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Home Affiliate Marketing Lessons Introduction How To Find Affiliate Programs

How To Find Affiliate Programs

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How To Find Affiliate Programs

2008-09-11 11:06:52

One of the best places to start when building your affiliate website is investigating what affiliate programs are out there. In this lesson we're going to teach you How To Find Affiliate Programs. We'll give you a closer look at ClickBank, one of the largest affiliate networks on the Internet and home to some pretty high commission products, and we'll show you some other networks to check out as well.

But first things first, what is an affiliate network?

Introduction to Affiliate Networks

Affiliate networks are the coordinators of the affiliate world. They coordinate between the merchant and the affiliate, are responsible for processing payments from the customer, keeping track of affiliate commissions and paying affiliates.

They're a very good place to start when you're looking for affiliate products to promote, since many will maintain a directory that you can browse by subject.

Let's take a look at one such network:

ClickBank is one of the best affiliate networks for digital products, like software and eBooks. The good thing about software and eBooks is that they tend to have a lot higher commissions than physical products. (You can probably figure out the reason for that yourself - software and eBooks have no manufacturing costs per item, so merchants don't have to worry about affiliate commissions cutting into their margins.) Commissions of between 50% and 75% are reasonably common for digital products.

If you click on "Marketplace" you'll be taken to ClickBank's directory of affiliate products - here you can browse affiliate programs by subject:

ClickBank provides some statistics on affiliate programs in their listings.

Initial $/sale = How much you earn for each sale

Avg %/sale = What percentage of the sale price makes up your cut.

Avg Rebill Total = If the product has recurring billing (for example, monthly memberships) then this is the amount of money you might you expect beyond the initial sale. If the product doesn't have recurring billing this figure will be blank.

Avg %/Rebill = This number is only shown if the vendor offers products with recurring billing, and shows the average commission rate earned on that part of the income.

Grav = Gravity Gives an indication of how hot a product is at the moment. Products with high gravity have a lot of affiliates making money selling this product, while those with low gravity have comparatively less affiliates selling the product. Take this figure with a grain of salt, since it is open to manipulation, but in general you'll probably want to look at products that have a decent amount of affiliate activity, since that obviously means that people are making money from them.

Signing up to become a ClickBank affiliate is a fairly straightforward process: click the "Sign up" link at the top of the page, fill in the details as required, click "Submit" and follow instructions from there.

Once you have your ClickBank ID you're able to promote any product on the ClickBank network. When you're browsing products you'll see a link to "Promote".

Click this, enter your ClickBank ID and the site will generate your HopLink (affiliate link).


You must use your HopLink any time you link to the merchant site. If you just link directly to the merchant site using the website's usual address you won't receive credit for any visitors who click that link and then purchase, as they won't have been tracked!

Logging in to your ClickBank Account

When you belong to an affiliate network you're able to check how much you've earned by logging in to your account and reviewing the statistics. ClickBank pools the commissions from your whole account into a daily amount, which is shown on the first page when you log in.

You can also delve further into your statistics and break it down by product in the reports section.

So that was a basic introduction to ClickBank. However there are many other affiliate networks out there that you may wish to join as well. Some other you might like to take a look at are:

Other Affiliate Networks

Other ways of finding Affiliate Programs

Some affiliate programs operate outside of affiliate networks, so you won't see them listed in directories. Finding these affiliate programs is more word of mouth: you can look around at other affiliate sites in your market and see which products they're promoting, and then see if you can find a link to the affiliate program on the merchant website. You could also email the merchant site directly and ask.

One thing you may encounter is the "invite only" affiliate program. Some sites restrict entry to their affiliate program to people who have already purchased their product, or they choose to approve affiliates on a case-by-case basis. Often this is to prevent affiliates from getting hefty discounts on their products by purchasing through their own affiliate links. If you contact the merchant directly and plead your case, they might let you in, but usually there's not much you can do aside from purchasing the product.

Lesson Summary

In this lesson you've learned:

  1. That affiliate networks co-ordinate between affiliates and merchants. They're responsible for tracking affiliate commissions, processing payments and paying affiliates.
  2. How to find affiliate products in affiliate networks using as an example. is one of the largest affiliate networks for digital products.
  3. How to sign up as a member of ClickBank
  4. Some other affiliate networks you might wish to look at
  5. Some other ways of finding affiliate programs
    • Word of mouth
    • Seeing what other affiliates are promoting
    • Browsing websites
    • Emailing the merchant directly


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Questions & Comments + Add a comment

Reply Carlos Alfonso Garcia • 1651 days ago
Hi, my name is Carlos, and I would appreciate if you might give me a comment about this doubt: There are already thousands of good content websites, on every niche you might think, getting traffic day by day, and products suitable for the kind of people going to those sites. Why would I need a brand new website to compite, if I can make a CPC banner campaign aiming to those sites, with the right product for the right demographic and the right niche? Thank you !!!!
Melissa Johnson1649 days ago
Hi, Carlos!

You make a great point. However, one problem you'll likely encounter is that many consumers have developed "Banner Blindness" -- their eyes essentially glaze over advertisements, especially banner ads. That's not to say a paid advertising campaign wouldn't be effective, but you'll certainly be limiting yourself.

Organic traffic pointed at a website is incredibly powerful. Google puts a LOT of faith in the organic results, and so do consumers. Plus, having your own site gives you the ability to do things like build an email list, which you can use to recommend all sorts of products once your subscribers learn to trust you. That opens you up to more opportunities. The same goes with building a social media following.

Yes, there's competition, but by building your own site, you can create your own brand and build a reputation for being knowledgeable and trustworthy, instead of just hiding behind a CPC campaign, where you'll be invisible.

I hope this gives you some food for thought!
Reply Rui Santos1612 days ago
Hi Carlos

I agree with Melissa's advice that in building your own website enables you to create your own brand and an online platform for all your marketing. It is also crucial in helping you to build your own list with all your marketing activities, so that you in the long term you will not only be able to sell an item once to a customer, but a well designed website with valuable content will enable you to sell many items, to many customers over and over if you do it well.

Rui Santos
Reply Thabiso 1075 days ago
Hi. Clickbank sends cheques as a form of payment and me being in Botswana is extremely difficult coz I have to wait close to two months too. And the direct deposit won't work too. Anyone know of an affiliate program similar to clickbank? One that targets worldwide audience like clickbank?
Melissa Johnson1072 days ago
Hi there!

For SaleHoo, we use ClickBank. However, we have done some research on ClickBank alternatives:

Hope this helps!
Reply Jordan Mortimer1025 days ago
Is it possible to be a member of multiple affiliate networks?
Justin Golschneider1023 days ago
Hi Jordan! It's entirely possible, and it's fairly common for affiliates to join both ClickBank and Commission Junction, for example. I haven't heard of any affiliate networks requiring exclusive contracts.
Reply Marcus 934 days ago

Can you please answer at next 2 questions:

If the affiliate link redirect the visitor from my site to the merchant site on the first page and not to a specific product than how can I promote more specific products from the same merchant (or from different merchants) in one article/on the same page?

2. If I would like to take care only of research, building and entertaining the design of the website, design banners etc for promoting the products via social media, ... and managing the business, ... but not doing anything regarding content, newsletters, articles (just hire people to do it for me) do you think is worth trying to become an affiliate marketer? And if yes than what budget do you think I need monthly?

Thank you in advance,
Justin Golschneider932 days ago
Hi again, Marcus!

1. Vendors typically provide you with a specific link for each specific product, though some may also provide a different link just for their homepage if they have a lot of products to sell. You can use as many different links as you want on one page.

2. Absolutely! Hiring other people to do the grunt work for you is often the best way to get the highest return on your investment, as your time is valuable when you're the boss. You may also get better results by hiring people who specialize in a certain field, like writing, than you would by trying to do it yourself.

Your monthly budget will depend on a lot of variables, but I wouldn't expect to pay less than $20 per article/newsletter (people who charge less generally aren't very good writers). If you want to create a successful authority site, I would budget at least $240 a month (minimum of two articles and one newsletter per week).
Reply Omri Ulanovski899 days ago
I've been reading allot about affiliate and still I don't understand something. Can I do it even if I don't have a website? Do I have to own a website or is there a different kind of affiliate that I can do?
Justin Golschneider897 days ago
Hi Omri! It is possible to do affiliate marketing without having a website. Here's an article and video about it:

However, having a website is highly recommended. A lot of affiliate programs require you to have a website before they'll accept you, and websites allow you to use more elaborate sales techniques.
Reply Viv de Veyra868 days ago
Hi, I just tried to sign up for Clickbank but got the message that they cannot offer me an account at this time. Has anybody else reported the same issue? Any idea why this happened?
Richelle Monfort868 days ago
Hello Viv, This seems to be a common issue and the best way for you to resolve this is to contact ClickBank support directly so they can assist you accordingly - All the best!
Reply James Edwards778 days ago
Since most people know of the big affiliate sites like ClickBank, JVZoo and the Warrior Form, here is how you find products that most affiliates don't know exist. What you do is, go to Google and type in: “affiliate programs +” (type of products you are looking for. Example,
“affiliate programs + camping equipment” Doing this is where you find products that most affiliates don't know about!
Reply Lexie Clark393 days ago
I am struggling to find an affiliate source for my website, which lists remote and work from home opportunities that are not scams and have been tested by myself. How can I get a kickback when an applicant clicks on my link that sends the to apply for Blue Cross?
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