With a long track record of success, affiliate marketing still remains one of the most popular methods for making money online. You can be up and running in a matter of hours, have limited customer service requirements, and the barriers to entry are extremely low. However, this ease of entry into the market can often lead to poor decision making in the earliest stages. If so little work is required to get started, why waste time with research? It all begins with making a great affiliate product selection and having a solid business plan.
The product selection phase is often the main area of neglect, with superficial choices like commission rate, popularity, or the actions of your competitors influencing a key decision. Choosing the right product can make or break a campaign though, so a good level of scrutiny is vital.
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Find Evergreen Products
Some products are popular for a while and then fizzle out. We see this with many of the product launches in the internet marketing world and the stocks and finance niche. The product has a huge buzz around it, sells really well, then rides this wave for a while before finally dropping off the radar. In the right circumstances this can be fine for your affiliate product selection, but if you can track down the evergreen products that sell well for years, regardless of the time of year or the current trends, you can often make money from the work you put in a long time ago.
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Choose Your Niche Before You Make Your Affiliate Product Selection
A common tactic for affiliate marketers is to make an affiliate product selection first, and then research the niche. Instead, try to find a great niche first before you look into your affiliate product selection. A good niche will usually have various quality products you can promote, allowing for split testing and commission negotiations with the vendor. Sometimes an affiliate campaign will fail for no clear reason, but choosing a profitable niche first allows you to change course and turn it into a winner.
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Make Full Use of the Product
While selling a product in a niche you care about is great, often affiliate marketers do not have any personal affection for the market they are selling in. However, this doesn’t mean you should avoid testing the product or service for yourself. There are many things you can ascertain from using the product, such as the customer service experience, the sales process, the overall packaging, and the usability for a beginner. Before making your affiliate product selection, put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and try to imagine you have a similar amount of loyalty, devotion, enthusiasm, and interest as they do.
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Find a Vendor Who Values Affiliates
With a small amount of experience, finding a vendor that is not overly interested in their affiliates is quite easy. There will usually be signs on the sales page, such as alternative payment methods that do not give you credit for the referral, paid advertising blocks, and prominent links to other products which are not in their affiliate network. Quality vendors will also provide good tools to help their affiliates, including banners, product images, and even some helpful demographics.
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Check the Affiliate Tracking Functions Correctly
The ability to track affiliate referrals is integral to your success, so make sure there are no flaws in the process. From your point of view, make sure you have correctly set up all links, so check each individual link for the destination and that they have the right code attached. Next, check the vendor is recognizing your affiliate link and tracking it appropriately. Your affiliate product selection must include proper tracking to ensure you receive credit where credit is due. You may even be able to buy the product with your link to verify you are being credited. Finally, make sure you are included in any up-sells after the purchase. This can add a considerable amount to the revenue you bring in.
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Network with Joint Venture Partners
In any given market or niche you can usually find a number of successful players to make your affiliate product selection from. They could be the very biggest affiliates with large mailing lists or the product vendors themselves. Building connections with these people can be the quickest route to success in affiliate marketing, but in terms of finding a great product, they can also be very helpful. Good joint venture partners will often give you early access to the latest products, priceless information about conversions and the best traffic sources, higher commission rates based on your success, and promotion to their mailing lists or social media followers.
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Avoid Following the Crowd
In any given niche you will probably find a lot of people all promoting the same product. Instead of following the crowd though, try to seek out the hidden gems in your market. They could be the independent merchants or the products bubbling to the surface. Taking on a lot of established affiliates can be a long process, but finding a quality product that is just waiting for the right promotion will set you apart.
Making an affiliate product selection can be very tricky and frustrating if you choose the wrong product. You have no control over the sales process, the marketing decisions, or the quality of the product itself. By choosing the best product from the start, you can feel confident that you are not wasting your time on a losing campaign. Many affiliates overlook this aspect of marketing, but by making a considered choice in this area you can jump to the front of the pack in almost any niche you enter.