As a blogger you constantly wonder which companies offer the best affiliate programs. This is only natural because every niche is different and every niche offers a range of goods / services which could be perfect for one niche, but might not suite the second niche at all!
Top 7 Questions To Ask Yourself When Looking for Which Companies Offer The Best Affiliate Programs
When I am researching which affiliate programs to join for any of my websites I ask myself the following questions:
1) Is this affiliate program run by the company themselves (in-house) or is it run by an external company (outsourced)?
Personally, I prefer affiliate programs that are managed by external companies where possible. The reason is that an external affiliate company only gets paid if I make commissions. As a result of this they have extra incentive to help me audit my links to make sure that all my cookies are working and that I can get paid for every transaction I am entitled too.
If the program was exclusively in-house and managed by the business, you will have to write emails asking for help with auditing sales and then hope that the company gets back to you with truthful answers. I have lost thousands and thousands of dollars by trusting the one source for all information.
2) Does the affiliate program have access to a good range of products / services that are a great match for my niche or my target audience?
The perfect answer to this question actually varies.
Sometimes you will be happy to join an affiliate program with only one product. An example is Wealthy Affiliate who only offers one product with ZERO up sells or extra add on’s – EVER. Click here to have a look at this program.
Sometimes you want to join a program because they offer an amazing array of choice and variety. The market leader to choice worldwide is Amazon Associates.
3) Does the affiliate program offer any extra marketing help or support?
As an affiliate marketer you only get paid a commission when someone clicks on your links and buys the product. Obviously you and the manufacturer share the same goal here of selling more products. So you have to ask yourself what help can they provide to help me sell more products?
My usual minimal expectation is to get free access to banner advertising, product photos, product specifications and a customer service email address an added bonus would be a phone number to call.
Story of Two Different Affiliate Companies
An affiliate marketer friend of mine was deciding between two different companies to promote in the luggage niche.
She contacted both companies and said she was thinking of promoting their products on her niche website, but she would like them to create a special banner advertisement for time. Company #1 said yes and they created the banner for her very quickly. Company #2 said no. That was outside what they would normally do and so they did not want to do it.
So my friend chose to promote the products of company #1 and now she has a successful website filled with many successful sales as a result.
So the moral of the story here is to ask, ask and ask again until you find a company with an affiliate program that you think you can partner with successfully.
4) What country are the products being offered for sale in?
This is important because different countries of the world have different requirements for international sales. In 2018 the hottest topic occurred in Europe and revolved around the GDPR compliance around client records and international transactions.
I won’t go into the specifics of the legislation here, but if you are interested in reading about how to make your website GDPR compliant, please click here.
5) What currency will my commission be paid out in?
This is important because as an affiliate marketer, you only get paid for successful sales. After all your hard work you want to know that you will be able to receive a cheque for all your hard work – we all have bills right?
A friend of mine lives in South Africa and she has issues around credit cards and international money transfers.
Does your country also have this issue? She can sometimes get around this issue by accepting store gift cards from the company with the affiliate program.
My friend is lucky that the affiliate program also have a HUGE range of product items to choose from, so she can always find something she can use the gift card with.
This system works for her, but it may not work for everyone.
You need to make sure that you can receive a payout for all your hard work. Sometimes cash is the only method of payment that you can accept. We all have to eat right?
6) How long is your unique affiliate ID (‘cookie’) valid for?
As an affiliate marketer you only get paid if someone clicks on your link and then goes on to purchase the product. So it’s really obvious that the longer you can have for your unique affiliate ID cookie the better.
Sometimes buyers have EVERY intention of purchasing the item…. but alas things get in the way and they begin to make a purchase and then they get called away and it could be awhile before they get around the purchasing the item again.
This has happened to me and I’m sure it’s also happened to you. Am I right?
7) How easy is it to qualify for a commission?
As an affiliate marketer you only get paid when your cookie is activated and engaged in something that will qualify you to make a commission.
The top 4 ways to earn a commission are
3) Pay Per Lead (PPL) or Pay Per Action (PPA)
4) Selling Advertising Space On Your Site
Of all of these 4 methods, selling advertising space on your website is the easiest way to make some money.
The most well-known of these programs are Google Adsense and Bing Adwords. Here you get paid pennies on the dollar for these advertisers to showcase ad’s on your site to your website visitors.
Your website visitor doesn’t have to do anything, so this makes it very appealing to lots of people.
Pay Per Sale offers the highest commission rates in the industry. As the name suggests your website visitor clicks on one of your links and then goes on and actually purchases the product. The commission can be anywhere from 1% right through to 80% depending on the product.
This is easily the #1 method used by most affiliate marketers.
So How Do I Find The Best Affiliate Marketing Companies?
OK, so now what you know what questions to ask to help you pick the best affiliate program, now you need to find the company’s that offer these programs.
This is actually a lot easier than you think.
Step 1) All you have to do is get really specific about which topic (niche) your website will focus on. If you need help with picking a niche, please click here.
Step 2) Then open up your search engine browser eg Google Chrome, Bing etc
Step 3) type in your niche + affiliate program
So if my niche was “coffee” then I would type in “coffee + affiliate programs” and see what came back.
As you can see there are over 5 million responses for affiliate programs in the coffee niche.
Step 4) Open up a spreadsheet eg MS-Excel or similar
Step 5) click on all the hyperlinks from the websites that interest you and have a look around at the company’s website. Paying particular attention to their products and affiliate program terms and conditions.
Step 6) On the Excel spreadsheet enter in any answers that you find.
Step 7) narrow down your list to your favorite 5-8 affiliate programs.
Step 8) Apply to join ALL of your favorite programs.
Wait! Why should I apply to join all of my favorite programs? I only have enough spare time to spend on 1 or 2 companys MAX.I hear you say.
This is a great question to ask. The answer is that different companies have different qualifying levels. You may have your heart set on company # 1 but they reject you for what ever reason, so you have to work with company # 3 instead.
If you would like some winning suggestions on how to get a YES! from every affiliate marketing program that you apply to, please click here.
Step 9) As soon as you get accepted to your first affiliate program add your new special unique links (cookies) where they will earn you the most amount of money.
Yippee!! Congratulations you are now an affiliate marketer.
Was this article on companies offer the best affiliate programs helpful? Are you already an affiliate marketer or are you looking to join an affiliate marketing company in the future? Do you already earn a bit of commission doing affiliate marketing or do you earn a full time income from affiliate marketing?
I would love to hear your comments, suggestions or personal stories in the comments section below. Please feel free to join in the discussion.
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