One of the best places to start when building your affiliate website is investigating what affiliate programs are out there. In this lesson we're going to teach you How To Find Affiliate Programs. We'll give you a closer look at ClickBank, one of the largest affiliate networks on the Internet and home to some pretty high commission products, and we'll show you some other networks to check out as well.
But first things first, what is an affiliate network?
Affiliate networks are the coordinators of the affiliate world. They coordinate between the merchant and the affiliate, are responsible for processing payments from the customer, keeping track of affiliate commissions and paying affiliates.
They're a very good place to start when you're looking for affiliate products to promote, since many will maintain a directory that you can browse by subject.
Let's take a look at one such network: ClickBank.com.
ClickBank is one of the best affiliate networks for digital products, like software and eBooks. The good thing about software and eBooks is that they tend to have a lot higher commissions than physical products. (You can probably figure out the reason for that yourself - software and eBooks have no manufacturing costs per item, so merchants don't have to worry about affiliate commissions cutting into their margins.) Commissions of between 50% and 75% are reasonably common for digital products.
If you click on "Marketplace" you'll be taken to ClickBank's directory of affiliate products - here you can browse affiliate programs by subject:
ClickBank provides some statistics on affiliate programs in their listings.
Initial $/sale = How much you earn for each sale
Avg %/sale = What percentage of the sale price makes up your cut.
Avg Rebill Total = If the product has recurring billing (for example, monthly memberships) then this is the amount of money you might you expect beyond the initial sale. If the product doesn't have recurring billing this figure will be blank.
Avg %/Rebill = This number is only shown if the vendor offers products with recurring billing, and shows the average commission rate earned on that part of the income.
Grav = Gravity Gives an indication of how hot a product is at the moment. Products with high gravity have a lot of affiliates making money selling this product, while those with low gravity have comparatively less affiliates selling the product. Take this figure with a grain of salt, since it is open to manipulation, but in general you'll probably want to look at products that have a decent amount of affiliate activity, since that obviously means that people are making money from them.
Signing up to become a ClickBank affiliate is a fairly straightforward process: click the "Sign up" link at the top of the page, fill in the details as required, click "Submit" and follow instructions from there.
Once you have your ClickBank ID you're able to promote any product on the ClickBank network. When you're browsing products you'll see a link to "Promote".
Click this, enter your ClickBank ID and the site will generate your HopLink (affiliate link).
You must use your HopLink any time you link to the merchant site. If you just link directly to the merchant site using the website's usual address you won't receive credit for any visitors who click that link and then purchase, as they won't have been tracked!
When you belong to an affiliate network you're able to check how much you've earned by logging in to your account and reviewing the statistics. ClickBank pools the commissions from your whole account into a daily amount, which is shown on the first page when you log in.
You can also delve further into your statistics and break it down by product in the reports section.
So that was a basic introduction to ClickBank. However there are many other affiliate networks out there that you may wish to join as well. Some other you might like to take a look at are:
Some affiliate programs operate outside of affiliate networks, so you won't see them listed in directories. Finding these affiliate programs is more word of mouth: you can look around at other affiliate sites in your market and see which products they're promoting, and then see if you can find a link to the affiliate program on the merchant website. You could also email the merchant site directly and ask.
One thing you may encounter is the "invite only" affiliate program. Some sites restrict entry to their affiliate program to people who have already purchased their product, or they choose to approve affiliates on a case-by-case basis. Often this is to prevent affiliates from getting hefty discounts on their products by purchasing through their own affiliate links. If you contact the merchant directly and plead your case, they might let you in, but usually there's not much you can do aside from purchasing the product.
In this lesson you've learned: