Affiliate Marketing has become one of the go-to ways to make money online. This is due to more brands and manufacturers embracing digital marketing as a major way of getting their products to consumers. The concept is surprisingly simple: a blogger (the affiliate), for instance, puts up a link to a product on a blog post. If a consumer purchases the product through that link, the blogger gets paid by the manufacturer (the merchant).
Affiliate networks act as a middleman between brands and affiliates. It is a platform that allows interested persons to find affiliate programs that will suit them best. Affiliate networking is based on a system that allows an affiliate of a network to share links to products of other affiliates. Affiliates are also responsible for coming up with advertisement content. This makes it different from other online ads where brands have to create their own content.
To find success in affiliate marketing, it is crucial that one joins a good affiliate network. A good affiliate network should be able to provide you with the kind of products you want to promote. This means that it must have a wide range of affiliate offers which should be easy to find. It should also enable you to take part in multiple affiliate programs. A good affiliate network should also be reliable in its payment methods and provision of analytics.
There are lots of affiliate networks and finding the right one for you can be challenging. That said, if you are an SEO expert or enthusiast, knowing the best paying affiliate networks for SEO increases your chances of earning more money. You can also prefer effective solutions relating to affiliate marketing to your audience. To assist you in your search, this article is all you need to find the most rewarding affiliate networks in 2020. Here are the top affiliate networks in 2020 for SEO.
Top affiliate networks in 2020
Rakuten Affiliate Network
1. Rakuten Affiliate Network
Rakuten affiliate network is one of the best and oldest affiliate networks around. They deal mainly with retail goods and are known for their use of premium technology to deliver results. Rakuten has been voted as the industry's number one affiliate marketing network for the past 9 years. They take great care in maintaining good relationships with all their partners. The over 150,000 publishers they boast worldwide shows what a great job they are doing.
To optimize sales, Rakuten makes use of dynamic technology like flexible linking options and rotating ads. Some of the brands represented by them include JanSport, New Balance, Dennis Kirk, Pacsun, and Virgin Holidays.
Deals mainly in retail goods
Allows check payment, PayPal, and direct deposits
Approves a minimum payment of $50
Rakuten payment models: CPS (Cost Per Sale), CPA (Cost Per Action), CPC (Cost Per Click), and CPL (Cost Per Lead)
AffiliaXe sees itself as the leading affiliate network worldwide. The company strives to live up to that description. It implements an approval process that is based only on invitation. This is done to maintain its exclusive image.
AffiliaXe has a large collection of premium affiliate offers in different categories. Once selected, you are paired with an affiliate manager. These managers are there to help you with offer selection and traffic optimization, amongst other things. AffiliaXe makes use of monetizing tools such as cross-device retargeting and XML-Product feeds. A bonus of $1000 is given to new affiliates and the company delivers payment every 2 weeks. With over 26,000 active publishers, AffiliaXe is an exclusive and quality-driven affiliate network.
A large collection of specialized offers
Approves a minimum payment of $100
Allows check, PayPal, Payoneer or Wire transfer
Provides excellent customer service via affiliate managers
AffiliaXe payment model includes CPS, CPL, CPA
Founded in 1998, Clickbank has been around for quite some time. It stands out from other affiliate networks by dealing mainly with information products produced by digital entrepreneurs. They have over 200 million customers worldwide and have built an impressive catalog of quality digital products.
Clickbank has built a reputation for reliability with on-time payment of commissions. They are among the highest payers in the market with commissions reaching up to 75%. Clickbank makes use of its HOPLINK tracking system to ensure that affiliates get paid. If a customer makes a purchase within 60 days after using the product link, the HOPLINK tracking system ensures that the affiliate who provided that link receives the commission.
Offers products on digital information and encourages self-improvement
Allows Payoneer, wire transfer, check
Approves minimum payment of $10
Has a good referral program
Clickbank payment models: CPM (Cost Per thousand Impression)
MaxBounty is a CPA affiliate marketing network specializing in providing maximum ROI to all its users. Although mentioned earlier, CPA means cost per action. This entails that affiliate commissions are paid based on customer action. Actions could be anything from a sale to a download. The advertisers pay the commissions generated by these actions. MaxBounty has built a reputation for reliability and it is widely considered among the best CPA affiliate networks.
Has multiple offers in fields such as real estate and dieting.
Enables Payoneer, Checks, PayPal, Wire transfer, and Bitcoin.
Approves minimum payment of $100
MaxBounty payment models: CPA, CPL
ShareASale is one of the biggest affiliate marketing networks in the US and has been in operation for about 20 years. It has built a well-known reputation for fairness and honesty. With over 3,900 merchants on the network, ShareASale offers personalized guidance to help in obtaining maximum results. The merchant programs cover a wide range of categories including clothing, jewelry, and other accessories, as well as music reviews and auction services. Some of the technology ShareASale uses include real-time tracking, clickstream attribution, segmentation, merchant, and affiliate API. These are used to ensure that everyone gets the best deal from using the network.
In a bid to provide more opportunities globally to local publishers, Awin, a global affiliate network, purchased ShareASale in 2017.
Offers a variety of merchant programs in fashion, business, gardening as well as art.
Allows check and direct deposits
Approves a minimum payment of $50
ShareASale payment models: CPA, CPL, CPC, and CPS.
Founded in 2002, MoreNiche offers a range of products limited to the health, fitness, and well-being categories. Despite not having a wide range of products, they are primarily focused on quality. Their products are of high quality. MoreNiche affiliates are also some of the top earners in the industry with commissions reaching up to 40% on average. They also offer good customer relations and provide training for inexperienced affiliates. Their affiliate manages to give practical support on SEO optimization. Another special feature that separates MoreNiche from other networks is their guaranteed payments. Affiliates are paid by MoreNiche, and not by advertisers. This means that their affiliates can rest-assured of payment, even though the advertisers do not pay.
Offers programs in specialized niches such as health, weight loss, and fitness.
Allows Payoneer, direct deposits, Bitcoin, and Skrill
Approves a minimum payment of $100
MoreNiche payment models: CPS
7. CJ Affiliate
CJ Affiliate is one of the largest and oldest affiliate networks. Formerly known as Commission Junction, they have been operating for over 20 years. They have a global reach and work across 14 offices around the world. They have built a reputation as one of the most trusted affiliate marketing networks in the industry. CJ Affiliate partners with some of the world's largest retailers. These include GoPro, Barnes & Noble, Lowe's, Office Depot, and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
CJ Affiliate prides itself as the most established affiliate network and has an impressive collection of awards that cements its reputation. They pay affiliates on time, are reliable, and make use of innovative technology to provide results. Ad and content monetization suite, cookieless tracking, and the use of robust APIs are just some of the tools used by CJ Affiliate.
However, it should be noted that accounts can be canceled without forewarning.
Has an impressive collection of offers in online and software retail.
Allows direct deposit and checks
Approves a minimum payment of $50 by direct deposit and $100 by check
CJ Affiliate payment models: CPC, CPA, CPL, CPS
Avantlink has built a good record of working with merchants who focus mainly on catalog products. They operate in the United States, Canada, and Australia. From vacations to household appliances, Avantlink possesses a varied collection of affiliate offers. They are also known for being transparent. Affiliates are given details regarding merchant programs before they sign up so you know what you are getting into.
Avantlink is also known for its customizable setup. From APIs to tracking tools, this customizability will appeal to experienced affiliates. Robust reporting, powerful APIs, Affiliate Link Encoder, and Custom Tracking are just some of the tools they use to provide great results. Not just anyone is accepted as Avantlink approves only 30% of applicants. Some of their partners include Patagonia, Top Ten Reviews, The Good Ride, and Active Junky.
Has a wide range of offers in outdoor and retail products
Approves a minimum payment of $25
Avantlink payment model: CPS
Pepperjam is an affiliate network that tries to reduce the gap between affiliates and brands. Closing this gap is crucial to providing their partners with a thorough acquaintance of affiliate marketing. Affiliates reveal how they promote the products and brands can communicate with them directly. They hold a conference every year, therefore providing affiliates the opportunity to network with brands and meet the Pepperjam team. Pepperjam affiliate network appeals to affiliates who want a direct relationship with manufacturers. They have a new customer rate of 60% and create about 2 million partnerships every year. Some of their partners include BuzzFeed, Business Insider, Quip, Reward Style, and Time Inc.
Offers include digital services and coupons
Allows direct deposits, checks, PayPal
Approves a minimum payment of $25
2checkout was founded in 2006. They are an affiliate network that focuses mainly on digital products and e-commerce of software. Their ranking in the industry has grown due to the strong support given to them by their publishers. Their service reaches over 180 countries with 4 offices around the world. With over 17,000 active clients, they strive to help their affiliates meet set targets. Some of the 2checkout partners include Bitdefender, White Shark Media, Utsav Fashion, and TFC.
Specializes in software and other digital services
Allows PayPal, wire transfer and checks
Approves a minimum payment of $100
11. Market Health
Market Health is an industry leader in health and beauty products. The affiliate network services over 100 countries globally. Over 200 products of which they offer are manufactured by them. Price bumps can easily be negotiated with Market Health, provided over 20 sales can be achieved per day. This is due to their willingness to give better rates to excellent partners.
Their global offers come with localized languages and methods of processing payment. Market Health makes use of real-time tracking, in partnership with Has Offers, to provide affiliates with a reliable tracking system. They offer one of the highest commissions in the industry and give experienced affiliates custom offers.
Offers a wide variety of products in health and beauty categories
Allows Payoneer, Skrill, Checks, and Wire transfer
Approves minimum payment of $20
Market Health payment models: CPA, profit sharing
Best Affiliate Programs
12.) Amazon Affiliate Program (Amazon Associates)
Amazon is the largest and most popular US retailer. That popularity also extends to their affiliate program called Amazon Associates. Affiliates are given the chance to choose what to advertise from over a million products.
Amazon's affiliate program stands out from others because it is easy to use. They also have a wide range of goods offered by different brands. A lot of their associates even get 5-6 figure salaries even though Amazon commissions are low compared to others in the industry. This just shows that Amazon links generate plenty of traffic.
Amazon makes sure that members do not violate their Terms of Service which are strictly enforced. Any infringement of their rules could result in a permanent ban regardless of personal loss to affiliates.
Has one of the largest collection of retail products
Allows check, direct deposits, and Amazon gift cards
Approves minimum payment of $10
Payments are held for 60 days
13.) eBay Partner Network
eBay, just like Amazon, has an affiliate marketing program called eBay Partner Network. They have a global reach with about 183 million active buyers in 190 markets worldwide. Its 1.4 billion listings show the diversity of the platform. They also offer a wide range of retail goods, although not as much as Amazon. However, they do offer good commission rates ranging from 50% - 70%. Commissions are even doubled for new buyers or buyers who have been absent for up to 12 months.
eBay partner network provides tools such as smart links, smart placement, bookmarklet tool, and link generator to improve traffic and increase revenue. Some of eBay's partners include Adidas, Reebok, Crocs, Asus, and Philips.
Offers a large collection of retail goods
Allows PayPal and direct deposits
Approves a minimum payment of $10
Choosing the Best Affiliate Network for You
It has been established that there are a lot of affiliate networks in the market. However, there are certain factors that you should consider to find the one that is just right for you.
1.) The Affiliate Network's Payment Model
There are different payment models and the large affiliate networks make use of multiple models. Smaller networks, on the other hand, might choose to focus on one or two models. This makes them committed and helps provide expert service based on the model(s) of choice.
Payment models used by affiliate networks include
CPA - CPA refers to Cost Per Action or Cost Per Acquisition. It basically involves an advertiser who makes payment only when an action has been taken by a user. This action could be anything from a sale, a lead generation, a subscription, or even a download.
CPC - CPC means Cost Per Click. This involves an affiliate getting paid by an advertiser when ad links are clicked.
CPM - CPM means Cost Per Mille or Cost Per 1000 Impressions. This involves advertisers paying when a particular advertisement is viewed 1000 times.
CPS - CPS means Cost Per Sale. This is a very common payment model where affiliates receive commissions per product sale.
CPL - CPL means Cost Per Lead. This model is used by advertisers to determine how much lead an advert has generated. It usually involves redirecting a user to a site to perform an action. This action then generates the lead.
It is very important to know the type of merchants that are drawn to a network. Is an affiliate network populated by large brands or smaller, local brands? What types of products are these brands selling? Do they offer digital services or mainly physical retail goods? Are other people making money selling these items? These questions must be addressed. This is because you want to choose a network that is active and profitable. A network that is designed in a way that optimizes your strengths and makes your life easier.
Safety is a topic that mainly concerns the merchant. It is the merchant whose money is at risk. However, as an affiliate, you want to choose a network that offers you transparency with the merchant. It is in your best interest for the merchant to be protected against fraud because you need to receive your commission. If a security issue comes up, a merchant might stop payment or even leave the affiliate network.
As an affiliate, it is also important that your affiliate links are protected from fraud. There are dubious persons online who might be looking to steal your sales data so they can copy your work. Insecurity is counter-productive to all your good work and can render all your effort as a waste.
4.) Involvement of Affiliate Managers
An important part of a good affiliate network is the affiliate manager. These people are there to help both brands and affiliates. It is important that you choose a network known for having good managers who are ready to help. This is increasingly important as some networks have managers who double as salespeople. These managers direct affiliates toward products that offer no value to your audience but benefit the network. Good affiliate managers do their best to find the best offers for your audience. They are also approachable and offer valuable support and assistance to any problem you might encounter.
5.) Payment Policies and Methods
It is important to understand the payment policies of the affiliate network you intend to join. How frequently do you want to be paid? Some affiliate networks may try to withhold your commissions due to any number of factors. Having large amounts in your account might make it difficult to determine how much you are owed or how much you have received. This potential issue also depends on the type of payment model the network uses. Therefore, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the different payment models to know where you stand.
Another important factor to consider is the payment method. You need to know how a network pays its affiliates before you sign up. Making money is your aim so you should also be able to receive it after working for it. For example, if a network pays by check, make sure your country permits you to cash checks received from another country.
Lastly, you should choose an affiliate network that has a well laid out platform. You need to know how well you are performing so that you can collect your commissions. A platform that provides easy access to offers and data that you need will only make your life easier.
There are a lot of affiliate networks in the market and choosing one can be challenging. You must be familiar with their different features, payment structures, and the products they offer. You also need to take into account the size, experience, and reputation of any affiliate network you plan to join. Having this information will help you choose one that focuses on your strengths, your web audience, and optimize SEO. After all, you are in the business to make money.