Affiliate marketing can be a lucrative sales channel for your company. It helps you tap into a customer base accessible only through affiliates. You must look for affiliate marketers with sizable followership that aligns with your brand and benefit from the products that you offer.
We have included some powerful techniques in this blog post to help you find the right affiliate marketers for your products. We will also cover efficient methods to hire good affiliates and discuss what to look for in one.
How to Find Affiliate Marketers to Sell Your Products?
You can do that on websites where they sign up to receive deals or by reaching out to them directly to work out a deal. There are many avenues to do that effectively, but your choice depends on your business goals.
Here are 18 Functional Ways to Find Affiliates to Sell Your Products:
1. Sign-up with Affiliate Networks
Affiliate networks are the most common source of affiliate marketers. They have an established infrastructure that fosters smooth transactions between product owners like you and affiliate marketers.
You can craft an affiliate payment model that works for you and detail the terms and conditions that an affiliate must follow to be eligible for your affiliate program. Affiliate networks have the groundwork in place – you just have to fill the template based on what works for you.
Popular affiliate networks have a good subscriber base. It consists of affiliate marketers who intend to boost their income from blogs, YouTube, Instagram, and other platforms. This lets you cast a wide net to choose from.
In addition, you have affiliates reaching out to you there, so you do not have to reach out. Yet, you build a good base of marketers from niches relevant to your products, and you can sign them up to your program if they meet your requirements.
A network will also create assets for affiliates. They can choose products from your catalog to sell. For each product, the network assigns them a unique affiliate URL. You need not worry about the logistics part of the business.
However, the downside to affiliate networks is that you need to pay them a certain fee. The payment can be in the form of a monthly retainer, a sales-based approach, or a fixed payment, or a hybrid. But it sure can get expensive.
2. Reach out to Influencers
Influencers are individuals who have authority in an industry vertical. They have a strong follower base on social media channels, and their content generates high engagement. People listen to what they say and implement their suggestions to improve their business or personal life.
For example, Jeff Cavalier is an influencer in the natural body-building space. He has millions of followers on YouTube and social media platforms. It is not mandatory to hire high-profile influencers – research to find folks with lower followership but those who drive high traction towards their content.
Once you have a list of influencers who can be a good channel of affiliate income, reach out to them with a good offer. You will learn that many of them work on high ticket items that generate more revenue.
For example, if an item costs $100, the influencer will earn $20 per sale at a 20% commission rate. But, if the product costs $1000, they will earn $200 per sale at the same rate. Influencers worth their salt will ask for a high commission rate if your product is a low-ticket one.
In that case, you need to revamp your strategy and target influencers with lesser clout. Once you have a deal, supply affiliate links to the influencers, and track their performance.
3. Connect with Niche Bloggers
Affiliate marketing is often the primary source of income for most niche bloggers. They spend a lot of time crafting and distributing quality content to establish authority in their niche. Their efforts generate quality organic traffic to their blogs and earn them subscribers who are tuned to their content.
Niche bloggers, thus, are the perfect affiliates a business can get. You already know your product and the audience that uses it. You also probably have an idea of the niches that your current buyers follow.
For example, if your primary product category is shoes, then you can target sports, formal wear, boots, outdoor niches. You can identify influential bloggers from each category and ask them to sell your products relevant to the niche.
Just like with influencers, you need to have a clear idea of what level of bloggers to approach and recruit. Bloggers with a bigger audience base will charge more, so if you own a small business, you might want to reach out to smaller bloggers.
4. Ask customers to sell your products
Good word of mouth goes a long way for any business – It is the best form of marketing.
Your customers with positive experiences can become your best advocates.
Given the potential to make more money and the existing awareness of your product, your customers will find a sweet deal in becoming an affiliate for you. In addition, your customer is already in the niche that you target, they have a follower base that can be converted into new customers at a decent rate.
Also, it is easy for them to create content around your product because they know exactly what features sell. That, coupled with the photos they add as proof of them using your product will skyrocket your sales through that account.
While shortlisting customers to reach out to, make sure you pick only those who had a good experience with you. They will be more willing to do that job. In addition, make sure to analyze their followership and ticket value of items they prefer to sell.
You can secure the deal by offering discounts if you already have their business on top of the affiliate income you promise. It may seem like a losing proposition initially, but giving discounts will be cheaper than the fee charged by the affiliate networks.
5. Partner with businesses in the same industry but not competitors.
You should look for businesses that fall under the same general umbrella as you. For example, if your website sells shoes, you fall under the footwear bucket. It may seem prudent to reach out to other websites that sell footwear but if they promote your product, their sales may suffer – they won’t agree to do it.
However, if you reach out to a company that sells Hiking gear, you stand a better chance of securing a deal. This way, you can be assured that their content aligns with your niche.
6. Sign a deal with coupon sites
Everyone likes a nice discount and that’s why coupon sites are so popular. Amazon coupons, Groupon, Swagbucks, BeFrugal, etc, can be a great channel for your affiliate marketing efforts.
People who hop on these websites have a strong purchase intent. They arrive to find a coupon that grants the biggest discount on the product they want. If you get your product listed, you don’t just get a lot of visits on your landing page but a lot of conversions too.
A couple of good ways to set up coupons are:
1. You can host them as scratch cards, this way when someone makes a purchase they have an exciting surprise waiting to be unfurled.
2. You can gamify coupons as Amazon does. This promotes a very high engagement rate.
The catch with coupon sites is that you need to offer a good discount on your product. Plus, just like niche sites, they charge a fee.
7. Hire affiliate marketers from a marketplace
Marketplaces like Fiverr and UpWork have tons of affiliate marketers. They can help you build traffic, sales funnel and improve the conversion rate. Also, they are available at dirt-cheap prices.
And that’s where the problem arises. Some sellers sell at cheap rates to gain entry into the market, however, a few offer substandard services that either do not work at best or cause your website harm at worst.
Just like other affiliate channels, high-selling freelancers with credentials come at a premium cost. But if you do not have a budget for them, look for low-cost affiliates, they are equally effective, but difficult to find.
8. Scan for affiliates on dedicated forums
Reddit and Quora are good examples of forums where you can look for affiliates. Subreddits like r/juststart and r/Affiliatemarketing/ are where affiliate marketers hang out often. Stay active there and be on the lookout.
You will often find Redditors sharing the report of their blog performance. They show you how much traffic they generated, affiliate sales, etc. If they match your criteria, reach out to them to check their niche – most will never include that in their post. If they suit your product, strike a deal with them.
You can find more forums by typing Affiliate Marketing + Forum on Google. Affiliate Fix is yet another good forum. These platforms, tell you the pain points of affiliate marketers and highlight what they expect from businesses like yours.
9. Attend Marketing Events
Affiliate Marketing events are rare but even in the era of lockdowns, there are many virtual marketing events where you can participate. But if your city allows it, participate in physical events too.
In marketing events, you get a chance to build your network. You meet professionals and build connections. Some of those professionals can be from your niche or from a related industry, and guess what, they can become affiliates for your business.
Sure, most quality conferences are not free. But if you can expect to hire a few high-profile affiliates, then investing in and attending one might benefit your business. Analyze which influencers are attending it, what their follower base is like, and how much sales can you expect if you recruit them.
10. Steal your competitor’s affiliates
Competitors who have been in the business for a while will most likely have an affiliate channel. They already did the groundwork of finding the right affiliates and hiring them. What if you could steal those affiliates? It will save you a ton of time searching and vetting them.
You can identify affiliates hired by your competitors by checking backlinks to their products pages. These backlinks will either have a UTM code or words like – refer, recommend, gear, etc., indicating that they are affiliate links.
You can trackback those links to the linking domain. Ahrefs’ backlinks checker can help you with that. Insert your competitor’s product page URL and search for backlinks to find the referring domains.
In the image above, the referring page reveals the domain name of the affiliate. You can find their contact information on their website and reach out to them.
Once you get in touch, explain to them how your affiliate program will help them make more money than they do with your competitors. Give them a sweeter deal and win affiliates.
While analyzing your competitors, also check which affiliate networks they signed up for. You can do that by searching on Google – competitor’s name affiliate network name. For example, if I want to check if SEMRush is on the Shareasale network. I will type this into Google – semrush ShareASale.
11. Leverage Pay-Per-Click advertising
You can drive traffic to your landing page for affiliates through PPC advertising by paying the ad networks like Google a certain amount for every click they generate.
For example, if someone is looking for affiliate programs on Google for your niche, Google will show your ad at the top of the search results page. This will generate clicks for which you pay Google. And those clicks will count as webpage visits.
Once the affiliates visit your landing page, it will ideally sell your program. PPC is a fast and efficient way to find affiliates. What’s more, it need not be crazy expensive if you set your target audience precisely.
12. Get listed on round-up blog posts
Think from the perspective of your affiliates. What would you do if you were an affiliate looking for a program in the niche your business is in? You will search for programs on Google.
For example, an affiliate interested in the Gardening niche will search Gardening affiliate programs. Google serves round-up blogs as shown in the below image.
Now, if you are enlisted in those blogs, you will be found! The most blog posts you pay to be featured on, the more quality affiliates you will find.
13. Reach Affiliates through SEO
Affiliates type in a variety of keywords while looking for affiliate programs in your niche. One keyword example is join our affiliate program niche. The below image presents the search results for the cleaning niche.
Do you see the top 3 results? They are not round-up blog posts, they are listings from businesses and that’s where I want you to be. Imagine an affiliate looking for a business with an active affiliate program in their preferred niche, and they find you! You get an instant click and provided your proposition is decent, you find an affiliate too.
For any business, organic traffic is the best converting traffic. To score that, you need to get your SEO on point, in the form of quality keyword research and generating relevant backlinks to the affiliate-facing page.
14. Add internal links
If you have a product to sell, you must have a blog that generates organic traffic that can be diverted to product pages. And if you already have a lot of content on your website, it’s useful to link your blog posts to your affiliate-facing page.
This way, if any of your readers is interested in becoming an affiliate for you, they will click on that link to see what you have to offer. Adding internal links contextually, with a relevant anchor text, may well be the easiest way to find affiliates.
This takes much less effort than other methods too. That’s because you are merely optimizing the flow of your website traffic instead of generating new traffic.
Another good idea related to internal linking is to add a link to the affiliate-facing page right in the footer to help affiliates find it easily.
15. Enlist your Products on Amazon
This method may not work for all businesses, especially those with informational products like eBooks, niche software, etc. But if your product is tactile, creating an Amazon storefront can generate thousands of affiliates for your business in no time.
Amazon has many affiliates, people build niche sites just so they can promote products listed on Amazon. Those in your niche might link to your products and drive more sales. This way, you put no effort into finding new affiliates, Amazon does that for you.
The downside for this method is that you do not control those affiliates, Amazon does. If Amazon decides to cut their commissions further, disgruntled affiliates may unlist your product just because they’re hosted on Amazon.
Alright, we have covered some solid ways to find affiliate marketers for your product and drive them to your affiliate registration page. Let’s see how to make your affiliate program more lucrative for them.
16. Craft a killer landing page
You invest a lot of time and money in getting quality traffic to your affiliate registration landing page but that’s only half the battle won. If your landing page is a dud, the visitors will leave it – no Bueno.
Your landing page must be a sales engine. It should be hyper-focused on conversions – no soft CTAs or insinuations. Hit the visitors with direct CTA, value proposition, and answer the primary question they have upfront – What is in it for me?
Enrich the page with affiliate testimonials, drop in some video testimonials if you can. Explain the payment structure properly and show them how prompt you are with crediting their account.
Most affiliates have a host of issues with most affiliate programs. You’ll learn those on the affiliate forums that we discussed earlier. Show them that you are different from your competitors by addressing the common complaints.
Sure, it’s a lot about your ticket value and commission but that’s not all. It’s also about providing timely payment, the right resources that boost sales, and support that affiliates seek often, but rarely find ever.
Not just the affiliate registration page, I want you to spruce up your product landing pages too. Seasoned affiliates know that a shabby product landing page has a low conversion rate. If they are to put the effort into creating content for your products and driving traffic to your pages, the product page must do its job well.
17. Offer lucrative commissions at the beginning
As a young business with low brand value, the best way to attract affiliates is by offering a cracker of a deal. A lot of affiliates are motivated primarily by money, so let them earn a lot of it, at least in the beginning.
The way to do that is by offering high per sale revenue for the affiliates. This depends on two factors – your ticket value and commission rate.
If your ticket value is $100, you must offer a 35-50% commission rate to attract quality affiliates. But if you have a high-item product worth $1000, a 5-10% commission rate should work. Both models ensure a high income for the affiliate for each sale. Later, you can slash commission rates.
Before you think it sounds shady, be aware that Amazon does the exact same thing to their affiliates. In 2020, Amazon slashed its commission rates by a huge margin. Affiliates hated that but it was a profitable decision from Amazon’s perspective.
That’s because Amazon now has a wide worldwide presence, their dependence on affiliates to generate sales has reduced because there’s practically no market that they can’t tap anymore. Everyone knows Amazon so there’s nothing new that affiliates add.
Once you have a decent presence in your industry or have thousands of affiliates promoting your products, you can slash commissions. By now you have generated brand value that will bring new affiliates even if the existing ones leave.
The strategy is similar to any other form of marketing where you either initially offer a product at a way lower price or a high commission rate to grab some market space, and then change the approach as soon as you have your foot in the door.
18. Provide stellar support to your affiliates
Good businesses treat affiliates as well as their in-house sales team. They provide them with useful tools, new content, enablement material, and email support to make selling easier for them.
When you deliver what you promise on your affiliate sign-up page, you command respect from affiliates. Make sure you pay their commissions on time and keep them updated on your product enhancements.
You must build a rapport with your affiliates, just like any other business interaction.
Okay, by now we have covered 18 functional steps to find new affiliates to sell your products but that’s only 70% of the work done. You still need to vet affiliates who expressed interest in your program.
As you scan through applications, you will notice that most of them do not have decent followership, a few don’t even have an active social media profile or a blog to promote your products. It’s a good chance that they’re not the best candidates for your program.
How to find good affiliates?
Finding a profitable affiliate marketer depends primarily on your business goals. You can then trackback to determine KPIs but you must make sure that your goals are realistic and feasible for the affiliates.
For example, creating 4 content pieces per month dedicated to your product is not a fair ask. But creating at least 1 piece per month is a decent KPI.
Here are a few good indicators of a good affiliate:
1. Good followership on their primary platforms
Most affiliates start their journey by choosing a platform where they publish content. These platforms can be owned, like blogs; or free channels where they have an account, like YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
You must check how many followers/subscribers they have and how engaged they are with the content. Affiliates with a low-mid subscriber base with a high engagement rate offer a more consistent income compared to a high follower account with no engagement, so they should be preferred.
For social media platforms, you can check the subscriber base of an affiliate in a second. Determine if that number is good enough for your business.
For example, if an affiliate has 1000 Instagram followers, but each of their posts gets 100 likes, this means they create highly engaging content, and that they are on the rise concerning their followership. They can make for a good affiliate marketer compared with an affiliate with 10,000 followers but just 50 likes per post.
2. Organic Traffic
Some websites may not have a good email subscriber list, but they are brilliant with SEO. This means they generate huge organic traffic every day. They all are new users but are highly motivated to make a purchase.
As established earlier, organic traffic converts at a high rate. It’s the best form of traffic a website can have. Also, unlike an email subscriber list, you can make a rough estimate of organic traffic to a website using tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush.
3. Frequency of content creation
Another important parameter to check is how frequently an affiliate publishes content. A prolific publisher will be able to integrate your products into their content calendar smoothly. This way, you stand a chance of getting multiple content pieces every month.
However, you may never see any content focused on your product for a very long time if an affiliate marketer publishes just one blog a week. Also, your Affiliate managers will have to follow up with them more often than they would like.
You want affiliates who love to create content, not those who are sick of it.
How to find direct affiliates?
There are 6 primary sources of finding affiliates without having to pay a third party:
1. Attending marketing events and conferences.
2. Finding affiliates on forums
3. Writing to niche bloggers
4. Direct outreach to influencers
5. Stealing your competitors’ affiliates
6. Finding new affiliates through SEO
How to find new affiliates?
The best way to find new affiliates is by providing stellar support to the existing ones. You earn a lot of brand value by making earning easy for your current affiliates. This draws new affiliates to your website.
However, other direct and indirect marketing methods can help you find good affiliates. We cover all of them in this blog post.