What are the top affiliate programs doing for you?
It's a different question to the norm, isn't it? But, you know, it is worth asking. So, what are the top affiliate programs doing for your business? I know the obvious answer is that they provide income, but should they not be doing more than that? I think they should, and I believe that this should determine which affiliate programs we promote.
There are thousands of websites for affiliate marketing, and equally there are thousands of affiliate programs for websites, but getting the right fit for you and your business is critical
I have a 5 point criteria for deciding if the affiliate program I am thinking of promoting will be adding value to my business, above and beyond the potential income. The criteria is as follows:
- Will it grow my own business for the long term? If I cannot answer that question affirmatively, then that leaves a big question mark for me. Am I only promoting this because it is the latest "shiny new toy" and I think it will generate some easy commission? Notice I said "for them long term" - that's what makes the difference!
- Does it deliver on my promise to my followers? Leave aside what the product says it will do for the moment, but when I attracted my followers and they gave me their email address what did I promise to them? It is likely that I promised that I would only promote products that I can stand over, so does this product deliver on my promise?
- Does this fit with my strategy? It is always good to do a litmus test on any product to see if it fits with your own strategy for your business. We sometimes fall into the trap of promoting something opportunistically and then realize afterwards that it is not consistent with the strategy we laid out.
- Is it consistent with my principles? One of the risks of having a blog where you sometimes (as I do!) go on a bit of a rant about something that really irritates you and where you are standing on your principles is that you better make sure you are consistent! To give you an example - I have an issue about article spinning and I believe it does great damage to the reputation of the industry and is the cause of many decisions that Google make that complicates our lives. I don't necessarily blame Google but I do have a real issue with article spinning - it is for the lazy and the "here today, gone tomorrow" brigade. But, what if I were then to promote software that does article spinning? That would be entirely inconsistent with my principles and would devalue everything I do.
- Does it build my relationship with my followers? This is very simple - the answer is either yes or no, there is no in between!
Note that all these 5 points are relevant when you are looking at a long term business. So, what are the top affiliate programs doing for you and your business? Answer that before you promote anything!