Are you on the fence about becoming an affiliate marketer? Well before you make a final decision, lets look into what affiliate marketing is and the top 5 programs I recommend you look into.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance based marketing where a vendor of a product will reward one or more affiliates (or publishers) for each customer or lead brought to them by the affiliate’s (or publisher’s) own marketing efforts. Basically, an affiliate makes money by reaching untapped markets and bringing business to their vendor. There are 2 ways to approach affiliate marketing:
- You can create your own product and offer an affiliate program to others by giving them a commission for every lead or sale they drive to your website.
- You can sign up and be another business’s affiliate.
Here are my top 5 affiliate marketing programs:
ClickBank is one of the most extensive affiliate marketing programs out there on the market today. They have over 500,000 members globally which means that if you promote a product, it could potentially reach a very wide audience. If you decide to create a product and sell it on ClickBank, you would have to pay a one-time fee for each product you list as well as sale fees, commission, and the commission that goes to the affiliate marketer. ClickBank is very easy to use and is geared more towards digital products like eBooks and eCourses, but you can promote some physical products too. I recommend that before promoting a ClickBank product (or really any affiliate product) research it. Look at product reviews and ratings and see if it is something that you would want to attach your name to. There are many ClickBank products out there that are terrible and a waste of money and you do not want to put your name on a product that has a bad rap!
JVZoo is another popular affiliate marketing program. Most of their products are digital like eBooks, video tutorials, marketing softwares, apps, or other products related to email marketing, list building, and more. Like ClickBank, I recommend that you do research on JVZoo products before promoting. Read different comments and watch tutorials from people who have used the product. Many of the products through this affiliate program can be trash too so make sure the product you are promoting has great reviews…nothing less than a 4 out of 5 stars. I almost promoted a product that was straight up garbage because the offer page looked so well put together, but I am so glad I looked at the reviews and ratings. Also, many vendors with JVZoo do a “pre-launch” for their products and give you (the affiliate) the opportunity to begin promoting the product before it launches. I like to wait until the product launches and there are reviews out there because if people end up hating the product, then there will be many people trying to get a refund and that eats away from your commission.
Amazon is currently one of the most popular e-commerce sites in the world and they have created a reputable brand for themselves. Their affiliate program is widely used and they have a vast variety of products to promote. Their commission rates are generally lower than average so it is recommended to promote higher priced items. Keep in mind, in general, the more you make per sale, the less sales you have to make to earn money. Which in turn leads to less work for you in the long run. Amazon Associates alone isn’t the best way to make money online, but it can definitely help. If you sell any product on Amazon you are automatically apart of their affiliate program as a merchant. Amazon Associates requires no input from merchants, but you don’t have any control over commissions, and there are no management services available. Amazon does track links, but you would not be able to utilize paid search or PPC campaigns.
ShareASale is a very useful affiliate marketing program that has over 3,900 online and offline merchants. They have businesses across all main product categories. From green products to business software, ShareASale can cater to many different niches. If you are looking to become a merchant with ShareASale, they do have a one-time sign-up fee and require you to have a certain amount of money in your merchant account so that you will be able to pay per sale services as well as commissions to your affiliates.
Last, but not least is Rakuten LinkShare who was founded in 1996 and is one of the oldest affiliate networks still in existence today. With over 1,000 advertisers (i.e brands), Rakuten LinkShare assists affiliates by partnering them with a large selection of recognizable brands in a variety of categories. These categories range from fashion, health and beauty, food and drink, internet marketing, gifts, lifestyle and tons more! The Rakuten LinkShare dashboard is very easy to navigate and user friendly and their reporting functionality is relatively intuitive and simple to learn.
The most important aspect of affiliate marketing is thinking about your customer’s needs. What products or services would interest your visitors? Would they be able to solve a need of theirs with this service or product? All of the affiliate programs mentioned here have no upfront cost to join. It may take you a little bit of time to plan your strategy and select the best partners that will greatly impact your business, but these are a great place to start!
I hope that this quick overview of these affiliate programs give you a general idea as to where you want to start and what products you would like to promote. I always recommend that if there is a product that one of the affiliate programs you are apart of (or want to be apart of) has I say go ahead an buy it! This is a great way to see for yourself if this is a good or bad product to promote. This will also allow you to give your own testimonial on how the product worked for you and what you liked and didn’t like about it. I have purchased a few products from ClickBank before promoting them and there is nothing wrong with doing that. I am now able to give a great review on the product and people will be able to hear about my experience with that particular product. That is how you become a great resource for people who are on the fence on buying something and need some guidance. Your testimonial could help them tremendously!
Again, I hope this overview helped you on making a valid decision on becoming an affiliate marketer or becoming a vendor and having affiliates to promote your products or none of the above. At least you learned a little bit more about affiliate marketing and what it entails 🙂