For the purposes of this article I am assuming you know what affiliate marketing is and how it works. In case you do not, here is a link to an article I wrote entitled, “What Is The Best Home Based Business?” that explains affiliate marketing in detail.
Just to summarize, affiliate marketing is where you sign an agreement with a company that offers an affiliate program to market their products and services on your website, with no cost to you.
They provide you with an unique affiliate link to use to direct customers to their online store. When a customer goes to their store using your affiliate link and makes a purchase, the company gives you a commission. The above article will provide you with the huge advantages of affiliate marketing hence I am not going to talk about it further here.
One of the methods to capitalize from affiliate marketing is to join an affiliate network which I will be discussing in detail below.
In this article I shall be covering the following questions about CJ Affiliate by CONVERSANT – Is It Right For You? I shall be referring to this company by CJ Affiliate from now on.
- What Is CJ Affiliate?
- How Can You Join CJ Affiliate
- Is It Right For You?
Before we go into the details about CJ Affiliate I’d like to discuss the affiliate marketing genre known as Affiliate Networks. If you are already familiar with this concept please skip ahead.
You should have heard of the following Affiliate Network companies, which are some of the best, and may have even joined one or more of them:
- CJ Affiliate
- Amazon Associates
These are just a few of hundreds and maybe even thousands of Affiliate networks. What is an Affiliate Network? Some also call this Affiliate Marketplace.
It is a one stop destination where you can find hundreds and even thousands of independent companies who have affiliate programs. They have chosen to join an affiliate network to sign up affiliate marketers instead of running their affiliate operations independently. You can apply and sign up to market their products or services in one place rather than searching for each one of these companies separately.
Since affiliate marketing is heavily based on focusing on a specific niche, this is made easier for this reason. The companies, their products and services are grouped in categories. Hence, you can do a search using your niche to discover which companies have products and services in your niche.
You may wish to review the relevant companies and only select to represent those who appeal to you the most.
When you set up your payment method, the Affiliate Network pays you for sales from any of these companies. This streamlines the process of tracking your sales and payment. You also have the possibility of getting statistical reports to help you tweak your business strategies.
Be aware that approval will still be required from these companies. The most popular companies, also called advertisers or merchants, will only approve affiliate marketers, also called publishers, who have established websites with significant traffic flow and a proven sales record. More about this later.
The Dashboard and features of these networks are different. Some are more easy to navigate than others. You will need to do your homework to make sure you are comfortable with those who you sign up with.
Let’s dive in to CJ Affiliate.
1 – What is CJ Affiliate By CONVERSANT?
CJ Affiliate by CONVERSANT was formerly known as Commission Junction. Specific details are show below:
- Founded in 1998
- Owned by Publicis Groupe
- Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California with offices in several US cities and in other countries
- President is Mayuresh Kshetramade
- Website: https://www.cj.com/
- Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CJ_Affiliate
More details can be found through the Wikipedia link above.
2 – How Can You Join CJ Affiliate?
Their website home page is as follows:
First click the Country Selection menu at the top right to find out if the country you are residing in is included. Currently in January 2020, these are:
- United States
- United Kingdom
First select your country. Then click the Sign Up tab to get to the following page:
At the top there are several menus that provide helpful information on various aspects of the company. I recommend you check them out.
If you are a merchant that CJ Affiliate calls an Advertiser, the sign up starts on the left. I am assuming you are an Affiliate Marketer that CJ Affiliate calls a Publisher, your sign up process starts on the right. More details about Advertisers and Publishers can be found by clicking the LEARN MORE tab. When you click the green Sign Up tab, the following page appears shown in the screenshot below. Keep in mind that this is NOT an active window.
CJ Affiliate has a comprehensive YouTube Channel below where you can watch a video about the sign up process:
There are several important pieces of data you need to fill in besides your name, address and contact information. Such as:
- Tax ID information for the country you are registering from
- Payment selection method and associated details
These items are best taken care of right from the start. I suggest gathering all necessary information together and have them available before you start this process.
The video will guide you through this process so I advise you watch it if you decide to sign up as a publisher.
3 – Is It Right For You?
Before you can answer this question I suggest you review the paragraphs below and arrive at your own conclusion. There is one characteristic you need that is the most important. Traffic to your website.
Firstly, you must have a website that is filled with content arranged to best SEO practices. Your website design must be professionally looking with fast load times.This speed is a function of your website design as well as your hosting company. Ideally your website will also have little or no distractions so that your reader can absorb your valuable content easily. Its purpose is to inform them about the merits of their purchase interest to help them make a buying decision. When your visitor clicks your product affiliate link or banner to get transported to the affiliate online store, you will have succeeded.
Your niche must be very well-defined and closely related to the products offered by the advertisers you apply to. .CJ Affiliate makes it very easy to find products in your niche using the advertisers search page. Use the search by categories to find products that match your niche.
There are thousands of advertisers available. Hence, you should be able to find many that fit within your niche. However, some of the high end advertisers will only approve publishers who have a proven track record and generate a minimum amount of sales. Still, there is no harm in applying if you are keen on those advertisers.
This is a two step process. The first is to apply to become a member of CJ Affilite. As lond as you have a website with 10 or more articles posted with comments and some level of traffic, the chances are you will be approved. It takes about two days.
Once you are approved as a member, you will need to apply to companies you are interested in marketing products for. This is the step two of the application process.
You will have to submit individual applications to each advertiser. Although you will have filled in your profile on CJ Affiliate where you describe in detail your marketing methods, here you will need to go into specifics where you give examples of your actual results.
The advertisers who you apply to will also check out your profile within CJ Affiliate to see what experience you already have, as well as your marketing strategy. Writing an honest and effective profile is critical. CJ Affiliate provides help in their Support Center that you can reach by clicking the ? icon on the top right menu bar.
If you are new to affiliate marketing, the chances are your application will not be approved. Don’t despair. All advertisers have an account manager. Their name and Email address is provided in their company summary within CJ Affiliate. Send them a message explaining why they should approve you.
It will help to show the following:
- Where you are getting your affiliate marketing training?
- What steps will you be taking to optimize On Page and Off Page SEO?
- What approach will you be using in writing content that converts to sales? If you already have high quality content, provide a link.
The purpose is to demonstrate your commitment in taking this business seriously. They want to know how are you going to drive sales to their online stores using the affiliate links and banners they will be providing you.
Even if you are approved, there is a usually a six-month period where you will have to demonstrate you can get sales. Often there is a minimum sales requirement. Make sure you know what that is and feel confident you will be able to meet it before you apply. Read their Terms and Conditions (T’s & C’s) carefully. These companies have to pay good money to CJ Affiliate to be listed as an advertiser. Hence, they will terminate the publisher agreement they have with you if you do not meet their expected standards.
Unlike working as an employee sales person for one company, here you have several companies your are representing as an entrepreneur. Hopefully you will be able to generate sales for some of them and have income flowing in.
Most of the advertisers prefer the publishers they approve to have at least 1000 unique visitors a day. You cannot get conversions (sales) without sufficient and regular traffic. It is possible to get sales with less. This will be dependent on the quality of your content as well as if your visitor likes the design of your website.
However, if you are fairly new and do not get approval, you have the option of contacting the account manager as I stated above in the Application section for reconsideration.
So Is This Right For You? I highly recommend CJ Affiliate as a class company to join. However, there are many factors that come into play that can influence your decision. Hence, only you can decide after weighing up the factors I have brought to your attention. You now have all the information you need to help you come to your own conclusion. Read up as much as you can before you sign up for CJ Affiliate as well as after you do so. I suggest checking out their YouTube Channel that I’ve provided access to above.
A Sample of Advertisers
CJ Affiliate is one of the TOP Affiliate Networks in the business. It maybe even be the largest. Many high profile brand names are represented as advertisers in their marketplace. Here is a small sample of companies and products that I have arranged by categories. If what you are looking for is not shown, do not assume it is not available. The only way to find out is to sign up to CJ Affiliate and see for yourself.
The reason why I was interested in CJ Affiliate was Hammacher Schlemmer, the electronic gadget company. I found out that they are listed on CJ Affiliate.
- Bulova – Watches
- Caviallo – Jewelry
- Bagin – Handbags
- Aerosoles – Shoes
- Good Year Tires
- 4 WP – Wheels
- Pep Boys – Auto Parts and Accessories
- World Wide Stereo – Car Audio and Electronics
- Vivid Racing – Sports parts and accessories
- Athena Cosmetics
- Elizabeth Arden
- Murad Skin Care
- The Perfume Spot
- 7 Shifts – Employee Scheduling Software
- eFax – Productivity Tools
- FedEx – Office and Shipping Services
- Go Daddy – Domain Registration and Web Hosting
Clothing / Apparel
- American Eagle Outfitters
- Dillards – Department Stores
- Forever 21 – Women’s Apparel
- Aether – Men’s Apparel
Computer & Electronics
- BOSE – Speakers and Electronics
- Brick House Security – Home Security Electronics
- DELL – Computers and Perpherrals
- Samsung – Consumer Electronics
Health & Wellness
- AC Lens – Vision Care
- Boombod – Weight Loss
- HoMedics – Home Health Equipment
- Walgreens – Pharmaceuticals
Home & Garden
- Architectural Designs – Construction
- BedJet – Bed and Bath
- GE Home Appliances
- LightsOnline – Furniture
Sports & Fitness
- Fit Track – Exercise Equipment and Health
- HealthLabs – Wellness Products
- Nike – Sports Shoes
- Taylor Made – Golf
- AT&T – Mobile and Wireless
- Frontier Communications – Internet Service Provider
- One Plus – Telephone Services
- Verizon – Online and Wireless
So what do you think? Did I happen to select one or more companies or products that fall within your niche?
When you sign up you can find what you are looking for on the Advertisers Search Page through Categories.
When you sign up you get your own CJ Affiliate Dashboard shown below. Mine is a new account hence there are no sales yet. I have also blanked out my account number.
Navigation through the CJ Affiliate site requires some familiarity. It is not intuitive. However, once you figure it out, it is fairly easy to find what you are looking for. Part of the difficulty comes from understanding the terminology.
A comprehensive menu system is located in the dark gray horizontal menu bar at the top. Some of these menus have sub menus that can be accessed using the pull down arrow at the right.
Pros & Cons
There is a lot to like about the CJ Affiliate marketplace. Here are 5 characteristics I like the best:
- Been in business for many years and has a stellar reputation
- Has a vast selection of companies and products to choose from
- Easy to select and apply to advertisers
- Excellent accounting system – pays by check or bank direct deposit. Payoneer for non US publishers
- Excellent publisher support system and YouTube training channel https://youtu.be/DHJC2WObjEg
Nothing is perfect. Hence, here are my top 5 characteristics I like the least:
- It takes playing around the website to feel comfortable navigating the website
- I tried to find a way to add my profile pic in the location near my name. Couldn’t do it
- Very high bar for acceptance by advertisers
- Not the best affiliate marketplace for newbies
- No instructions on how to build traffic
How To Make Money On CJ Affiliate?
It’s fairly easy to apply and get accepted into the CJ Affiliate program. It is harder to get approval by advertisers. What is the main characteristic in a publisher they are looking for? A respectable sales track record.
Newbies will not have had the time and training yet to show a sales track record. But a newbie has got to start somewhere. But where?
Affiliate Marketing Training
The goal is to create a beautiful business website that is hosted on a fast server, and has security and automatic backup services built in. Added to this starting point, the publisher must have selected a niche that can be monetized fairly easily.
Once that is in place, a great deal of valuable content is necessary. The titles of the articles must consist of keywords with high ranking potential in the search engines. The content has to use the best practices of On Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Off Page SEO in order to attract a high level of traffic.
How does a newbie learn how to do that? There is free information available online and on YouTube that teaches these processes. In fact, there is an overwhelming amount of information. Is there a way to navigate through that sea of knowledge to pick out the training most suitable for you to make an impact?
Sadly, free stuff falls short of the best practices to achieve the goals above. Besides, which free stuff is the best to use? This becomes a hit and miss affair.
When I first started moving down this path, I was drawn to hype that promised done for you systems. After being encouraged to subscribe for modest amounts like under $30, a free interview was set up. I was very disappointed when I discovered that so called FREE interview was nothing more than a high-powered sales pitch to entice me to buy the really good stuff. You can guess what that cost. Thousands of dollars. $2995 being a popular number.
The interviewers made it sound so attainable. They all inferred I could expect to earn my investment back within a month following the training. Naturally, there were no guarantees.
Firstly, I didn’t believe that time frame would work for me.
Secondly, I didn’t have that kind of money to buy the training anyway.
When I was demeaned for not making the investment in myself, I knew I was going down the wrong path. It became clear that I was being used by the lure of a sure thing, to extract money out of me. Money that I didn’t have.
I was about to give up in despair when by chance a member of Wealthy Affiliate found me while I was researching investment information companies. He informed me there was a better way to create a passive stream of income with little or no risk. Unlike trading in stocks and options.
This member was earning about $8000 a month. He was very transparent and told me it took him a couple of years to ramp up his income. But now he was able to leave his blue collar job and was doing affiliate marketing full time. Meaning about two to three hours a day, but earning a full time income. It wasn’t in the millions like others were earning, but he was moving in that direction.
His name was Tim and from Australia. When he invited me to try out Wealthy Affiliate I declined as I didn’t want to get drawn into another internet training program that I would not be able to afford anyway.
Tim then offered me the chance to become a starter member for free without using a credit card. He made it clear that if a company allowed you to check them out for free, no credit card required, they had nothing to hide and offered value. My interest perked up. Tim went further. He said that this access would be for the whole platform with the opportunity to be mentored by him free for one week. And access to the company’s owners too. Since this was free, I would only be able to access the first 20 lessons. These were the same lessons that paid members got.
I jumped at the free offer and had no intention of upgrading. But I didn’t tell Tim that. Shame on me ha! I was still skeptical.
There was nothing to lose for checking out the platform. Included was the option of creating two free websites. With free hosting too. So how could I lose? But I had no intention of upgrading anyway. Free was just fine with me. Tim asked me for my Email address and he promised to Email me the link to sign up.
My first impression of the sign up page was very favorable. In brief, I was shown the benefits of Wealthy Affiliate. I signed up for free as soon as I opened the Email he sent me. All I needed was my Email address. No name even. Or credit card info as he had promised.
I found the free lessons had a combination of a video and supporting text. They introduced me to the website building software called WordPRess. I had heard of it before but had no idea how it worked. I found it easy to follow the training instructions. I was taught how to select my free SiteRubix Domain and to use that to create my first basic website. This whole process took less than 5 minutes. Fast forward one year.I feel I have learned a lot as demonstrated by this website today as it keeps maturing into an Authority Site on the topic of helping people learn about how to make money through Affiliate Marketing.
Guess what? I was very impressed with what I saw. The platform was very well organized. The training in website building, writing content, SEO and traffic was outstanding. Previous companies I was talking to charged upwards of $2K just to learn about generating traffic. And another $2K to learn how to use SEO. Plus, they had over 1,500,000 members at that time. And so many had graduated to making 6 and 7 figure incomes annually.
If anyone got stuck and needed help, all they had to do was ask a question on the platform and an expert would respond often within minutes. There was also a live chat section where you could get answers immediately. Clearly, going through this training would give me an advantage to qualify for the Affiliate Network Programs. Traffic – Check. SEO – Check. Content – Check. See where I am getting too? All the boxes for successful affiliate marketing could be checked out as a member of Wealthy Affiliate.
Before the week was up, I upgraded to Premium taking advantage of the $19 offer. I feel you can also benefit like I did by becoming a member of Wealthy Affiliate.
Can I give you two options to find out how Wealthy Affiliate can help you create a highly successful affiliate marketing business?
- Check out an article I wrote that shows you exactly how the Wealthy Affiliate Platform works using a generous helping of screenshots: The Best Training In Affiliate Marketing That Turns Beginners Into Pros!
- The direct link to Sign Up To Wealthy Affiliate For Free, No Credit Card Required. In this way you can check out the Wealthy Platform from the inside.
You can do both! I’m not going to stop you, right?
If you wish to join affiliate networks like CJ Affiliate, you need the training that Wealthy Affiliate provides. This company is well known in the industry having been in business for over 14 years. It’s founders, Kyle and Carson are not only experts in this field, they have a caring outlook for their members. It’s no nonsense training that works.
Why not take this big step and check out the platform? I look forward to following and mentoring you along your journey to affiliate marketing success.