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According to Shubhamjeet Kumar, “Affiliate Marketing is the process of promoting someone else’s products and earning commissions if you generate sales.”

According to PayScale, the top affiliates make roughly $71k a year. But for beginners in Affiliate Marketing, choosing the ideal affiliate program is not easy.

It is a back-breaking task to decide which program to sign up for when hundreds of programs exist in the market.

To help you out, my team and I have created a list of the 12 most crucial points you must check before signing up for an affiliate program.

Affiliate Disclosure

I, Shubhamjeet Kumar, participate in various affiliate programs, and I will earn a commission on qualifying purchases made through the links on this page at no extra cost to you. I have worked hard to put together items that are high-end and helpful.

(1) Program Reputation

As an Affiliate Marketer, your priority is to decide who you will promote. Will you promote a renowned brand, an unfamiliar brand, or both?

Although promoting popular brands will have a better chance of sales, do not ignore new brands that offer exceptional products and promising commission rates.

Many Affiliate Marketers prefer popular programs as they provide marketing material, conversion metrics, customer demographics, and so on which is not the case with new programs.

(2) Product Quality

Many Affiliate Marketers prefer popular programs, but if the quality of products they offer is poor, the conversions will be lower. That’s why, as per my experience, you should choose a program that offers quality products.

A quality product is composed of the following:

  • It helps the consumers
  • It solves problems the audience might be facing
  • And, it provides value

Therefore, regardless of brand popularity, if you can find a quality product, I recommend you promote it. A quality product keeps the consumers happy and greatly builds life-long relationships with them.

Another advantage of promoting quality products is that when the consumers are happy, they will recommend you to their friends and family and you will be in their good books.

So you must sign up for programs that provide such high-quality products.

(3) Market Research

If you come across an affiliate program that you do not know about, you should conduct online research.

You will easily find a program’s review on review sites, surveys, Google reviews, the program’s official website, social media, forums, and so on.

People’s opinions, ratings, and reviews are all helpful checkpoints about the quality of an affiliate program. If possible, you could also try and find ratings and reviews from current affiliates promoting products of that program.

You should find out one important thing while choosing an affiliate program: Return Rate.

The return rate defines how many times a particular product has been returned by the consumers. If the return rate is high, it is a clear indication that the product is not high quality.

(4) Commission Rate

When you select an affiliate program, make sure that it offers a decent commission.

In my experience, the average commission rate ranges between 5 per cent and 30 per cent. However, some programs even offer commissions up to 90 per cent.

So when you sign up for an affiliate program, check how much commission you will earn per sale.

How does a commission rate affect your earnings?

Suppose you are promoting a product that costs $10 and pays a commission of 20%.

Now, if you generate sales, you will earn 20% of $10, which is $2 per sale. So, if your monthly goal is to make $500, you will have to make:

$500 / $2

= 250 sales

Therefore, if you promote a $10 product with a 20% commission rate, you should generate 250 sales to achieve your monthly income goal!

(5) Choose A Program That Fits Your Niche

An important point to consider while choosing an affiliate program is to find if it is related to your niche. If your niche is relationships, it wouldn’t be a good practice to promote products related to the health niche.

Promoting unrelated products will confuse your audience. Moreover, they’ll question if you promote relationships-based products or Apple products.

Nevertheless, if you like a brand that doesn’t fit your niche, you could get creative and think out of the box to promote it as naturally and smoothly as possible.

(6) Earnings Per Sale

As an Affiliate Marketer, you can sell everything, from books to software, from clothes to shoes. So when you select an affiliate program, you should take time to find out how much you will earn for each sale.

Let’s consider a situation: You are an Affiliate Marketer who wants to make $500 per month in affiliate commissions.

You have two options in front of you:

  1. Promote a $10 product
  2. Promote a $150 product

Suppose both the above products will pay you a commission of 20%

Now, let’s go through each scenario one by one.

Scenario 1: Product Price Is $10

When you promote a $10 product and make sales, you will earn 20% of $10, which is $2.

So, to reach your goal of $500 per month, you will need to make:

$500 / $2

= 250 sales

Do you think you can drive 250 sales every month? Is it worth the effort?

If you take my word, never promote a $10 product.

Scenario 2: Product Price Is $150

Now, suppose you promote a product that costs $150.

When you promote a $150 product and make sales, you will earn a commission of:

20% of $150

= $30

Since your goal is to make $500 from affiliate commissions, you will need to drive:

$500 / $30

= 17 sales

Do you think generating 17 sales per month is worth the effort? Definitely!

Since the effort to promote both the products is the same, if I were you, I would always go with the second product as it will result in more commissions and about 17 sales are sufficient to reach my monthly income goal.

I will also add that I preach, “Do not chase high-priced products.” But I also say, do not promote products that will pay a couple of dollars.

If you love both the products, you need to find a balance between how much effort you will put into promoting each one of them, okay? Most Affiliate Marketers promote both types of products, but the effort they put into marketing depends on the commissions they will earn.

(7) Program Support

How often an affiliate program guides you and offers support can be the difference between a good program and an excellent program.

You can face obstacles, and unprecedented problems can occur, so when you know that the program will support you, your life becomes easy. The affiliate program can provide support in the form of e-mail support, weekdays or 24×7 live chat, a dedicated account manager, and so on.

Additionally, if the affiliate program provides marketing materials, such as e-mail swipe files, audience demographics, banners, ad copies, etc. your work will reduce, and you can properly plan your promoting strategy.

(8) Marketing Material

As I shared in the previous point, you should choose a program that provides marketing materials to make your ride smooth!

Many affiliate programs provide marketing material, for example, knowledge bases, blog posts, banners, e-mail swipes, testimonials, demographic data, ad copies, and so on, to their affiliates.

With the power and knowledge of the marketing material, Affiliate Marketers can plan and refine their promotion strategy for a better outcome.

(9) Cookie Duration

A cookie is a data file stored on users’ browsers when they visit a website. The purpose of a cookie is to store user data and their preferences. In other words, a cookie is used to keep track of users’ activities on your website.

A cookie is a crucial element that you must take note of while choosing an affiliate program. A cookie stores your affiliate information, so if a visitor purchases through your link, a commission will be paid only if your cookie exists on their browser.

A cookie is stored on users’ browsers when they click your affiliate link. So the longer it stays on the browser, the higher are your chances of earning a commission.

For example, let’s say a brand sets a cookie duration of seven days. So if the user clicks your affiliate link and purchases within seven days, you will make a commission. However, if the user purchases after seven days, on the 8th or the 11th day, you will NOT earn a commission. All your effort will be in vain.

So the longer the cookie duration, the better it is for you, the Affiliate Marketer.

(10) Consider Traffic Leaks

Before you choose an affiliate program, you need to check the program’s website and check if there could be leaks.

Now you might wonder: What is a traffic leak?

In simple words, a traffic leak occurs when visitors click banners or links that send them to other websites or platforms.

Traffic leaks will harm you because when your visitors click the outbound links and purchase, the affiliate platform will earn money, but not you.

Traffic leaks could be caused by Google AdSense ads, third-party links and banners, popups, and other third-party resources.

(11) Sales Tracking & Attribution

The top affiliate programs provide Affiliate Marketers with a dedicated sales tracker, commission tracker, payment systems, click-through rates, and other crucial metrics.

They also provide incentives to the top-performing Affiliate Marketers in the form of bonuses, cash prizes, and so on. Some renowned affiliate programs reward the best affiliates with something as fancy as a sports car!

With the knowledge of the clicks, commissions, and sales, the Affiliate Marketers can channel their focus on the things that work, and that could result in higher sales and commissions.

(12) Recurring Commissions

If you sell a product that requires customers to pay every month, you will earn a commission every month. That is, sell once and earn every month. This is called a recurring commission.

It is to be noted that when the customer stops paying for the service and/or cancels the subscription, you will stop making commissions.

I know you are thrilled by this! When I first came across this “scheme”, I was blown away!

Many companies offer recurring commissions. For example, I promote the following products that pay me recurring commissions:

Only by converting one visitor, you will earn a commission every month, sometimes even for a lifetime! If you are a beginner, I’d recommend you sign up for such programs as they help to earn a continuous income every month.

How Can You Find The Best Affiliate Programs?

If you are a beginner at Affiliate Marketing, finding affiliate programs is a big challenge. To help you out, we will share the three methods through which you can sign up for an affiliate program.

Method 1: Brand Website

The first method to find an affiliate program is to explore your favourite brand’s website. According to my experience, every big brand has an Affiliate program.

So to find out if your favourite has an affiliate program – and it will – open Google and type: <<brand>> affiliate program.

For example, if your favourite brand is Nike, you can type: “Nike Affiliate Program” on Google.

Then, when you find the affiliate sign-up page, you can fill out the form and apply to their program.

Method 2: Sign Up On Popular Affiliate Networks

The second method is to sign up on Affiliate Networks like ClickBank, JVZoo, Commission Junction, DigiStore24, Impact, and so on.

On Affiliate Networks, you will find thousands of products of various categories or niches. You will have to select your market or niche, upon which you will get the products of your niche.

The only thing left is to select the product that you love and get the ball rolling. 

Method 3: The Hidden Method

The third method is the hidden method. If you want to know if your favourite brand has an Affiliate program, you can write an e-mail to them and enquire about it.

More often than not, many brands have an Affiliate Program that is known only internally, and you must ask them about it.

To find out if your favourite brand has an Affiliate program, go to their contact page, and type out the message asking them whether or not they have an Affiliate program.

Conclusion

According to PayScale, the top affiliates make roughly $71k a year. But for beginners in Affiliate Marketing, choosing the ideal affiliate program is not easy.

It is a back-breaking task to decide which program to sign up for when hundreds of programs exist in the market.

To help you out, my team and I have created a list of the 12 most crucial points you must check before signing up for an affiliate program.

  1. Program Reputation: How popular is a program, and how many quality products does it offer?
  2. Product Quality: Check if the products have the following things:
    1. They help the consumers
    2. They solve problems the audience might be facing
    3. They provide value
  3. Market Research: You will easily find a program’s review on review sites, surveys, Google reviews, the program’s official website, social media, forums, and so on.
  4. Commission Rate: In my experience, the average commission rate ranges between 5 per cent and 30 per cent. However, some programs even offer commissions up to 90 per cent.
  5. Choose a program that fits your niche
  6. Earnings Per Sale: Try and promote a product that pays a commission of tens of dollars, not a couple of bucks.
  7. Program Support: The affiliate program can provide support in the form of e-mail support, weekdays or 24×7 live chat, a dedicated account manager, and so on.
  8. Marketing Material: Many affiliate programs provide marketing material, such as knowledge bases, blog posts, banners, e-mail swipes, testimonials, demographic data, ad copies, and so on, to their affiliates.
  9. Cookie Duration: The longer the cookie duration, the better it is for you.
  10. Consider Traffic Leaks: In simple words, a traffic leak occurs when visitors click banners or links that send them to other websites or platforms.
  11. Sales Tracking & Attribution: The top affiliate programs provide Affiliate Marketers with a dedicated sales tracker, commission tracker, payment systems, click-through rates, and other crucial metrics.
  12. Recurring Commissions: If you sell a product that requires customers to pay every month, you will earn a commission every month. That is, sell once and earn every month. This is called a recurring commission.

If this post made your affiliate program selection easy, please share it with those who need it!

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