Make Money Online with the Top 25 Affiliate Networks
Posted on June 25, 2007 by Tim Schroeder
The first step in locating good affiliate programs is via the large established affiliate networks. If you are an existing affiliate then it would not be a surprise if you have a bias towards the network that is making you the most money. When I first started doing affiliate marketing, Commission Junction was my top earning affiliate network. A couple years later my top earning network became AzoogleAds. It is now One Network Direct. The point being is to expand your horizons into other affiliate networks because that affiliate program that works well today may not work so well tomorrow. Why? Here are a few examples…
1. The merchant may either shut down the affiliate program, significantly lower payouts, or even get purchased by another company.
Several years ago, I used to successfully promote a spam blocker called Giant AntiSpam. They were later purchased and turned into a product called Qurb. Then Qurb was purchased by Mcafee and the same piece of software is called Mcafee AntiSpam. Mcafee’s affiliate commissions per sale is significantly lower than the 50% commissions originally offered by Giant and Qurb and it now makes me very little money. By joining other affiliate networks I’ll know what other similar programs are available and their payouts.
2. The company may change their PPC policies or other affiliate program terms.
I used to do very well with the GoToMyPC affiliate program through Commission Junction. Not to long ago, they decided to restrict bidding on their trademarked terms (including all variations) in the PPC search engines. I can understand some reasons why they might want to do this, but it gets worse. Then they started going after all domains with the trademark in it or variations. It was either hand us over your domains or get disapproved from our affiliate program AND the legal team will be calling. I personally had to hand them over my go-to-my-pc.net, gotomypcblog.com and gotomeetingblog.com domains.
Needless to say, with their change in PPC policies and taking of my domain names it put a big dent in my commissions from the program. I do pretty well with affiliate marketing but it was not worth being kicked out of the program and the cost of a legal battle with a huge company. It has still left a pretty bad taste in my mouth. It’s another reason why I do less buying of domain names with trademarks in them even if they allow it today. You don’t know what they will do tomorrow.
3. The same exact program you are promoting may be offering a higher payout in that other affiliate network!
You may be surprised to find out that you could be making a lot more by switching to that other network that offers the exact same program with higher payouts. The other affiliate network might also offer better tracking capabilities or provide higher converting landing pages. One example would be the Sunrocket (now closed) VoIP affiliate program which had an $84 dollar payout via AzoogleAds and a $60 payout through Linkshare. One reason they can offer these higher payouts through some networks because their merchant fees may be less.
The Top Five CPA Affiliate Networks I Recommend Are:
Market Leverage: www.marketleverage.com
Here is a list of additional large and small CPA affiliate networks. These CPA networks offer primarily pay-per-lead programs with some pay-per-sale and pay-per-click.
PepperJam Network: www.pepperjamnetwork.com
CPA Empire: www.cpaempire.com
Link Connector: www.linkconnector.com
One major advantage to using a few of the lesser known networks is that there may be less competition for some of the affiliate offers.
The Top 5 Per-Sale Affiliate Networks I Recommend Are:
They offer primarily pay-per-sale programs with some pay-per-lead. They will have plenty of affiliate offers you probably will not find in the CPA networks mentioned above.
1. Commission Junction
Number of Advertisers: 1,966 as of early 2007
With that many advertisers in their network, it means that no matter what your site is about, you are likely to find a merchant affiliate program that is a good fit for your website. These 1,966+ Commission Junction (CJ) advertisers are spread throughout 28 main categories including computers, finance, health, travel, and web services among many others.
Number of Advertisers: 600+
LinkShare was established in 1996 and now boasts Fortune 500 clients and other prominent companies including J.C. Penney, 1-800-Flowers.com, American Express, Avon Products and Dell. Linkshare claims to have created the largest network of affiliates of any program provider – over 10 million partnerships.
Number of Advertisers: 1700+
Shareasale.com was established in June 2000 and has grown to have a large network of advertisers mostly due to their lower merchant entry costs. The ShareASale network hosts many large and small companies that you will not find elsewhere.
Number of Advertisers: 200+
Performics, acquired by DoubleClick in 2004, is a fairly small affiliate network with some big name advertisers such as America Online, BOSE, CompUSA, HPshopping, Verizon Wireless, and more than 200 others.
Number of Advertisers: 1,000+
Clickbank has over 10,000+ digital product vendors with many merchants offering huge percentage payouts as high as 75%.
So there you have it. These affiliate networks contain hundreds of profitable affiliate programs (a.k.a. hidden gems) just waiting to be found.
I’ll begin writing some more in-depth reviews of specific networks shortly. Until then, all the best towards your success.
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