August 27, 2018

Now that you know what affiliate marketing is and what niche market you would like to target, it’s time to look into what affiliate programs you might like to sign up for. As a beginner, there are three affiliate programs you could go for: Clickbank, Amazon & MaxBounty. I would suggest you go with Clickbank or Amazon for starters, because their application processes are more straightforward. But before you go signing up for any program, let’s take a peek at what these programs are like and what they entail:

1. Clickbank

Clickbank focuses solely on digital products, like ebooks, video courses and membership sites – basically most kinds of digital downloads. However, they have tons of products within their website, many of which are worthless. How would you know which ones are profitable? Well, you can use CBGraph (www.cbgraph.com/marketplace.php) and filter their products by category or subcategories to see which ones are popular and which are not based on the gravity. The higher the gravity, the more affiliates there are earning commissions from that product at that given moment.
For example, under the Business/Investing niche, the highest gravity is 43 (which is not bad at all considering some are below 5). This makes Crypto Coin Sniper the most popular or profitable product in that category. Do bear in mind though that if you promote the more popular products, you will receive lots of competition from the many other affiliates who are promoting the same product. It’s entirely possible that your readers, who see that product on your blog, have seen it elsewhere last week. One good reason to choose Clickbank over others is their high commission rates, which can go from 50 to 80%. This is because there are very little costs involved, so product creators generally don’t mind giving affiliates a larger commission. I stick with Clickbank for most of my niche blogs because saving time is really important at the beginning. But if your niche is not popular on Clickbank, you can look at other sources like JVZoo. Clickbank Sign Up: https://accounts.clickbank.com/signup/ Pros
  • High commission payout
  • Large pool of digital products to choose from (saves you time from having to apply one by one)
Cons
  • Many worthless products you should avoid promoting
  • Top products are flooded by thousands of affiliates

2. Amazon

If it’s physical products you are looking to promote, you can sign up to be an Amazon affiliate under the the Amazon Associates program. As one of the largest recognized online retail stores on the Internet, there are literally millions of products on Amazon that you can promote which people will gladly part with their money for, making them one of the most popular affiliate programs around. One major downside though, is the low commission rates, which range from 1% to 10% depending on the category. But don’t let it put you off, as you can still make a LOT of money promoting their products. Amazon Associates Sign Up: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/welcome Pros
  • Millions of products
  • Reputable website (users know it’s legit)
Cons
  • Commission low (because it’s a physical product)

3. MaxBounty

MaxBounty is a CPA (cost-per-action) network. That’s the type of network where the advertiser pays for a specified acquisition- for example a sale, click, or form submit (contact request, newsletter sign up, registration etc.). It’s a variation of affiliate marketing that focuses on leads over sales, although not exclusively. Other CPA networks you can browse include Clickbooth, W4 and Peerfly. MaxBounty has all kinds of offers you can promote, including:
  • Email submits – $1-2 per lead
  • App installs
  • Surveys – $1-5
  • Sweepstakes (e.g. Win the new iPhone X )
  • Pay per sale offers
The sweet side is, you don’t need a customer to buy a product to earn that commission; all you need is to lead them to a website and get them to sign up etc. If you have a large traffic source, CPA is good. They usually work well for bios on Instagram, or as posts of surveys/sweepstakes etc. on Facebook groups. Having said that, I don’t like them on my websites as the earnings per lead are usually just $1-3, which is really low. And each CPA offer is restricted by different criteria, be it countries or mediums etc. For example, some offers only pay you if the traffic you bring in is from the US, and some offers don’t allow you to promote through social media. It can be a very limiting form of marketing. Maxbounty Sign Up: https://www.maxbounty.com/signup.cfm Pros
  • Don’t need sales to earn commission
  • Good for large traffic source
Cons
  • Low earnings per lead
  • Restricted offers

Private Affiliate Programs

To get an idea of what other affiliate programs are out there on your niche (i.e. what kind of products or services people offer in your niche to make money in return), you can search on Google “Your Niche + affiliate program” (e.g. Cycling affiliate program). But generally, I don’t recommend that you start with private direct affiliate programs (offered by single companies) at the beginning, because they add more unnecessary complications to your plate, such as getting approved, setting up links and analytics etc. My overall approach for private affiliate programs is to promote products or services I like in my niche straightaway (always start writing fast). Once you start getting traffic and visitors on a post, you can then evaluate whether there are opportunities for you to promote affiliate links in that post, and apply directly from the company. You might protest that the first several hundred in traffic before your affiliate link gets posted goes to waste. But since your visitors are FREE and given by Google SEO, you will continue to have more visitors everyday. The loss is negligible. This beats applying for affiliate programs from 100 companies before you gain traffic, and then pasting the links in, say, 10 blog posts that nobody’s even reading (yes, sometimes one single blog post can include more than 10 affiliate links). How to Get Approved For you to get into these private networks, you will usually have to undergo a phone interview to prove that you’re a real person. Often times, you will need to include your company url on your application form, so you should already have a website up in the first place. I recommend you NOT apply until you have at least 5 blog posts on your website. You won’t immediately get traffic on your website anyway, so you don’t have to rush the whole affiliate application process.

About the author 

Reeve Yew

Reeve is the CEO and a Member of Forbes Business Council. He has spoken on stages, both online and offline, alongside world class entrepreneurs and marketers like Gary Vaynerchuk, Brian Tracy, Kevin “Shark Tank” Harrington and Mark “Godfather of Internet Marketing” Joyner.

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