Affiliate Marketing Overview For Beginners

4. Choosing an Affiliate Network and Products to Promote

affiliate marketing networks

The first step here is going to be in deciding which type of affiliate network / program you want to join up to. Do you want to sell a digital product? A physical product? Or a service?

The best / easiest answer for most beginners will be a digital product. This means something like an eBook, a free report, or a digital course.

There’s no cost associated with production, storage or delivery here and, as such, the product creator (vendor) gets a much bigger slice of the profit. Which means they have more profit to share with you and that means you can earn up to 50%-75% commission from each sale.

To find these products, you should look at affiliate networks like JVZoo, WarriorPlus and ClickBank.

Affiliate networks are, basically, internet platforms that make it easy for you to find products and to manage your sales and income. Affiliate networks give you access to popular products and they automate the entire process so that you don’t have to communicate directly with the vendor. In other words, they streamline the entire process.


JVZoo is arguably the best choice network for the majority of affiliate marketers in the internet marketing space. This is because it is fast and simple to use with a highly intuitive interface and has a fairly broad range of products to sell, although most are in the ‘internet marketing / make money online’ niche. It also has comparatively low fees compared to some others. This is a great choice for beginners and a good all-round choice.


‘WarriorPlus’ is part of the ‘Warrior Forum,’ a forum specifically aimed at internet marketers and webmasters. This is where they come to discuss the best methods for gaining exposure, the best ways to build websites, the best tools for social media, best traffic methods, etc.

WarriorPlus has a very active community where you can share tips and see how other people are making money and it has the lowest fees of all three networks. But at the same time, it’s also the most limited in terms of the types of products you’ll be selling, as the vast majority of products are aimed squarely at the internet marketing niche.


The ClickBank network has been around longer than JVZoo and WarriorPlus and has a huge library of products and a large community of marketers. While the other two networks are more targeted at selling ‘internet marketing / make money online’ digital products, CB has those too, but also has a much wider selection of digital products in other niches. This ensures that it remains one of the most popular choices for marketers, including beginners. On the downside, though, ClickBank also has the highest fees.

To use one of these three networks, all you need to do is sign up, browse through the available products and then apply to work as an affiliate for a few. You can see data and information about each product, such as the number of sales, the cost etc.

From there, you want to choose a digital product that is making a lot of sales but also offers you a good amount of commission. Think too about how you’re going to market each of those products and what ‘angle’ you’ll go with to make it desirable for your audience.

Trying out the product is a very good idea, as is finding one that offers free marketing materials that the product creator designed. Some will come with free landing pages, blog posts, email autoresponder sequences and more that you can utilize.

Promoting digital products means you make more money per sale and it means there’s less that can go wrong. It’s also the preferred method for many experienced internet marketers, which means newbies to affiliate marketing can easily find a lot more advice and help.

Other Affiliate Networks

There are many other affiliate networks for those that can’t find what they’re looking for on those three. Commission Junction was once one of the very biggest networks but was renamed CJ Affiliate by Conservant a while back. They’re one of the biggest networks but aren’t a great choice for beginners, being hard to get approved and being quite complex.

DigiResults is another interesting network choice that is somewhat smaller than the others we’ve looked at but has the advantage of paying out immediately (yes immediately!) into your PayPal account. It’s very flexible and free but doesn’t have quite the same range of products to pick from.


One criticism of many affiliate networks is that they very often tend to focus on the digital marketing niche more than any other. Browse through ClickBank, WarriorPlus, or JVZoo and you’ll find that the majority of what’s there falls into this category.

If you want a broader range of niches / categories and associated products to sell, including tons of physical products, then you might want to consider the Amazon affiliate network…

Amazon has an affiliate program where you can promote their products on your site and get commissions. This of course gives you access to millions of different products across every niche imaginable. For example, if you have a fitness site, now you can sell dumbbells, running shoes, and fitness monitors, etc. Likewise, if you have a website about computer games, you can sell all the games that you’re recommending directly.

Amazon also has lots of great tools to make it easier to promote your products and to manage your sales. But it also doesn’t give you very much commission; expect to get commissions of 1% rising to a maximum of 10%, depending on the product category (see table below). This is pretty low and it means you can sell a lot of games, books, DVDs and protein shakes and still come away with just a few dollars to show for it.

However, Amazon has lots of high priced products as well so that, for example, 6% of a $350 product is a $21 commission. Sell 5 of those per day and that’s over $100 per day. Again, not too shabby! In fact many affiliate marketers concentrate on Amazon and make serious incomes as a result.

affiliate rates on Amazon

Finding Products Online

One option is simply to find products online and this will open you up considerably in terms of the types of products you end up selling. As an example, take a look on the web for things like protein shakes, orthotic shoes, diabetes treatments, etc., and you will find that many of them have the option to ‘become an affiliate’ listed right down at the bottom of their website. Now all you need to do is sign up through their site and start promoting in the exact same way with your own link.

The same also goes for a lot of services. Gambling sites, stock brokers, and more will often offer you commission on referrals and the best part of this is that often this commission is for the lifetime of that membership. What this means is that if someone signs up to a binary broker online using your referral link, you’ll then get a percentage of all the profit they make subsequently. This means you can feasibly stop marketing completely eventually and still be making a huge profit while you sleep… forever!

The problem with finding affiliate products this way is that you’re relying entirely on the goodwill of the merchant / vendor with no intervening third party (affiliate network). At the same time, you’ll generally get much lower commissions. If you find shoes to sell online you probably won’t get 30% of every sale – apart from anything else they have much higher overheads themselves to account for. For this reason beginners are advised to start with one or more of the affiliate networks mentioned above.

Terms of Service

Whenever you join an affiliate network or sign up to a direct affiliate program, be sure to read the Terms of Service, or ‘TOS.’

You’ll want to make sure there aren’t any restrictions that may interfere or cause problems down the road. For instance, some merchants prohibit affiliates from using the merchant’s brand name with paid traffic sources such as Google’s Adwords.

Another concern would be exclusivity; some affiliate programs won’t let you promote competing products on the same website.

In short then, you need to carefully consider which affiliate network is best for you. But bear in mind that digital products are very popular, sell well and, at between 50% and 75%, their commissions are usually much higher than for physical products, so are ideal for newbies.

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