Q: There are many companies out there with offers – how do I know which merchants with affiliate programs are best for my readers, as well as the top money making opportunities? Are they telling me everything I need to know?
A: One easy method is to identify the top sites in your vertical that run affiliate offers and study which affiliate programs they are promoting.
This is certainly not a scientific approach, but it’s a quick way to get things started.
I’d advise against the lazy route for the long term, but it’s ok while you’re getting your feet wet. During this time, identify the relevant affiliate programs for your audience.
Try looking through affiliate program directories and searching on the search engines for keywords tied to affiliate programs in your area of concentration.
For instance, if your focus is real estate, search for “real estate affiliate program.”
After you’ve compiled a list of affiliate programs that could be good for you, do some research on each one. Check out things like how long the company has been around, and search on affiliate forums for information on the affiliate programs. Any complaints or praise?
As far as whether the affiliate programs are telling you everything you need to know, you have to be armed with the questions that matter to extract that information from the affiliate programs.
Don’t expect them to spoon feed it to you. Ask them their EPC, conversion rate, average order size, and target demographic. Also, find out if their site is more popular during certain times.
All of this should get you started in the right direction. Even then, keep an eye on the performance of the offers you are running. Test, test, and test some more until you find what works best for you.