How to Find Publishers for Merchants Starting Affiliate Programs

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How to find affiliates to promote your product


If you have a new affiliate program, you may wonder how to find new publishers to promote your products. We’ve compiled a few tips to not only find publishers and influencers, but help them easily promote your products long-term.


Choosing an affiliate network


As a first step, many merchants join an affiliate network. This allows affiliates to find and apply for your program, as well as access your affiliate links and creatives. Additionally, it allows you (the merchant) to track affiliate performance and ROI, helping pinpoint your top performers.


An article by Robbins Interactive provides a detailed guide to choosing an affiliate network. Some features to look for include ease of use, customer service, and finding the platform that has your target affiliates. They also include a helpful list of preferred affiliate networks to help you in your research.


What kinds of incentives are you offering?


How do your commissions and bonuses compare to your competitors? Do some research and see what they offer other publishers.


Tracking your affiliates on the network lets you see your top performers. Investing in these top performers will lead to a win-win situation for both of you. Be sure to offer special bonuses or performance incentives to keep them excited about promoting your products.


AM Navigator has a helpful list of ways to incentivize affiliates. These ideas include some benefits of offering tiered commissions, ideas for prizes and giveaways, special coupons or deals, and more. Read the entire list here.  


Make it easy to promote your links


Make it easy for affiliates to promote your products. A website that easily allows deep linking to individual products will help affiliates quickly and easily share links.


Also, try offering your top performers a personalized coupon code. This makes it easy for them to track no matter where they post it — such as an Instagram story, a blog, or somewhere else.


Provide creatives for affiliates to use. Creatives can include banners and logos of different sizes, so include a variety to choose from. This makes it nice and simple for them to use content or graphics you’ve already approved.


FMTC makes it easy for affiliate publishers to grab and share your links as well. You can read more about these services under “FMTC Merchant Hub Profile & Placement Options” below.


Finding Influencers


Influencers can act as affiliates, but they don’t always operate quite the same way. Consider allotting a certain amount of your budget toward influencer marketing. You can even find ways to combine affiliate and influencer marketing — such as finding bloggers to post affiliate links, and more.


Of course, you have to find influencers first, and that’s what we’re here to talk about. You can find influencers a few ways.


Find Influencers on Instagram


Instagram has become one of the most popular influencer marketing platforms, making it a good place to begin finding influencers. Many merchants find success through searching manually and direct messaging influencers through the platform. Of course, this translates over to bloggers and influencers popular on other social platforms as well.


Recruitment Tools and Services


If this is too labor-intensive or you’re looking for a consolidated report, consider using a tool such as MediaRails or GroupHigh. These tools allow you to filter based on niche, platform, activity, location, and many more options.


Affiliate or Influencer Networks


Many merchants choose to join influencer networks and get connected with influencers there. Platforms such as Webfluential offer a wide variety of services and tools to make hunting for influencers that much easier. Most platforms offer a database of influencers as well as tools for tracking and reporting. Subscription costs and benefits will vary, so don’t neglect doing your research and take advantage of any free trials offered.


Some affiliate networks incorporate influencer marketing into their platform. Pepperjam offers tools for both publishers and influencers, lumping them into the same category. Awin offers some nice tools to help influencers work as affiliates, including a step-by-step how-to and more.


Conferences and Trade Shows


Affiliate Summit has been one of the most popular shows in the industry for some time, focusing on affiliate marketing. Earlier this year in Las Vegas, at ASW 2019, they launched Influence within the conference. Influence is an area of Affiliate Summit dedicated to influencer marketing. They’re bringing Influence to ASE 2019 in New York as well, so make sure to check it out if you can.

Many other conferences become good resources to connect with publishers as well. Check out a list of influencer conferences from Influencer Marketing Hub here and a list of affiliate marketing conferences from Mobidea here.


Consider an OPM or Agency


If this all seems too time-consuming or you just don’t want to deal with it, consider hiring an OPM or agency to manage your affiliate program. We have an amazing library of OPMs and agencies we work with here at FMTC.



You can check out our complete directory here.


FMTC Merchant Hub Profile & Placement Options


At FMTC, we offer options to help merchants reach advertisers. You can reach publishers through a targeted publisher outreach post, feature your affiliate program as a spotlight in our newsletters, and more.


Merchant Hub


Our merchant hub is a comprehensive directory of affiliate programs, and you’ll definitely want your affiliate program listed. By allowing FMTC to join your program on your chosen network, you can increase visibility to publishers and also make it super easy for them to share your links.


Create an Account


Additionally, you can create a profile to manage your deals through FMTC and increase exposure for your program. Your account is viewable by publishers who may be interested in promoting your links, so it’s important to have it up-to-date.


Merchant profiles have basic information such as primary country, logos, homepage URL and affiliate network, but you can create an account to add more information.


It’s free to create an account to manage your profile and add details such as contact information, commission rate, restrictions, and more.


FMTC Premium Accounts


If you’re looking for even more ways to help your program stand out, consider signing up for a premium account. A premium account offers these great features:


Pushed Deals – Premium subscribers can add a coupon, sale, free shipping offer or gift with purchase. These deals can be pushed to all affiliates or you can make them exclusive for select affiliates.

Expedited Deal Processing – Deals for Premium subscribers are expedited through our processing systems and get out for distribution to our clients’ sites faster

Featured Merchant Placement – You can promote your program with your logo and a link to your merchant profile page. Affiliates will be able to easily learn more about your program, join it and add it to their FMTC feed.

See the full list of premium features here or request a premium deck here.

For a visual comparison, click here for a live look at a Premium subscriber. You can then view a free user’s program details by clicking here.


Create Relationships with Publishers


Now that you have them joined to your program, how do you get them to keep promoting long-term? It’s important to create a partnership with your best publishers. How can you foster a mutually beneficial relationship? Here are a few tips:


Keep the communication lines open


Make sure you stay in touch with affiliates. Promote your offers on an email list, let them know you’ve updated your logo, and any other relevant information. If you’ve hired a publisher for a sponsored post, make sure they know how to quickly reach you with any changes in deadlines or other requests.


Provide education about your products


How is your product made? What sets it apart from similar items? What are your values as a company? Encourage publishers (especially influencers) to try different products, or to come up with innovative ways to use your goods. Sharing this information over time builds trust from the audience, and the repetition will garner more interest than a one-time post.


Reward top performance


Offer competitive commissions as well as special perks for top performers. You can offer cash bonuses or raise their commissions on your affiliate network. Additionally, you can offer exclusive coupon codes to help them get more traffic to their website. Last, make sure you’re offering them sweet discounts on your products so they can keep up-to-date on the latest items.


Now You’re Ready to Find Publishers


I hope this short guide helped give you some ideas for how to find new publishers for your affiliate program. If you have feedback or anything else to add, feel free to contact us on Twitter or email [email protected].


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