Because there are literally tens of thousands of affiliate programs on the Internet these days that are covering just about every product and service you could imagine. Finding the right affiliate programs can be a difficult task, but it does pay off; so it’s well worth the effort. If you’re new to affiliate programs, here’s a good list of things that you can do to find the right programs for you:
First of all, you have to know that to the business owner, affiliate programs are seen as a virtually ’free’ marketing tool that allows them to generate extra business without having to invest in any significant up-front costs. Because affiliate programs pay based solely on their performance, they typically have nothing to lose by recruiting as many affiliates as possible.
This is an important thing to keep in mind because most affiliate programs will do their best to present themselves as a great affiliate match for any site because business owners see that they have nothing to lose if you can’t generate sales. However if you are the marketing affiliate, you do because that means that it is lost income potential.
You have to learn to define who your audience for example: Do you have general traffic or specific types of visitors? Is your audience mainly comprised of a particular age demographic? Male/Female? If it’s possible, first narrow down what kind of potential shoppers you might have visiting your site. This is again called finding your target audience. Remember to write everything down.
Secondly, you have to decide which industries fit in best with your audience. Before you can start looking for affiliate programs, you have to decide what kind of stuff would appeal most to that audience you’ve just defined. In the above example we’re dealing with middle aged women who were looking for entertainment (maybe they were at a chat site, reading stories, playing games, whatever). Then try to decide what your target audience is willing to spending a little money on. Write this down too. Actually, just for the record, write it all down!
Now you have to see if there are any good affiliate programs that sell that stuff. I know that this sounds like a given, but you’d be surprised how many affiliates put up affiliate programs because they pay high commissions, only to find out it doesn’t matter because no-one’s buying anything.
Here is a good formula to remember always:
No buyers = no money!
Think about it this way; if your web site relates to your interests, would you buy it? Now what do you think about applying that theory to the audience you just defined? Who might they buy from? Now you have to try to narrow it down even further by using the programs that have the best reputation, commissions, Marketing materials, and of course trying to tie it all into offers for the actual BUYER.
This part should be easiest if you apply it personally. Use your common sense about the price of the products or services you will be marketing for these programs; they might pay 50% commissions, but do they charge twice what they should to the buyer? If so would you be willing to pay those prices? Of course you are going to want good commissions, but you also need to market something people will actually buy or else you will not get any at all, which usually means fair prices from the sellers! You might earn less per sale, but think about the volume of sales, and the right balance that makes you the most money.
Avoid any affiliate programs that offer crap deals for the buyer. Compare the commission structures, and try to find programs with a good history of conversions and prompt payments. You need to push affiliate programs that have good commissions structures and good conversions (how many visitors does it take to get a sale?) You also want to make sure you get paid!
DON’T FORGET TO READ THE AFFILIATE TERMS FIRST! You might be surprised how many affiliate programs have some terms buried in their fine print that don’t work in your favor that is why I gave you a sample merchant contract to look through so that you can get an idea of the terms that may be inside of them.
When it comes to how many sponsors do you need to start with you should consider how much money you have first. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to try out a few sponsors that will gauge which will perform best. How many programs should you start with? Try out however many good, related programs there are that you can give a reasonable ’chance’ to promote in a reasonable amount of time. Remember whoever sponsors your website is investing in your abilities too.
If you have lots of traffic on your website, you might be able to rotate dozens of sponsors across your site. If you only have a couple hundred visitors a month, you should limit yourself to only a few, because you don’t have the audience to support a larger test of affiliate programs. You need to send a fair bit of traffic to an affiliate program before you can truly gauge it’s performance, and you probably don’t want to be in the ’testing phase’ for months on end so you should limit yourself accordingly.
Finally, you should begin by knowing that sending 5 visitors to an affiliate link without a sale is simply not a fair test. Depending on what you’re selling and who you’re trying to sell to it can take a lot of traffic to start seeing revenue. If you remove affiliate programs without giving them a fair shake, you could be cheating yourself out of income; that next visitor may have been your first sale. The moral here is again to BE PATIENT!