Put them smack dab in the middle of the article...
Well, I guess what I am saying is don't be shy about putting them forth to your audience, You have a greater chance of them seeing the links the farther up on the page they are.
I completely agree. Move them up, let the text go around them. Check out any article website and see how they place it. Try it out, it works for them, let it work for you.
If you put them on the (right?) side in nice tables like references or "tips", i.e. "by the way, you can get your widgets here, that's cheapest site/best deal I could find for you", it will make your articles look better and you'll make most of your visitors IMHO.
Just don't make your links look like cheesy third-party banners, and don't be shy to take all credits for finding best deals for Your Visitors.
That's a good idea Nefig. In fact, I just used it for my latest article. At the top on the left-hand side, I made a block that says "Our Pick" and gave a quick rundown of the features that made it so with a link to the merchant. Thanks.
These are all great ideas, does anyone have any more to add?
I always have a "buy now" kind of image at the very top of all article content. It's usually about 200x200pixels and always on the left or right side.
It has a picture of the product, the price, and a "buy now click here" type of text on it.
The reason is this - somebody searches for a product and they find your site in the top results. They come to your site and have no interest in reading the text, they just want a quick link to buying the product fast.
It works very well for me.
I then put a few text links throughout the article, and then usually display the buy image again right at the bottom (or a variation of it).
The affiliate links will get more click throughs and conversions if they are "in-context". By this I mean it has to be something to do with your article, something like a book about your article topic. Then you shouldn't neccasarily just link to it right off, but actually reccomend it to your visitors. Tell them real quick why it's good and really try and relate it to the messages within your article.
Whatever you do, try and make sure you don't look like you're "selling it to them". The last thing the potential buyer might need is a salesperson attitude, it could put them right off. Be their friend that is giving them a lucky tip, that way you could get a few more conversions.
Right now, since my site is so new, I'm not getting the traffic necessary for testing what works best. Once I start making sales, I'll post with a breakdown with conversion percentages for the different link presentations. Keep the suggestions coming.