When I created one of my websites, I only had two types of advertisements on the site – Adsense and an internal banner. I still use Adsense on various parts of the site, but the RPC has been pretty low, so I sought out other monetization options.
After searching for something more niche than the big affiliate programs (never had much luck with those aside from a $30 Amazon payment no and again), I found a lesser known affiliate program, applied to it, and was approved. After implementing this program on the site, I saw a significant revenue lift (several hundred dollars a month).
To find appropriate affiliate programs, a publisher would locate sites like his own and then check out the affiliate programs behind the products or programs the other site owners advertised. The other option is to search through affiliate program offerings at companies like Linkshare, Commission Junction, Clickbank, Pepperjam and others.
One of the main problems with the big affiliate companies is that the programs with the higher RPCs have become overexposed, and it seems like everyone in a particular vertical is using the same ecact banners and offers. Even the best ads in their arsenal soon lose their pull, and it is difficult to earn revenue.
Niche affiliate programs may be a better option for publishers like myself. They often bait their programs with higher payouts and better customer incentives like coupon codes. In addition, many are more open to creative advertising banners and links. A niche affiliate program will likely give better support to the publisher and treat them better, too.
It takes detective work to find the best programs, but it’s often worth the effort. Many of them are found with lesser known brands and newer companies to the market. If you have a website in a unique market, you should investigate all of your options. Adsense is great, as are the big affiliate programs because consumers recognize them. However, you might generate more revenue with a nice affiliate program.
Would love to setup with Amazon Associates, but they won’t allow Illinois residents to do so.
Need to look into all the other sites out there.
Have you found any sites that allow one to setup affiliates similar to Parking Pages?
Have read Devname and i found one I was going to do for Amazon, but never went any further with it when they said no to Illinois.
I have always thought the amazon payments to be quite a ripp off so i have never bothered with them, if they were more generous i really would pay them more attention
You really have to sell higher end products on Amazon to make it worth your while.
Shortly after California governor Jerry Brown signed the budget which includes the affiliate nexus tax, Amazon affiliates in that state received the following email from Amazon:
For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of California residents. Unfortunately, a potential new law that may be signed by Governor Brown compels us to terminate this program for California-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers – including but not limited to those referred by California-based marketing affiliates like you – even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.
We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that we must take this action.
As a result, we will terminate contracts with all California residents that are participants in the Amazon Associates Program as of the date (if any) that the California law becomes effective. We will send a follow-up notice to you confirming the termination date if the California law is enacted. In the event that the California law does not become effective before September 30, 2011, we withdraw this notice. As of the termination date, California residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned on or before the termination date will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule.
You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of California. If you are not currently a resident of California, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here. And if you relocate to another state in the near future please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.
To avoid confusion, we would like to clarify that this development will only impact our ability to offer the Associates Program to California residents and will not affect their ability to purchase from Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com.
We have enjoyed working with you and other California-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to California residents. We are also working on alternative ways to help California residents monetize their websites and we will be sure to contact you when these become available.
The Amazon Associates Team
Never wait for good weather to fight the battle, you might lose the war if you do.
As usual great advice!
I also had very little success with mainstream affiliate programs to the point where I am reducing them by the day. I actively look for very specific niches in the broad product areas and concentrate on them, now that Elliot has endorsed this approach I feel a little better about it!
I agree that Amazon commission is poor but it is a welcome trickle and a brand that customers trust so worth having.
Looking forward I think it pays to be really good at identifying a tight niche then locating something that few others are promoting, this way you stand a chance of success before the crowd jump on the band wagon.
Best of luck!