If you’ve recently started a blog, one of your reasons for doing this was probably to make money, right? There are several ways for bloggers to make money on their blogs, but one of the biggest ways is through affiliate marketing. However, this is only a viable way to make money if you can source products of high quality that will interest your site’s visitors.
As it can be tricky to know exactly which products to choose and which marketplaces to utilize, we’ve compiled a list of different types of affiliate networks and platforms, detailing what they are, and their strengths and weaknesses. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the different types of affiliate marketing and how to make money from them.
What is an Affiliate Marketplace?
Let’s start by defining exactly what an affiliate marketplace is. They’re not really marketplaces, per say, but are more like networks of affiliate programs. These networks are essentially a place for publishers and site owners to list their products and services by links that content creators or other ecommerce platforms can choose to promote.
Affiliates are a win for all parties involved, because the owner of the affiliate product or service gets more sales, and the content creator or ecommerce platform will get a small commission when consumers make a purchase using their link. The platforms that usually promote affiliate links include blogs, various social media platforms, podcasts, or even websites.
Promoting affiliate links can quickly become a great way to make some extra money, especially if you own a platform that sees a lot of traffic. The higher traffic your platform receives per day, the higher your chances are of making money on affiliate commissions. Now let’s take a look at the different types of affiliate marketplaces you can use for this.
This is one of the most popular affiliate marketplaces out there, housing affiliate programs for over 4500 sellers of varying sizes. ShareASale differs from marketplaces like Amazon Associates in that they don’t have a focus on a certain brand of product. They don’t only promote Amazon affiliate links, for example.
ShareASale offers a single location to sign up for different merchants, making it quick and easy to secure affiliate sellers or lists. You can even view your statistics on this dashboard, showing how many people have looked at your program and how many have signed on.
Remember that you’ll also need to apply to each merchant individually, and then will need to be approved by each of these merchants. This is a standard practice for most affiliate marketplaces like this.
ShareASale is a great marketplace to find both physical and digital products. For example, you’ll encounter many online shops and products that you can work with, while also finding a wide array of physical merchants. Some of these merchants include Reebok, Sun Basket, Warby Parker, and NFL Shop. The list doesn’t stop there though, you’ll find thousands of other options to choose from also.
Originally called Affiliate Window, Awin is another extremely popular choice of affiliate network, offering access to more than 13,000 merchants of various backgrounds and sizes.
This platform is so popular that it even acquired ShareASale in 2017. These two marketplaces are still run separately from each other, however, also offering different merchants from each other.
Needless to say, having over 13,000 options to choose from, you won’t have any trouble finding a good merchant to work with that fits your ecommerce niche and platform.
Some of the bigger names offered on Awin include AliExpress, Etsy, HP, StubHub, Under Armour, and Gymshark. These are just a few of the thousands of merchants you’ll find on Awin. Much like other affiliate marketplaces, you’ll be required to apply to each merchant individually to find affiliate programs.
Amazon Associates is a great affiliate marketplace for those who wish to offer physical affiliate products on their platform. If you decide to use Amazon Associates, you could potentially be earning a commission on any physical product currently sold on Amazon.
The cool thing about Amazon Associates is that you could possibly earn a commission on every new product that someone buys after clicking on your link. This would apply to products outside of the one that you had linked on your platform.
For example, if you’re linking a $5 pack of lightbulbs on your site, but the person goes on to purchase a $500 microwave, you’ll still get a commission on that. However, the item can’t have been in their cart already prior to them clicking your link. The purchase also needs to have happened within a set cookie duration, or it won’t track to your link anymore.
Amazon Associates used to have a scaled commission rate based on the level of sales you drove from your platform. However, they’ve since moved to a flat rate commission system. The amount of commission you make on a certain product will be determined by the percentage they’ve set for that category of product.
This shift makes it easier for smaller platforms, blogs, and websites to turn higher profits, which is a great thing for independent platforms looking to generate higher revenues from affiliates!
CJ Affiliate used to go by the name of Commission Junction before recently rebranding. They are another great affiliate marketplace for those looking to get into affiliate marketing, offering thousands of merchants to choose from all in a single location.
CJ is actually one of the largest affiliate marketplaces out there today, meaning you’ll have no trouble connecting with hundreds of large and small merchants. They currently offer nearly 3,000 merchants to choose from, all offering varied and unique products to promote.
Some of the biggest names on CJ include Overstock, Lowes, Priceline, Office Depot, Grammarly, IHG, and GoPro. Their list isn’t just limited to these big names, however. You’ll find many, many more if you decide to use their marketplace.
As with most affiliate marketplaces, you’ll need to apply individually to each merchant you’re interested in working with, then wait for them to approve you. Although it’s important to note that some users have said CJ’s platform has a bit of steeper learning curve than other marketplaces, as some have found their dashboard and other processes a bit confusing or hard to learn.
Once known as LinkShare, Rakuten Marketing has become a popular affiliate marketplace in recent years, also offering a large amount of vendors and merchants to work with. Some of their biggest partners include Macy’s, Walmart, Papa John’s, and Best Buy.
If you’re looking to work with smaller merchants, don’t worry, they’ve got plenty of those too. However, compared to the other marketplaces, they have a relatively small pool of merchants to choose from. Their list of partners comes in at around a total of 1,000, significantly less than the other marketplaces we’ve covered up to this point.
Taking this into consideration, you might want to work with a larger affiliate marketplace if you’d like a more varied selection. But even though Rakuten has a smaller selection of options to choose from, they can be a great option to use if you want access to some of the bigger names out there. They also offer some streamlined features like rotating ads, so you don’t have to worry about rotation yourself.
Avangate Affiliate is an affiliate network focused entirely on offering digital options to promote. This includes digital products like software or media, instead of physical products. They’ve got some big names on offer too, including Kaspersky, Awario, and Bitdefender, among others.
Avangate offers a total of over 22,000 software and digital products to promote, making this a great option for those with an ecommerce platform centered around digital goods, technology, and software.
Affiliate marketplaces are online platforms designed to match up merchants with people who want to promote affiliate products on their ecommerce platform. The types of affiliate marketplaces will vary, ranging from networks that only offer physical products to those that only offer digital ones, or they may even offer a hybrid of both. Some marketplaces offer a huge selection of merchants to choose from, while others only offer a select few big names and brands.
It’s up to you to choose which of these affiliate marketplaces you want to work with, and which ones would be most profitable for the niche your ecommerce platforms fill. Try to consider what types of products the people coming to your site would want to purchase, then promote affiliate links that will take them to that kind of product. If you follow the information we’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be sure to start making money through affiliate commissions in no time.