Clickbank, Amazon and Commission Junction all have an affiliate programs where, as affiliates you can promote other peoples products and get paid commissions for doing that.Clickbank deals primarily in digital products, it has an excellent marketplace with a very easy to use system, a cloaked hoplink, and everything is done for you.
Amazon also has an excellent affiliate program, they deal in material products, they have a great online store, but sadly because their commissions are a much smaller percentage than Clickbank, people just don’t bother. However it is well to remember that if you are promoting a product that is expensive, ride-on mowers or tractors come to mind, than 4% isn’t a bad commission.
I don’t really know much about Commission Junction, I have never dealt with them personally, but I went online and have to confess I didn’t find them as easy to use as Clickbank, but that could simply be that I am just not used to it. Commission Junction appears to sell services, digital products and material products. It is is based in Ireland, and of course has a mix of products from Europe, and the adverts are of course in the language of the origin of the product. I did read some reviews on Commission Junction, and some of them weren’t very complimentary at all, but that maybe simply that people are not techie enough to use their interface.
The main problem that seems to cause trouble with affiliate marketers and Commission Junction, is, their affiliate links get stolen. I don’t really know how this can happen, but it must happen because Clickbank is going to a lot of trouble to mask your affiliate identity. It used to be that your affiliate ID could be seen in your Clickbank hoplink. But these days Clickbank has the ability to cloak your affiliate ID, and every product you promote has this cloaking ability so no-one can steal your sales from you, by substituting your affiliate ID for their affiliate ID. I wondered if that was the trouble in Commission Junction, that they were also having a similar problem, but haven’t addressed it. No doubt they will do so in due course.
However one review I read rang alarm bells. It said that initially the reviewer made quite a few sales, and then suddenly he hit a dry patch and didn’t make any sales. After a while Commission Junction took 7.00 out of his bank account. He then said that if he didn’t make any more sales, Commission unction will continue to charge you 7.00 until you have no more money in your account and your account is deactivated.This was written on 10/08/2010 and the URL was http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews-all-793.html.However Clickbank, Amazon and Commission Junction do run effective affiliate programs, which means there are many products to chose from.In fact one could say we are spoiled for choice.
For all who don’t know, a hoplink is a linking format that embeds the affiliate cookie (a bit of software) into the user’s computer, before taking him to the product page. When someone clicks onto your hoplink, and the link takes him to the product page, if he clicks onto the ADD TO CART button to purchase the product, your hoplink with your affiliate ID (although masked) will be on the sales invoice, and that is how you get paid.
One way that could enhance ones sales is to have a few different digital products in the niche you are promoting, and also one or two material products. For instance if you were in the music niche, you could promote a few products on how to play the keyboard, or guitar, how to learn the chords easily and learn to play by ear, and then depending on whether you went with the guitar or the keyboard you could promote the actual instrument, or maybe both. Perhaps you could advertise music concerts or write a review or two on any concert or gig you have attended. The trick is to get a content rich site, and it’s not only for selling or promoting stuff. You want to get the people’s interest so that they will visit your site again and again.
You could promote products from all three Affiliate Programs if you wished, or from just one, it doesn’t matter. The trick is to find a niche that interests you, and to narrow it down, so that it is a more specialized niche, and then find the products that go with that particular niche.For instance if you were in the Dieting Niche, that is a very popular niche and the competition is very fierce, so I doubt if people will be able to find you. But if you went for a product that helped pregnant women lose extra pounds after they have had the baby, that is a specialized field. Or maybe ‘help to lose belly fat’ or ‘cellulite or reduce thighs.’ Something like that. One thing though, please, please know your niche.
Do have integrity when you are promoting something in the health niche, because when people are desperate and are looking for answers, if you don’t know what you are talking about, you may make their problem worse.Leave those niches to the people who are specializing in them.
That ends this discussion of the differences of Clickbank, Commission Junction and Amazon. What I am mainly trying to say is simply check all three out for the products you are wanting to promote, it may make all the difference to the niche and to your website. I do hope it helped. My next blog post is how to have a squeeze page or opt-in form on WordPress.