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Thursday, May 9, 2013

How to find the best affiliate products to promote

Affiliate marketing is a source of revenue
Affiliates are business partners
Affiliate marketing is an incredibly popular way of making money online, and with good reason.  Affiliates promote products produced and sold by third parties known as merchants.  They do not have to worry about making the product, setting up a secure shopping cart, handling payment processing and shipping the product to the customer. In comparison to actually selling your own products, affiliate marketing is "easy money".

As you might imagine, competition in the affiliate marketing space is fierce.  There are a lot of affiliate network, and each network has hundreds (or in some cases thousands) of merchants. Each merchant has an army of affiliates fighting for commission from a finite number of customers.  How can you tell which products are worth promoting, which merchants are a waste of time, and which niches are simply too saturated to be worth bothering with? 

Promote what you know

 For your first couple of affiliate sites, it's best to promote products in niches that you know well.  Once you have a system for researching keywords and promoting your website, you could diversify to other niches, but there are a lot of advantages to promoting something you already know a lot about: 
  • There's a good chance you know the product because you're interested in it - so all the keyword research and article writing you need to do won't be too boring.
  • Your existing knowledge will help you to figure out which products are good quality
  • You'll find it easier to do keyword research
  • You'll be able to write your own articles to fill your site with content.

 Join an affiliate network

One problem that many novice affiliates encounter is that they think they've found a great product to promote, they join the merchant's program (directly), and invest a huge amount of effort into promoting the product, only to find that payments never materialize.

There are a lot of scammers out there in the affiliate marketing space.  Usually, these scammers promise huge commissions or massive bonuses for their top marketers.  Sometimes, they even pay out for a couple of months to build hype and interest in their program.  Eventually, they stop paying and stop communicating with their affiliates.

Instead of joining affiliate programs directly (especially if the merchant is not a well-known company), join them through a network such as Commission Junction or Trade Doubler.  These networks act as a go-between for affiliates and merchants.  They're reputable, they've been around for many years, and they do not tolerate scammers. 

Only promote a product you would use yourself 

This is definitely the golden rule of affiliate marketing.  As an affiliate, you are acting as a salesman for the companies that you promote.  Could you, in good conscience, sell junk?  The most successful affiliate marketers are the ones that genuinely believe in the products they are promoting, and write about them with real passion and enthusiasm.  Look for products that you really believe in, and promote those for best results. 

Don't waste your time chasing products that offer a lot of commission unless you really do like those products.  You'll find it far easier to sell something you like, and you'll end up making more money in the long run.

About the author: Written by the marketing team at Clicksure

* Image license: Royalty and attribution free