You won't be hard-pressed to find an affiliate program on the Internet. All you need to do is enter "affiliate program" as your search query, and you'll get millions of links to affiliate sites and affiliate networks. The plethora of options you have when selecting an affiliate program can be as beneficial as it can be a detriment to your search. On the one hand, it's quite easy to find an affiliate program. On the other, it'll be tough to find that one perfect affiliate program out of the multitudes you're presented with. It's like looking for a specific needle in a needle stack - how do you know which one is the right one? How do you pick out the best affiliate program online?
First off, you've got to understand how they work. Affiliate marketing companies make their money by sharing revenue with you. Your website's users will be redirected to another of your affiliate program's websites. You then get a percentage from the revenue your advertisers receive from sales on their sites. It's like you're a sales representative earning commission from a successful sales pitch. In order to make the most of this system, you're going to want to preemptively sell your affiliate sites' products before your users even go to those sites. By opening them up to the idea of purchasing from affiliate sites, you increase the chances of those sites making sales, which in turn make you more money.
You can do this by selecting an affiliate program that matches both your website content and your target market. For example, if your website is all about your love for guitars, you'll want to direct your affiliate marketing efforts towards a site that sells guitars. Think of it as offering an appetizer - you want to maximize your users' desire for the products of your affiliate sites, and then send them off to the sites, ravenous for a purchase. You can further hone this by studying your site's visitors. Put up a feedback page, study their backlinks, and try conducting a few interview surveys. See what they want, and what puts them in a spending mood. After you've done your research, look for an affiliate program that will best address your users' needs. You'll increase the rate of conversion with each click, and increase your chances to earn your "commission" for sales.
Of course, the research shouldn't just be on your end. You've got to study the salability of your affiliate program. You want your affiliate sites to promote top-quality products and services. It won't matter how much work you put into your affiliate marketing techniques if your customers don't think the products you're endorsing are worth their money. If the products of your affiliate program are of a lower tier in quality, your users won't be buying them, regardless of how good your sales pitch was.
In short, the best affiliate program for your site will be one that suits your web content, addresses the interests of your users, and promotes top-quality products that your users will definitely want to buy. Find a well-made affiliate website that fits these criteria, and you'll find that affiliate marketing can be financially rewarding.