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How I Select Profitable Affiliate Products to Promote
Choose the right affiliate programs, and you can make googobs of money for years. Choose the wrong ones, and your dream of earning an almost passive income like this online may never come to fruition because you’ll give up, thinking, “It doesn’t work,” which isn’t true. It absolutely does as this blogger who earns six figures — PER MONTH — proves!
If you’re just starting out, this post provides some insight on how to pick the right products and services for your blog — no matter what niche it’s in. In fact, following is exactly how I actually go about selecting affiliate products to promote on this blog, and others I’ve had.
1) Foundational Products
These are ones you use and every online entrepreneur — who’s serious about making money online – uses. Three of the most common are web hosting; a newsletter service provider like AWeber; and a domain name registration service like Namecheap.
Also, many of these will have recurring payments. For example, AWeber pays affiliates a 30 percent recurring commission.
This means that for every person who signs up via your affiliate link and pays their bill every month, you will receive 30 percent of that — forever.
Now if someone is seriously doing business online and they’ve got a list of thousands, how likely do you think they are to stop using AWeber?
Not very likely, right? And this is why foundational products and services can be very lucrative over the lifetime of your affiliate marketing career.
What to Expect in the Way of Sales for Foundational Products
When you first start with foundational products and/or services, you may get an initial sale or two, but it’ll take time to start earning real money with them because you’ll have to build up your traffic first.
Once you have a lot of traffic, you’ll get regular readers. Regular readers will trust your recommendations more.
And, if you have these products placed prominently on your blog (eg, the side bar, across the top, at the bottom of blog posts), then when they’re looking for that service, they’ll be more likely to purchase from you.
2) Niche Products
By now, you know that one of the best ways to make money online is to start a niche-specific blog. So of course, you want to select affiliate products that are pertinent to your niche to promote.
How to Find the Best Affiliate Products and Services to Promote On Your Blog
If you don’t already have products and/or services in mind, one of the best ways to find some in your blog’s niche is to go to large affiliate marketplaces. Clickbank, CommissionJunction and ShareaSale are three of the largest ones. They have thousands of affiliate products you can promote.
Another way to find affiliate products to promote is to go to your favorite search engine and type in your niche and affiliate programs. For example, this blog is about how to make money writing. So I went to Google and typed in “Freelance Writing + Affiliate Programs” (without the quotes). Following is a sampling of what was returned.
Another good thing about doing things this way is that you discover products you may never have even heard of.
3. Products You Create
You can create a product and start an affiliate program for it. Many (especially newbies) to affiliate marketing never even think of doing this, but it’s a really viable option.
We all have something to say. Just peruse the Clickbank marketplace to see how much info is out there — produced by ordinary people just like you and me. Ebooks are still one of the most popular. You can also do e-classes, video courses, software you create, etc.
I had an affiliate program for my ebooks for a few years years. I ran it through e-Junkie. Affiliates sold thousands of dollars worth of books for me over the years. I discontinued my affiliate program with e-Junkie. Why? Because in spite of the sales I was getting, they didn’t handle all the back-end stuff for you, eg, affiliate payouts and issuing 1099s.
After doing this, I moved the ebook that generated the bulk of my sales to Clickbank because they handle all the back-end stuff – everything from returns to paying affiliates. I love it because it’s very hands off.
FYI, you can promote my ebook that’s on Clickbank as an affiliate. It’s one of the few on there about freelance writing, and one of the only ones on SEO writing as far as I know.
Ready to Sell on Clickbank?
It’s one of the easiest marketplaces to get started with that has a lot of traffic. You need to open a reseller account first. It costs $50 (as of this writing) to list a product for sale. But, you can list multiple products via that one account. My only regret about not signing up with Clickbank is that I haven’t found time to put more of my ebooks up there (but I will!)
The Most Important Thing I Learned by Running My Own Affiliate Program
I’m glad that I’ve experienced both sides of this this in affiliate marketing, because it gave me insights that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.
Most of your sales will come from just a few affiliates. This has been verified by my sales from Clickbank too. With them, every time a sale is made, you can see which affiliate generated it.
And with Clickbank, you can contact each affiliate one time. In my opinion, this is one of the few drawbacks of the program. You don’t have their contact info (like when you run your own affiliate program). All you can see via your Control Panel with them is an affiliate account name. See …
Affiliate Marketing and Taxes
As most sales will come from just a few of your affiliates, what can get cumbersome is the tax paperwork if you run your own affiliate program. You see, by law, you have to issue a 1099 if an affiliate earns more than a certain amount in income. As of this writing, it’s $600 per year.
And although you don’t have to issue 1099s for those who earn less than this, you still have to account for that income on your taxes. Just to stay on the safe side of things, when I ran my own affiliate program, I issued 1099s to all affiliates who earned anything at all – even if it was just a few dollars.
In the back of my mind as an independent contractor/freelancers/self-employed business person, I’m always thinking “audit, audit, audit.” To date, I’ve never been audited, but I like to have everything well documented just in case.
I had hundreds of affiliates when I ran my own program, and maybe a half dozen accounted for the bulk of my sales – I’m talking 90 to 95 percent of them. But, I may have had 40 or 50 who generated at least one sale throughout the tax year, which meant I had to do the paperwork to issue 1099s to all of them.
Again, it got to be too much, so I closed my affiliate program down. I’ve never regretted it.
I hope this has given you some insight into how to choose affiliate products to for your blog. I’m always on the lookout for new ones to add to mine, as some will become obsolete and/or out of date. But for the most part, these are the “affiliate staples.”
Next Post: In the next post on affiliate marketing, we’ll discuss how many affiliate products you should be promoting at one time. I recently came across some information that kind of startled me and gave me a reason to rethink this.