Last week we looked at the beginner steps of starting affiliate marketing, which is the most popular way to earn passive income. This week we will look at how to find affiliate products to promote.
Grab a cup of coffee and put your thinking cap on!
Related Post: Start Affiliate Marketing Today
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How to Find Affiliate Products to promote
Once you have your website up and running, you should have a good idea of your target audience. You should also have a niche and possibly a sub-niche. For example, you could have a blog about cooking. Drilling down a bit, you could have a blog about organic cooking. And, taking that one step further, you may wish to specialize in homegrown organic vegetables and cooking.
What does this have to do with affiliate marketing? Once you have a clear and specific target audience in place, you can then delve into what your target audience wants to purchase. Once you know your audience, you can promote various kitchen tools, cookware, and utensils that make your organic homegrown cooking easier and faster too.
If you can help somebody to do something faster, quicker, easier, then you have a lot to market there.
Knowing your target audience and associating their potential needs, wants, and desires, your affiliate attempts will give you a better chance at being successful with your affiliate marketing endeavors.
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Research Products for Your Target Audience
One of the best ways to choose an affiliate is to do some research. Check out what others with similar blogs or websites are targeting. Visit forums to see what visitors are talking about, what their favorite products are in that category, and what they complain about most.
Try Products for Yourself
Maybe you do reviews and try different products and post your comments. See what gets a reaction in a favorable manner and lean toward that product or service. Let’s say for example, you have a photography site and you use a certain type of camera. This is a perfect lead-in to place that item on your blog or website. Once you begin talking about that particular camera, you can then add the link into your blog post with a higher likelihood of someone clicking on it.
This is especially true if you are somewhat of an authority on your subject and have a fan base that you have created trust with, as well. If you are authentic and trustworthy and have established a good relationship with your visitors and readers, then chances are if you recommend something that you have used or tried, then your visitors will be more inclined to use or buy that item, as well.
Associate Products Similar to Your Blog or Website for Affiliate Marketing Purposes
In the example with the photography site, if you have already written about that particular camera, then dig a little deeper. Why not blog about a particular lens that you use for certain shots? Link back to a site that sells that particular lens. Choose a banner or ad that describes that item.
Again, if you use it and like it and have a trust relationship with your visitors, then chances are that you will feel and write more confidently about that product. And it is more likely that visitors will click the link or on the ad, and you will have more success with your affiliate marketing.
So search for affiliate programs that are a good match for your website.
One of my favorite affiliate programs is Ultimate Bundles. UB is an amazing program that offers bundles of digital products, in different niches, throughout the year. Most bundles also come with exclusive bonuses like digital downloads and/or free-trials of useful programs, and some items that are free but you have to pay shipping.
Bundle topics include: blogging (Genius Bloggers Toolkit, Work at Home bundle), Healthy Living, Meal Planning, crafting (Handmade with Love), Homemaking (Ultimate Homemaking bundle), Herbs & Essential Oils, and photography (Ultimate Photography bundle).
Exploring Affiliate Networks
Affiliate networks act as the go-between for the affiliate and the merchant. Affiliate networks are responsible for several things such as the processing of payments, keeping an eye on commissions, as well as payments. Some of the more popular affiliate networks are:
Amazon has been around since 1994 and Amazon Associates has been around since 1996, and is one of the first affiliate programs.
With Amazon Associates you can earn income by advertising hundreds upon thousands of products through Amazon.com. As an Amazon associate, you advertise a product using a link on your own website and when a consumer clicks through and makes a purchase, you earn a commission.
The beauty of using Amazon is that Amazon is a trusted and well-known name. This makes it more comfortable and trustworthy for consumers to click through and subsequently make that purchase.
Amazon associates is available in many countries, but you should check that your country is on the list. If it is, I would recommend that you have two Amazon accounts if you live outside of the USA. Have one that is specific to your country and a second that is the Amazon.com site. Since many shoppers are in the USA, this allows them to purchase at the best price.
As well, amazon.com has many products that are not available in Amazon’s outside of the US. Create both accounts and then use the OneLink feature to set the US Amazon site as the main site and get your links from it.
Some Other Networks – click to open in a new page
ShareAsale offers digital products like Pic Monkey and Grammarly, and physical products like clothing (Reebok, NBAStore), food and drink (Lobster Anywhere, Winc) or gifts (Design it Yourself gift baskets) and they offer thousands of merchants that you can partner with in almost any niche.
Rakuten and CJ Affiliate are similar to ShareAsale. There are many more affiliate networks, so keep researching.
ClickBank is most suitable for digital products such as eBooks. You can expect more in commission when advertising digital products such as software, since the merchant does not have a lot of overhead. The eBook is a perfect example of low overhead costs.
eBay Partner Network helps you to get paid for sharing listings.
Related Post: How to Choose an Affiliate Marketing Program.
Related Post: Get Started with Clickbank!
Signing up for these affiliate networks is fairly easy. Once signed up, you can see how much earnings in dollars and cents or percentage wise you can earn. You will also be able to see which products are selling the most and which products have the most affiliates.
Another way to find affiliate products to promote is to type your niche and “+ affiliate” into Google and see what results pop up. With hundreds, if not thousands, of merchants to choose from, you are certain to find the right matches for you, your website, and your affiliate program, as well. So, with so many options, how do you find the one that is right for you?
Choosing What’s Best for You and Your Affiliate Program
Does the Affiliate Tie in with Your Website? – One of the first things you may wish to look into is whether or not the product you are affiliating with ties nicely into your website. After all, you don’t want to have a photography blog and then start affiliating with cooking utensils. Try to keep it relevant. After all, if you are showing posts with beautiful and artistic photographs, then visitors are more inclined to want to take photos just like you – especially if you are an authority on a specific subject. For example, if you are a professional at taking photos of nature, then visitors may want to use the camera that you are using so that they can get the same results, as well.
Is it a Reputable Product and/or Company? – The word affiliate means to associate yourself with, so you want to be sure that you are associating yourself with reputable products and/or companies. If you are aligning yourself, your blog or your brand with a company, please make sure that it is a company of integrity – integrity meaning that the company stands behind their words and their products.
Ease of Use – For some, just the word marketing sends shivers down their spine. Then add the word affiliate and it may seem intimidating from the onset. Neither marketing nor anything that has to do with the Internet should be intimidating. An affiliate site should be easy to navigate and fairly easy to use.
How Much Money You Earn – It is important to understand the different methods of payment. For example, you can receive pay on a flat rate or you can receive a percentage. There is also the opportunity to receive recurring commissions as long as a consumer continues to pay for a monthly service, for example.
Be sure to check on the “hold” period for payouts. Many affiliate networks hold your money during the time that a product can be returned, and then only pay out on a certain day of the month. Please check the terms for each product, as they are all different.
Pay Attention to Conversion Formulas – When looking at products and merchants, take a look at conversion rates. If a merchant has a higher conversion rate – conversion rate meaning how many potential consumers actually turn into buyers – then that merchant may be worth considering more closely.
How to Choose an Affiliate Marketing Program
When it comes down to it, it really is just a matter of spending some time and doing your research. Do a compare and contrast. See what fits your needs best. Do the research.
Try an affiliate marketing program and see if it works for you. Sometimes, all the research in the world cannot compare to actually trying something. Be sure to give each product a fair amount of time to “work for you” and try promoting it in several ways to see if you get any clicks. Clicks mean interest so even if there is no sale, at least you know that there is some interest.
Ask friends, family members, business owners, and co-workers what affiliate programs they use and why. Word of mouth is still a great form of advertising, as well as a great form of researching. Get others’ opinions.
Summary of a Few Beginner’s Tips
- Choose a niche you have experience with, are knowledgeable about, and feel passion for
- Don’t be a salesman right out of the box; gain your audience’s trust
- Be authentic; be vulnerable; be engaging
- Create good content – make certain you have enough to say on the subject so that your audience views you as a person of authority and experience
- Test out and review different products
- Match your products with your blog or website
- Do your research
- Try out affiliate marketing and do the necessary work
I hope this has answered a few of your questions on how to choose an affiliate network that you can get suitable products to promote. Next week we will get into the marketing side with some best practices and tips for success.
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Until next week, happy blogging and follow me on Pinterest!