Starting out with affiliate marketing, the question is inevitably: “Where do I find products to market?”
Let me assure you – there is no shortage of them out there. However, you don’t want to spend your whole day signing up for new programs, you want to get down to business right? Likewise, every little mom and pop store out there doesn’t want to spend their days managing their affiliate programs, and would rather have someone else do it for them. Thus the rise of companies like CommissionJunction, ClickBank and many others. These companies act as hubs, linking vendors to affiliates who want to promote their products. They provide the interface and usually handle the transactions, payouts, all that fun stuff.
So which one is best for the aspiring marketer?
There’s actually no easy answer to that, as it totally depends on your style and what it is that you want to promote. I started out using CommissionJunction and ClickBank primarily, and to a large extent they are the ones I still use. However I just recently dicovered PayDotCom as well, and so far it looks pretty promising.
Here’s my take on the ones that I’ve used most extensively.
Commission Junction is great because they host hundreds and hundreds of offers, and they’re constantly adding more. They have lots of training materials and in my opinion are one of the most established players in the game. They have a good link tracking system and it is easy to generate fairly detailed reports. CJ has many established businesses using them, as well as smaller players. For example, you can find offers on there from Dell, Ebay, WeightWatchers, and many other well known names. They also do direct deposit, which I like. Nothing like getting paid ASAP, rather than waiting for USPS! One downside though is that they only pay once a month. Starting out, you’ll need to wait until the end of next month before you’ll get paid for the sales you generated this month.
TIP: One trick I learned though is you can phone your credit card company and get them to change the end date of your credit cycle (for FREE) so that it aligns more closely with the CJ pay dates, so that by the time the advertising bill comes from Google or Yahoo or wherever you have been paid by CJ and you never have to use your own money out of pocket to cover the time lag.
ClickBank has thousands of products available and has been around since the beginning of this game. They focus primarily on information products (such as ebooks), which are huge business on the internet. One big bonus about ClickBank is the they pay twice a month – so you’re able to get your money a lot sooner. They don’t do direct deposit though.
TIP: One thing that can save you a lot of money is to buy information products through ClickBank on your own user ID! As far as I am aware this is fully legal and you’re able to save up to 70% on many products! This can be great as ClickBank has a lot of great products related to internet marketing.
PayDotCom is the latest site that I’ve come across, and it is rapidly gaining popularity, due to industry leading vendor terms. More and more vendors are choosing to list here instead of ClickBank. PayDotCom is tightly integrated with PayPal, so if you have a PayPal account you can receive your money in your account right away! I’m not aware of any other program that pays this fast! They don’t hold back money as ClickBank does (in case of refunds they hold a small percentage for months!) and they also have a lower refund rate.
TIP: When you sign up for PayDotCom, your account is free. However, after joining you’re presented an amazing offer where you can get up to $1000 in account credit! This offer is well worth it as they also throw in Mike Filsaime’s Butterfly Marketing course – which has been successfully used by thousands and thousands. PayDotCom splits their fee for each sale between the affiliate and vendor, so this credit goes towards those fees.
Well those are the three that I’m currently using, though to be fair I’ve also got accounts at LinkShare, CPA Empire, NCS Reporting and maybe one or two others that I can’t remember off the top of my head. There are more programs out there too.
One trick that I’ve learned is if I have a great idea for marketing campaign for a particular product (for instance if it suddenly gets on national TV and everyone is looking for it) I do a search on Google for “Product X affiliate” or “Product X affiliate program.” Nine times out of ten, if there is an affiliate program out there for that product, you will find it by this method. You can also look at the bottom of the site you’re interested in promoting, often there will be a link there called “Affiliates.” They will often direct you to register with CJ, or whichever site they’re associated with.
Until next time…