The best way to select an affiliate program is to first concentrate on the market and not on any product. Picking randomly an affiliate program to promote probably won’t make you successful. Picking the affiliate program that pays the highest commission is not the way to go either. So concentrate on the market first.

You want your market to be gung-ho and happy to spend money for what they want. You learn this by seeing if there are advertisers in this market; advertisers that keep advertising. The more advertisers that continue to advertise the better for you, because that means this market is buying. And advertisers wouldn’t continue to advertise if they were bleeding money. So competition in a market is your first positive sign-post.

Next you want to find a product that’s being bought in this market. You do that by going to your favorite affiliate network, which could be Commission Junction, LinkShare, or many others. Type in your top market keyword and see how many products come up for it. If a lot of products come up, say more than 10, that’s a very positive sign. (Additionally, that’s not tallying the products other affiliate networks have for this market.) You want a market that has a lot of different products selling into it.

Now you want to see if these products are being sold by affiliate marketers. This may not be easily determined unfortunately. The best way however is go to Google, Bing, Yahoo and others and input some long-tail keywords for the market and see what products come up. Do you see products that are continuously showing up in the advertising section? You do want to see the products being sold this way even if you won’t be using pay per click yourself! The more products being sold this way, the better.

Next, you go to Google’s keyword tool and type in the market’s top keyword to discover how broad the market is by the search volumes. Obviously the more searches there are the broader the market. And the broader the better. (Examples of top market keywords could be something like boating or dog training or hair loss or sports, etc. They’re the broadest keyword for the market.)

Another sign-post is the competition bar graph the Google keyword tool shows for each keyword. The more competition, the better the keyword because this shows the AdWords competition for this keyword (Adwords is Google’s pay-per-click advertising program). Advertisers don’t continue to bid on keywords for long if they are not making money from them. If you continuously see the bar-graph high for a particular keyword, there’s a very good chance advertisers are making money from it. That’s a good sign for you.

Once this is complete, now you’ll select your product to sell, the one being the most popular; the one you saw show up the most both in organic searches and pay per click in your chosen market.

To find out what affiliate network promotes that product, just go to and type in the product name and it should tell you which affiliate network is promoting that product. You then join up with that affiliate network so you can start selling the product you chose.

If Odigger does not show the affiliate network, then you’ll need to do some more detective work. Search for ‘affiliate networks’ or ‘affiliate programs,’ and search within each program for your product name until you find the network carrying your product.

Or, if you can’t find the exact product that you saw come up the most in your research, select one from a network that fits closest to the one you did see in your research.

Remember, if advertisers continue to advertise a product, it has to be selling or they’re losing money (and nobody is in the business of bleeding money). So if a product is always being advertised, it’s a good indicator that it may sell for you too. But bare in mind, every product you select this way is not guaranteed to be a winner, because there’s much more involved in successfully marketing a product or a service. But this method is your best chance to finding a winning product to sell. Good luck.