One of the best ways to earn money from your blog is via an affiliate program. This is where you promote products and services for a business (commonly called a merchant) and receive a commission for generating sales or other desired actions.
There are many affiliate programs out there, so how do you know which is best for you? The following 8 top tips should help you decide.
Products Should be Relevant to your Niche
Niche is just a fancy way of saying subject or category. If you are going to have success marketing products and services to your blog’s readers, they need to be relevant to the subject of your blog and the interests of those readers.
For example, a blog about tennis would theoretically do well with an affiliate program for tennis gear.
Not all blogs have such a clear-cut niche or products that are a 100% match, so you may need to spend some time delving deeper into the interests of your readers and the vast array of affiliate programs out there.
Easy to Market
The best products and services sell themselves. You should be able to easily come up with content (blog posts, video etc), to promote them. In fact, you may be able to insert ads into existing content if the program is highly relevant to your market, even if it’s a boring niche.
Do you have enough Traffic for Broad Programs?
Most blogs benefit from choosing affiliate programs that are highly relevant to their niche, but if you have a substantial amount of daily traffic you might also be able to benefit from broader programs that fit a general audience.
Of course, there’s no reason why you can’t do both, but don’t overdo it else your blog will look spammy.
Are the Products Genuine and High Quality?
At first glance, you may think you have found a relevant affiliate program, but before jumping right in you should research the products or service thoroughly to see if they are genuine and truly worth promoting.
Affiliate marketing isn’t about making a quick buck. If you yourself won’t use the thing that you’re promoting, why would your readers? And if you are able to convince them, what happens when they realize you were just hyping something up to make money?
Why not test the product or service yourself? You could even document the process, and if all goes well, you have all the marketing material you need.
Check How Much They Pay
You may have found the perfect affiliate program, but how much does the merchant pay? In general, you will be paid a percentage of any sale you generate (i.e. commission), which could vary from just a few percent to more than 50%. Keep this in mind if comparing affiliate programs.
If the merchant pays a particularly high rate you might consider trying Pay-Per-Click marketing, where you buy ads at a low rate and direct them to the product, in hope that you make more in sales than on buying the ads. You can use a loan or other form of credit manage cash flow.
Read the Fine Print
Before getting started make sure you’ve read everything you need to know and you understand how the affiliate program works. What is their minimum pay-out? If you run a small blog or are testing programs, you will be disappointed if you need to earn $500 before you can withdraw it.
How do they make payments? Not all affiliate programs will pay you via PayPal.
Do you need to generate a certain number of sales per month to be eligible in the first place?
What Tools and Assets do they Provide?
While the most successful affiliates use their own ingenuity to market products and services, the best affiliate programs help you by providing tools and assets, such as banner advertisements, sales copy, video etc.
If the merchant doesn’t provide anything, it’s a sign they may be unprofessional. At best, you’re going to have to put in a lot of effort to make it work.
How Tough is the Competition?
Some affiliate programs are saturated and people are already making all of the money. Likewise, if there are bigger blogs in your niche using the same program, you may find it tough to compete. If that’s the case, try to look for a program that isn’t used by your competitors. At the least, try to do something different.
By considering the above tips you will be in a good position to choose an affiliate program that is perfect for your blog. Now it’s time to make money!