Top Affiliate Marketing Networks

Being an affiliate of a specific company or platform is one way of monetizing a blog or website. But sometimes, joining each and every affiliate program can not only take a lot of time, but it can also spread your efforts across several different places. 

You’ll have to go on each and check your earnings and stats on a regular basis, not to mention that you’ll be paid from different sources. To make things easier, we decided to put together an affiliate marketing network list. 

Most of the affiliate networks we’re showcasing in this post can be used for the promotion of several different products and services, so choose the one that best suits your niche and personal preferences. 

Which platform is best for affiliate marketing?

Before we move on to the actual topic of today’s post, we’d like to note that you should base your decision on two main factors — payout methods and thresholds and convenience. 

As you will see, the best affiliate marketing platforms for beginners will allow you to use a variety of tools, not just affiliate links. They’ll also let you check out your detailed statistics and perhaps improve your content depending on them. 

ShareASale

This is perhaps the most popular affiliate network that we have come across. The best thing about ShareASale is that there are over four thousand different merchants available on the platform, which means that the sky’s the limit as to what you can recommend to your blog readership. 

The dashboard gives you access to absolutely everything you need, from eye-catching marketing tools to your statistics. 

It’s also worth noting that on ShareASale, you will stumble upon not just physical products, but also digital ones, such as themes, plugins, and even hosting options. 

This means that you are basically going to be able to use this network for promoting anything manufactured or designed by large and reputable brands or smaller, indie ones. 

As is the case with any other marketing affiliate platform, both the commissions and the cookie durations vary from one merchant to the next. 

We’d say that this option is definitely worth considering and if you take the time to read other affiliate marketing blogs, you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that joining ShareASale is definitely a good idea. One thing we have to note, though, is that the minimum payout is $50. 

Awin

This network is currently used by lots of merchants, many of which are world-known (Etsy, AliExpress, Under Armour, and more). It has pretty much the same features that you will find on the other platforms that we’ve showcased here.

As is the case with ShareASale, you will have to apply to different merchants manually and individually. They do not have an automatic approval process, so this could take some time. 

One of the reasons to consider using Awin would be the fact that they have their own WordPress plugin, which makes importing products very easy. Also, the minimum payout threshold is just $20, but you can be paid through ACH or wire transfers. 

CJ Affiliate

Like ShareASale, this is perhaps the best platform for affiliate marketing if you need access to thousands of merchants. It’s been around for more than two decades, so CJ Affiliate has a lot of history behind it. 

The downside is that you can’t get paid through Paypal with this one, but there are so many other advantages that this detail is actually easy to ignore. You can get paid through direct deposit or cheque, though. 

From what we’ve found about the network, the platform is extremely easy to use. They also seem to be a little more understanding when it comes to approving affiliates, although they might take the time to analyze your site or stats. 

Rakuten Marketing

If you run a blog whose audience is mostly based in the United States, Rakuten Marketing is an affiliate marketing network that you will have to consider. The company works with some of the biggest brands in the world and in the US, in particular, such as Macy’s, Walmart, as well as Best Buy. 

Naturally, the cookie duration and the commissions depend on the products and services you recommend. However, if you need cash quickly and you don’t tend to have a lot of trouble stacking $50 to $100 in commissions, Rakuten is a good idea since the minimum payout is $50. 

The platform has quite a bit of promotional tools available, so maybe look into those, too. 

Clickbank

We’re going to put together a detailed review of this network in the upcoming weeks, so if you’re a consistent reader of our news blog, you’ll find out all the information you need about it. 

Clickbank is one of the oldest affiliate networks in the world. To date, it has more than 6 million affiliate products you can link to, so the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can promote on your site or blog. 

There’s also the option of you specifically choosing the payment schedule that you prefer. If you’d rather get your money every week, you can opt for that. If not, you’ll be paid every month. 

The only downside that we came across with regard to Clickbank is that you do not have the ability to be paid through Paypal. However, you can be paid through cheque and wire transfer, as well as direct deposit, which means that even if you are not a US resident, you can use services like Payoneer and still get your earnings. 

FlexOffers

If you have nothing against working with a network that doesn’t have as much history behind it as some of the larger ones we’ve discussed (like ShareASale, Clickbank, or CJ Affiliate), FlexOffers might be a good choice. 

First of all, they have affiliate managers in place, and these people can help you set up your account and start using the marketing tools as you are supposed to. This largely eliminates some of the hassle involved in the same process with other platforms. 

There are over twelve thousand (yes, you read that right!) merchants available on this network, so in this sense, it might be the best platform for affiliate marketing. It’s also available in twenty-seven languages and countries and the number seems to get higher and higher with every year that goes by. 

In terms of payments, US residents can choose for direct deposit or cheque, but for any other person that doesn’t live in the United States, there’s always the option of getting your money through Paypal

Pepperjam

If your blog or website deals with digital products, coupons, finance, or generally ways to teach people on being frugal, this one should be right up your alley. As you might have told by now, Pepperjam has a variety of products and services you can recommend to your audience, but most are digital. 

They work with heaps of brands ranging from Honey to RetailMeNot, which is another aspect that you should consider when picking an affiliate network. Also, if you join Pepperjam, you’ll be paid either through direct deposit or cheque, although there’s also the option of you getting your earnings through Paypal. 

Best of all, the minimum payment threshold is just $25 — an advantage in itself. 

Market Health

You might have come across this network in our post about the best affiliate programs for health bloggers, so we thought we’d mention it here, too. It is one of the largest networks in this niche and it allows people to recommend a variety of products, from makeup to skincare.

What’s interesting about Market Health is that even though the company is based in the United States, it’s also available in a wide variety of other countries. In other words, if you run a blog or website in a language other than English and your audience is based elsewhere besides the US, UK, or other English-speaking countries, this is a network to consider. 

While the cookie duration naturally depends on every merchant, what we would like to add with regard to Market Health is that it’s commonly praised as one of the highest paying affiliate networks out there. You can earn anything from $20 to $50 on every sale, and the average commission can go up to 50% of the value of various items. 

Also, you can be paid through cheques, wire transfer, or Skrill and the minimum payout threshold is just twenty dollars. 

Avantlink

As one of the oldest affiliate networks we are showcasing in this article, Avantlink is possibly the best place to go to if you’d like to recommend anything from appliances to travel experiences to your blog readers. 

One thing that we do have to add with respect to Avantlink is that you might have to wait for a while before being accepted into the program. They actually make a big deal out of claiming that only a third of the people that go through the approval process end up being accepted into it. 

On the downside, you can only be paid through cheque if you decide to join Avantlink. Even so, the minimum payment threshold is $25, which is a pro to take into account. 

Walmart 

We’ve written a detailed review of the Walmart Affiliate program in the past, so for all the information you might need regarding this retailer’s system, we suggest that you read that one. 

Like Amazon, which we will describe in a section below, this one, too, can’t really be considered a network. However, there are a lot of third-party vendors available on the Walmart site, which would make it similar to an affiliate marketing platform. 

The cookie lasts for 3 whole days (clearly better than Amazon Associates) and the commissions usually go up to 18% of the value of every item (with 4% being the average one). 

eBay Partner Network

Unless you’ve been stuck in a whole somewhere for the past twenty years, you’ve probably heard of eBay before. They also have a network that’s more or less similar to Amazon’s one, which we’ll describe below. 

The neat thing about it is that the platform allows the sale of second-hand and new products, so you’ll get a commission on a variety of products. If you didn’t know, eBay now sells digital products, too, so that’s another factor to consider. 

There are two ways you can be paid if you decide to become an eBay affiliate — Paypal and direct deposit. Best of all, the payout threshold is just $10, so if you need some coin right away, this one should be a good option for you. 

Amazon Associates

While not a network per se, Amazon Associates does have similarities to one. For example, it still lets people and brands sell their products on the site, which means that you can promote a variety of items to your audience. 

The value of the commission you will get ranges depending on the category of products your readers have purchased. Qualifying purchases can usually generate a maximum of 5% of each item’s value, which might not be enough for some affiliates. 

Besides all that, the cookie lasts for just 24 hours regardless of the link people click on, and you also will be paid after 60 days have passed from the end of the month (just to make sure that people don’t return the product to Amazon). 

Many affiliates tend to think of Amazon Associates as a bad idea these days, considering that once every several years, they tend to lower the commissions. Since this is a huge brand nowadays, it doesn’t really need affiliates anymore. 

How to choose the right affiliate marketing network

While the two obvious factors that need to be mulled over when it comes to affiliate programs are cookie duration and commission value, this is not the case when it comes to most of the networks we have discussed in this article.

Besides Amazon Associates, Walmart, and other such programs (that can’t even be considered networks per se), you will have to do your best at selecting the merchants that can earn you as much money as possible across the longest period of time. 

Perhaps one of the most important aspects to take into account when picking a network over another would be the type of products or services you can recommend to your audience. 

If you are in the educational niche, you probably know that digital products like courses, tutorials, subscriptions, or anything else in this vein should be consistent with your readers’ interests. If, on the other hand, you tend to write about highly practical things, perhaps recommending physical products would be a better idea. 

In other words, the number of services and products and brands available on a network is another factor that really matters, in this case. 

There’s also the matter of how easily you can become a member of one of these networks. Some of the largest and best-known ones are almost always going to ask for detailed information of the traffic you’re getting, for example. There are affiliate platforms out there that might not accept blogs with traffic of less than 50,000 unique visitors per month. 

While some networks are completely free to join, with others, you will have to pay a monthly fee (usually quite low) for things like the ability to use marketing tools or the ability to talk to an affiliate manager in case you run into a technical issue. 

All of these are important things that you have to analyze even before you make up your mind on one or several different platforms. 

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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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