Let’s cut right to the chase…
If you want to find the best affiliate networks in 2019 so you
can start earning some sweet passive income, you’ve come to the
There’s no fluff here.
No overwhelming list of 100+ affiliate networks that all sound
No superficial content that doesn’t help you answer the only
question that matters: what’s the best affiliate network for
Here’s what we’re going to do:
I’m going to briefly answer some common questions, show you
the top affiliate networks we recommend for 2019, and quickly break
down each of them for you.
You will then take the information, choose an affiliate network
to join, and start padding your wallet with twenties.
Then let’s get started.
Affiliate Networks: Q&A Up first are the questions and answers.
Already an affiliate marketing aficionado? Awesome. Click here
to jump ahead.
What is an Affiliate Network?
Affiliate networks are middlemen connecting bloggers and
entrepreneurs (“publishers”) with companies (“merchants”)
offering affiliate program opportunities for their products or
Through a single portal, affiliate networks give publishers
access to numerous affiliate programs.
If that sounds like a bunch of gobbledygook, don’t worry.
Here’s the important part:
You monetize your
blog with these affiliate programs by using a process called
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a new twist on an
old idea: getting a finder’s fee when you refer a customer.
You introduce your audience to a product or service and, if they
buy using your unique affiliate link, you earn a commission.
In short: find a product or service you like, promote it to your
blog’s readers, and earn part of the profit on each sale.
Can You Really Make Money with Affiliate Marketing?
Slightly (ahem) on the other end of the spectrum, one of my
affiliate programs has earned $3,450 over a span of 3 years.
That’s not “quit my job” money. It’s not even “hire
Nicolas Cage to attend my birthday party” money.
However, as passive income resulting from a single blog post I
wrote years ago, it’s not too shabby.
Your mileage can and will vary, of course.
But it’s definitely possible to make real, tangible, passive
income through affiliate marketing.
Smart, attractive people just like you do it every day.
So, that begs the question…
What is the Best Affiliate Network?
That’s what I’m going to help you figure out.
I’ll give you the breakdown (in no particular order) — you
choose the network that best fits your needs.
Let’s get to it.
Long track record. Founded in 2000,
ShareASale has been around the block a time or two.
Numerous affiliate opportunities. ShareASale
offers over 3,900 affiliate programs in 40 different
Safe and secure. With zero customer complaints
on file, the Better Business Bureau gives ShareASale an A+
Consistent payment schedule. On the 20th of
each month, so long as you have a balance of at least $50,
ShareASale sends you money.
Different payment options. You can have
ShareASale pay you via checks in the mail, wire transfer, or direct
deposit. International men and women of mystery can use the
transfer service Payoneer. No PayPal, though.
What Makes ShareASale Different?
Thanks in part to its solid reputation, ShareASale is trusted by
quite a few big-name companies.
Over 1,000 merchants, such as WP Engine and OptinMonster, are
exclusive to the network.
If you want to advertise their products, you can only do so
Who Should Join ShareASale?
Anyone who’s looking for a reliable affiliate network that
offers a wide variety of affiliating marketing options (thus
eliminating the need to join multiple networks) should give
ShareASale a try.
Whether you want to offer services, physical goods, or digital
downloads to your audience,
ShareASale has you covered.
The Skinny on Clickbank
Track record of 20+ years. Founded in 1998,
Clickbank has been around longer than M. Night Shyamalan’s The
Sixth Sense. (Spoiler alert: Bruce Willis was wearing a toupee the
Millions of options. Clickbank offers more
than 6 million unique affiliate products.
Quick to respond. With zero unresolved
complaints as of this writing, Clickbank sports an A+ rating with
the Better Business Bureau.
Flexible payment schedule. Clickbank lets you
choose how often you want to get paid. Want monthly payments? You
got it. Weekly? Done.
Variety of payment options. Check, wire
transfer, and direct deposit are available. International users can
get paid through Payoneer. Alas, no PayPal here either.
What Makes Clickbank Different?
By focusing on digital products created by entrepreneurs from
all over the globe, Clickbank offers affiliate opportunities you
can’t find anywhere else.
But be careful…
While Clickbank itself, the network, has a solid reputation,
some of the products offered by its merchants can be
You have to do your homework. If you do, you’ll be fine.
If you don’t, and you end up promoting some subpar products,
your audience won’t be happy.
(For the record: this advice is applicable to every affiliate
Who Should Join Clickbank?
If you’re looking to exclusively promote digital products, and
you want (literally) millions of options, Clickbank is a good bet.
Two decades of experience. Founded in 1998, CJ
Affiliate was around during Y2K and lived to tell the tale.
Lots of brands. CJ Affiliate gives you access
to more than 3,000 merchants.
Too big to fail. CJ Affiliate is part of
Alliance Data Systems, which is a Fortune 500 company. It also has
an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Get paid monthly. CJ Affiliate combines all
your commissions into one monthly payment.
Two payment options. Get paid by direct
deposit or checks in the mail. PayPal is a no.
What Makes CJ Affiliate Different?
It offers lots of bells and whistles, such as real-time
That means you can monitor activity on your account as it
(No more having to refresh your browser every five seconds like
Who Should Join CJ Affiliate?
Anyone with an established audience who wants a feature-rich
affiliate network will find a lot to like with CJ Affiliate.
However, it may not be a good choice for beginners.
Because accounts are deactivated if you go six months without
earning a commission, and because their merchants have a reputation
for being picky on who they accept as publishers, CJ Affiliate is
best for those who get steady traffic to their websites.
However, if you already have an audience of modest size and
engagement, you’ll appreciate what CJ Affiliate has to offer.
#6. Amazon Associates
The Rundown on Amazon Associates
One of the first online marketing networks.
Started in 1996, Amazon Associates is old enough to legally drink
Huge selection. Publishers can promote
Amazon’s massive catalog of physical and digital products.
Backed by Amazon. Valued at over $1 trillion,
and with over 90 million paying Prime subscribers in the United
States, Amazon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Better
Business Bureau gives the company a B+ rating.
Not the best payment schedule. Amazon
Associates pays you approximately 60 days after the end of the
month in which you earned your commission.
Several payment options. You can get paid by
direct deposit, Amazon gift certificates, or checks in the mail.
(Tip: Avoid checks in the mail since there’s a $15 processing
fee.) International users can get paid by gift certificates or
checks (with the $15 fee waived).
What Makes Amazon Associates Different?
By offering the entire Amazon catalog, no affiliate network can
match the sheer volume of physical and digital products offered by
Heads up, though:
Including affiliate links in emails is against Amazon’s
company policy, so keep this in mind if email marketing is your
primary method for promoting affiliate products.
Who Should Join Amazon Associates?
Affiliate marketers who are familiar with the Amazon ecosystem
will feel right at home with Amazon Associates.
Those looking to promote services should look elsewhere, but
anyone who wants to focus on physical and digital products will
find millions of different opportunities in hundreds of different
categories with Amazon Associates.
#5. eBay Partner Network (EPN)
The 411 on eBay Partner Network
Founded in 2008. Though the eBay Partner
Network is a relative newcomer on the affiliate network scene, its
parent company (eBay) has been around since 1995.
Billions of opportunities. eBay has 1.1
billion listings. You’ll never run out of physical products to
promote to your audience.
Backed by eBay. With 175 million buyers
purchasing over $23 billion of merchandise each year, EPN’s
parent company (eBay) is built to last. The Better Business Bureau
gives the company an A+ rating.
Reliable payment schedule. So long as you’ve
earned the minimum of $10 needed for payment, EPN pays you
PayPal! For those who prefer to use the
service, EPN allows you to be paid via PayPal. (Direct Deposit is
What Makes eBay Partner Network Different?
One thing that sets EPN apart from other affiliate networks is
the way it lets you promote… unique offerings.
The great Weird Al Yankovich
once sang about buying William Shatner’s toupee on eBay.
With the eBay Partner Network, if such a transaction ever takes
place, you could earn a commission on it.
Who Should Join eBay Partner Network?
If your focus is on physical products and you want the peace of
mind that comes with doing business with a large company you’re
already familiar with, eBay Partner Network is a
The Skinny on FlexOffers
New (ish) kid on the block. Founded in 2008,
FlexOffers doesn’t have as long of a track record as most of its
Growing list of affiliate opportunities.
FlexOffers has 12,000+ merchants in 25+ categories across 27 (and
counting) countries. And they say hundreds of new merchants are
added each week.
No rating with BBB. Partly due to its relative
youth, FlexOffers doesn’t have a rating with the Better Business
Bureau. On the upside, BBB shows zero complaints with the
Quick payments. One of the areas where
FlexOffers shines is with payments. When you refer a sale, your
commission is paid within 30 days (so long as you meet the minimum
balance of $50). And if you’re a top performer, it’s possible
to be paid within 7 days.
Standard payment options. U.S. residents can
be paid by check or direct deposit. PayPal is available for those
outside the USA.
What Makes FlexOffers Different?
When you sign up with FlexOffers, you’re assigned a dedicated
account manager to help you navigate the affiliate marketing
This makes it a good fit for both beginners and veterans of
Who Should Join Flexoffers?
Don’t let its youth fool you.
If you want lots of affiliate options, great support, and quick
turnaround on payments, FlexOffers is a solid
The Scoop on Pepperjam
New to the affiliate network game. Though
it’s been in the digital marketing business since the 90s,
Pepperjam started its own affiliate network in 2015.
Quality over quantity. With only 1,500
merchants, Pepperjam has fewer options than its competitors. Why?
Well, according to Pepperjam, it’s because they only work with
brands they love.
An open book. The Better Business Bureau gives
Pepperjam a B+ rating. With its focus on transparency and
communication (more on that below), Pepperjam goes out of its way
to show it has nothing to hide.
Payments twice a month. So long as you meet
the minimum $25 balance, Pepperjam pays you twice a month. Payment
cycles are around the 1st and 15th of each month.
Lots of payment options. Pepperjam lets you
get paid via PayPal (which is the default payment method), check,
or direct deposit.
What Makes Pepperjam Different?
Publishers and merchants can communicate with one another inside
the Pepperjam system.
That’s very unique.
Want to ask a merchant who caught your eye a question? Have at
it. Flirt away.
Pepperjam actually encourages communication so strong
relationships can be built.
Who Should Join Pepperjam?
If you value transparency and customer support, you’ll be hard
pressed to do better than Pepperjam
as an affiliate network.
#2. Rakuten Marketing (formerly LinkShare)
The Lowdown on Rakuten Marketing
One of the oldest affiliate networks. Founded
in 1996, Rakuten Marketing (formerly LinkShare) has been hooking up
merchants and publishers for over two decades.
Only 1,000 merchants. Though it’s been in
the affiliate networking game longer than most, Rakuten’s list of
brands is shorter than most. However, this somewhat short list is
made up of many household names.
Loved by BBB and guys on social media. Rakuten
has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It’s also been
called “cool” by someone named Kenny on Twitter.
Sporadic payments. Rakuten only pays you after
the merchants have paid them. So, if you earned a commission in
January, it would be invoiced in early February, the merchant would
have a due date to pay Rakuten by February 28, and Rakuten would
pay you in March.
Solid payment options. Direct deposit, check,
and PayPal (in certain markets) are all offered by Rakuten.
What Makes Rakuten Marketing Different?
It’s been ranked the #1 affiliate network for 7 straight years
by an industry publication that presumably knows about such
Who Should Join Rakuten Marketing?
If you want an affiliate network with an intuitive user
interface, a great reporting system, and the kind of solid
reputation you can only earn by being in the business for two
Marketing is a great selection.
The Rundown on PeerFly
A decade of experience. Launched in January
2009, PeerFly came into existence when Taylor Swift was still a
country music singer.
Numerous selections. PeerFly has over 2,000
clients and over 8,000 affiliate opportunities.
Small team that plays big. Comprised of only
15 individuals, PeerFly is a small company that goes toe to toe
with its bigger competitors. The hard work pays off with an A+
Better Business Bureau rating and zero complaints on file.
Net30 Payment Schedule. PeerFly offers fast
payment. So long as you’ve met their $50 minimum, you’ll be
paid the following month after earning your commission.
All the payment options. If you’re in the
U.S., PeerFly lets you choose between PayPal, Bitcoin, Amazon gift
cards, checks, and direct deposit. International users have PayPal,
Bitcoin, and Payoneer.
What Makes PeerFly Different?
PeerFly is known as a CPA (cost per action) affiliate network
rather than the typical CPS (cost per sale). The “action” could
be a sale, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be whatever action
(downloading an eBook, filling out a survey, etc.) the merchant
Though individual commissions typically aren’t as high for
CPAs, the number of commissions is usually higher.
Who Should Join PeerFly?
If you’re a beginner or have a small audience, PeerFly’s CPA
model is a good option. Actions are easier to obtain than sales, so
your chances of success will be higher.
And if you’re an old pro at affiliate marketing, the large
selection and flexible payment options offered by PeerFly should serve you well too.
It’s Time to Choose an Affiliate Network
Let’s cut to the chase one more time…
Which affiliate network are you joining today?
Which one is going to launch you on the path towards Pat Flynn
and John Lee Dumas levels of ginormous passive income in 2019?
You now know the track records and distinguishing details of 9
great affiliate networks.
So now it’s time to choose.
Passive income isn’t a myth.
It’s real. It’s out there. And it’s yours if you want
Are you ready?
Then let’s do this thing.
About the Author: When he’s not busy
telling waitresses, baristas, and anyone else who crosses his path
that Jon Morrow said he was in the top 1% of bloggers, Kevin J. Duncan uses his very
particular set of skills to help bloggers improve their
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