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In the world of affiliate marketing, not all affiliate networks are created equally! Some networks offer better payouts than others. Some networks have great technology and tracking features. Others have amazing analytics and reports so you can analyze your sales and plan future posts. Some offer streamlined payment procedures. There is so much to consider! But, first things first.
What is an affiliate network?
Affiliate networks are companies that act as mediators between a blogger and a brand or retailer. They provide the technology that allows a blogger to track the sales they refer to that merchant.
The benefit of joining an affiliate network is that you gain access to many retailers at once, and even if you receive several commissions from several retailers, the affiliate network bundles them up into one paycheck for you at set intervals. What’s also great about joining an affiliate network is that they sometimes negotiate higher commissions on behalf of their members, too! It’s kind of similar to collective bargaining.
Some affiliate networks will require you to apply to each individual merchant after getting accepted to the network (like Shareasale), while others will immediately give you access to their partner merchants upon entry (like LTK).
Best Affiliate Networks
Making money with affiliate marketing is a popular way to monetize your blog. A word of advice from me is to not bite off more than you can chew. While some bloggers will go and sign up for as many affiliate networks as possible, I think it’s best to focus on a handful of networks you feel best serve your readers, and then think about joining more.
Here are the best affiliate networks I recommend:
Shareasale was the first affiliate network I joined as a blogger that actually brought me income, so I really can’t recommend it enough! Shareasale has a ton of awesome retailers on board, so it’s a great place to get started if you’re a female blogger. Shareasale also pays out pretty quickly after you generate commissions! Notable Merchants: Wayfair, One Kings Lane, Lulu’s
Collective Voice (formerly ShopStyle)
Collective Voice is a platform for lifestyle bloggers to monetize their content with a focus on travel, beauty, fashion, and home decor niches. I think it is the perfect network for newbie bloggers who want to start learning about affiliate marketing. It’s free to sign up and pretty easy to get accepted. The user experience is very intuitive and smooth which is also what makes it great for new bloggers! Notable Merchants: Pretty much every fashion brand you can think of!
What’s awesome about Skimlinks is that it requires very little work on your end. You simply install their tracking code, and the program searches for existing links in your blog to automatically add your affiliate link to. It doesn’t modify existing affiliate links. Pretty easy! Notable Merchants: Walmart, Home Depot, Fab.com
Amazon is the biggest e-commerce retailer in the US, by far. It is estimated that approximately 1 out of every 5 e-commerce sales are made on Amazon. Amazon generates billions in revenue each year, and if you can take a piece of that pie, you absolutely should! Amazon knows how popular their site is though, so the cookie length is much shorter than average (just 24 hours) but that doesn’t mean you won’t find success! The Amazon conversion rate can be as high as 4, 5 or 10% – some of the highest you’ll see as an affiliate marketer.
LTK (formerly RewardStyle)
LTK/RewardStyle – LTK is the holy grail of fashion bloggers everywhere, and they’ve recently expanded into a ton of other female interest categories like home decor, beauty, and family life. LTK is my favorite affiliate network however you do need considerable traffic and a nice social following to get accepted. You can contact me for a quick review of your site before applying if you like. Notable Merchants: Nordstrom, Asos, Kate Spade, Glossier
What has your experience been with affiliate networks?