Best Affiliate Programs

Part of developing a successful online affiliate marketing strategy is finding the best affiliate programs for you. There is a wide variety of programs you can choose from, and selecting the right ones takes a bit to planning, research, and testing.

Many affiliate marketers assume that the best affiliate programs are those that offer the highest commissions. This is particularly true for people who are promoting virtual products - it can be difficult to pass up affiliate programs that pay commissions of 50 to 75 percent.

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However, just because an affiliate program offers a high commission does not mean it is the best choice. After all, if the company's sales page does not do a good job of converting visitors into buyers, you will find it difficult to make money with that program.

Consider these 6 key areas when ready to choose the best affiliate programs for you and your Blog or website:

1. The Product

It is certainly possible to sell a product that you have never tried. It is even possible to sell a product you have never tried yourself. However, if you want to promote a product, then I would highly recommend that you own it, and try it!

When you promote a product, you are referring your loyal customers, who trust you and your information and knowledge. If you then send your customers to a product that you have never tried and doesn't reflect the quality that you promote, then you will certainly lose your customers and subsequently have a business that is not sustainable!

2. Product Niche

Does the product that you wish to promote align with your website or blog? That is, does the content of your website or blog relate to the product that you wish to promote? If not, then even if the affiliate program is the best that you have ever seen, you will probably not generate any sales.

The more closely your content and information supports and relates to the affiliate products you wish to promote, then the better this affiliate program is for you!

If you have a website or blog about camping, and you find a great affiliate program to sell an ebooks about yoga, then I don't think you will succeed! The program might pay the most commission, have the highest conversion rate and pay residual income, but it doesn't relate to the topic your readers (customers) are interested in.

This might seem obvious, but is always good to keep in mind.

3. Sales Page

How appealing is the company's sales page or product website? As noted above, in order to build a profitable affiliate marketing business, your visitors not only need to click on your ads; they need to purchase the company's products. If the company's website does not do a good job of convincing visitors to buy, called conversion rate, then promoting the company's product is a waste of time and energy.

One note about this: An attractive design does not necessarily translate to an effective sales page. Some of the most basic sites convert very well, while some very elaborate sites fail to convince visitors to buy. A good rule of thumb to use is that if a site makes you want to buy the company's products, it will likely make other people want to buy as well.

4. Commission Payment

How often does the company pay commissions? The time frame between sale and payment varies considerably among affiliate programs. It can be rather frustrating to put a lot of work into making affiliate sales, only to have to wait for months to receive your commissions.

The best affiliate programs issue commission payments on a weekly or biweekly basis, while others only pay monthly or quarterly.

5. Commission Life

Does the affiliate program offer long term commissions? Suppose a visitor clicks on your ad, and decides to buy a product. Later, the customer returns to the site to buy more products. The best affiliate programs will keep paying you for those additional products, even though they only bought the first product after clicking on your affiliate link. Whenever possible, it is a good idea to choose these online affiliate marketing programs, because you can continue earning commissions long after you refer the customer to the company's website.

6. Rate of Return

Does the affiliate company have a high rate of returns? For most Affilate companies, if a customer buys a product through your affiliate link and later returns it for a refund, the company will charge this return against your affiliate commissions. Having commissions deducted from your account is even more frustrating than struggling to make affiliate sales in the first place.

Sometimes, the best affiliate programs will have a low rate of return, so once you have referred a sale, you can be relatively sure that you will actually receive your commission.

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