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Rakuten Affiliate Program

Have you ever heard of Rakuten? If you have, you probably know that before it, there was a network called Linkshare. It was acquired by a huge Japanese e-commerce company called Rakuten back in 2005.

If you are thinking of becoming a Rakuten affiliate, you should take some time to read our Rakuten affiliate network review – we’re including all of the info you need from the signup process to its pros and cons. 

Joining the Rakuten affiliate network

To join the network, all you have to do is to complete an application form. You do have to be the owner of a website with decent traffic. In general, the application process is straightforward, and you shouldn’t stress about how much traffic your site’s getting — both small and large sites are approved swiftly.

As for who this network is designed for, there are two major categories of people who can use it — influencers and advertisers (but that includes bloggers and affiliate marketers, of course). 

There are a wide variety of brands that you can promote, and some of them are huge, such as Macy’s, NordVPN, Lyft, Microsoft, Lego, Monster, NVIDIA, and more. To date, there are more than one thousand you can pick from. 

These are brands that people trust, as you can tell, so you don’t have to go out of your way to promote services or products that are virtually unknown. 

Discovering affiliate programs

Coming across affiliate programs is as easy as pie since the interface is very user-friendly (albeit having a design taken out of the 1990s). If you click on Programs and Categories, you can simply find the ones that best suit your niche

There is, of course, the option of you using the search box at the top right-side corner of the interface. Just type in a keyword of a product or niche, and you’ll see a list of affiliate programs that are a match. 

You then have to apply to each program individually. There are some that will automatically approve your application, but there are some that will perform a manual check before they do. 

The rest of the process is pretty straightforward. You can easily create links using the interface by generating the code in HTML or by picking the banner that you believe would go well with the rest of your site’s design. 

Payments

This is where the affiliate network is somewhat similar to Amazon Associates in that it pays its affiliates after 60 days have passed. For example, if you generate a commission in January, the payment will be authorized by the specific affiliate program in the following month, so in February, and you’ll end up being paid in March. 

Unfortunately, there seem to have been some cases where affiliates were paid even after the 90-day mark, which can be pretty upsetting. 

How are you going to get paid? There are three ways:

  • Cheque
  • Paypal
  • Bank transfer

Naturally, the easiest of these three is Paypal, especially since you don’t have to go through a lot of hassle as you would if you were paid by cheque. All of these three payment methods are available in the US, but for countries such as Germany, France, or the UK, not all of them are. 

Moreover, there is a payment threshold put in place, but you’ll be happy to know that it’s just $50 (lower than that of other affiliate networks). 

Pros and cons

In terms of benefits, this is one of the easiest affiliate networks to use. The signup process is simple, you can get approved by many affiliate programs (with some, even automatically), there are huge brands that you can promote through Rakuten, and you can also create links and banners with ease. 

On the other hand, delayed payments are a reality, especially since a lot of feedback from affiliates revolves around this topic. The interface might be user-friendly, but it hasn’t been changed in many years, so you might still have to manage a learning curve. 

Is Rakuten affiliate marketing worth the effort?

It definitely appears to be. Even with the delay in payments and the less modern interface, Rakuten makes it possible for affiliates to promote some of the biggest brands in the world. 

If you have a website that gets thousands and even tens of thousands of unique visitors per month, giving this affiliate network a try is worth it. 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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