Affiliate publishers are always scanning the horizon for the next big opportunity. For many Affiliates, The Shareasale and CJ Affiliate marketplaces are often the starting point to find the most profitable and reliable merchants whose items and services can be promoted. In May 2021 Sitetrail surpassed Zen Business, SEMRush as well as a string of web hosting merchants like Scala Hosting, WHP, CloudWays and others who compete with Godaddy and Bluehost in the affiliate space. Sitetrail briefly became the highest EPC affiliate opportunity on the entire marketplace for Shareasale, but here is a full list of high paid affiliate opportunities:
Sitetrail (20% Commission)
The annual spend of a single digital marketing client can easily exceed $60K and Sitetrail provides a handsome 20% LIFETIME RECURRING commission on that. It is in line with the typical sales commission it’s competitors in New York provide to in-house sales staff, but as an agency, Sitetrail figured why not share this with savvy publishers who want to earn much more than what Godaddy, Bluehost, Zen Business and IncFile can offer their affiliates. The company has an unfair advantage in the sense that some of it’s media properties does not incur additional costs when onboarding more clients – allowing it to be one of the highest paying affiliate opportunities in the world, covering every single country worldwide. Selling a wide range of digital services including press releases, social media verification, SEO / Link Building, Web Design, Social Media Marketing means affiliates who can create relevant content will be able to build solid funnels to link up with to it. It is possible to join the B2B affiliate program directly with Sitetrail (or via Shareasale where affiliates will earn slightly less).
Batting Cages Inc (6% Commission)
The niche of netting, softball and baseball is extra large in the US. So any sports outlets willing to write frequently about batting cages can earn reasonable commission on items that easily exceeds $2000 per sale.
Burke Décor (8% Commission)
The unique appeal of Burke Décor is their wide range of luxury services that a publisher magazine can earn from repeatedly. From Wedding Favor to Garden, Fashion and Home Interior – they have deals that provide around 8% in affiliate commission and can easily sell items that exceeds $10K. See their affiliate program for more details.
Zen Business ($60/sale)
Zen Business has to be competitive since there are many competitors like Northwest Registered Agent, Legal Zoom and others who are homing in on this awesome market. There is no affiliate that is as valuable as TRUiC (The Really Useful Information Company) when it comes to business incorporation, accounting and registered agent services. Companies who do well at promoting startup services and web hosting also do exceedingly well in Digital Marketing services and Press Releases – and Sitetrail affiliates earn 2.5 to 8X more on digital marketing than what they earn on web hosting and business incorporation. Zen business also monetizes sideways by reselling Godaddy hosting – hence they are able to offer $60/sale which often exceeds what they make on their own services.
Wonderland Math ($25/sale)
The appeal hear is simple: It is global, which means affiliates can tap into the huge growth in population in both India and Africa with it’s young populations, as well as all of the US and developed countries. Maths have always been essential – and struggling with mathematics means that online mathematic classes, whether 1:1 tutoring or in bulk by means of video training, has massive demand. $25/Sale may not be much at all, however large publishers that can sign up hundreds of learners per week will still find it profitable.
Rockford Collection (10%/sale)
This is a unique opportunity to earn revenue from wedding bands, mens fashion and jewelry – and practically anything wedding related. It provides both a mass and luxury market segment which is great for magazines. (This is their affiliate program)
When CEO Nicholas Siha co-founded he brought a touch of genius to the market. Attempting to take on Zen Business and doing so quite successfully, IncFile is available for affiliates who give startup advise, web hosting reviews and service comparisons. It is strong in the areas of incorporation and online business – and it stepped up the game by nearly doubling what ZenBusiness offers. It is great for anyone who promotes Godaddy, Siteground, Bluehost and other startup resources like Sitetrail and SEMRush. (This is the IncFile Affiliate Program)
Better Legal ($200/sale)
Better Legal is quite smart: It must have looked at Zen Business, IncFile and Legal Zoom and said let’s create a business and revenue model that beats all of them: so EIN, Tax consulting and other accounting services were ways they used to increase the customer lifetime value on ordinary incorporation services. They HAVE more than doubled what Zen Business offers as standard. It is fair to say that when it comes to attractive commissions, Ross Buhrdorf, the CEO of Zen Business is yet to figure out how to outsmart Better Legal in the affiliate sphere – for now, Zen Business certainly beats Better Legal on UX and conversion optimization.
The Benefits of Affiliate Marketing to Both Merchants and Affiliates:
When the publishing industry came under assault from BigTech and CPC clicks went down, ad blockers popped up and other issues that Google and Facebook gets away with – made it impossible for many to persist with revenue models that were sustainable from 1998 to 2012. Smart publishers like Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, PCMag, CNET, Mashable and others moved quickly to identify better sources of revenue. Today, these publishers are able to stand their ground and remain somewhat profitable thanks to the revenue the affiliate industry provides, all within a perfectly legal framework provided by the FTC. As far as merchants are concerned, they have been able to take their businesses to new heights, reaching a global audience – and more importantly, to move away from Ad Fraud, Invalid Clicks and an array of harmful practices that both Google and Facebook gets away with legally in the EU and the US. Despite class action lawsuits, businesses are still being harmed – and Microsoft and Linkedin are also riding the bandwagon in earning from clicks that are quite tricky to justify to the advertiser.
It is therefore that affiliate marketing provides a safe haven to businesses who seek to bypass ad fraud and for publishers who had to re-invent themselves for a fairer revenue model.
What are the challenges of dealing with an affiliate marketplace like Shareasale or CJAffiliate?
Although these marketplaces provide a great start for both merchants and affiliates who lack a proper research strategy, in the case of Shareasale it is plagued with coupon review sites that offers no value at all except for attempting to rank for a brand’s own name. These affiliates merely exist to catch a free ride on lower-funnel buyers who do their final research when looking for reviews of any particular brand or service. Affiliate recruitment is also very expensive as these companies eye short-term revenue over the type of hard work that will actually connect highly profitable merchants with the right publishers. In the case of Sitetrail which rose to prominence only 5 months after registering as an affiliate, it came close to giving up on Shareasale after it was plagued by scammy coupon and review sites who hang out on the marketplace. If Sharesale CEO Brian Littleton had a better way to quickly assess and connect new highly profitable merchants with publishers who have a steep budget to invest in content, Shareasale would earn much more in sales compared to the pennies it earns from internal affiliate recruitment and a system that hides profitable affiliates in order to profit from the data.
The road ahead for the affiliate industry:
The industry size is promising and will expand to $7Billion over the next months. Publishers and merchants should continue pursuing this very viable route and collectively build an industry that is built on strong ethics where the consumer, merchant and affiliate all have trust in the system. The world no longer depends on Amazon to participate in the affiliate market: Even Apple launched an affiliate program for podcasts and Walmart has a credible alternative. This is quite easily one of the hottest trends in digital marketing for the next 7 years.