Beginner Guides / Monetization

How Many Affiliate Programs Should You Join? (Here’s A Simple Answer)

This post explains how many affiliate programs to join based on your answers to these few quick and easy questions.

Sean Brison April 8, 2022
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If you’re struggling to determine the number of affiliate programs you should join, you’re not alone. While affiliate marketing can be a fantastic passive income source, several factors can impact your earning potential. This post walks you through what those are, what to avoid, and how many programs to sign up for, so you can start making meaningful money online without spreading yourself thin.

Let’s dig in!

How Many Affiliate Programs Should You Join?

The short answer: it depends. There’s no set rule which is why answering this question is challenging.

Creating content requires time and effort. So, the sweet spot is joining as many programs as you can promote without reducing productivity. Some may feel comfortable juggling multiple programs and product promotions (others not so much).

Sometimes, you only need one affiliate program because it has all the products you need. Typically, these are affiliate networks, not programs.

Sidenote: An affiliate network connects merchants with bloggers. Creating an account is free, and you can find a substantial number of affiliate programs in various niches on its marketing platform.

That said, two things you want to avoid:

  • Spamming your audience
  • Promoting irrelevant products

If you’re a beginner, start small. It’s the best way to build relationships with your affiliate managers and familiarize yourself with their catalog.

If concentrating on only one product feels limiting, here’s a suggestion. Pick three items from different categories relevant to your blog.

For example, if your niche is online marketing, you could choose from:

  • Web hosting providers
  • Seo services
  • Email marketing tools

Select one from each.

Using our WordPress plugin Lasso, you can easily find affiliate programs inside your dashboard.

Head to Opportunities > Programs.

lasso opportunities affiliate program report

Lasso scans your site for potential programs you could join based on domains you already link to. This report displays:

  • Additional affiliate programs
  • Commission rates
  • Potential links

Pick the ones most relevant and sign up for them inside your dashboard.

Alternatively, if you’re a content creator, check out our database with over 5,800 affiliate programs categorized by niche.👇

Further Reading:

What to Consider Before Signing Up for Your Affiliate Program

Signing up for an affiliate program feels empowering because you’re taking control of your financial destiny. If you want to avoid getting burned, know the rules before joining.

Why?

Because every program has different conditions, you don’t want to screw yourself out of money because you didn’t read the fine print.

A few things worth examining…

1. Commission Rate

How will the retailer pay you, and how much? The higher the rate, the higher the affiliate commissions. Look out for:

  • One-time payouts
  • Recurring commissions
  • 2nd tier

Some affiliate marketing programs pay a percentage of the sale, while others pay you a flat amount. In addition, second-tier commissions let you earn affiliate income from your referrals’s referrals.

Next, consider how often you get paid. For example, our Lasso affiliate program pays $35 for every person you refer who becomes a paying customer.

lasso affiliate program features page

From our affiliate page:

“You will get paid on the 15th for all leads that remained a customer until their second payment.”

In other words, 60 days before you get paid.

When you rely on your online business income to pay the bills, it’s worth noting when the money hits your bank account.

Know whether there’s a minimum payout threshold. Some merchants require you hit a specific amount of affiliate sales before they pay you. In other words, your commissions need to total a particular dollar amount.

For example, ShareASale’s minimum is $50 in commissions, while Amazon affiliates only need $10 ($100 if paying by check).

Sidenote: One perk of using an affiliate network is how they combine your earnings from the various programs on their platform. So, you may hit your payout threshold quicker.

Is the payment method available in your region? Perhaps a no-brainer but worth mentioning: make sure the payment method is supported in your region.

For example, some countries don’t accept PayPal. So you might have to use an alternative. In this instance, we’d use Payoneer, which covers areas that don’t accept PayPal.

Ensure you monetize your international traffic. When people from other countries visit your site, ensure your affiliate links work.

For example, eCommerce giant Amazon lets you monetize your international traffic by redirecting visitors from your affiliate website to their local Amazon store using One Link.

Further Reading:

2. Cookie Policy

The cookie stores in your visitor’s browser for a specified period when they click your affiliate link. It’s how long you have to earn affiliate commissions.

When the cookie expires, you lose the opportunity. Some last 24 hours (e.g., Amazon Associates), while Shopify’s lasts 30 days.

Longer durations = greater odds you’ll get credit for the sale.

3. Is the program reputable and has relevant niche products?

Not getting paid sucks. But it happens. Perform due diligence and understand the program behind the product.

Successful affiliate marketing works when you recommend items that help your readers, and you get paid.

Here are two questions you can ask before signing up:

  1. Are they trustworthy?
  2. Would you recommend other bloggers join?

Here are a few established networks if you’re short on ideas:

  • Clickbank
  • Rakuten
  • Cj Affiliate (formerly commission junction)
  • eBay partner network
  • AWIN

Further Reading:

Can You Use Multiple Affiliate Programs On A Single Website?

Yes, you can. Again, there’s no hard and fast rule saying how many you can use on your affiliate site.

Just make sure you know all of their rules. Sometimes you might have to get creative with how you promote your offers.

For example, Amazon won’t let you include affiliate links in emails. But, what you can do is link to a landing page on your blog containing your affiliate link.

Further Reading:

Why You Shouldn’t Sign Up for Random Affiliate Programs

Many newbies spread themselves thin, thinking they’ll add random affiliate links to their blogs and social media accounts.

This is bad for two reasons:

  1. You’re not building expertise in a single area (i.e., you’re not becoming the “go-to” person in your niche)
  2. It’s seen as a cash grab by your readers

Most people visit websites to solve a problem. So the best advice is to align your affiliate offers with your audiences’ needs.

So, find your niche before signing up for an affiliate program.

Ask yourself:

  • Does the merchant have products related to your industry?
  • Do those products help your readers?

Further Reading:

How Do You Keep Track of Your Different Affiliate Programs?

You may sign up for multiple programs with several affiliate URLs as your site grows. Congrats!

Tracking them all in a spreadsheet may have helped initially, but you’ll need a different approach over time.

There are a couple of ways you can do this.

Connect Lasso to Google Analytics

If you’re using Lasso, connect it with Google Analytics. You can measure which affiliate links (and their affiliated programs) perform best.

Examine these two reports in your Analytics dashboard:

Top Events: Shows you affiliate links getting the most clicks sitewide. In the below example, Survey Junkie, Fundrise, and Personal Capital are a few of our top performers.

google analytics top events report

Pages: This shows you which blog posts get the most affiliate clicks. It helps determine which of your links perform well on the page level.

google analytics pages report of top events

Managing URLs in multiple locations across your website is tricky. So, when you need to update or add new affiliate links, you can do it on your product’s Link Details page and roll those changes out sitewide.

lasso link details page and showing where you can update a product's affiliate link sitewide

Aggregate Your Affiliate Data into A Single Dashboard

If you want to see additional data, including commissions or conversion rates, you can use tools like Affluent or AffJet.

For example, we use Affluent, which lets you view clicks, commissions, impressions, and metrics (e.g., EPCs and conversion rates over time) from your affiliate programs and networks.

You can compare periods against each other, export your data, and view all of your transactions in one place.

This carries the added benefits of:

  • Tracking your payouts
  • Simplifying the reporting process
  • Measuring overall success with each affiliate program

Further Reading:

This is another one of those “it depends” answers.

The simplest way to think about this is by adding links where they naturally fit into your content without sounding spammy.

Examining one of our 2,500-word product reviews from our personal finance site, we include affiliate links five times:

  • 2x in the summary box at the top
  • 1x in a comparison table
  • 1x in our high-converting product display
  • Once at the post’s conclusion

Too many affiliate links can ruin the user experience. In addition, since Google considers UX a ranking factor, this can negatively affect your site’s SEO and how search engines rank you.

Additionally, too many outbound links signal “thin content.” So if Google thinks your content has little information, it’ll rank lower.

Further Reading:

Here are monetization strategies we’ve seen work the best (this data comes from our sites + our customers’).

Product Reviews & Tutorials

Whatever your niche, it has products your readers use. So, in your next digital marketing campaign, write in-depth product reviews and how-to guides, then add your affiliate link.

You can use Lasso’s high-converting product displays to improve CTR click-through rates like the one below.💥

Zero To One by Peter Thiel
$14.00

A great story about how to tell if your startup idea makes sense and if you're moving in the right direction. I enjoyed it and found most of the lessons new and refreshing.

Buy from Amazon Buy from Walmart
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/19/2022 04:08 am GMT

Tip: Reach out to social media influencers to build partnerships. Then, when you publish a new post, arrange to have them mention your content to their audience. Bonus if they blast it out to their email list!

Resources Page

Create a resources page, best sellers, or popular products page on your site.

These convert at a significantly higher rate than your regular content. For example, our resources page has a 10% conversion rate.

Sidenote: We’ve found that these pages generate warmer leads, boost engagement by adding secondary call-to-action buttons, and get more clicks.

Using Lasso, you can create a resources page in under ten minutes.

Further Reading:

Success Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Affiliate Programs

Any successful affiliate marketing strategy follows a couple of basic principles:

  1. Publish regularly
  2. Create high-quality content aligned with your readers’ needs

More content = more affiliate sales. It also increases the odds more people find your site.

Measure what resonates with your readers, including offers (e.g., online courses, digital products, discount coupons, services, etc.).

The number of affiliate programs you should join depends on your strategy.

You might decide to focus on affiliate programs with high commissions where you’re only promoting a single offer. Or you might have many products from several programs.

Perhaps it’s only a tiny part of your marketing efforts, and you’re reading this post to decide the best way to integrate it onto your site.

Whatever the reason, if you’re curious how else Lasso can help, head here.

Recommended Reading

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