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CJ Affiliate Review 2023 (Commission Junction): A Top Affiliate Network?

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CJ Affiliate Review 2023 (Commission Junction): A Top Affiliate Network?

Once upon a time, CJ Affiliate was one of the biggest names in the game of affiliate marketing networks. But is it still the dominant force it once was? Our CJ Affiliate review looks at how easy the network is to use, what brands you can promote, and how you get paid.

CJ Affiliate

  • Ease of Use

  • Stability

  • Customer Service

  • Link Creation Tools

  • Advertisers

Summary

Overall, CJ Affiliates is still an affiliate network with lots of potential for affiliate marketers to earn money. However, it might not be the best choice for affiliates in certain niches who might have trouble finding affiliate programs that match their audience.

Pros

  • Well-established, reputable affiliate network with 3000 merchants
  • Connected with big brands to promote
  • Lots of link creation tools
  • Easy to use (even for newbies)
  • Option to sell ad placement space on your website
  • Monthly payouts
  • Real-time analytics

Cons

  • No notice if your account is to be terminated (shouldn’t be a problem for legit users)
  • Poor customer service
  • Limited payment methods

CJ Affiliate Review

Despite recent negative feedback online, CJ Affiliates is not some standard scam that’s going to take your money and run. First launched in 1998 out of Santa Barbara, Commission Junction, more commonly known as CJ, is an honest business with big brands on its roster.

Most affiliate marketers will have heard of them if they aren’t already part of one of their affiliate programs. The biggest standout that CJ offers is big brands to collaborate with and the ability to also sell ad space.

On the other side, top complaints highlight how many affiliate programs have a high barrier to entry for emerging affiliates. For example, if you’re just starting out building your following and proving your worth as an affiliate marketer, you will struggle to get accepted into the programs that offer a good return.

Additionally, there seem to be some ups and downs to their customer service. In this case, “poor customer service” means difficult-to-contact customer service. Following the ‘Contact Us’ page will only find web chat support options rather than a telephone number.

This isn’t the end of the world because a quick Google search will bring up the number for you, but they are obviously pushing for publishers to get in touch via web chat which can be frustrating for more complicated issues.

Compared to other programs like FlexOffers, which provides each affiliate publisher with their own account manager, this isn’t ideal.

And this added feature offered by FlexOffers helps to set it apart. This can be especially helpful for beginners, as these account managers can even help you sell more by offering up tried and true tips and strategies!

So What Sets CJ Apart From Other Affiliate Networks?

cj affiliate review -  screenshot of graphs showing top affiliate programs
Taken from SimilarTech, 2022

According to SimilarTech, CJ Affiliate is the second biggest affiliate network in the world, second only to the Amazon Associates Program.

Sell Ad Placement Space

Affiliate marketing is all about finding products to promote to your audience with profitable programs that allow you to make money on each click or sale. But who doesn’t love extra ways of making money?

With CJ Affiliate, you can also choose to sell ad placement space on your website. This just means you can pick somewhere on your website with a bit of blank space and fill it with an ad for a little bit of extra dough.

Plus, some affiliate networks will generate an ad code for you to put on your page that will actually bring up several different ads. This means you don’t get to specifically select the ads that you feel would be relevant to your target audience. With CJ, you choose exactly what ads to put where on your own website.

Content Certified Program

1676103057 19 CJ Affiliate Review 2023 Commission Junction A Top Affiliate Network

One thing that CJ Affiliates offer that you won’t find as part of other affiliate networks is their content certification program. The program rewards content creators with quality content and high traffic.

Acceptance into their program means you get connected to over 600 top brands and are pre-approved for premium rates for maximum earnings.

Big Brands to Promote

The biggest draw the CJ Affiliate has is that you’ll find a lot of big names as part of their affiliate network. Not only does this contribute to your earning potential, but it’s a definite indicator CJs reliability and status in the world of affiliate marketing.

Brands like J.Crew, Barnes & Noble, and Office Depot all have affiliate programs you can take advantage of through CJ Affiliate.

How to Sign Up

To get started with CJ Affiliate as an affiliate marketer, you’ll want to sign up as a “publisher”. This is the term CJ Affiliate uses to differentiate from the advertisers looking to promote their brand.

  • CJ is FREE to sign up
  • The only stipulation is that you must be over the age of 18

You’ll have to input basic contact information and then wait for an email to confirm your email address before you can continue.

cj affiliate review - signup email

Once you click the link in the email, you’ll need to confirm you are at least over 18 years of age. You will also have to read their various policies and accept all their terms.

cj affiliate review - publisher agreement

Finally, you can get started with the onboarding process. This is the part that does take a little bit of time. As part of onboarding, you have to complete a network profile that details your plans for affiliate marketing, such as how you plan to reach people and answer how many unique visitors you get each month.

cj affiliate review - profile

There is an option to check the box saying you are “Not launched yet” if your affiliate site isn’t up and running but if that’s the stage you’re at be warned that getting approved for affiliate programs will be difficult.

At this stage, you will also input basic payment details to ensure you get paid and answer a few more questions about your company.

Admittedly, the entire process takes a little time, but it’s far from being the most complicated signup form you’re likely to come across in the affiliate world.

How to Use CJ Affiliate to Make Money

Once you’ve gone through the song and dance of signing up, you’re ready to get started. You’re obviously here for an honest CJ Affiliate review to determine if it’s actually worth signing up.

There are two areas where CJ Affiliate, I think, really stands out.

1676103058 942 CJ Affiliate Review 2023 Commission Junction A Top Affiliate Network

First of all, they (thankfully) still believe in the less is more approach when it comes to the CJ user interface. Your home page is clean and easy to navigate. Rather than cluttering affiliate dashboards with too much information, they’ve kept things nicely organized in dropdown menus.

1676103058 226 CJ Affiliate Review 2023 Commission Junction A Top Affiliate Network

From your dashboard, you can access:

  • Account 
  • Advertisers 
  • Links 
  • Widgets
  • Reports
  • Mail
  • Placements
  • Insights

Most of these are self-explanatory, “Insights” will have more advanced reporting than you’ll find under the “Reports” tab. “Widgets” is a bit of a funny one, but this is where you’ll find the drag-and-drop builder for creating product widgets which are essentially carousels or galleries or products you can embed into your site. Lastly, “Placements” is where to go to sell advertising space on your site.

How to Find Advertisers

For most affiliates, filtering advertisers is one of the big drawbacks to joining an affiliate marketing network. Now, no one is denying CJ could stand to improve the UX of their search function, but in exchange for the absolute mess, you get a pretty decent search algorithm and the ability to filter by key criteria.

1676103059 24 CJ Affiliate Review 2023 Commission Junction A Top Affiliate Network

Most importantly, you can search affiliate programs by earning potential. You can filter all advertisers by:

  • 7-Day EPC (Earnings-per-click)
  • 90-Day EPC
  • Network earnings
1676103059 167 CJ Affiliate Review 2023 Commission Junction A Top Affiliate Network

You can also perform general searches and filter by basic criteria such as:

  • Advertiser type
  • Advertiser status
  • Serviceable area
  • Language
  • Advertiser’s Country
  • Geographic Source
  • Currency

Though most of these aren’t going to be that useful for affiliates trying to narrow down niche programs or target profitable programs.

It’s not quite as simple as finding an affiliate program, signing up, and off you go. Most of CJ’s advertisers have quite a high barrier to entry when it comes to getting approved for their program. Keep this in mind when considering which brands to form an affiliate relationship with if you’re just starting out.

Once you’ve been approved for an affiliate program, you’re ready to start putting links onto your website or social media. Of course, this is how affiliates earn a commission.

Affiliate link creation systems vary from being very mundane to exceptionally creative. Commission Junction’s link creation tools are closer to the “exceptionally creative” end of the scale, though with some room for improvement.

The “deep link generator” and the “page-based link” tool are the two main tools you’ll use for creating links.

The deep link generator allows you to create an affiliate link to a specific page. Comparatively, the page-based link creator generates a string of JavaScript to include on your site. Every link you then create won’t need all the affiliate sticky-on bits, it can just be a regular URL, but you’ll still get credit for clicks/sales.

Lastly, as mentioned, you can also navigate to the Widgets tab to create slideshows and tables of products to put on your site.

How to Get Paid

You’re likely to find more than one CJ affiliate review that claims the whole thing is a scam. There is both positive and negative customer feedback on review forums but remember—context is important.

Many of the negative CJ affiliate reviews come from people saying their account was closed without being paid out, etc.. Still, they may not have been running an honest business website or met CJ’s standard criteria.

Take it with a pinch of salt.

Payment Threshold

You first need to know that you can’t withdraw any money until you’ve earned a minimum of $50.

Once you’ve met that threshold, you can set a minimum on your account so that you will only be paid when that minimum is met.

For example, if I set my minimum to $1000, I will not get paid until my CJ account has accumulated $1000 or more in commissions.

You can change your minimum whenever you want but it will only apply to the next payment cycle.

Payment Methods

As mentioned, depending on your country, you’ll receive payment via direct deposit. If you live somewhere where this payment method is not supported, the only other option for CJ international payments is to link your Payoneer account.

At this time, there is no option to pay out to PayPal or any other service.

Payment Timeframe

CJ pays on a recurring payment cycle which is both a positive and a negative, depending on how you look at it.

On one hand, you will know consistently that on the 20th of each month, your account will pay out whatever you have earned.

Unfortunately, if you need access to that cash before the 20th, you’re SOL, my friend. CJ cannot expedite or release payment in advance.

Who is CJ Affiliate Best For?

The gist of this CJ Affiliate review is that affiliate marketers across various niches will find it a great network. New affiliates and old pros alike are likely to find an affiliate program to contribute to their earning potential.

However, it could be argued that CJ is not for the super-niche website owner simply because most of the advertisers they work with are big names or general suppliers. This means you’re not likely to find an affiliate program for anything really specific.

Lastly, this isn’t so much a comment on CJ as it is just on affiliate marketing in general; it’s probably not worth signing up with an affiliate network like CJ unless you already have an active website with a certain number of unique visitors each month. You can spend a lot of time applying for affiliate programs and creating links, etc., but none of that counts for anything if you aren’t generating traffic.

Summary

The main thing to highlight in this CJ affiliate review is that contrary to what some people say on the internet—it’s not a scam. Commission Junction has been around for 25 years and counting; it’s a legit affiliate network.

Plus, in terms of the CJ affiliate interface, the brands associated with the affiliate programs, and the profit potential, our honest review is that CJ affiliate is actually one of the best networks out there.

If you’re new to it all, check out our beginner’s guide to affiliate marketing to find out what you need to know.



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5 Types of Content That Will Attract Ready-to-Buy Prospects

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5 Types of Content That Will Attract Ready-to-Buy Prospects

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

They say that content is king — but not all digital content is created equal. While most digital content can help increase awareness for your brand, the most valuable content is designed to draw in warm prospects who are ready to make a purchase from you.

Of course, even the best content isn’t likely to result in a purchase on the first exposure. The marketing rule of seven indicates that consumers must be exposed to your messaging at least seven times on average before they decide to make a purchase. While this may often be the case, strong digital content will go a long way in lowering this total.

Related: 5 Digital Content Types Prospective Buyers Love to Engage With Online

1. Email campaigns

Email marketing remains one of the most effective methods for communicating with warm leads and staying in touch with existing customers to ensure they will buy from you again. Not only are emails far more likely to be read than other types of content, but their average return on investment towers over other options.

According to the HubSpot Blog, most marketers see an average open rate of 46-50% and a clickthrough rate of 2.6-3% — numbers that far outpace the engagement levels of social media and other popular forms of content.

Even if they are mostly comprised of previous customers, email lists are an essential marketing tool because they are made up of people who agreed to receive additional messaging from you. This fact alone already makes them far more qualified leads than someone who randomly stumbles across your blog.

2. Personal engagement on social media

While the overall engagement and reach of many social media platforms have declined, there is still much to be said for the potential these platforms offer for fostering one-on-one engagements with your warmest leads.

When marketers comment strategically on other people’s posts, actively participate in relevant groups and conversations, and respond to the comments and messages they receive, it helps create a meaningful dialogue with their target audience.

By pairing this personalized engagement with relevant, authoritative content (including videos, polls and more), you can leverage social media to nurture warm leads.

3. Cost calculators

Most companies have at least some kind of on-site content marketing strategy, which usually revolves around blogging. A blog can be undeniably beneficial for building SEO and domain authority, but depending on the type of content you create, it isn’t always going to create warm leads.

However, if your website content focuses on the customers who are ready to buy now, you can greatly increase your own sales potential — and one of the best ways to do this is with a cost calculator.

From calculating the cost of shipping a car across the country to determining how much it would cost to build your own website, these tools are inherently targeted at warm leads who are ready to make a buying decision. In this case, providing useful budgeting and planning information directly influences the user’s purchasing decision, providing a powerful way of reaching warm leads.

Related: 4 Steps to Writing Content That Converts

4. Webinars

Webinars have become an increasingly popular digital content option, and for good reason. When webinars are promoted to the right audience, they can become far more engaging and attractive to warm leads than a blog post covering the same topic would be.

The simple fact of displaying content in an audiovisual format helps make the webinar feel like an event in its own right. With an engaging topic and professional presenters, you can build a large audience. And when the topic of the webinar itself ties into your offerings, you can create a natural segue into how you can help viewers solve their most pressing problems.

Webinars can be even more effective when paired with other content, such as an e-book or follow-up video lessons. When done right, webinars can be an excellent resource for collecting email addresses and other information from warm leads who are most likely to be interested in your services.

5. Software demos

Admittedly, this digital content option doesn’t apply to every industry. However, there is a wide range of companies that offer software services, addressing everything from tracking logistics and customer relationships to managing the back end of a website.

A software demo gives warm leads the opportunity to try the service before they commit to a purchase. Firsthand interaction and experience with the software is ultimately far more convincing than a series of sales calls could ever be, as this helps buyers clearly determine whether or not a particular product works for them.

It should be no surprise, then, that opt-out free trials see an incredible 48.8% conversion rate. It’s worth noting, too, that companies that don’t sell software can use similar “trial” options, such as a two-week trial for their services. Trials and demos appeal to the warmest buyers, who often use them to finalize their purchase decision.

Related: 5 Steps for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy That Drives Business Results

While regularly updating a blog or social media profile can be useful as part of your content marketing strategy, it is essential that brands in every niche focus on the types of content that are poised to deliver the greatest return.

By focusing on the types of content that are most likely to capture warm prospects in the first place, you can turn more leads into sales and maximize the success of your content strategy.

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Broaden Your Horizons by Learning to Play the Piano with Skoove

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Broaden Your Horizons by Learning to Play the Piano with Skoove

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Running a business can be all-consuming. However, business people who only talk about work can sometimes struggle to network and socialize, ironically stunting their potential for growth as salespeople and entrepreneurs. That’s why taking up a hobby and developing a skill that might not relate directly to your work can help your company and career.

For a Memorial Day sale running through 11:59 p.m. PT on May 31, you can get a lifetime subscription to Skoove Premium Piano Lessons for only $119.99 (reg. $1,198). Rated 4.5/5 stars on the App Store, this platform is designed to help users develop their piano skills with interactive lessons powered by artificial intelligence.

Skoove uses cutting-edge AI technology that can recognize notes as you play them and then offer adjustments and notes in real time. With this approach, the platform can teach you a wide range of chart-topping songs with over 400 lessons and thousands of instructional videos. With the subscription, you can study tracks by artists ranging from the Beatles to Bach.

Skoove is also convenient to use and practice with. It’s compatible with all pianos and keyboards, including USB/MIDI and acoustic ones. It also works with both iOS and Android operating systems on tablets, smartphones, and computers. To broaden your horizons, consider adding it to your life today.

Remember that during a special Memorial Day sale that runs through 11:59 p.m. PT on May 31, you can get a lifetime subscription to Skoove Premium Piano Lessons for only $119.99 (reg. $1,198) with code ENJOY20 at checkout.

StackSocial prices subject to change.

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Save on Business Travel for Life This Memorial Day with an $80 Deal

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Save on Business Travel for Life This Memorial Day with an $80 Deal

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

Growing businesses around the world rely on traveling salespeople and representatives to fuel expansion. For those in the accounting department who are trying to make enough room for airline ticket budgeting, you can do them a lot of favors by hooking up yourself or a team member with this special deal.

Through 11:59 p.m. PT on May 31, you can get a lifetime subscription to this OneAir Elite Plan for only $79.97 (reg. $790). This deal gets you indefinite access to OneAir’s deals on business, first, premium, and economy class flights to and from destinations of your choosing and interest. These deals include mistake fares and advantageously priced ones that happen to pop up.

OneAir’s platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to scan the web around the clock for deals so that they are ready for your team when someone needs to hit the road. In addition to getting to choose up to 10 departure airports with deals, Elite users can also take advantage of OneAir’s one-on-one business and first-class planning support.

Conveniently, the OneAir Mobile App lets you access these deals, book trips, and complete bookings all in one place. It is available for both iOS and Android devices.

One recent user, Ashok, who saved $1,080 on flights using OneAir, wrote, “I am so pleased with my decision to sign up with OneAir! Just booked a super cheap flight deal to Vancouver along with 5 nights of hotel stays.”

Remember that only through 11:59 p.m. PT on May 31, you can get a lifetime subscription to this OneAir Elite Plan for only $79.97 (reg. $790).

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