Affiliate marketers looking for opportunities to monetize their blog, email list or social media accounts have no doubt come across CJ, a very popular affiliate network. It facilitates partnerships between brands with something to sell, and publishers looking for offers to promote.
Here’s what you need to know if you are interested in working with CJ as an affiliate marketer.
What is CJ Affiliate?
CJ, formerly known as Commission Junction, is a well known affiliate marketing network founded in Santa Barbara CA in 1998.
The CJ affiliate program currently reaches over 1 billion global customers monthly, with over $1.8 billion paid out annually in publisher commissions.
It is well-regarded in the affiliate marketing space, and is frequently included in articles of the best affiliate networks. It has received awards from 13 different organizations including Forbes, AffiliateBenchmarks, and Pinnacle Awards.
However, not all CJ affiliate reviews are positive. While TrustRadius lists many glowing reviews from publishers who use CJ, Trustpilot lists complaints from affiliate marketers. Most complaints relate to customer support and commission payments.
How Does CJ Affiliate Work?
CJ is a performance marketing network. First, you sign up as either an advertiser or a publisher.
Advertisers are companies that have an offer they want to sell through affiliate marketing.
Publishers can include influencers, bloggers, brand ambassadors or virtually anyone with an online audience that may be in the market for the types of offers available. Publishers bring offers to their audience, and if someone takes the advertiser’s desired action they get paid.
CJ provides the infrastructure for these partnerships by allowing brands to create their offers (and terms) and then helping marketers find those offers, create referral links and get paid.
How is CJ Affiliate Different From Other Affiliate Networks?
CJ has decades of experience in affiliate marketing, which means it has plenty of time to learn what both advertisers and publishers need. It offers:
1. Lots of great offers. CJ works with over 4000 brands in multiple categories. Publishers have access to some big name and high-quality companies such as Barnes & Noble, Blue Apron, IHG, Office Depot, Overstock, Intuit Turbotax, Grammarly, Fiverr, and more.
2. In-depth reporting and analytics. Known for its robust real-time tracking and analytics, CJ offers omni-channel tracking that is compliant with privacy requirements. Omni-channel includes online and offline tracking across multiple devices (including in-app), and can even include phone calls and in-store tracking. Publishers and advertisers can both analyze performance using a variety of metrics, including conversion rates, devices and browser type and–most importantly–commissions.
3. Support for top publishers. If your site gets at least 10,000 visitors a month and/or you have a significant social media presence– and you publish in the following categories: style, home, tech, business or lifestyle– you can apply to CJ’s Content Certification program. (There are other requirements; for example, your site can’t primarily use paid search for traffic, and must be in English.) If approved, you can connect automatically to top brands, and get preapproved for premium rates.
4. Strong onboarding. CJ has very strong onboarding and educational tools that can be helpful for both new and experienced affiliate marketers. You can follow the latest CJ news at junction.cj.com.
5. Excellent linking tools. Affiliate links are trackable links that help publishers make money. When the link leads to the desired action (click for PPC Pay Per Click or customer for customer/sign up for CPA Cost Per Acquisition), the marketer earns a commission. You’ll use CJ to create links, and you can also use its Deep Link Generator tool which allows you to create tracking link to a brand site. It even offers tools to help publishers automatically detect and convert existing URLs into trackable links. All of these tools can be a huge time-saver for sites with lots of content, and can help increase revenues quickly.
6. Lots of payment options. When you do make money, CJ makes it easy to get paid. It offers two monthly payouts, and you can get paid in over 150 currencies via direct deposit or using Payoneer, which allows you to get paid in your local currency.
What are the Sign Up Requirements for CJ Affiliate?
The sign up requirements for CJ vary depending on whether you are an advertiser or publisher.
Advertisers, which are the companies looking for others to promote their products, must provide information about sales, conversion methods, views, etc.
To join CJ as a publisher, you must be at least 18 years old with an active email. You’ll need to have an active website, and you must provide your top-level domain name URL (http:// or https://).
What Affiliate Programs are Available with CJ Affiliate?
CJ Affiliate has an extensive advertiser network. Offers are available in many categories: accessories, art/photos/music, automotive, beauty, books/media, business, buying and selling, careers, clothing/apparel, computers and electronics, department stores/malls, education, entertainment, family, financial services, food and drinks, games and toys, gifts and flowers, health and wellness, home and garden, insurance, legal, marketing, military, online services, recreation and leisure, sports and fitness, telecommunications and travel.
Within each of those categories you’ll find a variety of offers that may be a fit for your digital marketing efforts.
What are CJ Affiliate’s Payment Methods?
CJ Affiliate currently offers three types of payout methods to its publishers:
CJ does not pay by check or PayPal. The minimum payment amount varies by currency; for example for USD or CAD it is 50, and for GBP and EUR it is 25. In some currencies, direct deposit will be sent as a wire transfer which may incur a wire transfer fee.
Transactions close twice a month and are generally paid out the following month on the 20th or 28th of the month, though there are exceptions. Publishers who do not get paid in USD, GBP or EUR may get paid the month after that, and are offered the ability to sign up with Payoneer and get paid in USD if they want to get paid more quickly.
All of this information is disclosed in the support documentation.
Which is it: CJ Affiliate or Commission Junction?
Technically, Commission Junction LLC is the registered name of the company. But if you look through the material on the website, www.cj.com, you will notice that CJ is used in writing and branding. Whether you call it the CJ Affiliate Network or Commission Junction when talking to others, it probably doesn’t matter. hen writing you may want to use CJ.
How Do I Sign Up for CJ Affiliate?
To sign up for CJ, you’ll fill out the signup form on their website. The button is easy to find right in the navigation bar, and once you click on it you will arrive at a page where you can select how you want to sign up, either as an advertiser or a publisher. You must be 18 years old to sign up.
On the sign up page for advertisers you will find a short form to fill out along with three conditions you need to agree to and follow in order to be a candidate;
Own and operate an active website
You agree to pay affiliate commissions
Your website doesn’t contain material related to adult content or gaming
The questions on the form are typical and centered around standard metrics such as monthly views and annual sales along with a few other questions such as if you work with any other affiliate marketing networks.
For publishers the sign up process is even easier. All you need to signup is an active email, your name, country, and a password. Once you verify your email you will need to accept the terms of service for three different agreements/policies before accessing your account. Once you have agreed to the terms you have access to your account. Note that your account may be deactivated due to inactivity so you may want to wait until you are ready to implement affiliate marketing programs into your content before you sign up.
The Bottom Line: CJ Affiliate
Is it worth it to sign up for the CJ affiliate program?
If you are serious about success in affiliate marketing it is worth it to sign up for CJ and find out whether it has offers for products your audience may want. Because it is one of the top affiliate marketing networks and works with many reputable advertisers, it is definitely worth exploring.