Most successful affiliate marketers will be the first to admit that it’s usually hardest at the start.
When you’re a beginner marketer, you won’t have a track record.
In many cases, you’ll be wet behind the ears, and despite your earnest efforts, it may seem like you’re not making progress.
In order to promote a product or service, you’ll need to know how to get approved for affiliate programs.
A vendor will need to vet your request, just like a job application.
If they believe you’re right for the job, your request will be approved.
You’ll then receive a link (which is tracked by the vendor’s affiliate software) to promote the product or service you’re approved for.
Here’s where it gets tricky
While some company vendors will automatically approve you, others may be much more stringent.
The rules are not set in stone here.
So you’ll need to comply with the vendors’ requirements and take it all in stride.
Generally, the more credible the brand/company or vendor is, the stricter they’ll be, and the more hoops you’ll need to jump through to get approved.
In the grand scheme of things, this works in your favor in the long run.
Dodgy affiliates who resort to shady promotional strategies such as website cloning, cookie stuffing, sending bot traffic or spam emails can lead to complaints and even put a vendor’s merchant account at risk.
So a vendor has to be on high-alert before approving an affiliate.
In some cases, you may be approved immediately (as in the case of Amazon Associates).
However, the moment you start making sales, they’ll start analyzing how you’re getting sales and if you’re complying with the terms of their agreement.
If you disregard the terms (such as not posting their affiliate disclaimer) they’ll ban you in a heartbeat.
So it’s imperative that you conduct your affiliate marketing in a legitimate manner and comply with the vendor’s terms.
You have no choice here. It’s their sandbox, and their rules.
What you need to know as an affiliate marketer
Vendors need good affiliates all the time.
Not only will you make commissions from sales, but the vendor profits too.
It’s a win-win for both parties when affiliate marketing is done right.
Just understand that vendors want you… but first, they need to trust you.
This is the key point to getting approved for an affiliate program.
You must show that you’re trustworthy, and you do that by displaying competence.
Which brings us to my 9 proven steps on how to get approved for affiliate programs.
1. Establish Credibility
The first step will be to build a niche site.
You should have a blog that’s informative, attractive and screams credibility.
Populate your blog with posts.
You may even use private label rights (PLR) content to speed up the process.
When you have an authoritative blog, you’ll be able to add a link to your blog during your affiliate application process.
In fact, many vendors ask for your domain in their request form.
This is for them to see if they have a serious affiliate marketer on their hands.
They want someone who has done the work and displays marketing know-how.
Competence is your calling card.
Once they realize that your site looks great and you’re a ‘serious player’, there’s a very high chance you’ll be approved.
Even if you’re a beginner, with a good website, you’ll be on an even playing field with the pros during the application process.
2. Niche Down
Some vendors are so exacting during the selection process that they’ll want you to have a site that’s niche-specific to the product you intend to promote.
For example, if you wish to promote an SEO software, having a general online marketing blog might not be enough to get approval.
The vendor may want to see a site that’s dedicated to the search engine optimization (SEO) niche.
This will increase conversions because your audience is interested in this topic.
If you face a situation where you’re not approved despite having a blog, it could be that you’ve not niched down enough to qualify for approval.
Now, you have a choice.
You may either create a niche-specific blog and try again, or you may look for another product to promote because the juice doesn’t seem worth the squeeze.
After all, there are tons of products to promote, and it may be easier to find an alternative product that’s easier to get approval for without catering to demanding vendors’ whims and desires.
Always remember, if you’re a competent affiliate marketer, you have the power.
The vendor needs you, not the other way around.
This is one reason why it’s never a good idea to pay any vendor for the opportunity to promote them.
Now let’s see what you need to do next…
3. Have an Online Presence
Besides a blog, you’ll also want a credible presence online.
This will mean having social media accounts on Facebook and maybe even a video channel on YouTube.
By putting a ‘face’ to your affiliate request, you’ll increase your chances of approval.
In the event the vendor asks for your YouTube channel or details, you’ll have it on hand… and they can see that it’s a real person trying to promote their products.
Not a fly-by-night scammer hoping to rip them off.
Network with the movers and shakers in your niche.
For example, if you’re in the fitness niche, go ahead and follow popular fitness influencers on Instagram and Twitter.
You may also wish to be friends with them on Facebook. Comment on their posts.
Message them in the DMs just to thank them for their content and so on.
The goal is to get noticed – but do not ask for any favors just yet.
By mingling with other people in the same niche as you, you’ll become a known entity in the scene.
In future, should you wish to promote products by vendors in this niche, they’ll recognize your name and be more likely to approve you.
While this may be almost impossible to do with big companies such as Amazon (Jeff Bezos is not going to be entertaining your DMs), there are a multitude of small business owners who will gladly interact with you and want you as an affiliate.
So put in the effort and network regularly.
5. Promote Older Products
This is especially true in the ‘make money online’ niche where vendors have product launches.
During a launch, many affiliates’ eyes are on metrics such as earnings per click (EPC), conversion rates and so on.
It’s in the best interest of the vendor to have proven affiliates who can bring in the sales.
This will ensure that their stats look good, which will then encourage other super affiliates to hop on board their product launch.
During this period, if you’re a newbie affiliate, most vendors will hesitate to approve you for their launch.
Your lack of a track record works against you. So it’s common for new affiliates to be denied.
Don’t take this personally.
Instead, request to promote older products that were launched a few months ago.
They have a lot less ‘heat’ and the vendor will be more amiable to giving you a chance to promote them, since no one is concerned about the stats anymore.
6. Be Specific in Your Application
Always state how you will promote the vendor’s products.
Be as specific as possible.
- Will you be using a blog?
- Or are you emailing your list?
- Making a review video on YouTube?
- Using paid ads?
Whatever methods you’re using to promote the product must be stated clearly.
This will tell the vendor that you’re above board and using genuine (legal) methods in your promotions.
Add a photo, contact email and so on.
You’d be amazed at how many beginners fail to do these basic steps.
The result is that when they send an affiliate request, it comes from a profile with no image. In some cases, they have a weird username instead of their real name.
This is an immediate red flag for vendors.
Who’s the affiliate? – No one knows. It’s like a faceless being wanting to promote the product.
The general understanding among vendors is that if an affiliate can’t even be bothered to fill out their details, it only implies that their promotions will be weak and ineffective too.
“Affiliate Request Denied!”
How To Get Approved As An Affiliate On Warrior Plus
7. Reduce Your Refund Rate
Many affiliates feel like refund rates are beyond their control.
To some extent this is true.
Some buyers are ‘serial refunders’ always looking to get something for nothing.
However, there are many measures you can take to prevent this from happening excessively.
Firstly, only promote legitimate products to your email list.
If a product is of high-quality and overdelivers, the chances of getting a refund will be much lower.
Secondly, how you build your list is of paramount importance too.
If you’re using solo ads and other less than ideal methods, your list will usually be comprised of freebie seekers and tire kickers.
Even if they buy a product, they’ll immediately feel ‘buyers remorse’ and request a refund. Or they just want it free by asking for their money back.
Whatever the case may be, the best way to build a solid list of subscribers will be to sell your own products so that you have a list of buyers and not freebie seekers.
Build a good relationship with your list so that they like and trust you.
They’ll be less likely to request a refund when the recommendation was made by a friend – you.
When you have a low refund rate, it’ll be displayed in your affiliate profile (if you’re on an affiliate platform).
An affiliate with a high sales count and low refund rate is looked upon favorably by almost all product vendors.
This is the litmus test of a good affiliate.
It’s a worthy ideal to aim for and once you establish a proven record, you’ll be approved almost instantly without question.
Even if you’re new, having a low refund rate works in your favor.
8. Be Proactive
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
Sometimes you do not have to take no for an answer.
If your affiliate request gets denied, but you strongly feel like you can promote it well, there are a few steps you can take.
The first step will be to buy the product so that you can review it thoroughly.
It’ll also impress the vendor that you spent money with them just to review the product.
It shows that you’re serious about promoting it.
The next step will be to personally reach out to the vendor and tell them how much you love their product after buying it.
And how you’d like to scream from the rooftops about the benefits of their product so that it can help others too.
Most vendors will accede to your request if you’re earnest and show that you truly want to promote them.
Sell yourself and your belief in their products.
More often than not, the vendor will approve you.
Do note: This method only works for small business owners selling their own products.
Big brands/companies aren’t approachable because of their structure and hierarchy – you won’t even know where to start or whom to contact.
Pick your battles intelligently.
9. Do Not Lie
A common mistake thousands of beginner affiliate marketers make is hyping themselves up without realizing that their bravado and lies are flimsier than Kim Kardashian’s skimpy outfits.
Do not say you have a list of 10,000 people if you only have a couple of hundred subscribers.
Don’t talk about running ads on multiple platforms for the products if you don’t have a clue about paid traffic.
Never state that you can guarantee to rank reviews for their products at the top of the search engines.
If you could do ‘guaranteed SEO rankings’, you’d be a millionaire.
Most experienced vendors can see through these lies and will deny your request in a heartbeat.
So temper your enthusiasm to praise yourself if you can’t back up your bragging with proven results.
Be humble, honest, and trustworthy. That’s half the battle won.
Build a Track Record
Gaining momentum as an affiliate will take time.
Initially, your efforts may seem to yield no fruit.
This is a chicken and egg situation.
You need sales to get a track record for faster affiliate approval… But you’re not getting approved because of your lack of sales.
So you’re struggling to build a track record. This is how it is.
The best way to overcome this problem will be to apply the pointers in this article and keep trying to find new products to promote.
If one vendor denies you, try a different one.
As the sales trickle in, your affiliate marketing will get better and you’ll gain more experience.
Your track record will soon speak for itself and finally, you’ll be a proficient affiliate that ‘makes it rain’ when you do a promo.
At this stage, vendors will be eating out of your hand and cajoling you to promote them.
The power has shifted to your side. Use it wisely. 😉