Best Affiliate Programs
Your success as an affiliate marketer depends on many factors.
The first is being partnered with the best affiliate programs. Then you can focus your attention on the other important factors.
Having a fast, attractive website is one. Posting great content is another. You need to understand keyword research so that your great content is seen by the people who will benefit from it when they enter a search term into Google, Bing or Yahoo. And you need backlinks from other sites operating in the same or similar niches.
But all of that is aimed at just two things. One, getting traffic to your website and two, making it very attractive for your visitors to click on your links.
Have you got questions about affiliate marketing? Get the answers at Affiliate Marketing: Your Questions Answered.
But what happens when a visitor clicks on one of your links?
Ideally, they are taken to just the product they had in mind when they visited your website. They will click on the product image, purchase it and you will be paid a commission. Everyone will be happy. The supplier has made a sale, the visitor has had a good experience and your hard work has paid off. And will do so over and over again without any additional effort from you.
All of this depends on you being partnered with the right affiliates.
What are the best affiliate programs?
Here are 5 of the best and we'll look at other, more specialized ones in a future article.
Sorry to be predictable, but Amazon simply can't be ignored.
Yes, I know that's an image of a parrot from the Amazon rain forest but honestly, we've all seen Amazon's logo a million times and the parrot looks much nicer.
Amazon's affiliate platform is called Amazon Associates.
Their commission rate is low compared to other affiliate platforms. It varies with the type of product being sold, but averages around 6%. You also have to wait 60 days from the end of the month in which you earned your commission before you actually get paid.
So for sales made in January, for example, you don't get paid until the end of March. This can be a little frustrating.
But the big thing Amazon have got is trust.
Trust from your visitor, that is.
Let's say you're doing a review of espresso coffee makers and you recommend a product costing over $2,000. If someone clicks on it and are taken to Amazon, it's one of the few places where they are willing to spend that kind of money on their credit card. People trust amazon.
Becoming an Amazon affiliate isn't hard, but it isn't trivial either. You don't just rock up and get accepted.
First up, you need to have a decent looking website in place. One that Amazon can see being a good fit for promoting them.
Then go to https://affiliate-program.amazon.com and click on "Join Now for Free".
Once you've been accepted into Amazon, it's really easy to set up. Log in, click on Product Linking >> Product Links and search for the products you want to promote by category. Once you've got a product to promote, click on Get Link and you'll have the html code to paste into your website. You don't need anything else. That code contains the product image and the link to purchase it via your affiliate link.
Just be aware that Amazon requires you to have an affiliate disclaimer on the page where you are promoting their products. A generic disclaimer in your footer menu doesn't satisfy this condition.
ClickBank is the original generic affiliate marketing platform and has been around for many years.
There are thousands of products on ClickBank and it is very easy to become an affiliate.
It's also very easy to become a supplier on ClickBank. Although certain types of product, such as those promoting gambling or adult sites are banned, there is no real check on quality.
If the quality of the products you are promoting is of concern to you (and it should be) you have to exercise due diligence when selecting ClickBank products to be affiliated with.
This can most readily be done by looking at the website and by reading the testimonials. Does the website look high-quality? Do the testimonials sound real? Be guided by your gut feel.
To find products, go to https://clickbank.com, sign up to become an affiliate and get your ClickBank Affiliate Id. Go to the ClickBank Marketplace and then search for the type of product you want. It will show you a list, which you can sort in various ways.
One of the most useful is by Gravity.
We don't know exactly how Gravity is calculated, but we do know that it's an indication of how successful other affiliate marketers have been selling this product. So the higher the gravity, the better. The more likely you can also be successful with the product.
The list of ClickBank items you can sell will have two links. One takes you to the website and the other (labelled "PROMOTE") gives you your affiliate tracking link. You will need your ClickBank Affiliate Id for that.
Most affiliate approvals are automatic, but occasionally you'll get a supplier who chooses to manually approve affiliates. The message will give you a website to visit and you'll follow through the approval process there.
The product writeup will also tell you your commission rate. Most ClickBank products are digital so there's instant gratification and no production or delivery costs. For this reason, although prices are generally low, commissions are high. 70% is not uncommon.
Note that it's not your job on your website to SELL the product. That's the job of the supplier's website. Your job is to make your visitor want to click on your link to find out more. I'll be addressing just how to do that in future articles.
Not that kind of zoo, obviously, but who can resist a pair of lemurs?
The JV in JVZoo actually stands for Joint Venture, which is fair enough. You can see the relationship between a product vendor and an affiliate as being a joint venture.
JVZoo is a sophisticated marketplace which, like ClickBank, contains mainly digital products.
Unlike ClickBank, you are not automatically approved to become an affiliate for any given product. After finding a product to promote, you have to apply to the vendor to become an affiliate. Some vendors approve automatically but most go through a manual approval process. You may have to answer some questions about your business model and show them your website.
Go to https://jvzoo.com and apply to become an affiliate.
JVZoo allows vendors to create sophisticated sales funnels, containing both upsells and downsells. This can increase your earnings from a popular product enormously.
Although this is a generality, JVZoo vendors usually have more modern websites and more attractive product images than ClickBank vendors. But like ClickBank, most of the products are digital and commission rates are high.
Warrior Plus is an alternative to JVZoo and is similarly structured.
You need to be approved by the vendor in order to become an affiliate for their product.
Products are exclusively digital and often include software as well as other digital products.
Most of the items on offer target online marketing of one kind or another.
There will be products designed to get more traffic, create videos, build sales funnels, get backlinks to your website, increase your exposure on social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat.
Find Warrior Plus at https://warriorplus.com and create a profile. Like JVZoo, but with a totally different interface, Warrior Plus allows vendors to build sales funnels with upsells and downsells. This can make a Warrior Plus campaign very lucrative.
Both Warrior Plus and JVZoo tend to attract well known, professional affiliates who are often competing for big prizes. Many are ruthless in their approach and have no compunction about promoting high ticket products to newbies who don't have the understanding or experience to utilize them.
As far as the affiliate is concerned, the only qualifications required are a credit card and a certain naivete.
My advice is to look very closely at any product you choose to promote from JVZoo or Warrior Plus and judge whether it is suitable for your target audience.
I've mentioned Wealthy Affiliate frequently on this site as giving you clear, step by step training to become an affiliate marketer by selecting a niche, creating a website and linking out to affiliate platforms.
And then doing it again, so that you have several long-term, sustainable businesses going.
But they also have their own affiliate program going, whereby you can promote membership of Wealthy Affiliate itself.
The question what are the best affiliate programs has to include Wealthy Affiliate in its answer.
It's an easy promotion, for two excellent reasons.
One, it really is a great product, with training that can turn anyone into a super affiliate and the best support in the business. And two, it's genuinely free to join and you can stay a free member as long as you like.
If and when your referral upgrades to Premium membership, you get paid an affiliate commission of almost 50%. This is ongoing. As long as your referral continues to pay the monthly fee as a Premium member, you continue to get paid the commission.
This is win-win. Your referral is learning to become an effective affiliate marketer and create income-producing businesses. And you are drawing a monthly income.
Check out all the figures at Wealthy Affiliate. You can also qualify there to have me build your first website for you, as well as help you with niche selection and domain name registration.