I am glad you have landed on this page for I am going to assist you in your pursuit to understand in detail some of the top affiliate marketing programs currently in the market today.
In this write-up, I shall give a list of best affiliate marketing programs in 2018, which you must give a try for sure. In addition to the features of these programs, you can also find detailed information on how you can benefit from these programs to make money online. You may be an old timer trying to reboot your strategy or a beginner, I am sure this article will help you choose the most profitable affiliate network.
Let us first understand what affiliate marketing is before getting into the different programs.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Let us briefly understand the concept of affiliate marketing. I shall discuss the whole concept of affiliate marketing with an example, here we go! – Mark is a product owner and intends to sell his product related to computers. It is very difficult to get the initial sales as Mark is new to the industry, and is not sure if advertising his product all by himself would fetch him success with the product. In addition, Mark has limited knowledge of marketing and advertising and is not sure how to do them. In order to enhance product reach, Mark decides to contact websites & blog owners, who have good foot-fall on their online platforms that majorly talk about computers and accessories. He explains them in detail about his product and requests them to write about his product as well, against which he is willing to part with the 20% of the product revenue for every sale. In this whole scenario, what does Mark achieve?
Sales and reach without spending a dime. He parts a commission with website owners and bloggers only if they give him sales. Affiliates or Publishers, i.e. the bloggers and website owners, since there is a good amount of traffic to their platforms too are at an advantage, for they can monetize their website and earn good commissions. This exactly is Affiliate Marketing and the website owners or bloggers are Affiliate Marketers and Mark is an Advertiser. The best part is, tracking the whole process from sales to commissions is very simple, which are done by Affiliate Networks.
Affiliate Marketing Networks – How are affiliate programs categorized?
While the basic concept is the same for all the affiliate marketing networks, which is the affiliate gets paid for every sale an affiliate marketer makes. However, to earn money from an advertiser, making a sale is not the only criteria. An affiliate can earn by other means as well, which includes PPC and PPL i.e. Pay Per Click and Pay Per Lead. Here is a brief explanation of each of them.
As the name suggests, in this model you get paid, as an affiliate, whenever you help an advertiser achieve a sale through your audience. Whenever a visitor on your site buys a product you are promoting them you will be paid a certain percentage of the total sale product as commission on in some cases a fixed amount for every sale achieved. Pay per sale is the most widely used affiliate earning model in the affiliate industry.
Example: You are promoting an E-Book on ‘How to set up your computer at home’. The advertiser has agreed to pay a commission of %10 of the sales amount. Assuming the product is $50 you will receive $5 for every sale you make.
Under this earning method, you as an affiliate will be paid for every click you get on the link through your audience. This is very different from the Pay per Sale model as here the customers need not purchase the product for you to receive the commission. Under PPC all your visitors have to do is click on the link placed on your website article (as text or embedded in a banner), for you to earn commissions. What they do after the click is not your concern.
This is the third type of affiliate commission type, which is pay per lead. In simple terms, you will be paid commission as an affiliate when you provide a lead to your advertiser. The lead may be defined by the advertiser, it could be completing a web form, submitting an email or downloading an app. Depending on the type of lead you as an affiliate is paid.
Now that you are aware of what affiliate marketing is all about, there are many like Mark, who want to advertise their product. It’s not just individuals like Mark, but big corporations are in constant touch with affiliates to promote their products and services too. This is why many Affiliate Marketing Networks have come into existence.
So the primary question is what exactly the role of Affiliate Marketing Networks is in the whole Affiliate Marketing scheme of things. Let me explain before delving in detail some of the top affiliate marketing networks in existence today.
What are Affiliate marketing networks?
In simple terms, an affiliate marketing network provides a platform on which publishers (affiliate marketers) can connect with the advertisers and vice-versa.
This is a win-win for both parties because marketers do not have to apply for multiple programs. They can manage all their affiliate partnerships from one place, and that place is an Affiliate Marketing Network. For advertisers, it is a cost-effective way of finding relevant marketers who can promote their product or service.
These affiliate marketing networks also provide additional features like tracking, conversions, and all other important data which help both the parties to make data-driven decisions. In addition to all these, Affiliate Marketing Networks track commissions and handle their payout to affiliate marketers/publishers.
Back to where we had left, there is way too many affiliate marketing networks/programs trying to claim that they are the best in the market. But according to my experience, there is only a handful of them. This is why I want to cut the fluff and get straight to the top 10 best affiliate marketing networks/programs which you must definitely give a try.
Best Affiliate Marketing Networks 2019
I have come up with this list after thorough research of all the prominent affiliate marketing programs online. Considering all the factors these networks fit in the top affiliate marketing programs list.
I’ve listed some of the Top Affiliate Marketing Networks here below,
The list wouldn’t be complete without the mention of ShareASale, we have made a detailed article on ShareaSale here. I will briefly explain what the network has in offer for affiliate marketers like us. The first notable aspect is that it has a good advertiser base of 4000 merchants and many of them are only exclusive to this network. The user interface is the simplest when compare to other affiliates, both the advertisers and publishers can easily navigate the website and find what they want.
You will get all the important data about the product you are going to promote. It shows you the average sale a product makes average commission, return rates etc. This allows you to get a sense of the popularity of the products. This network mostly has digital products and no physical products. Amazon, eBay is the only ones which sell physical products in this list.
- Easy to choose products – As they provide with the important metrics, it is easier to choose the products with all the data you have. Ensure that the offer has a less return rate as that is something which wouldn’t do well for the reputation of your website.
- Partner network – They have 4000 merchants and thousand are exclusive to this network, which means that those offers are only available on ShareASale.
- Robust Payment cycle – You are paid on 20th of every month provided you have reached the threshold. You do not have to wait for two months like the other companies.
- Reporting tools – The reporting system is still old; while it is accurate it is not as robust as other networks in the current market.
This is one of the oldest affiliate marketing networks and is based out of USA. They claim to be the number one network for affiliate marketing and I would closely agree with them because they provide a robust marketplace for both advertisers and marketers alike. They are technology and data-driven, which make the life of affiliate marketers and advertisers much easier. They provide some of the best tools to their affiliates, while their support is very robust. Let us look into some of the advantages and disadvantages of Rakuten Marketing affiliate program.
- Flexible linking options – One of the biggest positives of Rakuten Marketing Network is that it allows you to target specific pages for your offers. This ensures that your campaigns are highly targeted for better conversions for the offers you promote.
- Ad rotation – Importance of ad rotation isn’t noticed by many but this small feature can help you in making our campaigns more efficient. This helps publishers to know which version of the ad performs the best.
- Sign up Process – Many times affiliates are discouraged by the signup process some websites have. By experience, I can say that this company has one of the easiest signup processes. All they ask is some very basic details and you will be added to the network immediately.
- Limited coverage of products – Number of products available to promote is less in comparison to other affiliate marketing networks such as ShareASale, ClickBank etc. This means that there may not be products available for you to market in all niches. This is good in a way because their existing offers are of very high quality and converting. Having a smaller base of advertisers allows them to keep the quality a notch higher than the other products.
ClickBank is a marketplace where any advertiser/product owner can sell their digital products and any affiliate marketer can promote products. ClickBank allows affiliates to promote any of the products available on their marketplace, without demanding qualification criteria. They have been there for many years now and have been paying millions of dollars to their affiliates every month. The process of signing up is hassle-free.
All you have to do is, make an account by submitting basic details like email, name, and address. Once your account is set up, you can get into their marketplace, find a product and start promoting. However, some vendors may permit the promotion of their products only if you meet certain criteria and there are thousands of products which you can start promoting instantly.
The best part is you can even request for the copy of the product you are promoting, most of the vendors to provide a copy. After you have thoroughly read the book, you can make a detailed blog post of it sharing your experience. Added to this, a majority of the vendors provide top-notch promotional materials like banners, videos, Email-swipes etc. This will help you in your marketing efforts and help you in achieving more conversions.
Ensure that you follow the rules of the platform as they can be strict when it comes to anyone who violates their terms. Let us understand what makes ClickBank a popular affiliate marketing platform.
- Registration – Registering to ClickBank is absolutely FREE and signing up either as an affiliate marketer or publisher is a walk in the park – absolutely simple and straightforward.
- The range of Products – ClickBank has thousands of products you can choose from. I am sure you will have hundreds of products for the niche of your choice. Sign up for the affiliate program for that particular product and start promoting.
- Prompt Payment – There is always a misconception about payment, you may have made 5 sales on ClickBank, but if it is not from three different cards then you will not be paid until three different cards are used. Also, they have a minimum threshold for payment disbursement and you will be paid only once you reach a certain threshold.
- Commission structure – Most of the vendors in the ClickBank Marketplace provide very high commission rates; you can also earn additionally since a majority of advertisers pay towards any up-sell they made.
- Website Usability – You do not need to have any technical knowledge in order to sign up and navigate through the website. There are enough tutorials to guide you through the process.
- Payment delay – This actually is not a disadvantage as such, because ClickBank has made it very clear in the payment policy. People do not read the terms of the minimum payment threshold and min cards used for transactions, they complain of ClickBank not paying them on time, which is not true at all in my experience. Thousands of affiliates like me get paid by ClickBank promptly as per their payment policy.
Commission Junction Network (CJ)
CJ is one name that has been synonymous with affiliate marketing because it is one of the oldest affiliate marketing networks in existence. Also known as, Commission Junction, CJ Affiliate has a wide base of advertisers and publishers making it one of the best affiliate marketing networks to be in. You can find products related to multiple niches. There also some big advertiser names on CJ with whom you can tie up to promote their products or services. They provide a dashboard to affiliates where you can track all data about your campaigns including clicks and sales data of any of the programs you are promoting. They do not have an instant sign up process, you will have to sign up and your application will be reviewed. If you manage to get into this network then I am sure you will find some very good offers to promote. Their support teams are always there to help you with your queries about the platform or the offers in it.
CJ Affiliate, like most others, is a global company and do not have any geography requirements either for affiliates or advertisers. They also provide a host of tools to help both the advertisers and publishers. As we are focusing on affiliate marketers here are some tools which CJ provides to Affiliates, Link search (easily search links of offers), Get the code, Deep Link Generator ( Allows you to create affiliate deeps links for the product you are promoting), Report options etc. Commission Junction pays 20th of every month by check, direct deposit or Payoneer. You have to reach a minimum threshold for each of the payment methods so that your payments are processed on time.
- Large platform – CJ has worked with 500 plus companies and has upwards of 3000 products. This provides you the flexibility to choose the perfect product that will match your niche. Also, the products here are of high quality with existing brand recognition for many of them.
- Ease of Use – The platform was completely revamped recently and has become much easier to use. It is easy to navigate and keep track of all the important data related to your campaigns.
Best Reporting Dashboards – CJ Affiliate’s dashboard is one of the best as it allows you to analyze your campaigns and then decide on further optimization. This will ensure that your campaigns are the best match for your audience.
- Access to Data – Choosing an offer among a plethora of options can be difficult; this is made easier by CJ by the range of tools they provide. The most widely used is the EPC tool which gives us an estimation of how much an offer makes per certain no of clicks.
- Longer payment time – This is by far the biggest con of this network, as per their policy they will only pay affiliates when the merchant approves the payment. This does create a backlog especially when the merchant is not active in terms of paying out. There have been instances where affiliates did not receive their money as some merchant reject the traffic sent to their online properties.
I am sure you have heard about ‘Amazon.com’, the largest marketplace for physical products in the USA. This is what makes it different from the other affiliate networks we have spoken about earlier. A wide variety of products is available on Amazon. They have a very popular affiliate program called the ‘Amazon Associates program’. If you have a website or an App, then you can apply for the program.
To do this, go to the Amazon associates page and then make an account. You will have to enter your personal and payment details, you have to also enter the tax details and then your application will be complete. You will know to get complete access to the Amazon affiliate hub where you can search and find products. You can choose from text links, image links based on the content to write. You will also see a dashboard where you can see clicks and sales data. Amazon pays you commission only after the product has been shipped, do not worry if you see sales and it is not reflected in the commission you make.
There are millions of products you can choose from to promote. The commission for these products depends on the category it comes under. It is generally between 4% – 10%, when compared to other networks this is way lesser but you need to understand the difference. Amazon gets monthly traffic of more than 500million which signifies the demand for their products. You can surely get higher sales with this platform and this is how it will be balanced even though the commission is low. Also note that people buy products worth $1000+ Amazon, so you will get a sweet commission if you promote similar products.
Amazon pays through direct bank transfer; they have it for most countries. If your country isn’t listed then you can make a Payoneer account and get a US bank account.
- Ease of Use – The user interface is easy to use, you can easily search for the products you want to promote through the search bar and get the shortened links for it. This makes it suitable for someone who is just getting started with affiliate marketing.
- A wide collection of Products – I bet you find a product for any niche on Amazon. There are millions of products you can choose from.
- Largest Partner Network – Amazon has about a million merchants (sellers) selling on their platform which makes it one of the biggest affiliate marketing program.
- Trust – Amazon enjoys trust among its consumers, this will certainly help you to convert better and increase your earnings. It is among the most popular sites in the world.
- Lower commission rates – When compared with other networks it has among the lowest commission rates. This is not a huge disadvantage though, because in this model you can expect a higher volume of sales and this compensates for the low commission rates. There are thousands of affiliates making upwards of $1000 every month.
Avantlink links deserve to be included in our top ten best affiliates list. The working model of Avantlink is the same, which is to connect businesses that want to advertise with marketers who are willing to promote the businesses. This will help the business to boost their sales through the affiliate marketing model. Avantlink will be the aggregator and provide a system for both the advertisers and marketers. Avantlink provides various tools to its publishers. These tools will surely help you increase the sales by 2X because they are aimed at getting better conversions. All these are provided at free of cost without any additional fee levied on to the consumers.
They provide more than one way of monetizing your traffic by providing opportunities for paid placements, deals and coupons to increase sales during certain buying seasons. The reporting tool is robust and provides instant updates about sales, you do not have to wait for 24 hours to know what you had sold the previous day. This real-time data can really help if to quickly tweak the campaigns. You can also build your own tools using their API, unlike Amazon which doesn’t give access to its API.
They also provide a WordPress plugin so that you can track all the campaign data through your site without having to log in to their website daily. They pay their affiliates on the 25th of every month and they have two payment options. You can either get the payout to your bank account if you are from the US, for international affiliates Paypal is the option you should go with. There have been no complaints about Avant not having paid its affiliates.
- Availability of merchants – This site has many merchants and thereby providing you the opportunity of working with many offers. This will help you to increase your revenue just by promoting multiple offers. You can also see the success rate of offers; this will indicate the usefulness of the product.
- Wide category option – The fact that there are more merchants available makes it a network with a wide range of categories. Pick a relevant category matching with your blog/ website and start promoting it.
- Perfect for Beginners – When you visit the website you may be overwhelmed with the tools and options they provide. However, it is fairly easy for beginners to get started and promote the offers.
- Instant Reporting – You will get instant notifications about the sales you make without much of a delay. Most of the networks give you the data after 24 hours. This shows that the Avast reporting tool is robust.
- Customer Support – For any affiliate network, it is very important to have robust customer support. This is something which is lacking in this network. They do not have an option for live support which leaves us with the email support option. The responses take up to or more than 24 hours and sometimes this can be crucial when it comes to critical issues.
eBay has been among one of the biggest players in the e-commerce player. While they are a direct competitor to Amazon, they have a slightly different business model. Their website allows people to bid on products and this is something which isn’t available on Amazon. This is why as affiliate marketers you have to look into the eBay affiliate program review. eBay offers an affiliate program which works on the same model as Amazon affiliate program which is you sign up and get access to your affiliate links.
These affiliate links can be posted on any of your website or blogs when someone makes a purchase after clicking that link, you will be given a commission based on the product that was purchased. Each category is fixed with the particular percentage commission. The commission ranges from 4% to 12% if you are planning to open a new site then keep this commission structure in mind and choose a product category which has a decent commission. eBay has good traffic when it comes to certain types of products. You will have to figure out and find those products.
The idea is the same, find low competition keywords and then open a review site. Put up buyer guides for those products and give highly informational content to people, make their choice process easier and I am sure you will get the traffic as long as you have targeted the right keywords. Once you get the traffic, it is all about optimizing the website and getting higher conversions. You can refer to the commission chart here.
The process to apply is very simple, just go to the eBay partner program page and fill in the simple form. Once you have done that you will get access to all the banners, links and text codes. This can be used to promote any of the products on the eBay website. You can track all the clicks and sales data from the eBay Dashboard. This was the brief about the eBay affiliate program, now let us look into the advantages and disadvantages of this program.
- Frequent Discounts – eBay offers great discounts during seasonal holidays, it ranges anywhere from 20-60% and this is great for you as an affiliate because your websites can get more visits and also increases the conversion rate naturally.
- Availability of products – There are instances where products which aren’t available on Amazon can be found on eBay. This shows that eBay has a wide collection of products and I am sure you will find a good number of products to promote for your niche.
- Widely used payment method – Ebay has Paypal payments which mean customers can easily purchase goods. Also, as affiliates withdrawing your earnings is much easier because the same can be done through Paypal. This is better when compared to the payment method of Amazon as they pay by bank transfer only.
- Higher Commissions – When compared to other e-commerce websites Ebay has a much better commission structure for the products being sold there.
- Not beginner friendly – It is not easy to start getting sales because the process of ranking a website is not a quick one. You have to get everything right from choosing the keywords to choosing the right products to promote.
- Changing commissions – The commission structure is not straight forward and it also depends on the number of clicks you are getting to your promotions.
This can be considered among the premier networks as they only have a few select programs you can promote. This network mainly has software and Saas programs to promote. If you are running a blog or a website which talks about software or technology then this is the one you must consider. The programs in this platform are from well acclaimed which also means that getting access to promote them isn’t an easy task. This is why Avangate has built their platform to make it easier for the advertisers to connect with the publishers.
- High Commissions – As the programs are high ticket ones you will be getting high commission rate for every sale. This also means that the conversion rates will be lesser because of the high cost of the products.
- Could platform – Avangate also has some other offerings which are mainly B2B in nature and if your audience has some B2B crowd then you must have a look into it.
- Credible Clientele – This firm has partnered with big names like Kaspersky lab, HP software, Bitdefender, Absolute software, etc.
- Limited Products – Limited products and not suitable for every niche. The network mainly caters to software products and this may not easily match with the niche you cater.
- Getting accepted – While you can join the network easily, you will have to apply for the offers you want to publish. This is not easy and each advertiser may have a different set of requirements. This also adds to the delay in the process.
A visit to the Flexoffers affiliate program directory gives you a sense of the variety of offers this platform has. From insurance to shopping, they have got it all covered. The commissions they offer per conversion is also high which gives them a spot in this top ten affiliate marketing programs in India list. They have been in the space of affiliate marketing since a very look time. Their support is robust and you also get a dedicated manager. You can get help to improve your campaigns and ensure that your ROI is on point.
- Multiple niches offer – The program has an exclusive list of offers varying across multiple categories. This means that you can easily choose a product and start promoting it in this network.
- Frequent payments – There are multiple payments which makes it have flexible payment options.
- Global acceptance – Many of the top affiliate networks sometimes do not accept affiliates from all countries. This is really a big disadvantage and that is why flexoffers stands out because it accepts people from any country as affiliates.
- Too many Offers – While having many offers is an advantage but picking the best one can be a problem.
This affiliate marketing network has been in business from the past 10 years and paid out 100 million dollars as the payout to its affiliates. The network has seen more than 1 billion conversions. You can find a good collection of high paying international offers which makes it a good affiliate program for any country. The process to promote products is very easy. One more aspect which makes it a good platform is the ease with which you can sell your own product.
- Robust User interface – The user interface is robust and easy to navigate. This makes it easy for newbies to navigate through the site and get what they want.
- Training Material – The site has a good collection of training material which makes a great for beginners to hang with the concepts of affiliate marketing.
As with any system, in order to make a decent income, you have to invest a lot of time and be persistent.
This concludes my article on the top 10 programs/ networks for affiliate marketing. If you are a beginner these will be good networks to start with. If you are starting this from scratch then you do need to understand that you will start making money from day one, if you have a plan and work on it every day then you will eventually see success in the field of affiliate marketing.