10 Guidelines To Choosing A Profitable Affiliate Program

If you are keen to make a decent income online being an affiliate marketer, you would need to know the guidelines to choosing a profitable affiliate program because this will save you a lot of time and a lot of your marketing efforts. You can also maximize your profits in this manner.

How Do You Choose A Profitable And Decent Affiliate Program?

1. Consistent Traffic

There are so many affiliate programs out in the market and one good way to know that you got into a good one is by looking at the amount of traffic going to that product site.

And one way to know the amount of traffic visiting the site is by entering that site url into Compete.com. This is a free resource that you can make use of to get this stats.

If you have a few choices to consider, going to Compete.com and do a comparison can help you to choose the most visited site as well.

2. Quality Of Product

To stand out among your competitors, you have to make a purchase of the product and try it personally. In this manner, you can do a proper recommendation on why people need to buy your recommended affiliate product. The other benefit that you can get from personally trying out the product is that people will learn to trust your recommendation and buy from you in the long run.

The free method of knowing the quality of the product is by doing a research online. Simply by searching for "Product Name Review", you will get to see your competitors doing their personal bit of recommendation. Pick up both the positive and negative sides to the product and make your own judgement. 

What I can suggest on how you can maximize out of your personal purchase is to capture all (if possible) email addresses of your readers - so that you can continue to promote other affiliate products to them in the future when you try on the free method of assessing affiliate products.

3. Promotional Tools

A good affiliate program will always provide you with the necessary promotional tools like:

  • Email Follow-ups
  • Articles
  • Blog Posts
  • Banner Ads
  • Sample PPC Ads
  • Tweets

These tools will help you to better promote the products and it's up to your own creativity to re-craft these tools and make it your own style and be different from other competitors.

4. Conversions

There are a few methods of converting your visitors into customers - through the sales copy of the product or through your pre-selling, e.g. blog reviews, email follow-ups.

A decent conversion rate is around 1 - 5% and the way to calculate this conversion is by knowing the amount of traffic sent and from it the number of sales. For example, if you send 100 visitors to the product site and 3 ended up buying, the conversion rate is 3%.

Most affiliate marketers would usually use Pay-Per-Click to send traffic or using a domain name to redirect natural search traffic to the actual product. That will be your first level of assessement of the amount of conversions.

If the sales copy is not converting well, there's where your own personal pre-selling will come in. Blog Posts, Email Follow-Ups, Bonus Giveaways, Video Marketing are some methods that you can help to bring up the conversions.

When all the above failed in coverting, it may not be your fault, it could be the nature of your visitors - they are not sincere in buying or they are affiliate marketers as well.

5. Percentage Of Commissions

Being an affiliate marketer, you need to focus on products that offer at least 50% and above in terms of commissions. And definitely, you need to look for products that are priced high enough for your marketing efforts - domain, hosting, email marketing or PPC.

Earning enough and more will also mean that you have more resources to get onto other affiliate products to promote.

Do note that for most physical products like CPA offers or products under Amazon.com do not have such high level of commissions, usually at the range of 4% to 30%. So you have to sell more of them in order to earn more.

6. The Number Of Upsells Or One-Time-Offers (OTOs)

Upsells or those One-Time-Offers are good methods for you to make the extra earnings after your customers have made the purchase. But do take note that there's not too many of such upsells, usually at the range of 1 to 2 is good.

Anything beyond that may just annoy your customers and give them the impression that you are one affiliate marketer that are so hard up on making that commissions.

7. The Definition Behind High Earning Per Click (EPCs)

If you are into CPA Offers, you will be able to see a lot of these EPC figures stated for them. Else you may get these figures from product owners in their affiliate mailings.

This figure is derived by using the amount of commission earned and divide it by the number of click throughs. For example, if you earn $50 in commissions after having 100 visitors clicking through, the EPC is $0.50.

A good industry standard of EPC is at $1.00.

8. Low Refund Rates

You would definitely want to promote products that have low refund rates. And refund rates are dependent on the quality of the product. If you have personally tried out the products and feel that it's really that good for anyone, then by logical sense, the refund rate should be low.

Do note that refund rates may not be so visible on most affiliate program marketplaces. A good place to check this figure out is by going to those related Forums, where members would usually discuss about the content and the product. By joining related Forums, you can also get insights to the level of quality of the product ranges created by a certain product owner.

9. The Payment Period

Most affiliate program marketplaces are slowly moving to instant payments to your Paypal account. But there's still a certain level of risk involved especially if Paypal "decides" to freeze your account.

The usual payment method and period would include Cheques or Direct Deposit. And the time frame to receive these payments would take around 2 weeks to around 2 months. The only thing about receiving Cheques is that you may get it lost in the mail. Else these two options are pretty acceptable.

10. One Time, Recurring Or Lifetime Commissions

There are products that pay you:

  • One-Time. You promote, make a sale and you get paid once. If that product owner creates another product, you have to do up your promotion again.
  • Recurring. This is from those membership programs or software services that will keep paying you as long as your customers are in the programs or still using the services.
  • Lifetime. This can be the hybrid of the above. Once you have made a sale, your customer is tagged to your account and any future product releases will still be credited back to you.

To have a sustainable affiliate marketing career, you would definitely need to have a mixture of the above to keep you going.