Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online.
You don’t need to create your own products, you don’t have to worry about fulfillment and customer service, and you can even start without a website of your own.
What’s Affiliate Marketing?
Quite simply, you join an affiliate program to promote other people’s products. You choose which products you want to promote, and for each one you get a unique affiliate URL.
When you send traffic to that unique URL, you are tracked as being the affiliate.
You get credit for each sale made, earning you a commission.
And often times it’s a big, fat, juicy commission, too.
50% is standard.
But many programs pay 60%, 75% and sometimes even 100%.
Imagine that – someone else does all the work of creating the product and the sales material, and you earn 100% of the commission.
It sounds crazy until you realize that the product owner is building a very valuable list of BUYERS.
And that product owner can sell to those buyers over and over again in the future.
Even as a brand new affiliate marketer, you can begin earning money almost right away.
Of course, the first step is to actually FIND these profitable, highly converting affiliate programs so you can begin promoting them.
For our purposes, we’re going to focus exclusively on digital products such as ebooks, video courses, software, webinars, audio training and so forth – anything that can be downloaded in digital format from the Internet rather than delivered by UPS.
Not all affiliate products are created equally. Here’s how to find the ones that will make you the most money:
Choose An Affiliate Network
Affiliate networks are websites that handle all of the technical details of the affiliate process.
Product owners place their products on affiliate networks to create affiliate links, handle tracking and compute payouts to each affiliate.
And the affiliate network also acts as the go-between for the product owner and the affiliate, putting the two together so they can form a mutually beneficial relationship.
Major affiliate networks include:
- And others
For example, if your niche is internet marketing, JVZoo is probably the best place to start.
If your niche is weight loss, investments, personal development, relationships and so forth, you’ll probably do well on Clickbank.
Uncovering The Hidden Gems
Every affiliate network has a marketplace where you can search and browse through all of the products.
You can search by popularity, selling price, commission percentage and other factors.
For example, if you want to promote an internet marketing product, you can search under that category and then break it down further until you find the specific types of programs you’re interested in.
Look at the details of each one and become familiar with how products are listed and what information is displayed.
What To Look For:
Naturally you don’t want to promote just any program. You want one that your customers will love and that will make you a lot of money.
Perhaps most importantly for your own peace of mind, you want to know if it is a high quality product that delivers on its promises.
To find out, check the refund rate. Just because a sales page converts like crazy doesn’t necessarily mean you want to promote the product.
If refunds are high, stay far away. A high refund rate indicates the product isn’t delivering on its promises. Also, customer service may be bad or non-existent.
If you can’t find refund stats, ask for them.
And while you’re at it, ask to see a review copy. Let the product owner know you plan on promoting the product and you would like to see the product for yourself.
Nearly all product owners will let you do this, especially when you have good sales history in your affiliate account. If they don’t, then assume they might be hiding something and stay away.
When you get your review copy, imagine you’re a customer who just bought it.
Go through the product and decide if you would be happy if you paid for it. If not, don’t promote it.
How Well Does The Product Pay?
Look for the percentage of payout, not just for the main product, but also for any other products in the product funnel.
For example, you might earn 100% commission on the front end, and another 50% on all upsells.
Learning what products are in the sales funnel and how much they pay may involve going to the JV or affiliate page of the product owner.
You’ll also find email swipes there, banners, ads and so forth that you can use to promote the product.
Does The Product Convert Well?
This one is a little tricky. If you look at the stats next to the product, you should see some conversion figures.
But it’s vital that you know that every product receives both good and bad traffic.
Meaning one affiliate might get a 8% conversion rate, while another one will get .01%.
When you average these out, the conversion rate might not look all that positive.
That said, you can still get a rough idea of how well the sales page might convert for you by looking at the stats.
What Are Earnings Per Click (EPC)?
This is a method of measuring conversion that tells you how much each click sent to the sales page is worth – on average.
For example, if an affiliate sends 100 people (or 100 ‘clicks’) to the sales page, and makes $200, then that affiliate earns $2 per click.
Generally, the higher the earnings per click, the better.
Look for products that are paying at least $1 per click.
What About The Sales Page?
Don’t forget to look at the sales page. A product could meet all the previous criteria, but have a sales page that you don’t want to send traffic to.
For example, perhaps your niche is women over 50 who want to lose weight.
You find a promising weight loss product, but when you get to the sales page you see nothing but photos of 18 year olds.
This sales letter probably wouldn’t convert well with your audience, since the program appears to be for a much younger crowd.
You know your audience better than anyone else, so be sure to send them only offers they will truly appreciate receiving.
One more note about sales pages – read them carefully and be sure they’re not making any claims that can’t be fulfilled by the product they sell.
For example, if the sales page claims anyone can lose 10 pounds a week while eating non-stop, you already know this is a ridiculous claim and clearly the product should be avoided.
Is This Product A Good Fit For Your List?
Does the product solve a common problem held by your list?
Is the information something your readers would readily hand over their money to acquire?
It’s easier to sell solutions to big problems the reader is already aware of, rather than having to educate the reader on why they need this solution.
Contact The Product Seller
This is a tip you don’t see too often, but it can make a tremendous difference in your conversions.
Contact the product owner and ask what other affiliates are doing to get the highest conversion rates and earnings per click from their promotions. You might learn something that gives your campaign a tremendous boost.
It’s also possible the product owner will bump up your commission. This is entirely up to them and you never, ever want to get pushy about this.
Boost Your Sales With Added Value Bonuses
Adding bonuses of your own to the offer can sometimes increase sales dramatically.
Let your readers know your bonus is exclusive and available ONLY when they buy through your link.
This is especially helpful when you are promoting during a big launch. Many other marketers may be promoting as well, so it’s often the case that whoever offers the biggest bonuses will get the sales.
Now Go Find A Product To Promote
Finding quality, high converting and super profitable affiliate programs isn’t difficult. But it does take some homework to get it right.
That’s why it’s best to choose a handful of affiliate products that you and your readers truly love, and focus on promoting those.
And it’s especially helpful if you use the programs yourself.
This way you can tell your readers exactly what the programs are doing for you. That’s by far the best and most convincing testimonial you can give.
Now it’s time to go find a program to promote.
Because as soon as you do, you can be earning your own commissions in no time.