Affiliate marketing is an effective means of making money online, but of course it is not easy. Succeeding in affiliate marketing requires patience, perseverance, hard work and the ability to make smart decisions. The very first decision you will make is that of choosing an affiliate program to promote. If you make a mistake here, it is unlikely you will be successful in the long run.
So here are 5 tips to choosing the right (and best) affiliate program for your website.
1. Look for Offers that Complement your Website
Always look for products or services that seem like a natural extension of your own website. If you have a health and fitness website, it makes sense to choose to promote health and beauty supplements or even wellness related offers. This is because visitors to your website are those who want the best for their health, so your Yoga class or Yoga mats offer (for example) is highly likely to appeal to your target audience as they would look at this as another means of keeping themselves fit. Of course if you promote candies or aerated drinks (this is an exaggerated example), it would just not work. Besides, it might end up tarnishing your reputation, as the product you are promoting is completely against everything your website stands for.
2. Look for Offers in your Area of Expertise
If you have been consistently blogging about a particular topic, it is likely you have gained an ‘expert’ status on that subject. It would be a good idea in that case to promote products pertaining to that area. For instance, if you are a vociferous environmentalist, promoting solar heat panels, energy saving appliances, or even a book on global warming would be the prefect fit for your website. However do investigate the product beforehand to ensure its quality and reputation. It’s always a good idea to try the product personally before you promote.
3. Look at Offers that are in Demand
While it’s a good idea to go by what you think will interest your blog readers/website visitors, always back it up with solid numbers. Use the Google Keyword tool to gauge the search demand for related keywords. Ideally, you want keywords with high search volume and low competition. However, this rarely happens, so go for the best balance between the two.
4. Your Commission
The commission you will earn per qualified lead (CPC/CPS/CPM) is important. However, don’t always go by absolute numbers. Take various factors into consideration before you turn away an affiliate program based solely on commission. Metrics such as conversion rates, average order value and the rate of returns should studied in conjunction with the commission, especially when you are comparing two programs and want to choose one of them.
5. Work with an Affiliate Network
Merchants rarely work with affiliates directly. All good merchants are part of affiliate networks. The advantage of working with affiliate networks is that most of them offer marketing support, allow to access case studies, and offer a platform or forum to discuss ideas and learn from other affiliate marketers just like you. You are also more likely to get paid by a network then by going direct to advertisers since advertisers in certain niches may pose a high risk in getting shut down by FTC. An network usually has a wide spectrum of offers and advertisers therefore less risky for them and can pay out even if one advertiser fails to pay.
Browse the affiliate network site for information on affiliate programs in your niche, talk to your affiliate manager to clarify any queries and make the right decision while choosing an affiliate program.
What factors did you consider while choosing your affiliate program? We’d love to know. Why don’t you share with us in the comments?
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