Commission Junction was founded in 1998 and was purchased by ValueClick in 2003.
It was relaunched in 2014 as “CJ Affiliate by Conversant.”
And they are still referred to as CJ by many affiliate marketers nowadays.
CJ was one of the world’s top affiliate networks.
But let’s see whether that remains true today.
In this CJ Affiliate Program review, I’m going to dive deep into the upsides and downsides of the program.
But before I can say CJ Affiliate Program is good, I have to ask a very important question: is affiliate marketing even worth it?
Like other affiliate programs, we get pitched an ultimate dream…
Run an amazingly profitable business where you don’t have to worry about anything – no products, no inventory, no shipping, no customer service.
You only need to worry about putting this product in front of someone who wants to buy it, and the rest is money in the bank.
The best part?
“You can do it from anywhere in the world!”
Sounds pretty great… but is it?
It is 100% possible to make money with affiliate marketing – the real question is: is CJ Affiliate Program the best affiliate marketing program out there?
Well, the most difficult (and therefore most valuable) skill in the internet business is driving traffic AKA getting people to visit a website.
Later on, I’ll talk about why it’s so difficult to drive quality traffic.
But for now, let’s just say it isn’t exactly an easy process (unless you have a proven traffic source for the exact product you’re trying to sell).
If you really break it down, is affiliate marketing much different than a 9-5 job? You work for someone else, sell their stuff, and they can fire you at any time.
You don’t really control anything, despite doing the most important part – driving traffic.
To be 100% clear, I’m not saying affiliate marketing won’t work. If you’ve followed my blog for long, you’ll know that I’ve made money myself as an affiliate marketer (selling women’s health products).
I have several friends that make over $20,000/mo as affiliate marketers.
What you don’t hear about is the $200,000 they had to invest UP-FRONT to start making that money.
But let’s suppose that you REALLY want to work that laptop-entrepreneur lifestyle.
What if there was a way you could build a legitimate recurring income stream?
Recurring income that doesn’t require:
- Tens of thousands of dollars and months of time before seeing $1
- Doing the heavy lifting, but only getting a small % of the sale
- Living at the whim of another person that could take it all away if they feel like it
Something that could net you anywhere from a few thousand, to over $10,000 every single month, practically on auto-pilot.
A recurring income stream that you could build in a few hours per day, grow as big (or small) as you want, and doesn’t leave you at the mercy of another person?
If that sounds interesting, you might make a good Digital Landlord.
It kind of takes the nice parts of affiliate marketing but transfers the control back to YOU.
All that being said, let’s continue to the CJ Affiliate Program review.
CJ Affiliate Summary
Year Established: 1998
Number Of Merchants: 2,800+
Offer Types: CPA, Lead, Sale, Placement
What Is CJ Affiliate?
CJ Affiliate, or Commission Junction, is one of the most popular affiliate marketing platforms for both physical and digital products and was founded in 1998. It began operations at a time when the Internet was very different from what it is now.
Affiliate marketing was not promoted using Google algorithms, and there wasn’t any competition.
CJ was a rapidly expanding online business, and many affiliate marketers made millions from it.
In 2003, ValueClick bought Commission Junction. Conversant CJ Affiliate was adopted as its new name in 2014 to reflect the company’s rapid growth.
The core business of the company, however, is unchanged.
CJ Affiliate continues to be a top affiliate network with thousands of advertisers and over 1.8 Billion dollars in affiliate commissions each year.
CJ Affiliate is second in market share to Amazon Associates, based on a Market Analysis by Datanyze.
Amazon Associates is preferred among affiliate marketers because of its extensive product range. CJ Affiliate is the dominant platform that offers digital products instead of giant corporations like Rakuten, and ShareASale.
CJ Affiliate is not complete without the quality of its affiliates; CJ Affiliate is also a leader in this field.
CJ Affiliate ranks among the top ten affiliate websites in the world, according to SimilarTech.
You’ll need to fill out some basic contact information first. After that, you will receive a confirmation email.
You will then be directed to the next step by clicking the link in the email. You’ll need to provide your basic payment information and a password here.
Next, you will need to add information about your business:
You can also provide some information about your website and blog.
CJ would ask how many unique visitors your website gets each month. But they also offer the “Not Launched Yet” option.
However, I wouldn’t apply to affiliate-networks without an active website. It’s best to have a web presence, at least.
Overall, the CJ Affiliates by Conversant application is simple and less complicated than other networks.
What Brands Can You Promote?
When it came to large brands, CJ consistently outperformed the competition.
The network hasn’t changed much in this way.
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of companies you can apply to through CJ.
CJ continues to have the most significant number of brands on an affiliate network.
Names like Zappos or Verizon, Barnes & Noble, IHG (International Hotel Group), and others attract advertisers to this network.
So, are the other 2,869 advertisers (I counted them!) on CJ Associate by Conversant equally impressive?
CJ’s got enough big hitters will make you forget.
Ease Of Use
Conversant’s CJ Affiliate Dashboard has remained almost the same, with only a few changes over the years.
It allows you to get a quick overview of your account.
Many of the functions that you really need can be found in dropdown menus:
- Widgets (explained later)
- Reports – for stats nerds
- Mail – your internal CJ mail
- Placements (explained later)
- Insights (advanced reporting)
Having them all in the same place like this is essential because it prevents them from cluttering up other parts of your dashboard.
The CJ affiliate interface has a unique look and feels that I love; it doesn’t feel crowded, thanks to the muted colors.
I feel numb from staring at affiliate dashboards with 15 different shades. It’s enough to cause a headache.
CJ feels lighter and airier in comparison.
These devices score high on the ease of use scale.
Finding Affiliate Programs
I find this interface annoying, but the end result was worth it.
To quickly search for programs by keyword or advertiser name, go to the top menu and select “Advertisers.”
You can also search for specific categories or by:
- Advertiser type
- Advertiser status
- Serviceable area
- Advertiser’s Country
- Geographic Source
This seems a bit excessive to me. Each sub-menu extends as well, making it appear and feel cluttered. I don’t know the answer, but UX dies on this screen.
You may still save your searches, which is useful given the variety of parameters available.
Now I can get down to business: sorting advertisements based on their earning potential.
CJ is at its best here.
Let’s assume you’re looking to affiliate programs for financial services blogs.
You can search for programs in any category. However, you will want to look for well-paying programs and have the metrics to support their EPC.
CJ lets you filter all programs by:
- 7 day EPC
- 3 month EPC
- Network Earnings
You can filter your results by “Network Earnings” – high or low. This is because brands with high scores here have higher EPCs and often pay very well.
EPC allows you to sort directly and find many new, untested affiliate programs that appear first.
Then each program listed after that is based on its actual 7- or 9-day EPC.
It looks and feels awkward to use.
But they can have it because CJ makes it easy to find profitable programs.
This is precisely what every affiliate network should strive to achieve.
CJ programs generally have a high barrier of entry.
Before being approved, you need to make sales on the network. But, it’s impossible to make sales unless you have been accepted to at minimum one program.
CJ merchants tend to be too rigid when it comes time to sign new affiliates.
Creating Affiliate Links
Creating CJ Affiliate Links was once pretty simple.
It was a reasonable effort, but nothing to be proud of.
But times have changed.
The basic method of creating links remains the same: you click on “Links” and click on “Search.”
Select your advertiser, then review the creatives.
This layout is a disaster if you ask me. It focuses too heavily on mobile-optimized products that it limits the types of links you can create.
Pepperjam’s tabbed layout looks so much better than that.
CJ has two other tools that you can use to create a link.
The ‘Deep Link’ generator allows you to create links to specific pages of an affiliate program.
However, you will also receive the ‘Page Based Link’ tool.
All sales are still credited to you.
But it doesn’t end there.
You can also make product widgets for your site.
This lets you create a slideshow, collage, or grid that features products from any affiliate programs you’ve joined.
The entire process is easy, so even complete beginners can create “tables” of products.
Although I’m not sure why they are called product “widgets,” the important thing is that they work.
I must also mention “Placements,” where advertisers can “buy” advertising space from your website.
Although their affiliate link creation systems may not be perfect, CJ is well ahead of the rest in innovation.
How Does CJ Affiliate Work?
After you sign up for CJ Affiliate, your Publisher dashboard will become visible and provides a snapshot of your performance as an affiliate marketer.
You should view this dashboard’s Performance Summary section with particular attention.
Based on your selection, here’s the result.
- Commission: Total payments from lead generation and affiliate sales.
- Sales: The number of sales you have generated
- Lead: Total number of leads you have promoted
- Clicks: The number of times someone clicked your affiliate links
- Impressions: The number of times that your affiliate ads were seen
- Publisher EPC: Your earning potential is measured by your Earnings Per Hundred Clicks (EPC). If, for instance, you received 1000 clicks on affiliate links and earned $5,000, your EPC would be $500.
- Conversion: The number of clicks you made that resulted in sales or leads
This section will help you gauge how well you are performing as an affiliate on CJ.
The Messages section is another critical area, which allows you to view all CJ announcements.
CJ publisher dashboards display a list of the most recent advertisers. This section lets you view popular advertisers and recommendations based on your profile.
Links to the other sections of your account are at the top right-hand corner.
- Account (your account info and settings)
- Advertisers (to find affiliate programs)
- Links (to create affiliate links)
- Reports (detailed performance stats)
- Mail (messages from CJ)
- PayPerCall (find PPC affiliate programs)
The dashboard is pretty simple, providing only the most essential information and links to other sections.
It’s time to look at how affiliates are paid and what you have to earn before being paid.
Affiliate commissions are paid on a net 30-day basis, which means you’ll get paid about 30 days after your referrals complete a purchase.
Payments for locked commissions are made on the 20th of each month. After that, you’ll have to wait for your check or direct deposit to arrive.
This generally takes no more than seven days.
You can choose to receive payment either by check or direct deposit.
However, you can also be paid into your Payoneer account using ‘CJ International payments.’
PayPal is the only thing missing – but not everyone needs it.
Before receiving a payment, affiliates must generate at least $50 worth of commissions.
You would never need to reach your affiliate network to get help. But that isn’t always going to be possible.
Which support options does CJ have?
Their default option is to go to the Support Centre, which is their knowledge base. Most affiliates will find the answer they need here.
It’s very well-designed, and the search function delivers precise results.
However, if you need human customer service, you can reach them using the Contact Support menu.
For any questions regarding affiliate marketing, you can use the contact form of their web chat support.
A phone number is not readily available if you wish to hear a human voice, but a quick Google search can help.
Overall, CJ’s customer care options are decent but not outstanding.
CJ Affiliate Reviews
Now, let’s listen to the vox populi – some very candid CJ Affiliate reviews by Conversant.
The first negative feedback comes from an affiliate whose account was deactivated right before payment was due.
It’s a bold claim that CJ Affiliate will close your account without you being paid.
It’s just one of many affiliate marketing programs that get labeled as one of those “scams.”
This is where context matters.
Perhaps these affiliates did something to justify this?
Like cookie stuffing or buying their CJ account via a dodgy forum.
Can You Make Money With CJ Affiliate?
Yes, you can!
There’s a lot that comes along with affiliate marketing that many people struggle with.
Now, don’t get the wrong idea…
It’s not impossible to make money with affiliate marketing, but if you’re gonna put in the amount of grueling work to do this business (which, trust me, isn’t easy), you might as well bring in some REAL money while you’re learning the ropes.
The program that helped skyrocket many online businesses to over $40,000+ per month is so simple that making money really does become second nature.
Final Verdict: CJ Affiliate Review
CJ Affiliate is not a scam. CJ Affiliate has the potential to be a lucrative tool for affiliate marketers.
CJ Affiliate is unlikely to be your main source of income. It can, however, be a lucrative source of revenue for your affiliate marketing strategies.
To take your affiliate marketing strategy to the next level, you must understand how to direct organic traffic to your affiliate site.
The more information you have about SEO metrics and keyword rankings, the easier it will be to compete.
You can access all of these valuable insights on my top-recommended platform.
Are There Alternatives To CJ Affiliate?
Yes, there are plenty of other business models to choose from if you want to pursue this making money online. Here are just a few:
Is CJ Affiliate A Scam?
So, time for the $1,000,000 question – is CJ Affiliate Program a scam?
No, it’s not a “scam,” technically speaking. They aren’t going to collect your payment and then ride off into the sunset without delivering you a program.
You can make money with this program. My only gripe is that making money with affiliate marketing is NOT NEARLY as easy as CJ Affiliate Program wants you to think it is.
As I’ve said earlier, the most important part of doing affiliate marketing right is driving traffic. That means being good at:
- Writing ads that sell
- Running ads on Google
- Running ads on Facebook
- Writing website blogs
- Ranking websites
- Converting users that land on your site
- Email marketing
And a whole lot more.
If you’re going to spend time learning those skills, why not do it in a way that makes YOU all the money – instead of someone else?
There’s just a lot of work to be done here, and no real guarantee of success (not to mention commissions can be small).
Don’t get me wrong – I’m ALL FOR doing the hard work now, so that you can reap the benefits later.
But if you’re going to hit something super hard for 3-6 months, and your reward is barely enough money for a tank of gas… it’s just not worth it (in my opinion).
Again, I’m not saying it won’t work – I’ve personally made money with it, as have many of my friends.
I’m just saying it’s a situation where the stars need to kind of align for you in a perfect way.
And you shouldn’t be in the business of leaving your fate up to the stars…
But what if instead of all that, you could work those same 3-6 months, and generate a handful of checks that generated you $500-$2,000 EACH, every single month (almost on autopilot)?
And what if you learned it from someone who has already mastered the ability to drive traffic profitably?
Better yet, what if you could see your first payment in one week, not 3 months?
And what if you could double or triple that income within the next month or two?
That’s my experience with being a Digital Landlord.
All you really need is a laptop and some internet.
Some of my friends are Digital Landlords that run their 6-figure businesses from:
- Camping trips at national parks
- Beachfront in Hawaii
- On the road in a camper-van (with a pet pig!)
They focus on living an enjoyable life first, and focus on income second. All thanks to this program.
They can take weeks or months off, and money keeps rolling in.
Living happily is the top priority.
If the thought of living perpetually at your dream vacation spot interests you, being a Digital Landlord might be for you!
What Is My #1 Recommendation For Making Money Online In 2022?
I’ve personally tried all of the major online business models:
- I’ve sold women’s health supplements via Clickbank affiliate marketing
- I’ve sold fidget spinners through Amazon FBA
- I’ve dropshipped a toilet bowl putting green on Shopify
And I made money with all of them, so trust me when I say: there is no “perfect” business model.
That being said, my #1 recommendation for making real money online is, hands-down: being a Digital Landlord
Whether you’re a complete newbie, or you’ve been around the block before but have never had that “big win” to propel you forward, becoming a Digital Landlord is for you.
1)Time commitment: If you have an hour or two per day, you can do this. Even if you want to drop everything and commit fully, that works too.
You don’t have to be constantly working to make money. The income you generate is recurring.
Imagine taking off for a month to places like Hawaii, Paris, National Parks, & other spots people only dream about – all while collecting dozens of little $500-$2,000 checks. It’s like a dream come true.
But it’s only possible to do it when you’ve separated your income from your time.
2)You Own & Control EVERYTHING: With affiliate marketing, you don’t really own a single thing – not even the customers you worked so hard to “acquire”.
Don’t believe me? Read the terms of service for any major affiliate program – they can fire you or change your compensation at the drop of a dime.
As a Digital Landlord, you own everything, so you have ultimate control.
3)It’s Effectively Copy-Paste: Here’s my favorite part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up, you can literally copy-paste another version of it and find another willing “renter” in a few days. DOUBLING your income doesn’t get much easier than that…
If you wanted to double your income as an affiliate, you would need to sell twice as much inventory, or double your profit margins. And I can guarantee you (from my days selling women’s health products as an affiliate), that’s a lot harder than a few clicks & a phone call.
4)Great Margins: Margins on affiliate products can be pretty low, unless you’re selling high-ticket products. When you sell high-ticket stuff, you typically have a lot of competition, and so driving traffic is expensive.
Being a Digital Landlord, your profit margin is nearly 100%. Watch here to learn how.
Just a reminder: these Digital Rental Properties are worth (at a minimum) $500/mo in semi-passive income. And each time you create another one, your income increases, and the effort put into creating the next property decreases.
Best case scenario, you have properties bringing in over $3,000+/mo on auto-pilot.
5)You’re Helping REAL People: My biggest gripe with affiliate marketing is that you’re selling products that will bring you the biggest commission, not the products that will help people the most.
It’s cool to make a quick buck in the short term, but in the long-term, it eats away at your soul.
But when you’re a Digital Landlord, you’re helping solve REAL problems that people are ASKING for help with:
Small local businesses around the world need one thing: customers. Without them, their business would fall apart. If you can provide those customers, they’re going to be really happy – and they’re going to pay you for it.
You’re helping a struggling mother or father put food on the table for their families, put their kids through college, or simply live life a little bit more comfortably.
Having this type of impact on the world is what will help you sleep soundly at night.
So, the rest is up to you. You could keep looking at other affiliate programs like CJ Affiliate Program, which might make you money 12 months from now.
You could keep researching and researching for the next few months (or few years), never making a concrete decision.
OR, you can look deep inside, think about those dreams, hopes, & desires, and make the decision to ACTUALLY make it happen, just like it has for thousands of other students before you.
Making a fortune while actually helping real people that need it.
If this sounds like you, click here to see how it all works.