How to Choose the Best Affiliate Program

As affiliate marketers, we have thousands of products to choose from in the market today. Name the product, and we can probably promote it and earn commissions from it. However, we can’t promote everything. We have to choose from the thousands out there.

How, then, do we know which products we should take the time to build a business with?

I hope that by the end of this article, I have answered this question that has been asked by so many affiliate marketers over the last few decades.

Let’s get started.

The first thing to consider in signing up to any affiliate program is that it should be FREE. If you can’t sign up for free, it’s most likely not an affiliate program but a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company.

Most MLM companies make you pay a fee to access their “affiliate program.” You are told that “to make money, you have to sign up and pay a fee,” and that this is “a membership fee.” If you hear that from any “affiliate program,” run away and never come back. It’s a bunch of BS.

These kinds of programs are not affiliates. You should know that 99.9% of ALL the MLM companies are scams and a waste of a signup fee. You should NEVER promote an MLM offer even when it seems like incredible money.

I’m sorry if I sound rude about MLMs, but I just wanted to warn you. There are a lot of scammers out there. I won’t name names, but some of them make millions out of the people they have scammed. Trust me, I know. Like I said, 99.9% of them are garbage.

The truth is that REAL affiliate programs won’t ask you to pay anything to join. They are more than happy to pay you for your efforts in getting them sales.

Back to the burning question: What affiliate program should I promote?

The best advice I can give you is to promote what interests you. Why? Well, for starters, it’s way easier to build a business around something you love.


For example, you can go into sports and become an all-star player and make millions doing it. However, if you’re like me and you don’t like sports, you would not enjoy it. You might earn big bucks, but at the end of the day, it won’t make you feel happy. There’s nothing like passion for something to make you feel fulfilled and motivated to continue doing something.

Building a business around something that you actually like is going to be the winning strategy for the long haul.

I see a lot of affiliate marketers promote things that they don’t believe in, like health supplements, diets, and other offers that go against their beliefs. They do it because they make good money.

In my opinion, you should only promote the products and services that you yourself would buy or use. Why? Well, it’s going to be extremely easy for you because you know how to speak to your customers, given your personal experience with the product or service.

You would feel less of a fraud as well, when you know that you’re selling them products that are a good buy.


Let’s say you have decided to promote a product that you would never buy yourself. It’s going to be hard for you to get others to buy it because you can never convince them to buy when you yourself wouldn’t.

Do you see the irony in that?

Even if you get people to buy your affiliate offers, it’s going to make you feel a bit bad, since you’ll be lying just to earn money.

I myself could most likely promote anything and earn from it; however, I would never stoop that low. I have seen some extremely terrible products out there and I would never promote them. You shouldn’t either, unless you don’t care about anything but making a quick buck.

If you want to build a business that will last for a long time, you need to think deeply about what your values are.

When you build a business around products and services that you actually care about, people will listen to what you have to say.

If you go the other route of being like every other marketer out there that’s just trying to make a quick buck without thinking of their customers, then you have to compete with everyone else speaking the same crap.

Choosing the best affiliate program for me really comes down to promoting things I actually care about and things that I actually use.

It becomes so much easier to make money from things I have interest in. If I choose to promote products that sucked, I would just feel like I am getting paid to work for someone else.

It will never work, as I have never liked the 9-5 job mentality. Why earn money from anything that you don’t like? That’s not for me. So, how do you go about choosing the products and services you believe in?

Devote some time to write down the products that you like and use. Come up with a list of things you would actually like to build a business with to get an idea of where your interests are.

Once you have a good idea of what you like, your next step is to go out and find those products and services to promote. Trust me, there’s an affiliate program for almost anything you can imagine.

So the first step is understanding where your interest are.

Next is to look at the statistics.

Having interest for a market is going to be key to your future business success, but you also want to make sure the affiliate programs you choose are going to earn you profits.

There are some markets out there where no one is buying and there’s nothing to be made.

To see whether the products you have chosen have potential, look at the Conversion Rates of your affiliate products to see if it’s going to be worth your time.


Choosing an affiliate to promote that has no money to be made won’t do you any good regardless how much you love the product or service.

I use this metric whenever I have an affiliate in mind:

Interests + Profits = Prosperity & Sustainability

You should be able to see the Earnings per Click (EPC) on the affiliates you want to promote.

If they are not listed on the affiliate website, contact them and ask what their EPC is. That way, you have a clear indication on whether you should move forward with it or look elsewhere.

Look at the Commission / Payout

This is an important factor in promoting any affiliate. If you can get a thousand sales a day but they only pay twenty five cents per sale, then you won’t get much, just $250 for 1,000 sales.

Once you deduct your overhead costs from the payout, you might even end up in the negative.

So always pay close attention to what the Commission / Payouts are because you could be promoting the best products you are interested in, but if the payout is terrible, then it’s not worth it.

Next on the statistics – Average Order Value (AOV/AOS)

In affiliate marketing, this is where you can make a lot of your income. For instance, does the affiliate have multiple up sales that you can earn commissions from?

Some affiliate programs, for example, offer a product for $7 then have multiple up sales from the customer where you can earn commissions.

Some programs can also give you recurring commissions for every month that the customer pays the monthly or yearly fee.

Next statistics to look at – Reversal Rates

This metric is pretty self-explanatory. You can get all the sales in the world, but if 100% of the sales end up refunded, then of course, you earn nothing.

It’s very important to take a look at these figures. Any affiliate program should be able to give you the refund rates; if they can’t, you shouldn’t waste your time with them.

Indeed, statistics are a very important part in choosing an affiliate program.

Cookie Duration

The “Cookie Duration” is basically the amount of time you have to earn your sale.

When you promote your affiliate link, for example, and people click through it to reach the product’s page, the Cookie Duration will determine whether you earn commissions when they make a purchase within a certain amount of time.

The normal Cookie Duration is 30 days. That means the traffic you send through your link will have 30 days to make a purchase in order for you to get commission.

There are some affiliate programs that have 60, 90, or lifetime Cookie Duration.

The longer the Cookie Duration the better.

There are affiliate programs that don’t keep the cookies; avoid them, because you can send them a lot of traffic, but if none buys at the moment they arrive on the affiliate site, then you won’t earn anything, even if those customers eventually go back and make their purchase.

Tools Offered

I have come across some affiliate programs that paid out less commissions but have world-class tools. I would recommend them. After all, another affiliate program might offer bigger commissions, but what’s the point if their system or landing pages suck? You won’t get people to buy from there.

Some of the tools offered by really good affiliate programs include:

  • creatives
  • text links
  • widgets
  • coupons
  • data feeds
  • search boxes
  • promotional videos
  • landing pages, and
  • up-sales.

Having good tools at your disposal can make your job as an affiliate so much easier. Access to world-class tools can earn you money easier and faster. An affiliate program that has a responsive support is also something you need to consider.

Following the Rules

Last but not the least, look at the affiliate program’s Terms of Service.


Every affiliate program has rules you must follow. Most people just browse through these rules and never think twice about what they state.

Don’t overlook them because if you want to have a real business, you need to know what you’re getting into.

The Terms of Service can have rules that would have stopped you from promoting their product or service if you had known about them in the first place. Indeed, there have been some affiliate programs I decided not to join because of their Terms of Service.

Most Terms will outline how you can promote their products and services, what keywords you can use, where you can and cannot advertise, and so on.

One example is that you can’t use your own affiliate link when you’re buying things for yourself.

It’s really important to read the Terms of Service and understand it if you plan to build a long-lasting business.

It might be boring, but it’s better than building a successful business for months only to end up having your affiliate account closed because you did not follow their Terms of Service.


Finding an affiliate program to build a business empire with all comes down to you finding where your interests are and doing the research on what’s going to work best for you.

There’s nothing complicated about finding an affiliate that you can build a great relationship with for years to come. The only hard part about it is going out and doing the research and taking notes along the way.

I wrote another article giving you the best affiliate networks I recommend. These programs have thousands of products that you can choose from.

The BEST Affiliate Networks

That’s it for this article. I hope this helped you understand how to choose the best affiliate program given your interests.

Thanks for reading! Please share your thoughts in the comments below on how you choose an affiliate to work with.

Talk to you soon,