Best Affiliate Networks to Join - Updated 2021
Updated: Oct 4
Affiliate management is a highly profitable industry. It is becoming a great source of online income for thousands of professional bloggers. For some it is passive income, while others make a fortune.Since many online businesses have integrated the Affiliate Marketing online blog sites have emerged. The marketplace was completely changed in the last years and newcomers appeared in an increasing number of newer affiliate marketing sites.
As an affiliate marketer, finding reputable affiliate networks with advertisers that offer products you want to promote is one of the most challenging tasks. There are affiliate networks that are not reputable, do not pay on time or have tracking issues. But being an affiliate marketer, your ultimate goal is getting results.
If you are just getting started or have lots of experience, you'll find some great affiliate marketing networks here. To help you get the best conversions and potentially build a long-term income, see what offers are available on the most popular platforms. Let's test a few different affiliate marketing platforms that will help you decide which one you may want to work with. Before we get started, it is important to understand the difference between AFFILIATE NETWORKS AND AFFILIATE PROGRAMS.
The Affiliate Network is a platform where advertisers (brands) host their affiliate programs and meet affiliates (publishers) who will promote it.
When you join the affiliate network, you'll search for programs on the platform and apply for brands' affiliate programs. You can work with multiple advertisers and manage all your affiliate programs under one roof. Brands don't pay you directly, the affiliate network does. That being said, carefully check the payout terms for the affiliate network you're about to join.
Why should I join an affiliate network?
Affiliate networks can be used as an easy way to monetize online properties to make passive income. There might be some cons to affiliate networks: Some offer low commission rates or require sites to have a specific amount of traffic before they may be admitted. However some may offer you to join just with a social media profile URL. This can be very efficient and simple way to monetize your website or social media account.
Here is the list of the best affiliate networks:
AWIN formerly Affiliation Window has over 15,000 merchants and 100,000 publishers. Current AWIN activity is in 11 countries. The company currently boasts over 1,600 brand across 77 categories in eleven territories world-wide. They also provide a unified web dashboard and several helpful tools that will certainly boost your affiliate marketing campaigns.
You will find a full list of AWIN's advertisers that include some big names like: McDonald McKinnon, retailers such as StubbHub, Hyatt, AliExpress, and UnderArmour are among the ones they have access to.
This global affiliate network platform has generated more than $150 million in sales in 2019. Awin is one of the major and best affiliate networks, so it might be worthwhile to consider.
Even though they are reliable, there is a $5 application fee. As long as you're authorized, there will be a credit on your account. As we mentioned above, you must research and apply for programs in order to get affiliate links.
Commission Rate: 5% on average, but varies by merchant (each merchant solely decide on the commission they pay to affiliates)
Product Types: A wide range of products, including travel, fashion, technology, finance, insurance, and online shopping
Best For: Beginners as well as experienced affiliate marketers
This Chicago-based affiliate network began operations in 2000. Share-a-sale is part of Awin. ShareASale affiliates can make commissions on a wide array of merchandise by partnering with over 4,000 programs, such as Reebok, Cricut, and Etsy. Among the best compensation rates in affiliate marketing.On the other hand, the user interface can be a little hard to navigate, so it might be a good idea to take advantage of their training.
Commission Rate: Averages between 5% and 20%, varies based on the merchant;
Product Types: The widest range of products, including clothing, jewelry, art, computers, automobiles, and even online dating.
Best For: Publishers who want to promote physical products
As one of the most established and significant affiliate networks globally, CJ Affiliate operated under Commission Junction. Through their connections with more than 14 billion readers, they help affiliate marketers earn over $1.8 billion each year. Thousands of brands, including Lowe's, Barnes & Noble, Priceline, and Overstock, work with CJ Affiliate.
They have a reasonably quick approval process, and there are no application fees. Products are ranked by earnings per click (EPC).
Although there are some cons-you'll need permission from each merchant before you can start promoting, so there's a possibility you'll be rejected. You account will also be deactivated if you do not make a sale after six months.
Commission Rate: Merchant-dependent
Product Types: Travel, finance, software, and retail
Best For: Affiliates at the mid-level to advanced levels
Cj is one of those affiliate firms that must invest a bit more in support. The biggest downside is an absence of service. You will need to dig deeper to discover the best answer and that can be frustrating. So it's probably possible you would be facing technical obstacles at some point.
Rakuten Advertising was started by a Japanese company specializing in e-commerce. Affiliates can choose from hundreds of top companies, including Wells Fargo, Lilly Pulitzer, Virgin Holidays, and Ecco. Once you join their affiliate network, you are eligible to join any merchant program you decide to sign up for. Also, you'll need an established website, whereas CJ or Share-A-Sale allows you to apply with a social media profile: TikTok, Instagram, Facebook.
Commission Rate: Varies based on merchant
Product Types: Financing, retail, travel, and more
Best For: Mid-level affiliate marketers with a stable traffic source
One of the earliest established affiliate networks, ClickBank is a platforms that offers a variety of both physical and digital products to promote. It is an easy-to-use affiliate network. The platform provides free training options and offer a so-called ClickBank University, a premium training platform.
However, we need to mention that the affiliate network, ClickBank, is the platform that many affiliates have not been extremely happy with. While ClickBank improved their review process as an option to filter out bad merchants, you're still going to want cautious about which merchants you promote. You will have merchants selling eBooks, online courses and membership sites but they could not have the name recognition of a national or international brand.
Another disadvantage - the materials are usually not high quality. You may want to research merchants, and product reviews before you start recommending it to your readers or followers.
Commission Rate: Can be up to 90%, though most are significantly lower
Product Types: Arts and entertainment, business, marketing, games, parenting, health, fitness, languages, and self-help.
Best For: Affiliate marketers of all levels
In 2015, Pepperjam started its own affiliate network, even though it has been in the digital marketing business since the 1990s. In contrast to its competitors, Pepperjam has fewer merchants, only 1,500. On Pepperjam, you'll find some surprisingly big names like Pumas, Lindt, and Nordstrom. however, Pepperjam still offers enough affiliate programs that can meet the needs of many affiliate marketing niches. Pepperjam's interface is arguably the best you will find. This network is great for affiliate marketing programs in accounting, advertising, and marketing tools.
Commission Rate: Varies based on merchant
Product Types: Accounting, Marketing, and Advertising
Best For: New affiliates seeking to learn about the space.
With FlexOffers, publishers have access to more than 12,000 advertising programs. As many major affiliate networks do, they provide access to various products in the automobile, clothing, accessories, technology, education, health, and home categories. There is an assigned account manager for each publisher who provides a smooth approval process.
Commission Rate: Varies based on merchant
Product Types: Mostly physical, with a few digital products
Best For: Beginners and experts alike
Skimlinks is an affiliate marketing company based in the UK. that has been active since 2007. The affiliate network provides you with tens of thousands of affiliate partners.
A company specializes in technology that automatically creates affiliate product links from a publisher's content and requires no additional work on the affiliates' side. With Skimlinks, newer bloggers with little traffic will have an easy time getting accepted.
Commission Rate: Varies based on the merchant
Product Types: Mostly digital products
Best For: Works well for those who are just starting
Sovrn/Commerce, is one the leading top affiliate networks, formerly operated as VigLink. Utilizing natural language processing, they will automatically connect you to the merchant that offers the most fantastic affiliate commission. Moreover, you have access to precise performance analytics, which can boost conversions. The platform allows publishers to find opportunities for sponsored content as well. This network has a good selection of skincare affiliate marketing programs.
Commission Rate: Varies based on merchant
Product types: Mostly physical products such as skincare, household goods, sports gear, clothing, and accessories affiliate programs
Best For: All affiliate marketers having a blog
In 2004, MaxBounty, a relative newcomer in the affiliate marketing industry, was launched in Ottawa, Canada. The dashboard is simple to use, and it features a helpful way of sorting for high-paying offers. Furthermore, it has worked with some high-profile brands.
Commission Rate: Depends on a merchant
Product types: Exclusive digital products
Best For: Affiliate marketers at the mid-to-top level who have experience managing traffic.
The peerfly affiliate network is one of the fastest-growing affiliate networks. Despite being a new company, they've received numerous accolades and are committed to making their affiliate network as easy-ti-use as it is powerful. Target, Fiverr, UGG, and CBS are brands whose services and products they offer. The payout rates are not spectacular but everything is upfront and transparent, and affiliate satisfaction is very high. The website and dashboard are intuitive and easy to use so once you’ve arrived on the site everything works well..
Commission Rate: Depending on a merchant
Product Types: Mainly physical, but some digital as well
Best For: Well-established affiliate marketers
Avangate affiliate network provides you with over 22,000 software items. It is an affiliate company that provides digital goods and software instead of physical products. For example you may have access to popular software companies like: Avangate Affiliate Network acquired 3Checkout in 2017. The original tools Avangate and 2Checkout merged so you will see confusion between the terms for your network and the affiliate networks with which you will want to join. Software vendors can be contacted through the network.
Avangate connects publications with digital products merchants such as software firms and cybersecurity firms like Malwarebytes. They have been ranked as the #1 WorldWide Affiliate Network six of the previous seven years by Blue Book Global. They offer one of the most prolonged cookie durations (120 days) on the market and offer affiliates the ability to develop coupons for generating more sales. In contrast, reporting features are somewhat limited.
Commission Rate: Typically varies between 25 and 50% for some merchants.
Product Types: Software and security products
Best For: Publishers who work in tech, business, or SaaS
Affiliaxe is a top choice for marketers who wanted to access quite a few verticals. It's a wide variety of products and offers, so you get to choose and concentrate where you get the most results. After becoming part of an affiliate program, you have access to e-mail account management tools and a personal web design to promote your own business. A very user friendly platform, it has become a favorite among global affiliate marketers.
Commission Rate: Depending on category, average 2-5%
Product Types: almost everything sold on Amazon
Best For: Experienced marketers
You probably heard of Amazon Associates affiliate network and wonder where it stands on our list. Well, unfortunately, amazon has recently changed their commission rates for many product categories. Affiliates woke up one day only to find out that their earning are now reduced by 5x and more. Need to say, that this unfair practice put their affiliate network to the bottom of the list. If you see a product that you'd like to promote, try to contact the merchant directly and ask if they host an affiliate program on the affiliate network we mentioned above.
For Amazon Associates you can collect a commission on almost everything sold on Amazon. From 2017, Amazon introduced a flat-rate commission structure. You are paid a flat percentage based on the category that each product falls into.
What we think about the best affiliate networks for beginners
Since most of the affiliate networks are free to join for affiliates, you may join a few and see which one works best for you. In our opinion, if you're just getting started with affiliate marketing, you may want to proceed with Share-A-Sale.
What makes Share-A-Sale different?
This platform hosts affiliate programs for diverse brands, so that you will most likely find the ones you're happy to work with. You can find there high paying affiliate programs, with 30-day cookie duration, and great selection of creatives (banners and landing pages). The payout is once a month and can be done via PayPal or wire transfer. Merchants such as WP Engine and OptinMonster, are exclusive to the network. There is a wide range of merchants affiliate programs throughout the midst of a number of niches.
Read our full review about Share-a-Sale in our blog post.
Affiliate marketing is an effective way to monetize your blog. As an affiliate marketer, joining an affiliate network is one of the simplest and most successful ways of monetizing a website or social media account and generating passive income. It can be tough to get past hundreds and thousands of vendors and programs. Not all affiliate networks are legit and even well-known names do not provide a product that is popular with your target audience.
Ensure that the affiliate network you select is the best choice for your marketing objectives by conducting thorough market research in your niche. Top affiliate networks should cater to publishers' needs, including ease of use, payment options, customer service, and cookie duration requirement.
Have you tried any of the network mentioned above? Tell us which one work for you.