Joining an affiliate or cost per action (CPA) program is one of the most common ways of earning money on the Web. These programs allow you to sell other company’s products, or give them leads or refer clients to them and you get a commission resulting from the sale or lead.
But how do you know what is the best affiliate program ?
Well, there really is no definitive “best” affiliate program. It all depends on the type of your website – some affiliate programs work incredibly well for others, but perform very poorly on the rest.
A better question would be “What is the best program for my niche and type of website?” Approach it by asking yourself: What are my site visitors willing to buy? You need to select the affiliate program that works for you — an endeavor that spells the difference between thousands in commission per month or just pennies (if at all).
The best CPA program is what your customers want. Think of that, and then search for products/services that you think your customers will want. The most successful affiliate marketers spend many hours researching programs that they think their customers will most likely use and buy. They then create websites or landing pages that will pull in the type of traffic they want.
The program that may (emphasis on “may”) come close to being the best is Amazon.com. While it may not be the most lucrative affiliate program around, Amazon.com’s affiliate program performs reasonably well. Amazon is the most trusted and biggest online retailer today, with a vast inventory offering a wide array of products. They also have a good fairly accurate tracking system, and are reliable in terms of paying their customers. Alas, if you live in one of the states charging the so-called Amazon Tax (which forces Amazon to pay the state taxes for having affiliates in the state), you’re out of luck as Amazon has pulled out from those states and terminated all affiliate relationships.
To find the best affiliate program for you, you first need to pick the right product. If you’re in the travel business and attracting visitors hoping and planning to visit the places you talk about in your site, the best CPA programs are travel-related businesses such as hotels, airfares, luggage and tours. Advertisers selling those products will be your best CPA program — not office supplies or web hosting programs.
If you’re target audiences are small businesses looking to start a website, go for CPA programs that offer site building, paid advertising campaigns, or even web hosting. CPA programs selling apparel or jewelry may not give you the best returns.
If affiliate program is an option you choose for earning online, here are some places where you can apply:
- Commission Junction http://www.cj.com
- Linkshare http://www.linkshare.com
- Google Affiliate Network http://www.google.com/ads/affiliatenetwork/
- Neverblue http://www.neverblue.com
- Convert2media http://convert2media.com/
- Maxbounty http://www.maxbounty.com/
- Wolfstorm Media http://www.wolfstormmedia.com/
- PeerFly http://peerfly.com/
- Clickbank (for information products and ebooks) http://www.clickbank.com/promote_products.html
However, it is important to understand that there are risks to running affiliate programs . There are a number of things that you need to watch out for – from the right fit with your website, quality of tracking and reporting system, level of commission, frequency of payment, feedback response, even restrictions on how you market their program. There is the risk that you will not get paid, or if you are using affiliate marketplaces such as Commission Junction, the collection could fall on you.