What is the best affiliate program?

The best affiliate program doesn't exist. Ok, that's a cliché... guilty. But it's true. Although there are some really good affiliate programs out there, what is the best affiliate program depends on the situation. On your particular situation.

(If you don't care for the 'words of wisdom' that I'll bestow upon you, you can scroll straight down to my list of the top affiliate programs out there...)

Obviously, any program that would qualify as the best affiliate marketing program should satisfy some basic criteria. If not, don't even bother with it and look for another. You can read more about these in the article .These are:

  • The company has to be reputable and make timely payments
  • The affiliate commission has to be good.
  • The best affiliate programs all have excellent tracking software in place.
  • It must be a completely free affiliate program to sign up for.
  • You should get a personal account manager who helps you with any issues.
  • There is a low or no payment threshold

The changeable factors

These factors are only what make a good affiliate program. But what is the best affiliate program for your particular situation depends on a few other things.

  • What is your site about? The more related an affiliate product is to the topic of your site, the better it is. If you have a site about marathon running, you might make excellent money by promoting running shoes. Trying to sell mortgages on your site will be considerably less effective.
  • How much influence do you have over your audience? If your audience consists of regular visitors who believe in your authority, you might be able to sell them a difficult product. (TIP: Go for a revenue share model in this case!) On the other hand, if you have mostly one-off visitors looking for a specific piece of information, it's better to promote something that sells quickly.
  • How specific is your website? On your travelling-through-South-Western-Nebraska blog you could probably strike a good affiliate deal with the Bayside Golf Course (I had to look that one up). If you write about a broad topic like celebrity lifestyle, you'd be better off with a general affiliate niche like online dating, clothing, or even just Google AdSense
  • What is your own experience? Any affiliate marketer can tell you that you are more effective selling something you know and truly believe in. For me, the best affiliate products would probably be SiteSell SBI and Rochen Hosting, simply because I have used them a lot with amazing results

Some top affiliate programs

Okay, so you've read about the things to look for in a good affiliate program and about how what is the best affiliate program for you really depends on your personal circumstances. (Or you haven't and just skipped straight down here... don't say I didn't warn you.) To make things easier for you, I'll give you a list of 10 top affiliate programs

All of these programs have excellent track records. They pay good commissions in a timely manner; their conversion rates are high and reversals are low; their tracking software is accurate; they supply ample materials you can use to promote them. I purposely selected the best affiliate programs from different niches, so that most likely you'll find one that suits your purpose.

  • SiteSell SBI (web business development)
  • Plus500 (online forex and CFD trading)
  • Amazon.com (books, electronics and pretty much everything else): Amazon.com was one of the first companies to offer an online affiliate program and they are still one of the best. Revenue share is relatively low, but the cool thing is that you can link to any particular product on their site and gain a commission on whatever else your customer buys.
  • Google AdSense (everything): Although AdSense isn't really an affiliate program, no list of the top affiliate programs would be complete without it. With AdSense you don't have any control over the ads that display on your site and as such can't promote a particular product or vendor. But the great thing is that Google's 'affiliate' program will always match the most relevant (read: valuable) ads to your content.