You're ready to monetize your website and earn your first commission, but where do you find products to promote?
Affiliate marketing is only a viable way to make money online if you can find products that your audience will be interested in and that you’re willing to recommend.
To help you on your way to earning your first commission, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best affiliate networks out there. Through these networks, you can access thousands of merchants and find millions of physical and digital products to promote. A Forrester survey reveals that 83% of affiliate marketers use affiliate networks to find new partners and products to promote.
From garden furniture to high-end fashion, you’re guaranteed to find affiliate offers that appeal to your audience in the networks listed below.
Let’s get started and see what the best affiliate networks have to offer.
If you are interested in promoting physical products, Amazon Associates should be your first port of call. You can earn a commission by promoting almost every product sold by the world’s largest e-commerce company. Affiliate marketing drives around 16% of all e-commerce orders in the US and Canada.
What’s more, you can earn a commission on every new purchase that a person makes within 24 hours of clicking on your affiliate link. If someone clicks your link for a $20 t-shirt but goes on to purchase a $700 digital camera, you will still earn a commission.
Amazon offers a flat-rate commission percentage based on the product categories detailed below:
ShareASale is a well-established affiliate network with over 4,500 merchants and thousands of different products to promote.
From your affiliate dashboard, you can browse through all the available merchants, sign up to affiliate programs, view your sales statistics, and generate your affiliate links.
ShareASale works with both well known established brands and smaller up and coming businesses, with a good mix of physical and digital products
Whichever niche your website is based around, there’s a high chance that you’ll find a relevant offer to promote on ShareASale.
Another well-established affiliate network, CJ Affiliate enables you to build a relationship with thousands of merchants - both household names and smaller brands.
With a similar affiliate dashboard to ShareASale, you can sign up to programs, view your statistics, and generate your links all in one place.
CJ Affiliate’s dashboard is a little less intuitive than ShareASale, but once you know your way around, you’ll find it to be an excellent tool for keeping track of sales and identifying new promotion opportunities.
With over 200,000 publishers and 15,500 merchants, Awin is a popular affiliate network with a huge number of offers to promote.
Awin purchased ShareASale in 2017, but the two networks are run separately and feature different merchants.
Last year, affiliates earned over $832 million through the Awin network. There’s a considerable number of both physical and digital products to promote, with some offers restricted by region and others available globally.
You’ll need to apply to merchants individually, like ShareASale and CJ Affiliate, before you can generate your links and start tracking your sales.
Rakuten Marketing is a popular affiliate network that includes a lot of big name brands. While they don’t offer as many merchants as some of the other affiliate networks, the merchants they work with are well known global brands.
If you want to connect with household names, Rakuten is a great option. If you wish to access a wider variety of merchants, Awin or ShareASale might be better suited to your needs.
Rakuten has some great features for affiliates. The ability to rotate ads without an external tool or plugin is a great time saver.
If you're looking to promote digital products and software, Avangate Affiliate Network is the place to be.
Avangate offers a fast and straightforward sign-up process, so you can create an account and start browsing through the 22,000+ digital products in no time.
A key advantage of promoting digital products is the high commissions available. Some products on the Avangate Affiliate Network offer commission rates of 100%.
ClickBank is another network that offers a host of digital products to promote, but they do also provide some physical products too.
While Rakuten and ShareASale offer access to household names, ClickBank is focused more on smaller brands and businesses.
When you browse through the available merchant offers, you’ll find lots of eBooks, subscription websites, and digital courses.
While they don’t have the prestige of the big brands available on other networks, these offers can still be a great opportunity if they fit within your niche.
FlexOffers is a popular affiliate network with over 12,000 merchants and an average of 50+ new brands joining the platform every day.
They have offers from household names, like Sketchers and Lenovo, as well as more niche smaller brands.
FlexOffers is well established and trusted by affiliates; you don’t need to worry about them disappearing overnight. A nice feature is that they assign you with a dedicated account manager to help you find your feet on the network and identify relevant offers to promote.
eBay’s Partner Network is a great place to find thousands of physical products to promote. You can promote everything for sale on the world’s largest online marketplace, a vast selection of 1.4 Billion listings.
While some of the listings are auction-based and time-limited, 80% of the listings are new items for sale, and 90% have a “buy it now” feature.
Commissions are similar to Amazon Associates and are based on a flat rate per product category:
Founded in 1999, Pepperjam is one of the oldest affiliate networks on the list. What makes Pepperjam different is its unique approach to provide clear communication between merchants and affiliates.
Every affiliate receives a rating of 0 to 5 based on how open and transparent they are about their promotional methods. If you can achieve a rating of 4 or 5, you receive a higher rate of commission.
Pepperjam has an excellent reputation among affiliates for its intuitive dashboard and excellent customer service. Like FlexOffers, you also receive a dedicated account manager to help you make the most of the network.
Now you know about the affiliate networks that are only a few clicks away, the next step is to find products to promote.
Sign up to an affiliate network and wait for approval.
Depending on the network, you can immediately start browsing through products to promote, or you may have to apply individually to each merchant.
Identify a product that is relevant to your audience and offers value.
Follow the network’s instructions to receive your affiliate link.
With so many merchants to choose from, you need to be strategic and narrow down your list of relevant products.
It’s always advisable to only promote products that you are already familiar with and that you feel confident recommending to your audience. If you have never edited video footage before, you aren’t going to be able to provide a professional editor with a trustworthy recommendation for editing software.
Make a list of the products you already use from your personal life and professional career. What products do you regularly use? Which products do you know better than anyone else you know?
Your job as an affiliate marketer is to help people make more informed purchasing decisions. The more you know about the products you promote, the better you can help people purchase the right product for their needs.
Your commission earnings are your reward for helping people find the right products to purchase.
Hopefully, you’ve now got a taste for the affiliate networks that are out there. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin and have to log into ten different dashboards everyday, so make a shortlist of networks that offer products that are relevant to your website and provide the best payouts.
Always keep your audience in mind and focus on the products they will find appealing and that offer value for money. You’re building a relationship with your audience based on trust. Generally, you should always choose products that you would be happy to purchase for yourself.
Do your research, promote quality products, and earn yourself a decent referral income.