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Digital vs Physical Goods?

What are the pros and cons in choosing what products to promote on your affiliate site? Digital goods or physical goods? Digital goods being software, e-books or subscriptions vs. physical goods such as books, electronics or clothes? Or do you simply focus on the "other" criteria such as payout, competition and vendor site quality?

Linda Buquet


Welcome to 5 star and thanks for starting off with a great question. However the answer really depends more on you and what you are interested in.
Most of the affiliates I work with are product affiliates, but I'm sure many affiliates do well with digital goods too. The best way to start really depends on lots of factors.

As far as the question of what?s the "best" affiliate program - well that's a big question but the answer can be defined by YOU!

1) What is your current site about and who are your visitors? What are they interested in? Find products and services that will appeal to them and THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX! For instance if you have a site about travel, don't just promote hotel and airline affiliate programs, add travel insurance, Amazon books about travel and Luggage.

2) What are you passionate about??? What do you know a lot about? If you can find an affiliate program that ties into your interests or hobbies you will be ahead of the game!!! WHY? Because it can take some time to generate income and if it's something you are interested in it will give you the incentive to keep building more pages PLUS you can add valuable content to your site based on your knowledge of the subject.

3) Make a list of all the potential products and services that you think may be a good fit for either your existing site or a new niche site based on #2. Then go to Commission Junction, LinksShare, BeFree, ShareaSale or one of the affiliate directories like Refer-it and find several programs then compare the following:

A) The honesty & integrity of the program. Are they parasite-free, do they have affiliate-centered management, good record of paying on time? *This can be hard to figure out unless you search on Affiliate Boards.

B) Commission ? Could be per sale or per lead

C) Cookie Length - This is how long sales are tracked and credited to you

D) Good merchant web site design & navigation that will convert your leads to sales

Basic Examples:
Merchant #1 $50 commission, 1 day cookie, poorly designed site, big 800#, get rich quick type of affiliate page.

Merchant #2 $30 commission, 90 day cookie, nice site, easy to navigate, friendly supprtive affiliate page.

I would pick #2 PROVIDING it looked like the merchant site would convert well.

Now to answer the question ?What is the best affiliate program?? Well it depends, and as you can see there is no easy answer, but I hope I have given you some guidelines and tips to ponder. If you would like to see some of the high paying, high integrity affiliate programs that I have chosen to consult for and tie my good reputation to, check out my 5 Star Affiliate Programs and see if any of them are a good fit for you.

Please post any specific questions on this board and I will do the best I can to help you and the 5 star members here will hopefully give you their 2 cents as well.