Factors to Check Before Signup for an Affiliate Program
- Program on your blog topics
- Choose free programs
- High conversion rate
- Paying more commission
- Cookie lifespan
- Offers quality promotional material
- Check payment methods and schedule
Independent Program Vs Marketplace
Before we dive into details, you have to understand two type of affiliate programs. One is an individual program and other is from a marketplace merchant.
- Bluehost hosting affiliate program is an independent program. You have to sign up on their site to get approval.
- WPEngine hosting affiliate program is through ShareASale marketplace. You can apply through marketplace and get approval.
There is a big difference between these two types of affiliate program. Marketplaces offer all details clearly like commission percentage, conversion rate and the popularity of the program. Below is the details you can see from ShareASale for WPEngine merchant.
However, it is not possible to get all those details from Bluehost unless you get approved for the program. Even after approval, you could only see the performance of your affiliate links and not the entire Bluehost affiliate program.
We have noticed, many individual merchants are moving to marketplace to offer transparent information to affiliates. Therefore, in this article we will focus on choosing best affiliate program from marketplaces like ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, Amazon, ShareASale, etc.
1. Choose Program on Your Blog Niche
In our earlier article, we have explained reasons why bloggers fail with their affiliate marketing efforts. The first and important reasons for failure is choosing wrong program. Make sure to check and limit your selections based on your blog’s categories. This will ensure the promotion part easier, as it is easy to cloak the affiliate links inside your content.
2. Choose Free Programs
There are some affiliate program collect nominal fee for joining. This may work for experienced affiliates who already earn money. However, as a newbie blogger you may not be able to invest on paid program.
In addition, there are programs work only on invitation basis. In this case, you have to get an invitation from the affiliate manager for joining the program. We recommend, not focusing on this as those programs are focusing on high traffic blogs.
3. High Conversion Rate
Conversion rate is the percentage of sales from your affiliate links compared to the number of clicks. For example, if you get 1 sale from 100 hits then the conversion rate is 1/100*100 = 1%. Check the general conversion rate of the program you are applying for and make sure it is suitable for your blog.
4. Paying More Commission
In most cases, the conversion and commission work together. Some program pays high commission rate for each sale. For example, SEMrush pays $200 for each sale in addition to $10 for each trial activation. In this case, even 1% of conversion makes sense to get $200.
On other hand, WordPress plugins like WP Rocket pays 20% of commission for each sale. This will earn you around $9.8 and you should focus on high conversion rate in this case.
5. Cookie Lifespan
Whenever user clicks on your affiliate link, the merchant or marketplace website will insert a cookie on their browser. This cookie will allow you to earn commission if anyone purchase the product the same on that computer. What you have to watch out is the validity of this cookie generally referred as lifespan. Longer cookie lifespan can increase the possibility of your earnings.
The affiliate industry standard is 30 days, however many program offers 60 or 90 days cookie lifespan.
6. Offers Quality Promotional Material
Unfortunately, many affiliate product owners do not provide you quality material for promotion. This essentially means you have to prepare easy to understand text links, banners and articles for the promotion. In this case, you have to spend lot of time in understanding the affiliate product before selling on your blog. Therefore, make sure the merchant offers quality promotional material like videos so that you can use on your blog without starting from scratch.
7. Payment Method and Schedule
There are three dates to monitor in affiliate process:
- Sale date – day the sale is generated through your affiliate link
- Lock date – day the sale is approved or locked for payment
- Payment date – day the payment is released to your
Generally, the lock date is 30 to 45 days from the sale date and the payment is scheduled once in a month on a fixed date. This could vary based on the marketplace and you should understand the process to know when you will get the payment.
In addition, make sure to choose the best payment method that works for your need. There are many problems to watch out with transaction fees.
- Transaction fee from merchant to you – many affiliate product owners pay the transaction fee from their side. However, watch out whether you are getting the full amount or paying transaction fee from your side. For example, you have to pay around 4% when receiving payments in PayPal.
- In addition, you need to pay another transaction fee when transferring the amount to your bank.
- Finally, you also need to pay income tax in most countries for the affiliate income.
Therefore, keep the net amount what you get in your hands is the final payment for monitoring your affiliate income. And choose a product that has a reliable payment schedule and pays the transaction fee when sending money to you.
Now you may understand affiliate marketing is not like walking on the park. It needs dedicated effort to choose the best affiliate program and promote on your blog. After choosing a program, start focusing on promoting in creative ways to make handsome income.