You may already know that handling multiple affiliate programs can be tough for affiliate marketers.
That’s where affiliate marketing networks come in handy, and one of the top choices for making money online is Commission Junction, now known as CJ Affiliate.
CJ Affiliate is a well-known and beginner-friendly affiliate network on the internet. It’s a great option for those new to affiliate marketing.
In this guide, we’ll give you a quick overview of how to get started and making money with CJ Affiliate.
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What is CJ Affiliate?
CJ Affiliate, short for Commission Junction, stands out as one of the world’s leading affiliate marketing platforms, catering to both digital and physical products, although it primarily focuses on digital offerings. The company was founded back in 1998, a time when the internet landscape was vastly different from what it is today.
During its early years, CJ Affiliate experienced rapid growth, attracting numerous affiliate marketers who achieved substantial earnings through the platform.
In 2003, ValueClick acquired Commission Junction. Then, in 2014, it underwent a rebranding and became Conversant CJ Affiliate, reflecting the company’s remarkable expansion.
Despite these changes, CJ Affiliate’s core business has remained consistent.
Today, CJ Affiliate remains a powerhouse in the affiliate marketing world, boasting thousands of advertisers and a staggering annual payout of over 1.8 billion dollars in affiliate commissions. According to market analysis by Datanyze, CJ Affiliate holds a significant market share of nearly 8%, second only to Amazon Associates’ affiliate network.
Amazon Associates is a popular choice among affiliate marketers, primarily due to its extensive range of physical products. On the flip side, CJ Affiliate dominates the space of platforms exclusively offering digital products, surpassing even industry giants like Rakuten and ShareASale.
But there’s more to CJ Affiliate than just its market share; it excels in another critical area—the quality of its affiliates—outperforming all its competitors in this regard as well.
How To Get Paid on CJ Affiliate?
Here, we’ll look at when affiliates are paid, how they’re paid, and how much they need to earn for you to get paid.
CJ Affiliate offers two payment options: Payoneer and Direct Bank Deposit. However, it’s worth noting that not all affiliates are eligible for direct bank deposits, as this option is available only in select countries. If you don’t qualify for bank deposits, you can use Payoneer for international payments. Keep in mind that CJ Affiliate no longer supports check payments, credit cards, or PayPal.
Before you can set up your bank details, CJ Affiliate will require your tax information and company details, so make sure to have those ready.
Payment Threshold and Timeframe
To receive payments, affiliates need to reach a minimum payout threshold of $50, with a maximum payout limit of $1000 per withdrawal. If your earnings exceed $1000, you’ll need to request multiple withdrawals.
Payments for your referrals are typically processed around 30 days after the purchase has been made. This system follows a “net 30” basis for affiliate commissions.
Locked commissions that you’ve earned will be scheduled for payment on the 20th of each month. After that, you simply need to wait for your payment via check or direct deposit to arrive.
In simpler terms, you’ll receive your earnings approximately 20 days after making a sale. For instance, if you made sales in January, you can expect your payment on the 20th of February.
How to Make Money With CJ Affiliate: 4 Steps
To earn som extra money with CJ Affiliate, follow these steps:
Step 1: Create a CJ Affiliate Account
Getting started with CJ Affiliate is a breeze, and it’s free to join as an affiliate. However, if you want to become a merchant, you need to be at least 18 years old and have your own website.
Here’s how you can sign up as a Publisher:
- Go to CJ’s signup page and click the sign-up option.
- You’ll be directed to the registration page where you’ll need to provide your email address and create your account.
- After submitting the sign-up form, check your email for a confirmation message.
- In the email, click on the “Create My CJ Publisher Account” link.
- You’ll then be taken to a page where you can review CJ’s policies and affiliate terms and conditions. Remember, you must be 18 or older to operate an affiliate account.
- Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll be redirected to the login page, and you can access your CJ Publisher account.
But hold on a second! You’re not quite ready to start promoting affiliate products just yet. There are a few more important steps to complete:
To activate your account, you’ll need to go through some onboarding steps, which include submitting your tax documents, completing your profile, and adding your website or app.
Two crucial sections during onboarding are your “Network Profile” and “Promotional Property.” Let’s dive into these:
Network Profile: This is like your introduction to CJ, so make it count! Describe your business model, its main goals, what makes you stand out, and why you’d be a fantastic affiliate partner. If you have data like website traffic stats to back up your claims, even better. Keep it concise and put the most important info upfront.
Promotional Property: This is where you specify where you’ll direct traffic to the affiliate offers you choose from CJ. It can include websites, blogs, mobile apps, social media profiles, email lists, paid ad campaigns, and more. If you’re using platforms like blogs, they should already have an audience and regular monthly visitors, as advertisers tend to pass on platforms with no traffic.
Finally, to activate your account, you’ll need to provide your tax information, your company details, and your payment info. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be all set to start earning commissions with CJ Affiliate.
Still feeling confused? Here’s a step-by-step tutorial video:
Step 2: Find Affiliate Programs
On Commission Junction, you’ll find a vast array of affiliate programs, covering both digital and physical products. However, it’s worth noting that CJ Affiliate is particularly popular for digital product promotions.
These affiliate programs generally fall into three main categories:
- Pay Per Sale: You earn a commission when your efforts result in a sale.
- Pay Per Lead: Referring leads earns you commissions.
- Pay Per Call: Generating phone calls through your promotions leads to commissions.
To get started, follow these steps:
- From the main Publisher dashboard, click on “Advertisers” to explore which affiliate programs perform the best in your niche.
CJ Affiliate offers a range of search filters and tools to help you find the right advertisers. These might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but they’re incredibly useful for discovering the programs you’re interested in.
You can search for affiliate programs by name or by using relevant niche keywords. For a more targeted search, consider using these filters:
- Serviceable Area
- Advertiser’s Country
- Geographic Source
Clicking on each filter will provide you with more specific options. The advertising interface, when you click on an advertiser, will look something like this.
Since I haven’t applied any filters yet, you can see all the advertisers on CJ, totaling 2902.
But how can you evaluate an advertiser and decide if they’re worth promoting? Pay attention to two key metrics, alongside their relevance to your audience: “Network Earnings” and “EPC.”
Network Earnings: This metric represents an advertiser’s overall performance on Commission Junction. The green bar indicates the commissions paid by advertisers to publishers, with a higher bar indicating better performance.
Advertiser EPC (Earnings Per Click): EPC measures how much affiliates earn for every 100 clicks they generate. It’s a good indicator of a program’s profitability.
You can use the “Network Earnings” and “EPC” filters in combination to refine your search. While a high EPC score is valuable, it’s crucial to sort your results by “Network Earnings” from high to low first. Then, after applying the “Category” filter, look for programs with high EPC.
CJ Affiliate will provide you with a list of programs that consistently convert well and generate income.
While CJ maintains high standards, not all of its products and affiliate programs meet those standards. To minimize the risk of disputes with advertisers, consider “Network Earnings” and “EPC” when selecting programs in your niche.
For more details about any program, simply click on its title to open a dropdown box containing all the necessary information. This includes the target audience, program terms, the company’s website, and social media links.
Remember, each affiliate program listed on CJ requires a separate application. Keep in mind that popular programs often prefer experienced members, but if you have a strong audience and platform, you may still have a chance to join.
Step 3: Generate Affiliate Links
Most advertisers on CJ Affiliate offer multiple products, each with various types of affiliate links, such as text links, banners, and animated banners.
Here are several methods to create affiliate links on Commission Junction:
1. Find Links on the Advertiser Page
Visit the Advertiser page, search for relevant programs, and click the “Get Link” button. This will display all the product links if you’re approved. Advertisers with multiple products will have a ‘P’ button next to the “Get Link” button, allowing you to access affiliate links and their product list. Simply copy these links to promote their products.
2. Use the Link Search Interface
The link search feature lets you find affiliate products related to your niche by searching for relevant keywords. You can also refine your search using filters or browse products from a specific advertiser.
3. Utilize the Deep Link Generator Tool
The Deep Link Generator is a handy CJ tool that enables you to create deep links without logging into your CJ account. It’s easy to use; once installed, visit an approved CJ advertiser’s website, select the product you want to promote, and click the bookmarklet to generate a deep link for your campaigns.
4. Employ Page-Based Link Tools
5. Create Product Widgets
This feature allows you to design slideshows featuring products from multiple CJ affiliate programs you’ve joined. Embed these widgets on your website or other approved platforms, and you’ll earn commissions for any sales generated.
You also have the option to create widgets where you can drag and drop approved products from your list.
6. Set Up Link Placement Opportunities
For publishers with high-quality content, this innovative linking solution comes in handy. You can publicly list link opportunities on your website or approved platforms. This feature is especially useful if you have a high-traffic website, and you don’t need to be an affiliate to be approached by an advertiser.
Keep in mind that affiliate offer links may expire after a certain period, and you won’t receive credit for sales resulting from expired links. To avoid promoting expired or invalid offers, regularly check your main Publisher dashboard’s “Tasks” section. The dashboard will notify you if an ad becomes invalid or stops working. Look out for “Review __ click(s) from invalid links” in the tasks section to ensure you’re not promoting useless offers.
Step 4: Promote CJ Affiliate Products
To make money with CJ Affiliate, you’ll need an audience interested in your promoted products. If you have a website, blog, or social media profile related to your niche, you can create content that matches your audience’s interests.
For example, if your niche is fitness supplements, you can offer workout tips, nutrition advice, and recommend supplements. Here are some marketing strategies to help you build an audience and effectively promote your health products:
- Blogging: In your fitness blog, publish articles like “Top 10 Protein Powders for Muscle Gain.” Within the article, embed CJ Affiliate links to the recommended protein powders, making it easy for readers to purchase their preferred products.
- YouTube Channel: Start a YouTube channel dedicated to fitness. Record workout routines, nutritional guides, and supplement reviews. In the video descriptions, include CJ Affiliate links to the products you mention. For instance, if you review a specific protein supplement, link to its CJ Affiliate product page.
- Facebook Page and Groups: Create a Facebook page called “Fitness Enthusiasts Unite.” Share daily fitness tips, success stories, and CJ Affiliate product recommendations. In related Facebook groups, engage with members by providing valuable insights and sharing your CJ Affiliate product finds.
- Twitter Page: On your fitness-themed Twitter page, regularly post tweets about exercise regimens and healthy eating habits. Use CJ Affiliate links to direct followers to relevant products. For instance, tweet about a limited-time discount on fitness trackers and include the affiliate link.
- Instagram Page: Leverage Instagram’s visual appeal by posting images of healthy meals, workout routines, and progress photos. In your captions, insert CJ Affiliate links to the fitness equipment, supplements, or activewear you feature.
- Email Marketing: Suppose you’ve collected email addresses from your fitness blog subscribers. Send out a monthly newsletter with workout tips, recipe ideas, and product recommendations. Include CJ Affiliate links to the products you endorse, such as home gym equipment or fitness apparel.
Read more: How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
My Personal Experience With CJ Affiliate
In my nearly 10 years of experience in affiliate marketing, I’ve had the opportunity to explore numerous affiliate programs. Commission Junction (CJ Affiliate) stands out as one of the industry’s top affiliate networks. It boasts an impressive roster of well-known brands and household names.
What I appreciate most about CJ Affiliate is the extensive range of brands it offers across various industries. You can find everything from physical products like Nike to digital services like GoDaddy. This diversity allows affiliate marketers to tap into a wide array of niches and cater to different audiences.
However, my main critique of Commission Junction has been the user experience. While they recently underwent a redesign, the usability still has room for improvement. It remains to be seen if the redesign will address these issues effectively.
If you’re wondering if CJ Affiliate is right for you, consider your current situation. If you’re new to blogging with only a few daily visitors, it might not be the best time to join CJ’s network. But if you’re an experienced blogger with an established readership or an entrepreneur driving quality traffic to your website, CJ Affiliate is worth exploring.