As a newbie to affiliate marketing, it can be mind boggling, the number of affiliate programs there are out there catering to all sorts of niches. Also if you browse the forums, many are the horror stories of unpaid commissions, illegal programs and pyramid schemes.
So how do you, the affiliate marketing newbie, go about selecting the affiliate marketing program to promote.
Follow a few basic rules and you significantly reduce your risk of being burnt
- Do your own research. Yes, sorry, i said it. You need to do your own legwork. Do a search engine search on the affiliate marketing program you wish to promote. Browse the forums and see what other marketers are saying about it. There really is no substitute for this.
- Be clear what you want: You need to be certain what type of product it is you want to promote. Say for example you choose to promote digital products e.g computer software and you find an affiliate program that sells computer software. You run out and sign up only to find they only sell the physical form ie. packaged on a disc and delivered by mail. You wanted to give your customers the chance to instantly download this product, in fact your website offers them that. Not good! The program may be an excellent affiliate program but it is not suited to your particular requirements. Be clear what type of product it is you want to promote and make sure that the program caters to it
- Would you buy this product yourself? A crucial question that you must ask your self. If you absolutely would never be interested in buying this product, you have got an up hill task trying to convince others to buy it from you. Duh!
- Who made the product? You want to build a good reputation for your new online business so you need to ensure the quality of what you are promoting. In the world of online marketing, there are so many people without much expertise, creating and selling products, a lot of them sub-standard. The software industry is one particularly susceptible area. You need to be sure that whoever makes the product you are promoting is an expert in that field. Again do your due diligence when investigating them on the internet. A simple search engine search will usually suffice
- Who else is promoting it? If it really is a good product in a hot niche, there should be other affiliate marketing colleagues clamouring to promote it. If no one else is promoting it, be very cautious.
- Usually a product that has a money back guarantee is easier to market. This just gives your visitors the extra security that might nudge them towards their wallets
- Make sure they have a reasonable cookie duration. As an affiliate marketing newbie, you may not have the skills to get your visitors to ‘buy your recommendations now’ Some super affiliates are good at this. You would therefore want the cookie to have a lifespan of at least 30 days. Giving you a chance to pitch and re-pitch and re-pitch and…. till the visitor buys. It is said that it takes about 7 exposures to your product to get the average customer to buy. Yikes!!
- Be wary of minimum Quotas and such like. Some affiliate marketing programs require you to make x number of sales before you get paid or generate sales from at least y number of credit cards before you get your payout. Make sure that you are capable of achieving these quotas before signing up
The most important tip is that you are not married to a product. Often, affiliate marketing newbies get attached to their product even when it is making them a loss. If it isn’t shifting, dump it and find another product to promote