If you are reading this, you are probably not new to making money online. With thousands of affiliate programs out there, the opportunities are endless. Granted that you what type of niche you are in, most programs are fairly easy to apply. However, finding a good affiliate program is another matter altogether.
In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the important steps that I used to search for a good affiliate product.
Tip #1 – Recommendation
Let’s begin with the product itself. This step is no rocket science, but it is easily overlooked. People generally buy things that other people recommend because it gives them a sense of reassurance.
A product that people often talk good about speaks volume about the customer’s satisfaction so you should really check out if there is an affiliate program associated with it.
Tip #2 – Online Popularity
The next step is to find out what are people buying online. and you can do this using Google Trend or Google Search. In Google Search for example, you will see a list of organic results and some paid results (advertisements) on the top and right-side column.
These results are usually a mixture of the merchant site, review/affiliate sites and sometimes, news/media sites.
In fact, these are the ‘buzz’ that you want to see because it shows that the products aren’t new in the market and are already gaining popularity among the online audience.
# Bonus tips – While you are on the result page, do check out the competitor’s product as well. Who knows if they might also have an affiliate program that you can be part of?
Now, let’s do some reverse engineering and see how many people are searching for this particular product online. To find out, we need more detailed information and this can usually be derived from doing keyword research. I use a keyword tool called Jaaxy and it gives very reliable metrics on the demand and the competition of a product, very much like a market research, if you will.
Ideally, you should obtain this information using elaborated words (also known as long tail keywords) as these phrases are the best representation of online users’ queries. Phrases that yield the most demand with the least competition are the terms that you want to be using when promoting an affiliate product.
Tip #3 – Merchant Site
Nothing is more validating than to check out the product at the merchant site itself. This is very important because your affiliate links will eventually lead people there and if the official site has poor navigation and doesn’t provide good quality content, viewers will leave very quickly.
On the other hand, imagine yourself as a visitor to that site. Ask yourself these questions;
- Do the products look appealing to you?
- Do you feel like buying it or at least give it a try?
- Does the merchant offer good customer service?
These are the kind of information that you can actually get from online reviews (see tip 2). So, if you like the product, other people might feel the same way too. Therefore, a merchant that invests on a well-developed site is more likely to compliment your effort as an affiliate marketer.
Tip #4 – Affiliate Support
After learning about the product, the next step is obviously to check out the affiliate program itself.
Being an affiliate marketer is like working with a business partner. You want good communication, both ways and most importantly, you want to achieve the same business goals together. Here are some of the things to consider when becoming an affiliate;
For marketing purposes;
- Do they offer various affiliate resources to help you with your promotion?
- Are they always coming up with new features to enhance your marketing effort?
- Do they take the time to educate you about the value of their products?
For troubleshooting purposes;
- Should you encounter any technical problems, do they offer a proper channel for support?
- How fast do they respond to your concerns?
- Are they helpful in providing a solution?
Getting a strong support from your merchant can make you love or hate affiliate marketing. So be sure to test out their supporting system whenever you can.
Tip #5 – Commission Structure
You are probably wondering why this tip isn’t in the top on the list. Well, that’s simply because a high commission (obviously that’s what everyone wants) without encompassing the aforementioned factors will not guarantee you a good affiliate program.
Affiliate commission could range from as low as 1% to 60% and whether you are in a hot niche or not, it still takes a fair bit of marketing effort to earn the money. However, if you wish to make this commission your long term online income, you should at least choose a commission structure of 10% or more.
Therefore, learn to avoid these common affiliate marketing mistakes whenever you are thinking of joining a program.
Tip #6 – Merchant Statistics
Some merchants will display statistics like EPC, reversal rate and average sales on their affiliate program. These values basically reflect the program’s productivity and will give you a rough idea on what to expect in terms of conversion and sales.
Not all merchants will disclose these values readily, but when they do, you should take them into consideration before participating as an affiliate.
The Best Affiliate Program…
Should offer a product that you can trust and pays you reasonably well for your marketing efforts. It should be so reliable that you are willing to go all out to promote it as an affiliate.
I hope this article has shed some light on how you can go about finding an affiliate program that is right for your business. If you wish to learn more, feel free to check out my recommended training site for affiliate marketers at Wealthy Affiliate or leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you.