Affiliate marketing has become an extremely popular way to earn some money on the side and for some people, to make an entirely new carrier. In the past 10 years the business model became one of the most recognized money-making techniques mainly due to the fact that it’s much easier to launch yet the earning potential is almost unlimited.
But what exactly is affiliate marketing?
For those of you who somehow missed the huge fuss around AM, let’s quickly go over the concept of this marketing model. Basically, affiliate marketing refers to a business model where companies partner up with other companies or individuals and rely on them for the distribution of their products/services. The affiliate marketers earn money by getting a percentage or a fixed fee whenever they sell said products/services.
This is a brilliant scheme IMO – companies do not get to pay, unless they see results and on the other hand, affiliate marketers can work with as many companies as they want. Also, people who are looking to start slowly can find that this is way easier to start with; you can start with a simple blogging site where all you need is a well-spotted domain name, a good hosting provider and the passion for creating content.
If you are still at the beginning of your affiliate journey, or you are looking to start a new project, I would also recommend taking a look at this article, which can help you decide on a niche or at least give you some good ideas about sustainable and profitable market niches.
Which are Best Affiliate Marketing Networks Online You May Ask?
After doing extended research and much reading, I was able to put a list together of the top 5 affiliate marketing networks. These seem to be the most popular, the ones that are most generous with their commissions and the ones that people seem to trust the most.
There is not a product out there that Amazon doesn’t sell – they are obviously the top affiliate program due to this fact. You can find both physical and digital products and the variety is almost infinite – whatever you are looking for, Amazon will have it.
We should start by saying that getting accepted these days is rather difficult. First of all, because they are so popular though, they tend to filter out sites that look too superfluous or filled with thin-content. Heck, they may reject you even if you got 10-20K visits per month if they decide your project doesn’t look sustainable enough.
Secondly, after completing the process, you will have to wait for that approval – the T&C requires that you make 3 qualified sales so that your application gets reviewed and processed.
Experienced affiliate marketers claim that overbearing or misleading Amazon ads are counter-productive and may earn you a manual review and subsequently, ban, so be careful how you use them.
Finally, the Revenue share isn’t very high (Amazon Associates Programme offers up to 10% commission) however the widely recognized brand of Amazon perhaps will compensate for that fact, as the conversion rate is usually much higher than your average affiliate program.
2. CJ (formerly Commission Junction) by Conversant
This affiliate network has to be one of the oldest in the industry. They have been around since 1998 and have attracted thousands upon thousands of publishers and advertisers.
The network offers a very wide range of products and very advanced technology – for example, they offer cookiless tracking, which guarantees that you won’t lose your commission, even in the absence of the cj cookie. Commissions can also be pretty decent, depending on the specific product you choose.
Obviously, being one of the oldest companies in the industry means many companies know them and they are likely to work with them, so variety – as with Amazon, although on a different level – is assured.
That being said, they do have a reputation of terminating partnerships for minor infractions of their T&C, so if you decide to try your luck with this company, definitely make sure you follow their rules.
This company is like three for one. They offer online training and classes on how to build a successful internet marketing business, including affiliate marketing, how to build websites on WordPress etc.
Most importantly, they also have one of the most lucrative affiliate programs out here today: For every referral that you give them to their online class and they register as a member, you can as much as $22.50 recurring commission.
When you register with Wealthy Affiliate, you will be joining a community of over 100,000 members from whence can make friends with many. Arguably, their online community is amazing, it’s extremely welcoming and very supportive. It is available to answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, literally making it a community that never sleeps and a sure place to enable one to become a successful affiliate.
4. Share a Sale
ShareASale is another affiliate platform with many years of experience behind their back. Like the other programs we spoke about, they have a substantial range of products – basically, you can find anything from sportswear to beauty products and luxury goods. Word is they have around 5,000 vendors which mean there is a large chance for you to find products, suitable for your niche.
They have an interesting system, called Power Rank system which helps potential affiliate partners to see which are the most popular vendors. The approval process is rather simple and well-though as it allows you to sign up with multiple sites at once.
This affiliate marketing network is very popular with entry-level merchants. Their links are easy to share and their products are mostly related to fitness, education, food, wine, cooking, and skincare.
The commissions depend on the merchant offer but it can get as high as 75% per sale.
Some people tend to misunderstand affiliate marketing and refer to it as multi-level marketing. This is not the case at all. It’s basically a business agreement between a brand/company and another person/online business that is willing to promote certain products in exchange for a commission for each sale. If you want to create a thriving business online, affiliate marketing is definitely the path to take if your desire is to make money online.