Why I Use Affiliate Networks to Search for Affiliate Programs
Affiliate networks are a great resource for anyone doing affiliate program research. There are a ton of great networks out there. Today I'm going to focus on two of the best, ShareASale and ClickBank.
I'm looking at ShareASale and ClickBank because...
1. They are both top 5 affilate networks.
2. They have incredibly helpful search filters
ClickBank has just over 6,000 affiliate programs hosted on their network, while ShareASale has around 4,000. These are HUGE databases of affiliate programs. In order to effectively search them it helps to have a grasp on the search and filter tools at your disposal on each platform.
Keyword and Category Searches
The simplest way to search on both ShareASale and ClickBank is by using a keyword search. This is very straightforward, so I'm not going to spend much time here. If you already have an affiliate program in mind or a specific product/niche that you'd like to promote, you can do a simple search here. On ShareASale the process is simple.
First you need to register as an affiliate, it's an intuitive process that doesn't take much explaining. Just click on the "Affiliate Sign Up" link on the right side of the top of the page when you go to ShareASale. It looks like this:
From there, just follow the five step registration process, and you'll be ready to browse affiliate programs in no time. Once you've registered and logged in, click on the "Merchants" link on the toolbar at the top of the page.
Then, click the "Search For Merchants" button and you'll be taken to a screen where you can choose to either search by merchant or product. Let's say I'm looking for affiliate programs that are drone related. I'll type in drones and select the starts with products button.
This will return a search result with the top products related to drones. Here's what I got:
I can now browse through all of the different products offered that are related to drones. The process is very similar for ClickBank, so I'm not going to go into detail. Now that we've covered the basics, lets dive into a few of the more advanced features for searching affiliate programs on ShareASale and ClickBank.
ShareASale Advanced Search
ShareASale has some really cool options for filtering searches that can narrow down your results to a very tailored group. Here's the full overview of the advanced search tab.
You can fiddle around with the filters and figure out which work best for you. A few of my favorite are "Per Sale Commission", "Average Sale Greater Than", "Two Tier Program", "Has Coupons Available" and "Cookie Length".
Per Sale Commission: Allows you to search for programs with high commission sales.
Average Sale Greater Than: Shows you affiliate programs with high average sales, this combined with a high commission can be very profitable.
Two Tier Program: This means that you make money off of the products you sell as well as the products your referrals sell.
Has Coupons Available: Coupons are great even if you're not running a coupon website. Why? Because people searching for a product coupon have some of the highest conversion percentages. They already plan on buying a product, and you have something of value to offer them in exchange for a commission. Affiliate links don't always benefit the end user, but coupons always do.
Cookie Length: I love this filter, because longer cookie lengths = more conversions. If you're cookie last longer, there's a greater chance that a customer will return later and you'll still get payed.
ClickBank Advanced Search
ClickBank has some awesome search filters in their advanced search as well, and a unique feature or two that I really like. Here's a look at the overview of ClickBank's advanced search (a few of the lower features aren't included).
I'd recommend playing with the search yourself to see which filters you like best. A few of my favorites are "Gravity", "Avg. $ Sale" and "Avg. Percent Sale".
Gravity: A lot of people will debate the usefulness of the gravity feature. Gravity is a measure of how many affiliates made a sale over the past 12 weeks. The key here is "a sale", as gravity doesn't account for anything beyond a single sale. So it's a good measure of market saturation, but has nothing to do with conversions or total sales. One thing is certain, a higher gravity score means more competition. If I use the gravity filter I generally look for lower gravity scores (in the 5 to 15 range).
Avg $ Sale: The higher the Avg. $ Sale, the more money there is to be made. This factor should be considered along with volume of sales, conversion rate and commission percentage.
Avg. Percent Sale: A measure of the commissions paid out on each sale. Higher commissions mean more cash, as long as the other factors mentioned above also pan out well.