Affiliate programs are the backbone and main source of income for every affiliate marketer. You cannot be successful without affiliate programs if you intend to make money through an affiliate marketing business. Of course, there are other sources like a YouTube channel or paid ads that don’t require the involvement of affiliate programs to some extent but the overall structure and base of affiliate marketing niche and website stands on remunerable affiliate programs. In this post, I will tell you how to find affiliate programs in any niche that are easy to research as well as rewarding.
It is easy to find many affiliate programs but one must do proper due diligence before joining an affiliate program. These programs should have qualitative products, affiliate resources, and above all relevancy to your niche.
What is an affiliate program?
An affiliate program is also called a referral program or a partner program offered by the companies that want to promote their products through affiliates. An individual or an affiliate who joins the platform to promote its products earn commissions in return.
The benefits of joining the affiliate programs are they are free to join and are available in any niche. There is no need to own or physically store the actual products.
How does the affiliate program work?
Every affiliate program has a unique tracking link assigned to its affiliates which are called affiliate links. Once a person joins an affiliate program, he/she can use the links on their website, social media, or any other advertising platform.
When your website visitors or social media followers click the affiliate link and end up joining the platform or purchasing the products the affiliate program owner will pay you commissions.
The affiliate links are also provided in the form of banners, logos, ads, and text links to diversify the affiliate campaign through visuals and images.
What to look for in an affiliate program?
When looking for an affiliate program keep in mind the below tips:
Joining: Almost all affiliate programs are free to join. Avoid a company that offers an affiliate program asking for money or some kind of fees as a joining criterion. It is better to avoid joining an affiliate program unless you have some kind of consistent traffic on your website as this is one of the conditions that many affiliate companies and networks follow to approve your affiliate membership.
Products: Make sure the products are relevant and of high quality. For example, dieting products include various consumable products and physical exercises. Check for the product reviews and ratings. If you do not find the ratings on the site itself google it. Avoid promoting products that don’t have many reviews and have ratings below 3.
Commissions: Find out about the commissions the affiliate program is offering. Most of the marketplaces, and companies offer between 2%-10% commissions on their products. Where the commissions are below 5% check for the product pricing that you are planning to promote. It doesn’t make sense to promote a product priced at $100 with 2% commissions unless it is a breakthrough product with high demand.
If the affiliate program is about offering some kind of services or membership prefer the one that offers recurring commissions.
Affiliate resources: Promotional tools and resources like banners, ads, etc. play an important part. Make sure the affiliate program offers these resources as a standard practice to widen your scope of promotion on different platforms. Many companies restrict the promotions and traffic from paid ads, deals & coupon sites. Ensure to follow the affiliate program rules and regulations.
The affiliate program should have a dedicated affiliate section with access to the affiliate dashboard and support. This ensures you are on track with your affiliate progress and confirms the company’s seriousness about its affiliate program.
Payments: Many affiliate companies pay their affiliates on monthly basis. The standard payment method to withdraw the commissions is through PayPal along with some companies offering alternative payment methods depending on the region or country of an affiliate. Look for the payment history of an affiliate program. Ensure the minimum withdrawal threshold is as low as possible probably $5 to $10.
Irrespective of the reputation of a brand and the quality of the products always consider the above points before you join the affiliate program.
Relevancy of affiliate programs
Why relevancy is important? Relevancy of an affiliate program is important to build reputation, authority, and trust for your website and you as an affiliate marketer.
There are thousands of affiliate programs to join and you can join many of them but of course, you don’t want to promote affiliate products related to dieting on a gardening website. You may convert a few visitors into customers but at the same time, the non-relevancy of affiliate programs can create doubt and reluctance among your visitors to return to your website again.
Relevant affiliate programs also widen the scope of your website as you may find many new products that you can write about and generate revenue.
How to find affiliate programs in any niche
Now, before you jump into researching and finding an affiliate program make sure you have a niche. Because this is where relevancy comes in. If you have finalized or at least researched a niche on which you want to build a website then researching for an affiliate program becomes easier as it will go hand-in-hand with the writing or content creation for your website.
So, I urge you to keep your niche topics ready while doing affiliate program research and if you haven’t found one yet then check my step-by-step guide on how to find a niche for a website.
It is better to research the affiliate programs according to the niche and content of your website. To illustrate the affiliate program research, let’s take dieting as an example.
Go to Google and type in dieting + affiliate programs and you will find hundreds of affiliate programs on dieting. And this is where research is important. Click on one of the affiliate programs to check the details.
In our case, let’s take an example of Mayo Clinic as the other results are blog posts. Click on the result and it will take you to the actual Mayo Clinic site.
Mayo Clinic is a reputed platform that provides an effective weight-loss program. It has an affiliate program that offers 75% commissions on every referral that subscribes to its weight-loss program.
The commission rate of 75% is really good. The dieting weight-loss program is subscriber-based and the commissions could be offered on a recurring basis. So, based on 75% commissions for a weight-loss program charging $100 a month you are bound to make $75 a month. Those are good commissions.
Another example is Amazon. Amazon has an affiliate program called Amazon Associates. Go to Amazon and search for dieting products. There are thousands of products under the dieting category which is further divided into different departments such as health & fitness, medicines, books, etc.
Before you go deeper, analyze the commission rates offered on these products. Amazon offers commissions between 1% to 20% depending on the type and category of products. Dieting products are categorized under books and Amazon Kindle sections for which Amazon offers 4% to 4.50% commissions.
The next step is to check the pricing of these dieting products. Most of the dieting products are in the form of books and videos that cost no more than $100. That means you can expect to make $4 to $4.50 on each product with the Amazon affiliate program.
It is interesting to know that Mayo Clinic Diet books are also available on Amazon.
So, which one is better? Mayo Clinic or Amazon? Of course, most of us will go with Mayo Clinic looking at the commission rates. But we cannot underestimate the reputation of Amazon. Amazon is the most popular and widely used online shopping platform worldwide so the scope and audience will be much bigger than Mayo Clinic.
Another advantage is products. You are not restricted to promoting products related to Mayo Clinic only. So, the Amazon affiliate program gives you a larger audience and multiple choices of products to promote and write about. In my personal opinion, Amazon will be a better choice than Mayo Clinic.
Does that mean you can avoid the Mayo Clinic affiliate program? To make it a win-win situation, there is no harm in joining both affiliate programs. Your actual niche is dieting and not any specific product related to dieting. Let your audience decide on purchasing option. Either way, you can earn commissions from both affiliate programs.
There are many plug-ins and customization options to add affiliate links/buttons for multiple affiliate programs. Make use of them and expand your affiliate earnings. So, you can go ahead and join as many affiliate programs as you want keeping in mind the above research process and tips.
Types of affiliate programs
Affiliate programs are offered in different types. There are affiliate programs associated with private companies, affiliate networks, and online marketplaces.
An example of a private affiliate program is Mayo Clinic and an online marketplace like Amazon. The difference lies in the brand and availability of products.
- With a private affiliate program, you are dedicated to promoting specific products with limited affiliate resources. The advantage of private affiliate programs is higher commissions rates.
- On the other hand, marketplaces have thousands of products to promote with dynamic tools and promotional resources.
However, the problem with marketplaces affiliate programs is comparatively low commission rates. Marketplace like Amazon also has a condition of referring 3 qualified sales within the first 180-days to keep their affiliate account active.
- The third option is Affiliate networks. These platforms are similar to marketplaces with the centralization of organizing and managing affiliate resources. These platforms have a collection of products from different types of verified merchants with better commissions rates. Some of the examples of affiliate networks are Commission Junction and ShareASale.
The best thing about affiliate networks is they have quality products, dedicated affiliate tools, support, and verified payment methods. All these things are managed by the affiliate network itself to save the time and effort of its affiliates.
The drawback of affiliate networks is most of them are country-specific and follow certain procedures related to website structure, content, and traffic before onboarding the affiliates.
There are no restrictions to joining any affiliate program. This is owing to the free joining criteria that lure many affiliates into registering with multiple affiliate programs especially the beginners without doing any research.
The commission rates and frequency are not the only criteria to make an informed decision on joining an affiliate program. Ensure to follow the tips and research process provided in this article.
This way you will be able to find affiliate programs that are relevant to any niche, have quality products and essential affiliate resources which will be sustainable for a long time generating consistent revenue.
If you are still unsure and confused about your next affiliate program to join then check out my no.1 recommendation that you can promote and earn close to 50% commissions recurring every month.