This is a question I get all the time, and it is something that experienced affiliates will feel is second nature. But it is a totally fair question when you are getting started. If you are not quite sure how and where to find affiliate programs, I am going to offer you some insight into this.
So first, for those of you that are fresh to affiliate marketing, there are many types of affiliate programs and things that you should look for in choosing a “quality” affiliate program. All affiliate programs are not built equally, the same way that all products and services are not built equally.
Some companies elect to join “affiliate networks” which are a collection of merchants, also known as advertisers, that choose to hand over their affiliate operations to a company that acts as the intermediate between their brand, and affiliates. They typically handle all the tracking, payouts, and sometimes the collection of payment from the customer.
Then you have independent affiliate programs that operate their own affiliate programs “in house”. These programs tend to be more reactive and interactive with their affiliates as they are not managed by a larger entity, but that of course is dependent on the program and the network that you working with.
There are great affiliate programs, great affiliate networks, and great products that you can promote as an affiliate marketer.
Now let’s get into how to effectively find Affiliate Programs.
The Affiliate Programs search here at Wealthy Affiliate offers more than 10,000 affiliate programs that you can efficiently search through, organize, rank/review, and discuss. These are found within the Affiliate Programs tab in the side menu.
One of the awesome parts of this platform is that there are not just affiliate networks, but there are also many independent affiliate programs with more being added on a weekly basis. There are stakeholders in these companies, affiliate managers, and company owners hanging out here every day. This is bridging the gap between affiliates and merchants, something that we have yet to see within our industry prior to the inception of the Affiliate Programs platform.
I recommend that you commence all of your research within the Affiliate Programs platform. For example, if you were building a business in the CBD industry, perhaps your search would be initiated with “CBD” search.
As you can, there are several CBD affiliate programs. There were 11 in total, with many different products that I could promote as an affiliate, some offering up to $600 per sale. This would be more than adequate to drive ANY CBD based promotions if I were operating within the CBD niche.
But I want to make it clear, these are not the only affiliate programs available to you as an affiliate marketer. There are other programs out there that haven’t made it into our search yet, and there are brand new programs that are just gaining traction and exposure. These can be found quite easily as well, which I will be discussing in the next section.
To find affiliate programs, you can always use a Google Search. Although the Affiliate Programs search within WA is very thorough, it doesn’t include every affiliate program in the world. There are plenty of affiliate programs out there (mostly independent), that you can leverage as an affiliate. Understanding how to research affiliate programs will also give you the ability to find NEW products/services to review on your website.
So how do I go about my research? It is actually quite simple, I use Google and there are a few key phrases that I leverage when doing my keyword research.
For example, using the same CBD example, here is a search term “CBD + affiliate program” that I would type into Google.
As you can see, there are plenty of results there many of which are lists of CBD affiliate programs. I could then utilize these to get good ideas and add to my list of affiliate programs that I have found here within WA.
This technique will work within absolutely any niche, with any type of product you are looking to promote as an affiliate.
You can do this same search with any keyword that you want, this would be dependent on what you are looking for in your niche.
KEYWORD + affiliate program
You will get the same sort of thing, either direct listings of affiliate programs or other bloggers in the industry listing top programs. You can leverage these to build your own list of products/services that you could effectively promote as an affiliate marketer.
One thing that I have always done, since the infancy of my journey through the Affiliate Marketing world (way back in 2002) was to document all of my research. This included affiliate programs that I came across in my given niche, along with the products that I could promote within that network, commissions rates/average sales, etc.
As you do your affiliate program research and you come up with product/service ideas that you could leverage within reviews on your website and that you could recommend to your audience, I recommend that you WRITE THEM DOWN (or document them digitally through Google Docs, or even a SiteContent article).
When you start to do this, you are going to start to realize that you have a TON of opportunity within any niche that you enter. This is in essence a growth strategy for your business, it will offer you a ton of insight into different price points, different types of products in your niche, as well as the commission structures of the programs that you could potentially promote to your audience.
I personally use a Note on my IPhone to manage these sorts of lists, but you can use any software or pen/paper. Up to you. The key is recording your research as you do it. This alone will be a valuable asset to your business as you do move forward.
Often times people research and find products they really want to promote on their website, but there is no affiliate program associated with it. The first natural instinct is to ask the company if they are going to get one, or if they can create one. That is typically not a near term project for a company that doesn’t have one, although you could suggest it. Just don’t hold your breath on them getting one.
Instead, you should be seeking out other opportunities some of which may even be outside of affiliate programs. There are many ways in which you can do this. Here are some approaches you can take if you are reviewing a product, that doesn’t have an affiliate program.
* Recommend Relevant or Competing Products. Say you are promoting a product in the dieting niche. It is a really good product that helps you with your workouts and gives you more energy, but that particular product that you wanted to promote doesn’t affiliate an affiliate program. You could even add the “Top 5” products in that particular category.
* Post ads on your website. If you are reviewing a product and they don’t have affiliate programs, you can post ads on your pages where you are offering product reviews.
* Build an email list. This is also an opportunity where you could be building an email list, with a captivating or interesting offer. Once you have a list of leads, you can in effect promote many products/services to them through email.
Should contact them and tell them to get an affiliate program? Well, if you like wasting your time yes. It is not your responsibility to tell someone to create an affiliate program, and if they don’t have a mechanism for you as an authority website to promote their services online, then you should move onto another program. There are going to be plenty of comparables that you can recommend and generate income with as an affiliate.
We are seeing more and more companies adopt affiliate programs, and based on communications that I have with merchants, there is more and more of a need for qualified and well-equipped affiliates (which you are here at WA).
The affiliate opportunities online are going to continue to scale as more and more companies invest in their affiliate programs, but also as new start-up e-commerce stores realize the potential of affiliate marketing and integrate affiliate programs into their businesses.
You see companies like Shopify with plugin affiliate programs and as time goes on, many of the stores on Shopify will start to adopt this technology which will offer YOU as an affiliate more products/services to promote. You have Amazon and their 100’s of MILLIONS of products with new sellers adding new products daily, and then you have the likes of Etsy that has a great affiliate program and has new sellers being added to their ecosystem daily.
Affiliate Marketing is a growth industry, and will remain that way for the foreseeable future!
If you have any questions about affiliate networks, affiliate programs, or how to find an affiliate program in your niche, please chime in within the comments below!
This Post was originally published on my.wealthyaffiliate.com