, more biased, and less comprehensive. But if you use it in the same way as Reddit, it can sometimes add to your knowledge and surface new segments.
5. Niche-specific forums and Facebook groups
If they exist, these are often the best option for finding segments. Experts and hobbyists hang out in these forums, for example for crypto mining, house cleaning, or affiliate marketing.
They feel a duty of honesty to their community, so you’ll get in-depth discussions from people really trying to help you find the best product for you. Use these answers and discussions to identify what type of person each product is best for.