There are tons of affiliate networks and each has a ton of affiliate products. The ability to choose the right one is by far one of the first abilities you have to learn before starting an affiliate business.
With Affiliate Marketing being a huge marketplace, there is a lot of money to be made there. With today’s ways of spreading the word advertising and promoting products or services has never been easier. And that is exactly what Affiliate Marketing is.
The basic concept of it is to promote somebody’s products via available means.
Many people online teach you how to do it, however not everyone tells you what should you consider while choosing a product. You’ve probably heard of Gravity Score and affiliate websites, but in this article I’m going to provide a step by step guide on how to choose a good product to promote, that will actually make you sales.
This guide is beginner friendly, however if you’re an experienced affiliate marketer willing to learn something new I also encourage you to read along.
Without further ado, let’s dive right into.
How to choose a good affiliate product that will make you sales?
There are some things you must have in mind before you start selecting your product from the pool.
Firstly, you’d want to decide whether it’s going to be a Physical or a Digital product. Click here to read the comparison of both.
After you’ve done that, you’ll need to:
Pick a Niche
Before you pick a product, it’s a good idea to have a niche selected. Although it might sound obvious, you have to make sure that you’ve chosen a good niche.
Well, sometimes in might so happen that you’ll get so excited about a certain product that you’ll dive straight into work. You have to take a step back and look at a wider angle. Think of what niche this product places itself in. If you’re thinking about starting a blog you will most likely want to consider if you’d be able to write 20, 50, 100 or so articles in the niche.
If you haven’t chosen any product yet and have no specific one in mind, you have to consider what niche would you be comfortable with and compare it with the ability to monetize that niche.
What I mean is, there are sort of evergreen products or niches. Those are the ones that will most likely always be in demand. Weight loss products like diets, cookbooks etc, online courses, membership programs, basically anything that can attract people regardless of the season or trend.
Products like bathroom taps, gardening equipment (i.e shovels), stove cookers and alike are mostly low profit choices. That is because those products tend to serve longer, and although there will always be a demand for them, when somebody replaces a kitchen faucet, they’re not going to keep reading reviews of faucets on your blog.
I’m not saying those are niches that you can’t make money, but you’ll definitely need a different approach to them.
Choose an affiliate platform
or program you want to join.
And oh my, there are so many!
Amazon Associates – a great choice for everyone that wants to promote any product you can find on amazon. Although there are relatively low commissions (1-10%), there is a lot of products to choose from.
Clickbank, Jvzoo, Warrior+ are what comes to mind first when talking about digital products. Digital products are often times more convenient to promote and offer high commissions (50-80% and as much as 95 or even 100% in some cases).
Yes, it’s not a typo, you can get commissions up to a 100%. It the result of those sellers doing upsells and retargeting their buyers, which ends up making them money. They offer 100% commissions on low ticket products to attract more affiliates.
Clarify your budget and decide on the method of advertising
Determine how much money are you willing to put in. Do keep in mind that the less money you want to invest, the more work will it take for you to achieve success.
Example methods of running an affiliate business might be:
- Paid advertising – running Facebook, YouTube or Google ads.
- A niche site – a site dedicated to a certain niche and promoting applicable products.
- YouTube channel
- A blog or a review site
If you’ve chosen the niche, platform and decided on the ways of achieving success, all that’s left is which product to select.
How to select the best product on the platform?
Make sure it’s legit
Pick an offer that you’d actually buy.
You see, there are offers that look scammy. I’m not saying they are, since they mostly aren’t, but some products’ landing pages and product videos just look as if they were a scam.
People are less likely to buy such products, because nobody wants to trust offers that look scammy.
Traffic, Trust, Offer
The golden rule of affiliate marketing.
You drive traffic, build trust and make an offer at the end.
The product’s site must be building trust, otherwise it won’t convert well.
This is why you have to choose a product you believe in, product that in your opinion looks legit and people would want to buy it.
How do you check if an offer looks legit?
Just click your affiliate link. You’ll see what your traffic will see. If it looks interesting and somebody would actually click and watch a product video or read the description – then it’s worth it.
Let’s say a product has a simple landing page with a video. The video is informative, seems legit and looks nice. Under the video is a decent size ‘Call to Action’ (CTA) button saying ‘BUY NOW’ or ‘CLICK FOR MORE DETAILS’. That is a decent product to promote.
The thing is, there is no need to overcomplicate things. Keep it simple. Informative video or description and call to action. That’s all there is to it.
However, if you see that the product is lacking something, then it might be worth taking a step back and reconsidering.
For instance, the CTA button is located somewhere where it’s not that easily noticeable. Imagine you just watched a good product video and would like to consider buying the product. You start looking around the page and can’t really find A CTA button. You’d back off immediately and never go back again.
That’s why you want to make sure that the ‘BUY NOW’ button is standing out the most and is easily noticeable.
You probably think who on earth would misplace the CTA button, but mistakes happen, maybe the landing page was set up in a rush, or some piece of code glitched. You never know. That’s why you must double check that the landing page looks okay.
Other examples might be:
The description is hard to read. Noone’s going to read that if it requires them to focus. The product description must be easy to read, no long paragraphs, no huge blocks of plain text.
The video is glitchy or low resolution. People won’t watch a video that’s barely comprehensible because of its resolution. They won’t watch it either if it’s glitching every few seconds. Make sure you actually watch the product video, or at least skip through to see whether there are no major drawbacks.
Anything that looks odd on the landing page might turn potential customers away. The landing page is the only chance for the product to gain a customer. If it looks bad, something is glitched or misplaced or it’s just not pleasant to look at, nobody will bother researching this product.
That’s why you want to make sure everything looks fine from the perspective of a customer.
Next step is to go through the affiliate page (jv page).
Most sellers that run affiliate programs for their products have some sort of a website.
In fact, most positions listed on clickbank have one.
Such websites are what you want to be looking for. They usually contain important marketing information and tools, for instance: banner ads, email scripts, video ads, Facebook and YouTube ads etc.
Such tools allow you to cut down on the amount of work you have to put in before you start promoting.
Banner ads are a go-to solution, You just place them on your websites or in the article and you’re all set.
Email scripts are great if you’re into promoting affiliate products to your email list. They allow you to reduce the amount of work to slight changes and adjustments, instead of writing a whole email. And there are usually a few of them provided.
If the seller provides you with multiple facebook ads, you don’t have to bother creating them on your own. They have probably paid hundreds of dollars for them to be designed by an expert marketer and/or copywriter. With such product all it takes to run Facebook ads is to set up the campaign.
Same thing with YouTube Ads.
Some affiliate programs grant you access to discount links. Those help you beat your competition, or allow to have someone join your email list in exchange for the discount link.
What you want to focus on is the amount of those tools. The more tools for affiliated have been provided by the merchant, the more work and effort they had put into it. The more the better. It indicates that they actually care very much about their product, and are serious about it. Since it’s done to the best of their ability it might convert better.
Check if a product is converting.
You can do that in a number of ways.
I think the easiest way to do so is to filter the affiliate offers. Most platforms have a filtering system that allows you to sort the listing by a certain category.
You can sort it by popularity for instance. That shows you the products with the highest number of affiliates interested in a product – that is – most likely many of them are promoting the product.
Although it shows you the most popular products in the network, it doesn’t tell you if they are actually converting.
Well, you can guess that if they’re popular they must be converting, but there is no actual way to tell how many people have successfully made sells with the product just by looking at its popularity.
That’s why there is a thing called ‘Gravity Score’. It’s called gravity on clickbank, but the principle is similar on every platform regardless of the name.
Gravity score is a number of affiliates that have made sales during the last 30 days (usually 30 days).
Not number of sales, number of individuals that have made those sales. This means, that if the gravity is 233 – 233 different affiliates have successfully promoted this product and received a commission in the last month.
Keep in mind that an affiliate could make 1 sale and it counts as 1 gravity, and other affiliate could make 100 sales and it still counts as 1 gravity.
The best way to see if the product is converting is to sort it by gravity or alike filters.
What if you don’t want to use filters or just there aren’t any available?
You can do some manual research.
Google the product. See how many posts there are about it. Search for the keyword on YouTube. Quora or Reddit if you’re feeling fancy. Just see how much there is online about it. The more there is the more popular the product.
Now, once again, this is the amount of people promoting the product, and we don’t get any information regarding actual sales and conversions, unless they tell us.
Apart from filtering and manual research, there are also videos on YouTube about certain products whether they are worth promoting or not.
Unfortunately, life ain’t easy, and along with the popularity comes competition.
Research the competition
If a product is popular, then a lot of people are advertising and promoting it.
You see, that’s in some way good, because we know it converts pretty well, but on the other hand it’s bad for you.
Why? Because you’ll have to get through all that competition.
Let’s say you want to write a review of a product on a blog. Research the keywords and find that there are plenty of blog post reviewing the product. This is where it gets hard.
In order to rank above the people who are already listed there, you’d basically have to write a better post.
Open every single link from the first page of google in a new tab, and briefly read through them. Pay attention to the length, style, amount of photos, links and whether the site look good overall.
You’ll have to think if you can beat it. It’s always worth a try, but if you’re trying to compete with websites that have a high Domain Authority (i. e. Those sites have been around for a long time, have a huge base of articles and backlinks and are generally really difficult to outrank) It might not be the best idea. You see, even if you’re the best writer in the world, it might be frustrating trying to compete with them.
Big websites usually have a team of expert writers behind their content, so It’s difficult to write a better post. Of course you’re always encouraged to try, a good blog post could never hurt your website, but just be aware that it might not even get to the 1st page.
If the competition in google is too high, you can try YouTube.
YouTube is actually different, as there is no domain authority there. You just have to learn the basics of YouTube SEO and you’re good to go. And it usually takes a lot less time to rank high on youtube than it does to rank in google.
On the other hand, not everyone’s comfortable speaking to the camera and reviewing a product.
And there are also YouTube gurus. Every niche has its own biggest content creators. Although you can outrank their videos on YouTube by targeting certain keywords, they might have a bigger authority then you do, especially if you’re a beginner.
When choosing a product you have to find a perfect balance in the market.
Take all things into consideration. Too much competition and you might get crushed and be left unnoticed, too little and the product might just not be worth your time due to low interest.
You can always aim for newly launched products, but there is no way to tell if it’s converting well or not by the statistics, so you’d have to trust you skills of judgement. This is a whole nother world, a strategy called Launch Jacking. If you wish to learn more about it, click here. (soon)
If you’ve researched the competition, it’s time to consider how you will be promoting the product.
There are products that convert better when advertised on Facebook or Instagram, others might convert better when advertised on YouTube. Some are just perfect for sending into your email list, some are made for blogs and YouTube reviews.
The point is, you have to take into account that certain products work better with certain forms of promotion.
Health and Fitness related product might be perfect for advertising on H&F blogs and Youtube channels. Or maybe you’d like to run Facebook ads targeting people interested in a niche? That works too.
Some products like, for instance, money making courses could be advertised to an email list that shows interest in entrepreneurship niche.
Of course, It’s not said that if you have to promote certain product only in certain ways. In fact, most products work with most ways of advertising. I think you can treat this step a bit less seriously, unless you’re being very specific.
Ask for a free review copy or a demo account (depending on the product)
This does apply to reviews only, I’m afraid.
Some Affiliate programs will allow you to apply for a review copy of the product. Such is great due to the fact, that this might put you ahead of the competition. With a review copy you can write (or record) a great, honest and legitimate review of the product. You wouldn’t just be copying other people’s testimonials and rewriting sales pages.
A review copy might be the product itself (usually the case with physical products), or a slightly altered, more indigent version of it (applies mostly to digital ones).
If a product is some kind of a course or a membership site, you might be granted a demo account. With such, you could be allowed to enter one or two classes of the course or a tool with limited or demonstration-only features. Just enough to review it and give your thoughts on the product.
Unfortunately, not every seller will give you such a review item. And even if they do, you’d have to reach out to them by yourself. Most of the time they’ll have you prove your credibility, i.e. prove that you can make sales. This usually involves having an email list, YouTube channel or a blog. They usually want to know how you will be promoting their product and if you have any previous experience (for instance with running ads).
I think it is understandable, since no one would like to give a free copy of their product, without being assured that it will result in a profit for them.
If you’re not granted a free copy, you’d have to buy the product to write a good review. It’s definitely worth it, but not everyone is willing to make that sort of investment.
Nonetheless, the possibility to acquire a review copy is worth taking into consideration when choosing a product, since they just might accept you, and you’d get a huge head start.
When picking an affiliate product you have to consider many factors. Apart from picking a niche and a platform, researching the competition, checking if a product is converting and if it’s legit, there is one more rule.
The rule of common sense.
Remember that you are a human being, and you are promoting products to actual people. People have families to sustain, bills to pay and sometimes the resources are scarce.
Don’t sell them crap. Don’t make them waste money.
Promote only the products that look legit to you, and you’d have no problem with buying for yourself for your family.
In the end, you don’t want to be a scammer or a trickster. You’re just a human trying to help others and maybe make money by doing it.
You are not selling a product. You are selling a solution to the problem.