ShareASale is one of the main affiliate networks, and it gives you access to programs for all niches. But if you want to make the most of it, you need to be able to find the right affiliate programs.
And finding the right affiliate programs for you is not just about looking for a product you love or that your audience will love.
I mean, you want to help people and promote products that will help them. I get that.
But you also want to make more money with every sale you make.
Wanna learn how you can increase your affiliate marketing earnings by choosing the right affiliate programs?
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[Disclaimer: Some links in this post contain affiliate links. This means I get a commission if you purchase the product through my link at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.]
What is Shareasale?
ShareASale is a well-established affiliate marketing network.
It has over 2,500 merchants offering a variety of products and services.
It's one of the best networks for beginner bloggers who are starting out with affiliate marketing because you can find affiliate products for any niche, it's easy to apply for and it's free to join.
It looks a bit daunting if you've never used ShareASale before.
There is a lot of information and there are lots of menus, but once you understand the basics, it's easy to use.
So, let's have a look at how to use ShareASale to find the best affiliate programs for your niche.
Where to start
First of all, in ShareASale, you apply for an affiliate program individually for each Merchant.
Let's have a look. The process is quite simple.
You start by making a list of brands, products you love or keywords to search for.
Once you have your list, this is what you do to find the best affiliate programs in ShareASale:
1. Search for affiliate programs
Once you're in ShareASale, click on MERCHANTS.
Then type the name in the search box.
If you already have a specific merchant you can go ahead and type the name of the merchant. For instance I did a search for DoTerra or Tisserand Essential Oils.
But they're not there.
So I did a search for 'essential oils' and there are plenty of other suppliers:
Tip: Try a couple of different keywords to see if you get the same results.
Select the 'right' programs
You could apply to as many affiliate programs in Shareasale (or other affiliate networks) as you want. Then you wait and see which ones approve you, but it's best to be selective because:
To make sure you find the right affiliate programs to match your brand and what you do:
Tip: If you click on the marketing calendar it tells you what events are coming up so you can prepare for them.
Find the most profitable affiliate programs
And now let's figure out which affiliate programs in ShareASale will bring you the most money.
You do this by looking at the data ShareASale shares with you.
an affiliate program's Power Rank
This just tells you where ShareASale ranks the program. Click on the Power Rank icon to get the list of top 100.
To be honest, this is not the most important thing.
Some affiliate programs do much better than others. It will depend on your niche and how readers/buyers behave.
So if you can't find a program in the top 100, don't worry.
But it doesn't hurt to look there and see if there is any program that fits your niche.
Commissions - what you need to know
The first thing to remember is how much you can make in commissions if you join an affiliate program in ShareASale.
And this can vary greatly from program to program, of course.
A low commission percentage is OK if you are promoting expensive products
But if you are promoting items that cost less than $10 and you only sell one every three weeks it could take a while for you to make enough money to make it worth your while.
If you can, apply to programs that give you a 20-30% commission rate or above, cos then you make more money with each sale.
But that's not the entire picture. You also need to look at the rest of the data before you decide.
So if you can't find affiliate programs that have a high commission, don't be discouraged.
Cos that's not the only thing that matters:
EPC -why it matters to you
Affiliate marketing is a numbers game. I mean that provided you send as much traffic to your website and get as many people as you can to click on the link, it works.
But while you can be confident that you'll make sales if you drive enough traffic to your site, it's also true that it doesn't work the same way for every niche.
And it doesn't work the same way for every affiliate program either.
So you also need to check out the EPC for each affiliate program you want to apply to.
EPC means average earnings per hundred clicks. And it can give you a pretty good idea of how well the program performs for affiliates.
You can look at the example above and see that although Gurunanda has a much smaller commission than Corked, there's only a small difference in EPC.
But I also wanted to show you this:
This isn't something you can get in every niche. I mean I don't really think I can write a blog post about the best beds for bloggers.
But you get my meaning.
Can you find some products with a really high EPC in your niche?
Tip : Even if you have chosen a specific merchant you want to promote, find merchants in the same niche and compare their EPCs.
Average Commission, Cookie Length and Reversal Rate
To find out more data to help you decide if a program is worth it for you, click on the plus sign at the bottom right hand corner.
Then look at the length of the cookie, the reversal rate, and average sales and commission.
You already know by looking at the EPC how much money you can make per 100 clicks.
But you also need to know the average commission, it can help you calculate idea of how much money you can potentially make with a program.
How much would you make if 5 people decide to buy through your affiliate link in one month? And 10?
You may also want to choose products that have a low reversal rate. That means that there are few returns.
So it's good for your bank account but it also good cos it tells you that people are happy with the products.
The last thing to bear in mind is the length of the cookie.
The longer the cookie is, the more chances you have to get a commission. But it also varies from niche to niche:
Things like appliances, furniture, laptops, etc. are things that people buy after comparing prices and reviews and looking around different websites, visiting shops and discussing the options with family/friends. So their decision process takes longer.
For things that are seasonal, solve an immediate problem, or are impulse buys, the length of the cookie is not so important because they are more likely to buy within a couple of days.
Still, the longer the cookie, the better.
A couple more tips
Another issue is you need to check is if they deliver internationally or just in some countries so you can make sure you monetise international traffic.
And, with most products it doesn't really matter but with cosmetics or things like that, you might want to order a sample so you can try them for yourself before you become an affiliate.
Joining an affiliate program in ShareASale
Now that you've chosen a merchant, click on Join Program and you'll get this form.
Read the agreement and make sure you keep a copy of it somewhere (I use Evernote and my Affiliate Marketing Tracker to make sure I know where they are) and tick the tick-box.
A lot of the programs will accept you automatically, but others have an affiliate manager who will review your application.
If you want to make sure you get in, fill in the text box and give as much detail as possible about how you're going to promote the products and why you're a good fit in your application.
What to do if you can't find the brand you want in ShareASale or another network? Here's a blog post that tells you what to do.