Affiliate marketing is increasingly becoming popular among people looking for career shifts and secondary income streams.
It allows people to advertise products and services for merchants and make commissions on each sale, website visit, ad view or ad click.
Some of the best affiliate networks globally provide thousands of merchants access to numerous affiliates to push their products to clients.
Read on for an in-depth analysis of the best affiliate networks in the industry and advice on how to select a network that best suits you.
- Best Affiliate Networks(Overview)
- What Are Affiliate Networks?
- How Do Affiliate Networks Work?
- How Do You Choose The Best Affiliate Network?
- Best Affiliate Networks
- Best Affiliate Marketing Platforms for Beginners
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Best Affiliate Networks(Overview)
We’ve included an overview of our top picks below. For detailed information on each pick, scroll down.
- Commission Junction
- Amazon Affiliate Program
- Amazon Associates
- Commission Junction
What Are Affiliate Networks?
Affiliate networks are platforms that connect affiliate marketers with businesses that want to sell their products.
In affiliate marketing, the network helps affiliates find products they can advertise to consumers while providing exposure to businesses.
Therefore, affiliate networks help both businesses increase their sales, and marketers earn a commission from encouraging consumers to buy specific brands.
How Do Affiliate Networks Work?
First, the affiliates (publishers) and merchants (advertisers) sign up for an affiliate network.
Once the network accepts their applications, the merchant can add affiliate programs to the network, thus giving affiliates access to numerous programs that promote various products.
The affiliate then applies to join merchant programs of interest and gains access to promotional materials to use on marketing platforms, like social media, once accepted.
The affiliate also receives a unique ID to attach to the marketing links they use to enable the network to track their sales once a customer taps the link and purchases a product on a merchant’s website.
How Do You Choose The Best Affiliate Network?
It would be best if you considered the following factors before choosing an affiliate network:
As A Merchant
As a merchant, you are looking to promote your product most affordably and efficiently possible, so consider:
1. Avoid Fees
Avoid affiliate networks that charge fees because they make money through the sales they direct to your business.
Charging fees is a sign the network does not think it can make enough from promoting your products.
2. Stay Away from Networks Used by Competitors
Using a network with numerous competitors can make it challenging for publishers to find and promote your products.
3. Look for Transparency
Some affiliate networks are vague about the affiliates signed up to your program and the people accessing your website, meaning they can manipulate your payments to suit them.
Therefore, ensure the network gives you adequate data concerning your affiliates and website traffic.
4. Look for Networks that Choose Affiliates Carefully
Some affiliate networks accept numerous applications from affiliates without evaluating them.
Thus, your affiliate network of choice should have a thorough vetting process to ensure the affiliates accepted are competent and to save you from conducting the evaluations.
5. Think of the Type of Affiliate You’re Targeting
There are several types of affiliates, including social media influencers, content creators, review writers, email marketers, and website marketers hence the need to determine the type of affiliate you want before joining an affiliate network.
As An Affiliate
Before applying to join an affiliate network, consider:
1. Check the Requirements
Though most affiliate networks do not have strict requirements, others will impose an age restriction and bar citizens from certain countries from joining.
Some will also require a website that can send a specified amount of traffic to the network.
2. Check How Pay Works
There are several payment methods in affiliate marketing, including pay-per-sale, pay-per-click, pay-per-post, and pay-per review so pick a network with a pay structure that suits you.
3. See what Networks Fit your Niche
Ensure the affiliate network you choose offers affiliate marketing for your niche, for example, technology, fashion, and travel.
Best Affiliate Networks
There are numerous affiliate networks in the marketplace.
However, only a select few are worth considering joining.
Here are some noteworthy examples of the best affiliate networks:
ShareASale is one of the most popular affiliate networks globally.
The network provides access to a wide range of physical and digital products.
Signing up to ShareASale is free for affiliates, while merchants must pay a one-time $550 fee.
ShareASale offers education to its affiliates and merchants in the form of blogs, webinars, and other materials.
They also provide data to affiliates to enable them to analyze the performance of their promotions and make adjustments to their strategy.
FlexOffers is an affiliate network that offers access to over 12,000 affiliate programs.
It also connects affiliates and merchants to 65 other affiliate networks, some of which are on this list, like Awin.
Signing to FlexOffers is very straightforward since it requires basic information and verification of your contacts and platforms you will use for advertising, like your website.
FlexOffers pays its affiliates via wire transfers, checks, bank transfers, and PayPal.
They also offer advances to cash-strapped affiliates.
ClickBank is an appropriate affiliate network for product creators, unlike other networks focusing more on recognized brands.
It offers small and medium-sized businesses access to a large marketplace to promote their unique products.
Merchants pay a 7.5% commission on all products sold through the network, meaning advertisers do not have to contend with upfront fees.
Another benefit of ClickBank is it offers customers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
See our ClickBank Review for more information on the network.
- Related: How to Make Money on ClickBank
4. Commission Junction
Commission junction has thousands of merchants on its network.
They include traditional physical product companies and digital-based companies that offer services in industries in retail, finance, and travel.
Commission junction allows you to determine who you want to work with and offers flexibility in commission based on the output of the affiliate marketers.
5. Amazon Affiliate Program
The Amazon Affiliate Program allows publishers to advertise products hosted on the Amazon website, even those posted by third-party vendors.
Amazon Affiliate Program offers fixed commission payments to affiliates ranging from 1% to 20%, depending on the product you sell.
Amazon Affiliate Program also offers bounty commissions for sign-ups to products and services like Amazon Prime and Audible.
For more on the commission structure, see Amazon Associates.
Impact handles the relationship between affiliates and merchants differently than other affiliate networks.
With other networks, affiliates apply to work with a merchant and get approved.
However, with Impact, the affiliate has to contact the merchant and propose a working relationship.
Therefore, it is vital to have pitching experience when working with Impact.
Impact offers the ability to negotiate your commission directly with the merchant.
Awin, formerly known as Affiliate Window, is an affiliate network with over 20,000 merchants.
Awin began in Germany, but therefore it offers access to not only North American but European merchants.
The network does not offer fixed commissions meaning you get to negotiate your rates with the merchant.
Another benefit is that Awin offers payouts of as low as $20.
Best Affiliate Marketing Platforms for Beginners
Not all affiliate networks and programs are conducive for beginners.
Some are very complex and have strict requirements.
Hence, as a beginner, you should consider the following affiliate programs:
1. Amazon Associates
The main reason why Amazon Associates is appropriate for beginners is that it offers over one million products and services to promote.
Therefore, you can always find a niche of products and services that suit your interests.
Moreover, if a customer buys a product using your unique ID, you will receive a commission.
You will also still get a commission if they buy something else without buying the product you are promoting.
2. Commission Junction
Commission Junction, now known as CJ Affiliate, is an affiliate network with merchants globally, making it easy to find products to promote.
It also gives affiliates six months to generate a commission which is adequate time to develop relationships with merchants and customers.
They also provide several earning methods, including pay-per-call and pay-per-action programs.
Skimlinks offers access to over 50,000 merchants with the freedom to determine the commission they will pay their affiliates.
The network also has partnerships with other affiliate networks hence negating the need to sign up to several affiliate networks.
Skimlinks also make finding merchants easier because affiliates install a widget that links with their websites and assesses their content to determine viable merchants.
Fiverr offers education to new affiliates through tutorials making it easier for them to establish themselves.
The platform also has an easy-to-use dashboard that helps them find merchants and track their product promotions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Affiliate marketing is a broad subject matter hence why I have answered a few frequently asked questions below.
Which ad network is best for affiliate marketing?
The best ad network for affiliate marketing is Amazon Publisher Services.
The network has a large ad inventory capable of meeting the needs of any publisher.
Publishers also get access to shopping data on the network, thus enabling them to leverage the analytics to become better marketers.
What affiliate programs pay the highest commissions?
Determining the affiliate programs with the highest commissions depends on your affiliate marketing niche.
Some of the highest-paying affiliate marketing programs include ShareASale, which offers the highest pay for publishers with unique niches, while Amazon offers the best pay for affiliates with blogs.
DoorDash and Shopify affiliate programs offer the best commissions in E-Commerce affiliate marketing, while Coursera has the highest paying education affiliate program.
In a digital world, affiliate marketing allows you to work with merchants of all sizes to advertise their products and earn a commission for sales attributable to your efforts.
It also enables merchants to sell more products, especially those with minimal advertising budgets.
The best affiliate networks globally offer access to tens of thousands of merchants; hence it is a job worth considering.
Feel free to comment if you have any questions concerning the article.