The words “advertiser” and “publisher” appear many times in this article, so it’s important that you know the difference between the two.
An advertiser is someone who has a website, product or service in which they pay an affiliate network to display their ads on the publisher’s websites.
A publisher is someone who owns a website or blog and wants to make money by displaying ads served through an affiliate network on their site. In effect, advertisers pay publishers to display their ads and/or send traffic to their website.
Although this article is written for publishers (specifically, blog owners), these affiliate networks are applicable if you own a static website or are interested in becoming an advertiser as well.
Although Google has never revealed how many Adsense advertisers they have in their affiliate network (that I know of), it would be safe to say that there are thousands upon thousands. There are also a few hundred thousand publishers- many of whom are blog owners- who are earning money through the Google Adsense affiliate network.
Google Adsense is an ad serving network which serves text and display ads on affiliate websites, and site owners earn money on a CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis. Google Adsense has also partnered with YouTube to display YouTube videos which are relevant to the content of your blog as another method for you to earn money.
Implementation onto your blog is simple, and Adsense pays either by paper check, EFT to your bank account, or Western Union. However, many new bloggers find it difficult to reach the $100 minimum threshold for payouts. Once you do reach the minimum payout, chances are things will be progressing for you from there, and it will take less and less time to earn each $100 through Google Adsense. For more information, you can read the Google Adsense payments guide.
I also like Google Adsense because being owned by such a huge, professional company makes their ad serving very fast and reliable which means you don’t run into some of the problems you experience with smaller affiliate ad networks such as slow loading ads or the ad servers going offline, messing up the layout of your site.
Google allows a maximum of three ad spaces on each page of your blog. You can go to the Adsense site to review all their available ad formats. I counted 39 different ad units, each of which can be customized to fit the colors of your site.
Although of course not totally accurate, I’ve seen many polls done online from publishers involved in the Google Adsense affiliate network, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 60% of publishers claim to be earning over $100 per month.
To learn more about the Google Adsense affiliate network, click here.
Kontera has a long-standing history as an in-content affiliate network used by many websites and blogs. Kontera has 5 different in-content ad types:
- Text & Image
Because of their wide selection of ad types, Kontera is a highly flexible affiliate network which can be easily customized to fit the content and layout of your site. Kontera has a new program called Kontera Hybrid which they are opening up to select publishers who apply.
As a Kontera publisher, you have access to some very impressive statistics which makes it very easy to evaluate how Kontera is performing on your blog.
Kontera features an Invite-A-Friend program which pays you $25 for referring new “active” publishers. The part that they do not so clearly explain is that they consider an “active” publisher as someone who generates 50,000 pageviews within the first 60 days. If the person you refer doesn’t meet their “active publisher” requirement, you won’t get paid.
Kontera pays out by check, EFT to your bank account or PayPal. One disadvantage is that the minimum payout is $100, so you may have to wait a while to get your first payment.
When Kontera is compared to other contextual affiliate networks such as Inlinks, many Publishers report lower CPC earnings with Kontera, but that all depends on your blog’s content and the amount of traffic you refer.
To learn more about the Kontera affiliate network, click here.
Infolinks is an in-content ad program which will automatically find text on your blog which advertisers have chosen, and link your text with the appropriate ad. This affiliate network is very similar to the way Kontera works, only I have found that Infolinks approves new accounts much faster, and I have seen for myself as well as heard from others that Infolinks pays more per click on average than other in-content affiliate networks.
Infolinks is great in that you can customize the way the ad links appear on your blog and also the appearance effects. You can also specify when Infolinks should begin searching your content for keywords and when it should end- so that links are not created in areas of your blog you do not want them to appear. Lastly, you can also set a maximum number of keywords per page that should be linked with ads.
The one downfall I have seen with Infolinks is that with this affiliate network, the ads that are shown on the page require two clicks to execute for some users because the ads show as a flash file would. You have to click once to “activate and use” the control, then click again to actually follow the link.
Infolinks pays either by PayPal or bank wire directly into your bank account.
Infolinks used to have a referral program which would pay you for referring publishers and advertisers to their ad network, but it was on an “invitation only” basis, and I believe that it’s been discontinued.
To learn more about the Infolinks affiliate network, click here.
Adbrite is a diverse affiliate network in that you can display text ads, banner ads, full page ads which are shown between page loads, and even inline ads which create links out of specific keywords within the text of your page (similar to Kontera and Infolinks). Because of all these options, it is possible to use Adbrite as your sole affiliate network rather than having to use 2, 3 or even more affiliate networks to keep track of on your blog.
Adbrite is a large affiliate network, serving over 650,000,000 impressions per day. Because of this, the Adbrite affiliate network has a wide variety of ad rotations which means that the same ads do not display over and over again on your blog.
Adbrite also has a referral program which allows website owners the ability to earn money based on referring publishers and advertisers to the Adbrite affiliate network.
With the Adbrite referral program, you earn 50% of Adbrite’s profits for the first 3 months and 10% of Adbrite’s profits for the next 9 months for everyone you refer to their program, allowing you to earn residual income for an entire year for everyone you refer.
The Adbrite website as well as the ads that are served by this affiliate network have been very slow loading over the past few weeks. This has caused some trouble with my page load times and as a result, I’ve had to cut down on the number of Adbrite ads that I show.
To learn more about Adbrite’s affiliate network, click here.
Netklix is a very simple to use affiliate network similar to Google Adsense, only there are only text ads- no image ads or banners.
There are a wide variety of ad sizes to choose from, and each ad can be customized with your own colors to match the look and style of your blog.
One aspect of Netklix that I particularly enjoy over other advertising networks is that you can specify up to 10 separate channels for your ad so that only ads which fit into those particular categories will be shown.
I like this feature because I can display ads in multiple places on my website and select different channels for each ad so that the same ads will not appear in more than one place on my blog at any given time and so the ads will be more focused on the page’s content.
You can choose for Netklix to pay you by check or automatic bank wire and the minimum payout amount for Netklix is $100 when using US dollars. Netklix reports that there are different minimum payout amounts for different currencies.
Netklix has an affiliate program in place where you can get paid for referring new advertisers and publishers to the ad network and the money will be deposited into your account, but you must apply to be an affiliate after you’ve signed up as a publisher.
To learn more about the Netklix affiliate network, click here.
I really like to use Bidvertiser because the amount of money I earn per click is significantly higher than other CPC affiliate networks such as Google Adsense. I usually earn between $0.40-$1.10 per click, but have seen multiple clicks pay out over $4.00!
Another great aspect of the Bidvertiser affiliate network is that you can review potential ads that would display on your blog along with their maximum cost per click (CPC). You can remove ads that are not relevant to your blog’s content or ads that don’t pay well and keep ads that target your blog’s visitors and have a good payout rate.
Using Bidvertiser, you have the ability to not only show text and image ads on your blog, but you can show live products on eBay as well!
Bidvertiser also has a referral program where you get paid for referring advertisers and publishers to the Bidvertiser ad network.
When a user signs up as an advertiser and first spends $10, Bidvertiser will credit your account with $5. When that same advertiser spends $50, you will be credited with an additional $20. The good part about this is that it’s only common sense to sign up as an advertiser because Bidvertiser gives you $20 in free clicks when you sign up!
I signed up as an advertiser and used my $20 in free clicks to promote my article Flip Sites And Get Rich. I then used some of the profits to continue advertising with Bidvertiser and have seen a good amount of sales by advertising with them.
When a user signs up as a publisher and first earns $10 on their blog, Bidvertiser will credit your account with $10. When that same publisher earns $50, you will be credited with an additional $40! That’s a great payout percentage!
The major downside to Bidvertiser (from a publisher standpoint) that I have seen is a very limited supply of advertisers, which means that you see the same ads over and over and over again. As a matter of fact, in my case I see a new set of ads each day but they never rotate on other page views. The only time I see new Bidvertiser ads is at the beginning of each new day.
On top of that, I would only recommend placing Bidvertiser ads in one location on your blog because as I said, I see the same group of ads all day- no matter how many ad placements I have. If I have 3 Bidvertiser ad placements, each displaying two ads, I see the same exact two ads in all three locations all day long until the next set of ads are shown the following day. Every single day each ad placement shows the same ads.
The tables can be turned if you use Bidvertiser as an advertiser, as your ads are not rotated between hundreds of thousands of other ads meaning that your ad is displayed quite often on other publisher’s websites!
To learn more about the Bidvertiser affiliate network, click here.
Linkshare is setup much the same way as Commission Junction in that you are presented with a large list of advertisers, and you join the programs you would like to promote.
Each advertiser has their own products, banners and text links, as well as their own payout and referral rate.
There are only 3 steps to become a Linkshare Publisher, and joining only takes 2-3 minutes. You can choose for Linksare to pay you by check or direct deposit with a minimum payout of only ONE DOLLAR! Because of this, Linkshare is a great choice for blog owners who do not receive the large amount of traffic necessary to reach the higher payout rates.
Linkshare also pays you $1.50 for each new Publisher you refer who places ad code on their website!
I have enjoyed being a part of the Linkshare affiliate network so far, although I have found that the reports shown when attempting to view your stats sometimes do not work. For example, my affiliate report currently shows 268 clicks in February with only 6 ad impressions and $0 commission…? I’ve emailed the support department about this issue twice and have not yet heard anything back from them.
I really see a great potential with Linkshare, so I’m being patient with them as I get accustomed to their affiliate network, and I hope to see some great income from using Linkshare in the near future.
To learn more about the Linkshare affiliate network, click here.
Commission Junction (CJ)
Commission Junction is a gigantic affiliate network which allows you to promote products and services from a huge variety of different advertisers. Depending on the industry, these referrals can pay you very well. Aside from a percentage of total sales, I’ve seen a few advertisers pay a flat rate of $110 for each referred sale you send their way!
Each advertiser releases your commission at a different point in time, so you’ve got to check with that on an advertiser-by-advertiser basis. For example, some will pay you after 15, 30, 60, 90 or 180 days.
There are a wide range of different reports you can run from your Publisher control panel which will show you how many impressions, clicks and sales you’ve made, and the amount of commission you’ve earned.
The obvious advantage in joining CJ is the fact that you should be able to find advertisers for just about any niche you’re in, and you can be an affiliate for all these different companies through a single ad network, making it simple to keep track of all your statistics and earnings.
It’s very simple to add the Commission Junction code to your blog whether you’re adding a text link or display ad. Some advertisers allow URL redirects so you can “mask” your affiliate link, making it look nicer to your blog’s visitors. Again, this is something you will have to check on with each individual advertiser.
Commission Junction has a minimum payout rate of $50 by direct deposit or $100 by paper check. Depending on your marketing efforts, it should not take you too long to achieve their minimum payout rate.
I have heard from many people that they have quite a bit of trouble either being accepted into the Commission Junction program, or being accepted by individual advertisers. I have not ever experienced these problems myself, aside from a small percentage of advertisers not accepting me as an affiliate. I believe that most of the people who have these sort of issues may be coming from different countries which Commission Junction does not do too much business with, or people who do not have a bank account or valid mailing address to receive their payments.
To learn more about the Commission Junction affiliate network, click here.
Clickbank is an affiliate network created specifically for digital goods and services, so it’s a popular choice among bloggers. Clickbank boasts over 10,000 different items that you can promote on your blog, and they handle the complete tracking and checkout process for buyers so you don’t have to worry about it.
The commission you earn per sale varies, but is never under $0.25. The commissions you earn are almost immediately reflected in your account after a buyer makes a purchase.
Clickbank pays out weekly or bi-weekly if you use direct deposit, or bi-weekly if you use paper checks. If you’re not a very active affiliate marketer, you’ve got to watch out with Clickbank! Even if you have a positive balance in your account, Clickbank will charge you $1 per day after 90 days of inactivity, $5 per day after 180 days or $15 per day after 365 days! In other words, they’ll suck all your money out if you’re not using your Clickbank account. It’s something that many bloggers overlook until it happens to them, so consider yourself warned!
Clickbank offers a referral program in which you get paid a percentage of all the sales the people you refer earn for an entire year. The amount you earn per sale is usually pretty small, but when calculated across multiple referrals for an entire year, it can add up quickly.
To learn more about the Clickbank affiliate network, click here.
The eBay affiliate program operates through the eBay Partner Network. Payouts are made either by PayPal or direct deposit into your bank account.
There have been many reports of difficulty being accepted into the eBay Partner Network, and I can vouch for that. I’ve applied to the eBay program three times and still have not been accepted, so I figure I just won’t do them the favor of attempting to signup anymore.
Their payout schedule is also somewhat difficult to understand at first glance, as it varies by country and your performance.
However, many blog owners are utilizing the eBay affiliate program and have found that their earnings from promoting eBay ads on their blogs have been a big help. Don’t forget that you can also display eBay ads using the Bidvertiser affiliate network (Read more about Bidvertiser above).
eBay is a great affiliate network because millions of people have purchased from eBay before, so they already have an eBay account and are familiar with the checkout process. So, when you display eBay items on your blog that your readers are interested in, your conversion rate is usually pretty good.
To learn more about the eBay affiliate network, click here.
AzoogleAds is another favorite with many blog owners. They don’t provide you with much information about being a publisher with their affiliate network before you sign up, so I’ll give you some of the information I have.
AzoogleAds allows blog owners to choose products that they would like to promote on their blog. When you first sign up as a publisher, you have to provide a telephone number for an AzoogleAds representative to contact you for a short “interview”. It’s basically an account manager who calls you to find out a little bit about you and your website and who can answer any initial questions you may have. It’s not so much an “interview” as it is a customer service experience. However, if you don’t have a telephone, you’re screwed. I tried signing up with AzoogleAds and told them I did not have a telephone just to see what would happen, and they told me to come back when I did.
Once you’re all signed up, your account manager’s name and contact information is very plainly provided to you so that you can contact them anytime you have a question, which is obviously something that is not available with most affiliate networks.
Affiliate networks such as Commission Junction and Linkshare require you to apply for each advertiser’s campaign, where the individual advertisers will accept or deny your request. What makes AzoogleAds different is that by being a part of their affiliate network, you are automatically accepted to all of their campaigns.
The low minimum payment rate of only $50 is an attractive offer for website owners who do not receive much traffic or for sites that don’t convert very well.
To learn more about the AzoogleAds affiliate network, click here.
Amazon is a great affiliate network to use on your blog because there are so many products to promote, and so many creative ways you can promote them!
You can insert text links, text and image ads, image only ads, and even incorporate some really nice widgets to display Amazon products on your blog.
Signing up with Amazon is really simple, and it only took me about 24 hours to receive confirmation that my new account was approved and I could start earning income by promoting Amazon products.
The possibilities with Amazon are virtually endless- you can create custom links for just about any item or any page you see on Amazon.com. Amazon even has a “site stripe” which appears at the top of each page when you’re logged in to your Amazon affiliate account. Anytime you’re at a page you would like to refer customers to, all you have to do is click the “link to this page” button, and an affiliate link will be created for you. This, along with the wide variety of banners, widgets and available items, makes Amazon- in my opinion- the most customizable affiliate network available today.
I have found that the stats and reports provided by Amazon are very accurate and update almost immediately. I have much more trust in the reports I am shown by Amazon over the reports given by other affiliate networks such as Commission Junction or Linkshare.
The commission rates your earn for promoting Amazon products fluctuates depending on how many products sell through your affiliate links. The commission rate starts at 4% per sale, and increases from there.
The payouts for the Amazon affiliate network are $100 by paper check, direct deposit to your bank account with a minimum payout of only $10, or even an Amazon.com gift card.
For more information on joining the Amazon.com affiliate network, click here.
InLinks quickly became popular amongst blog owners a few years back and has grown since. This affiliate network allows you to purchase or display in-content links on your blog. For blog owners, InLinks provides free plugins for WordPress, MovableType and Dupral to help you integrate their ads seamlessly into your site.
You can approve or deny each advertiser that wishes to advertise on your blog so only the ads you wish are displayed which is great because it keeps competitor sites from showing. It’s easy to calculate how much you’ll earn each month, because InLinks will put a set monthly price on your blog based on its popularity, so there’s a flat monthy rate for each ad sold on your blog.
The minimum payout amount is only $25 and by check or a prepaid debit Mastercard. Alternatively, you can receive payments directly into your Paypal account, and for that there is no minimum payout amount! You can also choose to receive payments into your advertiser account, and InLinks will add an additional 15% onto what you earn as a publisher.
ReviewMe is a great affiliate network for bloggers. It allows advertisers to purchase a paid review from you. In exchange, you post a review or their product, service or website on your blog and get paid $20-$200 for it!
This method not only allows you to make money, but you’re handed stuff to write about- helpful if you’re suffering from “writers block”.
The thing about ReviewMe is, as I said, advertisers would specifically hire you to post a paid review on your blog. If you’re a blogger just starting out or have very little traffic, chances are you won’t get any advertisers. Once you start to get your name out there and achieve a steady amount of traffic, ReviewMe can give you a nice boost in your monthly income.
ReviewMe pays on the first of every month by check, PayPal or a prepaid MasterCard. There is a $25 minimum payout by check, no minimum payout for PayPal, and a $20 minimum payout by prepaid MasterCard.
To learn more about the ReviewMe affiliate network, click here.
Everyone is always looking for good suggestions for successful affiliate networks. Feel free to tell us which affiliate networks you use and which ones have worked best for you!