Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that - at zero cost to you - I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t personally use and find to be a valuable asset to my business.

How to Find the Best Affiliate Programs in Your Niche


  1. Vinny O'Hare says:

    Great article except I strongly disagree with the Master Network part of it. If there is a reason we don’t want the affiliate in our program we don’t want them in.

    There can be many reasons why an affiliate is denied into a program. State nexus tax is one of them. When you have a merchants legal team watching your every move you just can’t afford a rogue affiliate that you don’t want in the program getting in through a back door.

    Maybe they have a toolbar and the merchant doesn’t allow toolbars. Maybe the merchant doesn’t allow coupon sites.

    By letting master networks in you are not running a clean program. While it may not be a popular opinion among affiliates protecting the current affiliates is a priority. We don’t want affiliates we want affiliate partners. A partnership requires trust.

    Letting a last click coupon site that you don’t want to get a commission from one of your top content affiliates is something we don’t need to police.

    • Totally see your point Vinny – but that was why I was specific to say if you were denied for being too small a fish. I’ve dealt with multiple affiliate programs where the denial reason was because I didn’t have a baseline traffic volume they considered “enough” to deal with me, LOL.

      In those cases, they’re not denying me because of my quality – or ability to drive sales – the denial comes from simply being too small a fish.

      This post was aimed at legit bloggers and content affiliates – and how they can find programs. I definitely wasn’t posting this aimed at coupon sites, last click artists and toolbar affiliates. ;-)

      • Vinny O'Hare says:

        Thanks Rae for letting my reply through. I know you are not aiming for bad affiliates but you can believe they read your stuff :)

        Affiliates: If you are denied because of being a small fish or maybe you are planning a new site in that niche contacting the affiliate manager by email or phone will get you in 99.9% of the time.

        • Rae Hoffman says:

          Anytime Vinny – I never have a problem with differing opinions when they’re expressed in a thoughtful way. :)

        • Dick Rogers says:

          I definitely agree. Including a strong statement about future plans for websites and things in the works that will affect your sites show the affiliate managers that you are making a legitimate move to help sell their product.

  2. Karleen Lindsey says:

    Wow! Thanks Rae for all this info! I have dabbled with affiliate marketing in the past but grew discouraged after my sites sort of took a nose dive, probably due to the Google algorithm changes. After spending so much time on them and then not getting any real exposure for them or any sales, I lost interest.

    But they’re still out there and I’m considering trying to re-work them or start some new ones, so this information will definitely come in handy. There was actually more info in this post than I can take in all at once, so I’ll bookmark it to save and also check out your other posts.

    Thanks again for a great post!

  3. Akash Agarwal says:

    It’s a very helpful article to me. I just searching this things on web, and here is this. You have described it very well. Thanks for sharing.

  4. The creative offered and the landing pages or more specifically the checkout funnel the affiliate has is a big one for me. As for deeplinking, you may have referred to the “TOS” on it, but I have found you can append an affid onto most any of their pages and get it counted in some cases. This experience is mainly with indie programs.

    In a perfect world, the program has great landing page designs that are well though out, and if they don’t and I must sell them, you can often find a creative way to disect the URL of the page you do want to land people on and have it still be counted.

    The program needs good creatives, an easy checkout process and a site that instills trust and professionalism so I know Ill get a decent conversion %.

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Thanks for the input Todd. I agree – MOST indie programs have a way to work that. Once you get into the networks though, things get a bit dicier. :)

  5. patric daniel says:

    You have described it very well. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Marc Gayle says:

    Hi Rae,
    Love this article….except I would love to know how to approach it from the other side.

    I have a product, and don’t want to go to a network. I would rather deal directly with a handful of high-quality affiliate partners in my niche. Where would I start? I am very technical, so I can work with the individual partners myself, but what would be the best place to start finding potential partners?

    Most of the high-traffic sites in my niche are magazines, that want regular ads. So how do I find the blogs that have decent traffic, but are not major content farms. Aka…..in SEO terms…how do I find the equivalent of “mid-tail” affiliate partners? Not head, and not long tail…but somewhere in the middle.

    Would love some guidance on this.


  7. Ulysses Alves says:

    Thank you! I didn’t know about Amazon Best Seller feature, so now I have this new tool to help me in choosing the right products to advertise in my blog.

    Rae, you said that affiliate programs work with 30 days of a live cookie in the browser of the reader. If I’m not wrong, Amazon is different, and works with just 24 hours length duration cookies.

    Do you think this is a too short timespan or is it possible to make good commitions with Amazon, given that the reader will have to buy your reffered product too soon?

    Thank you for any adivice.

  8. Hi Rae-
    Any suggestions for affiliates that specialize in outdoor recreation products such as camping gear, biking supplies, hiking products, etc?

    • Hi Kevin,
      Did you try the big box sports stores like Sports Authority? I’m not pushing that one, it was the only name of one I could think of. Cabela’s is a big name one too!

  9. Good info on your site, I was declined by Amazon as not being “mutually beneficial” to them. I have a weekly podcast with stories of the old west. I don’t know what kind of affiliate to go after or what products I would promote. I would love to just talk to a live person that could give me some information, any thoughts?

  10. Very good points and another excellent article from Sugar Rae. I wouldn’t expect less :) I would like to add a big part of success from affiliate marketing also involves building a big responsive email list :) I have been an affiliate for 8 years and that fact alone contributes a ton for making a considerable income as an affiliate.

    Great post BTW, well written.

  11. Hi,

    I’m trying to identify new affiliate partners that are relevant to my business. Does anyone know of any tools to help?


  12. Vincent Cameron says:

    What a value packed post; I have been an affiliate for over 18 years and this post made my day the tools you’ve shared are spot on the advice bango!!

    The only other resource I would ad would be http://www.trends.google.com this will give you a good indication of the markets highs and lows if seasonal or its longevity if not.

    OK one more {smiles} this will help to identify most of your advice all in one place.

    Cheers lady;

  13. Thanks Rae for the Comprehensive post.
    Niche is like a seed of affiliate.

  14. I found your site through ShareASale, and this is definitely the best post I’ve ever read on the subject. Thank you!

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