10 Ways to Select a Profitable Affiliate Offer

June 11, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park  

PPC affiliate marketing is something that’s been high up on my to do list for a long time now. Aside from dealing with all of the SEO client work, blogging, and managing my web properties, I’d like to start up some more profitable affiliate campaigns that generate large flows of passive income.

Super affiliates like Paul Borque, Jonathan Volk, and Amit Mehta all make it look easy but you’d be a fool if you actually thought it was. Each of these super affiliates has invested thousands of dollars and countless hours into testing, tweaking, and optimizing campaigns.

I’m an SEO who specializes in building authority sites, but I really haven’t ventured as deeply into affiliate marketing as I would like. I’ve set up some affiliate landing pages and PPC campaigns before – some were profitable, some not. In the coming months, I plan on focusing in on affiliate marketing and seeing how far I can get. The revenue I generate will be a great source of income to fund some of my other larger projects.

In this article, I’ll lay out some of the main factors I use in selecting a niche for affiliate marketing. Some say it’s best to just throw offers at the wall and see what sticks – but I like to be a little more methodical than that.

1. Money potential
Let’s be honest here. We promote affiliate offers mainly for the monetary value involved. You’d be lying if you said you were an affiliate marketer because you wanted to improve humanity or make the world a better place. So with that said, doesn’t it make sense to focus on areas where the money is? Promote offers that you think have the most potential to pay off big.

2. Competition
Another thing to watch out for is competition. Sure you want to gravitate towards lucrative industries, but that doesn’t mean you’ll make the most money in them – especially if the offer you’re promoting is extremely saturated. Look out for competition levels as your slice of the pie may not be big enough to be worthwhile in super saturated markets.

3. Market demand
Is there a demand for the product you’re promoting? TV and film may be a hot and lucrative industry, but that doesn’t mean people would want to buy a videocassette tape any time soon. Assess demand levels and make sure you’re promoting a product that people actually want and need in their lives. As a general guideline, it’s much easier to promote a proven product that people already want than to try and create demand for a new product.

4. Desperation
This is a factor that Jonathan Volk frequently mentions on his blog. What does he mean? Desperation leads people to seek out a solution to their problems no matter the cost. For example, diet pills and health products work well because people desperately want to lose weight and get fit.

5. Advertising budget
How much money do you have set aside to start off with? This significantly impacts whether or not you will succeed in your affiliate marketing campaign. If you only have a couple hundred dollars to test out the waters, you definitely do not want to promote a ring tones offer as this will severely eat into your budget without providing much return in the beginning. Be realistic and be conservative with the offers you go after, especially if you have a limited budget to start.

6. Personal knowledge
It’s my belief that you should promote affiliate offers in fields that you have some knowledge in. Not only will this help you to think like a potential customer but it will also help you to tweak your landing pages and to come up with new keywords that give you an edge over the competition.

7. Keyword opportunities
This one ties into personal knowledge as well but some offers provide more keyword opportunities than others. For example, a large jewelry store with thousands of product variations has much more paid search potential than a simple page selling a single product. Of course, some creativity in keyword selection is necessary to really succeed in PPC, but it’s important to understand the complexity of a campaign before taking it on.

8. Company brand / reputation
The brand name and reputation of a company counts for a lot when customers buy online. Where would you be more likely to buy from – Nike.com or SomeRandomShoeShop.com? When dealing in affiliate marketing, choose offers from companies that have a decent reputation and a good track record. This will have a positive impact on your conversion rates and your bottom line.

9. Timing
The time of year or season should also be large factors in your decisions for choosing affiliate offers. For instance, flowers and chocolate work well before Valentine’s Day, diet and health products before the summer season, and scholarships before school starts in the fall.

10. Leverage / relevance to current sites
Unless you’re a newbie just starting out, you should always look to leverage some of your past experiences and web properties for your new projects. If you’re a CPA or have a finance site for example, you may be able to cross promote or use some of your relationships to push for success.

These are the 10 main factors I use in determining the affiliate offers I want to promote. Of course the selection process by itself doesn’t ensure success but a well-run system can help you to stay focused and closer to profitability.

How do you choose your affiliate offers?

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21 Responses to “10 Ways to Select a Profitable Affiliate Offer”

wisdom on June 11th, 2008

I am looking to learn more about selecting good offers, thanks for the post.

DotDriven on June 11th, 2008

Some good tips Gyutae. I’m planning to spend more of my time in PPC/AM myself so it will be interesting to see what we learn at the same time lol. I’ll send you any tips I learn as well ;).

Gyutae Park on June 15th, 2008

Hey Ron,
Definitely let me know if you learn anything interesting. Good luck!

Jonathan Volk on June 12th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Thanks for the mention and best of luck with your affiliate marketing efforts! 🙂

Gyutae Park on June 15th, 2008

No problem Jonathan. I think your “desperation” idea is a good one to ensure that people complete your offer.

The Story Lady on June 13th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Gyutae, this is an excellent article. Thank you. I especially appreciate the part about getting involved in offers where you have some knowledge so you can think like your customer. We always have to remember we’re talking about real people even if we sell to them virtually.
Ronda Del Boccio

Gyutae Park on June 15th, 2008

Thanks Ronda. You should definitely know a lot about engaging readers through your story telling experiences. Good luck with TAC!

Jay on June 15th, 2008

You also have to remember to utilize your free resources since a lot of people simply do not have tons of money to waste/test out with PPC. Personally, I’ll be working on the harder aspects of it than the PPC… at first just to see if it’s doable, definitely harder but it’s doable.

But there are a few places that give away free PPC of $100 like Yahoo… even Bidvertiser could help with their $20 free when signing up.

Oh, and also remember that if a CPA is pretty high in payout, it doesn’t mean you’ll do well. I rather have something I get $5/lead with low competition than something that’s like $15/lead with TONS of competition.


Gyutae Park on June 15th, 2008

That’s a good point, Jay. Even if an offer pays an incredibly high amount, that doesn’t mean it will sell.

As for those free PPC coupons, they’re nice to have, but I wouldn’t rely on them to run my business.

MyStore on June 17th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Excellent article…

Will keep those good tips

Dollar dude on June 21st, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I was frustrated with affiliate marketing until I visited your post. I tried my tricks and different tips available in the different blogs to get easy money online through affiliate but it’s futile.

Just now studied these four strategies. You have explained the technique in a simple term for understanding for the newbies like me. I hope I can succeed in marketing affiliate products to reap maximum benefits. Now I have learned that Affiliate marketing is NOT a shortcut to instant wealth. Now I have chosen the affiliate product that most of the people eager to buy not the one which I would like to sell.

Dollar dude on June 21st, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I was frustrated with affiliate marketing until I visited your post. I tried my tricks and different tips available in the different blogs to get easy money online through affiliate but it’s futile.
Now I hope that I can succeed in marketing affiliate products to reap maximum benefits.

BillinDetroit on July 1st, 2008

I’m confused … how do you intend to make money with PPC if you don’t actually have something to sell … a product or service?

I didn’t see that on your list of points to consider.

Joe Cole on July 3rd, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I rarely use PPC

Lucy on January 5th, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

A really useful article. I’m planning my own affiliate deal at the moment so am at the beginning of a fair amount of research. Thanks for an enlightening introduction 🙂

Chris Peterson on January 6th, 2010

What a great post Tristan Lee, you have written very good article.

Brand or company reputation or popularity play major role when customer going to buy any product for purchasing.

Especially in affiliate marketing. If a brand is more popularity then it draws more conversion rate.

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