Going to start a website, want to know my options in terms of advertising and making money. Any help is much appreciated.
If you want to sell products, I would steer clear of ClickBank as most of the products there are spammy and low quality. I have found that the largest 'quality' affiliate network seems to be Commission Junction - www.cj.com - worth a look.
Thanks for the heads up, and I will check out Commission Junction.
Commission Junction used to be "top dog" but I have given up on them. Their interface is old-fashioned and clunky, and mysteriously, I had very low sales figures from them even though I was sending a lot of traffic to their merchants.
I switched to ShareASale and Affiliate Future and had much better luck with similar traffic and similar products - which suggests to me that something is not quite right about CJ's tracking. I have similar suspicions about ClixGalore, which also gave me poor returns.
Having said that, the most important thing is to have products which are totally relevant to your topic. Google "affiliate" and your topic, and see what comes up. You may find some companies who run their own direct affiliate programs, too.
It's hard to find dance-related affiliates so I'm a member of several programs.
I'm definitely taking notes here, will have to check out ShareASale and AffiliateFuture. Will also be doing a Google search on affiliates in my niche.
Marisa, thanks for the tip, I'll look into those.
I have tried both and ultimately found them not worth the bother. I think the only work well when your blog is about products you can recommend.
That is good to know, and I was wondering if they're worth it at all. I'm not big on product reviews but I have done them. Will have to consider whether I want it as part of the website.
The right affiliate product or service can be really worth it, both for you financially and for your visitors. But your choice of whether to use an affiliate and which one/s to choose should totally depend on you knowing your visitors, why they come to your website and what they want. It's all about getting the match just right.
That makes a lot of sense, people must find what they're looking for. Sounds like it takes some investigation.
This is a really good point, too. I have found a couple of generous affiliate programs for dance shoes and clothing which I don't use, simply because I'm dubious about the products. It's not enough to find relevant affiliate programs, you also need to check the products. If you've built a blog with good traffic, they might be willing to send you a sample if you ask.
Yep the products have to be great. If you're dubious then your visitors will be too.
Nate, wherever possible I choose well known reputable companies that have already built up plenty of consumer trust - somewhere I wouldn't think twice about passing over my credit card details.
Even if it's not a well known company the destination website has to have a high quality professional look, that's easily navigable and makes it easy for the customer to buy. It should also have things like visible security certificates, returns policy, phone contact etc. Basically the site needs to instill trust.
I also tend to do things backwards to most other people when it comes to finding a good affiliate. Rather than trawling the affiliate networks for suitable products, I'll start off with thinking about the products I'd really like to offer and then see if there's an affiliate program for that product.
Saying that, some good networks not mentioned already are OMG, DirectAgents, affiliatewindow and theaffiliatepeople (UK).
Because dance affiliates are so rare, I've had to use all three methods of finding them - and I've discovered some gems by simply Googling "affiliate flamenco", "affiliate ballet" etc. In fact, my new teaching shoes are by a maker I hadn't even heard of, whom I discovered by that method. So for me, it was worth spending a day trawling through the searches and the networks, even though I joined only a fraction of the programs I found.
That is a lot of good information. And it makes sense to start with the product first, and that immediately gave me some ideas.
And it makes to find the right products and reputable websites; which also gave me some ideas. I'm aware of sites that sell products related to what I'll be writing about.
There are a lot of dubious fad products available on these affiliate networks, particularly in the health niche. A lot of 'me-too' fad products. Sure, they're popular, but you'd have to replace the product in a few months, after the fad dies out, and you substitute/promote another fad product that also doesn't work.
You really need to investigate the product(s) you intend to promote. If you respect your visitors (and you should), you don't want to steer them to a product that is not going to do what they expect, or waste their money. You have to be able to sleep at night, without a guilty conscience. It's not really about making a quick buck, it's about creating a sustainable business, even if you only look at it as a second income.
This is a helpful discussion. I have a website and I use Amazon as my affiliate program, but I will look into the others mentioned here. I haven't had many clicks so far (just added the affiliate program a little over a month ago), but that could be because my ads are about books, I'm not sure.
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