How to Select an Affiliate Program to Promote

Compared to traditional means of marketing, affiliate marketing provides a much easier and more lucrative way to make money. With so many people getting online every day, there is a huge potential market waiting to be reached.   It’s not just manufacturers and merchants who can benefit.

Affiliate marketers can also make a lot of money on the web; by promoting the goods and services of other companies. They need only to direct visitors to a merchant’s website; and if they make a purchase, then they will be paid a commission.    The secret to success as an affiliate marketer is to find a good affiliate program. After that it is all up to them – affiliates have to use the right marketing methods in order to reach customers and convince them to make a purchase. There is no one “best affiliate marketing program”, just the best affiliate marketing program for you.

Before you decide on how to market an affiliate program, you have to first decide on a program which will give you ample opportunities to sell to a large market. Read on for some tips on how to best select the right affiliate program for you.    What you need to make the best decision is all of the relevant information. You should focus your search for an affiliate program on areas which are relevant to the content of your website, if you have one already. You can them easily eliminate programs which are not a good fit. You can do some research by visiting affiliate forums and seeing what experienced affiliate marketers have to say.

Affiliate networks are also good places to look. These are websites which help affiliates and merchants match up and do business together. Merchants will post their affiliate programs here and affiliates will join the site to evaluate these opportunities. Third party program networks are especially good sources, since they give merchants access to a very large number of affiliates at once. It is easy to compare their track records of netting sales for merchants this way.   You have a lot of choices, whether as an affiliate or as a merchant (if you are one; though for the purposes of this article we’re going to assume that you are an affiliate). The question is how to pick the right program for you.

The first thing to think about is the quality of the wares offered by a given merchant. You need to be able to believe in the product to be able to sell it well enough to convince visitors to click through and make a purchase from the merchant.  If you wouldn’t buy it yourself, then pass on this program and look for something you feel comfortable recommending.

The next consideration is the track record of the merchant or the affiliate program. Look at their sales data, both past and present and try to find what the experience of affiliates with their programs has been. This will tell you a lot about the quality of the product and the merchant’s reputation. You also need to examine the compensation plan closely. Since the idea is to make money, make sure you’ll be paid adequately for your efforts.

If you will no have the necessary time to devote to marketing efforts, look for an affiliate program which provides you with marketing tools for your site. After all, affiliate marketing is supposed to be a partnership, so make sure that the merchant will provide you with the support you need.

Take note of the pros and cons of each affiliate program you are thinking about and make your decision carefully. Take your time and get all of the information you need to make the right choice. An informed decision is a sound one.


  • Bruno Auger

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008

    Thats so true Reed

    When I first looked into affiliate marketing I never knew what the hell I was doing.
    Now that I know how to research things and see which product best suit my promotion methods, I pick one that fits best.

    I also know that you can make one affiliate product selling very successful as long as you stick with it and not promote 4 other prpducts at the sametime.

    Bruno Augers last blog post..Suspended by Twitter

  • Mohamed Akram

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008

    Great Article Reed specially when you said that I should choose affiliate programs which give me tools and posts and articles to help me in my marketing campaign and about taking time I usually get my notebook and get all details I need like my market and traffic methods…etc

    I have something else to add, to know what is most conversational in clickbank select Gravity in the marketplace that will help you more I guess

    Mohamed Akram

  • Michael

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008


    Another bit of wisdom for the aspiring affiliate marketer. Good job as usual. I enjoy your insights.


  • Nayanika

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008

    Great Article Reed specially when you said that I should choose affiliate programs which give me tools and posts and articles to help me in my marketing campaign and about taking time I usually get my notebook and get all details I need like my market and traffic methods…etc

    Am Swamped now…need to sort out and get down to basics…take a deep breath

    Fantastic kid..keep it up!!!!

  • Alex

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008

    Comprehesive article for Beginners with valuable notes an various aspects of Affiliate Marketing
    Thanks Reed

  • Kenny Ritchie

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008

    I like the fact that some merchants will rate the top comverting products in their marketplace.

    Clickbank and PayDotCom certainly do and if you are pushed for a bit of time this is a good place top choose an internet marketing to internet marker product.

    Check out the paydotcom widget up a bit and to the right on Reeds blog for your instant research if your in this niche.

    Kenny Ritchies last blog post..How are elephantitis of the testicles and internet marketing success related?

  • Rivers Corbett

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008

    Reed…whatv I like best about this blog is find what interests YOU!! Before anything else..that is the critical element….the rest of the criteria is then important. As the saying goes..Follow what you love and the riches will follow..”

    Here’s to your success!

  • tmobil8

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008

    Greetings Reed, Thomas Richmond here, good news about your phone buddy! and as always great job on informing us 🙂 Enjoy your weekend! Talk to you soon!!

  • Jerry

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008

    Hi, How much didi this site cos you…wondering if you want to do a JV with me,
    as I’m not tech savvy…I recently found that I have the resale rights to some 200 products.

    Cos I don’t have the proper set-up like yours.

  • delords

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008

    Good Article Reed,
    Having the right affiliate program that suits one’s website or blog and having a good marketing strategy that pulls traffic to it will surely bring good results.

  • Mary K

    Reply Reply October 25, 2008

    Wonderful post, Reed.
    I rarely hear anyone talk about taking the time and thought to consider what and HOW to choose the product/service you’d like to affiliate yourself with.

    You have me reconsidering a couple of options. Thanks! I appreciate you.
    –Mary K

    ¸..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
    ¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
    ((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:-
    -:¦:- ((¸¸.·´* Light


    Mary Ks last blog post..Whoops! Dropped the vibrational ball!

  • Timothy Millar

    Reply Reply October 26, 2008

    Hey Reed, Nice Info, How about some input on big ticket items for affiliates, should a newbie go for low ticket or high ticket items to start out?
    I haven’t seen an item over 100. on clickbank yet,do they offer them? if not ,where can an affiliat get high ticket items. Thanks,Timothy

    Timothy Millars last blog post..Getting your Traffic from Ad Exchanges?

  • Michael.F

    Reply Reply October 26, 2008

    I would echo what Rivers Corbett said follow your interests and also your passions! Keep your head up!

  • otis young

    Reply Reply October 26, 2008

    I’m in the middle of one of my homework assignment and it is to find something in one of my affiliate programs to write about and how to find the right affiliate to work with and I had no ideal what to do or what to look for and this was a GOD sent because you just lifted a large burden off my head Thank You very much!!!

  • Sophia

    Reply Reply October 26, 2008

    Hey Daddy-O.

    How’s the baby?

    Nice article you have here! (as usual) and, “oh! Dude, Where’s my phone? I want one toooo!” just kidding.. ;p

    BTW, is link cloaking is a negative thing to do?
    “I use this service to build 1356 leads in just 1 month and I thought it is pretty effective. Check out this service at” I was wondering about their practices- is all..

  • Urpo Salonen

    Reply Reply October 26, 2008

    Hey Reed,

    you are really helping people with your articles about affiliate marketing. Thanks:)

    Urpo Salonen

    Urpo Salonens last blog post..Get More Buyers For Your Subscriber List – Your Answer To More Money Online!

  • Peter

    Reply Reply October 26, 2008

    Hallo Reed,
    you always have the right article to spot the need.

  • admin

    Reply Reply October 26, 2008

    @Bruno awesome sounds like you are doing well with this

    @Mohamed yes gravity can help thanks

    @Michael, @Nayanika, @Alex thank you

    @Kenny great tip

    @Rivers thanks

    @Thomas the phone ROCKS!

    @Jerry $247

    @Delords agreed

    @Mary you’re welcome

    @Timothy that depends on your niche, the competition and your marketing methods. For instance if you have a big list of people who have bought expensive products before in your niche and you have found an affiliate program that compliments what they already have feel free to promote it especially if you offer a bonus; by doing so you will more than likely make sales.

    @Michael same here

    @Otis you’re welcome, I didn’t know they were starting to teach this in school. That’s awesome

    @Sophia Zachary is doing great thanks. Cloaking your links is good. I haven’t used LeadsLeap but I recognize a few of the testimonials from people I know so it could be a good service. Keep us posted on it.

    @Urpo and @Peter thanks

  • webdeveloper

    Reply Reply October 26, 2008

    It can prove pretty embarrassing that after half a year of sales you get to know that the product was a terrible hoax or such. I think this is why a certain product should be searched on the web for more information, especially for smaller and unknown affiliates.

  • Brian Carelse

    Reply Reply October 26, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    The most important thing about an affiliate program is to try it out. You cannot promote what you don’t know!

    The best thing to do is to request a sample, or buy it. If you have to buy it to promote it, that would be bad news. Since when do you pay someone for the priviledge of selling for them! WAKE UP INTERNET MARKETERS! Unless the guru’s are not really making as much money as they say! That hit a nerve… I’m sure!

    If you have to pay for it to promote it – find something else.

    Check this out – a free report to highlight important e-mails automatically so you can see how much money is coming in from affiliate marketing.

    It also deletes unwanted e-mails so you don’t have to see those affiliates who spam you trying to get you on board.



    p.s. sorry I’m tired of the hype where guru’s sell a book on how to but have not made a red cent!

  • PV Reymond

    Reply Reply October 26, 2008

    Hi Reed,

    It is a good topic, choosing the right affiliate program is crucial if you want to make money.

    When you choose the wrong affiliate program it is really difficult to make money and then you end up frustrated.

    ^PV Reymond

  • Wayne Bell

    Reply Reply October 27, 2008

    Hi Reed: This comment may be a little off track from your post but for those involved or thinking of getting involved in affiliate marketing, I thought they might find this interesting.

    I can tell you that my wife and I have spent the last five plus years marketing mostly affiliate programs and our total budget for advertising in that time has been $0.00 ( you read that right > “ZERO ” ).

    We are now full – time marketers, ebook publishers and have a network of 30 plus websites
    ( ) that afford us a very good lifestyle and remember this was all done at ZERO COST!

    We even use FREE websites. We believe the answer to high search engine
    rankings and in turn, highly profitable websites is SEO and keyword rich content.

    To prove my point, google:

    legitimate autopilot profit system ,

    legitimate autopilot profit ,

    legitimate autopilot ,

    This is one of our newer sites and was cached on 2 Oct 2008


    PS – If you could use some free advertising, and who couldn’t, we
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    When we say FREE we mean “FREE”

    Wayne & Susan Bell
    “Searching The World To Bring You The Best”

  • Jorge EZ Affiliate

    Reply Reply October 27, 2008



    “If you wouldn’t buy it yourself, then pass on this program and look for something you feel comfortable recommending.”

    This is so true; many people just go out and get products to promote when they even have no idea what they are, how good they are, or if they even work.

    If you want to be able to pre-sell something; you need to believe in the product.


    Jorge EZ Affiliates last blog post..Automate the Content for Your EZAWB Affiliate Sites

  • Dale Calvert

    Reply Reply October 27, 2008

    Great info as always Reed!

    This video can also help Affiliate Marketers
    save time and money:

  • Geoff Dodd

    Reply Reply October 27, 2008

    Another thing to consider is whether the affiliate program pays you once, or pays recurring income over the lifetime of the customer. You want a program that will reward you when the same customer you referred buys another month of service, or buys another backend product. Residual income for your initial action.

    Geoff Dodd

  • admin

    Reply Reply October 27, 2008

    @webdeveloper that’s no fun what was the product?

    @Brian I agree there are very few things out there that you should have to pay for if you are going to promote them… Most notably MLM products which is a shame but that’s how the whole system works.

    @PV thanks agreed

    @Wayne congrats on your success

    @Jorge thanks agreed

    @Dale thanks

    @Geoff that’s always a nice plus but there aren’t a whole lot of programs that do that unfortunately.

  • James and Helen

    Reply Reply October 27, 2008

    Thank YOU Reed as we have tried both and doing both at this time and hard to say which pays us the most. We appreciate all of the information you are giving us.

  • Mosun

    Reply Reply October 28, 2008

    Great Post Reed!

    Learnt some new things from this post.

    Keep it up.


    Mosuns last blog post..Steps to Becoming an Internet Millionaire

  • Jussi Koiranen

    Reply Reply October 29, 2008

    Excellent information once again! The Basics! I can see me using this as something I can link to as a tip for my readers.

  • Julia Earle

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    Reed –

    Thanks for your post on affiliate marketing. This is something I’ve been doing some checking on, so your information is well timed. I appreciate your sharing your insights and guidance.

    Julia 🙂

  • admin

    Reply Reply October 30, 2008

    @James & Helen and @Mosun you’re welcome

    @Jussi great I’d appreciate the link thanks

    @Julia you’re welcome

  • lorrie

    Reply Reply November 1, 2008

    Just want to comment on your blog – very good – I have trouble finding time to learn my way around marketing my e-book Pet grooming in the Home Working Smarter not Harder- http://www.homepet it is very fustrating I have no idea on how to build a web then add on auto responder – video etc I have to pay someone- any ideas?????

  • admin

    Reply Reply November 2, 2008

    @lorrie you could find people on elance.

  • pedipaws review

    Reply Reply December 19, 2008

    Nice post, keep up the good work.

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