How to Choose a Profitable Affiliate Program
by Leslie Truex
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Published on this site: May 20th, 2009 - See
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Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest, easiest and
affordable ways to start earning an income online. However
there is much more to affiliate marketing than signing up
and posting your affiliate link. Just like any other
work-at-home venture, starting and running an affiliate
marketing business requires research and planning. One of
the most important aspects of that research is determining
which affiliate programs to promote.
When evaluating an affiliate program, consider the
- Does the affiliate company provide products or services
that you are interested in or knowledgeable about? It's
much easier to promote programs with authority when they
involve products and services in your skill or knowledge
base. So if you love gardening, choose an affiliate with
gardening products. If you know a lot about money matters,
choose companies with quality financial products and
- Are people buying the types of products and services the
affiliate company offers? Use a good keyword search tool to
find out if people are searching for the information or
products the company is selling. You're looking for
products and services that are in demand, so if there
aren't many searches on the keywords of a particular
company then it's not likely that you'll have much success
with its affiliate program.
- Is the company reputable? The company's reputation will
reflect on you, so make sure you're promoting good company
with quality products and services.
- Is the product or service priced right? Would you pay the
- Can you attest to the quality? You'll need to buy or
test the product or service to be sure. In fact, a
testimonial from you can increase sales.
- Does the company offer quality customer service? Poor
customer service will negatively impact your credibility as
the person who recommended the affiliate company, so make
sure the company treats its customers well.
- Does it have a clear and professional website? It
doesn't need bells and whistles, but it should be organized
and easy to use.
- What does the affiliate agreement say and are the terms
acceptable? Make sure you understand any limitations such as
whether or not you can advertise in email or through
- How and when do you get paid? Is this a pay-per-sale or a
pay-per-lead? Does it pay monthly? Do you need to have
earned a specific amount before you get paid?
- How does it track your commissions? Some questionable
affiliate merchants can hijack your commission by offer
alternative payment processors that don't track your
referrals. So that all payment methods on the affiliate
merchant's site track your affiliate ID.
- Does it have marketing tools to help you promote its
products and services? Marketing is the key to affiliate
success, so choose programs that have tools to help you.
There are hundreds of thousands of affiliate programs that
will pay you to promote its items, but not all are worth the
time and effort. Before signing up for any affiliate
program, make sure that you evaluate it using the eleven
items above. By doing so you'll insure that your reputation
and credibility stay intact and that you make money.
Leslie Truex is the author of The Work-At-Home Success Bible
(2009 Adams Media). She has been telecommuting and running
home businesses for over 15 years and helping others to work
at home since 1998. Get work-at-home jobs and other
resources with her free newsletter at