Affiliate marketing offers an incredible business opportunity for anybody who enjoys writing. It’s also fantastic because you don’t need to make a big investment at all. You can start small and build up a very lucrative business, that’s simple, over time.
I stumbled onto affiliate marketing and am glad I did. At first it was a lot of trial and error, but I persisted and in time I started earning some serious commissions. All it took was developing a system that worked for me and finding the right products for me to promote.
Methods That I Use In Selecting Affiliate Products To Promote
The reason I started promoting certain affiliate products, is because I own them and actually use them. I honestly love these products. Regarding these, I don’t use any other criteria in choosing which products to promote (Note the screen where I show how to select products to promote).
I’ve read stories about other affiliate marketers and how they’d love to find good products that they’d be proud to ethically promote. They want to make sure that they only promote products that they’d purchase themselves, instead of simply promoting products just to make money. I’d say to them, take a look at some of the software you use around your home.
If you stop and think about it, surely there’s software products that you love or use everyday. If you take this approach to selecting a product that you’d like to promote, you’ll surely find products that you can start promoting immediately. Since you use certain products already, why not share what you know and make some good money while doing so? After all, that’s the core of affiliate marketing!
Before I even get started with promoting a product, I see to it that there’s some great offers attached for my efforts. I screen products that I want to promote in the early stages of developing a niche site. And trust me, new opportunities are always presenting themselves as my sites grow in popularity.
When I’m picking products to promote, I ask myself these questions:
1. Will this product offer customer solutions for my audience? I’ll only promote products that my readers find relevant. Some affiliates jump from product to product because they can. This didn’t work for me at all. Instead, I focused on promoting high quality products that I knew were useful to my readers and that I use extensively.
2. Does the product in question offer an affiliate program? If not, then huge opportunities can come from these products as well. If you find a product that doesn’t publicize a great affiliate program, and you have an audience, you can always approach the merchant and ask about setting up a referral program. I’ve done this a few times with success. This way I promote a great product with no affiliate competition. Just be sure you have relevant traffic/audience.
3. How much commission does the affiliate product pay out? I purposely promote both low commission products and high commission, because my readers like these price points. My point is I don’t reject a product because it pays smaller commissions “¦ often this is made up for with volume.
While a $50 commissions are great, I make $1k a month from products that pay $20 commissions each. One product in particular is a strong converter. While it doesn’t pay a huge commission per unit, my sales volume compensates for the low commission. I’d have to say then, don’t simply focus on the commission payout price point.
**Note: for my local affiliate projects, I DO require higher payouts. I discuss the local affiliate marketing concept
There are some merchants who reward high sales volumes with higher commissions. This motivates affiliate marketers to sell more product, of course. While this feature isn’t a requirement for me when I’m selecting a product to promote, it’s a nice feature to have going for me!
4. Does the product include a lifetime tracking cookie? I adore merchants who offer lifetime tracking cookies, so that I can get paid as far into the future as possible. This is a treat, and most merchants don’t offer this. While I won’t turn away from a merchant who doesn’t offer lifetime cookies, a merchant will certainly get my attention if they do offer them. Of course, I also have to like the product being offered.
5. How does the sales page of the product look? If I find that if I’m not being credited past the opt-in page, I’m not interested in marketing the product. I also need to read the sales copy and check out the design of the site. In short, I need to see if I would purchase the product, based upon the sales page.
That said, if a product is a perfect fit for my audience, I’ll give it a try to see if it converts. I can’t always tell if a sales page works. Investing a few hours in a test-promotion never hurts “¦ I’ve found some gems that I initially didn’t believe would convert well.
6. If sales are also generated by telephone calls, is there a way to track referrals? If referrals aren’t tracked via telephone, then I’ll ask the merchant how many order they get via telephone. If it’s 50% or less, I’ll consider promoting the product. It’s not fun losing credit for commissions when my referrals call in orders. Some very smart merchants ensure they use mechanisms such as coupon codes to track telephone orders as well (this is much appreciated and results in me really putting forth a big effort in promoting them).
7. Do I already buy or use the product in question? If not, then I purchase it in order to try the product first hand. If I like the product after using it, then I’ll promote it. I use the above as a guideline. If a product meets many or most of my criteria, I’ll promote the product.
Success results in more and more opportunities
As your blog starts to gain traction online, merchants will come to you, in order to promote their products. Keep in mind that just because they approach you doesn’t mean that you have to say yes. I always approach every opportunity with scrutiny.
Having said this, when your site gets to this stage, you’ll enjoy having offers come to you. This is the stage when you can enter into private referral deals with your prospective merchant partner. These deals aren’t made known to the general public. As I grow my affiliate business, I’m definitely interested in developing more private merchant deals, over promoting public affiliate programs.
Every business needs to attract more business. If you own any web property that attracts online traffic, you can create lots of financially profitable deals for yourself.
Mind you, you’ll need to build a successful site first. If you only attract 10 visitors a day, you can forget it! But once you really start attracting traffic, there are other opportunities for you, such as CPA, ad space and again, negotiating higher commissions. Just a brief note about higher commissions, I’ve had three of my merchant partners grant me higher commissions based upon the traffic that my site receives and sales I generate.
It boils down to choosing the right product
Affiliate marketing is not about promoting hundreds of offers. Instead, it’s about promoting a few of the right offers. Once you embrace this and work hard promoting those few right offers, as long as you have a responsive audience or targeted traffic, you can start earning consistent commissions and build a viable business.