If you’ve ever shopped around for affiliate marketing places I’d like to go over the ones I think are the best. You’ve probably heard the hype about Clickbank already, but there’s two others I think are better. The good thing about Clickbank is it’s easy to use, and the products are all digital (software, books, and online courses mainly). The downside is they allow a lot of “get rich quick” products and it can feel a little seedy trying to find a worthwhile product to sell from there.
Also because they’re digital, clickbank sales tend to have a pretty high refund rate. There’s what’s called “serial refunders”, mainly overseas, who buy things and request a refund five minutes after they’ve downloaded it. It’s because the Clickbank policy is to always issue a refund no matter the reason. If a CB product has under seven percent that’s considered pretty good.
Commission Junction works with some of the largest companies and does mainly tangible goods (though also some things like web hosting companies). They have thousands of products and companies and there’s a lot to choose from. The wide variety is good because if you’re going to do banner ads, product reviews, or blast to a newsletter, it’s easier to find targeted products when you have a lot to pick from. Also it’s got a more upscale feel to the place than Clickbank, so it’s easier to pick out things you feel good about recommending.
The one many people haven’t heard about is Linkshare. They’re similar to Commission Junction, and have some very high end companies and products. Commissions vary on the company, from 5%-15% in most cases, but the ticket price at a high end clothing store will probably be a lot higher than a Clickbank shopper, and have a much lower refund rate on tangible goods.
Of course there’s Amazon as well, with a mammoth catalog of products. I’d really concentrate on high end items with them, like plasma televisions, or appliances instead of a commission from a $30 digital camera. Heck, even Sears has an affiliate program for their online offerings.
To sum up, if you’re going to do affiliate marketing, don’t go join a thousand seperate programs. Find two or three that suits your content the best and focus on them. I know the get rich quick crowd all screams how they made millions on Clickbank, but most of the products there are courses on how to make millions at Clickbank I’ve made the most with Commission Junction myself, but I have high hopes for Linkshare after briefly looking through all the high end companies they have on board.
If there’s one you’ve had success (or a disaster) with, please drop a comment!