I’m resurrecting an old post format I used to pop out on a weekly-ish basis where I shared anything I’d thought of, or found on my internet travels that didn’t quite justify a decent post of it’s own, and didn’t immediately fit into any upcoming post ideas.
Merchant Research – A Shortcut
Often when I have a wee lightbulb moment and come up with a niche idea, the first question is “where’s the money”. For me, there’s no point in moving forward unless there’s quality merchants I can leverage to monetise the flash of inspiration.
Have you ever tried to navigate the various merchant directories on the networks? Yuck. The categories aren’t great for the most part. I quickly adopted the habit of popping onto sites such as Topcashback here in the UK.
Using their search functionality and (much more intuitive) merchant categorisation I can quickly discover:-
- Merchants with affiliate programmes in the niche area I’m researching.
- The commission rates they offer. Some offer special deals via cashback that don’t reflect their standard rates, and many offer much lower rates for cashback (for obvious reasons). If you see a 1% or 2% rate it’s worth double checking at network level.
- Which network they are with. I also use this if I simply need to work out where a merchant has their program and they aren’t detailing it on their own site. I usually just click on the cashback link and watch what the URL does to see which network pops up in there.
Slight proviso – not every merchant works with cashback sites, but enough of them do to make this a handy “finger in air” way of discovering who is in a space. Particularly when you’re at the “pie in the sky” stage of an idea.
Once I have these outline facts I can hop onto the networks and hopefully get some info about how well they convert and if they are likely to want to work with me.
Stand by for more affiliate quick tips in the coming weeks. I’m trying to get better at noting these ideas in the back end of the blog here so I can batter out a quick post when I’ve finished work for the day.