You’ve decided you want to be an affiliate marketer. What’s the next step? You need to choose the best affiliate program – you need to decide who you are going to partner with. You need to answer the following questions about what you want and how you want to work, and how the different affiliate programs work.
The first step in choosing the best affiliate program is deciding whether you will market a physical product or a digital product. Usually with a physical product, it might be a good idea to have a website. A digital product could be an eBook about a topic or software that’s downloaded. You should start with a few products and market them well before branching out to a wide variety. Start with something you know about and are interested in. It’s a good idea to have used the product yourself but it isn’t necessary.
If you know the product you’re interested in, go to that website and look for the Affiliate link. Usually it is at the bottom of the page in the footer. It will take you to a page that describes that affiliate program’s benefits.
Here are some things to consider to choose the best affiliate program for you.
Let’s start with the commission for the affiliate program. The commission can vary greatly depending on the type of product it is. Digital products can sometimes pay 75% of the purchase price in commission. Yes! You get more than the merchant does. Some merchants also pay not just on completed sales but when someone clicks to the site. It’s not much but it can add up.
Now that you know how much you get paid, you need to find out how easy or difficult it will be to get the sale. You want to know their conversion rate. This is how many clicks to the website it takes to generate a sale. This figure will help you determine how much traffic you must generate to get the number of sales you require. You want a merchant that has a good product web page, which can convert people to sales. A rate of 1 out of 50 is a good affiliate program, 1 out of 30 is great! You don’t want to drive traffic all day to have them leave the site uninterested.
You should also find out the refund rate. This gives you a good idea of the reliability of the product and whether the customer is satisfied. Under 1% is reasonable. If a product has a rate of over 20% you should take a second look at that affiliate program.
Since most people do not buy the first time they look at a site, check to see what type of tracking system they have in place to make sure you get credit for the customer when they do return.
Also find out what type of statistics they keep. The best affiliate programs will have the best tracking system. You want to always keep track of how much traffic you are generating and what your conversion rate is. You should be able to tell how many people clicked through under your affiliate link and whether they were converted to a sale. Depending on the conversion rate, you might want to change the type of people you are targeting.
As you search products and affiliate programs, you may see the name Clickbank.com come up often. The majority of digital products are sold through clearinghouses such as Clickbank.com and Cj.com (Commission Junction). The benefit to joining one of these programs is that you sign up once and can market any product they offer. Your commission checks come from a centralized place, which is convenient.
You now have some tips on choosing the best affiliate program. Whether you’re looking for part time or full time income, you want to do something you enjoy and that you are proud of. Choose your programs and products wisely. Talk to other affiliate marketers about the different affiliate programs and products that are available.