10 tips on how to find an affiliate program & products to promote

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Understanding how to find the best affiliate program and products to promote is an integral part of successful affiliate marketing.

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Wondering how to find an affiliate program and good products to promote? With so much to choose from, this may initially seem a daunting task but with a little guidance, selecting quality programs shouldn’t be as challenging as you think.

Here are our top 10 tips for discovering which affiliate program is best suited to you and how important the right program is for successful affiliate marketing. 

Be your own client

Sell what you love and it stops being a job. Whilst there is no clear-cut answer as to what the best products to promote through affiliate marketing are, choosing a product you believe in and genuinely enjoy using is a good place to start. If you come across a product you know nothing about but it fits your profile, learn as much as you can about it. Read about the product, use it, become familiar with it. Of course, you might not feel passionate about every product, but great product knowledge will help fill that gap.

Fits within your niche

This may seem obvious, but finding products that are related to your blog or website is an essential aspect of successful affiliate marketing. You can, however, think out of the box and be creative. For example, if you write a blog about car care, there’s no need to limit yourself to just selling car care products. You could also promote car insurance, driving holidays, car events… anything related.

Program competitors

If you’ve already been successful with your affiliate marketing using a specific program, take a look at some of your brand competitors to see if they also have affiliate programs to join. Providing your audience with additional products in a similar category or even from direct competitors will increase your chances for a conversion. Even though your content covers a variety of products, your customer base might be more inclined to buy from a specific category of featured items. Lean into that knowledge and search for retailers or merchandise in the same vein in order to join the most effective affiliate program for you.

Desired by your target audience

You must choose an affiliate program that appeals to your target audience and their desires. The first step is understanding exactly who your target audience is. Hopefully you have already actioned this before you started your blog, but it is worth revisiting to clarify this point.

There are several ways to do this, but it starts by creating a customer profile. Be very specific here and make the person you are selling to as real as possible. If you have a customer base already, use this to determine who is currently buying your products.

Once you have defined your target audience, do some research. If you want the affiliate marketing programs you choose to join to perform well, make sure to dedicate some time to completing this next step as well as possible. Again, there are various methods to achieve this, one of which is to ask your target audience what they are looking for. You can use emails, surveys or blog posts for commentary.

If you don’t have a big following already, study your competition and see what is popular. Also, use social media and see what problems your audience is facing. If you can find a program that solves these problems, then you have a potential winner on your hands.

Commission levels and earnings per click

By now you should have a good idea of how to find the type of affiliate products you are looking to promote. Now it is time to search for programs that will make you a good return. One aspect to consider carefully is how much commission you can earn.

Many new affiliates automatically think higher commission levels provide the most attractive opportunities; yet it’s important to look at the bigger picture. High commissions may be offered on products with low sales, while a high selling product may have a lower commission rate.

A high order rate with a lower commission could earn you more than a low order rate with a high commission. For example, imagine you have two products both retailing for £100, one with a commission rate of 1% (product A) and the other with a commission rate of 10% (product B). If you make 20 sales for product A you’ll earn £20 in commission, while 1 sale of product B will earn you £10 in commission. This exhibits why it's important to consider the average order rate in addition to commission levels when choosing an affiliate product.

Consider high price products

When trying to determine what the best products for affiliate marketing are, it may be tempting to overlook those with higher price points, in the misconception they are harder to promote. If you are looking to create $5,000 in affiliate revenue (the sales you make, not your commission) you could sell 500 x $10 products, or 50 x $100 products or 5 x $1,000 products. If you believe in your chosen product and know it solves a problem many people are experiencing, then go for the higher ticket product.

Most affiliate marketers sell both lower and higher products to appeal a full spectrum of users. Being open to a wide range of products and prices will allow greater opportunities for your business.

Occasionally, you may come across vendors who also offer a recurring commission (if your customer returns to buy off the merchant again.) Although this is not necessarily the most important aspect you should consider, it’s a nice extra bonus.

Upsells

Some programs may offer upsells as a further method to increase commission. After the consumer has decided to purchase their initial product, they are offered various other packages that are only available at the time of purchase. This practice is known as upselling. For the affiliate, if the buyer goes on to take advantage of these offers, the commission increases.

For example, a consumer may click on a new laptop and at checkout is offered a special deal which includes a laptop case and a remote mouse. Should this person choose the offer, you’ll receive commission on the extra products.

Quality product

The product must be good. If return rate is high, it is generally a sign the product is not high quality or good value. Making your customers happy is the best way to long-term affiliate success, and quality products are a large part of that equation. Over time, you will earn a good reputation that will go a long way to aiding you in your future sales by recommending and promoting products that prove to be good value to the consumer.

Vendor support

Joining the right affiliate program is essential to success and working with a vendor that offers good support can make the difference between a good or poor experience overall. When problems occur, knowing that you have support from the vendor when required gives peace of mind. Support can be offered in several way depending on the size of the vendor, from a dedicated account manager to live chat or email support.

You also need to check out what marketing materials are available and how good the quality is. Some companies provide landing pages you can use, product feeds or banners to place on your website. Consider all the options carefully and think about how you can make them work for you.

Bear in mind, many customers will not buy on the first visit. Find out what the cookie period is, as the longer they are tracked the better for your income.

 Vendor reputation

Before joining any affiliate program, make sure you do your research. Although merchants all have to start their businesses at some point, it is preferable to work with established vendors with a good reputation and high traffic. As a caveat though, don’t be totally put off by new vendors if they are offering an excellent products and a good rate of commission.

Strong affiliate marketing networks provide conversion metrics, which will allow you to see which merchants convert their visitors to sales well. New vendors will not have any metrics to report, so this may be a reason to wait before committing to them, but should not necessarily be a reason to discount them from your promotions.

When you are choosing a product, how much you can earn is important, but you will find you are most successful with the programs that you are genuinely passionate about. When you sell something you care about, your customer can tell. This can be one of the most important steps in determining what the best products for affiliate marketing are.

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