Considering most of us are trying to make more and more money online (who is to say when is enough, lol), I thought describing some of the programs I use and make money with, would be useful to you.
Let me start with a little story…
When I see a good product or a company I would like to try and recommend to my readers, I always check if it has an affiliate program. If it is good enough to recommend, why not make some coins from it as well.
But a lot of times, the program is specific for the company, which means they handle all the tracking and payments. Not bad but…! I often decide not to join these programs, especially if they don’t have a very large diversity of products I want to promote or the products are in the low price range.
Why? A lot of those programs will have low price products, but the minimum payout threshold is at least $100. So if you are selling dog food bowls at $4.99 and make 8% of one, you will need to sell about 250 bowls to make $100.
Join 5 of those individual programs, and that puts you at 1.250 sold items to get payment from each program in the same month.
This is where affiliate networks come in and why I love them.
One of the networks I really like and use a lot is Shareasale. Imagine those same 5 programs as Shareasale members. As soon as you reach $100 from any of them (or all of them combined), you get paid by Share a sale network.
Why is Shareasale good for bloggers
If you are blogging about blogging, WordPress, WordPress themes and plugins and any other similar topic, Shareasale will probably be essential to you.
Why? Because all the best themes are using this network to manage their affiliate programs.
For example, I recently switched to Genesis framework and I am really enjoying using this theme. So the logical next step is to recommend it to you as well. Since I do make money from recommending products I use, I want to be an affiliate for Genesis themes.
StudioPress, the company behind Genesis, is using only Shareasale as the affiliate management network. In Shareasale terms, they are Shareasale Exclusive Merchant and you can easily spot those because they are marked with this badge:
Another popular WordPress theme company is Headway, and their program is also Shareasale exclusive.
So not only will it benefit you to join Shareasale network as a blogger, you will actually have to join it to promote one of these two themes.
The theme I was using before, Thesis, is also sold through Shareasale (SAS). They are not SAS exclusive, but since you want to group as many programs together as you can, you should just join their program on SAS as well.
That gives you the opportunity to promote three most popular theme companies/products from one dashboard, which means that you need less sales to reach a payout threshold than if they had individual programs.
Who else should use SAS
Pretty much everyone should use it because the variety of merchants they have is big and there are products for every niche.
How to use Shareasale network
First you will need to sign up as an affiliate.
Next step is filling out your account information (including payment info) and tax, if applicable. Don’t forget to double check, you don’t want your checks going to the wrong address.
Then you will join programs. Search for programs that fit in with your niche. If you have a blog similar to mine, themes I mentioned can be a good choice. One of the popular products you can promote is Scribe SEO plugin.
If you are in a different niche, you can do a search by merchant or product. Pick a merchant you like and see what are they offering.
Important things to do when applying to merchant programs on SAS are:
- See if the approval is automated.
- If it is not, make sure to fill out the little window with information on how you plan to promote the product, it helps a lot.
- Read the affiliate agreement carefully.
- Some merchants forbid you to bid on certain keywords, check if they do.
- Check the EPC (average affiliate earnings per 100 clicks), the bigger the better.
- Check reversal rates, the lower the better.
- See trends for all the numbers.
- See what type of links and banners are offered.
- See what type of newsletters will you get from the merchant.
- Most important – see how much money can you make from the program – Commission Structure.
If you prefer video over reading, here is a video of the most important things when choosing a merchant:
How to decide which program will make money
See if the product is selling at all, EPC will tell you that. If they have a high reversal rate, you may want to check why is that happening.
Of course, you have to promote products that fit with your niche.
But most important, see the Commission Structure.
There are different commission structures on SAS and it can make a big difference in your income.
Some merchants will pay a fixed amount of money for each sale, some will pay for sales and leads, some just for leads and some will pay percentage of the sale amount. Below is a mix of commission structures.
Don’t be led just by money, but that should be something to take in consideration. If EPC is high and the commission is nice, go for it.
You can even decide to build a whole site around a product that is selling like crazy. Yes, a 5 page site promoting one program/product can make a lot of money.
Joining affiliate networks gives you more possibilities for choosing from a variety of products and commission structures while at the same time making it easy to reach payment thresholds every month.
Sometimes, like in the case of Genesis and Headway themes, if you want to promote products you believe in, you will have to sign up for a network.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up for Shareasale or if you don’t want to go through all those lists of merchants, start with the Studio press affiliate program. You’ve got nothing to lose, it is free.
Let me hear you: using Shareasale already or not?