So, you would like know what is Commission Junction?
I am sure, I can help you out.
But I have to warn you, it might be completely different what you were expecting.
At least in my case it was. Some stuff can be pretty surprising, especially for starters. But let's go step-by-step.
If you want to see what is commission junction and why some big, reputable companies prefer CJ rather than their own affiliate, you will love this guide.
So, shall we start?
Name: Commission Junction
Product Type: Affiliate Marketing
Founder: Publicis Groupe, president Paul Tibbitt
Price: FREE to join
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Recommended: YES and NO
What is Commission Junction?
Commission Junction is affiliate network. This is crucial to understand. As network, it doesn't offer just one, but several affiliate opportunities.
It connects advertisers (product owners) with publishers (affiliates).
As of 2022, there are over 3000 merchants working with Commission Junction. It is one of the oldest affiliate networks, as it first started out in 1988.
Does Commission Junction Has Own Products?
As referred in previous paragraph, Commission Junction is an affiliate network, rather than affiliate program.
Therefore, they don't offer own Commission Junction products. So, the main value is really in the "network" possibilities.
Inside The Commission Junction
When searching for an answer to your query: "What is Commission Junction" by clicking on Getting Started button on far right, you are going to be closer to finding it out.
Additionally, you will find some answers to burning questions you might have. For instance:
How to start with promoting advertisers, how to monitor your orders and commissions, or how to automatise your results.
All this and much more are some essentials you might want to dig in, when starting out with Commission Junction.
Furthermore, there is button leading to your Account Access. It contains items such as Network Profile, Administration Settings and Websites.
Network Profile stands for some kind of presentation of yourself. You can compare it with profile on dating site. Only here you want to attract potential business partners and not opposite sex.
But the rules are almost the same!
You want to emphasise your qualities and eventually your earnings (we all know the guys with Ferrari as their main weapon when getting close to the potential love partner).
On the other side, you don't want to mention too much of your weaknesses.
Secret Tip: Worth to mention, that in case, you promote on social media, Commission Junction has started partnership with creatoriq.com.
This enables you to get perfect insights into your social media campaigns. I think, it is pretty awesome, that this kind of tool is available to you.
Additionally to this, under Websites you'll fill in details about your website, where you plan to promote chosen offers. You can have indeed more websites.
Lastly, Administrative Settings are for information about you as taxpayer. It might slightly change if you are an individual or business, but in general there is not so much different information that you'd need to provide.
When it comes to choosing the affiliate networks, there are 2 important metrics you want to pay attention to , when inside Commission Junction.
Network Earnings and EPC.
Network Earnings should speak for itself.
This green bar shows how well each advertiser is performing. Obviously as longer the green bar, as better. When there is new publisher it will be indicated as NEW.
EPC stands for Earnings Per Click.
In other words, it is metric how advertiser and publisher is performing based on earned commissions.
In real numbers: 7 Days ETC shows commission indication per 100 clicks and 3 Months ETC shows commission indication per 1000 clicks within the time frame.
Without a doubt, these numbers can help you determine if the advertiser is a real deal.
Besides, these two metrics, you can see more detailed description of each publisher after clicking on their profile.
By doing so, you can see for instance :terms of their affiliate program, social media channels, geographical areas with the best conversion rate and history of each publisher.
As you will read later on, there is variety of advertisers available for you to choose from.
Below are some advertisers with the best network earnings.
How Does Commission Junction Work?
In terms of functionality, Commission Junction doesn't operate on much different than any other affiliate network.
You can access the best tool from this network, by applying simple 6 steps formula:
- Create an Account
- Pick an offer from your NICHE
- Get Approved
- Create Your MARKETING CAMPAIGN around your offer
- Drive Traffic
- Make a SALE. Track and Scale
While I think the first three steps are pretty obvious and there is nothing to worry about, assuming you have chosen your niche already.
(If you haven't you really should do it before aiming to earn single penny. In case, you belong there, this can help.)
On the other hand, creating your MARKETING CAMPAIGN can be quite challenging, especially for folks who are beginning their affiliate marketing journey.
(In that case, I would advise to take a step back and consider joining one of the trusted affiliate training platforms.)
For you guys, who already have experience in affiliate marketing, you should know that not every vendor is allowing promotions on social media.
Therefore, if you use SEO and social marketing as primary traffic methods, you want to double check if your preferred advertisers does allow it or not.
In majority cases you are free to choose to traffic method (ORGANIC or PAID).
The last step (making a sale) doesn't require special explanation. Sure enough, it is one of the most important ones, so God help you to get there 😉
Is There Training Included inside Commission Junction?
There is detailed guide on how to use Commission Junction.
So, you can see how to get started, how to contact advertiser, how to place links within your website, and so on.
This information is definitely worth it. (omg, how many times I stumbled across programs without clear steps on how to use it)
On the other hand, if you would expect any affiliate training, you would be disappointed.
Platform below offers extraordinary Affiliate Marketing training and you can start for FREE AS WELL.
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Why You Might Want to Join CJ?
Reason 1:Reputable Brands
I was really surprised when I found out that, giant name like Tony Robbins for instance, is easier reachable via CJ affiliate website like through his own website.
There are plenty of other, reputable companies. To name a few: TripAdvisor, Samsung, Disney, RayBan, Nike and GoPro all use Commission Junction as affiliate network.
Without a doubt, you can join their program via CJ easier than elsewhere.
Reason 2:Free to Join
It would have been strange, if you'd have to pay to join affiliate network.
Don't you think?
But in today's marketing era, there are lot of money drainers or scams, who will offer you super low value "training" in exchange of money.
Example: Paying Social Media Jobs
So, the fact you won't pay nothing rather than $0 upon joining Commission, is definitely reason to join it!
Reason 3:Variety of Niches
Unlike other affiliate networks, when using Commission Junction as your affiliate network, you have almost no limits in terms of niche.
You see ClickBank is known for digital products, Share Shale on the other side for offering mostly physical products to promote and Amazon Associate is infamously known for low commissions.
So, regardless your niche, I am almost certain you'll find a product, that will bring value to your audience. If your niche is Personal Development, Health/Running, Business, Traveling, Marketing...you don't have to worry.
Reason 4:What is Commission Junction Guide
It is super helpful, that guys inside CJ dedicated certain space to getting started section.
At first it might look bit confusing and overwhelming, as the dashboard is jam packed with features.
Therefore, this guide will be appreciated by everyone. You can access it via button it the far right corner of your dashboard, or by typing particular term in the search bar.
Why You Don't Want to Join CJ?
Reason 1:Response Time of Customer Service
You see, it is pretty shocking that CJ with such a large network of (reputable) advertisers and publishers has not developed better customer service.
Especially for guys starting out, it might be HELPFUL to get instant support and help, not with weeks of delay, right?
Secondly, even if you are experienced affiliate marketer, sure enough, there will be time or situation you just want to need to ask someone.
Like possible issues with payment, account settings or link functionality.
Great customer service is essential in today's online world. Shame, that CJ team didn't pay bigger attention to that.
Platform below has 24/7 live Community and Exceptional Customer Service.
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Reason 2: It Can Be Harder to be Approved
This reason is mainly true for beginners.
As a matter of fact, many advertisers are considering ranking, traffic volume and eventually domain authority as decisive factors when deciding with who to work.
I think that makes perfectly sense.
It understandable, that as starting blogger or website owner, you don't have astonishing numbers.
Therefore, it might be hard to have your request being approved.
Reason 3: Account Closure When Inactive
Even so, it makes completely sense. When you don't use Commission Junction platform, you shouldn't be mad if they decide to close your account!
It might be super annoying when your account will be closed with some balance on it. As you might just not be aware of this commission.
Yours account will be closed after 3 months of inactivity.
Reason 4:Missing Affiliate Training
Even so, there is guide on how to use Commission Junction, you won't find any affiliate training.
In case, you have some other source of information on how to start affiliate marketing, or if you are experienced affiliate, you will not consider this as big issue.
But on the other hand, someone who just recently started out, might be confused which tool to use and how to use it.
I can imagine that for such an inexperienced folk is dashboard of CJ super confusing.
What Are The Alternatives to Commission Junction?
There are couple of others Affiliate networks that might spark your interest.
I already mentioned ClickBank, ShareSale, Amazon Associates.
Besides those, there are other affiliate networks worth of mentioning. For instance Rakuten, Awin, JVZoo, MaxBounty. Refersion.
It will most likely depend on your niche, which affiliate network will be the best fit for you.
Also, the type of affiliate marketing you are looking forward to. (CPA, CPC, pay-per-lead,...)
But really the great thing about affiliate marketing tough is, that you can combine networks you use.
So, if you want to promote digital product, you can find vendors on ClickBank, as well as on CJ and JVZoo.
One special affiliate network is offered via Wealthy Affiliate. This website is my number one recommendation for beginning affiliate marketers.
Negative Commission Junction Reviews
Nevertheless the fact, you find great quality products to promote on Commission Junction, it might come as shock to you, that there are quite negative reviews.
What is surprising even more, that those come from well-respected TrustPilot.com platform.
The majority of complaints are regarding their late or missing payments. So. this is something you should definitely consider upon joining in.
Below screenshot of their TrustPilot score. See how it differs from my number one recommendation?
What is Commission Junction? Final Outtakes
You see, Commission Junction is affiliate network, that connects advertisers and publishers on quite high level.
What I mean by that is that you don't find any other network where Tony Robbins will offer his partnership. The variety of REPUTABLE VENDORS is something what should give you edge when finding the best affiliate network.
Additionally, theirs helping tools such as Deep Link Generator, Widgets, Reports and Extensive Tracking are attractive and emphasise the high standards CJ offers.
On the other side, if you are complete newbie to affiliate marketing, I am not sure if you should jump straight away to Commission Junction as your first affiliate network.
There is no affiliate training or whatsoever.
This alone, can be quite difficult when creating your MARKETING CAMPAIGNS.
What really makes me be aware and not give 100% green light for Commission Junction are the negative reviews.
(On the other hand, I can barely imagine that giants like Tony Robbins, would risk their reputation by co-working with platform, that doesn't pay its affiliates. So, i think it really depends on which advertiser you will work with.)
Therefore mine YES and NO.
How Do I Earn Money Online? [You Can Too]
In case, you wonder, how do I earn money online, let me show you.
First of all, I felt in love with Affiliate Marketing (as majority CJ users) in 2018. I think it is by far the best way how to earn money online without investment.
Not only because of the low budget requirements, but also because of the following facts is Affiliate MARKETING, the holy grail when in search to build financial freedom only:
- NO STOCKS OF PRODUCTS
- NO CUSTOMER SERVICE
- NO PACKAGING, SHIPPING OR PRODUCT COMPLAINTS YOU NEED TO WORRY
Add the temptation of working whenever and wherever you want, and you have the ideal business model for starters.
Do you agree?
However, if you want to see results with affiliate marketing, you need to have access to sort of training hub. In other words, you need platform, that will teach you the AM fundamentals.
I am lucky enough, I found affiliate platform, that is responsible for results such as below:
- 6.2k in passive income from 21 Year Old College Dropout
- Single Mum, Earned over 100k in 4 Years Passive Income
- What about this guy? $1 million over 10 years in passive income
If you want to get access to 24/7 live community of +1.5 million users, weekly live training class, 70 lessons of affiliate training, 2 websites, keyword tracking tool and more, join me below.
I will be happy to show you, how you can too "have it all".
Great thing about this platform, is that you can START FOR FREE and if you like it, you can go for premium that's super affordable.
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1. Can I be Approved Without a Website?
Even so, it is not explicitly forbidden, chances that your application would be approved without a website are very low. Honestly, if you would place yourself into the position of product owner, would you want to work with someone without a website?
I don't see any other way to prove results and therefore value to the advertiser as own website's successes like traffic, sales and so on.
Only exceptions are YouTube channel and other Social Media Channels with a huge followers list.
2. Organic Traffic or Paid Ads?
As previously mentioned, the way of driving traffic to your offers is up to. You can use paid Google, Bing, Facebook or YouTube Ads.
Also, you can drive traffic completely on organic basis.
Only one thing to remember, not every advertiser allow social media promotion.
3. How is CJ Different to ClickBank?
ClickBank has solely digital products in their marketplace, whereas CJ offers majority different niches. So, you can find also physical products to promote.
In addition to the variety of choices, CJ comes better when it comes to tracking options. But by far, the biggest difference is in quality and reputation of vendors promoting on Commission Junction AND ClickBank. Unfortunately, 80 % of CB's products are pure quality.
On the other hand, whenever you purchase product on CB, you are automatically granted 30 days money back guarantee.
I would give CJ a 2 star review as well. I was stopped in the last part of the application process when they wanted my bank account and routing number and offered no other way to receive payment. So I sent them an email that was never replied to and walked away. I don’t want anyone sending money to my bank account, but me. I’m pretty paranoid about that. I wanted to have it sent to Vella, Cash App, Venmo, or even Paypal, but nope they won’t allow it and do not even want to talk about it.
Anyway, I like your review format and the fact that you went in to such detail on everything they had in their in back office for an affiliate. Thanks for the heads up on this company and its bad reviews, especially about affiliates receiving their commissions. That is not good. You’re quite correct in saying sham on them.
Hey there, Maylynn (DragonBlue). Thanks for sharing your own experience with our readers. I can understand that method of payment can be very sensitive for some folks. Their lack of flexibility played now against them. As you, and i can imagine that more people, walked away because of that. Not sure, if you know WA, but they use PayPal as platform, where you will get your commissions. I am sure, there are other platforms offering PayPal (or other suitable ones) as payment options. Cheers
Thanks for this review – I love the idea of a marketplace for affiliate links (bonus as I’ve just started a new website that I’ll be looking to monetize soon), but the Trustpilot reviews are a real worry…
Usually, I expect a few negative reviews just because people never read the fine print – but for Commission Junction to have so many seems like there must be something going on. Couple that with the horrible customer support that you’ve noted and I think I’ll try elsewhere.
Can you tell me a bit more about your top tip for affiliate marketing?
Hi Lisa. Thanks for stopping by and your comment 😀 The customer service is really something that should improve within CJ. The complaints are relevant and as I see it, it really depends on the advertiser, you will be working with. Unless, CJ is the subject that is keeping higher commission as they should, then it might be wiser to join the merchant affiliate program directly and skip CJ completely. Issues could be then, that some of the merchants are not available via other (even their own) platform. However, I think just trying is the only solution to find out. Risk is lower, as it is free to join.
My number one recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate as mentioned. Except the fact, there is comprehensive, regularly updated and actionable training, there are other reasons to join the platform. If I’d be choosing my affiliate hub once again, I would consider the 24/7 live community of more than 1.5 million people, exceptional customer service, tools included such as keyword tool, 2 websites, web hosting, etc. I wrote in-depth review about Wealthy Affiliate, if you’re interested . Let me know if you have more questions. Cheers
I see a lot of content and links to commission junction. I have read about it but I have never tried it. After reading your post and sharing the positive vibes of commission junction, it may be time for me to try this.
I will let you know how it goes and if I need any help then I will let you know, if that is OK.
Keep up the great work.
All the best,
Hey Tom. yes, please! I will be more than curious to receive your feedback about Commission Junction. I think it depends on the advertiser, you will be working, if you will be satisfied and happy. But I am super keen on to hear from you. Cheers!
This is a very well balanced article, which helps someone to make an informed decision. You have touched on various affiliate marketing platforms and given comparisons of them, which is a good thing as it helps someone to know what he or she is getting into.You have said it rightly and I agree with you 100%, that the best platform for beginners is Wealthy Affiliate, very true to that.
Hi Maybin. Thanks, for your comment. In my opinion Wealthy Affiliate is the best place for starting affiliates, because it provides in-depth and regularly updated affiliate training suited for people with different experience level. It can serve experienced guys, but most importantly, also the complete beginners. So, was I when I was starting out, and now, thanks to Wealthy Affiliate, I am earning money online.
Thank you for the heads up on Commission Junction. I had joined them several years back, but they closed my account because I didn’t make any sales. I hadn’t chosen any products, and I found out the hard way, they close inactive accounts.
I feel they could have at least given me a heads up first. Anyway, there are better affiliate networks out there. I have used Shareasale for years and have nothing bad to say about them.
Wealthy Affiliate is also an excellent Affiliate training platform that will help people become better at running their online business, and making money. It is the best training on the planet.
Hi Chas. Thanks for sharing your experience about Commission Junction. Nowadays, I believe they send notification email. But, either way, it might be pretty annoying, to find out that your account was canceled. The worst, if with some commissions on it. Sharesale is one of the better platforms. WA is far best in my eyes too. Cheers.
Yeah, CJ is really good and they are one of my favorite affiliate networks. Amazon really pissed me off when they lowered their commissions, but I’m glad CJ, ShareASale, and others still offer decent commissions.
Hi John. Happy you shared your experience with CJ. You belong to the luckier group which are happy with them 😉 They have a lot trustable vendors/advertisers, so I am sure, there is plenty of the “good ones” to chose from. Cheers
Commission Junction sounds like a good affiliate network, where we can find lots of affiliate products to promote on our websites. The biggest letdown is that they don’t provide any training, so people need to purchase an online training course or watch free YouTube videos.
I prefer to start at an all-in-one platform to learn affiliate marketing from scratch. Your number one recommendation gets a high score on Trustpilot, which gives people more confidence to try it. I will also look at it ASAP.
Hi Matt. Thanks for stopping by and your comment -;)Indeed, I found the missing training as one of the biggest issues as well. At least, they do provide guide on how to use CJ, but then again, it might be less useful, if yo want to apply it from scratch or on other platforms. Therefore, it might be difficult for beginners to use CJ to its fullest. On the other hand Wealthy Affiliate offers step-by-step training for beginners. It is the best affiliate training I know, so it’s definitely worth of checking it out. Cheers