Affiliate marketing is a very large industry and has become a key source of online income for many thousands of professional bloggers. With more and more online businesses becoming involved in affiliate marketing, more opportunities have arisen for bloggers, like you and I, to make money with their blog.
With a wide variety of businesses who work direct with affiliates, most affiliate marketers will use an affiliate marketing network to search for offers for their blogs. Though these affiliate platforms will take a small cut of any fees generated, they do serve a valuable purpose in the affiliate marketing climate
- Aggregating offers from different vendors
- Create a directory or search engine for affiliate marketers to find offers
- Handle the administrative duties of running an affiliate network
In this post I will go through some of the most popular affiliate marketing platforms.
Best Affiliate Networks
ShareASale is one of the largest affiliate networks. The Shareasale platform has about 4,000 merchants listed, of which over one thousand of them are exclusive to them. ShareASale publishes a large amount of data on each of the offers they are running, these include:
- Earnings per Click
- Reversal Rates
- Average Sale Amount
- Average Commission
While these figures aren’t guarantees of payouts you can expect, they’re certainly very helpful in assessing a campaign.
The advantages of ShareASale include:
- Large Partner Network. The 4,000+ merchants include more than 1,000 that are exclusive.
- Easy to Compare Offers. When trying to choose from the various offers available, ShareASale make it very easy to evaluate the best ones based on the metrics.
- Quick Payment Cycle. ShareASale pay out on the 20th of every month, assuming your account balance is more than $50.
Disadvantages of Shareasale:
- Clunky Reporting Tools. The ShareASale reporting dashboard feels old, and is harder to navigate than other networks, but it is slowly improving.
Flexoffers is an affiliate marketing network that can pay you faster than others in the industry. It has more than 10 years of experience in the field. While they do not offer anything that is neither groundbreaking nor revolutionary, they do provide a solid array of tools and features that will surely aid you in your campaigns. In addition to the fast payouts, Flexoffers lets you choose from thousands of affiliate programs to promote, offers various content delivery formats, and more.
Tradedoubler was founded in 1999 by two young Swedish entrepreneurs. They have offices in the UK and multiple countries throughout Europe, including Sweden, Germany, France, Poland and Spain. Their focus has always been to provide smarter results for both clients and affiliates through technology. In 18 years, they’ve amassed an army of 180,000 active publishers, connecting them to over 2,000 merchants in Europe and the UK. Many of these merchants are household names.
CJ Affiliate is considered to be the biggest affiliate platforms online; if you have worked in the affiliate marketing space for any amount of time, you’ve probably come across them.
Nearly every major retailer have their affiliate programs on CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction), which makes them as close to a one stop shop as you can get in the affiliate marketing business. Most retailers have multiple ad sizes available for affiliates, which gives you better control of the offers you show on your blog.
With such a wide array of advertisers on the CJ Affiliate platform it makes it relatively easy to compare and segment different offers. Finding the affiliate tracking code to place on your blog is also straightforward; once you’re approved to promote an offer, you can be running lots of different offers on your site in just a few short hours.
To summarise, the advantages of the network are:
- Large Partner Network. CJ Affiliate has over three thousand advertising partners, many have lots of creative sizes and various affiliate link options.
- Reliable Payments. They offer a net-20 payment term which means that you’ll get your commission paid out in a timely manner each month.
- Powerful Reporting Options. The reporting suite from CJ Affiliate is pretty impressive, which is a big advantage for marketers who plan to spend a their time optimizing their sales performance.
Disadvantages of the network include:
- Steep Learning Curve. While the reporting capabilities are great, they’re also quite difficult for beginners to get to grips with. You’ll need to spend time in the dashboard before you’re comfortable navigating the reporting suite and can then start to take full advantage of the tools on offer.
- Limited Customer Support.Due to the large number of affiliates and merchants, it’s understandable that customer support is quite limited. But only having a contact form as the main method to get in touch with the support department can be restrictive.
Rakuten LinkShare is considered to be one of the oldest affiliate partner networks, it is now a fair amount smaller than some of the bigger players in the affiliate industry. There are a few slick features of Rakuten LinkShare that differentiate this platform from the rest.
For example, they have the ability to rotate through the various banners automatically for a product which is a huge advantage when trying to optimize your offers. Instead of having to manually select which ad you want to run on your blog, LinkShare lets multiple versions rotate with only one small piece of code.
LinkShare also allows for more flexible “deep linking” to individual merchant landing pages, this allows for increased customization of the types of campaigns you can run.
The advantages of LinkShare are:
- Ad Rotation. This may seem like a pretty minor feature, but it can make a significant difference when it comes to optimizing your ads.
- Deep Linking Options.LinkShare lets you choose the page you want to send your traffic to on their site, giving you more flexibility for promoting different affiliate offers.
- A Much Smaller Network. LinkShare have around 1,000 partners – this is considerably fewer than the bigger networks like CJ Affiliate or ShareASale.
- Unpredictable Payments to Affiliates.Rakuten LinkShare only pay out to their affiliates once the commissions are collected from their partners.
Established in 2000, this company has since grown into one of the most well regarded affiliate networks in the UK, as well as the world. Currently, it boasts of over 1,600 brands across 77 sectors in 11 territories worldwide. They also provide a simple, user friendly dashboard, as well as an array of useful tools that can definitely help you boost your affiliate marketing campaigns.
Web Hosting Affiliate Programs
WP Engine offer best in class WordPress Managed Hosting; I personally recommend WP Engine if you are a serious blogger as they have super fast hosting optimised just for WordPress. They offer an excellent $200 per sign up for new customers you refer.
Dreamhost have been around for a long time and provide a variety of web hosting services from dedicated web hosting, VPS Hosting, managed WordPress hosting and shared hosting. Right now Dreamhost offer $97 commission for new customers.
Cloudways takes care of the management of open-source tools for hosting websites, like Magento, WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. They offer a $100 referral fee for each new customer you provide – their most popular cloud hosting packages range from $10 to $30 per month.
BlueHost are another well known popular web hosting brand and one which I have featured on this website for the past few years, you can read my BlueHost Review to see why. They offer $65 commission for new customers which can go above $120 per signup if you can provide high volumes of new customers to them.
InMotion Hosting is a web hosting company that focus mainly on business users. Its technical support staff are based within the US, and they offer a 90-day money-back guarantee to offer clients complete peace of mind. InMotion Hosting keeps its plans simple by providing Linux-only web hosting.
Thousands of designers and developers are super fans of Flywheel WordPress hosting. Flywheel offers blazing fast site speeds, friendly and efficient customer service, industry-leading management tools, and inspiring design. With commissions of up to $500 per sale – they offer one of the best payouts in the web hosting affiliate space.
Finance Affiliate Programs
Gold Investing is one of the most lucrative niches on the Internet right now, and Regal Assets has the best offer for serious affiliates. While other gold investing affiliate programs only pay you a small flat-rate for each lead, Regal Assets gives you a flat-rate + a piece of the total investment amount.
Commission Structure Details
- $30-$100 per lead (any qualified lead with name, email & phone number)
- $30-$100 per call (any inbound call lasting 10 minutes or longer)
- 3% of total investment amount (if your lead invests $50,000 in precious metals with Regal Assets, you will get a $1,500 commission)
Colmex Pro is the leading European Regulated CFD Broker. Offering Tier 2 CFD’s, as well as Live Equities, Indices, Commodities, Futures, and Forex, Colmex Pro offers nearly every investment vehicle available on the US Stock Market to international day traders. Coupled with their partner’s educational packages and trade room access Colmex Pro offers investors the best opportunity to grow and learn how to day trade successfully. CPA up to $1000
Health & Fitness Affiliate Programs
It’s free to join the SellHealth affiliate program, though you do have to apply and be accepted before you can start promoting their products. Once you’re accepted, you’ll have access to a number of tools, graphics, banners and more that you can use to promote SellHealth products. The sales are actually made at company-owned Websites, which look professional and handle all of the selling. Commissions vary, but the base rate is 30% of all sales and upsells, and SellHealth says you can earn up to $350 per sale.
The Market Health Affiliate Program allows you to market and promote the world’s leading health and beauty offers online. We offer the highest paying affiliate program and best tracking software in our industry. If you have a web site and are interested in making money off the explosive sales in the health and beauty industry, then MarketHealth.com is perfect for you. Offers include products in the health, beauty, supplement, weight loss, and skin care industries.
With possibly the most transparent affiliate network online, we give affiliates access to stats no other program dare, including earning data, conversion stats, demographic information and seasonality trends. With ethics and consumer protection being high on the agenda, you can rest assured when working with MoreNiche you are working with an honest, trustworthy and transparent company.
Forex Affiliate Programs
Best Forex Partners
Best Forex Partners (BFP) was established in 2011 by a group of international financiers and global online marketing professionals who saw a need to change the nature of affiliate marketing for the better. In a few short years they combined their over 60 years of combined financial and marketing experience to create a new way to affiliate market and have never looked back!
Established in 1997, FOREX CLUB (the company) is the brand name for a group of companies that provides clients from over 120 countries with platforms and services for trading forex, CFDs and other online trading and educational products. We offer every client effective tools in training, analytics and education, as well as personal support where they want it. FOREX CLUB has over 650 employees worldwide. In 2011 alone, over 45,000 traders chose to learn forex trading with us. FOREX CLUB was one of the industry’s first to offer zero spread trading and commission refunds on all unprofitable trades.
Finmax is a binary options broker that emphasizes on beginner traders. Finmax provides great trading signals, which makes the trading process look much easier and convenient. You can access the trading signals service in the ‘Instruments’ section on the official website.
8Binary offers any level trader the opportunity to use market leading trading platforms to manage risk and maximize profits. With a truly global reach and renowned customer service, 8Binary is a secure and safe way to trade Binary Options. Committed to offering all of its clients the safest and most user-friendly experience, 8Binary is the trusted name in the market. Whether you are a beginner, retail investor or a professional trading entity, 8Binary guarantees the best user experience possible.
Dating Affiliate Programs
FriendFinder is an adult-friendly network of dating websites that has a terrific affiliate marketing program, both in terms of customer service and commission rates. Because they rely heavily on affiliates to recruit new members, they treat their affiliates like true business partners. They have a solid reputation for payment and security, and have frequent special offers. Checking into your affiliate account at FriendFinder is always a fun experience, and often a profitable one.
Another one of the highest paying and most popular dating affiliate programs is eHarmony, which is based on the actual earnings that can be made from each referred sale. Up to $188 can be made from a single sale. In general, the members at eHarmony are typically looking to find serious long term relationships, so many of them are willing to pay extra to find similar people.
A U.K. based dating affiliate network that operates a number of mainstream and niche dating sites, including Cupid.com, Flirt.com, BoomerDating.com and PlanetSappho.com. You can promote any of these sites based upon the needs of your audience, and with so many sites to choose from, it’s pretty easy for most affiliates to find at least one or two that are a good fit. Commission rates at Cupid plc can be impressive, too, with $15 paid just for free sign ups, and up to 90 percent commission paid on paid memberships.
Internet Marketing Affiliate Programs
Sendible is a great social media management tool which allows online marketers to schedule posts and manage multiple social accounts all at once. They offer 30% on all sign ups for the first 12 months which means you could earn up to a whopping $716 per sign up.
Shopify is a very popular site building platform for people interested in building eCommerce stores. It has been around for the past few years and seen significant growth in its user base over this time. You can earn a staggering 200% per sale for every new customer you refer to them, which means that there is up to $2400 per new customer on offer.
SEMRush is a popular tool for SEO’s and bloggers providing insight into how well websites perform in Google. You can earn 40% commission on all new customer sign ups. Commissions are recurring, so you will get 40% of what your referral pays them every month until they stop paying for their subscription.
URL Profiler is a website and content auditing tool launched in 2014. They offer 25% lifetime commissions. For example, if a server license is purchased for $29.95 via your affiliate link, you will earn $7.49 for every month that they remain a customer (so, a 12 month subscription would yield $89.88 total commission).
Retail Affiliate Programs
By quite a large margin Amazon has the largest affiliate marketing program out there, with products from more than 1.5 million sellers. Amazon has the most easy-to-use technology of all the affiliate programs I will be reviewing today. Beginners to affiliate marketing with even the most limited technical expertise will have no problems in getting up and running with the Amazon associates program, while more experienced marketers can create custom tools and websites with the APIs and advanced implementations available to them. The great thing about Amazon is that anything from kids toys to laptops can generate sales if they are purchased through any Amazon affiliate link.
The major drawback of the Amazon affiliate network is the commission structure. Their commissions start out as low as 2.5% yet they can be as high as 9% on certain items. Also as most of the products which are sold on Amazon are physical goods, you will have very few options to refer sales that generate a recurring monthly income.
If you are interested about starting out with Amazon Associates then check out my free guide to building an Amazon affiliate site.
- Easy to Use. Amazon’s interface is user friendly, for both beginners and experienced affiliates.
- Very Flexible. Millions of items can be bought via Amazon, giving your ads and links a much wider appeal to your visitors.
Disadvantages can include:
- Low Commission Rates. Commissions starting out from 4% which mean that you will need to generate a higher volume of sales in order to make your online business more sustainable.
- Long Payment Cycles. Amazon’s affiliate payment terms mean you won’t get your money for more than 60 days after a sale has occurred.
You can make really good commissions from the eBay partner but it depends on the products which you decide to promote. Interestingly the commission levels vary according to where you are in the world not just on the products you decide to promote. One of the great reasons to sign up is that you can earn DOUBLE commissions in your first three months. They offer free to use link generators, ad creatives and widgets for you to promote different eBay items. eBay has over 162 Million active buyers which means there is a great potential to convert your traffic.
Casino Affiliate Programs
888.com is a premium gaming destination and a well established name in the casino and poker circuit. Its site offers numerous sub-brands including 888sport, 888ladies, 888bingo, 888casino and 888poker, as well as ReefClub Casino. The 888 family of companies attract millions of players, and the company provides affiliates with frequent promotions to keep players interested.
iAffiliates is an affiliate program that likes five prominent online casino brands. It actively encourages existing players to revisit its sites by using generous promotions, and new gamers are rewarded with lucrative bonuses. By signing up you can promote deals for Casino.com, Monarch Casino and slots heaven with up to $500 CPA for new customers.
Casino Blasters, also known as Golden Palace Affiliates, is the affiliate marketing program for Golden Palace casino. It’s a popular program that promises generous commission for marketers. There are bonus CPAs in the first month of membership, making it a great program to try.
Betfair Affiliates is the affiliate marketing program for the well known Betfair betting website. Betfair’s primary market is sports betting. It’s actually a betting exchange, so it allows gamblers to place lay bets too – in other words, bets that bank on the opposite outcome. Betfair also offers in-play betting that allows users to lock in profits before the match ends. They also have great offers for the new customers to Betfair Casino.
To find out all the jargon around Affiliate Marketing, then head over to our always up to date Affiliate Marketing Glossary.
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