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Best Affiliate Networks To Supplement Your Amazon Based Sites

Best Affiliate Networks Other Than Amazon

Amazon Associates is an amazing program for people looking to get started making money online, and develop a business that has sustainable, reliable payments each month.

Amazon has nearly every product under the sun so you never run out of offers to promote on your niche sites.

However, when it comes to commission structure, Amazon isn’t always giving you the highest commission rates in the industry.

Amazon recently implemented some changes that are going to affect how much money people are making from their sites.

Instead of providing a flat commission structure, like 8% for instance, they are changing the commission structure on the category level, so depending on the category that you’re promoting products out of, your commission structure could be capped at 4%, like electronics have been for years.

Starting March 1st, 2017, the new commission structure has been put into place, and many affiliates are finding out that their sites are no longer producing the income they once were.

Jon created a great post over at Authority Website Income that goes into detail about the changes, and the new commission structure for each category of products that you’ll want to check out by clicking here.

If you’re looking to increase the income on your affiliate sites that already have traffic coming into them, you’re going to want to look into other networks that provide higher commission levels, longer cookie durations, and open up even more opportunities for you to make money through promoting other products, services, and offers that may not be available on the Amazon platform.

We’re going to help you discover a few new affiliate networks that have developed a reputation for themselves by making payouts each month without issues, having a huge number of advertisers looking for you to promote their offers, and higher commission structures than what Amazon provides.

Two Types Of Commissions

When you’re venturing away from Amazon, you’re going to encounter some new terms that other affiliate networks use to identify how you’re going to get paid whenever someone takes your recommendation on an offer you’re promoting.

Cost-Per-Sale (CPS)

CPS, sometimes also referred to as PPS (Pay-Per-Sale) is generally a low risk and high profit strategy that’s employed by affiliate networks like Amazon. Whenever you get a visitor to take your recommendation and send them off to Amazon to make a purchase, you’re paid a commission for the sale.

Many marketers love the CPS / PPS model because it’s relatively low hassle, and makes it easy to generate an income with their site. Once they refer a sale and the sale is finalized, they get credited for the sale and can see how much money they’re making every day.

Cost Per Sale

Advertisers love the model because it’s essentially free advertising and marketing for their products, services, or offers, and generates new customers for their business that they may not have obtained otherwise, if they didn’t have an open affiliate program.

Coincidentally, this is also why commissions are so much higher with CPS / PPS than other affiliate marketing models. Because the customers are essentially free to the advertiser, they’re fine with paying higher upfront commissions, knowing that they’re going to make more money off the customer on the backend.

Cost-Per-Action (CPA)

Cost Per Action

Cost-Per-Action (or CPA) on the other hand, pays affiliates whenever a specific action is taken and doesn’t require a sale to be generated for you to receive credit and get paid for having one of your visitors perform the action.

Generally, CPA campaigns will typically pay for clicks, impressions, optins, signups, registrations, form submits, and other basic actions that help generate leads for the advertiser that they can follow up with and convert into paying customers.

Payout and commission percentages are typically lower with CPA campaigns, but they’re usually open to driving even more traffic to the offers than what is normally possible with a CPS / PPS campaign.

More people are willing to submit their information in exchange for a free offer than they are to purchase a product, in the case of a pay-per-sale campaign.

Other Terms You’ll Want To Understand

While using other networks, you’re going to encounter some terms that you’ll want to understand to ensure that you’re making educated decisions and aren’t going to confuse yourself when you start promoting offers from the advertiser you’ve applied for.

  • Earnings Per Click: When you are looking at the estimated earnings per click (EPC), you’re getting an idea of how much money you can expect to earn for each click that you send to the advertiser. This is an estimated number, but gives you an idea for how much money you can make given the traffic levels you currently send to other advertisers from your site.
  • Reversal Rates: You can relate this metric to Amazon’s refund rate. When a sale or commission is reversed it’s usually caused by the customer returning the product or providing false information for the offer that you’re promoting.
  • Average Sales Amount: The average sales amount is available to help you determine what the average order price is that customers are paying whenever they complete an order through the advertiser you have sent them to. It helps you figure out how much money you’re going to make for each sale that’s generated.
  • Average Commission: Many advertisers like to show you what other marketers are earning, as far as their commission structure goes, and takes into account the average sales amount multiplied by the advertiser’s commission rate.

So, let's get started...

ShareASale

ShareASale is one of the largest affiliate networks currently available, outside of Amazon, and they house more than 4,000 different advertisers looking to have you start generating sales. More than 1,000 of those advertisers are exclusive to ShareASale.

When it comes to providing information about the offers that you’re thinking of promoting, ShareASale offers quite a bit of information for you to dig through, to ensure that you’re going to be working with a legitimate advertiser.

They provide:

  • Earnings per click
  • Reversal rates
  • Average sales amounts
  • Average commissions paid

ShareASale has quite a few different advantages over other affiliate networks.

They’re one of the largest partner networks: ShareASale currently houses more than 4,000 advertisers, with 1,000+ of them being exclusive to the ShareASale network.

They have offers that are easy to complete: ShareASale makes it incredibly easy to evaluate different offers and advertisers and choose one that’s relevant to your site based on the many different metrics that are available. It’s easy to quickly compare advertisers against each other.

They pay quickly: ShareASale reliably pays all affiliates on the 20th of each month. You do need to earn more than $50 to receive a payout, but the payments owed to you will roll over from month, to month if you don’t hit the $50 mark one month.

However, they also have clunky reporting tools that can be hard to navigate.

Their affiliate dashboard seems like it was built in 2000, and it’s hard to work your way around it. Once you get familiar with their dashboard, though, using it starts to become more intuitive.

CommissionJunction

Outside of Amazon Associates, CommissionJunction (or CJ Affiliate) is the largest affiliate network currently available. If you’ve been an affiliate marketer for any length of time, you’ve probably already heard about them.

Nearly every major retailer that sells products online has an affiliate program through the CJ Affiliate platform, which means you’re going to have a hard time not finding products, services, or offers that you can promote on your website.

CJ Affiliate

One of the biggest benefits of working with CJ Affiliate is that their advertisers have full media teams devoted to creating different ads in various sizes so you can find the perfect ad to fit in with the layout and design of your website.

Advertisers on CJ Affiliate also tend to offer substantially longer cookie durations, so you can be paid for sales that are made within 30 to 60 days after the visitor has clicked on the link from your website.

Finding offers to promote through CJ Affiliate is also easy and straightforward. You can compare advertisers against each other using a bunch of different metrics, and then apply to be given the opportunity to promote them.

Once your application has been approved, you can find the code to place the links or banner ads on your site and be running multiple different offers in a few short hours.

Here’s some of the advantages of CJ Affiliate.

Largest Partner Network Online: CJ Affiliate has more than 5,000 advertisers, with many multi-billion dollar companies and corporations that allow you to promote their products, services, and offers. They provide various different ad creatives to make it easy for you to promote them.

Reliably Make Payments: On Net-20 payment terms, you’ll get your payments on a reliable schedule each month, and CJ Affiliate has never had a reputation for scrubbing and refusing to make payments to affiliates that have earned the commission.

Amazing Reporting Options: CJ Affiliate provides some of the most intuitive reporting and their affiliate dashboard is easy to navigate. If you spend time optimizing your sales campaigns, you’ll love the options that CJ provides.

There are a few disadvantages of CJ Affiliate when comparing them to other affiliate networks, though.

There’s a steep learning curve: Having a huge amount of reporting options is great when you’re a data geek, but can be somewhat overwhelming when you’re just getting started on the network. You’ll need to spend a bit of time acclimating yourself to their style of reporting, but once you are comfortable navigating the dashboard it becomes fairly intuitive to use.

You’re given limited customer service: CJ Affiliate has one of the largest networks available, which means they also have a massive number of affiliates that are all looking for help at some point in time. Because of that, customer service tends to take time, and the only way you can get in touch with their customer service department is through a basic email contact form.

Rakuten

One of the oldest affiliate networks we’ve featured, Rakuten Linkshare is smaller than CJ Affiliate and ShareASale but are still a major player for affiliates looking for new opportunities to earn from their affiliate based websites.

Rakuten Linkshare offers a couple different features that separate them from the rest of the pack.

They give you the ability to rotate through multiple different ads and formats to keep your website fresh and keep your visitors from becoming banner blind.

They also offer more versatile deep linking, so you can link directly to products or services that you’re wanting to promote.

CJ Affiliate, for instance, don’t always allow you to directly link to products you’re promoting, which means you need to link to the advertiser’s homepage and direct your visitors to the product you’re promoting.

Rakuten Linkshare has a few advantages over other networks.

Ad Rotation: Even though most people will consider this to be a fairly minor feature, having the ability to automatically rotate ads on your site without switching code or installing bulky plugins that slow your site down is a huge difference, when it comes to optimizing your income.

Deep Linking Option: Linkshare gives you the ability to link to any of the pages on their advertisers site, so you can directly link to products the same way you can through the Amazon Associates platform.

However, they also have a couple disadvantages.

They’re a smaller network: As of this writing, they’re currently only hosting around 1,000 advertisers. This is significantly less than other networks like ShareASale and CJ Affiliate.

They have had unpredictable payment structures in the past: Unfortunately, Rakuten Linkshare makes you wait until payments are received from their advertisers before your commissions are actually paid out, which means you can wait between 30 to 90 days to be paid, in some cases.

Two Other Notable Affiliate Networks

ShareASale, CJ Affiliate, and Rakuten Linkshare aren’t the only options you have available when you’re wanting to diversify away from the Amazon Associates program, or look for new offers, products, and services to promote on your affiliate based websites.

Avangate

Avangate is currently known for their software and mobile related app availability, providing one of the largest marketplaces for affiliates to promote apps and software. They have everything available from games, utilities, PC tools, antivirus and anti-malware software, photo and video editors, currency trading software, and more.

Avangate

If you are able to promote mobile apps and software through your site, you can expect to earn substantially higher commissions through Avangate than you’ll find through some physical product based affiliate networks.

Most of the products through Avangate also have free trials, so you can get paid without your visitor actually being forced to make a payment or purchase the product. Getting to try the offer before they actually make a purchase dramatically increases your chances of making a commission.

One downside to Avangate is that a significant number of advertisers on their network do not provide creative and ad media for you to use to promote their services, which means you’ll need to create the ads and banners that you’re using yourself.

They pay via PayPal on a monthly basis and do not currently have a minimum payment threshold that you’ll need to meet before you can receive a payment.

Clickbank

Clickbank is currently one of the biggest and most popular affiliate networks when you want to promote digital products.

Their marketplace is huge and growing everyday, giving you a massive amount of options when you’re looking for new offers to promote.

Clickbank marketplace

You will want to make sure that you do your research before promoting products on Clickbank, though. The ease of listing a product on their marketplace means that there is also a significant amount of low-quality products that have high refund rates.

If you promote low quality products through Clickbank’s marketplace, you can rest assured that you will upset your visitors and earn a reputation for pushing junk to your subscribers. That’s a recipe for disaster when you’re trying to build a legitimate business and continue making money.

In conclusion...

Even though Amazon Associates is one of the best ways for beginners to get started, and experienced marketers to build a stable income from their affiliate based websites, there are other options available that could lead to increased commissions and revenue from the existing traffic you already have coming into your site.

The options that we’ve listed here are all worth your time, and spending a few hours digging through each one to find new offers could prove to be very lucrative to you if you already have a profitable Amazon website or are looking for offers that aren’t currently available through Amazon.

About the Author Andrew James

Andrew is an entrepreneur, digital marketer, wine enthusiast, hustler (in a good way) & the guy behind BrandBuilders.io. His business helps both FBA sellers and Amazon Affiliate marketers build out their brands and manage their portfolio of sites.

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