How to Start an Online Business

Step 2: Choose Your Affiliate Networks

There are many affiliate programs to choose from, but you don’t want to join every program under the sun. Unless you’re promoting a product that just isn’t available on any of the major networks, it’s best to focus your efforts on just a few big players.

What are the best affiliate marketing networks?

Let’s start by separating them into two main categories: physical and digital. There may be some crossover, but most networks fall mainly into one or the other.

Physical Product Networks

As mentioned before, you’ll experience lower commissions in the physical products category because profit margins are much slimmer, but you can still make a lot of money; you’ll just need a higher volume of conversions.

Amazon

First and foremost, there’s Amazon. The Amazon affiliate program doesn’t have huge payouts because their low prices offer very slim profit margins already, but the more you sell, the higher your affiliate earnings percentage. Also, as mentioned before, you’ll get a commission on any purchases made (within 24 hours) after someone clicks your link, so even if the customer does not buy the product you are recommending, you can still earn a commission. For example, say you are promoting an espresso machine… The customer clicks your link, sees the espresso machine product page and ultimately decides not to buy it. But the next morning, maybe this customer buys a brand new big screen TV. In that event, you would get the commission on the TV purchase.

The Amazon affiliate program also lets you earn money through its bounty program, which pays a fixed amount whenever visitors try out their services, such as Amazon Prime.

Rakuten

Rakuten, formerly Buy.com, has around 100,000 products available from many different sellers. They are the largest e-commerce site in Japan and one of the largest in the world.

They have a wide variety of products at good prices, and customers can earn 5% back on most items. This builds a certain degree of loyalty, making it easier to generate sales, especially from people who already know the Rakuten brand.

Ebay

Another great physical product affiliate network is the Ebay Partner Program. You can make a commission by promoting just about any product listed on Ebay.

Digital Product Networks

Digital products are those that users can view online or download. This includes products such as ebooks, video courses, online training, and how-to guides. It can also include graphics, photography and illustrations.

Clickbank

ClickBank is the original digital product network, founded in 1998. The company has thousands of active affiliates and plenty of quality information products to promote.

Commissions are very high, and it’s not too hard to get approved as an affiliate, so this is a great network for beginners.

I do have one caveat though. Some information products are low quality, you will NOT want to promote these to your audience. If you do, your audience will lose trust in you.

Ideally, you should always buy the digital products you plan to promote so that you have personal experience with them and can write comprehensive, genuine reviews.

ClickBank used to pay monthly, but now they pay weekly for those who have set up direct deposit. Yes, weekly! You can also choose to be paid every two weeks if you prefer.

JV Zoo

JV Zoo is another popular digital product marketplace and affiliate network. Many affiliates like JV Zoo because they get paid instantly – after each commissionable purchase – via PayPal. Many people find this setup preferable to the other marketplaces, which often have a minimum payout amount and a delayed payment schedule. Also, JV Zoo is one of the easiest networks to get into so give it a try.

Pro Tip: There is an application process for each of these networks, so make sure you know how to get approved for these networks before you apply to them.


Pro Tip: Not sure which affiliate network to choose? Yep. You guessed it. The free video training at Affiliate Bootcamp will show you exactly how to choose a network.


In the next section, I’ll show you how to pick a product to promote. Click the “NEXT” button below to continue.

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