So, you finally have your affiliate program set up and are ready to earn more active income for your blog. However, as you peer into the product or service category of your affiliate partner’s site, you begin to question a lot of things. One of them could often be, ‘which products to choose?’ or ‘which will sell?’ Turns out affiliate product selection can be intimidating and complicated too.
Don’t fret though, it’s all part of the learning process. Many of us learn by trial and error but for most bloggers, this can cost time and opportunities. Thankfully, you can fine-tune your affiliate product selection to maximize your returns for your affiliate program. You can do this by following years of accumulated experience from affiliate marketers and a bit of economics know-how.
We’ve also prepared this list to guide you on affiliate product selection; this way, you can minimize resource wastage while maximizing your gains from your affiliate program. Everybody wins here, let’s get started.
Pick a product you know
If you’ve been a freelance writer or blog writer long enough, chances are you already know what it feels like to write something for a topic you’re not familiar with. It’s disheartening and your output will feel inauthentic or generic. The same mentality can be applied to affiliate products. If you have no idea what your product is or have never researched about it, it will show on your output.
Whether by an apparent lack of enthusiasm or wrong information, your readers or visitors will gradually notice. That’s why picking a weird gadget or service for your affiliate product is something you might want to avoid. Initially, sticking to something familiar to you is preferable and will yield better outputs; thus leading to better sales.
Evergreen products are superior
It might be tempting to make affiliate marketing content about that fancy or shiny limited product on sale. However, not all that glitters is gold; this product will likely expire soon and once it’s gone, there goes your opportunity to use it again. That’s why evergreen products, or timeless products which are always available, are more appealing.
You can re-use your affiliate marketing content made for them indefinitely as long as the affiliate website stays online or the product is still in stock. Reposting or re-sharing them on social media is also a breeze and a good way to effortlessly add to your blog’s income. So as much as you can, pick the evergreen products.
Consider market saturation
Now, here’s the tricky part. You might find a product that’s very popular or an evergreen product that looks perfect and will sell but chances are, other bloggers will also be thinking of the same thing. What will happen is you’ll end up cannibalizing one another’s affiliate income and usually the one with the most traffic or visitors will win.
You’ll want to avoid this competition by looking for hidden gems or dark horse products. These are the ones you won’t find on the “Most Popular” page of your affiliate program’s website. If your partner website is also a domain that allows multiple third-party merchants, you can try to look for one of the rare ones which offer niche items that still have the potential to become popular.
Pick a good price
Most affiliate programs reward bloggers through commissions for each and every sale or click– whatever is stated in the contract. That is why picking a good product with a reasonably high price can guarantee better returns for you. That’s just how it is based on most affiliate programs; you’ll simply have to avoid products whose prices are too low to be worth a space on your blog.
Of course, don’t take it too far and only pick the most expensive items either. That would be decreasing your chances of getting a sale which is a lot worse. Picking a good balance for a realistic and fun price is the key here as you still want people to purchase items so you get the commission. This is where you might have to do a bit of trial and error as well depending on your blog’s audience.
Keep up with the current trends
Pop culture or cultural references are a strong marketing element — one that you shouldn’t ignore. Merchandise or products that represent what’s currently trending right now (tv shows, movies, video games, etc.) work well to bolster your affiliate marketing and affiliate program.
This might sound like it contradicts evergreen products or avoiding saturated markets but with a bit of careful cherry-picking, you can have a good affiliate product or service that hits all three criteria. After all, there are also some niche trending cultural media that’s not too mainstream but comes with a good following. If it fits your blog’s niche, then go for it. In any case, knowing what is “in” can help you immensely with affiliate product selection.
Analyze why people visit your site
This part could also be tricky but is still of vital importance especially when you’re wondering why some of your affiliate marketing content isn’t doing so well. Do your customers visit your website merely for information? Perhaps you can try setting up coupons or discount offers on your website to see if they’re also welcome to something else?
This way, you can decide which kind of affiliate products or services to select and sell to them. Knowing where they come from or their demographics can also give you an insight into what they might want. There are plugins and tools to help you with this. In any case, this tip can help eliminate and reduce some of your trial and error when it comes to affiliate marketing.
Digital products are usually better
When it comes to stuff you can buy online, digital goods are always better and less stressful than physical goods. Digital goods don’t need to be delivered so many dissatisfaction factors or sources are lessened.
These digital or virtual products can be e-books, music, movies, artworks, or online services. These don’t require postage, delivery, and handling. In some cases, this might even mean a better commission split for you since there are fewer costs for distributing digital goods. If possible, it can be better to stick to digital goods. Regardless of which method you choose, keep in mind that affiliate product selection is an ongoing learning process; nothing you can’t master, of course.
First published in January 2020; updated September 2021