Before being acquired by ValueClick in 2003, Commission Junction was launched in 1998 as Commission Junction. In 2014, it was renamed “CJ Affiliate by Conversant.” However, any affiliate marketers I know still refer to them as CJ.
At one point, CJ was the best affiliate network in the world. But let’s see if that’s still the case today.
CJ keeps things as simple as possible for a new affiliate: you’re either an ‘Advertiser’ or a ‘Publisher,’ so there’s no space for misunderstanding. Nevertheless, going through the sign-up process for the first time in almost 20 years was an exciting exercise.
You must first complete some basic contact details, after which you will receive an email confirmation. To go to the next stage, click the link in the email to provide some basic payment information and create a password. You must then include info about your firm, as well as information about your blog or website. CJ does inquire about the number of unique users your site receives each month. However, they also include a “Not Launched Yet” option.
However, I would never apply to an affiliate program without having an active website — it is a simply good idea to have some sort of online presence. Overall, the CJ Affiliate by Conversant application procedure is pleasant and straightforward compared to other networks.
Brands to Promote on CJ Affiliate Program
CJ had always knocked the competitors to the curb when they had notable brands on its books. In that aspect, this network hasn’t altered at all.
Here’s a basic rundown of the kinds of businesses you can apply to represent with CJ:
- Barnes and Noble is a bookstore that specializes in books.
- Lowe’s Customer Service
CJ continues to have the best variety of major big brands of any affiliate network. When it comes to bringing affiliate marketers and other advertisers to this network, brands like Zappos, Verizon, Barnes & Noble, and IHG (International Hotel Group) have a lot of influence.
Are the remainder of CJ Affiliate by Conversant’s 2,869 advertisers (as I counted) also impressive? Nope. You won’t care, though, because CJ has plenty of big hitters.
The Ease of Using
Except for a few cosmetic changes here and there, the CJ Affiliate by Conversant dashboard has mainly stayed the same over the years. Thankfully, your primary “workspace” is uncluttered. It gives you a fast overview of your account, and I enjoy the layout because it has a lot of white space, making it easy to read and browse.
The majority of the operations you require are contained within a series of selection menus:
- Advertisers Widgets
- Statistics nerds will enjoy reports.
- E-mail – this is your internal CJ e-mail.
- Positioning (explained later)
- Observations (advanced reporting)
It’s because having them all in one location prevents them from cluttering up other areas of the dashboard. The CJ affiliate layout is one of my favorites because it doesn’t appear or feel busy, aided by understated color schemes.
Affiliate Programs to Join
Despite the fact that this aspect of their interface irritates me at times, the end product is well worth the effort. To get going, go to the top menu and select ‘Advertisers.’ From there, you may do quick searches for programs using keywords or the advertiser’s name.
This method works well for broad searches, but because your specialization is specific, the applications you seek will mirror that. You can search not only by category but also by:
- Type of advertiser
- Status of the Advertiser
- An area that can be used
- Country of the Advertiser
- Geographical Origin
Finding Affiliates on CJ
Discovering programs is simple once you browse by category, but you’ll clearly want to go for ones that pay well and have statistics to back them up, such as their EPC. Every single program on CJ can be filtered using the following criteria:
- EPC for 7 days
- Earnings from the EPC Network for the last three months
- It’s a good idea to filter by ‘Network Earnings – high to low,’ because companies with a top score here also have high EPCs and pay well.
However, you can store your searches, which is good given the number of options you can play with. But now comes the fun part: selecting ads based on their earnings potential.
This is where CJ shines. Assume you want to find affiliate programs for your financial services site. When you sort by EPC, you’ll see a number of brand new and unproven affiliate programs at the top. After that, each program is listed according to its real 7 or 90-day EPC. As a result, it seems and feels clumsy to use.
This is something that every affiliate program should aim for. The majority of CJ programs have a high barrier to entry, in general. Before being approved, you must create sales on the network, but you can’t generate sales until you’ve been accepted into at least one program.
When it comes to new affiliates, far too many CJ merchants have this chicken-and-egg approach.
How to Make Affiliate Links
It used to be that creating affiliate links on CJ was a simple process. It worked, but it wasn’t particularly impressive. However, the times have changed.
The normal method of creating links has remained primarily unchanged: select ‘Links’ and then ‘Search.’ Then pick your advertiser and look over the available creatives. This design is a disaster, primarily because their focus is so strongly on mobile-optimized deals that push the types of links you can build off the main menu.
- The tabbed layout is far superior to this. CJ compensates for this shortcoming by providing two more link-building tools.
- The expected bookmarklet for your browser is the ‘Deep link generator,’ which allows you to build a connection to a specific page of a joined affiliate network.
Basically, you can use widgets to make a slideshow, collage, or grid with products from any affiliate network you’ve signed up for. And because the entire procedure is drag-and-drop, even a complete novice can create product “tables.” Finally, we should include ‘Placements,’ which are areas on your website where you can allow advertisers to “buy” advertising space.
CJ Affiliate Program’s Payment
It’s now time to look at when affiliates are paid, how they’re paid, and how much they have to earn before they’re paid.
Timeline for Payment
Payments for locked commissions are made on the 20th of each month, and then it’s just a matter of waiting for your check or direct deposit to arrive. This usually takes no more than seven days.
Methods of Payment
You can receive payment by check or by direct deposit. However, using ‘CJ International Payments,’ you can be paid into a Payoneer account.
CJ remains one of the finest affiliate networks, particularly for newbies. They give you a great collection of tools on a reliable platform with a lot of help. They may not have all of the bells and whistles of others, but not everything that glitters is gold.