You’re ready to start making money with affiliate marketing, but you’re wondering, “Shareasale vs Commission Junction for affiliates?” Picking the right affiliate program for your site can mean the difference between making big bucks and feeling financially frustrated.
Before you get into which affiliate program you should use, it’s a good idea to figure out what would sell on your website. To do this, you need to know who your target market is.
Without understanding your target market, you could miss out on thousands of dollars in sales. The right offer could convert much higher than another offer that isn’t ideal for the people that visit your website.
You may find that either Shareasale or Commission Junction hosting a specific product might make the difference in which one you choose.
Both companies were founded around the same time, so they both have a good track record. 2000 for Shareasale and 1998 for Commission Junction, and they’ve become trusted names in the industry.
If you think about using them both, keep in mind that could split up your earnings and take longer to get you paid. There is a $50 minimum payout to get your money on both of the platforms.
Use the information below to determine which platform is the best affiliate program for your website.
Main Differences Between Shareasale vs Commission Junction
The main differences between Sharesale vs Commission Junction are:
- Shareasale has 15,200 merchants, whereas Commission Junction has around 3,000 merchants
- Shareasale has many lesser-known names, whereas Commission Junction favors hosting larger companies
- Shareasale pays out money after a “locking” period, whereas Commission Junction pays out 20 days after the end of the month in which you make the sale
- Shareasale boasts over $150 million in sales in a year, whereas Commission Junction pummels those numbers coming in at $16 billion
Tolerance for Beginners
If you’re a new affiliate that wants to find good affiliate programs, you should keep in mind that Commission Junction has a lower tolerance for beginners than Shareasale does.
If you come onto the platform with a less-than-awesome website with low content, you may find it difficult to get them to accept you. However, there are some instances when this isn’t the case.
Either way, it’s a good idea to build your website up before you start applying to the affiliate networks. Each of the networks has many companies that will approve your website themselves vs allowing everyone to promote them.
Since Commission Junction has a lot of well-established companies, you might find that their approval process is a little more strict.
Working with an affiliate manager can help you boost your earnings by increasing your skills and understanding. Just a small tweak to the way you run your business can make a big difference in affiliate commissions. Some affiliate networks have their own affiliate managers, but neither of these networks has them.
Don’t get upset and throw in the towel, though, because you can still work with affiliate managers and promote products through their platforms. Shareasale has contact information for every merchant that makes it easy for you to build a relationship with the vendor.
Those affiliate managers want you to make money just as badly as you want to make money, so they have invested interest in your success.
On Commission Junction, there may be some programs that offer affiliate managers, but Shareasale is very upfront in pointing out contact information and encouraging you to work with the program’s affiliate manager.
Sometimes if you get in contact with this person, they let you know about promos and pay you to write certain content for your website.
Easy to Find Affiliate Programs
Once you get your account on these platforms, you need to find the right affiliate program for your website. Sometimes that can be a challenge if you aren’t writing specific product reviews. The best thing you can do is to think about what the people that visit your website need or want.
For instance, if you’re writing about camping, you could find an affiliate program with tents and other camping gear. The good news is that on both Shareasale and Commission Junction, you can search for the specific product you want or look through categories using keywords related to your niche.
Finding Programs on Shareasale
When you look for affiliate programs on Shareasale, it isn’t as fancy looking as you’ll see on Commission Junction. Despite that, there is still a lot of helpful information you’ll find as you start going through the merchants’ page.
One of the helpful things you’ll find on this page is the featured categories of the website. For instance, you’ll see:
- Back to School
- New Programs
- Power Rank
- Home & Garden
- Books & Media
If you click those categories, you’ll find a lot of different options in each of them.
When looking at a program, you’ll be able to see:
- The Percentage Received Per Sale
- “Power Rank”
- Earnings Per Click
- Whether They Have Funds
- Active Date
- Average Sale & Commission
- How Long the Cookies Lasts
You can use this information to easily compare which of the products will give you the most benefit if you find two comparable products but need to determine what you want to promote.
Finding Programs on Commission Junction
As soon as you click on the advertisers’ page, you’ll see a lot of programs come up out of the 3,000 they have. Unlike Shareasale, they don’t have any category buttons come up at the top, so you have to do your own digging.
You can, however, go to the side and click which categories you would like to come up. Once you do that, you can start seeing the important statistics of the programs, including:
- Top Countries that Make Sales
- Commission Details
- How Long the Cookies Last
- Demographic Information about Potential Customers
- Long List of Programs Terms & Best Practices
- 3 Month Earning Per Click
- 7 Day Earning Per Click
As you can see, Commission Junction has a lot more details available than Shareasale does. You even get information about who usually buys these products. You can look at that data and see if that lines up with the people on your website.
Ease of Use
The last thing you want to deal with when you’re an affiliate is a clunky and hard to deal with platform. The good news is that both platforms operate very well and are rarely down. Depending on whether you want a lot of extra information or not, you may find one platform more appealing than another.
Some people prefer not to have too much information and to have a simple user interface. If you like simplicity, then Shareasale is most likely your best bet, but if you want to get granular, then you’ll love Commission Junction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Shareasale paid out over $900 million to affiliates in a given year.
Answer: Commission Junction paid out $1.8 billion to affiliates in a given year.
Answer: Signing up for an affiliate program is very simple. Once you choose the affiliate network of your choice, you put in your website and all of your information. After you have that entered, you’ll choose the company you want to work with.
Some companies require manual approval, and others allow for automatic approval. The best way to get approval is to have a well-put-together website that fits well with their product.
Answer: Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn money from your blog. Ad revenue can bring in money, but if you want to make the big bucks, then you need to offer high-quality products that convert on your blog.
Answer: You receive a unique URL you place on your website. Your tracking code is in that URL, and it automatically tracks the sale to you and shows it in your account, so you’ll know instantly when you make a sale through the platform.
Keep in mind that you’ll even get sales long after someone clicks your link, depending on the cookies policy on the site. Many give you the sale even 30 days later.
My Verdict: Shareasale vs Commission Junction for Affiliates
While both of the platforms work well and have a lot of great options, I chose to work with Shareasale. Shareasale has a service I personally use and recommend to the people on my blog.
The affiliate manager is very good, and it makes sense to work with them. Truthfully, the platform isn’t as important as the products, in my opinion.
The important thing is that you get paid on time as they promise and that they have a product that converts and pays you well. You might find that you like Commission Junction better because it has more details and allows you to hone in on the products that fit your ideal customer.
On another note, I feel like Shareasale is more beginner-friendly since they build you right to where you need to go. If you’re just starting out and trying to make your first $50 selling affiliate products, then Shareasale is the platform I would recommend to you.
Learn more about affiliate programs in the links below: