A Beginner’s Guide to Earning on Commission Junction

Published by
James Parsons
on May 28, 2015
Posted in How-to

CJ Affiliate by Conversant is the current, modern name for Commission Junction, one of the larger and more popular affiliate networks online. It’s a great network for beginners to affiliate marketing, so here’s a quick guide on how to get set up and started.

CJ Affiliate Requirements

What do You Need to Join

If you want to make money through CJ, you need to be an affiliate publisher. This means you’re the person who owns a site where you advertise products and send traffic to offers. When the traffic converts, you get paid. However, CJ has a few requirements before you can join as a publisher.

  • You need to be committed. Affiliate marketing isn’t something you can really do on the side for monetization and expect to get any serious results. Most advertisers don’t want to make a deal with publishers who aren’t really in it.
  • You need an optimized website. The key to making money with affiliate marketing is traffic, and the key to traffic is SEO. Make sure your SEO is as immaculate as possible.
  • You need quality content. The key to SEO is content, these days, and users love content. The days of having a thin site with a few affiliate links are long over. Not only will you be penalized in the search rankings, but you’ll also be dropped by advertisers who don’t want their reputations blackened.
  • You need time. Affiliate marketing isn’t an hour-a-day industry; you typically pull long hours doing everything yourself until you’re making enough money to hire others to do some for you.
  • You need to generate results. CJ records your commissions and they maintain a record of your performance. If you produce no results for six months, they will close your account AND they will charge you $10 to do so. Signing up and doing nothing is detrimental to everyone involved, so they make it detrimental to you.

If you think you can meet those requirements, you can sign up here. This is not a referral link, rest assured.

Building a Site

PC Magazine ExampleThe first thing you need to do is have a good, high quality site. This alone is no mean feat, but there are some things you can do to make it easier.

If you’re preparing entirely to make money through CJ, you’ll want to do some research to figure out what sort of offers are available. All I can tell you here and now is that they have a lot of software and cloud service affiliate programs within their network. Ebay resellers, Dreamhost, Hostgator, and so forth are all on the table.

The ideal format for a site selling these kinds of services is typically a review site. However, the Internet is packed full of such review sites. In order to succeed, you’ll want to figure out a niche within the niche. Business-specific hosting, perhaps, or hosting packages that work specifically for game servers. Take your pick.

Once you have a niche, start writing general interest articles about the subject. Be as specific as you like, but try not to hyper-focus your site on a narrow niche until you’re sure you can enroll in the right offers.

Finding Offers

CJ Offers

Once you’ve built up a site with a moderate amount of traffic and you believe you can send traffic to the right offers – maybe you’re using another affiliate program as a test, here – you can register for CJ Affiliate.

When you’re on the site, you’ll be able to look into the various affiliate programs CJ has to offer. It honestly doesn’t matter too much which offers you choose right off the bat; you’ll need to make adjustments to your site to better fit the offers to promote them. At this point, it doesn’t even matter if you’re stretching the truth to refer users; get them to pay, and you’re golden.

Adjusting the tone and focus of your copy is critical here. Choose your offers, and then tailor your content to promoting those offers.

SEO becomes more important here, because you want to capture visitors who are looking for reasons to sign up for the program you’re already promoting. They want positive reinforcement, so you need to be both reassuring and realistic. You can’t promote a program as if it has no flaws; that’s a rookie mistake. Be honest about the flaws, but explain why they’re mitigated or why they’re the most minor of the many programs you’ve tried.

CJ Affiliate, interestingly, has a performer program available. When you’re a publisher, you can strive to be one of the top performers on the site. The better you are, the more likely you are to be invited to the CJP. This performance program hooks you up with priority tech support, advanced analytics, custom reports, and a unique sales rep to work with you.

CJP

Essentially, because CJ takes a slice of every commission, they want to promote their biggest earners. The more money you make, the more money they make, after all. They dedicate some support to analyzing your site and strategy, and they take steps to optimize that strategy.

In order to qualify for the CJP, you need to be making at least $10,000 per month in commissions. That’s not a low bar! Don’t worry if you aren’t anywhere near it after a year, or two, of working. You also need to be working with multiple advertisers, which means more than just one offer through CJ.

Above all, you need to pass a network quality review. This review will audit your traffic and make sure that the people you’re getting on your site, and the people you’re sending to your advertisers, are all legitimate, valid users. You can’t scam them by buying traffic; you need to be good.

Understandably, this isn’t entirely feasible for many people. You need to strike gold with the right niche, and it will take a while to reach. Thankfully, if you’re good, you can have the same chance as anyone else.

Written by James Parsons

James Parsons

James is a content marketing and SEO professional who enjoys the challenge of driving sales through blogging while creating awesome and useful content.

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  1. Sunny Kumar

    says:

    Thank you

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