An affiliate program is the reward based compensation system in place that facilitates a webmaster to be paid for their promotional efforts on any given product or service.
It’s a system that a company uses to pay website owners for the promotion and sales of their products. This is usually a commission based reward system paid on verified sales.
There are thousands of different affiliate programs for thousands of companies that feature millions of products that cover just about every possible interest subject there is.
No matter your niche, there will likely be several affiliate programs available.
Most affiliate programs have similar qualities but each one has different commission percentage levels and term and conditions. The qualification requirements in order to get paid for your efforts are different for each one.
It’s wise to familiarize yourself with the system that each individual company runs with.
How and When Do I Apply?
First, you need to have a decent website coming together with some good information on the subject area (niche) you have chosen.
Usually it’s ok to have low traffic, but the more together your site looks the better your chances will be of being approved. Amazon approves just about everybody so it’s a good place to start and get your feet wet.
Next is to start looking for the relevant affiliate programs that offer products to help your visitors find what they are looking for and that compliment your site and its direction.
Some affiliate programs are easy and quick to join such as Amazon, while other affiliate programs are harder to qualify for.
Some large well known companies want you to have an established traffic record first and met other criteria. These include big names like Home Depot, Sears, JCPenney and Lowe’s etc.
If you apply for any of affiliate programs of large well known stores and get turned down, don’t let it upset you. They usually are very corporate in their decisions and protect their names pretty fiercely.
So just move on, there are thousands of other affiliate programs out there to choose from.
How to Find an Affiliate Program
Type your interest subject into the search bar of Google with these words after it: “affiliate program”.
Here are some examples of what you would type in to the Google search bar to find affiliate programs in your desired interest subject.
“gardening + affiliate program”
“marble coffee tables + affiliate program”
“fancy cat collars + affiliate program”
Or anything else really with the words affiliate program after it.
As you can see from the screenshot above that it’s very easy with just one search to find a good number of affiliate programs in the gardening niche. This is true of just about any niche.
Affiliate Program Links
When you are looking at any particular website it’s easy to check and see if they have an affiliate program or not. All you do is scroll all the way to the bottom of the home page and look for the link that says “affiliate program”, “affiliates”.
Occasionally it’s even harder to find the link. Some companies put the affiliate program under titles such as “partners” or “work with us”.
Very rarely but sometimes the link will be obvious at the top of the page, all of these refer to becoming an affiliate or indicate the link to the programs that you want to apply for.
There are some companies that run their own in-house affiliate program such as Wealthy Affiliate and Amazon but a large number of companies operate their affiliate programs through publisher/affiliate networks like CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction), or Shareasale. The companies will refer you through them first in order to join their affiliate program.
Keep a list of the programs you like when you find them. It’s incredibly important to keep a clear record of your passwords and usernames in a notebook.
I recommend using a phone book with large spaces, it’s great for sorting the numerous passwords that will accumulate as you progress through building your website and promoting it.
Niches to Sub Niches
Remember that the interest group of “gardening” is a very broad topic and has thousands and thousands of smaller subjects within it.
You can further refine your searches and add another descriptive word such as “Tools”. To demonstrate this type in “Gardening tools + affiliate program”. Try “gardening tools for arthritis affiliate program”
This will bring up a new list of results each time with more targeted companies added to the SERPs that specialize in adapted tools or companies that have a large selection of them.
Doing this will save you some time in not having to search through thousands of general gardening products if you just want to focus on tools.
Just about everything you can think of can be a niche with profit potential, but not all subjects are great niches.
There are a few subjects that will draw traffic but not produce a lot of sales. One example of this is “tattoo designs”.
This is a very interesting and diverse global subject with millions of different beautiful designs and just as many extremely talented artists.
Each artist creates beautiful and unique skin art with their own touch and talent. No doubt at all.
Your website on this subject will get a lot of traffic, a lot of people are interested in seeing cool tattoo designs but at the same time it will likely be quite difficult to create a profit with this particular topic. Why?
I would consider tattoo designs a “looky-loo” niche and not an easily profitable one.
If you really want to work in the tattoo niche, it could even be as simple as a slight change to the sub-niche(s) of tattoo equipment such as guns and supplies and writing reviews on those things.
Tangible products in the tattoo business will be more successful than the “designs” end of the niche.
If you need help finding affiliate programs for your chosen subject, please leave a comment below and I will assist you.
When you are ready, next topic is What is an Autoresponder?
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