How to Choose a Profitable Affiliate Program


Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest, easiest and affordable ways to start earning an income online. However there is much more to affiliate marketing than signing up and posting your affiliate link. Just like any other work-at-home venture, starting and running an affiliate marketing business requires research and planning. One of the most important aspects of that research is determining which affiliate programs to promote.

When evaluating an affiliate program, consider the following:

1) Does the affiliate company provide products or services that you are interested in or knowledgeable about?

It’s much easier to promote programs with authority when they involve products and services in your skill set or knowledge base. So if you love gardening, choose an affiliate with gardening products. If you know a lot about money matters, choose companies with quality financial products and services.

2) Are people buying the types of products and services the affiliate company offers?

Use a good keyword search tool to find out if people are searching for the information or products the company is selling. You’re looking for products and services that are in demand, so if there aren’t many searches on the keywords of a particular product or service, then it’s not likely that you’ll have much success with its affiliate program.

3) Is the company reputable?

The company’s reputation will reflect on you, so make sure you’re promoting good company with quality products and services. If there are many complaints about the company not following through on it’s promises, you don’t want to promote it. Bad experiences by your referrals will lead them to question you, and they might not trust any other affiliate offers you make.

How to Choose a Profitable Affiliate Program4) Is the product or service priced right?

Would you pay the price for the product or service you’re promoting? If not, your referrals might not either.

5) Can you attest to the quality?

You’ll need to buy or test the product or service to be sure. In fact, a testimonial or some other personal-use story (article, video etc) from you can increase sales.

6) Does the company offer quality customer service?

Poor customer service will negatively impact your credibility as the person who recommended the affiliate company, so make sure the company treats its customers well.

7) Does it have a clear and professional website?

It doesn’t need bells and whistles, but it should be organized and easy to use. Pricing, returns, and other terms of service should be upfront and clear.

8) What does the affiliate marketing agreement say and are the terms acceptable?

Make sure you understand any limitations such as whether or not you can advertise in email or through pay-per-click services.

9) How and when do you get paid?

Is this a pay-per-sale or a pay-per-lead affiliate program? Does it pay monthly? Do you need to have earned a specific amount before you get paid? While it’s not common, there are affiliate programs that don’t pay their affiliates. You need to know when you get paid and how, so you can hunt down your payment if necessary.

10) How does it track your commissions?

Some questionable affiliate merchants can hijack your commission by offer alternative payment options to customers that don’t track your referrals. You want to make sure that your referrals are credited to you. Further, you’ll want to know if it uses cookies so that if your referral doesn’t buy on the first visit, but returns later, you still get paid for the referral.

11) Does it have marketing tools to help you promote its products and services?

Marketing is the key to affiliate success, so choose programs that have tools to help you.

There are hundreds of thousands of affiliate programs that will pay you to promote its items, but not all are worth the time and effort. Before signing up for any affiliate program, make sure that you evaluate it using the eleven items above. By doing so you’ll insure that your reputation and credibility stay intact and that you make money.

  1. Teresa says

    Thank you for this information. I have it book marked. That way, I can get back to it later and re-read it again.

    1. LTruex says

      I’m glad you find it helpful, Teresa!

  2. Mary says

    Where would you find out if a affiliate marketing company is reputable?

    1. LTruex says

      There are several great affiliate companies. If you go through a network like Conversant, Linkshare, Sharasale, Clickbank, etc, you can join several programs within one network. If there is a product you love that you’d like to promote, you can contact the company directly to see if it has an affiliate program.

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