Lots of the readers of this blog are interested in making money online and whilst we’ve talked a lot on how to actually do it, you’re going to need someone to facilitate it and that typically comes via Affiliate Networks. In short, affiliate networks match advertisers (the people who actually offer the services or sell the products) with you, the publisher who wants to advertise their wares.
Sure, lots of companies allow you to partner direct rather than using a “middle man” affiliate network but if you want to manage lots of different offers from one place and want access to partners who aren’t equipped with their own affiliate management system then you’re going to need to use a network.
So below we’ll run through what I consider to be the 10 best affiliate networks around at the moment. Most of them offer the same sort of thing and if there is something highly specific you’re looking to promote then you may be best seeking out the specific network the merchant uses. However, if you’re just looking for offers to promote in general you won’t go far wrong with the options below :-
As the name suggests, this is the affiliate offering from the ever popular Amazon. In short, it allows you to sell pretty much anything that Amazon offers on your own site by way of product feeds, links and banners. Like with all affiliate networks, you’re paid a percentage of the sale price.
Amazon is ideal if you have a blog for example discussing lots of different subjects which you can work sporadic affiliate links into. It’s not typically used for generating huge amounts of daily sales but more as an additional income stream used in tandem with other income generated media such as paid click ads.
Like with Amazon, eBay also allows you to promote the products offered via its site through its affiliate channels. You can simply link to an auction and drive traffic from your site to it or you can output complete lists of products/auctions based on keyword criteria. So if you had a page talking about “golf balls” you could literally output an entire eBay search for golf balls right there on your page and when someone clicked through to buy one you’d be credited with the sale.
CJ Affiliate by Conversant
Formerly Commission Junction, this hugely popular network is still going strong with tens of thousands of companies using it and hundreds of thousands of publishers on a daily basis.
Using the popular search interface you can quickly find offers available that match your site content/category. Or you can also seek out specific companies directly if you’ve happened to come across one using CJ as a platform.
Once signed up you can request to partner with any of the programs listed and once approved you’ll be granted access to lots of different media types such as banners or text links. All tracked and reported individually.
Admitad is a network which is getting a great reputation online and currently has over 540,000 active publishers – which is a significant market share. Part of it’s popularity is down to its partnerships with over 1500 advertisers and it’s non-standard link types which are somewhat more user friendly than traditional banners and text links.
You can sign up to Admitad in a matter of minutes and most accounts are approved same day. You will need approval for a given site however before generating revenue.
Webgains are a great network if you’re looking for product feeds. They’re partnered with a lot of the top online fashion sites for example (amongst other things) and provide complete product listings of all of their offerings which you can use to import into your site.
Now unfortunately gone are the days when you can literally regurgitate other peoples content and generate revenue from it but you can use it to blog about certain things you like, drop a link in and hopefully generate a commission.
It also has traditional affiliate offerings also.
There are networks springing up all the time and whilst the above are tried and tested the best network or even individual program is going to be determined by your traffic and what you actually want to promote. If you’re in a particularly specific niche you’ll often find there are one or two major players who are paying out the most commissions. This is probably where you need to head to. Regardless of which network they’re.
Most sites will either have their own affiliate page or link through to their page on a given network so be sure to check that out before randomly searching the above networks for you merchant of choice.