Summary: Choosing good (i.e., profitable) affiliate offers is imperative if you want to make money with your blog. Not only does the offer have to be good, it has to be backed by a vendor with impeccable honesty and integrity. Otherwise, you and your readers/buyers will suffer immensely.
Yesterday you started learning about how to choose an affiliate product in your niche to promote.
The main idea is that you want to choose a popular product that your market is already buying. But you also want to make sure you’ll get your commissions.
Read on for tips on doing your due diligence.
Research the Vendor (IMPORTANT!)
If you associate yourself with a shady vendor (by promoting his products), your reputation will be linked to his or hers.
That’s why you want to make sure the vendor is honest. To do this, just search in Google for the vendor’s name, email address, websites, and products.
A complaint or two generally isn’t a big deal, as most vendors get complaints from time to time – just ask the customer service staff at your local Wal-Mart.
What you’re looking for, however, is a pattern of complaints or a complaint that seems particularly serious (like fraud). If you find a vendor with a history of complaints – and the complaints seem legit – then find another vendor and product to promote.
Vendors are a dime a dozen. HONEST vendors are hard to come by. When you find one, promote everything they have to offer if it fits your audience!
Read the Reviews
Keep in mind that many of the reviews you find online are likely from affiliates who are trying to promote the product. So even if they are honest reviews, many of them will likely be biased.
HINT: Most aren't 100% honest. These “reviews” are meant to sell the product. Don't ever fall into that trap! A telltale sign of a bullshit review has this title: “Don't Buy [product name]…Until You See This!”
That's code for
“I'm trying to get you to read this because otherwise you wouldn't (people like salacious news, after all) and, oh, by the way, I'm an affiliate and my ‘bonuses' (‘Real-world value of $5,382.38!!!') are the best there ever were!”
As such, you should look for reviews in more neutral places, such as on niche forums. If the person isn’t dropping an affiliate link (or a link to a competing product, a VERY common practice among shysters) when they offer a review, then there’s a chance the reviewer is a customer rather than an affiliate (a GOOD thing).
The reviews should give you an idea of the product’s reputation. But don’t stop there.
Use the Product
Yes, this means you need to buy the product. Check with your accountant, as it’s very likely that you can deduct this as a business expense (I'm no lawyer or accountant, but I will tell you this is legit 9 times out of 10 – I actually used to prepare tax returns).
What you’re looking for is a good, solid product.
Think about this: If your mother or best friend needed this product, would you recommend it to them? If not, then do NOT recommend it to your blog readers, either.
Instead, find a product you’d wholeheartedly recommend to your best friends and/or use yourself.
Look for Commission Leaks
At this point you’ve found a good product. Now you need to make sure the vendor doesn’t have a “leaky” sales page. (A leaky salespage is a page of the vendor's that you send your leads to and in some way, they are able to buy the product or another product with you getting ZERO credit for the purchase.) Some examples follow.
Tip: Some vendors purposely create leaky sales pages, while other vendors are inexperienced and don’t know any better. If you encounter a leaky sales page and think the vendor just doesn’t know any better, ask the vendor for a special landing page and/or ask him to clean up the “leaks” before you promote the product.
Here’s what to look for:
- Different payment options. If you’re promoting through Clickbank.com and the sales page offers the option for people to send a check, call in their order, or pay with 2Checkout.com, you won’t get credit. So make sure that you get credit for ALL payment options on the sales page or don’t promote the product.
- Ads or unnecessary links on the page. This includes AdSense ads, banner ads, and links to unnecessary pages (like the vendor’s blog). A good salespage gives the prospective buyer two options: Buy or don't buy. The bad ones give many options, including the aforementioned as well as, “Hey, go look at this ad,” and “While you're here, read this page,” and “Oh, by the way, here's a neat cat video.”
- Upsell or exit options that don’t give you credit. Run through the payment process and make sure you get credit even if the buyer takes advantage of an upsell or other offer.
- Newsletter promotion that doesn’t give you credit. Also, join the vendor’s newsletter to make sure he or she isn’t sending subscribers to a page where you won’t get credit.
Today’s task: Do your due diligence and select an affiliate product to promote as described above.
Tomorrow you’ll start blogging! I know, FINALLY 🙂