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What To Look For In An Affiliate Program
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What To Look For In An Affiliate Program

I’ve been online for over 10 years and to this very day Affiliate Marketing is the best opportunity to get online and start building a profitable business, especially for beginners.

But NOT all affiliate programs are created equal.

So to give you a hand I've created a very simple checklist for sizing up a great affiliate program, plus some other things to consider.

1) Pick a product or service that you’re interested in.

Start with something that you have a strong interest or a passion for. If you’re a trout fisherman then it makes sense for you to find trout related affiliate products. Remember the affiliate product you’ll be marketing is something you’re going to have to talk about a lot.

It’s a lot easier to talk about something you’re passionate about, than something you have zero interest in.

When I first stared as an affiliate I tried that and I survived about 10 days trying to market a product I had no interest in - I got sucked into the big commissions they offered - big mistake - never did that again.

2) Next you need to check out the product or service you’re going to be promoting.

Ideally you would buy the product and use it.

Why? Two reasons...

First, marketing something that you’re using is easier, plus it gives you first-hand knowledge of the product. Good and bad - not every product is perfect.

And second, owning and using the product or service you're marketing will provide you with HUGE credibility.

Think about it, what if someone contacts you and asks you about some function or something only a user would know about, and you can't answer because you really don't use the product.

Why would this person (or anyone) want to buy anything based on your recommendation? I know I wouldn't.

And in a uglier turn of events you just got called out as a liar - and that's bad karma and plain bad marketing.

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 in place.

Do you have direct contact with the affiliate manager or the staff? Is there a help desk ticket system? How fast do they get back to people?

Try to go one step further and see if you have access to the product creator? This is not always possible but if you can that's fantastic.

You don’t want to get involved with an affiliate program where the support is lacking. Your focus is to make sales not be worrying if your support system will be there when you need them.

TIP: To find out how fast they get back to inquires, send in a support ticket, put them to the test.

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: If they provide 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 doesn't sell, they could be giving you a 100% commission. A 100% of nothing is still nothing.

With any good affiliate program you can expect a 1% to 10% conversion. Be careful some affiliate manages can misrepresent the numbers so make sure you do your due diligence.

And personally, I don't look at any affiliate program that offer less than a 50% commission.

6) What is the cookie duration?

If you’re not familiar with the term “Cookie”, what it is, is a little file that gets downloaded onto a visitors computer. This is how the affiliate program tracks everything.

Which includes identifying the affiliate so they get paid their commissions. One important thing you need to know about a "Cookie" is 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.

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) Do you get back-end commissions?

Simply put will you get paid if your referral buys a second product? This is not a make or break situation – it’s good if you can get it. And in these cases the commission can be lower – but hey ever buck adds up.

8) Do you get residual commission?

I wrote an article about recurring affiliate programs and why I love them so much. And the reason I only target recurring affiliate programs is you get paid over and over again doing the same amount of work.

Programs like these are associated with membership programs.

9) Where to find quality affiliate programs?

There is no shortage of affiliate programs and affiliate networks. A few places to start finding good affiliate programs would be Commission Junction, Linkshare, Paydotcom and ClickBank. You’ll find everything from physical products to digital products – the skies the limit.

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.

If you're a complete novice at affiliate marketing you might consider finding a quality training program that can teach you what you need to know

Ideally try and find a training program that gives you the opportunity of networking with other affiliate marketers. This can save you a lot of time, energy and money.

By following this check list you should have no trouble finding a great affiliate program to start building a successful online affiliate business.

Happy Affiliate Marketing

I believe in you

Leo Emery

Street Talk

Great info! I am researching that very topic right now. I appreciate the roadmap! Thanks, Leo!

  about 1 decade ago

Your welcome - I'm glad you found the info helpful

  about 1 decade ago
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