Monetizing your blog seems like a great way to earn some passive income. But unless you know which affiliate marketing platforms are most profitable, you may be losing out on some great opportunities here. Many affiliate marketers are often confused about how to choose the right affiliate marketing networks or wonder is it even necessary to join one.
So to answer all your question about affiliate marketing platforms and choosing the right ones, we are here with this guide along with 10 of the most profitable affiliate marketing networks.
– What is an affiliate marketing platform?
– Do you need a platform for affiliate marketing?
– What are the best affiliate marketing platforms?
– Best affiliate marketing platforms to choose from
- Rakuten Advertising
- Amazon Associates
- Sovrn //Commerce
What is an affiliate marketing platform?
An affiliate marketing platform is an all-in-one solution that connects brands and businesses with affiliate marketers while also managing and tracking their affiliate programs. Affiliate marketing platforms help businesses with onboarding their affiliates, keeping track of affiliate sales, and paying affiliate commissions.
For affiliate marketers, affiliate marketing networks or platforms are more like a marketplace where you can choose from many different affiliate programs and products. You can register on the affiliate marketing platform and choose which products you would like to promote through your affiliate marketing content. For affiliate marketing beginners, choosing the right affiliate platform is one of the very first key steps in their journey.
Do you need a platform for affiliate marketing?
Well, you don’t necessarily need to join an affiliate marketing platform to earn revenue from affiliate marketing. Many businesses host their own affiliate programs and you can directly join them. But if you can choose a good affiliate marketing network, your opportunities increase multi folds. Instead of hunting for brands with profitable affiliate programs, you can find hundreds of profitable programs within your affiliate marketing niche.
To add to it, affiliate marketing platforms also simplify the monetization of your blog or affiliate marketing content as well. Because affiliate marketing platforms handle all the payments for both the merchant and the affiliates, you don’t have to keep chasing the business for your commissions. And not just payments, they will also handle most of the administrative work involved in affiliate campaigns between brands and affiliate partners.
You also get to choose from a number of affiliate products that are relevant to your niche and your audience. Some affiliate marketing networks may even have rewards and incentives for affiliate marketers which will give you access to higher-paying deals or increase your revenue from influencer marketing.
But you may need to ensure that you meet the criteria set by these affiliate marketing platforms before applying to join.
What are the best affiliate marketing platforms?
The best affiliate marketing platforms for you will depend on what you are looking for.
Products – For most affiliate marketers, the decision usually boils down to what affiliate products you want to promote or what products your audience would be interested in.
Commission rates – Another important thing that determines whether an affiliate marketing platform is a good fit for you is the commission rates they are offering. Some affiliate marketing networks may offer very low commission rates and are not worth your time or effort. Others may offer good rates or incentives that can boost your revenue.
Terms of enrolling – Some affiliate marketing platforms may have specific requirements that an affiliate partner needs to fulfill in order to get approved. For instance, they may require a minimum website traffic or authority. Others may seek a minimum number of followers on social media channels where you publish content for affiliate marketing. While this is reasonable, for beginners in affiliate marketing it can be a hassle.
Help and support – Some platforms also offer training and support to new affiliate marketers. If you are a beginner, you may benefit from something like this.
Cookie duration/ Cookie life – Cookie duration defines how long a sale of an affiliate product is attributed to your affiliate links. That is the duration up to which you will earn a commission for a click or sale made from your affiliate link. Beyond the cookie duration, even if the merchant makes a sale with a visitor from your site the sale is not attributed to you. When choosing an affiliate marketing platform, you would want to look for platforms that offer a longer cookie duration.
Best affiliate marketing platforms to choose from
TL;DR Here’s a quick look at the 10 most profitable affiliate marketing platforms to choose from. More on each of these platforms below.
1. Rakuten Advertising
Rakuten is quite a popular name in the world of advertising and marketing. But its affiliate marketing network is one of the main services on the platform. Rakuten offers solutions for advertisers and brands, affiliate partners and publishers, and social media influencers as well.
Rakuten has a huge network of brands and affiliate programs to help you monetize with affiliate marketing content. The platform has an AI matchmaking feature that helps you discover new partnership opportunities relevant to your niche and goals. Brands that have their affiliate marketing programs listed on Rakuten include some big names like Walmart, Virgin Holidays, Sephora, Udemy, Best Buy, and others.
Rakuten also offers Dynamic Commissioning, meaning you can choose how your affiliate merchant partners payout and have more transparency on what brands’ goals are to help you make better decisions for scaling your revenue. You can also gather insights on how your audience uses your referral codes and how that is generating commissions for you. The platform offers data analytics and personalization technology as well so that you can create more targeted affiliate marketing campaigns for your audience.
Other key features on this platform include an intuitive publisher dashboard, auto-conversion of standard advertiser links to trackable referral links, curated and customized product showcases to go with your affiliate marketing content, and more.
2. Amazon Associates
The Amazon Associates platform is by far one of the most popular affiliate marketing networks. Being the biggest e-commerce service out there, Amazon gives you access to thousands of affiliate products to choose from and you are sure to find products within your niche. To become an Amazon affiliate all you need is a website or a mobile app that meets Amazon’s qualifying criteria.
The best part about the Amazon Associates affiliate marketing program is that you earn a commission for any purchase a visitor makes within 24 hours of landing on Amazon through your affiliate link. Amazon has a flat rate commission structure and there are different rates for different product categories. But the downside of Amazon’s affiliate marketing platform is that the cookie life is only 24 hours. You may get a cookie duration of 90 days on a product that visitors from your page directly add to their carts. But this 90-day cookie life is only for that particular product and not for any future sales.
But the sheer volume of products on Amazon ensures that you’ll never run out of opportunities to offer affiliate product reviews and earn revenue. The payout limit is also quite low, so you get paid as soon as you have earned $10 in commissions.
Awin is another popular affiliate platform among content creators and marketers. Awin also entertains advertisers, agencies, publishers, social media influencers, and others. The affiliate network can connect you with over 21,000 brands and advertisers. Some noteworthy brands in their network include Etsy, AliExpress, Ted Baker, HP, and Emirates, among others.
The affiliate platform also offers publisher training on how to get started. Awin accepts all kinds of publisher sites but your site will first be verified by their team when you apply. In fact, you don’t necessarily need to have a site too. The platform also accepts affiliate marketers who publish content on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.
A $5 deposit is charged by the affiliate platform to verify your bank account details when you sign up, but this is refunded to you after you track your first affiliate sale on Awin.
ShareASale is also a part of Awin though both affiliate platforms operate independently. Affiliate marketers and publishers can sign up on the platform for free and partner with hundreds of reliable brands. The platform supports all kinds of affiliate marketers including traditional affiliates, bloggers, social media influencers, podcasters, and website owners too.
Real-time reporting on ShareASale alerts you every time a banner is clicked and a sale is made, earning you a commission. There are several tools to help affiliate marketers track their campaigns and promote affiliate products in unique ways. These include Affiliate API, Affiliate track report, Custom link tool, and the Product Discovery Bookmarklet.
Affise is an affiliate marketing network with thousands of brands and agencies on board. You can connect with brands directly on Affise through your own research. The platform gives you the contact information of these advertisers. Brands and advertisers store all their marketing material and brand guidelines on Affise so you can easily go through them and decide who you would like to partner with.
Another good thing about this affiliate platform is that they don’t set any fixed commission rates for you and you can negotiate with partners to decide on what suits you best. Dashboards are also customizable, allowing you to choose what you’d like to track and cross-platform tracking is available as well.
All of this makes Affise one of the best affiliate networks for those who prefer a little more autonomy in choosing affiliate marketing programs, with more control over their earnings.
Skimlinks is an affiliate marketing platform that automatically turns links in your commerce content into affiliate links. The platform gives you access to more than 48,000 affiliate programs in collaboration with affiliate networks like Awin, Rakuten Advertising, and others. Skimlinks also negotiates commission rates for you with merchants to get you more revenue.
The platform has analytics and reporting which shows your affiliate marketing campaign’s performance for each merchant, real-time clicks that your affiliate links get, and your revenue sources. There are templates and forms for different types of affiliate marketing content such as affiliate product reviews, deals, comparisons, and more.
Major brands on Skimlink’s network include Adobe, Nike, Vimeo, and many others.
Tradedoubler started off as a small affiliate marketing platform in 1999. But over the past 21 years, it has grown to have 15 offices across 81 countries. They offer both technology solutions and administrative solutions for affiliate marketing and have a network of more than 2000 leading brands.
For publishers looking to monetize their website, the platform connects you to their expansive network of brands and advertisers and offers some interesting incentives. There is a cashback/ loyalty program, a reward platform, price comparison, voucher sites, and a lot more. You will also have access to all the reporting and analytics tools you need to track your earnings from your affiliate campaigns.
Tradedoubler also has a solution for Influencer Marketing exclusively.
ClickBank is trusted by over 100,000 affiliates across the world, and it has also been around since 1999. The platform claims to be one of the best affiliate networks in terms of reliability and has never missed an affiliate payment in its history. ClickBank does offer some of the highest commission rates that can go up to 90%, though it’s not that common to get your hands on the best offers. All products on this affiliate platform are vetted for quality and continuously monitored.
There are over 4000 affiliate products for you to choose from under various product categories. This makes it much easier to find products that fit into your affiliate marketing niche, which is something you wouldn’t find on many other affiliate marketing platforms.
You can choose between a revenue-sharing model where you get paid a certain percentage of each sale made or a cost-per-action model where you are paid a fixed amount for your affiliate sales.
The platform also offers guidance and support to help you get started on your affiliate marketing journey.
9. Sovrn //Commerce
Sovrn //Commerce is an affiliate marketing platform that offers you everything from affiliate link creation to editing tools to analytics and reporting. You get access to a network of over 30,000 brands and merchants, and you can easily find their commission rates and other terms & conditions on the merchant dashboard for easier decision-making.
The platform also helps you convert your existing links to products into monetizable affiliate links instantly and also lets you post affiliate links on your social media channels easily. You can offer comparisons to give your readers more than one retailer option, through //Commerce.
Pepperjam is another user-friendly affiliate platform that has some big brands in its network, including Puma, Bonobos, and Bath & Body Works, to name a few. The platform offers a variety of assets to help monetize your affiliate marketing campaigns, like banners, coupons, generic links, and more. You can connect with brands and advertisers directly using their email and profile info available on the platform.
There is also an on-demand education center with resources to help you with affiliate marketing know-how. Apart from this, you have all the usual features of discovering affiliate products and partners, tracking your affiliate campaigns, and choosing your monetization models.
Affiliate marketing is harder than it seems, but a reliable affiliate marketing platform can open many avenues for you, whether you’re running an affiliate marketing blog or a YouTube affiliate marketing channel. Especially if you are a beginner in this trade, an affiliate marketing network could be the best to start, learn and grow as a marketer. We’ve only listed 10, but there are many more affiliate marketing platforms that could be offering just what you need. Take your time to explore and weigh your options. A little research can do wonders for your affiliate marketing ROI.