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I’ve just been researching affiliating networks in the US & UK – but I’m not sure which one to sign up to. They all promise the best commissions, the best service etc
Sites that advise re affiliating networks turn out to be affiliates themselves, so their “reviews” are not really objective.
Has anyone had any experience with affiliating programs in the home & garden category? Could you recommend a particular network? Are you allowed to sign up to more than one network?
There are good payouts to be had in anything from gardening to the type of stuff you'd buy at a Lowes or HomeDepot.
Amazon carries most of that stuff too.
In general ,it really depends on what you are selling. If you have Home & Garden items that you can get at the local Home Depot or Walmart, then conversions will be poor. More unique products only available online will do better obviously.
In the Home section I see it as a much more consistant performer however Laertes is right again in that niche products are much easier to sell in this arena because of the market penetration of big "Home" stores in most major US cities and suburbs. Focusing your efforts on certain sub-sections of both of these (Home and Garden) will likely yield the best results.
Is this the case? Has anybody else had bad experiences with the home & garden sector?
I have a few content sites with information on products or services for homeowners, and there is one area in particular where I've gotten some $5 clicks from Adsense and had decent conversions from a CJ company that sells the stuff (no, I'm not telling *g*)--made $500 on one sale once. I can't imagine big paying ads on articles about potting plants though.
I think it's just a matter of focusing on the right topics. Homeowners have money to spend and that right there makes them a great demographic to target.
Would it better if I collected a few items from merchants and send my visitors to their site to buy them, rather than list the merchants in categories (such as outdoor furniture, kitchenware, diy tools etc…) as most sites do?
I might get a better response if I do a “Best buys of the month” or "trend of the season" with carefully selected items - even if some of them are sold at Lowes or B&Q (in the UK).
As they have done, if you have data (easily provided through various merchant datafeeds) on several merchants you will likely be able to provide your customers with a similar value-add as Google has done in the above example by providing a number of different options with different pricing/availability.
Even if that product is available locally from a Lowes or B&Q you may be able to show them that a better price is available etc... and in the meantime gain a customer that will return to your site the next time they are looking for a similar type item.
"from my experience this is not a sector you will make a lot of money in"
You can make a ton of money or no money in any sector. Have had orders up up to $1500.00 worth of flower bulbs in one order as well as home improvement orders of up to $8,000 both of which equal nice payouts.
Those are exceptions rather than the rule, of course, but just look at some of the average order sizes some mechants list in home improvement. Payouts can be very nice!
To make it lucrative you have to keep testing, keep pushing, keep trying new things and new ways to market and after a while a few lights go on. :)