Choosing the Best Affiliate Programs - Relevance vs. High Payouts

Last Update: March 25, 2016



A very common question that people have when getting rolling with their websites, surrounds what are the best affiliate programs for their respective website.

The answer? The most relevant one.

It is sometimes easy to get lost in the idea of promoting something to your audience and what specifically should you sell, that you forget completely about that the fact that there are REAL people on your website and these people are looking for something specific. If you can help them enough to build trust, you can make relevant recommendations that they will take advantage of at a higher rate.

Every sale starts from an initial source of relevant traffic.

Typically this will be someone searching for information in Google, a review, a solution to a problem, but sometimes it will be people on a social network that click through your ad or through your link and end up on your website.

Let's look at a few examples here, focusing on the most common form of traffic, search traffic.

Say someone visits your page through the keyword, "buy a vitamix 6300 blender online", your post might show like the following below within the search results (this is actually my site).

These people are very late in the purchasing lifecycle, which typically would mean they already know that they want a vitamix blender online...they are just looking for a place to purchase (likely the cheapest/best warranty/etc).

If you can provide people with this information and help them find the best, most reputable way to purchase their Vitamix 6300 blender online, you are going to make a sale.

The affiliate program you should choose should be one that allows you to SELL this vitamix blender, in this case, Amazon is one of these affiliate programs that you could leverage and average commission for this is $40-60 (I know, I have made SEVERAL Vitamix sales through Amazon).

**SIDE NOTE: If you own a Vitamix, you can actually join their affiliate program and earn higher commissions directly through them at 15% per sale (which is $90+ per sale).

Now, what if someone was searching for "best blender for smoothies".

If your website was ranked under this search term, then you would want to help people decide on which blenders were the best for smoothies. Different ones might be better for different reasons and in this case you might want to do a little research.

Researching Quality & Relevant Affiliate Programs

For my research, I usually head over to the handy resource, Google.

Type in: Blender + Affiliate Program

Here are some options that I got right away in Google.

And if you go to a website like Amazon.com, Ebay.com, Bestbuy.com or Walmart.com (which all have affiliate programs), you will be able to promote any of these products to your audience.

There are 2,846 options on Amazon alone!

Amazon is just one of the many affiliate programs that I can leverage and as within any niche, there are going to be different price points in which you can attract different audiences and in this case, many different qualities of blenders (from low end to industrial).

I definitely would not tie myself to just Amazon as there are lots of other great options out there as you can see.

Chasing Higher Ticket Affiliate Programs, a Good Idea?

If I organize the blenders from prices highest to lowest, here are some potential commissions I could receive on blenders even at Amazon's low 6-10% commission rates.

You can see from this, there are many items that are several thousand in this case. In the case of these blenders, the prices range from cheap ($15 to $10,000's). In the above screenshot, you can see that particular row of the results range from $4,668 - $5,706.

The affiliate commissions on these if you were on the upper side of the commission scale would be 10%, so the average commissions if you were to sell these would range from $467 - $571.

You can see that there are high ticket products within this space, the same that there are low ticket items. Higher ticket sales would come much more infrequently, but people definitely are buying more industrial style blenders online because they are more cost efficient and typically carry the same sort of warranty (sometimes even better).

The Affiliate Program Research Never Ends...

When I am involved in any niche, I spend a good deal of time throughout the journey investigating and finding affiliate programs. As I dig up affiliate programs, I take note of them and more often than not sign-up to the ones that I am going to be leveraging on my website.

Through time it is quite OK to be involved within many affiliate programs, it is quite a natural process and as you become more and more of an authority, your website is going to have a much larger scope and you will be able to effectively promoting many different products and "like" products to your audience.

So always keep your eyes open, continue the research process and think outside of the box in terms of what your audience would want or benefit from (and what products you could cross promote to them).

If you have any questions about affiliate program research or have any affiliate program related experiences you want to share with me, please leave them below.

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Pisquali Premium
Makes total sense Kyle, thanks
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PjGermain Premium
Great info, Thanks Kyle!
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mtatar Premium
Thanks for the post.
Michelle
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Lazyblogger Premium
Great insights on Affiliate programs. What bothers me is why would they not give commissions if the Affiliate wanted to purchase an item?

I shop all the time for personal needs for the family on Amazon; I just think I would be prompt to buy more if a commission is made. Just my thought on this, which has been asked by many.

Thanks for the post, Kyle and the Affiliate program insights.
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Cortex2k Premium
I guess Amazon dont want people to use their affiliate platform as a 6-10 % discount site for 1 pieces the need themselves. Instead they are looking for people interested in recurring sales.
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Kyle Premium
The reason is that this would adversely impact the affiliate marketing industry in general. If you walked into an appliance store and you could earn a commission from yourself when you bought the appliances, what would the role of the sales person be?

Same goes with affiliate marketing. They aim to curb this sort of behaviour and to give the lions share of commissions to the actual affiliates versus people trying to purchase through their own affiliate links.

That is the reasoning behind not being able to buy under your own affiliate links and this is something that is pretty common place amongst any reputable affiliate programs.
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DianneBee Premium
Thanks Kyle. I did not know how easy it was to search for affiliate programs!
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Kyle Premium
Yeah, very straight forward. Most people focus just on the main ones when starting out, but all of your research should be done on relevance and there may be many pages/posts on your website that deserve it's only affiliate program research.
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