So you’ve decide affiliate marketing is for you, so now how do you find affiliate products to promote?
At first glance, being a successful Affiliate Marketer looks simple enough – you head over to an affiliate marketplace like Clickbank, choose a product, create your unique affiliate link, slap it onto your website… and voila! Sales and commissions come flooding in!
Sadly it’s not that simple in reality. I wish it was.
After weeks and months of wondering why the sales and commissions are not rolling in, you begin to wonder whether you have picked the right products to promote. You might be wondering how you even determine which of the thousands of products avaliable on Clickbank will sell well and give you good commissions? Please tell me I’m not the only one who felt that way.
As a newbie, I found the sheer selection of products on offer at ClickBank utterly overwhelming. There was just every affiliate product you can think of in every possible niche you can imagine.
So where do you start with choosing affiliate products to promote on your website? And how do you pick ones that are profitble and will actually earn you money?
Is choosing profitable affiliate products an art or a science?
Picking profitable affiliate products is definitely more of an art than a science. There is no exact blueprint that gurantees success but what I can give you are seven keys to guide you as you choose your first affiliate products to promote. I’ll also share mistakes that I made as a newbie so you don’t have to learn them the hard way.
While there is no 100% foolproof formula, applying these keys and learnings will go a long way to increasing your chances of success.
So here are my seven keys for choosing a profitable ClickBank product to promote:
Choose a niche you are passionate about
Before you jump straight into the sea of affiliate products, you need to decide what niche you want to get into. What do you want your blog or website to be about?
I strongly recommend choosing a niche related to your hobbies, skills, passions and experiences. Since you will be spending a lot of time thinking about this niche, it will be more enjoyable if you actually like reseraching and writing about the topic.
Are you a dog lover? Have you had experience with weight loss or turning your health around? One thing I found helpful is to think about what your friends come to you for advice on. Do they ask you for help with their finances or for relationship advice?
If you have experience and knowledge in a particular niche it is a huge advantage because you are able to write more engaging and credible content for your blog or website. For example if you have struggled with your weight for many years then turned your situation around, people will be able to identify and relate to you as you have walked in their shoes. People would be more likely to buy weight loss products from you than someone who has been skinny all their life telling them to shape up. At the end of the day, people buy from people they like and relate to.
If you are a bit stuck on selecting a niche, check out my post on how to pick a niche for your blog.
So now know that you have a niche you won’t get bored of in 2 weeks, you need to choose a profitable products and that starts with…
2. Understanding your customers
Let’s say you chose ‘losing belly fat’ as your niche. So you need to understand what are your customer’s pain points.
A great way of finding out your customers’ painpoints is to have a look on forums or facebook groups within your niche. Find out where your customers hangout and what they are talking about. For example, some people would be looking for ab machines to target their problem area. Others might not want to do any exercise and want to take pills to melt their belly fat away. And others will want to lead a healthier lifestyle by eating belly fat burning foods.
By understand your customers pain points, you will be able to accurately select products that address their individual needs and problems. While people hate being sold to, they love having their needs being met or their problem solved.
If I have been looking for a quick way to lose belly fat and you show me with a safe and natural herbal pill that will melt belly fat away quickly, I will snap that offer up in seconds!
So before rushing into product selection, do some research and understand your customers’ painpoints. Your time spent on this step will not be in vain.
3. Selecting products that sell
As a newbie, I found Clickbank to be the easiest to get signed up for and to navigate through. Some affiliate programs require you to have a certain level of traffic before you can sign up, which of course you dont have when first starting out. That’s all good if you get rejected by other programs just reapply when you get some sales under your belt. Don’t let that get you down.
All you have to do with Clickbank is sign up and you get access to a massive database of products that relate to almost any niche. The commissions are also generally pretty good, between 50-75% of the product sale price.
What I like about Clickbank is that it offers good feedback on which products are selling well and have high commission rates.
The ‘gravity’ presents how well each product sells, based on how many sales have been made and how recent these sales were.
A gravity of over 100+ generally indicates that there is a lot of demand for the product. But it also means that there is lots of competition in the niche. One way people get around the high level of competition is to connect with others in the particular affiliate program and try and form a partnership and work together. They say if you can’t beat them, join them. However, I did find that as a newbie, not many people are keen to partner up with you. You will probably get asked about your website traffic numbers or size of your email list which is probably a big fat 0 if you were anything like me when I first started out. And then the other person stops replying…sad one. Give the newbie a chance!
So how I got around this was pick products that had a gravity of between 10 and 100. So there was still demand for the product but not as much competition. You can filter for this gravity range when you conduct your product search.
I would also highly recommend that you actually buy and test the product out before you promote it. A little trick is to buy the product through an affiliate link, which makes it cheaper. I got a bit ahead of myself as newbie and asked for free samples but in reality without a proven track record you are unlikely to be given any free samples to review and promote.
If you don’t have the budget to actually buy and test products, that’s all good. At the very least do some research on websites like www.ripoffreport.com just to make sure you aren’t promoting a scam or something dubious. Its a sad fact but there are some unscrupulous people out there who are willing to profit at the expense of others. These scams often entice affiliates with very impressive commissions to do their dirty work for them. So don’t fall into this trap and help these ratbags promote their junk.
So make sure you do your research. Promoting a scam is going to damage the trust you are trying to build up with your customers.
4. High Commission Percentage (50% or greater)
The next factor I consider is the average%/sale which tells you the commission percentage you get per sale. So if the average%/sale is 75% that means you will get paid $75 for every $100 of sales. This means that if the product costs $100, then you will get $75 for every sale you make.
In reality, your efforts are not going to be worthwhile with $1 commissions so average%/sale is an important factor when selecting a profitable product. Additionally, if you are going the pay per click (PPC) advertising route over the free traffic SEO route, you will need even more of a return to cover your advertising expenses as well as your time.
I must warn you that when you first start out, you are unlikely to be profitable for a while. And if you are new to PPC advertising, it’s a very expensive way to learn internet marketing and a lot of money can be burned in the process with little or no results.
I didn’t have much budget to blow when first starting out so I took the slower but steady SEO route for free traffic. If this you have the budget and want to try speed things up with PPC, here a link to a great introduction to PPC.
5. High Quality Affiliate Resources
You also want to make sure the product offers quality affiliate resources. The level of affiliate resources available and quality of these resources vary from product to product so it’s important to sign up and check out the affiliate resources before making a decision on a product.
Many products have a dedicated affiliate manager whose sole job is the help you promote their product successfully. They provide promotional material such as banners to place on your website, example sales letter and example sales emails. While you should never copy and paste these resources, they serve as a great starting point to add your own personality and voice.
Here is an example of a credible, information email swipe file provided as part of a product’s affiliate resources:
It also helps if the vendor sales page is persuasive and not tacky. After all you will be sending your customers through to this page, so if it’s persuasive and credible it will not only convert well and give you more sales, but it will enhance your brand and reputation.
I personally avoid products with affiliate resources and vendor sales pages that sound too cheesy or spammy. Chances are if you cringe when you read it, your customers are going to as well.
If you are planning to build a long term affiliate marketing business, I would stress that your brand and reputation is much more important than making a quick sale. You don’t want to be known in the market for selling cheesy low quality products.
6. Pick a product that isn’t too expensive to start off
Also, pick a product that’s not too expensive. Sure the commissions on a high value product look more appealing, it may be more difficult to secure a sale due to the high price.
It is easier for people to buy products up to the $35-$30 mark. This is known as the ‘impulse buy zone’. On the other hand, if something costs over $100, people are more likely to conduct a lot more research before whipping out their credit card.
So when you are first starting out and trying to figure out the whole internet marketing thing, go easy on yourself and aim for the “impulse buy zone”. Most of the products on Clickbank also have 30 or 60 day money back guarantees. The lower price and money back guarantee reduces the risk from the customers point of view and makes it psychologically easier to make a purchase.
7. Focus, Focus, Focus
When first starting out, stick with one product at a time so you can figure out what strategies are most successful. This means you can rinse and repeat for your second, third and all subsequent products.
I made the newbie mistake of getting too excited and trying to do so too many products at once. This was both overwhelming and I didn’t know what was working and what wasn’t because there were too many variable and moving parts.
So what I’m saying is don’t try to multi task. Tackle one product at a time and promote it as good as you can before you move into the next one. This is not a race to the finish line. It’s more of a continuous learning journey so don’t rush ahead of yourself.
I’m also not saying is stick to marketing only one product forever and ever. Of course, you want to include more than one product because it is important to offer your customers alternatives and buying options. You want to more to having a whole range of reviews on your website.
But also don’t fall on the other side and promote all sorts of products for money-making’s sake. More products on sale doesn’t automatically equally more sales. Stay in the happy medium between too few and too many products on sale.
So what’s an Example of a Good Affiliate Product
You will note I said an example of a good affiliate product and not the perfect one. I don’t believe there is any perfect product that guarantees success and I would be wary of anyone who makes such claims.
I would call this a good product because it has many things going for it:
- A great gravity – good demand but not too much competition
- High 75% commission rate
- High quality affiliate resources
- Persuasive sales page
- And the bonus: It has a 13% average re-billing. This means that after the initial sale and commission of $10.33. 13% of buyers go onto a continuous payment of some kind (possibly a subscription) which continues to pay you $6.48 of commission on average. This means passive income after the initial sale – yay!
Now you know what a good affiliate product looks like, here are some common mistakes to avoid
- Following the money and not your passion.
This is by far the most common mistake newbies make and I was among those who fell into this trap. I mean its hard to when “gurus” are telling you left right and centre that affiliate marketing is the key to easy riches. So all you’re thinking when you enter affiliate marketing is let’s make some of this sweet money they keep telling me about.
But sadly these guru’s have actually set us up for failure. Doing affiliate marketing for the money just never works. You need to promote something you actually believe in. If you aren’t passionate about your niche, you will probably find researching and dealing with your niche such a chore and end up quitting before you see success (that was me with my first niche website).
In reality, you will be the most successful at promoting products that you have a passion for and that you can get excited about. That’s why I emphasised that you should choose a niche that you are passionate about. When you are passionate about something, you customers and readers will be able to feel your passion through your writing. Passionate is contagious and is attractive. So the most effective marketing you do will be for products that you enjoy and have the most interest in.
2. Choosing money over customers
A common mistake is to promote the hottest new product there is on the market which is not necessarily right for your potential customers or worse…is just low quality junk! While you might make a quick buck, you can be sure any customers will not be returning in the future. And that’s no way to run a long term successful business.
Affiliate marketing is a people business, don’t forget that. You are in the market to help people – to understand their pain point and curate content and products to meet their needs. If this is the philosophy you take, you are almost guaranteed success.
People hate being sold to, but they love it when people add value to their lives.
Remember I said picking affiliate products is more of an art rather than a science. The more you practice and learn, the better you will become at this art.
I’ll leave you with a video of how my mentor in this business picks affiliate products. P.S For the visual learners, this one is for you.
And once you’ve read this guide and heard my mentors words of wisdom, get out there and give it a go! It’s action that will move you forward 🙂
I would love to hear how you go! And if you get stuck at any point, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.