Landing an affiliate agreement for the first time can be an exciting time in starting an online business, so it can be difficult not to go crazy posting links to the product in an attempt to make income. However, not all affiliate products are created equal and you should put in a bit of due diligence before spending your time promoting one.
First and foremost, make sure the affiliate product you’re attempting to sell is something people would actually want to purchase. If you have a difficult time determining this simple (and likely most important) aspect, just ask yourself if you would ever buy the item other than under impossible circumstances. If not, it’s probably time to find another affiliate partnership.
For the time invested in building a website and promoting the product, would the payoff be worth it? Does compensation scale with volume sold, is there a flat fee per item sold or do you gain a percentage of sales? Have you researched many stories about success or failure with the affiliate program? It might be hard to accept, but there’s a chance that your attempt might not be one of the exceptional sellers for the product, and, if that’s the case, can you still make a fair income from the program?
Before you begin promoting the product, you should determine what types of tools are available to affiliate members. Whether email lists, graphics, access to publishable sales or copy suggestions, having readily available materials to promote the affiliate product can go a long way in helping lead to profitable conversions. IM Creator’s affiliate program for instance, offers quite a lot to its members and pays via PayPal which most affiliates like. Wix has a good affiliate program as well, but maybe it’s a good idea to promote the less known brand which is not 100% saturated?
If you’re teaming up with an affiliate program that likely has immense competition, the time invested in product promotion will likely lead to far less sales than you hope for. Furthermore, you should view the product’s main site as a competitor itself – what’s to stop people from going straight to the product site instead of following a link from yours?
One of the best ways to garner traffic and affiliate sales is to make a website around reviews of the product and similar items. Though this aspect is probably the least important in terms of conversion numbers, it can make the development and upkeep of your website easier to manage. Likewise, using reviews can lead to multiple profitable affiliate products as well as help build the page up as an authority.
If you run into issues, finding the right contact information for your problem shouldn’t take forever. That said, gauge how long the company’s response time is when first setting up the affiliate partnership by sending a few emails or giving them a handful of phone calls. If they take what feels like an agonizingly long time during your routine operations, how stressful will it be when attempting to contact them during an emergency?
For many, this should go without saying, but it’s well worth mentioning for those who are just starting out with affiliate products: Is the company or product real? How is their standing with the Better Business Bureau?
There’s nothing quite like thinking you’re working with a legitimate company only to find that, upon looking up its address on Google Maps, the place simply doesn’t exist. Put due diligence in and ensure that the affiliate program you’re entering is legitimate and selling a real product or service.