Make Money Blogging: Top Affiliate Networks

Advertising networks allow you to post ads on your site and get paid for them being seen and/or for people clicking on the ad, but affiliate advertising allows you to get paid when people complete an action.  For instance, with some sites you will get paid when people buy an item that you post on your site. In other words, you will earn a commission when people buy products.  Other sites allow you to get paid when people do things as simple as provide their email address.  It really depends on the company and the campaign.

Where you have little to no control over network ads that appear on your site, you have total control when it comes to affiliate advertising.  You still have to get accepted into programs, but once you are accepted you can choose to post text links, ads, or write about individual products.

Each affiliate company noted below has a different feel and style.  You will like some programs more than other programs, so I encourage you to try to gain acceptance to all of them to see which works best for you!

Note: You may be denied from some affiliate programs.  You may be denied from some stores once you are accepted into an affiliate program.  Do NOT let this get you down.  It happens to everyone.  Your site may not be what a company is looking for, but for every store that doesn’t accept your site there will be one that does.

Having been involved in affiliate marketing for about four years now, what you’ll find below are, in my opinion, the top affiliate marketing networks.

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Affiliate Marketing Networks Representing Stores, Companies, and Products:

Amazon Associates:  When anyone clicks on an Amazon product you recommend and then purchases that item, you will earn a commission!  Or, you can set up an Amazon “store” of items you love and put a widget into the sidebar of your site.  Again, anytime anyone makes a purchase from your store you will receive a commission.  Amazon wants you to earn money selling their products {so they earn more}, and getting started with them is simple and straightforward.

There are no site requirements to join Amazon Associates, although if you are in a state where affiliate nexus tax laws are being implemented then you are likely not eligible to be an Amazon Associate.

ClickBank: With ClickBank you can find specific products that you would like to promote. I haven’t spent much time on this site, but there are tons and tons of ebooks from which to choose, which may be great depending on your blogging niche. The payouts on this site are great!

Commission Junction:  Commission Junction is one of the largest affiliate networks and represents some of the largest stores out there.  While anyone can join Commission Junction, you must individually apply to each store/company in their network.  Some stores/companies will accept any site into their affiliate programs, while other stores have site requirements, such as number of readers, site content, etc.

Once you are accepted in a store/company’s affiliate network you will have access to banner and text ads for each store/company, and many stores also provide a full product catalog of items, meaning that you can place individual items on your site.  When people click on the links in your site and make a purchase, you can earn a commission on a pre-specified percentage of that sale.  Each store/company has a different percentage they are willing to pay you for sales.

eBay Enterprise Affiliate Network: eBay Enterprise Affiliate Network, formerly known as Pepperjam, represents approximately 1,000 stores/companies at this point in time.  You must apply to Pepperjam, and then apply to each store/company individually.  It has been my experience that Pepperjam is one of the easier networks to gain admittance.  Personally I find the interface a little confusing to use.

eBay Partner Network:  Did you know that you can get paid for getting people to shop at eBay?  True story!  Once you get savvy using eBay Partner Network you can even make money by driving people to your own eBay sales! I should note that eBay is pretty strict about the sites they accept into their network, and do not have the open-door policy that some of the other affiliate companies have.

Impact Radius: Impact Radius is one of the newer affiliate marketing companies. I think it has one of the easiest to use interfaces.

LinkShare: LinkShare is one of the biggest affiliate networks and they represent hundreds – if not thousands – of stores/companies. You must apply to join LinkShare and then once you are a member you must apply to the affiliate program of every store/company you wish to represent.

RewardStyle: RewardStyle is probably the affiliate company that is most popular with fashion bloggers. RewardStyle is an invitation-only affiliate company, but once you’re in they make it easy to find individual products from some of the biggest brands including J.Crew, Anthropologie, and ASOS.

ShareASale:  ShareASale represents many different stores and companies that you won’t find on other affiliate networks.  Wine companies, magazine companies, stationery companies, and hundreds of other retail outlets all call ShareASale home.  Like many of the other sites you must first apply to ShareASale and then once you are a member you can begin applying to individual affiliate programs.

ShopStyle: ShopStyle is part of the PopSugar family and while you can go on there and search for pretty much anything in the world, it is also an affiliate site! When you use their links you will receive money anytime anyone clicks those links. (Unlike most affiliate sites, ShopStyle does not offer a percentage of the sale.) Along with RewardStyle, ShopStyle is popular among fashion bloggers.

SkimLinks: With most affiliate networks you need to do the legwork. In other words, if you want to post an item from Gap you would need to head to Commission Junction, go to the Gap page, and then search for the specific item you want to post about. If you install SkimLinks you don’t need to do any of that! SkimLinks turns the regular URLs on your page into affiliate links, and then they keep a small percentage of the commissions earned.

VigLink: Like SkimLinks, I wasn’t sure if this was the proper place to include VigLink, but since this site takes the place of many affiliate companies I figure why not? VigLink works just like SkimLinks, in that they turn your regular URLs into affiliate links and then keep a portion of your commissions.

Affiliate Marketing Networks Representing “Individual Offers”

Individual Offers, you ask.  What I mean by Individual Offers is that the affiliate marketing companies below do not represent stores.  When you are accepted into the affiliate marketing networks below you will usually have access to everything they offer immediately.  Instead of stores you will find deals that you can promote to your readers, such as “Get a Free Photo Book,” or “Register for a Survey Company & Receive Money.”  When your readers complete the registration requirements for those deals you will receive a commission.  Another term for this type of affiliate program is “Cost Per Action,” or CPA.  Maybe you’ll receive just a few cents per registration, or maybe you’ll receive a few dollars.  It depends on the deal.  You will often find the same deals at posted at each of the sites listed below.

Frankly, it is often easier to get started using the affiliate marketing networks listed below than the affiliate companies listed above, especially for new bloggers.  However, you will often find links to deals on the sites below that seem “spammy.”  

Escalate Media Affiliate Network: I really like Escalate.  Their payouts are usually some of the best, and they sell very detailed and informative emails about every offer.  Most of the times the links that you’ll need to post on your site are even included in the email, meaning that you don’t need to sign into the site to search for the information you need.

Glitter Network: Glitter Network is one of the newer affiliate companies. They work with a wide range of brands and seem to have a good number of promotions you won’t find elsewhere.

MySavings Media: MySavings Media, Logical Media, and Escalate tend to offer many of the same deals. My recommendation is to sign up for all three and then post the deal from the site that is willing to pay you the most.


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