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Compare Top Affiliate Networks - Infographic

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The world of internet marketing is growing rapidly and so is the competition. Inside the world of internet marketing, you have a smaller niche market called affiliate marketing. The concept of affiliate marketing is getting paid a commission for sending traffic to a web site and performing an action. The majority of this type of marketing is done through the use of affiliate networks. With over a thousand affiliate networks out there fighting for your competition, how are you supposed to find the right network for you?

In this article we will be covering a few different networks and how they can help you success with affiliate marketing. While there are hundreds of public and heavily funded ad networks out there, there are also many independent and smaller networks as well.

To keep this article simple and on point, we will be focusing our comparisons on Google AdSense, Shareasale, Commission Junction and LinkShare. These four networks are major players in the affiliate marketing space and drive millions of dollars in transactions every day.

Google AdSense

One of the easiest ways to make money online is through the use of Google AdSense. You simply place a line of code on your web site and Google will start serving banner ads on your web site. As the web site owner, you earn a commission every time a banner is clicked.

A few key notes on Google AdSense are:

- Publishers get 68% of the amount Google collects from ads for content.
- Publisgers get 51% of the amount Google collects from ads for search.
- 28% of Google's revenue for the first quarter of 2011 came from AdSense.


An private company that has done extremely well in the affiliate marketing space is Shareasale. What started out as a smaller network, has become one of the most successful. The success of Shareasale is mainly due to their excellent affiliate and merchant support and competitive prices, Shareasale now has tens of thousands of merchants and affiliates within their network.

A few key notes on Shareasale are:

- Shareasale pays $250 for each merchant referred through an affiliate link, and $1 for each new affiliate referral. - Shareasale offers review and consultation services for any new merchants looking to join their network.

Linkshare and Commission Junction

Two very successful and large networks are Linkshare and Commission Junction. We will combine the two in this break down since they are similar in setup, but have a wide variety of different advertisers. Through the Linkshare and Commission Junction networks, you have the option to join many high end and well known brands to promote their web sites and services. Instead of receiving a check or payment from each merchant, Linkshare and Commission Junction sends out weekly or monthly lump sum payments from all commissions owed from their merchants.

Linkshare points of interest:

- There are currently over 10 million partners on the Linkshare network.
- Top clients using the Linkshare platform are GoDaddy, JC Penny, 1800Flowers, American Express and Avon

Commission Junction points of interest:

- 62% of the top 500 retailers using 3rd party marketing software are powered by CJ.com
- Top clients using the Commission Junction platform are Dell, Buy.com, Home Depot, Zappos and Yahoo.

When comparing the amount of merchant programs available on each of the networks listed, they range in size. Commission Junction has over 1,500 merchants, Linkshare has over 1,000 and Shareasale leads the group with over 2,000 active merchants.

View affiliate network comparison infographic for full stats and comparison.

The affiliate networks mentioned above are just a hand full of the options you have available. As an affiliate myself, I recommend that you signup to as many affiliate networks as possible. This way you can have access to all merchants and stay in the loop on what networks have the best payouts and latest merchants joining the network. It's always free to join an affiliate network, so there is no harm in signing up right now.
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