If you have decided to become an Affiliate Marketer your first thought might be: which product shall I promote? Affiliate Marketing is big business, both for merchants selling products on the internet and affiliates promoting them, so the choice can appear endless.
If you know which product you want to promote you can simply search Google for that product and find a website that sells it which also offers an affiliate program. If you haven't yet decided which product to promote and you just want to see what is available then you might find that an Affiliate Network is a good place to look.
An Affiliate Network acts like a broker, or intermediary, between merchants and Affiliate Marketers. What this means is that merchants pay a fee to have their product or service advertised on the network and you, the Affiliate Marketer, can pick and choose which product or service you want to promote. There is usually no fee for the Affiliate.
The great thing about these networks is that there is a wide choice of products to choose from without having to search the internet for them, and all financial and tracking arrangements are handled by the network: so all you have to do is promote the product and watch your commission mount up.
With such a wide range of Affiliate programs available it is natural that there would be a variety of Affiliate Networks to support them, and there are; but one of the more popular networks is Clickbank, and if you are a newcomer to the business then this is a good place to start.
Clickbank deals exclusively with electronic products and services. The bulk of products available in the Clickbank marketplace are ebooks, or information products, targeting a wide range of topic areas. The great thing about such items is that they are instantly download-able, instantly usable by the purchaser, the price range of most products tends to be below $100, and averages around the $50 mark; which means more sales and because the production and delivery costs are so low, the Affiliate can expect to get a good commission, in the region of 50% to 80% of the sale price.
So if you agree that the best starting place is Clickbank, then the next thing to do is to create an account; you can do this for free and it is a fairly simple process. You create a user name for yourself, and a password, and you submit other details such as your home address so Clickbank knows where to send your checks. Once you have completed your registration you are good to go and can start to browse the marketplace for potential products to promote.
The Clickbank Marketplace is where merchants' products are listed for potential Affiliates, such as you, to browse. The Marketplace is split into the nine broad categories of: Business to Business, Health & Fitness, Home & Family, Computing & Internet, Money & Employment, Marketing & Ads, Fun & Entertainment, Sports & Recreation, and Society & Culture.
Each of these nine categories is further split into eight to twelve subcategories. One of the usual difficulties of such a system is that not everything fits into any category, and many things fit equally well into more than one category; and that difficulty can be seen occurring in Clickbank's Marketplace.
You will often find products appearing under more than one category, and even appearing in categories where you wouldn't normally expect to find them. This is partly due to the "category" system, and partly due to the fact that it is the Clickbank merchants who decide in which categories their products appear; and they often choose to place their products in categories which are popular with Affiliates, regardless of whether their product belongs there. Initially, this may cause some confusion to a new Affiliate, but there is more than one way of searching the Clickbank marketplace, which helps to get around such problems.
There are probably as many different approaches to finding a product, as there are Affiliates. Some already have a website and are looking for products to fit their site; others come to find popular products, which they know will sell, and then set about marketing those products.
Whichever you are, it is a good idea to begin by browsing the Marketplace categories and subcategories to get an idea of what is available. Then, when you have an idea of what you want to promote, you can begin typing keywords into the keyword search field to create your own list of possible products to sell.