While there are a number of ways to earn money online, affiliate networks present a great solution that works for both online merchants and Internet marketers. What is an affiliate network, exactly? Think of an affiliate network as an intermediary that works to connect websites looking to market affiliate products with merchants who have products available for sale.

Affiliate networks provide a lucrative solution that benefits both online retailers and marketers looking to generate income from their websites. By joining an affiliate network, website owners can access numerous products, link to these products on their site and earn a commission based on the total of each sale generated by the link.

How Do Affiliate Networks Help Online Merchants?

Affiliate programs are one of the fastest and most effective ways to market and promote your product and services online. With millions of potential customers accessing the Web, allowing others websites to market and promote your merchandise is one of the best ways to widen your audience, amplify your online exposure and increase online sales revenue.

Setting up an affiliate program may take some time and work, but joining an affiliate network can help simplify this process. Additionally, becoming part of a larger network of affiliates can significantly increase the number of marketers who choose to promote and sell your products, which will ultimately pay off in increased sales revenue.

Unlike advertising networks, which require merchants to pay for each click, most affiliate networks operate on a pay-per-sale arrangement. Rather than paying for clicks that do not result in a sale, you only pay a commission when a customer actually buys an item. This factor makes affiliate networks an ideal and affordable solution for online retailers.

How Do Affiliate Networks Help Marketers?

Affiliate marketing also offers a great income-generating opportunity for websites that do not have a product or service to sell. Joining affiliate programs and featuring product links on your site can result in sizable sales commissions, which makes affiliate networks an perfect solution for developers searching for a way to monetize their websites.

Becoming an affiliate makes you part of a publisher network of sites that are able to promote products, sell merchandise, and earn sales commissions. Affiliate networks also make it easy for you to locate relevant products that are matched to your website’s target audience. Joining an affiliate network simplifies many aspects of affiliate marketing, including locating the best affiliate programs and applying to individual programs. By offering a one-stop solution, affiliate networks save time and energy for busy affiliate marketers.

Popular Affiliate Networks

While there are numerous affiliate networks to choose from, most experts agree that you should choose no more than two or three networks if you are just getting started with affiliate marketing. You certainly do not want to place all of your eggs in one basket, but it is also important not to spread your resources to thin.

One of the biggest and most popular affiliate networks is Commission Junction, often referred to as the CJ network. This affiliate offers marketers access to a wide range of retailers and products, so you’ll be sure to find items that are suitable for your website and your audience.

LinkShare is another well-liked affiliate network that features some of the biggest online merchants including FootLocker, Apple and Disney. If you want to offer brand recognition and popular products, you might want to consider joining the LinkShare network.

With all of the affiliate networks to choose from, finding those that are best for your needs can be difficult. Whether you are an online merchant or an affiliate marketer, always consider the needs and interests of your audience before you join a network. By placing the needs of your customers first, you will be more likely to succeed in the competitive world of Internet marketing.