One thing I was always looking for when I started blogging was good affiliate networks to join.
I was always on the lookout for the best products to promote to my readers. I felt the more options I had the more choices I could give my readers.
I ended up joining like every single affiliate network I found. I did learn a lot about different affiliate programs doing this, but I really don’t recommend you doing the same thing. You will only be using a small handful of networks. The more the merrier is not the case here.
But having said that, I wanted to give you my list of all the affiliate networks that I use (or would use).
There are lots and lots of affiliate networks. A lot of them are small, newer, or don’t have a strong reputation yet. You want to get paid and you want your network to be solid. So I recommend only joining good programs. I’ll only list affiliate marketing networks I would join here.
Popular affiliate programs (general affiliate networks with wide appeal)
I’ll start off the list with all the BIG affiliate programs. You’ll probably spend most of your time promoting companies within these main affiliate marketing networks because these networks contain a wide range of advertisers (companies) that appeal to all types of blogs and websites.
So your website could be about health, travel, personal finance, personal development, relationships, cars, mommy stuff, etc. All these networks will have products and services that will be relevant to your niche. You’ll likely do most of your affiliate earnings with these networks.
1. Amazon Associates // Amazon is the most used affiliate network. Because they sell everything, they appeal to every type of website. I recommend everyone to be a part of Amazon’s affiliate program.
Whenever you mention a blender you juice with or the computer you’re blogging with, you can link to Amazon where readers can see the product (and hopefully buy it). You also earn commissions on everything your reader puts in their cart. Most of my Amazon commissions are from products I did not promote (the reader bought something else but I still received the referral fee).
2. Commission Junction (CJ) // CJ is one of the first major networks I joined and I still use it today. They are one of the best affiliate networks because they have a huge number of vendors to promote and they are reputable. I specifically like them for their range of travel affiliate vendors. If you’re looking to join your first affiliate program and don’t know where to start, CJ is a great choice.
3. Clickbank // Clickbank is a network that contains vendors that sell ebooks and digital programs (like dating courses or golfing classes, or weight loss programs).
I really like Clickbank for two reasons. The type of products you can promote are different than CJ, Amazon, Flexoffers, etc. They are mostly ebooks and courses for purchase (rather than referring someone to a hotel and hope they book a room, for example). Second, products on Clickbank earn you higher commissions (50%-75% is common). So when you refer a reader to check out a weight loss book that costs $50, you can potentially earn 75% of the sale. Successfully promoting these products will likely make you more money than promote a lot smaller commission items.
4. Flex Offers // Flex Offers has a wide range of vendors to promote as well. I like them because they have vendors that pay out more commissions per sale. For example, you can promote a vendor that gives out loans, and you’ll earn $20 for each completed loan. They cater to many niches, however, if you’re a personal finance type of website, definitely have a look at Flex Offers as they have more vendors in this niche than others in this list.
5. Share a Sale // Share a Sale is very similar to CJ in terms of the number of vendors to promote. I don’t find their website very user friendly though. And I find that they have a lot of little random vendors. But that could be just what you’re looking for.
6. Rakuten // Rakuten is a little different in that their website allows you as the reader to buy things for sale. Whereas most affiliate networks are just affiliate networks where you sign up to promote their vendors. Rakuten is mostly a product network (like clothes, jewelry, electronics).
7. Impact Radius // Impact Radius is similar to CJ. You can browse their selection of partners to join and apply to promote them. Once approved, you have a campaign to manage it.
8. Awin // Awin used to be Affiliate Window. They’ve rebranded to Awin. I like them because they have a clean interface and their website is straight forward to navigate. They are smaller than most of the networks listed here.
9. eBay // We’re all familiar with what eBay is. If you want to refer your readers to the eBay marketplace then you’ll want to be a part of eBay’s affiliate program.
Note: when you sign up, you are signing up as an “affiliate” or “publisher”. You are not an “advertiser”. An advertiser is the vendor/company you want to promote.
What networks do I recommend?
I recommend joining 2 – 5 networks. Many of the networks above have very similar vendors (companies) to promote, so it doesn’t make sense to join every single one. Unless you just wanna check them all out. As far as USING them, just use a few you like.
If you want my network recommendations, I would sign up for Amazon Associates, Commission Junction, and Clickbank. If you’re new, start with these. They will cover almost everything your website could be about.
Easiest affiliate networks for beginners
So these networks are DIFFERENT than the ones above for a few reasons. The above networks work like this. You sign up to the network (CJ for example). And then you search through the vendor list for vendors to promote. You need to APPLY in order to promote the vendor.
Sometimes you get automatic approval but most of the time it goes through a manual review, which can take a day to many weeks before you an answer. The big disadvantage of this is that you have to wait, and you may not be able to promote something you really want to promote because you were declined.
However, with Skimlinks and VigLinks, you are approved to promote every vendor immediately. It’s a big deal, because you don’t have to search for vendors, apply for them, and wait.
And another big big deal (for beginners especially) is that you don’t have the head ache of creating affiliate links and deep linking (which is an annoying process with most affiliate programs).
To create an affiliate link with Skimlinks and VigLinks, all you need to do is link to a page on the vendors website. The link will automatically be turned into an affiliate link. They key here is “automatic”. Because this saves you tons of time and makes being an affiliate marketer so easy.
Here’s an example:
You want to refer your reader to the Four Seasons hotel in Seattle on booking.com. To create your affiliate link, all you’d need to do is go on booking.com, find the Four Seasons hotel in Seattle, copy the link from your address bar, and paste the link in your blog post. Skimlinks/VigLinks will automatically turn that regular link into your affiliate link.
So whenever a reader clicks on that link and books a room, you get the referral commission. It’s that straight forward. And it’s why I love these two networks. It’s just so perfect for beginner affiliate markets (and I use it as well!!)
What’s the catch? There is definitely a catch.
Skimlinks/Viglinks are companies too. And to make their money, they take a 25% cut from whatever you make. So your referral to booking.com normally pays you $14 (at a network like CJ), but here, you’ll make $10.5.
Now, you’ll have to decide if that cut they take is worth it or not. This is what I recommend though. Signing up is free. So sign up for one. I use Skimlinks personally. And then use them and see how you like it. I personally would recommend using them FIRST over the general big networks.
However, you can also sign up for the general big networks too. Try them both out (you can use both at the same time). You’ll see the difference in how they work and can decide from there.
With Skimlinks, they also negotiate higher commission rates for some vendors. So in the end, you make roughly the same amount of money as you would with a network like CJ.
For example, A vendor could normally pay 7.5% for a referral. But on Skimlinks, they are paying 10%. After Skimlinks takes their 25% cut, you are left with a 7.5% commission rate – which is what the vendor normally pays.
Health affiliate programs
These are health specific affiliate programs.
1. Market Health // Has mostly physical health products. Think of things like stretch mark creams, anti aging creams, hair loss/growth products, skin care products, etc. How they work is that when you refer a reader to a product, they will land on a “landing page” where they can see the product and maybe buy it. You can make a lot of money because commissions are large, ranging from $50-$150 give or take.
2. Sell Health // Sell health is similar to Market Health. They have skin care, hair care, and anti-aging products. And they also have a range of sexual health products. So if you’re website talks about that, then have a look at Sell Health.
3. MoreNice // Very very similar to the two above. More of the same basically.
Personal finance affiliate programs
If your website talks about money and things related to money, you’ll want to have a look at the following personal finance affiliate networks.
Bank Rate Credit Cards // A network containing credit card offers
Bank Affiliates // Tons of banking products, credit card products, and loan products to promote. However, they have been “temporarily closes” for quite some time now. Don’t know when they will open up. But if you get in, it will likely be one of your go to networks if your website is finance heavy.
Education affiliate programs
Udemy // An online education resource. It’s great if you’re website is educational in an way. You get a referral commission per course purchased. Udemy is a vendor with Rakuten and FlexOffers.
Skillshare // Similar to Udemy. However, with Skillshare, your reader will get access to all courses with a premium subscription or free trial. Skillshare is serviced through Impact Radius. That means you’ll be joining Impact Radius’s network and managing your Skillshare referrals through them.
Note: The above are affiliate programs. Not actual networks. When you apply for the education affiliate programs above, you are only applying for one program. Whereas almost everything else listed on this page are affiliate networks where you get a range of products and services to promote.
CPA networks are technically different than affiliate networks, but they work very similarly.
Before I get into what CPA networks are and how they work, I want to say that I absolutely LOVE CPA networks. They are a big part of my monetization strategy. And you can make good money with them too.
Here’s how CPA networks work:
You get a commission when you refer a reader to a website and they take a desired action. That action usually consists of submitting an email or filling out a form. Sometimes it’s making a purchase. But generally, you get paid when your reader “takes an action”.
Here’s an example:
You are a blog about education and you send your readers to a website where they can fill out a form about nursing school opportunities. When your reader completes the nursing school form, you get paid $40.
And that’s the beauty of CPA marketing. You get paid when your reader takes an ACTION. Rather than getting paid when your reader makes a purchase.
Generally speaking, getting your reader to take an action is easier than getting them to make a purchase.
That’s why I love CPA marketing so much. It’s the same as affiliate marketing because you are referring readers to other websites. However your reader doesn’t need to buy anything. They just need to take the desired action for you to get paid.
What CPA networks should you join?
First of all, there are many CPA networks. A lot of them are newerish and just, well… don’t have that track record yet. It’s really important to join REPUTABLE CPA networks. I can’t stress that enough. The last thing you want is your CPA network to not pay you or disappear after awhile. Below, I’ll recommend excellent CPA networks for you to join.
The following are CPA networks I am a part of and trust, or I would use:
Start with the above. All of them are big names in the CPA marketing world and have great reputations. I personally use Maxbounty the most. They have good offers, never miss a payment, and are easy to use.
How succeed with CPA networks
This is just a really quick note to help you successfully get into a CPA network and make money.
First of all, just join one to three networks max. The ones I listed above have a good range of CPA offers to promote. You should be able to find relevant offers to promote with just a few CPA networks. Once you get the hang of CPA marketing, you’ll stick to just a few networks anyways. There’s no sense using six networks and having all your commissions spread out everywhere.
You MUST have a legit website in order to get accepted. If your website looks junky/spammy you will get rejected. It helps to have good traffic numbers and existing affiliate experience. But it’s not 100% necessary.
They WILL call you and confirm you are a real person. They will ask you a few questions. Just answer honestly. If you’re new then say you’re new. And that you want to work with a reputable network that you can build a long term relationship with. When I signed up, I was pretty new. I didn’t make much money. I was accepted into almost every network I signed up for.
If you get rejected it’s not the end of the world. There are other networks you can apply for. Sometimes they don’t call you or you don’t get an answer right away. Take the initiative to reach out to them. They like that.
So that’s some advice for getting accepted into CPA networks. One thing you can do is get accepted into one, start making money with it, and then apply for others. They love to see you having success with another network. The CPA networks are competitors after all. They would love to take you away from an existing CPA network and bring you into theirs!
If you’re looking for a specific vendor/offer to promote…
If you want to promote a specific affiliate offer, let’s say Capital One credit cards, then I recommend going to Google and typing in something like “Capital One affiliate program”.
Many companies will have an affiliate program. Once you find their affiliate page, you’ll often learn where their affiliate program is managed through (CJ, Rakuten, Impact Radius, etc). If you already have an account with the affiliate network, you’re good to go. If not, follow the instructions to sign up for the new network.
Again, the major networks at the top cover the majority of the vendors you’ll be interested in promoting. Just try not to be a part of every network. Managing several networks is very time consuming and spreads out your commissions (both super annoying!)
This list is always changing!
This list of the best affiliate marketing programs will change over time. I will be updating this list as time goes on. If you have a suggestion for me let me know about it.
Any questions about affiliate networks at all?
I’ve been doing affiliate marketing for a long time and will be more than happy to answer questions you have. About anything affiliate marketing.
Ask them in the comment section below.