So you’ve decided you want to get started with affiliate marketing. Good call it’s one of the easiest ways to make money online right now. But deciding where to start can be tough. There are a lot of choices in terms of products, services and marketplaces. I’m going to run through a few affiliate marketplaces to get started with affiliate marketing, including some with no approval required. So you can get going right away! Let’s get to it.
An affiliate marketplace is a website that matches up vendors (also known as advertisers, people who create and own products or services) with affiliates (also known as publishers, people who promote other people’s products and services).
So instead of dealing and negotiating with hundreds or thousands of affiliates, a vendor can just put their product on a marketplace. Then the marketplace takes care of generating affiliate links, communications with affiliates, payments and payment disputes, and so on.
This is a big bonus for everybody since that is a hell of a lot of work. Of course, the marketplace will take a cut. But it’s well worth it for everybody.
Note that affiliate marketplaces are different from affiliate programs. Some people get these mixed up. An affiliate program is where a company offers affiliate commissions themselves, rather than through a website.
For example, you can go to the Bluehost website and sign up to become a Bluehost affiliate. They handle everything. You have to create an account with each company, which is a bit annoying, but it can be an even easier way to get started.
But this article is going to focus on affiliate marketplaces, which let you get access to countless products and services to promote.
There are dozens if not hundreds of affiliate marketplaces. But I’ll go through a few of the bigger ones.
Amazon is the largest and most well-known marketplace. There are tens of millions of products available for sale on Amazon, and you can promote pretty much any of them.
While you do have to get your account approved by Amazon, you don’t have to get approved for each product (phew!). Once your account is active, you can just log into your Amazon Associates account and generate links for any product you can look up.
The commission rates vary between product categories but are typically around 5%. This is very low, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Firstly, conversion rates are pretty high. People know and trust Amazon and they know and trust the products on Amazon. It is a lot easier to convince someone to buy a toaster or whatever that they’ve been thinking about buying than it is to convince them to buy some strange internet marketing training of software that they’ve never heard of, produced by some 30-year-old internet marketer they’ve never heard of.
Secondly, there are some surprisingly high ticket items on Amazon. Selling books or DVDs is going to be a long hard slog to earn a living. You’d be making $1 or so per sale. But earning 5% on a home gym or refrigerator and it’s a different matter altogether.
There are some people who are making serious money from Amazon affiliate sites. It is a hard slog through, and you are completely dependent on Google’s graces (lifetime customer value is low so paid traffic won’t really work) and Amazon’s rates and terms of services (which can change significantly with no notice).
Luckily, getting approval to join the Amazon Associates program isn’t that hard. You do definitely need a website or blog to be considered. If you want my free guide on how to start a blog, you can get it here.
I wrote in more detail about the Amazon affiliate program here if you want to know more. I am a member of the program and have made some money on Amazon, though not much. It is a small side income for me rather than anything serious.
Apart from the titan that is Amazon, Clickbank is one of the biggest and most widely used affiliate marketplaces in the world. It focuses on digital products (as opposed to Amazon which is mainly physical products), and is a great place for people new to affiliate marketing. And that’s because signing up is very easy (no approval process), and you are automatically approved to be an affiliate for every product there!
And there are lots. Not quite as many as Amazon obviously, but more than you would ever have time to promote in a lifetime.
Clickbank covers pretty much every niche under the sun, but weight loss and fitness are very big there. Plus the other usual culprits: personal finance, make money online, dating, food, pets, and DIY. I wrote about the current big affiliate niches here if you want to know more.
Clickbank is a big trusted company who pay people and run their business properly. They are also unusual in that they actually deal with all support requests first, rather than the vendor! This is more a bonus for a vendor than for affiliates, but it’s good to know.
If you’re getting started with affiliate marketing, Clickbank could be a good place to start. Though that being said, there are some very big and experienced affiliate marketers making a hell of a lot of money on Clickbank.
Warrior Plus is an affiliate marketplace that focuses heavily on the so-called IM / MMO (Internet Marketing / Make Money Online) niche. It’s been around for a while and has some big launches there pretty regularly.
I buy and promote products from Warrior Plus pretty often. I find for Make Money Online, the quality of the products is better than you would find on Clickbank.
A good thing is that is free and very easy to sign up and join Warrior Plus. But one of the disadvantages is that by default, you are not approved for anything. You have to request approval for every product you want to promote.
Getting approval when you are starting out might not be very easy. I would recommend buying a product first (especially one that teaches you how to promote products, like The Lost Code or Fuego Breakout). Then message the vendor, telling them you went through their product, and want to use what you’ve learned to promote that product.
Be honest – tell them you’re new and starting out but you’re keen and will give it a proper go. Don’t lie and tell them you have an email list of 10K or anything – they will see right through you. These vendors know who has an email list that big and who doesn’t.
Reputation is important and if you are dishonest with people, they will find out and word will get around. The worst case is you get rejected, and simply try another product!
Warrior Plus pays affiliates 30 days after commissions are earned (to cover refunds) unless a vendor grants you instant commissions (if they really like and trust you).
JVZoo is a very similar marketplace to Warrior Plus. It offers digital products and services based around the Internet Marketing / Make Money Online space.
One way it is different is that it focuses more on software than Warrior Plus does, which is almost all ebooks and video courses.
Apart from that, they are very similar in how they are structured, how they pay commissions, getting affiliate approval, and so on.
One interesting little difference though is that you can hook up JVZoo to your auto-responder such as GetResponse. If you do, then anytime someone buys from your affiliate link, you will automatically add them to your auto-responder list!
This is a really cool way to build up a buyer’s list without actually having a product for sale. There is a way to do something similar on Warrior Plus but it involves a bit of mucking around and doesn’t work 100% of the time (email me if you want to know how to do it).
CJ Affiliate used to be called Commission Junction and was a really big affiliate marketplace back in the day. It’s rebranded and isn’t as big as it once was, but still might be worth checking out.
CJ Affiliate mainly acts as a central marketplace for companies who have products or services, but can’t be bothered running their own affiliate program.
So for example, a lot of people register their domains with Namecheap. If you try and sign up to be an affiliate for Namecheap, they will direct you to the CJ Affiliate website. If you sign up with CJ Affiliate, you can then request approval to be a Namecheap affiliate.
So rather than selling products by random internet entrepreneurs, CJ Affiliate is mainly a marketplace for well-known companies and services. Share-A-Sale is another website that works in a similar way.
Signing up is pretty straightforward, though you do have to request approval for each advertiser that you want to promote.
There are also many marketplaces for CPA (Cost Per Action) offers. I am not a CPA marketer and CPA is not my speciality. So I can’t say too much about them. (If you want to learn CPA Marketing, I would definitely recommend checking out CPA Pirate – it’s an outstanding course).
I believe the biggest marketplaces are Max Bounty and Peer Fly. I also know that these marketplaces are usually pretty rigorous in screening and approving people to join their programs. I think they will even call you up and do an interview over the phone, to make sure you are legitimate.
That’s because the CPA industry has been troubled by dodgy operators in the past, and they are trying to make sure advertisers don’t get burnt by shady publishers with bot traffic and phony actions.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this article that summarized the main marketplaces for affiliate marketplaces. If you have any questions (or suggestions for ones I have left out), please leave them below in the comments!