Affiliate Marketing Tipsaffiliate programs

HOW TO FIND AFFILIATE PROGRAMS

So, youve already jumpstarted your affiliate marketing career.

Youve got your domain name. Youve purchased hosting. Youve selected your niche.

The next question youll ask: how to find affiliate programs? 

I know, it sounds obvious. 

All you need to do is search for companies offering affiliate programs in your niche.

Right?

Not so fast.

Because the truth is, not all affiliate programs are created equal.

Some are awesome, and could be the reason you get to quit your job and move to paradise

…and others are a complete waste of time.

Thats exactly why Ive put together this guide.

In it, Ill show you:

  • 5 things to look for when selecting an affiliate program
  • How to find the best affiliate programs in your niche 
  • 5 examples of the best affiliate programs to inspire you 
  • And more

Ready? 

Lets dive right in. 

How to Find Affiliate Programs: 5 Things to Consider When Choosing an Affiliate Program

By now, you know that selecting affiliate programs isnt about closing your eyes and choosing the program your finger lands on.

If you want success, you need to be careful, deliberate, and knowledgeable. 

You need to know the criteria for picking the best affiliate programs. 

Dont worry, though.

Once you know what to look for and what to avoid, everything else will be easy as pie.

Here are five things to consider when choosing your affiliate programs.

  1. An Affiliate Program that Helps Your Audience 

This might sound obvious, but its surprising how many people miss it. 

Dont be like them.

From the beginning, you need to zero in on your niche. Then, pick affiliate programs that seamlessly fit that niche. 

For instance, if you choose the pet niche, you can promote products like dog food, cat toys, birdcages, and so on.

Check out this example: 

dogfoodadvisor

Source: dogfoodadvisor.com

Remember, however, that it wont always be that clear. 

Lets say you choose the small business niche. 

What kind of products can you promote? 

The key is to step into your audiences shoes and find out what they need to improve their lives. 

Here are some ideas: 

  • CRM solutions 
  • Business courses
  • Web applications  
  • Web hosting 
  • SEO tools 

The list runs on! 

  1. How a Company Treats Its Customers 

As an affiliate marketer, your #1 goal is probably to make truckloads of money.

(And thats OK.) 

But

…you dont want it to be dirty money.

Meaning, you dont want to trick your audience into buying stuff theyll regret. 

And one thing they will regret is if they buy from a company with terrible customer service. 

So before putting your name behind a company and promoting its goods to your audience, do some research on how that company treats its customers. 

Its not that hard. 

All you need to do is read a few reviews. 

Like this: 

getapp reviews

Source: getapp.com

  1. How Much Youll Earn for Each Sale 

This is an important one to consider:

Commission rate. 

This term stands for how much youll earn each time someone buys using your link.

Of course, you dont want to go for affiliate programs that offer you peanuts for every sale you make.

But how do you determine how much percentage you should go for? 

As a general rule, you want to look for two things when choosing your affiliate program.

  • How much commission youll get
  • If the commission is one-time or recurring

Most of the time, youll find that affiliate programs offer you between 5-30% of the sales made. However, there are programs that offer you up to 50% or more of the sales. 

Naturally, youll want to go for higher-tier commissions. 

Theres another aspect to consider, though, and thats how often youll be paid. 

Some programs pay you a one-time fee when someone buys using your link, while others give you monthly recurring payments (these are usually subscription products).

While you could earn a ton of money from large one-time commissions, recurring payments give you the option of a steadier income. 

  1. How Long a Programs Cookie Life Is

Heres where things get a bit techy. 

But dont worry. 

Ill try my best to keep it simple.

Imagine one of your visitors clicking on your affiliate link. 

They visit the site, read about the product, and say, Ill think about it.

When they return 3 days later and purchase the product, do you still get commissions? 

The answer: it depends on your affiliate programs cookie life.

You see, each time a visitor clicks on your affiliate link, a cookie is set in place.

This cookie can remain there for a couple of hours, days, weeks, or even months. 

How long it stays depends on the affiliate program. 

Now, lets say your prospect buys a product 3 days after initially viewing it. 

If the affiliate programs cookie life is a week, youll still earn commissions from the sale, even if it wasnt a direct sale.

This means the longer the cookie life, the more likely youll make money. 

Note: long cookie life is especially good for higher-priced products, because you cant expect your prospects to stash out their wallets and spend thousands of dollars in a single sitting. 

For the techy-at-heart, heres a clear definition of what cookies do.

what is a cookie?

Source: allaboutcookies.org

  1. The Affiliate Programs Terms and Conditions

Want to know the biggest lie humanity has ever told?

I have read all the terms and conditions.

The truth is, no one reads terms and conditions.

Theyre usually never-ending blocks of text that could put an insomniac to sleep.

Check out this example and see if it doesnt: 

How to Find Affiliate Programs mcdonalds post

Source: mcdonalds.com

However, if you want to make the best out of your affiliate marketing strategy, you have to read them. 

Its mandatory. 

Thats because some affiliate programs have rules, requirements, and other hoops you need to jump through that could seriously mess up your strategy.

For instance, some programs might fine you if you dont meet a certain quota.

Although you may be OK with that, its important to know about it beforehand, so you dont end up shocked when you see the charges pop up in your account. 

How to Find the Best Affiliate Programs in Your Niche: 4 Steps to Success

Now that you know what to look for in an affiliate program, its time to get out there and find programs that fit seamlessly into your niche.

Here are four ways you can do it.

  1. Hop On Google

Great news: this one is super simple.

If youve ever done a Google search (Ill bet youve done thousands) you can do this one with your eyes closed.

Heres how.

Simply jump into Google and type affiliate marketing program + your niche.

Or you can type affiliate marketing program for (a specific product you want to promote).

Check out these examples:

  • Affiliate marketing program pets
  • Affiliate marketing program for dog food
  • Affiliate marketing program small business  
  • Affiliate marketing program for business software

Once you type your keyword in and click search, youll get results like these:

google results

Source: google.com

(I told you it was easy.) 

  1. Spy On Your Competitors 

Imagine that youre about to open up a pet store down the block.

However, youre not sure which products you should sell. 

The solution: spy on the pet store a few blocks away to see what theyre selling.

The same is true in affiliate marketing.

When unsure about which products to promote, become a spy and visit your competitors sites.

Of course, youll need to know who your competitors are. 

To do that, you can hop on Google and type best (your niche) blogs. 

Example: best pet blogs.

Then, visit these blogs one by one to see if any of them promote affiliate products. 

If you think this will take too much time, you can subscribe to an SEO tool like Ahrefs.

With this tool, all you have to do is type your URL into the search field and select the Competing Domains option.  

When you do, youll get something like this:

How to Find Affiliate Programs ahrefs

Source: ahrefs.com

Simply click on these domains to find out if theyre affiliate sites and what theyre selling.  

  1. Check Out Affiliate Directories 

Online directories arent as popular as they once were

…but theyre still great for affiliate marketers. 

Some of the best directories cater to both companies seeking affiliate partners, and affiliate marketers looking for programs. 

Want to jump into one of these directories?

Its simple.

All you need to do is type affiliate marketing directories into Google. 

Youll immediately get a plethora of options. 

Like this:

google search

Source: google.com

Dive into each option to find the directory thats right for you.

Heres an example of a popular directory and how it can help you:

How to Find Affiliate Programs paydotcom

Source: paydotcom.com 

  1. Research Companies Directly

Already have a company in mind?

Maybe theres a product you love, and you want your followers to know about it (while earning commissions for each purchase).

In this case, what youll need to do is find out if the company has an affiliate program.

Dont worry.

For many companies, itll be as easy as scrolling down to the bottom of their website and looking for a link to their affiliate program.

Like this.

Source: petco.com

Another thing you can do is hop into a popular affiliate marketing directory and see if the companys name is listed there.

Or you can just Google company name + affiliate program.

Example: ConvertKit affiliate program 

How to Find Affiliate Programs affiliate program

Source: google.com

If none of these strategies work, you can always get in touch with the company to ask if they have a program. 

5 of the Best Affiliate Programs that Pay Well

Ok, now for the fun part.

Im going to show you examples of affiliate programs that pay well. 

I say examples because this is in no way a comprehensive list.

Its only a small one to serve as inspiration to you as you go on your journey of finding the best affiliate programs for you.

Ready?

  1. HubSpot

 

Source: hubspot.com

Is your audience looking for a way to improve relationships with their customers?

You can promote HubSpot CRM.

Whats awesome about HubSpot is that big businesses have plans that cost up to $3,000 per month. 

Plus, smaller businesses or individual users have a cocktail of $50 plans, and all these can add up to large monthly revenue for you.

HubSpot offers you the choice of 15% a month recurring commissions, or 100% on the first month.

It has a 90-day cookie life, so youre good to go even if your audience spends weeks on the fence before subscribing. 

  1. Elementor

Source: elementor.com

These days, everyone needs a website.

And if your audience is looking for a beginner-friendly way to build their own site

…you can tell them about Elementor, a user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder.

Elementor offers plans from $49 to $999 per year, and you get to snag 50% in commissions for every sale. 

Its cookie life is 45 days. 

  1. ConvertKit
convertkit

Source: convertkit.com

If you think your audience will benefit from an all-in-one marketing platform, you can tell them about ConvertKit.

ConvertKit helps people create beautiful landing pages, banners, emails, and more. 

As an affiliate, itll be great for you too.

With plans ranging from $25 to $2,000, itll be easy for you to adjust your message to fit your market.

Youll make 30% a month from each subscription, and youll get a 30-day cookie window. 

  1. Constant Contact
constantcontact

Source: constantcontact.com

Theres no doubt about it.

Email marketing is skyrocketing.

In fact, its ROI is a whopping 42%.

What Constant Contact does is make email marketing easy, even for beginners.

Interesting?

Heres more: 

When you sign up for their affiliate program, youll make $5 each time a person signs up for the free trial.

When they sign up for the paid platform, youll get $105.

To make things even better, their cookie life is 120 days.

  1. Coursera
How to Find Affiliate Programs coursera

Source: coursera.org

Know whats awesome about being alive today?

You can learn practically anything while sitting in your living room with your feet propped up on your ottoman.

Yup! 

How to make goat cheese, how to create a rock garden, how to do food photography

…you name it.

All you need to do is purchase an affordable course on a platform like Coursera.

The great news?

Your audience will love to hear about niche-related courses from you.

Thats exactly why you should become a Coursera affiliate. 

When you join their program, you get 20-45% commissions. 

Their cookie life is 30 days. 

How to Find Affiliate Programs: The Steps to Success 

As a new affiliate marketer, one of the questions youll definitely be asking at the very beginning is, how to find affiliate programs?

My answer to this: take your time.

First, take a moment to find out exactly how you want to project yourself to your audience.

Whats your expertise? What are your beliefs? What can you help people achieve?

Once youre sure about your answers to these questions, its time to look for the affiliate programs thatll fit your niche seamlessly.

Start searching for affiliate programs using Google, directories, or SEO tools. 

Then, follow the steps above to determine if an affiliate program has earning potential or whether it would be better to leave it alone.

Use my list of examples to compare and contrast your finds with great affiliate marketing programs.

And thats it!

In no time, youll be able to come up with your own secret sauce for digging up the best affiliate marketing programs out there.

Image credits:

All screenshots taken by the author, September 2021. 

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