I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Even if you understand all the technical aspects of starting an affiliate website, and understand how to get traffic to the site, something many affiliates struggle with is choosing an offer. There are thousands of merchants waiting for you to partner with them and to have you start promoting their products or services. I asked a handful of successful affiliates how they choose an offer to promote:
Because I am personally in a key demographic, I start by looking for an offer that I would be interested in myself. I find it easier to promote something if I either already know a little bit about it or find the product interesting. It also gives me an opportunity to leverage my existing databases to jumpstart conversions without relying on search or ads. I look for something that is seasonally applicable but not less than a month. I tend to promote offers with strong brand recognition or, alternately, a low enough price point that women will try it even if the brand is unknown. ~Tricia Meyer
There are a few main things I look for. The first is the commission rate and average commission per sale. I don’t really want to be promoting offers that aren’t going to pay out much. Next I’ll look at the merchants site and see if there are any obvious leaks such as huge phone numbers or Google Adsense listed on their site. I’ll also take into consideration who manages the program and if I’ve worked with them in the past on other offers. Once I get a few potential offers, I’ll do a bit of research to see if there is even a demand as well as look at the competition to see if its worth competing. ~Logan Thompson
When choosing a cps offer I look for something I can build for the long term. One of the things I look at is how long the merchant has been active, that will definitely tell me the sustainability of the offer. For me building long term sites is the way to go. The other thing can I make amicro-nicheoffer within the program, for a way out example, if it’s a sock offer, can I make a striped sock niche site and make it work. ~James Seligman
Personally, when choosing a new CPS offer, I like to look for merchants who do a lot of the pre-selling. Typically, these are
As Seen on TV products or those running national TV or radio ads. For example, sit4less.com is sponsoring NPR, and I hear their ads every day. Their affiliate program is run on ShareASale.
Another product I’ve seen advertised quite a bit has been the Smart Mop, running 30-second TV commercials with infomercial spokesman Anthony Sullivan. Head over to Offerbuzz on Affbuzz and you’ll see you can run this offer on two different networks (paying $6 and $10). Searching through the CJ product catalog, you’ll find there are dozens of merchants selling this product (mostly for $14.99; commissions ranging from 2-10%).
There’s good and bad when promoting these products. If you want a good payout, you have to go to a CPA network, but you’ll run into tracking issues. If you want reliable tracking with a CPS network, you’ll end up with smaller payouts.
My favorite offers to promote are services, as the user can’t drive to Wal-Mart and buy offline. Those with monthly residuals are great once you have established revenue streams from other offers (monthly residuals start off really slow, but then snowball and the checks just keep coming in). Other services will pay a huge percentage of the monthly (sometimes up to 700%)
While these are some ideas on what to look for when choosing a CPS offer to promote, there are many other schools of thought. Anyone care to comment on what’s worked for you?