Getting into affiliate marketing is one thing; turning it into a profitable revenue source is another. And among all the challenges that you face with affiliate marketing, choosing the right affiliate programs to join may easily be the biggest one. The good news is that once you overcome this major challenge, the rest won’t be that much of a problem because the success of your affiliate marketing efforts largely depends on which programs you join.
So check out these tips that will help you find highly profitable affiliate programs that are the right fit for you and will help you drive revenue:
1: Make sure it can fit within your niche
The most obvious tip is to look for affiliate programs that are related to the niche you want to focus on. This will help you ensure that you stay on brand and promote products that would appeal to your target audience.
You may think that choosing programs related to your niche will confine you to something very specific, which might limit your scope. But that doesn’t have to be the case if you know how to get creative with your content. The goal is to seamlessly tie in products into your content even if they aren’t directly related to your niche.
For example, you don’t have to confine yourself to promoting just home décor brands because you run a home décor blog. You could also promote home insurance, renovation equipment and services, house cleaning equipment and services, smart home devices, and so on.
Nomadic Matt, for instance, is a travel blogger who mostly writes about travel destinations and hotel recommendations. But he also promotes indirectly related products like TEFL courses.
Keep in mind that you can start with a niche always go in a completely different direction. Take a look at nine examples of niche:
- Conscious consumers
- Pet owners
- Plastic flowers lovers
- Solo travelers
- Remote workers
- Standing Desks
- Software (CRM, Logo design, Link Management, Time off management software)
2: Check for profitability
Of course, you’ll have to make sure that the niche of products you want to promote is profitable enough to drive revenue. For this, go to ShareASale, which is one of the largest affiliate marketing networks and has tons of products and merchants listed. Then select the “Preview Merchants” option at the bottom of the page.
This will give you the option to preview merchants in a number of categories. The idea is to browse through the merchants under a relevant category and see what kind of commissions they’re offering. You could even compare their commission rates against the rates in other categories.
Merchants in the business category, for instance, will typically offer significantly higher commission rates compared to consumer goods. You’ll see that accessory merchants only offer 5-10% commissions, business merchants will offer anywhere between 5% and 30% and some might even offer flat rates.
3: Consider competitors of leading programs
Another way to find the right affiliate programs to join is by looking at programs that are well-known for their success. In addition to trying out those programs, you should also consider checking if their competitors offer any similar programs you can join. This way, you get to diversify your offering to your audience and improve your chances of driving revenue.
By promoting several similar products in the same category, you provide your audience with more options to choose from. Not only will this help you cater to a wider variety of preferences, it also helps you establish your credibility in the field as it shows a lack of bias.
A simple Google search for the “top competitors of X brand” should be able to help you find direct and indirect competitors. Once you find this list, you’ll have to go through each competitor and see if they have an affiliate program in place.
4: Assess commission rates and possible earnings
Once you’ve narrowed down on some affiliate programs you want to join, it’s time to assess their commission rates and find out how much you can earn from them. A high commission rate alone may not be enough if the product doesn’t cost much. For example, a 5% commission on a $500 product can still get you more earnings than a 20% commission on a $100 product.
For this step, you’ll have to assess each affiliate program individually. Make a list of all their commission rates, product value, and possible earnings so you can make a detailed comparison. This will give you a clear picture of which affiliate programs will likely yield the most profits even within the same niche.
5: Choose a commission plan that works for you
Commission rates alone aren’t enough to assess the profitability of an affiliate program; you should also consider the payout plans they have in place. Does the company offer a flat fee for referrals or does it offer a dynamic percentage-based commission? Does it offer a payout for every qualified lead or do those referrals have to convert?
There are plenty of commission plans and the most profitable option depends on what you need specifically. For instance, if stability is your biggest concern, you’ll probably want to sign up for a program that offers a fixed fee. But if you want scalability, you might want to consider a dynamic commission structure as there’s a bigger possibility of growing your revenue in spite of the risks.
While most affiliate programs only stick to a single commission plan, companies like Fiverr and GetResponse give you the option to choose between two options depending on what works best for you.
In addition to this, some affiliate programs may even offer recurring payouts, which means you get more payout during the lifetime of the referred customer. This type of program may be perfect if sustainability is your main priority.
And don’t forget to consider whether the program has any commission caps. Some programs may put caps on their payouts so affiliates can only earn a certain amount in commissions per month.
For instance, let’s say there’s a commission cap of $1,000 per month on a program that offers 10% per sale. That means even if you end up selling 20 units of a product worth $599 each, you’ll still earn the same as someone who sold 17 units of the same product.
If you have scalability in mind, you’ll want to steer clear of programs that put caps on how much affiliates can earn in a month.
6: Consider product price
As mentioned above, you’ll have to consider product price when assessing how much you might be able to earn from an affiliate program. Besides this, if you’re going for a dynamic percentage-based commission plan, you should also consider whether the merchant typically sells high-value products in general.
Go through all their products and see if most of the products cost high enough to yield the kind of revenue you expect. How much does their lowest value product cost and what kind of commission can you earn from selling it? If you promote their highest value product, how much will you be able to earn? More importantly, does the merchant have a wide range of high-value products?
For example, someone who promotes clothing and fashion products might want to consider joining the Nordstrom affiliate program because the retailer has an extensive range of high-value products to choose from.
7: Go for high-quality products
Additionally, you should also choose affiliate programs that offer high-quality products for sale. Go through the product reviews on the website as well as through independent and third-party review sites like Wired, Best Reviews List, Popular Mechanics, etc. to get a clear idea. If the merchant has a high amount of negative reviews and product returns, you might want to avoid working with them.
This is crucial because if you want to build a name in the affiliate marketing landscape, you have to promote quality products right from the start. That way, you can gradually build credibility and your audience will eventually see you as someone whose opinions and recommendations they can trust before making a purchase decision.
8: Take merchant reputation into consideration
While product quality is crucial before deciding on what to promote, it’s just as crucial to consider the merchant reputation. This could be the determining factor for your credibility as an affiliate marketer and will also decide your future success.
Are you working with a company that provides exceptional customer service and care even after they’ve already gotten someone’s money? Or are you working with someone who’s known for cheating their customers or providing horrible service?
Be very careful about the brands you associate yourself with because people will forever link you to them. If they have any bad experiences with a company that you referred, they might end up never trusting you again.
These are some of the essential steps that will help you narrow down on the right affiliate programs that you can join. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to stick with the first set of programs you joined and can always switch things up based on what works for you and what doesn’t.
Make the most of ClickMeter to keep track of your conversions and affiliate link performance. This will help you find out which programs yield the best results for you so you can focus on them and look for other similar options. The goal is to keep making adjustments to your affiliate marketing strategy and enhancing your focus on highly profitable programs.
How do you choose an affiliate program to join? Let us know in the comments.
This blog post is about:
- How to Find the Right Affiliate Programs
- How to Find the Right Affiliate Programs and Drive Revenue
- Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliate Programs