What To Look For In An Affiliate Program – 9 Tips
I’ve been making a full time income online since 2005 as an affiliate marketer.
And to this very day Affiliate Marketing is still the absolute best opportunity for building a very successful full time business online.
Especially for people just starting out online.
The threshold for getting started is very low. Becoming an affiliate for anyone is free and the only other start up costs are a domain name and hosting for your website, which can be done for less than $50.
But the smarty pants I am, I now a way you can start your affiliate business absolutely free. Which includes free hosting, 2 free websites, free training and all the tools you’ll need to build your business – more about that later.
However before you just jump in to joining any affiliate program there are some things you need to consider, because not all affiliate programs are created equal.
So I’ve created a very simple 9 point checklist for sizing up a great affiliate program, plus some other very important things you need to consider. And a bonus tip that can skyrocket your affiliate sales.
These are in no particular order.
1) Pick A Product Or Service That You’re Interested In
Just because an affiliate program is offering a huge commission about trout fishing does not mean you should become an affiliate for that program.
If you have zero interest in trout fishing and have no interest in learning about it – chances are very high that you’ll fail as an affiliate for trout fishing. So don’t do it.
Remember the affiliate product or service you’ll be marketing is something you’re going to have to talk about a lot and for a long time. So it’s a lot easier to talk about something you’re passionate about, than something you have zero interest in.
So think of your passions, hobbies or things you’re interested in and want to learn a lot more about.
2) Ideally Be A User Of The Product Or Service
Personally every product and service I market I own and use.
Marketing something that you’re using is simpler. Plus it gives you intimate first-hand knowledge of the product, so this also makes marketing it easier.
And the big one – it provides you with HUGE credibility when recommending the product.
That’s why marketing the wealthy affiliate program is so easy for me, I use the service every single day and I know how it works and how it can help people build a very profitable online business.
3) How’s The Support?
Since you’re going to be spending a lot of time and energy promoting someone’s product or service you need to know what type of support system they have.
Do you have direct contact with the affiliate manager or the staff? If not this is something you need to consider.
You don’t want to get involved with an affiliate program where the support is lacking. Your focus is to make sales and not be worrying if your support system will be there when you need them.
And remember support for your customers (referrals) is just as important.
That’s why owning the product or service is advantageous. You’re now a customer and you’ll have first hand knowledge of the support which you can then let your potential customers know about.
Plus this is another angle you can use for marketing the product or service – rave about the support.
Many people will become customers knowing that they have a good support system for the product or service they are about to buy.
4) What Tools, Resources And Training Do They Offer?
Top notch affiliate programs will provide you with a whole suite of tools, resources, banners, product images, articles and emails. Some affiliate program also include some training and marketing suggestions.
TIP: Things like emails and articles – make sure to change the content and make it your own – this way you’ll stand out from all the other affiliates marketing the same product.
5) How Well Does The Product Sell?
It doesn’t matter if the program is giving you a 75% commission. If the product or service does not sell it could be a 100% commission you’re still not making any money.
With any good affiliate program you can expect on average a 1% to 3% conversion rate. Some are higher but expect this average.
So when thinking of promoting a product or service – think of things like:
- Is the product in demand?
- Do people really need the product?
- Do people really want the product?
- Does the product solve a common problem?
6) What Is The Cookie Duration?
If you’re not familiar with the term “Cookie”, this is how the affiliate program tracks everything. It’s a little file that gets downloaded onto a visitors computer. And this cookie identifies the affiliate so they get paid their commissions.
So you need to know the “Cookie” duration – how long does it last?
Every affiliate program has a duration on their cookies, some are 30 days, some are 90 days, others can be for a year and yet again others can be for a lifetime like they are here at the wealthy affiliate.
Knowing this will determine your marketing strategy.
If the cookie life is short you’ll want to market to the “Buy It Now” market. If the cookie has a long duration you can market using free methods like article marketing and other passive marketing strategies.
7) Look For Recurring Commission Programs
Personally I primary target recurring affiliate programs, now this is not to say there are not a lot of great affiliate programs that pay per sale – there are.
But the reason I love recurring programs because you get paid over and over again for doing the same amount of work once.
Programs like these are associated with membership programs where members have to pay a monthly fee such as they do at the wealthy affiliate.
So for me or any other WA affiliate – for every person that joins the wealthy affiliate through my affiliate link I will receive a monthly commission for as long as that person stays a member.
8) Where Can You Find Quality Affiliate Programs?
There is no shortage of affiliate programs.
A good place to find good affiliate programs is through Affiliate Networks.
And the reason Affiliate Networks are more reliable then independent affiliate programs and these would be affiliate programs that the site owner is running themselves.
So every company that has a product or service must apply to become part of an affiliate network. So the affiliate network has already done some due diligence on the company representing the product or service for you.
Now this is not 100% full proof but it does weed out a lot of lower quality affiliate programs.
Some of the better affiliate networks are Commission Junction, Linkshare, Share A Sale and Click Bank. I’ve personally used all of these networks and you’ll find everything from physical products to digital products – the skies the limit.
And even though it’s not a true affiliate network there’s also Amazons associates program.
And just like the affiliate programs themselves you’ll need to apply many of the affiliate networks including Amazon before you can access the network.
Now if there is a particular product or service you want to market you can do a specific search in Google.
Simply type in the product (or company name) and include in your search “affiliate program” and you’ll get the results of all the affiliate programs associated to that product or service.
So for example your search would look like this for the wealthy affiliate:
“wealthy affiliate affiliate program”
9) Are The Affiliate Payments On Time?
Marketing a product or service is hard enough, so you certainly don’t want to be worried if you’re going to get paid for all your hard work.
If you’ve chosen an independent affiliate program you need to do your due diligence regarding the reliability of the affiliate programs commission payments as they are responsible for those commission payments.
Unlike an affiliate network which responsible for making your commission payments on behalf of the affiliate program. So if an affiliate program within the network is in default for commissions they are removed from the affiliate network.
Providing you another layer of protection which you don’t get with an independent affiliate program.
Doing research on independent programs can be done by simply doing some inquires through Google such as looking for reviews of the program. You can also check places like the Warrior Form.
Personally when it comes to independent affiliate programs unless I’m really familiar with the company and it’s product or service such as the Wealthy Affiliate I prefer to find affiliate programs through an Affiliate Network.
Bonus Tip: Skyrocket Your Affiliate Sales
If you want to jack up your affiliate sales do what all super affiliates do. And that’s offer an free bonus to your customer if they buy through your affiliate link.
You can offer anything as your bonus, but make sure what you offer has real value. So it could be a book, a service you offer, a product have, your time – anything.
For example if anyone decides to become an a premium member of the wealthy affiliate using my affiliate link – I will design a custom header and logo for their website absolutely free – a $475 value.
Well that’s it – my simple check list.
I’m sure there are a lot more tips but by following this check list you should have no trouble finding a great affiliate program to start building a successful online affiliate business.
How To Start Your Affiliate Business For Free
Remember at the start of this post I told you I knew a way you could start your affiliate business absolutely free?
Here’s how, you can build your affiliate business as a free member of the wealthy affiliate, with all the tools, training and support you’ll ever need from me and the wealthy affiliate community.
See what I’m talking about and watch the video below.
I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.
I believe in you!!