Seasoned Vets and Newbies alike frequently ask the same question, What and where are the best affiliate programs?
My answer to this question will require answering the question with several questions.
First you'll want to ask yourself, what are you interested in?
Then, what do you know a little something about?
There are many sources as well as an affiliate program that would match just about any interest you may have or know something about.
Let's see if we can't simplify the process of choosing the best affiliate programs to promote.
Head on over to http://clickbank.com/
This is my favorite source of the most popular programs. They tell you the percentage you'll receive on each sale and they also put it in dollars and cents. They also reveal other stats about each program that will help you to determine if the program you chose is right for you to promote.
Your next choice is http://www.linkshare.com/
LinkShare pioneered online affiliate marketing, and today runs the largest pay for performance affiliate marketing network on the Internet. With over 10 million partnerships in the network it is the most successful pay for performance network of its kind.
Next is Commission Junction http://www.cj.com/
Maximize your revenue opportunities by developing sustainable relationships with top-tier advertisers. Perform and get paid for every sale and lead you generate. For qualifying publishers, take your program to the next level with their industry exclusive solution for top-performers.
There are more equally as credible affiliate program sources on the web but for the sake of simplicity and to keep this article to a minimum length I'm going to limit these resources to the top three. If you like, you can simply go to your favorite search engine and continue your search foe "Affiliate Program Resources".
Knowing a little something about what you want to sell will be to your advantage but not required. After all, this is The Information Super Highway and whatever information we need can be found here. The tools at are disposal are many. You just need to know where they are and what they will tell you.
Google.com would be a good place to start your search. If you type "affiliate programs" into the search box you you will get a list of literally millions of potential programs. At the time of this writing (7-12-06) there were 111,000,000 possible affiliate programs to chose from. That blows my mind (:-(
You don't have to weed through that many sites. The first few pages should give you a few ideas as to what you want to promote. Try and stick with something you've got some background in.
For example, let's say you've been working in a pet store for awhile. See if you can't find an affiliate program related to pets. Maybe pet food, pet training, pet care, etc. Perhaps you'll want to target specific pets like dogs or dog training. Dog Training and Dog Breeds are very "HOT" Markets right now and I suspect they will be for quite sometime to come.
Let's say you've chosen Dog Breeds as a topic of interest. It's time to research that topic and see if there is indeed a market for it.
Go to Overture.com and type Dog Breeds into the search box. I found the amount of searches done for this topic to be 184,184 in April 2006. This would certainly be a topic I'd want to further investigate.
I'd follow that bit of information up by going to Nichebot.com and typing those same key words into the search box. The information returned will prove to be an invaluable tool for making you affiliate program choice. Pay particular attention to the far right column. The numbers that are closest to zero determine less competition. Look for something in that category and copy those keywords back to Google.com and do another search. I'm sure you'll be able to find a program to join and promote.
Try and find a Program with at least a 50% commission, which comes out to at least $20. for you. More if possible. You can chose a program with a lesser commission if it is what's called a high ticket item. A good rule of thumb to remember is "It takes as much effort to promote High Ticket Items as it does to promote a program for a $20.00 Sale".
So why waste your time and advertising dollars promoting products that only bring a $20.00 commission when the same amount of time and money can bring you a commission of $200.00. It's good sense and the math tells the story as well.
The time and effort spent promoting small ticket items is the same as high ticket items. The benefit is you don't have to make as many sales with the more expensive item as you do with the smaller one.
The best advice I can give is to be patient, utilize as many free resources to promote your programs as you can. There are many. Get your own domain and web host. You'll want to put together a site that is unlike the generic affiliate site that the owner provides. This will put you in a different category as you will not be promoting the same page as a thousand other marketers. It will also make you credible and establish you as someone who is serious about their business on the web.
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