There are thousands of affiliate programs.
Are they all good? Nope.
That’s why we created a curated affiliate program directory featuring what we believe are the best of the best. We made it, so you don’t have to scroll through endless feeds, and super long blog posts, and hope they’re still available like other sites. It’s annoying, we know.
We’ve talked about some of the top beginner affiliate programs. And the top affiliate networks, too. But what we didn’t go into detail about – which we’re realizing now – is how to find affiliate programs.
You know… bringing it back to the basics.
Getting You Up-to-Speed: The Affiliate Marketing Basics
Affiliate marketing is promoting other people’s products in exchange for a commission. These programs are offered by brands/businesses much like a referral system. Except, an affiliate program goes one step further offering text links, banners, tracking tools, and more.
An affiliate program may be:
- Independent – Its own thing
- Networked – Part of a larger affiliate network
Either way, you’re the publisher seeking affiliate opportunities from an advertiser. It’s your blog, website, social media, or marketing campaigns doing the hard work. If you target an ideal customer, offer a great product, and entice them with a strong call-to-action, then you may earn money if they buy it.
There are lots of ways to promote affiliate products:
- Your website or blog in its content with what we call “money pages”
- Offering upsells and cross promotions with an information product
- Creating a niche site dedicated to affiliated promotions (affiliate sites)
…and a whole bunch of other affiliate marketing strategies that’ll help you sell offers.
Affiliate marketing is doing what you’ve always done – promoting something you love – but finally getting paid to do it. It can happen one-on-one, over social networks, on a site, or wherever.
Awesome, you’re now up-to-speed about affiliate marketing. If you’re still unsure how it works, we recommend checking our Affiliate Marketing 101 overview for the smaller details. Otherwise, check out the rest of the site because there are tons of affiliate guides and tutorials.
What You Need to Do Before Joining an Affiliate Program
I know, you’re itching to join affiliate programs and start promoting… hold up.
Anyone could join a program, grab a link, and hope for the best. Some may get a few sales because they have a passionate community. Or, by blind luck. Affiliate marketing is a business and businesses need testing and tracking to know what the hell you’re doing.
First, find your niche:
- Write 5 – 10 ideas about what you know (skills, expertise, hobbies, etc.)
- Go to Amazon, eBay, or a popular brand site and look for its top sellers
- Follow social influencers (FB, Twitter, YouTube) seeing what they’re promoting
- Ask your community what they buy and what’s on their wish list
Good, now you’ve gone through the basic process of finding a niche. You can dig into this further in our niche guide. But, you’re in a good position if this is all you’ll do (for now).
Second, pick a product category:
- List 5 – 10 hot and “evergreen” products in your niche category
- Verify the results on Amazon, eBay, and that brand’s website
- (Optional) Run a small, paid campaign to see if real people are really buying
This should give you a couple of great ideas for what you’ll promote.
Third, see what others are doing:
- Create a swipe file collecting your favorite blog posts, emails, and social shares
- Monitor competitor advertising and what they’re promoting with paid reach
- Read reviews and blog comments for those idea nuggets from community members
This is all part of the competitive research – it’s what aligns your goals and promotions with the shared communities you’re after alongside competitors. Let others’ efforts guide your own, especially if they’re already spending money (showing there’s a return for their efforts).
Where to Find Those Top Paying Affiliate Programs You’re Hearing About
Look no further… start with our affiliate directory.
Hear me out before you get mad having expected some huge list.
We’re continually updating our directory and offering our overview and reviews of the programs and networks. We’re also condensing the best parts into easy-to-understand metrics like commission structure, payout methods, cookie window, and the like.
As of 08/2018, we have 30+ affiliate niche categories in our directory. Each category includes about a dozen, curated affiliate programs. In total, there are 300+ hand-selected programs and networks.
Affiliate categories include:
- Affiliate Networks
- Cars and Trucks
- Credit Repair
- Domain Registration
- Medical Equipment
- Online Shopping
- Pay Per Click
- Pay Per Lead
- Real Estate
- Video Games
- Web Hosting
- Weight Loss
…plus a few mature-themed categories.
We also, if you didn’t know, include helpful guides on each of the category pages.
This information is in the ‘Read More’ link (you may have skipped over it).
Scroll down and you’ll find the branded programs.
Click ‘Learn More’ and you’ll get an overview/review of that program.
There ya have it.
Dig around and see what you’ll find in the directory. There’s a lot to explore!
Keep Checking the AffiliatePrograms.com Directory
We’re updating this thing regularly.
We’re always on the lookout for independent affiliate programs and those from big brands. Our criteria are all about good commissions, affiliate tools, and brand authority.
We’re always open to suggestions and feedback – shoot us an email if you got great ideas!
Anyway… best of luck on your affiliate marketing journey!