How to Choose a Profitable Affiliate Program

by Leslie Truex

Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest, easiest and affordable ways to start earning an income online. However there is much more to affiliate marketing than signing up and posting your affiliate link. Just like any other work-at-home venture, starting and running an affiliate marketing business requires research and planning. One of the most important aspects of that research is determining which affiliate programs to promote.

When evaluating an affiliate program, consider the following:

1) Does the affiliate company provide products or services that you are interested in or knowledgeable about?

It's much easier to promote programs with authority when they involve products and services in your skill or knowledge base. So if you love gardening, choose an affiliate with gardening products. If you know a lot about money matters, choose companies with quality financial products and services.

2) Are people buying the types of products and services the affiliate company offers?

Use a good keyword search tool to find out if people are searching for the information or products the company is selling. You're looking for products and services that are in demand, so if there aren't many searches on the keywords of a particular company then it's not likely that you'll have much success with its affiliate program.

3) Is the company reputable?

The company's reputation will reflect on you, so make sure you're promoting good company with quality products and services.

4) Is the product or service priced right?

Would you pay the price?

5) Can you attest to the quality?

You'll need to buy or test the product or service to be sure. In fact, a testimonial from you can increase sales.

6) Does the company offer quality customer service?

Poor customer service will negatively impact your credibility as the person who recommended the affiliate company, so make sure the company treats its customers well.

7) Does it have a clear and professional website?

It doesn't need bells and whistles, but it should be organized and easy to use.

8) What does the affiliate agreement say and are the terms acceptable?

Make sure you understand any limitations such as whether or not you can advertise in email or through pay-per-click services.

9) How and when do you get paid?

Is this a pay-per-sale or a pay-per-lead? Does it pay monthly? Do you need to have earned a specific amount before you get paid?

10) How does it track your commissions?

Some questionable affiliate merchants can hijack your commission by offer alternative payment processors that don't track your referrals. So that all payment methods on the affiliate merchant's site track your affiliate ID.

11) Does it have marketing tools to help you promote its products and services?

Marketing is the key to affiliate success, so choose programs that have tools to help you.

There are hundreds of thousands of affiliate programs that will pay you to promote its items, but not all are worth the time and effort. Before signing up for any affiliate program, make sure that you evaluate it using the eleven items above. By doing so you'll insure that your reputation and credibility stay intact and that you make money.

About the author:

Leslie Truex is the author of The Work-At-Home Success Bible (2009 Adams Media). She has been telecommuting and running home businesses for over 15 years and helping others to work at home since 1998. Get work-at-home jobs and other resources with her free newsletter at http://www.WorkAtHo meSuccess. com.