If you’re looking to earn an income online, it’s likely you may have heard of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is completely legit and earns billions in annual revenue for publishers and merchants.
Let me briefly explain how affiliate marketing works…
Affiliate marketing is typically composed of three parts: the publisher (affiliate), the merchant (advertiser), and the tracking software (affiliate network). The merchant sells products or services and needs more help to sell them.
The publisher helps to sell products and services by creating content (tutorials, reviews, and helpful resources). The affiliate network will bring together merchants and publishers to form joint venture partnerships.
They give the publishers tracking links which can be clicked by potential customers and monitor customer transactions. The tracking links tell the publisher and merchant how the content is performing, and enables accurate payment. Similarly, the affiliate network can give phone numbers that can be tracked back to a publisher.
Affiliate marketing works to the benefit of the publisher, affiliate network, and the merchant because they all make more money when they collaborate!
If you’d like more in-depth information about how to make money with affiliate marketing, you can check out another article I wrote HERE or you can CREATE A FREE ACCOUNT and get 10 FREE video training lessons on affiliate marketing HERE.
If you’re more interested in seeing this review in video, here’s my full ShareASale review and tour:
Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
While it is a legit business model and a lucrative one, it’s a very uncommon way to earn a living. Lots of people try, but few people can say they earn a full-time income from affiliate marketing. One reason is because there’s alot of pieces to put together in order to make the business work. At first glance, it looks very easy and inexpensive, but when you begin to do the work, you realize there’s lots to know! You have to learn things like:
- What Affiliate networks are good
- What are Influencer programs
- How to get approved for affiliate programs
- CPA affiliate programs versus Pay-per-Sale Programs
- Traffic generation methods (Search engine optimization, Paid Ads, Backlinks, etc.)
- How to pick good products to promote
- and so much more!
It can quickly go from “easy” to overwhelm if you don’t continue learning and doing research to answer all of your questions. Then, if you decide too quickly and join the wrong affiliate network or program, it could take you a long time to figure that out, and even longer to begin making money like you want.
What You Can Expect in this Review
I’m glad to see you’re here because it means you’re doing your research, and I plan to deliver everything you need to consider before you decide to do business with ShareaSale. I plan to provide as much information as possible about being a merchant and being a publisher at ShareaSale, so you can decide if this is a good fit for your business. If you read thru my review and still have questions afterwards, don’t hesitate to leave your questions in the comments section below.
In this review, I’ll be sharing:
- What is Shareasale
- How it works
- How to make money with Shareasale
- How to get Started
- Some case studies
- and so much more!
If that sounds good to you, let’s get started with this review…
What is ShareaSale.com? An Overview
ShareaSale is an affiliate network that services merchants and publishers across the world. They offer support across many niches, they have very reputable publishers and merchants, and they have lots of great features to their tracking software.
As of this writing, ShareaSale has been in business as an Affiliate Network for 19 years. They are a privately held corporation located in Chicago, Illinois.
In 2017, ShareaSale was aquired by a global affiliate network named Awin. The purchase was supposed to bring more international opportunities to publishers and merchants. As a result, you’ll find opportunities to expand your business globally by joining the Shareasale Affiliate Network.
In comparison to other affiliate networks, Shareasale offers a more diverse directory of reputable products than most others, and superior support. Their website says their customer service “will follow up, call back, and provide real solutions”, which is a great sign of commitment to customer service.
How Does ShareaSale.com Work?
Shareasale has created a complex operation that works to the advantage of publishers and merchants.
Shareasale is actively educating businesses on the power of affiliate marketing. For merchants, affiliate marketing is the only method that enables them to pay only for performance, which is huge! Other marketing methods require payment for other metrics like:
- Ad placement
- By product
- Or, Simply a flat rate
In comparison, affiliate marketing enables merchants to pull together a digital sales force, increase visibility, and only pay for leads or sales.
Shareasale helps merchants accomplish this pay-for-performance method because they have advanced tracking technology that helps to record where a customer was sent from (calls or web links), and credit the referrer as a result. Merchants are able to choose what percentage or fixed amount they want to give the affiliate in exchange for them referring a lead or sale. Then, after the affiliate has referred the lead or sale, Shareasale will calculate the commissions consistent to what was decided, bill the merchant, and make sure affiliates are paid accurately.
It’s pretty cool, right? To become a ShareaSale merchant, you can CLICK HERE.
On the other side, Shareasale is also contributing to the growing library of online resources about website monetization. As a result, more people are learning how to use affiliate marketing to monetize their websites and add income streams to their businesses.
For publishers, they are typically bloggers, publishing companies, and existing businesses who create content and build communities. To monetize the traffic they’ve built around their niche, they can add affiliate marketing, and get paid for referring their audience to products and services.
As an example, an accounting company can become a publisher and get paid for referring customers to accounting software. Shareasale has several programs to choose from like Freshbooks where the accounting company could be paid $5 for leads and $55 per sale. Do you see how that could add up?
Publishers who sign up for Shareasale can scroll thru the directory of merchants enrolled, look at the terms of service, and apply for affiliate programs. Once approved, the affiliates are given marketing materials like website banners, tracking links, and even tracking phone numbers (if you apply for them).
How Do You Make Money with ShareaSale.com?
You make money with Shareasale in 2 ways:
- By adding revenue to an existing business thru affiliate marketing (for merchants/advertisers)
- By adding revenue to a publishing business by promoting other’s product or services (for publishers/affiliates)
If you have a product or service where the transactions can easily be tracked by phone or on your website, then you can make money by becoming a Shareasale merchant. Shareasale has lots of publishers that go there to look for products and services to promote, and you can position yourself there.
Unfortunately, relying on Shareasale as a primary means of making sales without intentional marketing and sales efforts of your own isn’t sufficient. There are merchants at ShareaSale who have $0 EPC (earnings per click) and no history of sales. All of the merchants on Shareasale are vying for the attention of publishers, so you have to make your affiliate program stick out, you have to build relationships with good publishers, and inform them of your referral program. Shareasale simply provides an additional opportunity where you can be seen by publishers and be promoted to a new audience.
You make money by tapping into the established trust and relationships of another brand who can share their opinion of your product or service. Typically, merchants who exercise the power of affiliate marketing are able to drive warmer leads than other marketing channels, which means shorter sales funnels, and higher profit potential!
For publishers, you make money in 4 steps: choose an interest, build a website, drive traffic, and earn revenue.
(Image Source: Wealthy Affiliate University – Online Entrepreneur Certification)
Choose an Interest
Shareasale has thousands of affiliate programs across many different niches: business, finance, family, etc. If you tried to be in all of them, you’d probably attract no one. It’s better to choose something you’re very interested in that others are also interested in, and that has lots of high value products and services to promote. When you’ve chosen an interest that:
1.) Has lots of others interested
2.) and, has high value products and services to promote…
…Then, it’s likely to be a lucrative niche that you can make a living creating content around.
Build a Website
Once, you’ve chosen an interest, then you have to get your piece of digital real estate where you’ll direct your community to find you. Like an offline business has real estate, an online business has real estate as well: their websites.
Your website will enable you to be known as a distinct brand and voice. You’ll be able to build a reputation and people will have a perception of what they’ll be able to expect from you.
Other methods of building an online business exists, but Shareasale has said that as merchants become more sophisticated, affiliates without their own brands and communities will become less valuable because they’ll know how to run their own ads and rank their own websites. They’ll rely on affiliates for their distinct communities, brands, endorsements, and reputations.
As a result, these 4 steps (choosing an interest, building a website, driving traffic, and earning revenue) cannot be understated.
Get Rankings and Visitors
By creating content, using SEO, doing outreach and networking, and offering genuine value to an audience, you’ll build an audience and authority over time. Google will begin to trust that you’ll serve their search users well and you’ll begin to get rankings. Others will see your brand and trust you’ll give high-level content and you’ll continue getting a larger and larger audience.
As a result of the rankings and visitors you acquire, brands will see more value in working with you, and you can…
When people trust you enough to follow your recommendations, then you’ll start earning revenue. It may start small, but once you really understand all of the mechanics, you’ll begin earning more and more.
Shareasale helps because they give you a long selection of high-quality advertisers to work with. Whether you decide to build your community around shoes, fashion, food, or otherwise, Shareasale has lots of merchants to partner with.
How Much Can you Make with ShareaSale.com?
There’s so many different mathematical factors that go into how much money you ca make with Shareasale. Let’s go over a few…
- Amount of traffic
- Percentage of Traffic that clicks the offer
- Percentage of traffic that signs up
- # of people that buy
- Price of item, products, or services
- and Commission amount
There are thousands of merchants on Shareasale, so it would be nearly impossible to say how much money you can make. I can say merchants and publishers can significantly increase their revenue by:
- Building a good amount of traffic
- Working on their conversion rates to get a maximum amount of people to click their offers
- Choosing carefully between cost-per-lead and cost-per-sale (and probably mixing both)
- Building a reputation so people will buy
- and choosing well-priced items (rather than $1 or $2) because you’ll need less sales volume to achieve financial goals
When you consistently perform, you’ll be able to see your income rise, and there’s really no glass ceiling!
How Do I Get Started with ShareaSale.com?
Getting started with ShareaSale.com is fairly easy for Merchants and for Publishers.
It gives more details about the merchant benefits, and then takes you to a signup page where you’ll be able to:
- Give details about your business
- Create your account
- and set up payment for your one-time access fee of $550 + $100 deposit (to pay publishers)
Then, ShareaSale will work with you to get you all set up in their directory of merchants.
For Publishers, the process is also very easy. You complete the ShareaSale registration beginning on a page like this…
When and How Does ShareaSale.com Pay?
ShareaSale pays monthly and they have a very good reputation for doing so. ShareaSale offers payment by check or direct deposit (although direct deposit is only available in some countries). Payments are paid every 20th of the month (unless the merchant chose an extended lock date).
Payments you make in March will be eligible for payment April 20th, and so on.
The Good & the Bad
PRO #1: Great reputation
PRO #2:Many reputable products and services
PRO #3: CPA and Cost-per-lead products
PRO #4: An opportunity to earn a full-time income
CON #1: Difficult navigation for some
CON #2: Most would need additional affiliate marketing training to be successful
CON#3: Some advertisers drop out risking publisher payments, so be careful when choosing companies
Who is ShareaSale.com For?
ShareaSale is perfect for:
- People who want to make more money
- People who want to make money online
- Existing businesses that would like to increase revenue with performance marketing or by promoting complimentary products and services
- and, all those who want to make money with affiliate marketing should take a look!
ShareaSale.com Tools & Training
Unlike other affiliate networks, ShareASale DOES offer training for affiliates and merchants for FREE. They have live webinars that take place periodically to show affiliates:
- how to monetize their websites with ShareaSale affiliate links
- and, how to use the ShareaSale interface (since it’s not the most user-friendly)
You can see some of the training options below…
ShareaSale also has training for the merchants to help them see the benefits of performance marketing and to show them how to navigate the interface.
In addition to their online webinar training, they also sponsor events like fashion shows and attend affiliate marketing conventions.
Unfortunately, if you don’t have prior training in affiliate marketing, publishers may still find challenges if they’re trying to run a full-time business. You can get more information on how to run a successful internet marketing business in another article I wrote HERE or you can get lots of support by CREATING AN ACCOUNT at Wealthy Affiliate, my #1 recommended training for affiliate marketing. . The benefits include:
Shareasale offers support Monday thru Friday 9AM-6PM. Typically, support can be offered by email or by phone except on Fridays when phone support is unavailable between 2PM-6PM.
What’s The BBB Saying About ShareaSale.com?
If the BBB review helps you to feel that a company is credible, then you’d be happy to know they’re rated A+ with 0 reviews and 0 complaints. That’s pretty good (especially since they’ve been in business for 19 years!). See for yourself below.
ShareaSale is free for publishers to sign up and begin promoting merchants, however, there’s a $650 one-time fee to get started as a merchant. $550 is the network fee and $100 is to load your account for affiliate payouts.
My Final Opinion of ShareaSale.com
ShareaSale is considered the favorite affiliate network for many publishers and merchants for good reason. There’s very few complaints I’ve heard or seen, and they continue to improve what they offer anyway.
They have a great selection of merchants, and it continues to grow! Added to that, there hands-on–answering thru customer support, providing training, and attending industry conventions!
ShareaSale is a top contender as one of the best Affiliate networks I’ve seen.
Want FREE Training to Make Money Online with Affiliate Marketing? [Recommended for ALL Publishers]
If you found the article helpful and you’d like more information that goes in detail on how to make money with affiliate marketing, CREATE A FREE ACCOUNT to get video training and access to our affiliate marketing community of 1.4 millon+ entrepreneurs HERE.
Ease of Use8.0/10
Good Suite of Tools9.5/10
Accurate Analytics Data9.8/10
Good products to Promote9.5/10
- Great products to promote
- Reputable merchants
- Reputable merchants
- Cost-per-lead and Cost-per-action products
- An opportunity to earn a full time living
- Difficult navigation for some
- Some advertisers don't pay or drop out and risk publisher payment
- It's likely you'd need additional training from somewhere else to be successful as a publisher