How To Choose A Good Affiliate Program – Essentials

Knowing how to choose a good affiliate program or programs will determine your success in affiliate marketing.

Before you join any affiliate program or decide to promote affiliate products, there are important essential criteria you must review.

This will set you up for success in affiliate marketing by ensuring that you earn affiliate commissions.

With so many programs to choose from, selection can seem like an uphill task to find quality affiliate programs, but with the right approach and focus on the criteria that really matter, this article will show you how to choose a good affiliate program.

Why Your Selection of Affiliate Programs is Important

Make the Right Choice - How To Choose A Good Affiliate Program
Make the Right Choice

Affiliate marketing is performance-based which indirectly means that your income is tied to the amount of commission you earn by promoting products or services of the company (also called merchants or vendors).

Merchants decide how much percentage commission they are willing to pay affiliate associates for each product. This is non-negotiable.

The higher the percentage commission, the more money you make and vice versa. This is why it is wise to select affiliate programs you join with thought and care.

Note that you should not be selecting affiliate programs until after you have decided on a niche which interests you, and that you are passionate and knowledgeable about.

This is important because to promote the merchants goods or services, you will need to write engaging content on your own affiliate website.

Essential Criteria To Consider About the Merchant

How To Choose A Good Affiliate Program – Understand the Types of Affiliate Programs

Choosing the right affiliate products or programs is essential if you want to succeed in affiliate marketing.

1, Network or Independent Niche Affiliate Programs: You may join an affiliate program through a Network (Amazon, ShareASale) or through Niche merchants. Smart associates use a combination of both.

Most affiliate marketing networks provide you with conversion metrics that show merchants that convert visitors to sales more frequently.

Some new affiliate niche programs offer high commissions. Conduct research on these programs to see their track record and ensure that you will be paid your commissions in a timely manner.

2. Two-Tier Affiliate Programs: Whenever available it is recommended that you choose an affiliate program that is a Two-tier program. Some companies promote this in their affiliate programs.

A single-tier program is one that pays you only for the business you have generated.

On the other hand, a two-tier program pays you for the business in addition to commission on sales generated by any other affiliate you sponsor in the program. This provides the opportunity to earn residual income.

What Tools Are Available in Good Affiliate Programs?

3. Ease of Program Accessibility: Choose affiliate programs that make it easy for you to start promoting upon approval by the merchants especially when starting out as a beginner. You can always join additional programs as sales start to increase.

Promotional Marketing Tools

4. Marketing Tools: The program must provide you with the necessary promotional marketing materials. If you have sufficient marketing tools, it is easy to market products and make sales quickly.

Look for affiliate programs that provide marketing tools as well as any necessary marketing support.

What Are The Costs?

5. Program Cost: It should not cost you any money to join an affiliate program or to start promoting an affiliate product.

There are literally thousands of affiliate programs that are free to join. Most merchants run affiliate associate programs.

Although few, some merchants do require a sign-up fee for you to join, but it is recommended you stay away from these programs.

Your goal is to make money, so this should not be an option for you. Choose affiliate programs that make it easy for you to start promoting them.

How To Choose a Good Affiliate Program – Essential Criteria About Product Selection

1. The Product Fits Within your Niche: Find good quality products that are relevant to your blog. When you promote products you are passionate about, the customer can sense this because it is reflected in the quality of your blog. Thinking “outside the box” will also allow you to diversify and promote even more products.

2. The Product is Popular: Evaluate the popularity of the product. You don’t want to try to promote a product for which there is no demand. Therefore, ensure that the product or program you choose to promote is of high quality and popular.

Affiliate Marketing Training
Affiliate Marketing Training

3. Cookie Duration: Merchants use cookies for tracking your referrals. As the majority of customers will not buy on the first visit, cookies allow for potential referrals to be tagged with the affiliate ID so that if they do purchase later, you will get the credit for the sale.

The longer cookies are tracked, the better it is for you.

As an associate, cookies lasting over a 30-day period are generally better especially when you are just starting out. Cookie duration vary by merchant.

Note that there is an element of risk here because there is very little you can do if the customer clears their cookies on a regular basis or has cookie blocking software. This is a rare occurrence.

How To Choose a Good Affiliate Program – Commissions You Can Earn

Commissions - How To Choose A Good Affiliate Program


How much commission can you earn and can you earn residual income?

Depending on the affiliate program or product, on average, you can earn commissions between 1% and in some cases between 40-50% or even higher for every sale you make.

You therefore maximize your earning potential by promoting quality products you have researched which have high commission payout.

The logic here is clear. Quality products don’t get returned by the customer. When products are returned, it affects your bottom line

Good Affiliate Programs and Payment Schedule:

When will you be paid? The commission checks must be paid on a regular basis. You don’t want to be waiting for weeks or months before you get your commissions.

What is the minimum payout? Are there better payment options offered by other networks. What is the conversion rate for that product or service?

Refund Rate:

To decrease refund rates, merchants must produce product information of high-quality, and provide detailed descriptions of the product.

Associates must then attract the right customers, engage them with the product and persuade them to want to buy without any type of misleading advertisement.

This is NOT an easy feat to accomplish without acquiring some form of guidance through a good affiliate trainingprogram. Check out the details of the one used for this website.

It even has a 7 day free trial that DOES NOT require you submit your credit card details! Click below:

Possibly The Most Important Criteria For Top Affiliate Programs

Program Support / Customer Service:

Aim to work with a merchant that provides good program support. It makes a world of a difference! Support is provided in various ways by different merchants – a dedicated account manager (in the case of larger merchants), email support or live chat.

If your affiliate account manager cannot answer your questions in a timely manner, you should be bringing this to the attention of the merchant.

This tardiness in response has been experienced by Metamorphosis Hub and resulted in a switching of merchants. Do not be afraid to do this as it will support the growth of your business in the long run!

Conclusion – Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners

This article shows you how to choose a good affiliate program – without the stress of not knowing what to look for especially as a beginner.

It provides you with essential criteria that will assist you to in becoming successful in your affiliate marketing business.

Did we overlook any important criteria? Do you have other thoughts about some listed criteria above?

Leave your comments in the comment box below and we will get back to you.

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14 thoughts on “How To Choose A Good Affiliate Program – Essentials”

  1. Thank you for this great information! It’s so hard to know what to look for in an affiliate program when you first start. Unfortunately, this is what leads to some to pay monthly fees or high up-front costs for “affiliate” programs that promise to make them rich but are only a scheme to part people from their hard-earned dollars. Your comprehensive breakdown of what makes an affiliate program legit is a must-read for anyone breaking into this business!

    I think it’s important to make a distinction between a two-tier affiliate program and an MLM or even straight-up fraud. There, again, the answer would be whether or not the marketer is required to dig into their own pockets for minimum purchases or membership fees.

    I like your mention of quality products, which is a point I very rarely see made, as well as marketing products that fit into your niche and are popular (but not fads!). I usually market products I have actual experience with or ones that have been recommended to me by people I know personally. Many affiliate programs also have some sort of rating or review system for customers who have purchased the product. I find this very helpful as well!

    As always, thank you for all you do to assist those of us who are trying to make an income working from home. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for the comment. I am always glad to provide value. It’s really hard when folks looking for an honest way to make money online are so blatantly taken advantage of simply because of their lack of knowledge. To me, knowledge is power and I am happy to empower as many people as I can out there go about online marketing in a purposeful manner.


  2. Hey Ceci, thanks for sharing this post. I’ve learned a lot from you about choosing affiliate programs, which is a critical step when getting started with affiliate marketing. I agree with you, it is a must to do the research first and discover as many details as possible about an affiliate program before joining. They are not all the same. Thanks a lot, once again, for sharing. Keep up the good work!

  3. This was very useful to me. I am searching for a good affiliate program right now and this article definitely gave me more clarity about what I should be looking for.

    Thanks and keep up with the good work.

  4. It is not an easy task to choose and affiliate programme indeed. This post came just in the right time as I’m in the process of reviewing my affiliate programmes. Very well-explained and really good points. For sure I will have all of them in my mind when doing my review. There are so many affiliate programmes out there that we can easily get lost or choose the wrong ones. I was wondering if we should limit the number of affiliates to work with? Or it really depends on the niche, etc? Thanks for sharing such good tips.

    • Thanks for stopping by TGP. You are correct, it is really difficult choosing affiliate programs without guidance. You just tend to go with your heart!
      I think starting off with about 2-4 is not a bad idea. I have even met people who only started out with just one!. As you build your website and have more time to research programs, you can then very easily add on other ones. This will then allow you to switch and replace with some better products you may have found. Hope this helps. Good luck!

  5. Thank you for this information. You have done a great job in outlining everything that should be taken into consideration when deciding on the right affiliate marketing program. Can you suggest one or two programs that are pretty good?

    • Hi Yvette, suggestions for affiliate programs to promote will depend on your niche. You will have to do a bit of research as recommended in my article to identify them.

  6. This is truly a detailed and informative article. Thank you. So many times affiliate marketers just jump and go with big names in the business, which at times prove to be futile.

    This article has helped me to take the guessing out of the business and to act using sound information. Thanks for sharing.

  7. This is so awesome to introduce affiliate marketing to the elderly as this can really aid them in so many ways. Not only is it an exciting pass time but also a way that the elderly can really help fund themselves in their retirement day. Is it too ambitious to introduce some of the elderly at some old age homes to affiliate marketing? I don’t think so. I have seen someone on Wealthy Affiliate in his 80’s that just started with affiliate marketing and really enjoying it. Thanks so much for sharing.


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