Choosing the best affiliate can be a daunting task, especially with so many excellent affiliates to choose from. But since the affiliate you choose to work with will ideally be one you sustain a relationship with, signing on with the best you can find is well worth a bit of time and energy. Of course, what exactly constitutes the best affiliate program differs from person to person, and one person’s best could well be another person’s worst. There are some things you can look at, though, that are true across the board for all of the top affiliate programs, and there are some questions you can ask that will help you determine what the best program for you will be.

What Do You Want to Sell?

It’s a simple question, but the best affiliate program for you is often one that offers a service or product you are genuinely interested in. While many people make their careers out of selling products they have no attachment to, your chances of succeeding are greatly improved if you choose something you resonate with on some level. The best affiliate program will offer you an opportunity to excite other people about a product and incite them to buy it. If you have a traffic base already established or are a known and credible expert in a specific field, the best program is probably one that can tie into either one or both of those strengths. If you don’t already have any established presence, then the best affiliate program will be one that offers something you are already knowledgeable about or are interested in learning more about in order to sell it.

The Importance of A Good Reputation

The affiliate community is engaged online and constantly seeking out new opportunities, which means that the best programs quickly get a reputation for excellent service, good conversion rates, and nice payouts and perks. However, you may select the best program for yourself based on other criteria, but before you commit to it, you’ll want to make sure it has a good reputation in the wider affiliate marketing community. Look for reviews of affiliate programs and read the pros and cons of various opportunities. Pay attention to positive reviews, but take them with a grain of salt, as even the best affiliate programs may have a number of marketers promoting their own programs. At the same time, treat negative reviews with their own healthy dose of skepticism. Even the best affiliate programs garner the occasional negative review. These may be from someone who had a rare bad experience, someone with different needs than yours, or even a competitor out to sully the program’s reputation. Make sure to check enough reviews to determine which are the best programs overall, not just which a handful of people like or dislike.

How Do You Want to Earn?

Affiliate programs may operate financially in different ways from one another, and you want to make sure to choose the best one that suits your needs and desires. Some affiliate programs may offer a payment plan based on a simple flat rate payment for every sale or signup you make. This may be the best affiliate program for you if you’re more interested in a large short term return to use to branch out into other businesses in the future. Other affiliate programs may offer recurring residual payments as long as someone you sign up continues to subscribe to the service, and others may even offer residuals for future product purchases from a customer you referred originally. This might be the best affiliate program for you if you want to build a residual income stream over time that will eventually allow you to work less.

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