How to choose an affiliate network or program
This can be daunting at fist, but knowing how to choose an affiliate network or program, that is best for you, can see a long term successful Joint Venture partnership.
Choosing the one for you, or ones for you, really comes down to what niche you are in, and how you wish to monetize your content, on your website, or your YouTube channel.
Some of these affiliate networks, take newbies, no barriers. Just sign up, and you are good to go. Others require you to have a website, or even a website that has a certain amount of daily traffic. Here I will tell you how to navigate around such obstacles, and how to choose the best one for you.
Important: Some affiliate networks do not accept foreigners, while others blacklist users from Nigeria and North Korea. Each network has their own regulations, and policies to respect and follow. Make sure to check them before taking action, and quite possibly wasting your time.
Know your niche and network
Once you’ve decided what niche you want to dive into, then you should choose a network that would focus on the kind of products or service you plan to promote, or a network that lists something close to it. Every niche has at least something to promote, if not, you can just run Ad sense on your website, I will give you a full detailed walkthrough of how to do just that.
Look through the affiliate networks, and sign up. Don’t go crazy and sign up to them all, just choose a network, that caters for your niche (full list down below). Clickbank is and always will be the best place for newbies to join. they have literally a ton of products, covering almost every niche under the sun.
The same can be said for amazon, however, there are some barriers to pass with them. Amazon also mostly has physical products, with the exception of amazon kindle, which will focus on selling literature. These can be very helpful, as reading is still a really good method of learning, and many people still consider it an amazing way to pass time.
Reading and collecting books, can also be a hobby. However, the most profit to be made on amazon, is by selling products. Some the other networks, offer no physical products, it will just be digital products, in the format of software, and services. You need to go through the market place of each network, and find out if it would be the right fit for you. If you face a certain barrier, which you cannot overcome yet, then keep that network on the back burner and start somewhere more suited to your level.
Choosing the right product – test it or research it
No product, or service is perfect. We all know that, so you have to find out what people think of your product or service. The best way to do this, is go look up some reviews on trust pilot, and see what the people have to say.
Beware of trust pilot, since some affiliates of that product, or even the owners, may even report bad reviews as false. If you are not satisfied with trust pilot, you can also do a quick search on Reddit or even Facebook. People on Facebook and Reddit just love to complain. You can also check YouTube, but beware of biased product reviews.
Some products may not have noticeable pros and cons. This could be because many of them are still new, or not many affiliates have chosen to promote that said product or service. This will be up to you now to try and test it.
The best way of doing this, is contacting your affiliate manager. This would be the guy over seeing your sales, and allocating commissions on your sales. You can contact him, and ask him for review access to the product, or if there is no affiliate manager, ask the product creator.
They will not always give you review access, however, they might give you a review copy. You can expect this to be very biased. The next method is, just buying it yourself and using it (refund before the refund period is over). You will get a very good sense, of what the product is about, and what it actually offers.
Some products and services are complete crap. It is going to be up to you to provide value, and avoid getting refunds, and losing your following, or them becoming distrustful of your recommendations and advice. It takes time to build up a reputation, and one mistake can lead it all to collapse. If you did not test a product, and it does happen, apologize, and rectify it immediately.
Independent program vs network
Independent affiliate programs, are only available for application, by the creators, or company website. These are usually much more sophisticated, and you would need some requirements to have access to them. These programs also add a ton of tools, and assistance when it comes to you promoting them.
However, you also need to consider, that some perks you may not have with them. Some of them have no tools, and also offer no access to the product, unless you buy it yourself and test it.
Hint: Never purchase a product via your own affiliate link, you may get banned.
Affiliate networks, house a large number of programs, services and products that you can sell. Some networks only focus on a few networks, while others generally try to pack as many under one roof as possible.
Joining the networks, gives you a wider variety of products to choose from. However, some of these products, may individually require approval for you to promote. So just keep that in mind.
Taxation – know your status
If you are not from the U.S, then you will need to provide some forms to these companies, at one stage or another. This is needed to process taxation on any income earned from your sales.
If you are from the U.S, you will need a w9 form, and have it submitted to your affiliate network or manager. In some cases, they only require your income tax number. You need to visit your nearest Revenue office, to find this information, and forms.
If you are in South Africa, you will also need to visit Sars personally, for your international tax reference number, and the w8 ben form. Getting your income tax number can be achieved by giving them a quick call. 0800 00 7277
Setting up payment systems
This is the fun part. Setting up the payment, and getting ready for money to roll in. Firstly, you need a bank account, a home/ postal address, and PayPal.
Each network, or program, has their own methods of transferring payments to their affiliates. You need check out their payment information section, and fill in all the required information.
Setting up PayPal
With PayPal, you will need to check, if they integrate well with the local services of your bank. In South Africa, this would be FNB. PayPal does not flawlessly integrate with other local banks (sending to and from PayPal). The following steps apply to South Africans only.
Step 1: Sign up to PayPal and confirm your account.
Step 2: Create an FNB account (cheque)
Step 3: Sign up for FNB online banking (do this while at the branch, and save or write down login details)
Step 4: Log in to PayPal and select add debit card (visa). Fill in the information in the required fields. This will be the numbers on your card.
Step 5: You will then get a message from PayPal, that they will deduct XX (R20.00) amount from your account, to verify that it belongs to you, and to process future transactions. They will also give you a code along with your transaction invoice. This usually takes 3 to 6 days. You will get the money back. Check your email for your invoice, and and the code attached along with it.
Step 6: After that process is done, log in to your FNB online banking account, and click add PayPal account. Follow the steps, it just takes you along an step by step process. During the final steps, you need to link from your current dashboard to PayPal. Click the button if it does not automatically load. Go ahead with the processing, no payment will be made, its just to finalize your synchronization between the two platforms.
Step 6: Success! You will be redirected to your FNB dashboard, and PayPal will be all linked.
List of affiliate networks I recommend you start looking at
This list is recommended for you to start with. Have a look at them, and see what products they have, that fill in your niche.
- Clickbank – Clickbank is the best platform for newbies to start with, and to find products within their niche. Do make sure that you do some research on the products. The products can be found within the marketplace.
- JVzoo – Jvzoo mainly has products within the internet marketing space. There are also some health products which you can choose from. However with JVzoo, you need to request permission before you can start promoting. This process is easy. Just say hi, how you plan to promote and ask to be approved nicely, thank them and wait. JVzoo also has a feature where you can add bonuses for your customers to get upon purchase.
- WarriorPlus – Another internet marketing related network. However, be very wary what you choose to promote here. I have gotten up to 90% refunds on this network. Also most of the products and software I bought from them, almost never worked as advertised, or at all. They also have the bonus feature for approved products.
- CJ affiliates – This network has some really big brands on here. Almost all of them need permission to start promoting. Sign up and you can have a look at what they have to offer.
- Revenue wire – A small, yet very dynamic network. I have a few products from them I promote. You will have a personal affiliate manager, so don’t be afraid to ask for any tools, or review access to what you plan to promote, so you can test them out and even provide some tutorials.
- MaxBounty – Mostly a CPA network, works great to add some more value to Ad Sense on your websites.
Conclusion to choosing your affiliate network
So there you have it. A full list of what you can have a look at. I will mainly be covering Clickbank, JVzoo, Warrior and Revenue. As they are the affiliate networks I have had most of my successes with. They also offer a ton of useful tools which you can use to your benefit.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to check them all out. Cheers!