For most people, affiliate programs will be their primary monetization method for their lists. There are two major categories of products you can promote as an affiliate – digital products and physical products.
You will soon learn which types of products your list responds best to, and you can tailor your promotions around that. For now, you might consider promoting both.
Each type has benefits and drawbacks, which we will examine. And there are thousands of different programs you could promote in each market, with millions of individual products available.
Information products are probably the most common type of digital product you would want to promote to your list. They can be extremely profitable in the right market. Take, for example, the weight loss market. This is known as a “desperate market”. People are desperate to lose weight, and they are willing to pay money to learn how to do so effectively.
Weight loss books, how-to videos, memberships, and meal plans make billions of dollars in revenue each year, proving that people will definitely pay for information about how to lose weight.
Digital products are available in many formats. Ebooks are the most common format, but you can also find videos, audio files, software, and other formats. Some niches respond better to different formats than others, so try promoting various types of products.
Look for products that have convincing sales letters. If the sales copy is boring, it’s probably not going to convert well. You might be surprised about what people think, though. For this reason, consider testing several different products to find out which one converts best. There are several benefits of promoting digital products. For one thing,
you usually get a higher percentage of the sale price with digital products. Since they are almost pure profit and there is very little overhead, product owners can pay much more.
Additionally, digital products sometimes convert better than physical products, because the sales letters are designed to convert. Most physical products barely have two paragraphs of sales text.
Some of the most popular affiliate programs for digital products include:
http://www.clickbank.com – ClickBank is the most popular affiliate network for digital products. Product owners can add their products to the ClickBank network and offer affiliates a percentage of sales. ClickBank handles billing and affiliate payment, and sends product owners and affiliates payments regularly. Product owners have to go through a review process, but even so, there are thousands of products to choose from, and products are available to promote in almost any niche.
http://www.paydotcom.com – PayDotCom is a network that is similar to ClickBank. However, instead of paying affiliates directly, they require product owners to pay affiliates. There are fewer products to choose from that ClickBank, and the quality is not always as high because there is no review process.
Physical products can be profitable in the right markets. In other markets, there may not be many physical products to promote, or they may not convert well. It helps to test multiple products to find out which one works best. You don’t always have to stick strictly to promoting products within your niche, either. If you had an email list targeted toward the home cooking niche, you might cross over occasionally to promote other home and garden products like herb gardening kits, kitchen equipment, and even home décor.
Physical products convert better than information in some markets. This is another reason testing is important. You may find your niche completely unresponsive to information products, but they may convert very well on physical products.
Some of the most popular affiliate programs for physical products include:
http://affiliate-program.amazon.com – Amazon is definitely the most popular physical product affiliate program among serious internet marketers these days. They have a massive selection of products to promote. They have books, clothes, videos, toys, jewelry, home décor, and so much more. The sales commissions are based on sales. The more you sell, the higher the percentage. But with sales commission starting at around 4%, you’ll have to do a lot of volume or sell very expensive products to make good money.
http://www.ebaypartnernetwork.com – eBay’s affiliate program is not as popular as it used to be, because they changed their payout system. But if you have a list built around a niche with no available products, it can be quite profitable. Just remember that you will need a very high quality website to get accepted into the program,
and it can be tricky to get in.
http://www.cj.com – Commission Junction is a popular choice for people who aren’t happy with Amazon’s 4% commissions. Many companies pay 10% or more through Commission Junction, but they may not convert as well as the popular and generally low-priced Amazon.
Whether you promote digital or physical products, you may want to buy an additional domain to redirect your affiliate links. This will help disguise the fact that they are affiliate links, which may increase the number of people who click the links and ultimately buy.
You can use a simple redirect script, or purchase a more complex one that will track the traffic you get to your links. A good script can also help you track how effective your campaigns are. You may want to use split-testing to find out which products convert best. This will help you find quality products you can promote to your list on a regular basis.
Remember, not everyone will buy something the first time they see it, so you can promote a single product multiple times over the lifetime of your list.