Affiliate Marketing in 7 Steps Series (2/7)

STEP 2. Choose a good affiliate program

Once you have determined a market you want to cater to, it’s time to choose the profit-generating opportunity of this affiliate marketing process.

Overall, you have 2 choices: - Choosing an Affiliate Maketing Program

1. Choose an affiliate program: An affiliate program is one where the merchant or product creator directly hires affiliates.  The affiliates will deal with the merchant DIRECTLY.  There will be no third party, no broker to speak of.  The merchant will be the one to distribute affiliate links, give away promotional materials to help selling the products, and ultimately, collect all payments from the customers and pay the affiliates their commissions.


2. Join affiliate network: An affiliate network, on the other hand, is a system or a network which an affiliate can join.  Upon enrollment, he will gain access to hundreds, if not thousands, of products from different merchants.  He can choose which product to promote.  The affiliate network serves as the broker between the affiliates and the merchants.

An affiliate network is an excellent choice for people who can’t decide on what product to promote.  With the myriad of choices presented by affiliate networks today, and with the liberty to choose any product at any time, affiliate networks offer great opportunities for would-be affiliate marketers.

The problem? - Thousands, if not millions, of people share the same thought about affiliate networks. This means thousands, if not millions, of competitors for you for any product you will choose under an affiliate network.

The secret to affiliate marketing success is actually quite simple.  It can be summarized through the equation below…

high demand for a product + few competition = maximum profit

This is true for any business.

Affiliate networks may offer a hot product, but if millions of affiliates will promote it, you chances of succeeding will be severely curtailed.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t succeed if you’re enrolled under an affiliate network.  With the succeeding lessons, you will learn how to elevate your game and emerge triumphant in the field of affiliate marketing even if you will be competing against millions of other affiliates.

Now, on to affiliate programs…

An affiliate program, quite obviously, will offer fewer products for you to promote, sometimes only 1 product.  However, this is not necessarily bad. If it is a great solid product that adapts to your needs and you believe in it, you can choose to go this route.

This also means less competition.  And this further means greater chances to succeed.

Not satisfied with the sales rate of a product under an affiliate program’s banner?

No problem! - You can join multiple affiliate programs!  There is no limit as to how many affiliate programs you can join. 

Better yet, almost all affiliate programs are free to join.  They won’t charge you a single cent for your membership.  After all, you are the one who will be helping the merchant sell his products.  You are the one who must be paid!

A few guidelines for selecting products to promote:

  • Offering a product that is of inferior quality.  This product may fill up a need somewhere, but because of its poor quality, refund requests will pour in.  You may be able to refer some sales, but the refunds will take away your commission.  Worse, you might lose credibility among your prospects for leading them to a bad product.
  • Offering a product that is difficult to sell.  This is self-explanatory.  You won’t be able to realize your commissions if the product you’re tasked to pre-sell is a “hard sell.”
  • The affiliate program has a history of failing to pay its affiliates.  Nothing is more frustrating than working for something but being deprived of the rewards for some reason or another.
  • The affiliate program has a dubious history in its dealing with its clients and partners.
  • The affiliate program is struggling when it comes to its finances.
  • The affiliate program is being operated by a person or persons who are quite hesitant to introduce themselves.
If you see an affiliate program with any of these characteristics, run the other way.

Consequently, look for these characteristics in your search: 
  • A hot-selling product.  Personally, this is my number one concern.  I will not be able to earn as an affiliate if I cannot pre-sell any products, right?  Hence, I always look for programs offering products that have a proven value in a particular market, or at the very least, products which offer a lot of promise.
  • Gratuitous commission scheme.  This is only secondary to the factor above.  The minimum commission rate for me is 50%.  Anything lower may take more consideration.  This shouldn’t be a problem though, as most affiliate programs offer 50% commission per sale these days.
  • A program that is well known for its credibility.  Who would want to associate themselves with flash in the pan, fly-by-night establishments, right?  You want to be a winner?  Stick with a winner!  You will need to rely on recommendations and your own exercise of due diligence to find such an affiliate program.
  • A program that has an excellent post-sales service.  In affiliate marketing, refund requests are your enemies.  You may be led to believe that you have bagged a sale, but if a refund is requested later on, you won’t get any commission.  A program that has excellent post sales support will be able to minimize such requests, and consequently, will be able to protect your interests.
As far as affiliate networks for Internet Marketing or Make Money Online Niche refer to: jvzoo, warrior plus and clickbank these networks are excellent places to get things going. 

Start hunting and Never Give Up!