A great way to earn passive income online is by participating in affiliate programs. These types of programs allow publishers to receive monetary incentives or rewards by promoting other businesses’ products or services with the use of affiliate links. When users click on an affiliate link and actually buy the product or service, the publisher associated with that link will be rewarded.
Choosing the best affiliate programs can be a little tricky and even time consuming because there are hundreds of thousands them on the web. Not all affiliate offers are created equal, and selecting the wrong ones can probably do more harm than good.
Picking the right program for your website shouldn’t be too overwhelming though. The decision would be a lot easier and quicker if you do your research and ask the right questions.
Get to know your website visitors first
You know how people are always saying that you should look for answers within first, before searching elsewhere? The same thing goes for finding the best affiliate program. Ask questions about your own website first, before you go out there looking for the best offer. What is your website all about? What do you usually write about? More importantly, who are your visitors?
The answers to these questions will greatly influence your decision. In order for an affiliate program to become successful, people should be interested enough in the product to actually buy it (or the very least, click on affiliate link). If you promote products or services that aren’t related to your site, then you’re simply wasting your visitors’ time. Additionally, posting affiliate links that your readers aren’t interested in can annoy them and hurt your site’s traffic.
Also pay attention to the location of your visitors. If most of your readers are located outside the US, then make sure you post affiliate links for products or services that cater to non-US residents. If you have a lot of visitors overseas, then you may have more success in promoting virtual or electronic products, such as eBooks or site memberships.
Ask about how the affiliate program works
Once you’ve gotten to know your website and your audience, you can get right down to actually selecting an affiliate program. Do a web search for affiliate products and services that you think your readers would be interested in. Examine the search results carefully to ensure that they’re legit.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, read more about your potential affiliate programs and be sure to get answers to the following questions:
1. Will it cost you anything to join?
2. How will you get paid? Will they issue commission checks? If so, when and how often?
3. Will you be able to access affiliate stats?
4. How are referrals tracked?
Go with something that you know and love (or at least like)
Finally, whatever affiliate program you decide on, be sure that it’s for products and services that you actually believe in. It may sound trite, but the fact is, you will do a much better job promoting affiliate links if you genuinely know and like what you’re talking about.
Image credit: jared on Flickr