Affiliate marketing features few if any start-up costs, low barriers to entry, and carries with it the potential for extraordinarily high payouts. Aspiring Web publishers might have the ease of contextual programs like Google’s AdSense, or the hundreds of possible alternatives, but most will ultimately turn to more customizable options.
But do not delay. The only thing you have to fear is...less revenue. This edition of Website Magazine features 50 of the top affiliate networks on the Internet. Readers are sure to be familiar with many of those listed (either using them currently or having done so in the past) or were exposed to them through the routine course of running a Web business. If the affiliate network you use is absent from this list, fear not; what is really important is the trustworthiness of the network (whether they pay, and pay on time) and the number and quality of merchants and their offers.
As an aside, Website Magazine intentionally left out two heavy hitters in the world of affiliate marketing; Google (and the Google Affiliate Network) and Amazon (Amazon Associates). There are few programs that match these offerings in industry momentum, mindshare and reach. These programs may rule, but it doesn’t mean they’re right for you. You might also notice the absence of contextual networks, PPC search engine ad networks and MLM programs. While there may be a place for those somewhere on a list of ways to generate website revenue, we’ve included only pure-play, first tier affiliate networks — those that cater to both merchants and publishers.
Research for this report comes courtesy of Ranking.com, the Web’s largest provider of website popularity metrics and detailed website information on more than one million Internet destinations. To suggest a Top50 category for consideration in upcoming issues of Website Magazine, please visit us online or e-mail Top50@websitemagazine.com.