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How To Find Affiliate Programs


You're ready to monetize your website and earn your first commission, but where do you find products to promote?

Affiliate marketing is only a viable way to make money online if you can find products that your audience will be interested in and that you’re willing to recommend.

To help you on your way to earning your first commission, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best affiliate networks out there. Through these networks, you can access thousands of merchants and find millions of physical and digital products to promote. A Forrester survey reveals that 83% of affiliate marketers use affiliate networks to find new partners and products to promote.

From garden furniture to high-end fashion, you’re guaranteed to find affiliate offers that appeal to your audience in the networks listed below. 

Let’s get started and see what the best affiliate networks have to offer.

The Top 10 Affiliate Networks

1.  Amazon Associates

If you are interested in promoting physical products, Amazon Associates should be your first port of call. You can earn a commission by promoting almost every product sold by the world’s largest e-commerce company. Affiliate marketing drives around 16% of all e-commerce orders in the US and Canada.

What’s more, you can earn a commission on every new purchase that a person makes within 24 hours of clicking on your affiliate link. If someone clicks your link for a $20 t-shirt but goes on to purchase a $700 digital camera, you will still earn a commission. 

Amazon offers a flat-rate commission percentage based on the product categories detailed below:

Amazon Associates pros and cons:

Pros:

  • A huge amount of products to promote.
  • Earn commission on every product purchased within 24 hours of someone clicking your affiliate link. 
  • Work with the largest e-commerce company in the world. 

Cons:

  • The universal cookie duration is limited to 24 hours.
  • Some of the product categories offer a low rate of commission. 

2. ShareASale

ShareASale is a well-established affiliate network with over 4,500 merchants and thousands of different products to promote. 

From your affiliate dashboard, you can browse through all the available merchants, sign up to affiliate programs, view your sales statistics, and generate your affiliate links. 

ShareASale works with both well known established brands and smaller up and coming businesses, with a good mix of physical and digital products

Whichever niche your website is based around, there’s a high chance that you’ll find a relevant offer to promote on ShareASale. 

ShareASale pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Over 4,500 merchants, including some brands that work exclusively with ShareASale. 
  • A well established and trusted affiliate network that has been around for decades.

Cons:

  • The ShareASale dashboard is a great feature but lacks some of the functionality of other affiliate dashboards. 

3. CJ Affiliate 

Another well-established affiliate network, CJ Affiliate enables you to build a relationship with thousands of merchants - both household names and smaller brands. 

With a similar affiliate dashboard to ShareASale, you can sign up to programs, view your statistics, and generate your links all in one place. 

CJ Affiliate’s dashboard is a little less intuitive than ShareASale, but once you know your way around, you’ll find it to be an excellent tool for keeping track of sales and identifying new promotion opportunities. 

CJ Affiliate pros and cons:

Pros:

  • A vast range of over 3,000 merchants and thousands of products. 
  • Deep-link generator for straightforward affiliate link creation.
  • Educational and informative content hub to help you make the most of your affiliate marketing opportunities. 

Cons:

  • The affiliate dashboard can be a bit overwhelming for beginners.

4. Awin 

With over 200,000 publishers and 15,500 merchants, Awin is a popular affiliate network with a huge number of offers to promote. 

Awin purchased ShareASale in 2017, but the two networks are run separately and feature different merchants.

Last year, affiliates earned over $832 million through the Awin network. There’s a considerable number of both physical and digital products to promote, with some offers restricted by region and others available globally. 

You’ll need to apply to merchants individually, like ShareASale and CJ Affiliate, before you can generate your links and start tracking your sales. 

Awin pros and cons:

Pros:

  • A huge number of merchants and offers to promote. 
  • Awin convert-a-link WordPress plugin to make tracking your links a simple and straightforward process.

Cons:

  • There’s a £5 registration fee that is reimbursed if you’re approved. 

5. Rakuten Marketing

Rakuten Marketing is a popular affiliate network that includes a lot of big name brands. While they don’t offer as many merchants as some of the other affiliate networks, the merchants they work with are well known global brands. 

If you want to connect with household names, Rakuten is a great option. If you wish to access a wider variety of merchants, Awin or ShareASale might be better suited to your needs. 

Rakuten has some great features for affiliates. The ability to rotate ads without an external tool or plugin is a great time saver. 

Rakuten Marketing pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Access affiliate programs for household brands.
  • Well known and trusted affiliate network.
  • Rotate ads with ease.

Cons:

  • Rakuten doesn’t offer as many merchants as some of the other networks.

6. Avangate Affiliate Network

If you're looking to promote digital products and software, Avangate Affiliate Network is the place to be. 

Avangate offers a fast and straightforward sign-up process, so you can create an account and start browsing through the 22,000+ digital products in no time. 

A key advantage of promoting digital products is the high commissions available. Some products on the Avangate Affiliate Network offer commission rates of 100%.

Avangate Affiliate Network pros and cons:

Pros:

  • High commissions on digital products.
  • A massive amount of software products to promote.

Cons:

  • High $100 payout threshold compared to other networks. 

7. ClickBank

ClickBank is another network that offers a host of digital products to promote, but they do also provide some physical products too. 

While Rakuten and ShareASale offer access to household names, ClickBank is focused more on smaller brands and businesses. 

When you browse through the available merchant offers, you’ll find lots of eBooks, subscription websites, and digital courses. 

While they don’t have the prestige of the big brands available on other networks, these offers can still be a great opportunity if they fit within your niche. 

ClickBank pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Access smaller merchant offers that aren’t available on the other networks.
  • High rates of commission for digital products. 

Cons:

  • You need to search through low-quality products to find offers that are both relevant to your niche and offer value for money for your audience. 

8. FlexOffers

FlexOffers is a popular affiliate network with over 12,000 merchants and an average of 50+ new brands joining the platform every day. 

They have offers from household names, like Sketchers and Lenovo, as well as more niche smaller brands. 

FlexOffers is well established and trusted by affiliates; you don’t need to worry about them disappearing overnight. A nice feature is that they assign you with a dedicated account manager to help you find your feet on the network and identify relevant offers to promote.

FlexOffers pros and cons:

Pros:

  • 12,000+ merchants - you’ll always find a relevant offer to promote. 
  • Intuitive affiliate dashboard.
  • Dedicated account manager to help you make the most of the network. 

Cons:

  • Payment options are limited to PayPal if you’re located outside of the U.S.

9. eBay Partner Network

eBay’s Partner Network is a great place to find thousands of physical products to promote. You can promote everything for sale on the world’s largest online marketplace, a vast selection of 1.4 Billion listings.

While some of the listings are auction-based and time-limited, 80% of the listings are new items for sale, and 90% have a “buy it now” feature. 

Commissions are similar to Amazon Associates and are based on a flat rate per product category:

eBay Partner Network pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Massive selection of products to promote.
  • You can promote used items, antiques, and high-value collectibles that aren’t available on other networks.

Cons:

  • Similar to Amazon Associates, the tracking cookie only lasts for 24 hours.

10. Pepperjam

Founded in 1999, Pepperjam is one of the oldest affiliate networks on the list. What makes Pepperjam different is its unique approach to provide clear communication between merchants and affiliates. 

Every affiliate receives a rating of 0 to 5 based on how open and transparent they are about their promotional methods. If you can achieve a rating of 4 or 5, you receive a higher rate of commission.

Pepperjam has an excellent reputation among affiliates for its intuitive dashboard and excellent customer service. Like FlexOffers, you also receive a dedicated account manager to help you make the most of the network. 

Pepperjam pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Dedicated account manager.
  • A huge amount of products to promote. 
  • Quick and straightforward sign-up process.

Cons:

  • The dashboard is intuitive and highly functional but lacks visual appeal. 

Four Steps To Finding Products To Promote Within The Networks

Now you know about the affiliate networks that are only a few clicks away, the next step is to find products to promote. 

4 Simple Steps to Find products To Promote:

Step 1

Sign up to an affiliate network and wait for approval.

Step 2

Depending on the network, you can immediately start browsing through products to promote, or you may have to apply individually to each merchant. 

Step 3

Identify a product that is relevant to your audience and offers value.

Step 4

Follow the network’s instructions to receive your affiliate link.

With so many merchants to choose from, you need to be strategic and narrow down your list of relevant products. 

It’s always advisable to only promote products that you are already familiar with and that you feel confident recommending to your audience. If you have never edited video footage before, you aren’t going to be able to provide a professional editor with a trustworthy recommendation for editing software. 

Make a list of the products you already use from your personal life and professional career. What products do you regularly use? Which products do you know better than anyone else you know?

Your job as an affiliate marketer is to help people make more informed purchasing decisions. The more you know about the products you promote, the better you can help people purchase the right product for their needs. 

Your commission earnings are your reward for helping people find the right products to purchase. 

 

Hopefully, you’ve now got a taste for the affiliate networks that are out there. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin and have to log into ten different dashboards everyday, so make a shortlist of networks that offer products that are relevant to your website and provide the best payouts.

Always keep your audience in mind and focus on the products they will find appealing and that offer value for money. You’re building a relationship with your audience based on trust. Generally, you should always choose products that you would be happy to purchase for yourself.

Do your research, promote quality products, and earn yourself a decent referral income. 

 

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Questions & Comments + Add a comment

Reply Carlos Alfonso Garcia • 1698 days ago
Hi, my name is Carlos, and I would appreciate if you might give me a comment about this doubt: There are already thousands of good content websites, on every niche you might think, getting traffic day by day, and products suitable for the kind of people going to those sites. Why would I need a brand new website to compite, if I can make a CPC banner campaign aiming to those sites, with the right product for the right demographic and the right niche? Thank you !!!!
Melissa Johnson1696 days ago
Hi, Carlos!

You make a great point. However, one problem you'll likely encounter is that many consumers have developed "Banner Blindness" -- their eyes essentially glaze over advertisements, especially banner ads. That's not to say a paid advertising campaign wouldn't be effective, but you'll certainly be limiting yourself.

Organic traffic pointed at a website is incredibly powerful. Google puts a LOT of faith in the organic results, and so do consumers. Plus, having your own site gives you the ability to do things like build an email list, which you can use to recommend all sorts of products once your subscribers learn to trust you. That opens you up to more opportunities. The same goes with building a social media following.

Yes, there's competition, but by building your own site, you can create your own brand and build a reputation for being knowledgeable and trustworthy, instead of just hiding behind a CPC campaign, where you'll be invisible.

I hope this gives you some food for thought!
Reply Rui Santos1659 days ago
Hi Carlos

I agree with Melissa's advice that in building your own website enables you to create your own brand and an online platform for all your marketing. It is also crucial in helping you to build your own list with all your marketing activities, so that you in the long term you will not only be able to sell an item once to a customer, but a well designed website with valuable content will enable you to sell many items, to many customers over and over if you do it well.

Cheers
Rui Santos
Reply Thabiso 1122 days ago
Hi. Clickbank sends cheques as a form of payment and me being in Botswana is extremely difficult coz I have to wait close to two months too. And the direct deposit won't work too. Anyone know of an affiliate program similar to clickbank? One that targets worldwide audience like clickbank?
Melissa Johnson1119 days ago
Hi there!

For SaleHoo, we use ClickBank. However, we have done some research on ClickBank alternatives: https://www.affilorama.com/blog/alternatives-to-clickbank

Hope this helps!
Reply Jordan Mortimer1072 days ago
Is it possible to be a member of multiple affiliate networks?
Justin Golschneider1070 days ago
Hi Jordan! It's entirely possible, and it's fairly common for affiliates to join both ClickBank and Commission Junction, for example. I haven't heard of any affiliate networks requiring exclusive contracts.
Reply Marcus 981 days ago
Hello!

Can you please answer at next 2 questions:

If the affiliate link redirect the visitor from my site to the merchant site on the first page and not to a specific product than how can I promote more specific products from the same merchant (or from different merchants) in one article/on the same page?

2. If I would like to take care only of research, building and entertaining the design of the website, design banners etc for promoting the products via social media, ... and managing the business, ... but not doing anything regarding content, newsletters, articles (just hire people to do it for me) do you think is worth trying to become an affiliate marketer? And if yes than what budget do you think I need monthly?

Thank you in advance,
Marcus
Justin Golschneider979 days ago
Hi again, Marcus!

1. Vendors typically provide you with a specific link for each specific product, though some may also provide a different link just for their homepage if they have a lot of products to sell. You can use as many different links as you want on one page.

2. Absolutely! Hiring other people to do the grunt work for you is often the best way to get the highest return on your investment, as your time is valuable when you're the boss. You may also get better results by hiring people who specialize in a certain field, like writing, than you would by trying to do it yourself.

Your monthly budget will depend on a lot of variables, but I wouldn't expect to pay less than $20 per article/newsletter (people who charge less generally aren't very good writers). If you want to create a successful authority site, I would budget at least $240 a month (minimum of two articles and one newsletter per week).
Reply Omri Ulanovski946 days ago
Hey'
I've been reading allot about affiliate and still I don't understand something. Can I do it even if I don't have a website? Do I have to own a website or is there a different kind of affiliate that I can do?
Justin Golschneider944 days ago
Hi Omri! It is possible to do affiliate marketing without having a website. Here's an article and video about it: https://www.affilorama.com/introduction/affiliate-marketing-without-a-website

However, having a website is highly recommended. A lot of affiliate programs require you to have a website before they'll accept you, and websites allow you to use more elaborate sales techniques.
Reply Viv de Veyra915 days ago
Hi, I just tried to sign up for Clickbank but got the message that they cannot offer me an account at this time. Has anybody else reported the same issue? Any idea why this happened?
Richelle Monfort915 days ago
Hello Viv, This seems to be a common issue and the best way for you to resolve this is to contact ClickBank support directly so they can assist you accordingly - http://www.clickbank.com/corp/support/ All the best!
Reply James Edwards825 days ago
Since most people know of the big affiliate sites like ClickBank, JVZoo and the Warrior Form, here is how you find products that most affiliates don't know exist. What you do is, go to Google and type in: “affiliate programs +” (type of products you are looking for. Example,
“affiliate programs + camping equipment” Doing this is where you find products that most affiliates don't know about!
Reply Lexie Clark440 days ago
I am struggling to find an affiliate source for my website, which lists remote and work from home opportunities that are not scams and have been tested by myself. How can I get a kickback when an applicant clicks on my link that sends the to apply for Blue Cross?
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