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The Top, Most Profitable Affiliate Networks For Bloggers

As a blogger, it’s important to find different ways of effectively monetizing your blog.

The last thing you want is to do all that hard work of creating, publishing and promoting product content only to be met with crickets. So if you are looking for great affiliate programs for bloggers, you are in exactly the right place.

Trillions of dollars worth of retail products were sold online in the past year alone.

Every year that figure grows, and affiliate marketing is a very dominant channel within that space. It’s time to learn how you can carve out your own tiny little slice of that (bearing in mind even a tiny slice of a $3 trillion pie is quite a lot).

However, although affiliate marketing is ever-growing in popularity, like all other things online, it’s also a fast-changing market.

That’s why it makes sense for you to have a firm grasp on what’s going on in the market, such as what is out there and who pays what, so that you can make the best choice for your online business.

So let’s get right to it!

1. Amazon Associates

Niche: Everything

Type: Physical Products Commission

Rate: 1-10%

Cookie Duration: 24 hours

Sign Up: Here

Despite the many changes that it has rolled out in the past, Amazon Associates continues to be one of the best affiliate programs around. It’s one that most successful marketers prefer to use when they start their websites.

There are two main reasons for this:

First, although commissions are much lower than they were in the past, Amazon is actually so adept at getting customers to buy stuff after they land on the site that holiday spikes and residual sales, (a lot of which are from sales in different categories) still make this program a great one overall – certainly much better than the vast majority of other affiliate programs you’ll find out there.

In addition to that, there are many other massive markets that you can get into which offer amazing commissions on Amazon.

Also, Amazon has a huge product selection, which means you’ll be able to find a whole lot of obscure things that you can sell.

For instance, if you have a car website, you can recommend jumper cables and pick any of the dozens of brands and models offered by Amazon.

That is something most major retailers cannot match – not for every type of product you can think of, at least.

The bottom line is, Amazon is still one of the best options available for affiliates and if you have an authority or affiliate website, it’s a great place to start.

  • Large selection of products
  • People love to shop on Amazon
  • Lots of residual sales
  • Massive holiday spikes
  • Great commissions for lots of different categories
  • The last update screwed up some categories like digital, video, etc.
  • Amazon terms of service are extremely difficult to understand
  • Many of their support reps don’t seem to understand the rules
  • Amazon can ban you for the slightest infringement

2. eBay Partner Network (EPN)

Niche: Everything

Type: Physical Products

Commission Rates: 50-70% of auction fees

Cookie Duration: 24 hours (Buy it Now) and 10 Days for auctions

Sign up: Here

This affiliate program is yet another great one that has been around for quite a long time. A lot of successful online marketers have made tons of money with it.

The EPN program has many similar advantages to Amazon, such as being a big, well-known brand and having extremely high conversion rates on site.

It’s very likely that the auction system eBay uses has a high emotional impact that plays a major role in the conversion rates.

This means that it’s also good for getting affiliate commissions. But since eBay is not your traditional e-commerce store but an auction-based marketplace, you can expect affiliate commissions to behave differently.

Rather than paying you a commission on final sale prices, eBay simply pays a commission on the fees charged for the auction. So whether you’re selling parts, accessories, fashion, home & garden, etc., you will receive commissions on auction fees and not sale prices.

For those who have never been part of a structure like this, it may be hard to understand how to translate that to dollars.

To make it easier for you, instead of thinking about commission rates, try to think of it in terms of EPC instead. EPC’s (earnings per click) range anywhere from $.10 to two dollars.

So although this could be a little different from Amazon, the bottom line is that there is still very good money there.

  • Incredible product diversity
  • High emotional inputs from customers
  • Some marketers report very low EPC’s
  • Not all your readers like auctions*

Some products may not be available all the time

3. Target

Niche: General Home Goods

Type: Physical Products

Commission Rates: 1-8%

Cookie Duration: 7 days

Sign Up: Here

For anyone seeking an alternative to Amazon’s program for affiliates, Target may well be the best option.

Although their selection of goods isn’t nearly as massive as Amazon’s, Target still has a much bigger selection than most other affiliate programs.

You may not be able to get products for all nooks and crannies on your website, and you might have real trouble if your niche is one of the more obscure ones. Target also doesn’t have top-of-the-line or specialized goods.

So, for instance, if you are a content publisher focused on gaming computers, you might have a hard time trying to recommend the typically average PCs sold by Target.

Their affiliate program’s biggest benefit lies in the fact that they operate on a fee structure that is volume based. It’s also very generous, but it’s important for you to note that they do cap commissions for specific categories.

The baby gear rates on Target are very similar to what you’ll find on Amazon (4.5%), but their health and beauty commissions are terrible.

This means that if you’re in this market, Target may not be the best option for you as an affiliate. But, for those in the relatively huge markets of general home goods, general outdoor goods, apparel, etc., will find that Target’s commissions on these products are great.

Another one of Target’s major selling points is their cookie, which lasts for seven days. Although short by niche-affiliate standards, it’s pretty long when compared to general big-brand standards, such as Amazon’s one-day cookie.

  • Large selection
  • Huge brand recognition
  • Uses a volume-based model
  • 7-day cookie
  • A lot of people love visiting Target, which means that they may browse online but shop in person
  • They offer terrible health & beauty commissions

There are various other General Product Affiliate Programs besides these three, including Jet, Walmart, and so on.

But the ones mentioned here are the biggest and best that you can choose from when you’re just getting started.

Now let’s take a look at the General Affiliate Networks.

What is an Affiliate Network?

An affiliate network is simply a third-party platform which helps advertisers (the vendors and merchants) to link up with publishers (bloggers, online marketers).

Some of the biggest platforms have hundreds of thousands of merchants and millions of different affiliate programs.

The majority of these networks also offer reporting, analytics, payouts, etc. This makes them a great solution for any publishers who need to manage many different affiliate relationships all at once.

There are a lot of general affiliate networks available these days, but we’re only going to cover a few of the biggest ones in this section.

4. Clickbank

Niche: Everything

Type: Digital Products and Physical Goods

Commission Rates: Varies according to vendor

Cookie Duration: Varies according to vendor

Sign Up: Here

Clickbank is among the oldest, most popular affiliate platforms available today.

According to their website, they have over 200 million customers from all over the world. This is not hard to believe when you consider how massive their marketplace is.

However, although it’s quite huge, the Clickbank marketplace is designed to be extremely easy to use even for those who are first-time affiliates.

This ever-expanding marketplace has a lot of features in place to help, affiliate marketers (both experienced and novice) to quickly and easily find all the best-selling products on their site.

For instance, each of their product listings includes a ‘gravity score’. This tells you the number of people that have made money (and are currently making money) from promoting that particular product. This is a nice way to quickly judge the quality of an offer.

This site does a good job of keeping both publishers and affiliates happy.

For one thing, they offer joint venture programs where you can set up a joint venture with any of the vendors. This is something you, as a marketer, could feasibly make use of to develop collaborative business deals.

Clickbank also makes it extremely easy to promote up-sells, as well as those products which generate recurring commissions.

Their interface, UX, and payments are all great.

In addition to all that, Clickbank is one of the few programs that actually offer any sort of affiliate training in the form of Clickbank University, which is a paid program.

  • Offers a lot of perks for affiliates
  • Finely-tuned process
  • Old, well-known, and respected marketplace
  • Optional paid training
  • Selection of physical product is quite limited

5. CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction)

Niche: Everything

Type: Digital Products and Physical Products

Commission Rates: Varies according to vendor

Cookie Duration: Varies according to vendor

Sign Up: Here

This is yet another well-established and popular affiliate platform that you’ll find online these days.

It’s one of the oldest and most commonly used platforms which attracts a lot of very serious advertisers and serious affiliates.

CJ Affiliates incorporates a lot of tools for both, which include reporting that is among the best in the game.

Also, since this is a marketplace, not a retailer, you’ll be able to find a lot of great products (both physical and digital) in virtually every niche.

A lot of these products will probably be coming from big brands.

This isn’t by any means a one-stop shop and that means you, as a publisher, need to create content around products as opposed to simply targeting good keywords then finding whichever products fit that article (which is a major advantage of Amazon and other similar places).

CJ’s biggest benefit is the incredible diversity of digital goods, particularly software and information products.

This makes it possible for marketers to earn good money outside of Amazon’s world which is dominated by physical products.

  • Very well-respected platform
  • Superb back end (tools, reporting, etc.)
  • Great mix of digital and physical products
  • No special site requirements for signing up
  • It’s not a one-stop shop
  • Information product selection is vastly inferior to Clickbank’s

6. Share-a-Sale

Niche: Everything

Type: Digital Products and Physical Products

Commission Rates: Varies according to vendor

Cookie Duration: Varies according to vendor

Sign Up:Here

This is a massive affiliate platform that has thousands of offers available, many of which are exclusive to Share-a-Sale.

This means that you won’t find any of these products anywhere else. If you are in a more esoteric niche, you may find Share-a-Sale a great platform to find the right products to sell.

Although there are many digital goods for sale on this platform, ShareaSale seems to dabble in significantly more physical goods than CJ and other platforms do.

The main drawback of using Share-a-Sale is that their dashboard is quite antiquated. Also, many marketers complain that it’s very difficult to contact them and their merchants.

  • A large number of merchants
  • It’s a well-established platform that’s been around for a long time
  • Lots of exclusive merchantsA large number of merchants
  • Very difficult to get in touch with their support
  • Nearly impossible to contact merchants

Other General Affiliate Networks include PeerFly, Awin, and FlexOffers, among others. In fact, there are tons of similar platforms you’ll find out there. I simply wanted to describe only the best of them in detail.

Here are a few more that may not have made it to my list, but they are still worth checking out, particularly if you have specific merchants that you want to promote:

Whether you want to sell physical goods or information products, use this list to get started right now as an affiliate.

Feel free to post your comment below.  An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!


Updated: originally published June 22nd 2019

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