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9 Best Affiliate Networks in 2020 – For Merchants and Affiliates

the best affiliate marketing networks
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Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of the best affiliate networks, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll get pros, cons, and lots to choose from.

When you decide you want to add affiliate income as a way to monetize your website, the next question becomes, “What affiliate programs should I join?”. There are some good affiliate programs, and some that are downright scams.

I’ve personally seen affiliates who invest their time promoting a product or service, then the merchant doesn’t pay out, so it’s best to work with reputable merchants and affiliate networks. By following this list, you’ll be able to find millions of products you can promote and networks with millions of publishers to help you promote your products and services.

What is an Affiliate Network?

An Affiliate Network serves as the middle man between the affiliate and the merchant. Essentially, the affiliate networks’ job is two-sided and serves three primary functions. They have to:

1. Help the merchants find digital publishers to promote their products and services

2. Help digital publishers find compatible merchants, products, and services to promote

3. Track transactions, so digital publishers are paid fairly for the sales they’ve referred

By working with an Affiliate network (instead of direct with a merchant), you should be able to lower the risk because the network will handle billing, payment, and tracking.

How I Identified The Best Affiliate Marketing Networks

In order to compile this list, I wanted to be fair and not base it solely on my own personal experience, so I did 3 things.

1. I polled affiliate marketers within my favorite Internet Marketing Community

2. I did research to see what others were saying online. I watched several videos, read many blog posts, and went back to premium courses I’ve bought.

3. I reviewed each network to see who consistently ads new vendors, has a wide selection of merchants for various niches, and who has a good reputation for customer service and payout.

Based on those three criteria, I have compiled this list of the best affiliate networks for bloggers and online entrepreneurs.

1. Flexoffers

Flexoffers is an affiliate network that houses more than 12,000 affiliate programs! They have merchants and affiliates in a wide array of niches, and they help to match compatible companies so they can make money from partnering.

Best affiliate marketing networks - #1 Flexoffers

Who is this best for

Flexooffers is best for:

  • Beginners to advanced affiliates
  • Those who want to look thru a mix of established brands and up and coming brands
  • Those who want to monetize their websites with affiliate programs
  • Those who have products and services they’d like to partner with affiliates to sell
  • Those who would like the help of an affiliate manager to choose appropriate affiliate programs for your website

What They Offer

  • Cost per lead and cost per sale programs
  • Custom tracking links
  • Thousands of merchant products in varying niches
  • A large list of digital publishers with varying niches
  • Physical and digital products to promote
  • Varying commission opportunities
  • An easy-to-read dashboard and reports that show # of impressions, # of clicks, and conversion rates
  • Consistent payout
  • Good customer support
  • Assistance with finding publishers and merchant matches
  • A notification system that enables merchants to let affiliates know about upcoming sales, promotions, or changes in the program
  • A good reputation in the industry
  • Sales stats, so you can know what merchants are selling well and what publishers are getting conversions for their advertisers
  • and several very notable merchants

What They are Missing

  • When you’re shopping for affiliate programs to join, they give a brief summary of what the company offers, but you have to do more research to thoroughly understand some of the companies.
  • You won’t know from glancing whether the merchant specializes in information, digital, or physical products
  • The navigation can be confusing for some
  • Training on affiliate marketing or influencer marketing


Flexoffers is free for publishers to sign up, but it costs a one-time fee of $500 for US-based merchants and $1000 for merchants overseas.


Most third-party reviewers rate their experience with Flexoffers pretty well, and they mention how they have a large selection and good payout options. Here’s what the Google results look like at the time of this writig:

best affiliate marketing networks - #1 Flexoffers

How to Get Started

If you’re interested in getting started with Flexoffers, visit the Flexoffers website here or read more on my full Flexoffers review here.

2. ShareaSale

ShareaSale has been an industry leader for more than 19 years! They have technology, training, great merchants, and great publishers, so many affiliates rate them on the top when you ask about the best affiliate marketing networks.

best affiliate marketing networks

Who is this best for

  • Websites with compatible niches as their merchants: Fashion, Home & Garden, Business, Computers/Electronics, etc.
  • Merchants with compatible niches as their publishers (not usually local service-based businesses)

What They Offer

  • Cost per lead and cost per sale programs
  • Those looking for products and services to promote
  • Those who don’t mind promoting physical or digital products
  • Those who want to be a part of an affiliate network that constantly gets updated
  • Those who have a product or service that they’d like to get digital publishers to help them promote online
  • Stats so you can see what offers are selling well
  • Clear reports so you can see what offers are working well thru impressions, clicks, and conversions
  • Pay-per-Call software so you can get credit for referring a customer who calls the merchant

What They are Missing

  • They have entry level training on how to use the platform, but they dont have comprehensive training on affiliate marketing
  • Thorough company descriptions
  • and, a clear breakdown of whether the merchant offers digital or physical products


ShareaSale is free to join as a publisher, but is $550 one-time fee for merchants and a $100 minimum deposit


In general, customers and third-party reviewers are very happy with ShareaSale. You can see some high-ratings from customer review sites like SiteJabbers, G2Crowd, and individual reviewers. Here’s a glance at the Google results for “ShareaSale reviews” right now:

shareasale reviews

How to Get Started

To get started with ShareaSale, you can visit their website or read more about ShareaSale on my full ShareaSale review.

3. Amazon

Amazon is one of the most popular affiiate programs because they have such a wide variety of products and it’s fairly easy to get accepted as an affiliate. While I wouldn’t recommend it, some people are earning a full-time income as Amazon affiliates!

best affiliate marketing networks - Amazon

Who is this best for

  • Niche or authority websites who have audiences that would require solutions sold on Amazon
  • Those who want to monetize their websites with affiliate marketing
  • Those looking for a wide veriety of products to promote from one vendor
  • Those who can find products to promote with reasonable sales volumes or commission percentages that you can generate a reasonable income

What They Offer

  • Lots of products
  • A well-known and established brand so offers are easier to convert
  • An affiliate program with purchase and payout for multiple countries

What They are Missing

  • High commission %
  • More than 24-hour cookies
  • Financial Security – Many affiliates have been known to be banned from Amazon for accidentally breaking rules and they didn’t get warnings or much notice
  • No cost per lead programs/products


The Amazon Affiliate program is free to join.


There are varying reviews about the Amazon Affiliate program. Some people love it and some people hate it. Most of the disgruntled affiliates say:

  • The commission % is low because the percentage is usually less than 10%
  • Some have gotten banned for not following terms and services (even on accident)
  • Some have promoted products that used to have a high commission and it dropped–negatively effecting their incomes

On the bright side, people who love the Amazon Affiliate program say:

  • The conversion rate is high because of Amazon’s reputation
  • There are still niches that can earn more than 5% commissions
  • When you have enough sales volume, the commissions can add up
  • If your site is in a narrow niche, it can be easier to rank and Amazon has products in lots of niches

As a fact, they pay out millions of dollars every year to affiliates, so some people are making good money with it. Here’s a glimpse at the search results when you type “Amazon Affiliate Program Review”…

Amazon Affiliate Marketing Program Reviews - best affiliate marketing networks

How to Get Started

To get started with Amazon Affiliate Program, you can visit their site here or take a look at this training resource here.

4. CJ Affiliate

CJ Affiliate is also called “Commission Junction” or “Conversant”. They work with very reputable brands like Bluehost, Hostgator, Vistaprint, and the list goes on. It’s not as easy to get accepted into the CJ Affiliate network, and sometimes, even when you’re a part of the network individual merchants will decline your acceptance into their programs.

Since the brands are more established on the network, many of their affiliate managers want to see an etablished site and understand the types of content that will be associated with their brand. If your content is not compatible or low-quality, you might get declined by many merchants, but it can be worthwhile to choose carefully, continue applying, and to get accepted into a few.

the best affiliate networks for beginners - CJ Affiliate

Who is this best for

  • Webites with established content
  • Merchants with established brands
  • Intermediate and Advanced Bloggers

What They Offer

  • Cost per lead and cost per sale programs
  • Many reputable brands
  • A dashboard that you can customize to see clicks, impressions, and conversions
  • Tracking software to see where you’re clicks are coming from
  • Tracking software so you can get credit for people referred from your site (without clicking on your links)
  • Pay-per-call software so you can get credit when you refer someone who calls the merchant

What They are Missing

  • They don’t offer many unestablished or startup brands


It’s free for publishers to join CJ Affiliate, and they don’t have the merchant pricing available without going thru their application process.


CJ Affiliate has a mixture of reviews in the marketing space. People who complain say:

  • They were banned after having traffic and conversions sent to their offers
  • They have a hard time getting accepted into their affiliate programs
  • and, some people even say CJ is a scam

Here is a glimpse of the search results, so you can get a brief glimpse of the third party CJ Affiliate reviews:

cj affiliate reviews

How to Get Started

To get started with CJ Affiliate, you can visit their website here or check out my full CJ Affiliate review here.

5. PepperJam Network

Pepperjam isn’t nearly as popular as Amazon Associates or some of the others I’ve mentioned prior, however, they do offer several reputable merchants and a good variety of established publishers, so they’re worth taking a look at.

the best affiliate marketing networks - pepperjam

Who is this best for

  • Intermediate and Advanced Bloggers looking for additional merchants to monetize their blogs
  • Established merchants looking to partner with bloggers and influencers

What They Offer

  • A wide range of merchants and publishers in many niches
  • Tracking software
  • Reporting software
  • Customer support

What They are Missing

There are not nearly as many affiliate programs managed at Pepperjam as there is at Flexoffers, ShareaSale, CJ Affiliate or some of the others, so it might be harder to find a fit for many niches.


Pepperjam network is free for publishers to join, and the costs of being a merchant are disclosed afer completing the application.


The reviews of Pepperjam network were very mixed. Most of the complaints came from the merchants who were saying they wanted to cancel, but were unable. There were very few complaints from publishers. Here’s a glimpse at the search results, so you can get a general look at what the third party reviews on Google look like…

pepperjam network reviews

How to Get Started

To get started with Pepperjam network, you can either stumble across a merchant you want to partner with or visit their website.

6. Rakuten (previously Linkshare)

Rakuten is growing very popular. They are an affiliate network, a merchant, and they just acquired Ebate for $1 Billion! Many of the merchants they work with are very reputable companies, so if you’re looking for merchant or publishing partners, you might want to take a look at them:

the best affiliate marketing networks

Who is this best for

Rakuten seems to have more opportunities in the health and beauty niches, so I don’t typically find alot there for How to Entrepreneur, but you may have better luck.

Established bloggers – There have been quite a few merchants that have declined my applications without giving a reason. When I repeatedly message to understand why, they give broad responses like they want to work with more established brands or they want to see more history on the network.

What They Offer

  • They offer access to hundreds of affiliate programs like Udemy, MAC Cosmetics, Rocket Lawyer, Best Buy, Fiverr, and others
  • They have tracking software to give you fair pay for your sales
  • Cost per lead and cost per sale programs
  • Very reputable merchant and publishers
  • Customer support

What They are Missing

  • Their custom linking features are harder to operate
  • They don’t have pay-per call
  • They don’t have cookie-less tracking
  • Some niches might have a hard time finding compatible products and services to promote


Rakuten Affiliate network is free for publishers to sign up.


Rakuten affiliate network has pretty good reviews. There are very few complaints that I’ve found and those are usually related to not being accepted into a program. Here’s a glimpse at the search results when typing “Rakuten affiliate network reviews”:

rakuten affiliate network reviews

How to Get Started

To get started with Rakuten, you visit their website here.

7. MaxBounty

MaxBounty is well-known for cost per lead programs. They have a full inventory of affiliate programs that pay you when you refer customers who give you an email, name, or phone #.

the best affiliate marketing networks - Maxbounty

Who is this best for

    • Compatible websites
    • Beginner thru advanced bloggers
    • Affiliate marketers without websites who just use landing pages

What They Offer

  • Hundreds of cost-per-lead programs
  • Very involved affiliate managers
  • Consistently updates with new merchants
  • Mostly digital products/services

What They are Missing

  • The process to screen thru the merchants isn’t as detailed as some of the other companies, so there’s some low-quality offers there you’ll have to sort thru.


MaxBounty is free to sign up for publishers, but requires an interview before approval.


There are several reviews of MaxBounty. Many affiliates are very excited about them because many of the offers are pay-per lead, and they feel the conversion rate is high than pay-per sale offers. The bad reviews show people who have had very bad experiences: banned accounts, they felt they didn’t get credit for their lead, or they didn’t get paid what they think they should.

maxbounty reviews

How to Get Started

To get started with MaxBounty, you have to complete their application, then schedule a phone interview with your affiliate manager.

8. Clickbank

Clickbank is one of the most popular affiliate networks. They have a large inventory of digital products. THe quaity on Clickbank can vary quite a bit, and you can find good products and outright scams.

the best affiliate marketing networks - Clickbank

Who is this best for

  • Those looking for digital products to promote
  • Those looking for high commission opportunities (sometimes more than 50% per sale)
  • Those who don’t mind shopping past many low-quality and scam-like products to find a gem
  • Those who don’t have alot of experience and need something that’s fairly easy to get accepted into

What They Offer

    • eBooks
    • Courses
    • Products and services in various niches
    • Recurring commission products
    • High commission products
    • Programs that don’t require a website or difficult acceptance process
    • Training on affiliate marketing
    • An average commission of 50%

What They are Missing

  • They don’t screen product developers much, so there are quite a few scams posted there.
  • There are not many physical products


Clickbank is free to join and $49.95 to post products + a $1.00 sales/stock fee.


Clickbank has mixed reviews. People that like it appreciate how it’s a low barrier to entry, there are several products, new products are always being added, and it’s fairly easy to begin promoting (even without a website). The bad reviews are mostly from customers who bought a product from a Clickbank product developer that advertised falsely. Here’s a glimpse at the search results so you can see what the brief synopsis looks like:

clickbank reviews

How to Get Started

To get started at Clickbank, you complete your application and begin looking for products to promote.

9. AvantLink

AvantLink is an affiliate network that’s more difficult to get into. They market that they deny 80% of the affiliate applications, and they do this to lighten the load on the affiliate managers. When affiliate networks accept affiliates of all backgrounds, the affiliate managers have more work to train, follow up, and monitor how the brand is being promoted–AvantLink advertisers want to avoid all of that. As a result, they have more established publishers and merchants.

the best affiliate marketing networks

Who is this best for

  • Outdoor and sports-related niches
  • Those who have an established website with content (because they openly market that they deny 80% of applications)
  • Merchants who want to work with carefully screened, established bloggers and digital publishers

What They Offer

  • Lots of merchants and publishers with established businesses
  • Great customer support
  • Dedicated affiliate networks for the US, Canada, and the UK
  • Paid ad placement
  • Reporting
  • Link tracking

What They are Missing

  • Pay-per-call
  • Their programs are predominately outdoor merchants


Avantlink is free for publishers to join and merchants can find out about the rates after completing the application.


Avantlink has mostly positive reviews. There are very few complaints aside from the fact that it’s not as easy to get accepted into. Here’s the current search results as of this writing:

avantlink reviews

How to Get Started

To get started with AvantLink, you would complete the application and follow the instructions from the staff.

Honorable Mentions

Other Ways to Find Affiliate Programs


Jaaxy is most known as a keyword research tool, but it has some other awesome features, and helping you to find affiliate programs is one of those. You can simply type in a keyword and Jaaxy will populate affiliate programs and products you can consider from CJ Affiliate, Linkshare, Clickbank, and other affiliate networks.

best affiliate networks


Another great way to find compatible affiliate products to promote is to type in “keyword+affiliate program” into the Google search bar. Then, you’ll be ab;e to see programs and products populate.

Which Affiliate Networks are Most Popular?

When comparing the networks I’ve listed using Google Trends, we can see internet users are actively searching most for queries of the networks in this order: Clickbank, CJ Affiliate, ShareaSale, Amazon Affiliate Program, and Flexoffers is the least popular search query.  When switching them around, MaxBounty, PepperJam Network, and Avantlink are all either closely tied with Flexoffers or lower.  See the chart here to see…

The Bottom Line on the 9 Best Affiliate Marketing Networks

Overall, you want to be very careful when you’re picking products to promote. People build trust or lose trust in your recommendations based on their experiences following you. If you tell them a product is good and it’s not, it can ruin your brand and others’ perspectives of it, so do your research when you’re picking affiliate partners: whether you’re an advertiser or a merchant.

If you’d like to learn more about how to make an income with affiliate marketing, join me at Wealthy Affiliate and I’ll be your 1-on-1 coach along the way.

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