Although you may not be aware of it, practically every company on the internet today offers an affiliate program that allows you, as an affiliate marketer, to make money with them. In addition, affiliate networks gather together a number of affiliate programs from various companies.
So by joining an affiliate network, depending on its size, you may have access to hundreds or even thousands of affiliate programs.
This article guides you through the world of affiliate programs and affiliate networks to find the ones that are right for you.
What is an Affiliate Network and How Does It Work?
Affiliate networks bring together thousands of different merchants and affiliate offers into a single marketplace. They are the intermediary between you, the affiliate marketer, and the merchant — the person or company providing the goods or services.
They provide affiliate programs and support to smaller companies that do not have the technical support staff to develop an affiliate program for their company or would prefer someone else to manage it.
Affiliate networks offer thousands of affiliate programs to their marketplace, which is one of their biggest advantages. This makes it easier for the new affiliate marketer to choose affiliate programs.
Since these networks have thousands of affiliates, these networks usually have a feedback and support rating so a new affiliate marketer can see which products perform better in terms of sales and profits. You can find out which products have the lowest return or complaint rate. You can also see how many affiliates an individual affiliate program has, which gives you an indication of how much competition you will have.
An affiliate network usually offers a more comprehensive training program to teach you about their network and how to be an effective affiliate. Through an affiliate network, you might learn more about the affiliate process than you would from an individual affiliate program, which may focus on its individual products and services.
Best Affiliate Networks
1. Amazon Associates
Amazon, as you may know, is the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to online e-commerce. Whether you’re buying books, toasters, or headgear, Amazon has become the go-to place for online consumers.
The major upside with Amazon is that it’s the most recognizable brand online, consumers have a high comfort level with it, and there is a high general level of satisfaction with its prices and overall service.
The major drawback with Amazon is that their commissions are generally low compared with other affiliate programs. But an interesting quirk may benefit you. One time I received an $8.00 commission for the sale of a vacuum cleaner. How odd, I thought.
What happened is that the consumer who clicked on my business book affiliate link decided in the same session to change course and make a totally different purchase — but I got the credit (sweet!). That’s one good thing about Amazon — you can gain an affiliate commission even when a customer buys another product during the time they are on the site.
Lastly, Amazon has an extensive suite of tools to help you sell more with your associate account. They can help you create various links, HTML programming, advertising widgets for your blog, and much more.
In terms of being an extensive marketplace for digital content, ClickBank is arguably the premier site online. Among all online retailers, ClickBank is in the top 100 with over 200 million customers globally. They provide a venue of digital products ranging from e-books and multimedia content to memberships and software.
The product categories range from lifestyle products (cooking, dating, wellness, and so on) to business to ecommerce and internet marketing programs.
ClickBank started from a garage in 1998 and had grown to $3 billion in sales and servicing 6 million entrepreneurs (affiliates and merchants) by the end of 2018. Their mainstay is definitely digital products that consumers can download and access immediately. It has developed a strong consumer protection reputation, and any merchants on ClickBank must offer a 60-day money-back guarantee with few exceptions.
ClickBank offers protections for affiliates with a strong policy regarding merchants and their payout policies. Affiliates can count on biweekly payouts guaranteed by ClickBank.
Opening an affiliate account at ClickBank is free and can be set up in minutes. After the affiliate peruses the marketplace and finds a program he wants to market, he is automatically approved by ClickBank and the affiliate can create an instant, unique affiliate link — the “hoplink.” Once created, this hoplink can be shared with anyone, and if the prospect clicks on the hoplink, he is instantly taken to the merchant’s landing page.
Typically, affiliate commissions are 40–75 percent, and payouts are guaranteed by ClickBank. Because most of the merchants provide multiple commissions due to their sales funnel, a single hoplink could easily result in greater income than a single product.
Additionally, there are many membership and subscription programs in the ClickBank marketplace, so affiliates can easily find recurring income opportunities.
3. eBay Partner Network
eBay Partner Network is eBay’s affiliate marketing program. As a publisher or affiliate, you get paid for referring sales. Either you get commissions or you get a flat fee. It depends on the advertiser, the revenue model, and the product.
eBay listings can be promoted at your discretion, and when someone buys a product, you are paid. Over 1.2 billion listings are available in a wide range of categories, including electronics, home & garden, collectibles & art, fashion, etc. The affiliates are able to track their performance perfectly since this is a self-serve or in-house affiliate network.
The eBay partner network is a great resource for content creators. You can become an eBay partner if you own a blog, review site, op-ed outlet or news site. You need to write compelling content if you want to attract large audiences. The conversion of visits into commissions can only be achieved by quality traffic.
Find products on eBay that match your keywords or the best deals on eBay. Include those links in your content. The links are trackable. When the visitor clicks on the link and takes action, you will be paid. There is nothing you need to do on your end. From delivery to service, eBay will handle everything.
Launched in 2011, JVZoo quickly became one of the premier affiliate platforms online today. As of early 2019, they have over 600,000 active affiliates (both part-time and full-time). There is no charge to get onboard as an affiliate, and account setup is quick and easy. Merchants don’t pay any upfront fees, but they do pay JVZoo a 5 percent fee based on the amount of each sale.
Thousands of affiliates trust JVZoo, as the commercial activity shows. JVZoo makes it easy to find profitable opportunities in a wide variety of niches. The commissions typically run 40–75 percent and more.
JVZoo makes it easy to become an affiliate; an account is free, and you explore the site for merchants (and their offerings) you want to work with.
Although JVZoo maintains the network and the payout to affiliates, the affiliate essentially works with the individual merchant. The affiliate must be approved by the merchant before she can start marketing. In addition, the merchant may have requirements such as a minimum level of sales before there is a payout.
5. CJ Affiliate
If you would like to sell or refer folks to offerings from large companies (Fortune 500 level) such as Home Depot or JP Morgan Chase, CJ Affiliate is where it is happening. Founded in 1998, the companies on this site paid cumulative affiliate commissions in 2018 of over $1.8 billion in the global market.
As an affiliate, the attraction here is that you’re working with very well-known companies that are household names. But there are disadvantages:
These companies have large product costs and don’t have as much profit margin as those companies in JVZoo or ClickBank (see the previous sections), so affiliate commissions in general aren’t very large.
Additionally, when you apply through CJ Affiliate, you need to be approved, and part of the approval is that you exhibit attractive numbers regarding your blog or website. Although there is no cost for affiliates (called “Publishers”) to sign up, your (site’s) performance matters. If you have little traffic, for example, you may not be approved. Even after you are approved, they will monitor how dedicated you are going forward with traffic, clicks, and so on.
ShareASale has been around since 2000, making it one of the oldest and most reputable affiliate marketing platforms. It has around 16,500 merchant partners in numerous industries.
The wide range of affiliate programs at ShareASale makes it easy for you to find the best products and services to promote to your audience.
If you are not sure what to look for on ShareASale, searching for items you already own can be a good place to start. Alternatively, you can search for new products that you think will be of interest to your target market.
Keep your eyes open for items that you can actually use. Abusing your readers’ trust by linking to things just to get a commission is a surefire way to lose their interest.
There are two ways for you to make money:
- Pay Per Lead: You get paid each time a reader clicks your affiliate link, visits the vendor’s website, and fills out a form.
- Pay Per Sale: When readers click your custom link and purchase a product, you earn a commission.
Awin has been known by this name since 2017, when it merged with another affiliate network. The company’s headquarters are located in Berlin, Germany, and it employs over one thousand people worldwide.
If you believe the information on the Awin website, there are well over a hundred thousand different publishers (and thus brands whose products you can promote). More than 13,000 advertisers now use the service.
Compared to ShareASale and other affiliate networks we reviewed, this makes it a lesser-known option. However, that doesn’t make the claim any less valid. In the past, many affiliates have used the service, and the results have been positive: higher revenues.
With the Awin Affiliate Program, the possibilities of what you can offer to your blog’s audience are practically unlimited. The domains in which the different offers operate are used for classification.
Mortgages and investments are just two examples of financial services you can promote; if you want, you can also promote telecommunication items.
Although FlexOffers, like any affiliate network, has certain weaknesses, it also offers some great advantages.
I have found that the affiliate categories and affiliate programs are more diverse than those of competing networks.
You should be able to choose an affiliate program that suits your needs, whether you want to get paid per email subscriber, per form submission, or per sale.
FlexOffers’ affiliate program is also excellent in terms of tracking and analytics.
By creating detailed traffic statistics, you can find out which traffic sources are most profitable for your business.
Moreover, all conversions can be monitored in real time to get continuous insight into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. This way, you can measure the results of a change and evaluate the impact on performance.
Pepperjam networks is the affiliate hub for the best website companies as they provide technical and communications consulting to clients around the world. Technology development, troubleshooting, website content creation and app design are all areas where this could be useful.
Using exclusive technology, content, and even publisher distribution, the company helps its clients deliver better service and presence on their platforms.
Through various methods, strategies are designed to educate the clients and consumers about the products or services that the clients wish to display.
It is always beneficial to have mark-ups, as well as popularity and website traffic that generates revenue. Pepperjam Networks is a top-notch marketing expert who reaches consumers online and offline.
With the help of social media, commercial advertisements, videos, posters, and other forms of advertising, this becomes a more interesting way to influence.
10. Rakuten Marketing
As a global affiliate network, Rakuten Marketing Affiliate allows marketers to be part of the customer journey, as well as publishers and advertisers to establish connections.
Any stage of the customer journey can be covered by Rakuten Marketing Affiliate. Businesses can use it to raise awareness about their product, convert consumers, or engage and encourage repeat purchases.
With its roster of influential influencers, Rakuten Marketing Affiliate is invaluable for both introducing a brand or product to new audiences and fostering loyalty. Rakuten Marketing Affiliate is also an excellent way for advertisers to establish and cultivate valuable connections.
Users of Rakuten Marketing Affiliate benefit from tools that make marketing easier to implement, measure, and optimize. Data feeds can be used in a variety of ways by users. Publishers can use it for product comparisons, while advertisers can create feeds that help them meet their objectives.