Please note that this post is written with someone in mind who already understands the concept of affiliate marketing.
When you decide that you want to make an income online with affiliate marketing you will have to become an affiliate of a company and its products in order for you to be able to make a commission when you sell one of their products.
Now to become an affiliate the company will either have to have its own affiliate program that you can join for free or it will use an Affiliate Network that will run its affiliate program for them.
If the company decided that it would rather not have the hassle of running its own affiliate program then as just mentioned it will use the services of an affiliate network who are really like a third party middle man.
The network will run the affiliate program and everything that this involves on behalf of the company. This will include dealing with new affiliate sign-ups, handling any commission payouts, monitoring any tracking data and so on and so on.
What this means for you as an affiliate is that rather than joining that company to become an affiliate you will instead join the affiliate network first and then when you are accepted into the network you will then request to join that specific companies affiliate program.
On a side note, the network will already have many other companies on its books that it will be running affiliate programs for which you can request to join as well.
Once accepted into the companies program you will then have access to any tools you need in order to promote the products and make your commissions with. The network will send any payments due to you and any issues will be dealt with by the network rather than the actual company you are promoting.
Where are these Affiliate Networks
To be honest you don’t actually have to find them because you will discover them as you search for affiliate products to promote. When you find a product and you go to join its program you will either join the companies own affiliate program or you will be directed to its program via an affiliate network.
But if you are interested in seeking out networks first to see what companies and products it has on its books then here are a handful of the most well know.
- -Commission Junction (CJ)
- -Affiliate Window
Are Affiliate Networks Better
Whether the product you want to promote is run in house or by a network does not make a huge difference, you will still get paid and you will still have access to marketing material.
Having said that I still prefer to be an affiliate of a company that runs its own affiliate program rather than promoting a product that is run by one of the Affiliate Networks simply because I can get in touch more easily with someone who can help me specifically to do with the product I am promoting.