By Carrie-ann | Nov 22, 2016 | Affiliate Marketing

Finding the right Affiliate networks for you.

One of the biggest considerations as you start out in affiliate marketing is deciding which networks to use. It is worth spending time doing your homework so that you make the right choices, as networks vary in terms of the promotions they offer, how easy they are to use, and the commission rates.

How to choose an affiliate network
Look online to see what affiliate networks are available. Find out what they offer and what other affiliates have to say about them. Consider aspects such as how many merchants are listed, the rates of commission, how much the network takes in fees when you make a commission, and how easy it is to use.

ShareASale
You will probably come across ShareASale, as it is one of the biggest affiliate networks. With more than 4,000 merchants listed, many of which are exclusive to this site, you have lots of promotion options available. You can also easily compare offers, and the payment cycle is pretty quick.

Things to consider
Some users of ShareASale find the navigation of the site a little cumbersome compared with other sites.

CJ Affiliate
Arguably the biggest affiliate network, most retailers have a presence on CJ Affiliate, making it a good choice if you want to compare and segment various offers.

Why use CJ Affiliate?
– Access to 3,000+ advertising partners.
– It boasts an impressive reporting suite.
– Regular, reliable payments.
Important: Its powerful reporting options are a plus point for CJ Affiliate, but they can be tricky to master for newcomers to affiliate marketing.

Amazon Associates
There are around 1.5 million sellers listed on Amazon Associates, so it is easily one of the biggest affiliate networks out there. What affiliates like about this programme is that it is easy to use and get started, even for the novice affiliate. You also get masses of choice at your fingertips, offering you great flexibility in the promotions you run.
Important: It is worth bearing in mind that Amazon Associates offers quite low commission rates; therefore, if you are looking to earn a decent income, you might need to work at it with this site to get the financial rewards you are hoping for. Payment cycles are also fairly lengthy, which exacerbates the situation.

Rakuten LinkShare
As one of the oldest and most established affiliate networks, Rakuten LinkShare appeals if you like the idea of using advertising rotation to optimise your offers. This saves you having to manually select the promotions you want to run. You also have more flexibility with this network in terms of choosing where to send your traffic on a merchant’s site. This is important because it lets you easily customise your campaigns and promote different offers.

Things to consider
Rakuten LinkShare is one of the smaller affiliate networks, with around 1,000 partners, so offers may be limited. Payments may not be as regular as with some other sites.

Key takeaways
Which network you choose is down to personal choice, as each has its own merits and drawbacks. Research is vital. You can use more than one if you are happy to manage different accounts and want to widen your scope.