Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn a passive income since you don’t have any costs associates with it except for hosting expenses and possibly marketing. You literally post a link to an existing product on your blog, social media feed, or email text and watch the cash roll in as people purchase or subscribe to those products that you’re recommending.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a great way for bloggers and social media influencers to earn passive income by promoting someone else’s products. This means there is no inventory to manage or software to build. You receive a percentage of the item’s price or flat fee for every sale referred. All you need is an online presence, such as a blog or Instagram profile, and you can make real money by promoting products.
Benefits of Using Affiliate Marketplaces
While you can certainly apply to individual affiliate marketing programs, we highly recommend joining one or more affiliate marketing marketplaces.
Centralized Portal for Reporting and Payments
These affiliate marketplaces make it easy to search and find thousands of affiliate marketing programs and they handle all of the payments and reporting in one place so you don’t have to log in to multiple portals.
Streamlined Application Process
Once you’re accepted into the main marketplace, it is relatively easy to apply to tens or hundreds of affiliate programs. Your profile and website information are already linked to your account so you usually just need to accept new terms and conditions.
Best Affiliate Marketplaces
Below are our favorite affiliate marketplaces. Feel free to enroll in as many as you. Some of them will contain the same affiliate marketers though.
Impact, previously known as Impact Radius, is one of the new leading affiliate marketplaces. They host many leading affiliate programs including Microsoft, Walmart, Levi’s, and eBay. You can apply to many of these affiliate programs through their main website, although certain affiliate programs that are hosted on Impact (like eBay), may still require you to apply through their own websites.
They offer robust reporting and payment options (ETF or Paypal).
2. CJ (formerly Commission Junction)
CJ is an old classic affiliate marketplace that offers access to thousands of merchants. Their platform is very easy to use and apply to programs. Unfortunately, they have recently begun deactivating affiliates who have not driven sales in a while.
They offer additional tools like product widgets and in-depth link automation for faster revenue generation.
3. Rakuten Marketing
Rakuten is a large conglomerate that has a huge online presence including a robust affiliate network. Many of their affiliate programs are in the entertainment and education industry. They have relationships with a number of premium advertisers.
We love their robust tracking with multiple-touch attribution and reporting features available so that you get paid for the value you truly drive.
4. Amazon Associates
While not a marketplace of other affiliate programs, Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, called Amazon Associates, is a marketplace of millions of products across many categories. It’s a great option if you’re looking to sell physical (or digital with Prime Video/Audible) products and want to choose from a broad selection. Their commission rates range from 1-10% depending on the product category.
Fashion influencers can leverage rewardStyle to get access to over 5,000 retail fashion brands. Get state-of-the-art monetization tools and reporting that will help you grow your business. Tools like LIKEtoKNOW.it make it extremely easy for influencers to share their favorite products with their followers.
FlexOffers is a small affiliate network that is best known for having financial services affiliate partners such as banks and credit card companies. They are really the only marketplace to host these financial company affiliate programs. They also have a number of retailers and entertainment companies.
They currently boast over 12,000 affiliate programs.
ShareASale is a lesser-known affiliate marketplace, but some advertisers choose to solely host on their platform. Their focus is more on fashion and home/garden. We have used them for some grammar checker software programs that are only run through ShareASale.
Clickbank was the original e-book distribution marketplace. Publishers could sign up to promote e-books written by others. It’s gotten a lot spammier over the years, but you can still find thousands of e-books and e-courses waiting to be promoted.