We’ve rounded up some of the top tips on how to find affiliates to promote your business and help you generate more leads and more sales! Creating affiliate links can be a great way to boost your business and reach a wider audience. But finding affiliates who are a good fit for your business can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to affiliate marketing. That’s why we’ve put together this list of easy and actionable tips to help you find affiliates to promote your business. If you’re more interested in popular social influencers, rather than affiliates, you can learn about influencer tracking here.
1. Build Your Affiliate Program on Referral Factory and Then List It — For Free — On Their Directory
The first tip is to build, launch and run your affiliate program using referral software like Referral Factory. You’ll find plenty of other reasons why Referral Factory is a great plug-and-play solution for your affiliate marketing efforts, including the fact that it integrates with software like Stripe (for a Stripe referral program) and HubSpot (for a HubSpot referral program), but one major bonus is that using Referral Factory means you can list your affiliate program in their directory of the best referral programs to make money – this is where thousands of potential affiliates are actively looking for programs to join to make money. That way, you don’t need to go out to recruit affiliates… rather, you can sit back and relax while they come to you!
There are a few other affiliate networks out there, like ShareASale, Clickbank and AWIN, but be warned that these marketplaces typically charge an additional commission-based tracking fee on the value of your transaction. That means that you’ll be paying your affiliates per conversion AS WELL AS the affiliate network through which they found and joined your affiliate program. This can get really pricey, really quickly. Referral Factory’s users pay their monthly or annual software subscription fee and get to list in the directory completely free — you don’t pay any commissions to Referral Factory!
To make sure the right affiliates find and join your affiliate program, be sure to:
- Build engaging landing pages to onboard your affiliates with a very clear explanation of how your affiliate program works.
- Optimize the meta title and meta description for your affiliate program, so that it’s easily searchable.
- Customize the Terms and Conditions so that all your legal bases are covered.
Referral Factory makes it easy to do all of the above without needing a developer!
2. Add A Page On Your Website Where Affiliates Can Register
Another way to recruit affiliates is to add a page to your website where people can sign up and join your program. An effective affiliates page should provide clear and to-the-point information about your business, clearly state the incentives for the potential affiliates (and their audience) and outline what they need to do to join your affiliate program. Here are some crucial elements to consider including.
- A brief introduction about your brand and products/services.
- The benefits and compensation structure for affiliates.
- An easy-to-understand explanation of how your affiliate program works.
- Contact details or a form for potential affiliates to get in touch for more information.
- Some success stories of your existing affiliates to build trust and confidence.
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the dedicated page that Amazon uses for their affiliate program, Amazon Associates:
You can build landing pages to recruit affiliates using Referral Factory and these can function independently or can be embedded directly into your website.
3. Use Keyword Research Tools To Find Relevant Blogs, Channels and Websites in your Industry
The previous two tips were all about letting potential affiliates come to you. Depending on the size and nature of your business, however, you may also need to do some active recruiting. This is where some good old fashioned detective work comes in handy and you really don’t need to be an internet expert to be able to track down potential affiliates.
Let me spell it out without the jargon: the best affiliate marketers are going to have a strong online presence on your industry or topic. In other words, when your customers are searching for your products or services online (or the problem that they solve!), the websites, blogs, and YouTube channels that rank in Google are the ideal places to promote what you do because that’s where your potential customers are already heading! If you want to find those sites without the help of keyword research tools, simply make a list of the possible keywords that your customers might use to find you online, enter these into Google, Yahoo and other search engines to see what comes up. Once you’ve eliminated your competitors, you should come up with a fairly reasonable list of potential affiliates to contact.
However, when seeking potential affiliates to promote your business, keyword research tools make identifying those websites, niche bloggers and YouTubers much easier. This is because tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush and Ahrefs analyse people’s search behavior and will not only be able to generate a nice long list of related keywords but will also be able to identify the top sites in different countries and on different search engines, so you know exactly who to contact.
While Ahrefs doesn’t offer a free tool and can be quite pricy, they do have a free keyword generator. You can trial SEMRush for free for 7 Days and Google Keyword Planner is free to use, though you do need to register for a Google Ads account.
Here’s a breakdown of the steps you’ll need to follow, whatever tool you choose to use:
- Identify the organic keywords for your business website. Organic keywords are the words or phrase that people are using to get to your website without the influence of paid advertising.
- Use a keyword explorer to identify the top-ranking sites for your organic keywords. This might be a loooong list, so buckle up and, if you’re anything like me, start a spreadsheet so you can keep track of who’s who.
- Visit each of these links to eliminate competitors and any sites that might not align with your brand values.
- Once you’ve done a first round of elimination, check whether these sites are already promoting your competitors. You will be able to tell by looking for backlinks or affiliate links. If they are, it’s not the end of the road, you may simply need to approach them with a better offer 😉
- Now that you have a clear list of who to approach, it’s time to find their contact details. Look for a contact form or an email address, or even use LinkedIn or other social media tools to get in touch.
4. Use This Trick To Find Affiliates on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram
Since blogging isn’t the only way that affiliates can promote your business, make sure that you’re looking beyond websites and blogs for potential affiliates. These days, content creation has gone multi-modal! So, it’s important to assess whether your potential customers might be accessing content related to your brand on social media.
When it comes to social media platforms, affiliates are often called influencers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll need to go find super-famous people to promote your business. Rather, approach “micro-influencers”. These are individuals who have a small but dedicated and engaged social media following in a specific niche or industry. Unlike celebrities or macro-influencers with massive followings, micro-influencers typically have between 1,000 to 100,000 followers. They have a more targeted and niche audience, allowing them to establish a stronger and more authentic connection with their followers. Due to their smaller follower count, they also often charge lower rates compared to larger influencers, making them a cost-effective option for businesses looking to engage with a specific audience.
Like with affiliate networks, you can sign up to various platforms to find and connect with micro-influencers but you’ll likely run into the same problem — most platforms charge a commission on top of whatever you’re paying the influencer. So, a more budget-friendly approach is to go and find these potential affiliates yourself.
As with searching for blogs and websites, the main way to find influencers on these platforms is to simply do a search using relevant keywords and hashtags. But… there is also a handy trick to find affiliates on these social networks that works by leveraging the algorithms they use to help their users find related content! If you have a business account on any of these platforms, look for a button that says “Recommended” or “For You” — these are typically trending accounts or channels related to your industry or niche.
5. Join These Free Affiliate Forums
It’s a little ironic but don’t forget that it’s not only businesses like yours looking for affiliates — plenty of people out there are also looking for affiliate programs to join to earn money and they spend a lot of time networking online to find those programs and get advice from their peers. In addition to affiliate networks, directories and marketplaces, these people also flock to forums, groups and communities on social media and beyond. Joining these communities is a sneaky way to establish partnerships with potential affiliates but it can also give you great insight into the concerns and challenges faced by affiliate marketers themselves. Here are the top free affiliate forums to join:
- Evan Weber’s Affiliate Marketing, Affiliate Program, Affiliate Network Group
- Performance / Affiliate Marketing Professionals Network
- Marketing Campaigns Brands Social Media Digital Mobile Apps Data Media SEO CRM PR Affiliate Jobs
6. Consider Turning Your Customers Into Affiliates
Tapping into your happy, satisfied customer base can provide a rich avenue for possible affiliates. Knowledgeable and hopefully passionate about your business, these customers already appreciate its benefits and can actually be your best advocates! In marketing lingo, this approach aligns more closely with the concept of a customer referral program but the basic idea is the same: ask your customers to refer their friends and reward them for doing so. You could pay them a flat rate or a finders fee for each conversion, or, you could offer them something in your own currency, like a discount or exclusive access to premium products or services.
Referral programs for customers, however, work best when there’s something in it for their friends too! Unlike affiliates, your customers are not necessarily looking to make money from promoting your business. So, to incentivize them to refer others, you may need to offer a benefit to both parties. For example, you could offer a discount to the referred customer and a reward to the referring customer, such as a gift card or free product. This is sometimes called a double-sided referral program, and is known as the best way to generate customer referrals.
With Referral Factory, you have the added advantage of being able to run multiple referral campaigns. This means you could run a campaign that’s especially for affiliates, with a specific payout structure and conversion path, and an additional campaign for your customers to refer their friends, with a different payout structure and conversion path.
So, those are our top tips for finding affiliates to promote your business! Keep in mind that quality is typically better than quantity when it comes to affiliate marketing and be cautious to carefully vet potential affiliates to ensure they align with your brand values and have an authentic following. Additionally, it’s super important to clearly define terms and conditions, payout structures, and expectations upfront to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes down the line. It’s also essential to monitor affiliate activities to prevent fraud, such as false referrals or spammy tactics that could harm your brand reputation.
So, once you’ve nailed your strategy for finding affiliates to promote your business, you’ll need to start thinking about the best mechanic to manage your tracking and analytics. You’ll also need to consider what the right finders fee is. We recommend creating affiliate links — unique URLs that your affiliates can include in their content, such as blog posts, social media posts, or emails. These links have special tracking capabilities that allow the business to identify which affiliate generated the referral or sale, ensuring that they are properly credited for their promotional efforts. In addition to enabling you to track your ROI, they also help keep you in full control of your branding, as all the information about what you do can be included on a special landing page dedicated to getting your potential leads into your funnel. If you’re looking for some advice on how to create affiliate links, go ahead and read this post.