One of the first things you need to do, to start earning money on affiliate marketing, is to find good affiliate programs to join.
An easy way to get access to a lot of programs, where you can earn commissions, is to join affiliate networks.
There are however hundreds available, so how do find out which ones to join?
In this article I will go over the 7 best affiliate networks for beginners that give you great earning opportunities and make it easy for you to get started.
What is an affiliate network?
First, you need to know that there is a difference between affiliate networks and affiliate programs that are run by separate brands/services.
Affiliate programs that are run and owned by separate brands mean that you sign up directly at the brand’s website, because you are interested in promoting this particular service or product. Often these are bigger brands/services that have the resources to run their own affiliate program. An example of this is Wealthy Affiliate, where you can sign up and earn commissions by referring others to the platform.
Affiliate networks are instead platforms you sign up for, where you usually will have access to hundreds (if not thousands) of products and services to promote and earn commissions from. You will have access to all these from this single platform.
Both direct affiliate programs and affiliate networks can be great to join – it all depends on the products/services you wish to promote. Personally, I am a member of several direct affiliate programs and also several affiliate networks.
Luckily, you can easily sign up for both kinds of programs. In this article I however want to focus on how to find the good affiliate networks. Before getting to that part, let’s first go over what the advantages and disadvantages of affiliate networks are, so you know what to expect.
What are the pros vs. cons of affiliate networks for a beginner?
Affiliate networks have both advantages and disadvantages you need to be aware of as a beginner within the affiliate world.
The big advantage of joining affiliate networks is that you will get access to hundreds of products within just one platform. It makes it easy to find products that you can promote and earn commission from, almost no matter what niche/topic your website is about.
As long as you choose to join the right networks for you, it will make it a lot easier for you to get ideas for new ways to increase your earnings by being exposed to new products and services that you did not even know exist.
Also, when you are a member of a network, you will gather all your earnings in your network account. That means that you can earn commission from for example 5 different companies, but the commissions will all be gathered in one account within that network.
That is a big advantage as most affiliate programs have a minimum payout threshold, you need to reach, before you can get paid. This might take a bit of time, when you first start working with affiliate marketing. But when you gather your earnings in fewer accounts, it will be easier for you to reach the payout threshold.
There are however also some cons about affiliate networks compared to direct affiliate programs.
One disadvantage is that they are not so personal as direct affiliate programs. By that I mean that you do not necessarily have direct contact with the company you are promoting, as everything goes through the affiliate network.
Because there are hundreds of programs within the networks, there are often automatic processes that decides, if you will be accepted for a certain program or not. Sometimes these automatic processes does not make sense, and you might end up getting rejected without any reason, just because it is an automatic system that does not actually look at your website.
I have tried to get this kind of automatic rejections myself, and it can be quite frustrating. However, I have in some cases then decided to directly contact the company behind to get an explanation, and in the cases where I have done this, I have ended up getting access anyway, or at least getting a good explanation.
So if you end up getting rejected like this for certain programs, after you join an affiliate network, do not let that stop you, if it is a product/service, you think is a good match for you. Mostly you will however be accepted easily, so this is just a tip, if you end up in a situation, where you get rejected.
How to find the right network?
As you can see, joining affiliate networks can be great. As long as you are aware of the potential disadvantages, they are not much of a problem.
But the most important thing to gain the most out of affiliate networks is to find the right ones for YOU. There are some things you can do to find the ones that are a good match for you – this will then be great for both you and the company behind the product/service you wish to promote.
There are a few ways you can find good programs for you:
Know your niche:
The best way to find the right networks is to know your niche. When you have a good understanding of your niche, you will also have a good understanding of the products and services, you can promote within your niche.
You might even already have some products you recommend and would like to get a commission for promoting.
Once you have an idea of potential products you want to promote, try to do a search with that product name + affiliate programs. You will probably be surprised how many companies that have affiliate programs, and when you search like this, you will often find information about the specific affiliate opportunities within your niche.
Sometimes they refer to a certain affiliate network, and other times it will say they have their own. This will give you a good idea, and will help you find out which programs you should join.
By knowing your niche, it will also be easy to look at the list of the best networks, I will provide below. It covers networks within many niches, so you will quickly be able to see which networks would be relevant for you to join.
Look at the payout requirements and methods:
Before joining an affiliate network, it is good to know what the terms and conditions are in relation to payouts.
Some affiliate networks have several ways you can get paid, and others only offer one specific way. Some of the most popular payout methods are bank transfer, where you will get the money directly into your local bank account, and PayPal.
There are however networks that offer other options, and also some that does not offer any of these two popular methods. It is good to know this before you join and start earning – you want to make sure you can get your earnings in a way that fits you. On the list below, you can find this info about each network.
Also, the different affiliate networks have different payout threshold. Some have a pretty low payout threshold, where you can get your earnings, as soon as you have earned a few dollars, and on others you have to earn several hundred dollars, before you can get the money out. This does not necessarily matter too much, as you will hopefully eventually earn so much that you do not have to worry about reaching the payout threshold – but it is still good to know this info before joining, so you know when you can expect to get paid.
Now you know some things you need to know to find the best affiliate networks for you, so let’s now go over some best networks that makes it easy for you to get started.
7 affiliate networks that make it easy to get started
There are literally thousands of affiliate networks, so it can be difficult to choose which ones to join, even when you have considered the points I mentioned above.
Below, you will therefore find a list of selected networks that have a good reputation and that all make it easy for you to get started and start earning commissions. There is no set amount of networks you should maximum or minimum sign up for – sign up for the amount you need to get access to the products/services you want to promote and that are relevant for your niche.
CJ Affiliate (formerly known as Commission Junction)
CJ Affiliate is one of the most popular affiliate networks, and a network I enjoy being a member of myself. It is a worldwide network, so you can join no matter where you live, and it has cooperations with companies from all over the world, so you can find products to promote in most of the world.
CJ works with many advertisers within many industries – you can for example find products and services within marketing, legal, education, hospitality, health, books, banking, clothing and much more, so there is a good chance you will find relevant products to promote no matter what niche you are in.
The payout threshold is pretty low, as you can get paid as soon as you have earned $50. The payouts will automatically be processed once a month, when you have reached the payout threshold. You can choose to get paid through direct deposit to your bank account or by check.
ShareASale is another great and reliable affiliate network that has thousands of available affiliate programs within many industry categories. At the moment it offers you to promote products and services within 40 different categories.
Some of the most popular programs within ShareASale are Viator, NFL, Grammarly, Sears, and Weebly. But you can find popular products within almost any niche. Be aware that you have to have a website in English to promote the products you find on ShareASale.
The payout threshold is $50, and the payment is automatically processed once per month, once you have reached this limit. If you are not from the US, you can get paid through direct deposit or check. If you live in the US, you will furthermore have the option to get paid through Payoneer or wire deposit.
Rakuten is another of the big and popular affiliate networks. It will give you access to thousands of products, you can promote within many categories. Examples of some popular brands Rakuten will give you access to promote and earn commissions from are: RayBan, Sephora, Hunter, Walmart, Lacoste, Ecco, Macy´s, Papa John´s, and many more.
The payout threshold is $50, and they paid out 4 times per month, once you have reached the payout threshold. You can get paid through PayPal, direct deposit, or check.
Because it has so many partners from so many industries, there is a good chance you can find relevant products and services you can promote almost no matter what niche you are within.
Avangate / 2Checkout
Avangate is also called 2Checkout. Avangate was the original name of this platform, but it has now changed its name, but whether you hear the name 2Checkout or Avangate, it is the same platform.
It is an affiliate network that is specialized in software products and digital goods. If you want to promote product or services within this industry, you can find thousands of opportunities here. You can for example find security software, audio & video tools, business & office solutions, cloud services and much more.
The payout threshold is 100 USD/EUR/GBP, depending on the country you live in. You can join no matter where in the world you live. You will get paid once per month, once you reach the minimum payout limit of $100. If you reached $4000 within the reporting period, you will however be able to get paid weekly or bi-weekly. You can get paid through wire transfer, PayPal, or check.
Pepperjam is an affiliate network that mostly works with American and UK companies, but you can join and promote the products no matter where in the world you live. It gives access to more than 1000 products and services you can promote – mainly within the technology industry.
The payout threshold is $25, and once you reach this, you will automatically get paid once per month. The main method of payment is through PayPal.
If you have heard about affiliate networks, there is a great chance you have heard about ClickBank. It is a big name, and has many users. Personally, I think it has many great features, and gives access to many great products and services you can promote.
However, you have to be aware that not all the products you can promote from there are of high quality. I have seen products on ClickBank that I would never recommend anybody to join, as they in my opinion will not give the users any value and in some cases the users might even end up losing a lot of money.
When that is said, ClickBank also has many great products you can promote. It especially has a lot of digital products, but you will also be able to find some great physical products, you can promote and earn commissions from. The payout threshold is $10, and you can get paid via check or direct deposit.
EuroAds is an affiliate network that is specialized in the European market – especially in the Nordic countries. It is actually one of the first networks I joined, when I started working with affiliate marketing, and it is fairly easy to use.
If you work with European or Scandinavian markets, it is a network worth checking out, as it gives access to quite a lot of products and services, you can promote within many categories. Exactly which products you can promote depends on the country you live in, and the country/audience your website is aimed towards.
You will get paid one per month, and get paid via direct deposit.
As you can see, there are many affiliate networks to choose from. There are even many more than the ones on the list above. But the networks above are platforms that will make it easy for you to get started, and they offer a wide variety of products and services, so you should be able to find a lot of relevant products to start earning on affiliate marketing no matter what your interests and niche is.
So now you just need to find the most relevant networks for you and your niche and then join them, so you can start earning commissions on your website.
If you need any help, have any comments, or have any questions, just leave a comment below, and I will get back to you asap.