Choosing An Affiliate Program
Before you can begin your Affiliate marketing venture, you need to choose a suitable program or programs for your niche. There are almost as many programs out there as there are products. When you first start out, it's easy to go overboard signing up to as many programs as possible, "but this isn't the right way to go about it".
First, you need to decide on a area of particular interest to you – your niche.
Your next job is to decide the sort of products to promote to meet the needs of that niche – your research will help here. Ideally you should choose a product/niche you know the most about, or can learn about very quickly.
Once you identify your specialty, you should begin by sorting through the available Merchant offerings in your niche and examine the structure of their Affiliate programs.
The key areas to investigate are:
1. When And How Do You Get Paid?
Find out whether the program pays you weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, etc.
Most programs have a minimum pay out amount, meaning that you don't receive your commissions until you hit a minimum number of sales for the pay period.
You'll should also find out whether the programs pay you via check, direct deposit, Pay Pal or any combination of the three.
2. How Much Do You Make Per Sale?
Remember you'll be investing your own money in advertising and other expenses to promote these programs, so you need to make sure that the programs you pick reward their Affiliates well.
You'll also want to seek out high-value products. A number of Digital products sold on ClickBank offer commissions as high as 75%, but when you promote physical products from say Amazon you will find the commissions a lot lower, so you should choose high value products to promote as your main focus.
3. Is The Program Managed Well By A Reputable Company?
Larger companies usually have "Affiliate managers" devoted to maintaining contact with their Affiliates. Even if you go with a smaller outfit, they should at least offer clear contact information. You might want to try emailing them at their contact address to see how fast they respond to you.
Mismanaged programs are, at best, a sign of dis-organization and, at worst, could indicate a company in trouble. The last thing you want is to be sitting on a grand worth of hard earned commissions and see the Merchant go out of business before paying you.
Keeping these factors in mind, here are some great places to seek out products you can promote:
- ClickBank: The leading source online for Affiliates of information products like e-books, software and membership sites.
- Amazon USA: Choose from over a millions of products, both digital and physical, to promote and earn from - you can even earn from qualifying purchases for products you don't advertise/promote.
- Amazon UK: Description as above.
- CJ Affiliate by Conversant: Top affiliate network for major brand corporations and mid-sized businesses. Their focus is generally on tangible products and services.
- Rakuten Affiliate Network: Like CJ Affiliate above, major brand corporations and mid-sized businesses. Their focus is generally on tangible products and services.
- Shareasale: A large network of quality merchant sites for both tangible goods and services.
- Affiliate Window USA: An award-winning performance marketing network of quality merchant sites for both tangible goods and services.
- Affiliate Window UK : Description as above.
To learn how to become a successful Affiliate Marketing I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of this book by Super Affiliate Rosalind Gardner.
In our next tutorial we are going to discuss the dark side of Affiliate Marketing.