Top Affiliate Marketing Platforms for Beginners
1. Amazon Associates
Amazon, the online retail giant, has established itself as an authority in the e-commerce industry. It is only natural that its affiliate marketing program has also attracted the limelight. Introduced in 1996, Amazon Associates is one of the oldest and most sought-after affiliate marketing platforms. With millions of products to choose from, it is the right platform to kickstart your affiliate marketing journey.
• Key Highlights – Free and easy sign-up, access to millions of products across numerous categories, up to 12% commission on each qualifying sale.
• Pros – You are credited for every purchase made by your referred traffic, irrespective of whether they buy the advertised product.
• Cons – Only 24-hour affiliate cookie duration, lack of flexible payout options such as PayPal.
2. Affiliate Window
Popularly known as Awin, Affiliate Window boasts of a rich body of more than 15,000 merchants. These include many popular and established brands such as Vodafone, Expedia, Dorothy Perkins, etc. It is not surprising that, in less than two decades, this affiliate network has attracted more than 200,000 publishers.
The only catch is that you will have to pay £5 to register as a publisher. Once your credentials are verified, and your account is approved, the amount is refunded. However, there is no clarity on what happens if your application is rejected. On the upside, this ensures that the platform only attracts serious and dedicated affiliate marketers.
• Key Highlights – More than 15,000 merchants, including various big brands, variable commission rates.
• Pros – Intuitive and user-friendly dashboard, real-time reporting, flexible payment options in multiple currencies, proactive customer support thorough verification of publishers’ credentials.
• Cons – £5 registration fee for affiliates, lack of online knowledge base.
Registering on ShareASale gives you instant access to more than 3,900 affiliate programs in 40 different categories. You can join programs in various niches, including fashion and retail, home and gardening, etc. The biggest advantage of ShareASale is that it offers a simple, straightforward, and search-friendly platform. You can search for the most suitable affiliate programs and filter the results based on categories, keywords, merchants, etc.
• Key Highlights – More than 3,900 affiliate programs across 40 categories, simple interface, proactive and friendly customer support.
• Pros – Dedicated affiliate development team that helps new publishers select the right programs, search-friendly platforms, supports flexible payout options, sophisticated reporting tools.
• Cons – High payment threshold, affiliate marketers aren’t notified about the abrupt closure of ongoing programs.
4. AdWork Media
Are you a blogger or website owner looking for ways to monetize your traffic? Join AdWork Media and choose from more than 2,500 affiliate programs spread across 250 countries. Unlike other platforms, this affiliate network is based on the CPA (cost per action) model. This means you get paid every time a website visitor completed the desired action.
AdWork Media provides you with a range of automated monetization tools such as Content Locker, Product Locker, Offer Wall, etc. You can use these tools to lock high-value content like e-books, case studies, podcasts, etc. and products like apps, plugins, games, etc. They can also be easily integrated on your website or mobile app using APIs and plugins. The ability to monetize website traffic on any device from any location makes it one of the best-suited affiliate networks for content publishers.
Moreover, the platform generates daily performance reports that let you track your campaigns. In addition to 7-day customer support, a performance manager is assigned to every publisher. This helps beginners get the hang of the platform and improve their campaigns.
• Key Highlights – CPA affiliate network, ideal for content publishers who want to monetize website traffic, diverse array of automated monetization tools.
• Pros – Dedicated performance manager for each publisher, daily performance reports; flexibility in terms of payment schedule and mode, 7-day customer support.
• Cons – Relatively higher payment threshold, strict verification process for publishers.
5. Commission Junction
Popularly known as CJ Affiliate, Commission Junction is one of the oldest and largest affiliate marketing networks. Most big brands and established merchants use it to advertise their products. This makes it one of the best platforms to start with affiliate marketing.
• Key Highlights – One of the largest and oldest affiliate networks, used by many established merchants.
• Pros – Advanced real-time tracking, free and instant sign-up process, reliable payment platform.
• Cons – Lack of modern payment modes, no standardization of terms and conditions, you have to apply and get approved for every affiliate program you want to join.
6. Rakuten Affiliate Network
When an affiliate network is ranked #1 by mThink eight times in a row, you know it is a big deal. With over 1,000 reputed merchants from all over the world, Rakuten Affiliate Network can boost your affiliate marketing venture. You can choose to promote a plethora of affiliate programs and diverse product categories.
• Key Highlights – Top-rated affiliate marketing network, wide range of products and affiliate programs.
• Pros – Free and easy sign-up, user-friendly interface, ability to create different types of ads including rotating ads, advanced campaign monitoring.
• Cons – Lack of PayPal support, unpredictable payment schedule, you have to apply individually to each affiliate program.
ClickBank is an online marketplace dedicated to digital products. As an affiliate marketer, you can choose from thousands of products such as website templates, software plugins, e-books, webinars, etc. These products are available across various niches, including health, beauty, gardening, entertainment, business, politics, etc. You can also create your digital products and list them on ClickBank.
What distinguishes ClickBank from other affiliate networks is the high commission rates offered by most merchants. This is because there are no production, shipping, or other logistical costs associated with the products. You can expect to earn a commission of 70% or higher per conversion. This makes ClickBank one of the most popular affiliate marketing platforms for content creators.
It is also worth mentioning that the platform lets you choose your payment schedule and threshold. You can opt for a weekly or bi-weekly payout. However, you should be careful while specifying the threshold. Payments are made using various methods, including digital wallets like Payoneer.
The platform offers powerful reporting tools to help you monitor your links, commissions, etc. Moreover, most reputed products come with a money-back guarantee, helping to drive more conversions. ClickBank also has an extensive knowledge base to help beginners sail through the platform.
However, despite hosting numerous digital products, the ClickBank interface appears to be quite dated. The promotional materials like banners and email marketing templates hosted on the platform also lack sophistication. The biggest drawback of ClickBank is that it also hosts a plethora of low-quality products bordering on scammy content. As a publisher, you should be particularly cautious when selecting products you’d like to promote.
• Key Highlights: Reputed platform for selling and promoting digital products, you can choose from numerous products across diverse niches.
• Pros: Higher commission rates in comparison to other platforms, comprehensive knowledge base, advanced tracking tools, flexible payment schedule and threshold.
• Cons: Dated interface and promotional creatives, abundance of low-quality and unreliable products.
8. eBay Affiliate Program
eBay’s in-house affiliate marketing platform, formally known as eBay Partners Network, is a good starting point for beginners. All you have to do is register yourself as a publisher. Thereafter, you can generate affiliate links to promote products by various merchants. If you are a seller on eBay, you can promote your products as well.
The platform rewards you with a commission for every qualifying transaction , i.e., when a user buys a product or places a bid. eBay pays you between 50% and 70% of its revenue for every transaction. You can earn even higher commissions when a new or reactivated user completes a purchase. You can also use sophisticated tracking and reporting tools to analyze your campaigns, products, merchants, etc.
As with any online marketplace, eBay lets you choose from a plethora of products in different categories. Irrespective of the niche and genre of your content, you will find something that will appeal to your audience. The network also allows flexible payment options like PayPal, direct bank transfer, etc. and support a low payment threshold ($10). Payouts are released once a month.
However, eBay only allows a 24-hour cookie duration
• Key Highlights: eBay’s in-house affiliate network, available to eBay sellers as well as outsiders, a wide variety of products.
• Pros: Hassle-free sign-up, user-friendly dashboard with impressive reporting tools, commission rates go up to 50% to 70% of eBay’s revenue per sale, commission increases when you refer a new or reactivated user, low-payment threshold.
• Cons: 24-hour cookie duration (far less than the time taken for most auctions to complete), lack of a dedicated account manager.
Clickbooth has been rated as the best CPA affiliate network by mThink, for three consecutive years. The award-winning affiliate marketing platform is known for its global reach and affiliate-friendly technology. Content creators can choose from thousands of affiliate programs in diverse niches, including insurance, finance, health, etc. The best part is that most of these advertisers and programs are exclusive to Clickbooth.
Clickbooth allows publishers to sign-up for free and takes at most 72 hours to approve new accounts. The best part is that it is not mandatory for you to have a website. This makes Clickbooth ideal for new affiliate marketers. The platform also has an Affiliate Rewards Program that rewards top-performing publishers with incentives.
• Key Highlights: Award-winning CPA affiliate network, connects publishers and advertisers from all over the world, affiliate-friendly technology, strict compliance policies.
• Pros: New accounts are approved within 72 hours, website is not a mandatory requirement for account approval, reliable and timely payment system, supports multiple payment modes including PayPal, dedicated account manager for every publisher.
• Cons: Limited customer support options, all promotional materials have to be approved by Clickbooth before you start using them.
Previously known as CPA Empire, Affiliate.com is one of the most underrated affiliate marketing platforms. It is based on the CPA pricing model and offers high commission rates. You can access top-performing affiliate programs in different categories from more than 100 countries. The registration process is simple and quick, making it suitable for beginners.
Moreover, an experienced account manager is assigned to every account. This helps new publishers identify the right affiliate programs and negotiate their commissions. Additionally, you can also seek the account manager’s help to design promotional creatives for your campaigns.
What makes Affiliate.com truly beginner-friendly is its flexible payment policy. The platform pays you on a Net20 basis, provided you have earned $100 or more in commissions. Experienced publishers earning $1000 or more every week can also request weekly payment. The payment threshold, however, can be a problem if you are just starting out.
• Key Highlights: Beginner-friendly affiliate network based on the CPA pricing model, previously known as CPA Empire, offers high commission rates.
• Pros: Dedicated account manager to help you select the right offers and design compelling creatives, top-performing offers from reputed merchants in more than 100 countries, reliable payment on Net20 basis.
• Cons: High payment threshold (100$) for beginner