Choosing the Best Affiliate Programs for Your Website
Which company has the best affiliate program? How do I choose the best affiliate program? Can you help me pick an affiliate program? I am often asked these questions. And, the answer many people expect is : the program that pays the most. However, the point that many rookie affiliates miss is that just because mortgage, gambling, and credit card programs are paying the most per sale or per lead dosen't mean that you will ever make any money promoting their products. In fact, the overwhelming majority of affiliates never earn a dime. Most are lured in by the promise of easy riches, discover that it's not so easy, shortly thereafter, and then give up before ever earning their first paycheck.
So, how do you earn that first paycheck from an affiliate program?
1. Pick an affiliate program that fits the theme of your site. This is obvious, but as I stated above, many people are lured in by the temptations of quick and easy money from higher paying programs. You should never have to change the content of your website to match your affiliate program, either. Make the programs work for you, not against you.
2. Choose a program that pays per sale over per lead. Some affiliate programs pay a percentage for every sale made and some affiliate programs pay per lead, or a certain action taken by the prospective customer, such as filling out a loan application. The per lead programs seem like they should have the higher conversion rates, but this is just not true. I've repeatedly had more success with pay per sale, rather than per lead. My theory is that people are bombarded with these forms and applications and sales pitches everyday, so they tend to block them out. Time is extremely valuable, especially in today's society. To get credit for a sale with these programs, people must invest time that they simply don't have or don't want to use signing up for these offers. It is much easier just to buy something online, than it is to invest time online doing work. That's why information products sell so well online, despite the fact that many times the information for sale is available free online, if you have the time to spend gathering it.
3. Pick an affiliate program that offers a wide variety of items for sale and preferably, one that offers dynamic content ads. You should always pay attention to what's hot and don't be afraid to rotate items that you promote. Just because something sold well yesterday, dosen't mean it will sell well today or tomorrow. If you run a website that promotes books, for example, you would probably want to rotate into your website ads promoting the current week's bestsellers. Visitors to your site will thank you for the fresh content, even if it is an advertisement. The easiest way to do this is with an affiliate program that delivers dynamically generated ads based on your established criteria.
4. Choose a well-known merchant. Trust is a very important factor in converting sales. More times than not, a customer is going to buy from the merchant that they know and recognize. Many smaller merchants will increase the percentage they offer to affiliates as a way of try and drive more traffic to their site and to promote their brand. Not surprisingly, many of these merchants come and go. It's safer and more profitable to go with the big names. You're also more likely to get paid (and on time!) by these merchants.
5. Pick an affiliate program that sells products that you have tried and like. If you have had a good experience making a purchase from a company, see if they have an affiliate program you can join. It is much easier to promote a product that you like, and your product endorsement will come across as more authentic. And, if the visitor to your site tries and like the product as well, you gain instant credibility and trust, which will lead to future sales.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Justin Hallman writes for www.publishprofits.com