A Simple Guide On How To Choose The Best Affiliate Products To Promote

A Simple Guide On How To Choose The Best Affiliate Products To Promote

By JoAnne D. | Affiliate Marketing

Best Affiliate Products To Promote

Do you want to earn as much as you can from affiliate marketing? Then you need to promote the right products to your audience. Today, we talk about how to find the best affiliate products to promote to your readers.

How successful you are in affiliate marketing largely depends on how well you find solutions to your readers’ problems. It’s up to you, then, to make sure that you’re offering the right products.

The problem is that there must be thousands or even tens of thousands of affiliate products available online. An even bigger problem is that the vast majority aren’t worth your time and effort to work with for one reason or another.

In today’s article, I talk about what types of products are out there and how to choose the best affiliate products to promote to your readers.

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How To Choose The Best Affiliate Products To Promote

When deciding on which affiliate products to promote from the thousands or even tens of thousands out there, it will do you well to ask the following questions:

1. Does the product offer any real benefit to your audience?

This first question is also the most important; even if you manage to answer the next questions, if the answer here is NO, your affiliate marketing efforts will almost certainly fail.

Products and services that have tons of features but don’t have any real benefit to deliver are not worth promoting.

“But if a product has tons of features, how could it NOT have a benefit?”

Quite simply, a feature is different from a benefit. A product feature is something that a product has or does. A benefit is what that feature means for the user.

For example, if you’re talking about a car seat, saying “It has a five-point harness” is describing a feature. Saying “It keeps your child safe” is describing a benefit.

Promoting a car seat that has a lot of features when you’re blogging in a niche whose target audience is single and childless is an exercise in futility, but when you’re blogging in a niche whose target audience is first-time parents, it will be a hit. For an affiliate product to earn you profit, it has to have an actual benefit to your audience.

2. Do you like/love using the product? If not, is this product something that you’re still willing to recommend?

Products and services that have solved your problems and have worked for you are more likely to entice your readers to become customers.

smiling woman using laptop in coffee shop

If you’ve actually used the product, you’ll have a better understanding of the features of the product, as well as its pros and cons. Most importantly, you’ll have a better idea of what type of user this product is suited for.

There may also be products that you used and didn’t like for some reason, but would still be able to recommend it to someone else. It could be because it’s not a good fit for your needs but may be a good fit for someone else. Or it may be a matter of personal preference.

Whatever the reason you don’t like a product, you should only recommend it to others if it does what it’s intended for. If the reason you don’t like it is that it doesn’t work or doesn’t solve your problem, no one else would love it either and you risk breaking your readers’ trust.

For (a rather simplistic) example, if you’re using a vacuum cleaner that cleans marvelously, but you don’t particularly like how its wheels work, it’s okay to recommend it to other people who might like that particular type of wheels.

But if it doesn’t even clean properly, you have no business recommending it, and you’ll literally have no business if you continue recommending substandard products.

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3. Is the merchant/seller of the product reputable?

Your readers will be more likely to buy from a known and trusted brand, whether it’s a company or an individual. A brand’s reputation isn’t built overnight, so if the brand is something that your readers know and respond to, you’ll have a better chance of converting your readers.

Established brands will be more likely to attract customers because they’ll be more likely to have quality products, as well as invested in their e-commerce site. This means that when your readers buy, they can do so simply and hassle-free.

Also, established brands spend time and good money for customer support. You never want your readers to feel that they were only valued when you were trying to get them to buy the product.

female call center agent

You want them to feel valued all throughout the buying cycle, from when they were reading reviews, to actually completing the purchase, up till they’re using the product.

But even though you would prefer to work with bigger, more established brands, this doesn’t mean you should disregard smaller companies or bloggers. These brands may offer the same quality products and even the same level of customer support.

However, be aware that you have to be more careful and research more thoroughly when you plan on working with a smaller brand. At the very least, they should offer high-quality products, simple purchasing process, and excellent customer support.

4. Is the commission worth the effort?

There are a number of ways to earn commissions on product sales. For you to figure out if a commission structure is worth it, you need to have an idea of the different ways commissions can be earned.

One-off commissions are earned per purchase, either as a percentage or a fixed amount. For you to have guaranteed income per month with this commission structure, you’ll need to constantly have sales plus a high conversion rate.

bag of coins

Thus, you’ll have to spend a whole lot of time and effort on promoting your affiliate links. But this commission structure is well worth it if the product price is high and the commission you get per product is a high percentage or a high fixed amount.

Let’s say your target is to earn $2,000 monthly. If a product costs $100 and you agree to get 20% commission, you’ll get $20 commission per purchase. Thus, you’ll have to sell 100 of these a month to get to your target.

By contrast, if your product costs $500 and you get the same 20% commission, you’ll get $100 commission per purchase. Thus, you’ll only have to sell 20 of these a month.

Recurring commissions are commissions earned periodically for as long as the buyer is subscribed to the product or service. Earning a recurring commission is preferable to earning a one-off commission per purchase because you only need to refer someone once to earn commissions regularly (as long as they don’t unsubscribe).

For example, if you refer a reader to a subscription box with a $50 monthly fee, and you earn a 20% commission, you’ll get $10 commission per purchase. If you refer 100 readers to this service in a month, then you’ll get $1,000 that month. The next month, if you were able to refer 100 more readers to this service, then you’ll get $1,000 plus $1,000 from your referrals the previous month.

stacks of coins ascending height

As you can see, choosing a product with a commission structure that pays you more for the same amount of work is ideal. You can even sign up for affiliate products with different commission structures so that you don’t put your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

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These questions can be summarized into a single one:

Will this product/service help build a lasting relationship with my audience while providing me decent revenue?

If the answer is YES, go for it.

The 4 Main Types Of Affiliate Products

As I’ve mentioned, there are numerous affiliate products available, but they tend to fall into one of four main product types.

Now that you have an idea of how to choose the best affiliate products to promote, it’s good to familiarize yourself with these product types so you can narrow down your focus when you start searching for products to promote.

Let’s look at these product options, as well as the pros and cons of each product type.

1. Digital Products

Digital products are files available online that your readers can download and consume immediately. This may or may not be applicable to your audience depending on your niche.

Examples include:

  • Images/video clips: stock photos and videos that are usually self-hosted by the seller
  • Ebooks: either self-hosted or downloaded from Amazon (Kindle Books), Google Books, iBooks, or other online sellers
  • Music: either self-hosted or downloaded from iTunes, Amazon Music, or other music publishers
  • Movies: downloaded from iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, or other providers
  • Software: games, apps, or plugins that are either self-hosted or downloaded from software publishers

 

Pros

  • Easy way to get started
  • Minimal overhead costs
  • User has instant access

Cons

  • Low selling prices means low profit margins

2. Digital Information Products

Information products are an important subset of digital products. These are resources that are usually created by other bloggers and online entrepreneurs that teach users to do something.

child using a laptop

These products are in a different category because they are normally more valuable than other digital products.

Examples of these include:

  • Ebooks
  • Industry reports
  • Audiobooks
  • Video training
  • Ecourses

 

Pros

  • Educational products tend to be higher priced and thus have bigger commissions
  • Usually made and sold by authority figures in a niche, increasing trust factor
  • Dealings tend to be one-on-one, giving you an opportunity to build relationships with prominent bloggers in your niche
  • Lots of people have a need for knowledge to achieve a goal or solve a problem

Cons

  • Might be hard to get approved as an affiliate because sellers are more careful about who they allow to market their products
  • Difficult to find, as there usually isn’t a single repository for these products
  • Takes time and effort (sometimes money) to review products thoroughly to make completely sure that products are a good fit for your readers

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3. Online Services

An online service is any service that’s available over the internet. These are often subscription-based and as such, there’s a high probability that these will pay out recurring commissions.

The online services that have high-paying affiliate programs are usually those services that you use on your blog and other bloggers need, but there are also niche-specific ones.

Examples of online services for bloggers include:

  • Lead generation services (e.g., list building plugins, landing page builder)
  • Website services (e.g., hosting, security, domain name service)
  • Social media services (e.g., post scheduling, link tracking, analytics)
  • Graphic design services (e.g., custom website themes, custom icon sets, custom fonts)

 

Other examples of online services include:

  • Media services
  • Marketing services
  • Membership sites
  • Consulting services

 

Pros

  • Good chance of recurring commissions
  • Higher price point
  • High-value because of specific needs

Cons

  • Some of the really excellent services may not have affiliate programs in place
  • Requires higher commitment from readers, so may be harder to pitch

4. Physical Products

Promoting physical products on websites like Amazon, eBay, or Jet is also a viable option for monetizing your blog. Focus on unique, high-quality products rather than products that people can easily find elsewhere. Niche products are more likely to offer higher commissions.

However, commissions are still generally too low for this to be a full-time income. This is best ventured into with other sources of affiliate marketing income.

Pros

  • Easy to find affiliate programs for products
  • Once you have an established blog, companies may contact you to do a product review in exchange for a free product
  • If your blog is shaping up to be a product review site, this can be a great way for you to monetize your blog

Cons

  • High overhead costs, meaning smaller profit margins
  • Requires higher commitment from readers, so may be harder to pitch
  • Buying physical products for review can be expensive

woman looking at books in library

It’s highly recommended for you to start with digital information products or services because they generally have higher earning potential.

As we’ve discussed, producing digital products isn’t easy but it does involve minimal overhead costs. You can also try your hand at physical products if it’s something that fits your niche, but unless you’re running a review site, don’t count on the commissions for that to be as large as commissions from digital products.

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Conclusion

Offering the right products is a huge factor in your success as an affiliate marketer, so don’t take this for granted.

Here’s a recap of the questions you need to ask yourself as you choose the best affiliate products to promote to your audience:

  1. Does the product offer any real benefit to your audience?
  2. Do you like/love using the product? If not, is this product something that you’re still willing to recommend?
  3. Is the merchant/seller of the product reputable?
  4. Is the commission worth the effort?

 

Before you start with affiliate marketing, here are some more tips and reminders:

Start small.

It’s tempting to pitch a lot of products at the same time to maximize your earnings, but when you’re a beginner, it’s better to start with one product first while you’re still learning the ropes.

seedling

This allows you to focus on your strategy from start to finish—from reaching out to sellers and affiliate networks, “prettifying” your affiliate links, to testing your copy, to trying out different types of blog posts and emails, to getting your first payout.

That way, you’ll find yourself learning about the process more because you’re focused on one step at a time instead of doing different steps for different products all at the same time.

Mistakes are inevitable at this point, and the fewer products you work with, the better contained the impact is and the softer the blow of your mistakes, so to speak.

Once you’ve made the mistakes and learned from them, you’ll make fewer of them when you add more affiliate products to your portfolio.

Always be providing value.

You should only be working with products and services that truly solve your readers’ problems and gives real value to their lives.

If you choose products solely for the commission, you’ll be disappointed with your results. Pitch valuable products to your loyal audience, and they’ll reward you accordingly.

What type of products are you likely to promote? Or are you already promoting affiliate products? Tell me all about it in the comments!

About the Author

JoAnne is your average, everyday, sane stay-at-home mom who believes in the power of the internet to make dreams come true. She has an insatiable appetite for chocolate, as well as all things internet marketing. She keeps up with the latest trends in blogging, affiliate marketing, e-commerce, and more.

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