Affiliate Marketing is one of the many ways you can monetize your blog to earn money. Although a little bit similar to other advertising options, Affiliate advertisement has a world of its own. It requires a whole new and different marketing approach. And it has a huge potential, if realized correctly. Affiliate ads can earn a lot more for you than normal ads. But it takes a lot of hard work and precision. Before you consider affiliate marketing, however, the first thing you need to think about is choosing a proper affiliate program. If you get this step right, the ‘precision’ part of your campaign is well underway. Here are some tips that can guide you through the process of choosing the perfect affiliate program.
Terms of agreement
Before signing up for an affiliate program, you need to take a close look at the agreement conditions and terms of services. You need to make sure that the agreement isn’t against your interest. Any questionable clause, and I might drop the program altogether. For example, if the payment threshold is high, say more than $50, or if payments are not monthly, or if the program can be terminated at any time by the merchant, then I would not join that program.
Next, you should decide whether it is worth the effort. It isn’t always about the commission rate. People think the more the better. But that’s not always true. For example, if a program gives you a 75% commission, but the products are worth $5 or so, then there is no use pursuing that program. If, on the other hand, the commission is 25%, but the products o for $100 or so, then you have yourself a good deal. This depends on the potential customers as well. If there are around 100 customers per month for the $5 product, but only a couple for the $100 one, then the former is worth more. It is all about calculating worth.
Assess the market
Before jumping onto an affiliate program, consider what products are you gonna promote, and what is their market worth. Run a Google search and find out whether people are looking for such stuff or not. For example, you know cell phone accessories have a large market, since almost everyone these days has a cell phone. SO selling such accessories can be worthwhile. But things like gardening tools don’t have much of a kick. For all that it’s worth, you might get just a couple hits per month. So it might pay off to access the product’s market before choosing a program.
An affiliate program that has a good range of products to sell might be beneficial in the long run. You can’t just stick to one product. As your blog grows, so does your outreach. You might need to promote more products. SO choosing a large affiliate program such as Amazon can pay off.
The concept of targeted marketing applies here. It means promoting products to people who are actually interested in them. The products that you want to promote should relate strongly to the topic you are writing about. So before picking an affiliate program, ask yourself this. What is my audience? What do people come to my blog for? And what kind of products (if any) they might be interested in? In my above cooking example, my audience are people who are looking for tips on how to cook, or how to cook better. Now if appliances make the process easier, they might want to buy that appliance, which is why I would most probably put up an affiliate link over there. See my point?
You must endorse the products
Before signing up for an affiliate program, take a good look at the product or service you’ll be endorsing. This is a very important step. You really need to be motivated enough yourself so that others will follow your example. Believe in the product. That’s how you can convince others. For example if you are writing about cooking, then you might say something like “this product is really the best for the job, as it is sturdy, reliable, and easy to use.” This will show that you know what you are talking about, and you genuinely believe in the product.
Your next concern should be quality. The type of products you promote says a lot about yourself. The products you are going to sell should be good quality. And so should the sites you link to. Legitimate and quality programs and products are the key to your success, since people always look for legitimacy and authenticity.
After a program passes those preliminary tests, you should look for information about the program’s management. First, send an email to the program’s contact person to check their response time. The maximum tolerable delay is 24 hours, Also, feel free to contact the affiliate manager. An unresponsive or unhelpful affiliate manager is not a good sign. For any company, relations with its affiliate partners is important. Which is why you need to communicate with the manager or contact person frequently. It won’t help if they are unresponsive. And if affiliate partners are dealt with by their customer relations department, then it’s really not advisable to join such a program.
Another factor that goes into choosing an affiliate program is the demographics of your audience. More specifically, their locality. Not all programs ship products to all countries, not even Amazon. If a product is not available to your audience in a particular country, then that’s just your efforts down the drain.
Finally, you should ask the program manager to supply you with the contact information of a few of their top affiliates – which they should be happy to do. Ask your fellow affiliates what their experience has been with the merchant in question. Using these guidelines each and every time I choose an affiliate program has enabled me to be successful and rarely surprised. In addition, the major affiliate networks, LinkShare, Be Free, and Commission Junction are finally taking steps to help affiliates to understand the merchants they are working with. There are now mechanisms in place that allow affiliates to easily pick programs that carry less risk.
These were my best tips on how to choose a good affiliate program for your blog. If you have any other great tips, then you’re more than welcome to share them with us. Cheers 🙂