Welcome to the wonderful world of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing presents one of the best opportunities to make money online. All affiliate marketers know this. As a blogger, you can easily double your monthly income by joining the best affiliate networks or platforms.
The internet is the biggest network in the world. Is it any wonder that affiliate marketing has taken off? This form of marketing allows businesses to market their products and services to their audience.
To do this, the business uses a platform or network that will allow them to advertise their product on as many affiliate websites as possible. In exchange for showing an advertisement, the affiliate will receive a commission.
The creation of online affiliate marketing businesses is a matter of combining the right knowledge with the right tools. This post highlights the 10 best affiliate networks and platforms available today.
What are affiliate platforms and networks?
Affiliate platforms and networks are websites or service operators that connect merchants with affiliate publishers. These mediums help merchants to generate leads and sales through the implementation of an affiliate marketing program.
They enable publishers to leverage their audience (blog readers, social media followers, etc.) to drive traffic for a commission or fee. Therefore, as an affiliate marketer, you need the best affiliate network for endorsing a particular product or service and incentivizing your audience.
Here are 10 of the best affiliate networks and platforms that can help you get more sales with ease.
1. Amazon Associates
Amazon Associates is one of the largest affiliate networks on Earth. The Amazon Associates program is a relatively straightforward and hassle-free affiliate marketing network that allows you to promote Amazon products and get paid for each visitor you send their way.
Their range of product categories is extremely diverse, perhaps more than any other network. What’s more, they have a minimum payout of $10. If you’ve not joined this affiliate network, you should consider joining.
- Niche: Amazon products (including those from third-party sellers).
- Commission rate: Ranges from 1% to 10%
- Cookie duration: 24 hours
- Minimum payout: $10 in Amazon gift cards or direct deposit.
- There is a wide variety of products available
- The universal cookie gives you credit for any purchases made within the cookie’s validity
- eCommerce’s biggest name is undoubtedly Amazon
- It has a very low payout threshold of only $10
- There is only a 24-hour lifespan for the universal cookie
- Commissions for some categories are very low (1%) – for instance, video games
- Each country must be registered separately
- There have been times when Amazon has slashed commissions
The meaning of true affiliation is to walk the road together with a brand. Now more than ever, Awin is making that happen by providing a programmatic solution for affiliate partnerships across multiple affiliates, platforms, and networks.
Awin is a global affiliate marketing network helping merchants find high-quality affiliates, and affiliates find the most profitable offers. They aim to provide an unmatched affiliate service for merchants and affiliates.
- Niche: Almost every niche is covered by thousands of merchants, from physical goods to digital products
- Commission rate: It varies with the merchant you partner with
- Cookie duration: It varies with the merchant you partner with
- Minimum payout: $20
- Lots of merchants to choose from
- Dedicated WordPress plugin to help you import products
- Low minimum payout (only $20)
- Sign-up requires paying $5 in advance
- Accounts that do not get approved do not have the $5 fee returned
As one of the leading affiliate networks in the industry, ShareASale provides merchants and advertisers with innovative ways to build and grow partnerships. They’ve built a pretty astounding product line and a whole lot of trust within affiliate circles.
ShareASale gives you access to thousands of publishers, from the biggest names in eCommerce to blogs and small-time websites looking for a little extra income per month.
They offer a wide range of services. From publisher to advertiser branding tools to tracking their offers while giving you a 5% – 20% cut of what you bring in. If you aren’t taking advantage of their merchant network then you are missing out on one of the best affiliate networks available today.
- Niche: Wide variety of products, such as accessories, clothing, arts, computers, automobiles, and even online dating services
- Commission rate: 5% to 20%, depending on the merchant
- Cookie duration: It varies from merchant to merchant
- Minimum payout: $50
- A large network of partners
- Prompt payment cycle
- A trustworthy organization
- Though it has improved since it was first introduced, the dashboard still requires some getting used to
4. Rakuten Advertising
Rakuten Advertising is an affiliate and multichannel marketing platform ideal for e-commerce merchants and growing brands. Merchants can capitalize on the Rakuten Advertising network to establish new revenue channels and increase sales.
Rakuten Advertising’s affiliate program allows merchants to generate even more demand by reaching out to a broad network of publishers. In addition, they can also reach out to social influencers, bloggers, shoppers, websites, emailers, and mobile app content creators.
- Niche: Fortunately, there are still tons of merchants that offer offers in most niches
- Commission rate: It varies from merchant to merchant
- Cookie duration: It varies from merchant to merchant
- Minimum payout: $50
- Allows you to shop at major retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy
- A trusted brand
- Including features such as easy ad rotation
- The dashboard appears a little outdated
- This affiliate network does not offer as many options as others
Clickbank is one of the most popular affiliate networks used by those who want to monetize their blogs or websites online. Their system is very simple to use and offers marketers tools that they can easily integrate into their sites.
The biggest benefit is that you can generate as much free traffic/leads as you want without having to worry about creating a product or doing customer service.
- Niche: Covers a wide range of topics, including arts and entertainment, businesses, marketing, games, parenting, health, fitness, languages, and self-help.
- Commission rate: Usually around 90%, although some are much less
- Cookie duration: Cookies will last for a certain period based on the product, but none of them is unlimited
- Minimum payout: $10
- Weekly payouts with multiple payout options.
- It is possible to earn even more money through the joint venture program.
- One of the biggest and best affiliate programs on the market today.
- You can get your money back from ClickBank within 60 days with no questions asked
- Instant approval process
- A refund policy can increase conversion rates, but it can also erode earnings.
- Affiliates selling similar products are fierce competitors.
- Approval within seconds is low-quality digital products.
- A limited selection of physical products.
6. CJ Affiliate
CJ Affiliate is one of the most recognizable affiliate networks and platforms in the world, with thousands of affiliates in its network and millions of active customers. It offers a lot to its affiliates, such as access to a large number of merchants, which is impressive for a company of its size.
Due to its simple registration process and a wide variety of products, brands, and services, CJ Affiliates is also considered one of the best affiliate programs for beginners.
- Niche: CJ offers physical and digital products in several niches
- Commission rate: It varies by merchant
- Cookie duration: It varies by merchant
- Minimum payout: $50 via direct deposit or $100 via check.
- Choose from a wide range of merchants, big and small
- Manage your affiliate marketing efforts with a nice back-end dashboard
- Features a deep link creator bookmarklet which makes it extremely easy to generate links
- Reliable payment system
- As a beginner, you may find the dashboard a little confusing
- Limited customer support
PeerFly is a new network and affiliate platform that has been shaking things up a bit in the industry. It’s incredibly different from the rest of the networks mentioned in this post and has a lot of great features that set it apart.
Access to brands like Target, Fiverr, UGG, and CBS can be found on the platform. Although most merchants have requirements that can be difficult to deal with, a newbie isn’t necessarily the best candidate.
- Niche: Products of various types. Most of the products are digital, but there are also many physical ones.
- Commission rate: Varies with merchants
- Cookie duration: Varies with products
- Minimum payout: $50
- Affiliates report high customer satisfaction
- Excellent user experience and interface
- A comprehensive vetting process ensures that items are not spam or scams.
- Simple setup and powerful dashboard
- The payout cycle is every 7/15/30 days and can be accomplished with PayPal, Amazon gift cards, checks, Payoneer, Bitcoin, or wire transfer.
- Payouts start at $50
- Products are limited
- The application process is rigorous
- The company’s website has limited FAQs and educational materials, and its customer service is slow.
8. eBay Partner Network (EPN)
eBay Partner Network (EPN) is another trusted affiliate marketing network available today. It provides a proprietary technology platform that delivers customized solutions to help you scale your business.
Most of the eBay partners are affiliates. That is why they are one of the best affiliate networks in the world.
- Niche: Mostly physical products, though you can earn for anything on eBay so you’ll find digital products as well.
- Commission rate: Earn between 50% and 70% of eBay’s revenue depending on the product category.
- Cookie duration: 24 hours, but you still earn a commission if the auction lasts up to 10 days
- Minimum payout: $10
- Almost anything can be sold on eBay, so you have a huge variety to choose from
- The possibility of selling used products makes it unique
- Low payout – just $10
- Cookies only last for 24 hours
Avangate is arguably one of the best new affiliate networks and platforms out there. They have excellent tools, especially when it comes to tracking sales and commission. Also, commission rates are nice (25 – 50%).
This company provides an online outlet for merchants to sell software, software licenses, as well as other digital goods and services. Global companies use Avangate to sell their products. If you are a publisher or developer looking for something new check out Avangate.
- Niche: Digital goods and software products
- Commission rate: Generally around 25%; for some merchants it can exceed 50%
- Cookie duration: 120 days
- Minimum payouts: $100
- PayPal is a payment option you can choose
- You can choose from a wide range of unique software products
- Commissions are usually pretty high with most merchants
- The payout minimum is $100
- There are limited options for searching and sorting on the dashboard
- Detailed reports are scarce
- Many customers are upset about unexpected or unauthorized charges, which result in a high level of dissatisfaction
- There are times when the customer service is poor
FlexOffers is one of the affiliate networks and platforms that is easy to use. It has a simple one-page strategy that affiliates can follow.
Affiliates can have their dedicated account managers, and there are lots of tools to help track conversions such as the lead generation tool and heat mapping technology.
As a result, it is suitable for both beginners and seasoned affiliate marketers. In addition, FlexOffers is a solid affiliate network with a variety of affiliate options, good customer service, and quick payouts.
- Niche: Physical and digital products
- Commission rate: It varies by merchant.
- Cookie duration: It varies by merchant.
- Minimum payout: $50 for US residents and $100 for international affiliates.
- Several affiliate programs are available
- An attractive backend dashboard
- Affiliate managers will be assigned to you
- Only PayPal can be used by non-US residents.
What makes a good affiliate program?
1. They pay commissions on time
Affiliate programs are the given piece of a larger puzzle. Thus, you need them to be working well with the other pieces. If they are not paying out commissions on time, then there is no point in having them at all.
Affiliate programs either pay commissions on time or late. Generally, the ones that pay affiliates late are poorly managed and lack proper tracking systems for affiliates. This leads to delayed payment, which in turn results in affiliates not getting paid and ultimately quitting the program.
The first thing that you need to check off the list when looking at affiliate programs is whether or not they pay on time.
2. Incentives for promoting products
There’s no black and white to affiliate marketing. There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing a good affiliate network. Not just how much they pay but also incentives for promoting their products.
A common incentive is a payment for your services and product sales. However, some affiliate programs will pay monthly or quarterly based on a tiered system, where the number of affiliates under you plays a role in how much you earn.
The program you sign up with should be simple to understand.
3. Customer support and relation
A good affiliate program needs seamless and efficient customer support. No brick wall, no delays, no waiting – all done to make your work easy and client relationship close and friendly with the involved company.
Before signing up for any affiliate network it’s important to evaluate the quality of support it provides. If you’re not getting adequate responses from your affiliate network or affiliate manager, it might be time to move on and find another one with better customer support
4. A brand you can trust and love
There are thousands of affiliate programs on the internet. From big, established brands to small newbies, who started with little money and made it big with great products. The motivation for affiliates to promote such programs will be higher if they like the company and its products.
Each affiliate network will invest heavily in the brands they represent, making sure they adhere to the highest standards of integrity and corporate ethics. That means a great deal when choosing a network to partner with, and why this is so important.
5. Fits within your niche
Whether you’re an affiliate, publisher, or advertiser, there’s no question that an effective affiliate network is a must-have for any business. But with so many networks out there peddling their wares, it can be difficult to find the best fit for your goals and niche.
Mentally list your niche/category/genre, now look to see what affiliate programs fit within that. For example, if you are an affiliate marketer for pet supplies, you will want to find affiliate programs that contain pet-related products, not only ones that are simply a retailer selling everything.
Learn more: How to dominate your niche with the best keyword research tool.
6. Good cookie duration
An affiliate program where the cookies stick around for a long time is going to be your best bet. This means that you have enough time to promote their products and still make sales even after you stop actively promoting them.
The longer the cookies are active on a referred visitor, the more money you will make. When an affiliate program manager offers a long cookie duration, it makes the job of driving repeat business easier for the affiliates. Long cookies make sense for referring customers who will purchase regularly.
Is it possible to make real money with an affiliate marketing program?
Yes. There are plenty of people making real money and more joining all the time. It is even possible to become an affiliate marketer and make enough money to be able to quit your day job and do affiliate marketing as a full-time career.
However, note that there are many ways to promote affiliate products and services, and the way you go about this will determine your success.
Do affiliate programs have requirements?
Affiliate programs have certain requirements you are required to follow. In addition, there may be conditions concerning how much traffic you need to send before being paid, whether or not you will be paid per lead or per sale, and having a blog or a website.
The reason this is so vital is that the owners of an affiliate program are interested in promoting a good product to generate sales. If they decide to promote your site, they want to know that they can trust you and that their visitors will not be taken advantage of or left with poor experiences.
Who should join affiliate programs?
Affiliate programs are ideal for entrepreneurs, bloggers, and website owners seeking extra income. Besides, anyone with a mobile phone, tablet or computer can join an affiliate program and share their experience of a brand, product or service with others.
In fact, many networks specifically target bloggers and offer incentives such as increased commissions for blog posts or product reviews.
Looking to get your feet wet in the world of affiliate marketing? Seasoned affiliate marketers looking to diversify their portfolio will love the vast selection of lucrative offers with a low cost of entry.
Is affiliate marketing possible without a website?
Yes, affiliate marketing can be done without a website. This is just one route. It is possible to do affiliate marketing through newsletters and forums. However, based on my experiences as an affiliate, I would recommend using a website.
When enlisting the aid of other netizens to promote your products or services, you will need a way for them to easily identify what you offer and how they can contact you.
A website provides this information in an accessible format and facilitates communication with customers interested in your particular goods or services.
How do affiliate networks work?
Affiliate networks are a popular way for e-commerce businesses to promote their products online and make sales. An affiliate network acts as a middle-ground between the merchant and affiliates/publishers.
These networks match affiliates and merchants so that affiliates can earn commissions by driving performance-based traffic to the merchant’s website (usually through specially designed links or ads).
These networks have become extremely popular with online retailers since they allow them to expand their reach by tapping into the audiences of the merchants on their network.
What are the perks of joining an affiliate program?
Affiliate Programs benefit both parties. Affiliates make money and website owners convert visitors into buyers and earn commissions with no upfront costs.
For the Affiliate, it’s free money with a minimum of work needed to be performed to obtain said commission checks that come in every week.
For the webmaster, this is a means for an affiliate to send targeted visitors to their websites so that they can increase sales. With the increase of increased online traffic, you will also notice an increase in your SEO rankings as well.
Finally, affiliate programs are an incredibly successful way to generate extra revenue through online ads, email marketing, and direct marketing campaigns.
The affiliate job is a lucrative one. After all, who would have thought that you could make so much money by just posting links on your blog? There are many affiliate networks and programs out there.
Yet, not all of these offers are equally beneficial to the publisher. In this post, I have provided a list of the 10 best affiliate networks and platforms currently on the market that can help you build your online business.
ShareASale is suitable for affiliates promoting physical products, whether they are new or established. Any affiliate marketer can benefit from Amazon Affiliates. Those in the business, technology, or SaaS industries should use Avangate.
If you use WordPress, I encourage you to check out my post on 9 helpful affiliate marketing plugins for WordPress bloggers. Moreover, the blog has an extensive section dedicated to blogging, which can assist you with all your blogging needs.