Affiliate marketing guide: How to Choose Your Affiliate Network

Affiliate network is a platform that serves as the intermediary between the merchant (advertiser) and the affiliate (publisher).

By now, I believed you should have found your niche else go here to find out how to get your profitable niche now.

Affiliate marketing is one of the best online business to start for beginners or struggling online marketers and I will be walking you through how to get real affiliate deals that pays in this article.

After finding a profitable niche the next step is to find affiliate deals you can promote to your audience.

The major ways to get affiliate deals are: Affiliate network platform and self-hosted affiliate program.

Affiliate network platform connects both affiliates and advertisers together. This network takes care of the payment, messaging, conversion tracking, leads tracking and provide you tools to enhance your affiliate business.

Self-hosted affiliate program connects affiliate directly to the advertisers. The advertisers has the necessary tools and payment system for affiliates to work directly with them.

They are both great options and you might end up using both ways but you need to focus on one method when starting out.

Let see how they work...

Affiliate Network VS Self-hosted Affiliate Programs

Before searching for the type of network you want to use, it is important to settle down on the kind of affiliate deals you want to promote.

Most affiliate networks promote digital products such as: eBooks and software while some promotes physical products.

Digital products tends to have higher commission rates than physical products. This is because digital products have no or very low manufacturing cost per item and maintenance fee.

So advertisers tends to raise the commission rate due to this reason and they end up making lots of profits.

Therefore, it's a win win situation for both affiliates and advertisers that promote digital products as opposed to physical products.

But if your niche falls into the physical products, go on and promote it. Just make sure you make a solid decision as to which one you want to promote.

Now let take a look at the pros and cons of affiliate marketing network platform and self-hosted affiliate program.

Pros of Affiliate Network Platform

  • Lots of categories to choose from
  • Lots of product to promote
  • Real live performance tools
  • Affiliate tracking
  • Guarantee commissions
  • Free to get started
  • Friendly Interface
  • Affiliate protection

Cons of Affiliate Network Platform

  • You might need a popular blog to get started on some networks
  • No major affiliates training.

Affiliate network is a great choice for beginners as its free to get started with and they are responsible for tracking your affiliate sales.

Here are some popular affiliate networks:

Click here for a more comprehensive list of the best affiliate network

Pros of Self-hosted Affiliate Program

  • Most self-hosted affiliates are private invite
  • Provide comprehensive affiliate performance and analytical tools
  • Friendly interface
  • Guaranteed commission
  • Real expert behind product creation

Cons of Self-hosted Affiliate Program

  • Not easy to find
  • Most are paid option

Self-hosted affiliate programs are mostly private invite which means that you have to purchase a product before you can gain access as an affiliate.

While I do not recommend this for an absolute beginner, they do come as an authority figure in their niche with testimonials which makes it a lot more easier to convert.

Some are however free to get started with and could be a more reliable place to get started as a beginner if it falls into your category.


If you are an absolute beginner, I recommend using affiliate network platform to get started as it will help you compare different products in your niche.

You can also add more niche product to promote as you begin to gain foothold in your business but it is important to focus on only one product at first.

The next step in starting your own affiliate marketing business is: Registering your website.

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