There are many advantages to working online. First of all you can work from the comfort of your home, and adjust your working hours around all your other personal and family commitments. But then you can also develop and grow your business in a niche that you really passionate about. And there is nothing better than working at a job that is also your hobby, because then it doesn’t feel like work anymore, right?!
Now, you can find a lot of recommendations about how to find a niche suitable for monetising from your website or blog, but I struggled to find any real guidance on how to find a niche related program that will fit in and support your niche.
I decided, therefore, to come up with a list of vital points which will help you choose the right monetising program for your niche.
Make Money On Your Website
We all want to monetise from our website, don’t we. At the end of the day, we can’t live of thin air, but we all have bills to pay.
Yes, we do hear every day about how some young person has made money solely through using Instagram or Facebook, or about that couple that has made bucketful of money by purely selling Amazon goods. I do believe for a successful online business, you must have a website.
That website can take the shape of an e-commerce platform. In this case, your website will be already set up to sell good and services. These can be represented by a specific brand of merchandise, whether your own or a third party ones.
For instance, if you become representative or associate of a specific brand of well-being products, you can build a website that will regularly review the products the brand manufactures, as well as post where you outline the benefits the brand brings to people’s well-being.
On the other hand, you can have a website that you want to use as a blogging post platform, where you want to write about your very passion or hobby. You can equally monetise from a blog. All you have to do is choose some products that you believe are related to the niche you are writing about and which you think will be of help for the purpose of your niche. Those products or services may all be manufactured or sold by an individual brand. Or you may choose different manufacturers or sellers that you wish to associate with. But all you have to do is honestly review their products.
Again, to give you an example, I love the Border Terrier breed of dogs, I have a Border, and I write about Borders and dogs more generally on my blog related website. I started looking for merchandise and services that I could review, either as I was already using them with my dog, or because I believed they would help other Border Terrier and dog owners. I chose products, whose seller or manufacturer had an affiliate program, so that I could monetise whilst supporting the brand.
Either way, as you can see, the fact of the matter is that, in order to make some money from your website, you need a niche related program.
How To Find A Niche Related Program
Naturally, each of us will develop their own way to find a niche related program, that will help you monetise from your website. Each niche has different requirements that you will need to match in order to find that very product, which will attract the attention of your visitors.
However, I also believe that there are criteria we can all apply when searching for a monetising program for our website(s). These guidelines, I am sure, will help you focus on those programs, which will really boost traffic to your website and convert more quickly and successfully.
1. Be True To Your Niche
Find a program that will fit in fully with the niche you are writing about. Do not try to force a product, or a brand of services or merchandise into your website, only because it pays bucks. Whichever program your chose, it has to be relevant to your niche 100%. Anybody visiting your website will soon realise and read your misplaced efforts as nothing more than wanting to make money, rather than genuinely wanting to help others or wanting to share your experience in that specific niche.
2. Generous Programs Versus Easy Reach Programs
Some programs are more popular than others, for nothing else but for the fact that they are already established worldwide with their merchandise. Take for instance Amazon. Selling Amazon products is quite easy, for two reasons primarily: Amazon merchandise is sold at very competitive prices, and Amazon is a well and successful selling platform worldwide.
But, when choosing a program for your website, you might want to weigh up their commission programs. Because, for instance, Amazon commission rates are extremely low, ranging between 5-7% of the purchase price, compared to other programs, which reward up to between 25-50%.
Ultimately on this point you may to work out a strategy that best suits your needs and the ones of your niche based online business.
3. Individual Programs Versus Network Programs
You may want to consider what’s best for you and for your business: whether to join individual affiliate or MLM programs versus affiliate network programs.
I am associates with both types of programs. As you may know, I am associate of both AWin for the UK market, and Clickbank for UK and other countries.
But, I am also an affiliate of individual programs, whose products and services happen to match my #1 recommendations for a home based online business. These are the affiliate program Wealthy Affiliate and the MLM program CTFO, which I am going to introduce in my next article.
As far as I am concerned, choosing individual programs is much easier than to go for network programs. Generally speaking, you identify the product or service that you want to review as fitting in with your niche, and you then join its affiliate program.
It becomes a little bit more complicated to go for a network program of different affiliate schemes. You may want to choose a network that has to offer programs, which fit in with your niche or different niches. It becomes a little pointless to go for network program, which can only support your niche with one seller or manufacturer.
The other thing to bear in mind is that network programs normally have longer payout terms. They want to wait longer in order to pay you commissions – they want to make sure you will make sales from a multiple number of schemes before posting that payment out to you.
4. Payout Terms
I mentioned payout terms earlier on for a good reason. Some programs take up to 3 months before paying you commissions. This may become irrelevant once you are up and going with your sales, as you sell regularly and your website generates you passive and recurring income.
But it may be more of a problem at the beginning of your online career, when you need money to finance your business, and to put food on the table (!!!).
Make sure you check the payout terms of any program you decide to go for. Amazon, for instance, pays 2 months in hand – this means this month they will pay you commissions on sales you made two months ago.
Other programs are better organised, and they are normally able to run the payroll of their affiliates’ commissions on a monthly bases. However, particularly when the program you have joined sells merchandise or consumables, you may have to adhere to their refund policy. Which means if, for example, the company has a 60-day refund policy, they may not pay you until the 60 days from the sale of the product have expired, as they are obliged to allow the customer that set time to return their goods in case of dissatisfaction.
5. Advertising Tools
All that some programs have to offer you be only your unique link, and nothing else. This is no good, as far as I am concerned, especially if you are newbie in the online business field.
You will definitely need your unique link, in order for any sales generated via your link to be traced back to you for the commissions earned.
But especially when you are at the beginning of your online career and you are not yet conversant with how to design landing pages, you want to consider programs that offer you a lot of advertising material, such as banners, posters and widgets, which you can easily incorporate in your website as well as posting on social media.
You may also want to make sure that whichever affiliate program you go for has good support, instructions and guidelines about how to use their tools.
Finally, many programs offer regular blogs teaching you how to best use their tools to optimise your content and to monetise more successfully.
My Final Thoughts
You may be thinking that I am absolutely obsessed with money. I am NOT. But I know how difficult has been for me sometimes to choose the right program for my niches. My aim here is to avoid you making mistakes that may cost you time and money.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to go for a program, whether affiliate or MLM, that will really suit your niche. It would be pointless of me to review a cookery book on my dog related website, simply because it sold by Amazon, whose dog accessories I review on the same website. Well, not unless the cookery book is for home made dog treat recipes of course!
In my experience, it is also very important that the program(s) you go for have a good customer services system. You can test it straightaway as soon as you sign in. Send them an email asking for information, or contact them by whichever other means the use under the ‘Contact Us’ section. If they reply to you promptly and satisfactorily, that is an added bonus.
This is because, should you need their help on a short notice basis, you want to make sure they are available for you.
Finally, I suggest you try out different avenues – different products with different suppliers and with different programs. Nothing is set in stone, and soon enough you will know what’s working best for you and for your website visitors. The fact you sign up to a program does not necessarily mean you are obliged to review its program regularly – not if it does no longer work for you.
The main thing is that you feel comfortable enough representing the brand and product your choose. Remember, it is a two-way system. They pay you commission to reward your efforts, but you increase their sales ratings!
What personal criteria do you adopt when choosing an affiliate program, do you look at the same points I have raised here, or do you worry about different aspects? What is the most important factor for you? Maybe you want to share your experience as an affiliate or MLM marketer below. By all means, do leave your comment. We can all learn from each other.