ShareASale is one of a large number of affiliate networks on the web. They have a good sized network, but they are neither one of the largest nor one of the best paying affiliate networks out there. I would say they are firmly in the upper third, but they don’t excel where some other exclusive networks can shine.
Of course, as with all affiliate networks, the success you find as a marketer depends heavily on what offers you choose to promote and how good you are at promoting them. You need to actually send in leads that convert if you want to get paid, regardless of the offer, so you need to be a compelling marketer.
ShareASale has somewhere around 2,500 merchant offers on file, ranging from mere pennies per conversion to sizable chunks of change. You can see where they stack up through third party aggregators like OfferVault, as well.
So why might you want an alternative to ShareASale? There are a few good reasons. For one thing, it’s entirely possible to get banned from their site. A few fraudulent conversions, a dispute over payment, or something breaking their terms of service can get you removed from their list. You might also want to dig into niches that ShareASale underrepresents. And, of course, it’s always an option to simply join another network and promote offers from both.
ShareASale has two types of offers, those of the cheaper pay per lead variety, and the more expensive pay per sale. There’s technically a third, but it’s generally devoid of actual offers, so you won’t find much.
If you’re interested, we have a guide on how to make more money with ShareASale over here. The tips there will apply just as well to most other affiliate networks, too. Feel free to make use of them for any marketing you’re doing.
The fifteen networks below are all some of the best in the world at what they do. I make no guarantees about their quality or your performance on them, though. Again, that all depends on you and the offers you choose. I’m just giving you a place to start.
Whenever you look for a new affiliate network, you need to look for certain factors that make or break the deals the site offers.
Now, on with the networks.
This is one of the most highly recommended affiliate networks out there today. It is over a decade old and has established a reputation as a regulator for the industry, providing resources and support to both sides of their network.
The only downside to their network is that they are actually quite exclusive. You can’t sign up and then build a site, you need to have a decent site to reference when signing up. Once you’re in, though, you’re golden. As an added bonus, they’ve recently introduced a training program for affiliate marketers presented by LeadGadget, as a way of helping their affiliates make more sales.
You might not think of it offhand, but Amazon is not just the world’s largest online marketplace; they’re also the world’s largest affiliate network. Anyone at all can become an affiliate, even if they don’t have a website, and every product on their site is available to get a commission. Now, a word of caution; they are heavily performance based for virtually all of their products. You start at a mere 4% commission, and it takes volume of sales to reach the higher tiers, up to 12%. Sell a lot and you can make a ton, but it’s not necessarily the best option for low-volume high priced items.
CJ, also known as Commission Junction, is often considered to be among the top five best affiliate networks out there. They have a high average rate for their offers, and yet they maintain it despite not having any major filters on the quality of the publishers they accept. Plus, if you’re a high traffic site and want to monetize with affiliate offers, you can do it with CJ just by hiring them. You don’t need to lay a finger on the marketing, you can just let them do it. It’s expensive, but great for certain sites.
MarketHealth is a very specialized affiliate network, focusing solely on health and beauty items. These can be great for both high volume products like cosmetics, and high price items like whatever the Dr. Oz flavor of the week happens to be.
Of course, since it’s restricted to just the one industry, you really have to fight a lot of competition to get anywhere. You can’t make a large generalist site, because there are a dozen specialists for every aspect of it. However, if you have an established site in the industry, you can draw in some serious payouts using this particular network.
Clickbank is easily one of the largest and most well-known affiliate networks out there. They have a huge variety of offers, ranging from marketing software to exercise courses to mobile apps to wine. They’re also one of the oldest networks. One interesting thing is that they have a ton of offers that operate on a subscription model. This isn’t just a one time payment for you, either; you can earn some nice recurring commissions through their network, as long as the people you refer keep their subscriptions going.
Another incredibly popular network, this one is actually pretty young, having been founded in 2012. They have a lot of offers from around the globe, suitable for a wide range of industries. They have a reputation for having pretty high payouts for similar offers on other sites, though that has toned down a bit in the last year or so as they get more established and can take a larger cut of their own. One nice thing is that they’re easy to get into if you’re trying to get started with affiliate marketing, making them a good place to start as a novice.
This is not one of the top affiliate networks, nor is it one of the highest paying networks. What it is, however, is a network designed specifically for markets outside of the typical English-speaking spheres. They’re based in India, and the have a ton of low-cost, low-overhead offers designed for the Indian and Middle Eastern market. If you have a site in that area, you can take advantage of this otherwise inaccessible affiliate network. On the other hand, if you’re looking to make the big bucks from an American market, you’re probably out of luck here.
No, that’s not a placeholder. The actual affiliate network here is Affiliate.com.
They are champions of old-school affiliate marketing, including some of the most common parked domain marketing strategies. While they don’t stand out in terms of features or offers, they make up for it by having what is probably the best customer service team in the industry. Where other affiliate networks are hard to contact and hard to get an answer out of, Affiliate.com assigns personal representatives to cases and makes sure they get resolved.
The affiliate network currently known as Rakuten was formerly known as LinkShare, if you’ve heard of them before. Rakuten is also the name of the company that owns buy.com, one of the largest Amazon competitors out there. The network itself is very slick and well designed, and they have a lot of tools designed to help marketers optimize their lead generation to make the most out of their referrals. And, much like Amazon, they have a lot of products in their catalog so you’re never lacking selection.
The iTunes marketplace is actually partially powered by affiliate marketing. In fact, most people who sell their own digital content – music, podcasts, movies, and so forth – tend to use their own affiliate codes, for tracking and for the additional payout. As the primary Apple brand you have a wide variety of media and a lot of trust behind your promotion. However, you have to contend with generally low prices, meaning individual commissions are more likely than not to be measured in mere pennies rather than dollars. Make up for it in volume if you want to come out ahead.
The Matomy Media Group is a multi-channel advertising network. They have affiliate marketing, but they also have display advertising, mobile and app advertising, video advertising, sponsored emails, incentivized offers, social media marketing, and domain parking.
On top of all of this, they give all of their marketers dedicated account representatives, so you always have someone on the inside looking out for you. On the other hand, all of the options means it’s very complex compared to the standard affiliate network, so you have to know what you’re doing.
It should come as no surprise that eBay, like all other large retailers online, has an affiliate program for the sales made on their auction network. It’s not quite as attractive as it sounds at first, though, since you can only market for the storefronts on the site, not every auction everywhere. However, they do sweeten the pot; any time you refer someone who has never purchased through eBay before, you get double the usual commission. This is their new user bonus, and it means if you’re able to tap a newbie market, you can make absolute bank.
No, this isn’t some kind of underground affiliate sales network for contraband zoo animals. They’re a large affiliate network with surprisingly little in the way of reputation, either good or bad. As far as networks go, they’re firmly in the middle of the road, without much to distinguish them from the other entries on this list. They’re not more lucrative, or have more offers, or more exclusive. Their one major distinguishing feature is that you can create your own digital products to promote and sell through them exclusively, which allows you to be both a marketer and a seller at the same time. Use your success to create a course on achieving your success, and sell it to further your own success!
Skimlinks is a sort of hybrid between traditional text links and affiliate marketing. They’re not quite display ads, and not quite affiliate links, but rather something in the middle.
If you’re a fan of CPA marketing but you don’t like having to set up all the finicky links, you can use Skimlinks instead. It’s a pretty good network if you can find offers you want to promote, though their library is a little small all things considered.
W4 is “raising the standard” of affiliate networking. What this means in practice is that they expect you to be successful when you apply to join their network. It’s very much not a network for first-timers or novice marketers. However, once you’re successful and once you join them, you gain access to a whole world of unique offers, exclusive tools, and personal assistance geared towards making you even more successful.
What’s your favorite affiliate network? I know of a few I didn’t mention, either due to a personal bad experience or due to their reputation, so I’m interested to see what other people recommend.
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