Affiliate Product Selection: Four Tips that will Boost Your Income

affiliate product selectionMonetizing a site, whether on the front-end or back-end, is important if your internet business is to qualify as a business.

When you have no products of your own, promoting affiliate offers may be the smart and easiest way to start turning in a profit.

When people say “The money is in the list”, they are referring to the fact that you can promote to your list over and over again, and make money over time from them.  Without compelling affiliate offers, that statement would be so untrue.

But then, it depends on how carefully you select the products you choose to offer.

This post seeks to take you through four strategies to fine-tune your affiliate product selection process.

#1 It Begins With the Niche

There are in practice two types of make money blogs.

The first is the authority site where you carve yourself out as an expert in a tightly focused topic. You can normally personally have time to focus on just one or two authority sites, because of the level of work needed to establish and run authority sites.

The second is the Niche Site. In the niche site you are not interested in building a following, all you desire being that your site’s visitors should respond to your affiliate offers.

Naturally, the amount of time you spend selecting a niche would depend on the kind of website you are creating.

Authority Site or Niche Site?

If you are creating a niche site, there is no need to spend too much time selecting a niche – if you make a mistake, it may only mean you have lost a little money and some of your time.

When you are dealing with an authority site, however, the stakes are much higher. A mistake would usually mean you have wasted months and in some cases even years of your time.

My number one indicator of a profitable niche is competition. Competition confirms that people are making money in the niche. The key is achieving a balance by ensuring that while there is competition –which indicates profitability, it is not too much.

The key to profitability lies in narrowing your focus.

Let’s take for instance you want to start a blog on “weight loss”. The number of blogs already serving that niche will ensure your blog die of loneliness.

If you choose to narrow the reach of your site to “weight loss for children” which is a more confined niche, you may just improve your chance of hitting gold by more than fifty percent.

#2 – Promote 2nd Tier Affiliate Products

This is the kind of offers that have made me the most money.

Just what are 2nd Tier affiliate products? These are products that make you money from both sales you refer directly and from sales made by affiliate marketers you refer.

Can you see how that can make you money faster?

When you join an affiliate program, you are the first tier and whoever you refer to the program is second tier.

If you are interested in this affiliate model, it is important that you are careful in selecting an affiliate merchant to promote.

If you’re aiming to make money by persuading sub-affiliates to sign up “under” you, pick your affiliate products very carefully.

Because of the multiplicity of affiliate programs, publishers are very volatile and can jump from promoting one product to another within months. That is why whatever program you may choose to represent should be top-notch and have a stream of high-converting products to keep your sub-affiliates happy.

#3 – Look for High-Percentage Payouts

Another important consideration during affiliate product selection is the percentage payout.

There are affiliate products that pay as low as 4% and also products that pay you as high as 200% (incredible, I know!).

My baseline point is usually 30% as the higher the commission, the more money you make, obviously.

From time to time though, I promote great products that my audience needs to have even though I do not make much money from it.

But as I say, that is from time to time. You will generally make more money from promoting products with higher payout and commission percentages. If all the products you promote are $15 and below, you will likely find it difficult to make sustainable income from affiliate marketing.

I typically select products with a price of $30 and above, and have sold affiliate products with a price tag above $1400 dollars.

The higher the payout, the more money you stand to gain.

#4 – Become a Mini-Expert on Each Product

My rule of thumb is to use every product I promote and tell my audience what I think about the product.

Of course, since I only promote products that I have personally found useful, my reviews are generally positive.

Before you promote a product to your audience, make sure you have actually using the product and not just sold by the sales page.

When I see a lot of product reviews, I cannot help but laugh because the fluff-filled copy is gives away the author as one who has never owned the product.

Your reviews need to do much more than that for them to be successful. Try the product out, honestly testing out its features to determine which ones will be useful to your audience. When you have used and enjoyed a product, it shows, and your audience will be sold by your reined enthusiasm.

Does that mean you have to buy every offer you promote?

No, that’s not necessary if you have an established blog.

Simply send a mail to the product owner introducing your blog and ask for a review copy. If your community is active, most product owners will be delighted to give you a copy in exchange for a review.

I have found that the best reviews are written by those who have used a product.

Affiliate Product Selection – The Final Word

If you are not already into affiliate marketing, it can serve as a strong financial pillar of support for your website.

Properly implemented, affiliate marketing is the best way to make money online. Many people have used this business model to earn a full-time income on the Internet. As long as you do not treat affiliate marketing as a get-rich-quick scheme, and take the time to implement it on your site as a business strategy, it will make you money for a long time to come.

Following the tips I have outlined here may mean that you deliberate on each step of the way in much detail. Hopefully, you will, for that can save you so much wasted resources down the road.

Selecting an affiliate product to promote is not rocket science – following these tips, you should be picking winners most of the time.

About Yeremi Akpan

Yeremi Akpan is the founder of Pro Blogger Tips. Connect with him on Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook. You can also hire him to provide content marketing services for your business.


  1. John Banks says:

    Hi Yeremi

    Great post – I am not really at the stage of “active list affiliate” promotion yet but it is something that I have studied and am keen to get cracking with. Should not be too long.

    I use the standard “back end” stuff and have tried a few emails but I think as you say the real success come with actually reviewing the program personally. Most companies are keen to give out free trials if they think its going to be a success for them so this too is a good tip.

    Another method which I have had some success with (in a completely different niche to IM) is YouTube – a good hands on video review of a product with your affiliate link (cloaked) in the description can bring in a few wins now and again.

    John Banks recently posted..Don’t Give Up – Let’s Stick TogetherMy Profile

  2. Ehsan Ullah says:

    Hey Yeremi, Good post on affiliate marketing and product selection.

    I always hear that people say money is in the list and that is true, but some people starts building a list and after getting few subscribers they starts spamming their subscribers with affiliate products everyday. This annoys their subscribers.

    Building an email list is good for your business or blog, but that doesn’t mean you should annoy your subscribers by offering them affiliate products with your link again and again.

    BTW, Using every product before promoting is good thing.
    Ehsan Ullah recently posted..Starting a Blog – How To Start a Blog GuideMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Ehsan,
      I have heard it said that the key to successful affiliate marketing is relationship. When you have led your audience to be wowed in you by providing valuable tips, you activate their buying mode.

      When you recommend the occasional product, they would be bending over backwards convincing themselves on the need to buy because that product is associated with you.

      Payday is the point where you establish that kind of relationship with your audience.
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..10 Ways to Optimize your Blog for Subscriber Opt-insMy Profile

  3. Hi Yeremi,
    These are solids points in selecting a product to recommend to your readers. You might want to promote any product on some other article site but when it comes to recommending it to your readers, a lot of care has to set in. Most of your readers believe so strongly in you. Some will just buy because you endorsed a product. You will not want to promote anything that will kill that trust. Point #4 is key to me
    Enstine recently posted..Powerful hidden traffic strategy for bloggersMy Profile

  4. Bhushan says:

    If anyone are in the affiliate marketing section then firstly thing should be clear that it should be on niche sites,it will affect so much.videos all works good for this section.
    Bhushan recently posted..University School Library Management Software Delhi NoidaMy Profile

  5. Hey Yeremi,
    These are important tips and I like the way you expound them.
    Bloggers have to be cautious in selecting what to promote on their blogs or to their list. If you build a relationship with your visitors, you will not want to recommend any crap that will ruin it.

    I fully agree with point #4. If you promote what you’ve tested, you are likely going to make more money. Some of your visitors or subscribers may want to find out certain things from you before making a final decision. That way, your testimonial will have a positive effect
    Enstine recently posted..Powerful hidden traffic strategy for bloggersMy Profile

  6. Lisa says:

    Great info – and I love to own most of the products I am an affiliate for. It only makes sense so you can write about them or even do a video on them. I need to work on the making more videos. Seems there is never enough time. Also good point about promoting the higher end products to make money easier than the low cost products.
    Lisa recently posted..Using one tweet, like & pin to spread ovarian cancer awarenessMy Profile

  7. Our upcoming projects are related to affiliation and we really need some guidelines for the same, I think this post really help us.

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