CJ Affiliate: How To Join The Largest Affiliate Marketing Site On Earth And Start Earning

cj affiliate marketing - a women speaking out of a megaphone to her audience
CJ/YouTube VectorMine/Shutterstock Remix by Caterina Cox

Speaking as a former affiliate manager, building affiliate relationships can be frustrating for anyone. Building individual relationships is work. That’s why building relationships on affiliate networks is important. And there is no more prominent name in the game than CJ affiliates. 

CJ, formerly known as Commission Junction, is the biggest affiliate marketing site on the Earth. Seeing over 1 billion global customers a month, 157 million transactions a year, and over $16 billion in annual revenue, CJ is big. Affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone, but it can be a significant revenue stream if you are smart. 

Here’s everything you need to know about CJ and Commission Junction affiliates. 

What is CJ Affiliate?

CJ Affiliate has been a force in affiliate marketing for over 26 years. Today, it is arguably the largest affiliate marketing company on the planet. Founded in 1998, CJ has seen the online affiliate market grow from the beginning. While competition has come and gone, CJ has been a constant, outside of a few name changes. They’ve also been known as CJ Affiliate or Commission Junction, but today it’s just CJ. 

Today, CJ works with over 4000 top global brands, including Blue Apron, GoPro, Office Depot, and Priceline. 

What Makes CJ Different From Other Affiliate Networks? 

CJ will instantly be familiar to anyone who has used an affiliate marketing network. However, some things set it apart.

1) Real-Time Reporting On Your Campaigns 

One of CJ’s best features is its powerful real-time analytics. Although learning how to navigate all of its options takes time, CJ provides incredible insight into where your traffic is coming from. 

Analytics help figure out buying patterns for your readers or viewers. Don’t enjoy graphs? CJ makes it easy to download reports about how your campaigns are going. Simply head up to the reports tab on your dashboard to pick between Performance or Transactions. 

CJ affiliate reports for how your campagins are going

2) Additional Support Available For Larger Pages Through The Content Certification Benefits Program 

Having a larger audience comes with perks. CJ’s Content Certification program focuses on creators and brands covering the following subjects. 

  • Style
  • Home
  • Tech
  • Business
  • Lifestyle

Once in the program, you get guidance from CJ’s content experts and premium campaign rates. However, the most significant advantage is automatic acceptance to work with over 600 of CJ’s top-performing brands. 

The Content Certification Benefits Program gets all the annoying busy work of affiliate marketing out of the way so you can start creating. 

That said, there are requirements to join this program. First, creators need over 10,000 page views per month or a large social media following. CJ does not explicitly state how large of a following you will need. You’ll have to apply to see if you qualify. 

You can’t have gated content or coupon/deal incentive models. Your traffic cannot primarily come from paid search services. Finally, a blog or social media channel needs to be the primary distribution model for your channel.  

3) Powerful Deep Linking Lets You Direct Traffic To Specific Products And Pages

Some affiliates tell you where your links should go. While this is great for focusing on specific brands, it limits you as a creator. CJ makes direct deep linking to a particular product a breeze. 

Deep linking is the process of creating a new link with tracking details that goes to a specific URL. That means rather than direct your users to just Beats by Dre, you can direct them a specific set of headphones. Deep linking becomes a godsend when building out lists of products you want to promote. 

Best of all, CJ has options for deep linking. You can manually create links on its site or use the CJ toolbar extension.

How to create a deep link using CJ's toolbar tool

4) CJ Lets Advertisers Create Specific Partnership Opportunities Across Your Brands

In 2020, CJ launched Promotional Property Commissioning, which lets advertisers define and set commission rates based on specific metrics for sub-affiliates and partner networks. 

For example, say a company wanted to promote something on your website and TikTok. Using Promotional Property Commissioning, they could set a higher commission rate for the TikTok content if that was a higher priority. This would not negatively affect the payout for the website campaign, which would run at the standard rate. 

Note: You need to ensure your social media pages are business accounts to post affiliate links. You also need to make sure you always tag your advertisements as advertisements. That includes making it clear in your captions. 

Can Influencers And Creators Sign Up For CJ’s Affiliate Program? 

Yes. Creators of all kinds are welcome to sign up for affiliates through CJ. CJ does not have a specific program for influencers. However, we contacted CJ to ask how influencers could best get noticed by brands. 

The company suggests that creators who wish to work with brands as influencers go to the “Promotional Properties” section of their account. Then select “Influencer” under your promotional model types.

When you’re reaching out to brands or they’re searching for influencers, this can help them identify you as someone to work with. 

Who Can Sign Up For CJ Affiliate? 

Anyone 18 years or older can sign up for CJ for free. Don’t let the fact that you’re a small-time creator stop you. You will also need your own website that you own that you can link to. 

How Do You Sign Up For A CJ Affiliate Account? 

Signing up for a CJ account is incredibly easy, thanks to CJ’s onboarding process. Go to the CJ sign-up page, give them your name and email, and click the link you’re sent.  

This takes you to the CJ onboarding page. CJ manually walks you through every step you need to take during signup. In fact, until you’ve finished your onboarding process, it won’t let you leave the onboarding page. However, it is important to understand each of these steps. 

1) Activate Your Account

Good news, just by clicking the link in your email, you’ve already did this. 

CJ confirmation screen when you've started sign up

2) Enter User Information

Now let CJ know who your account’s administrator is and how to contact them. If you have a team that handles this stuff for you, put their contact here. Unless you have a very large channel, you will most likely be putting your name down. 

CJ needs your contact information

3) Complete Your Network Profile

Your Network Profile is where you make your first impression with brands, so take some time to write out your profile. Let them know who you are and why they should want to work with you. Brag about your channel and page’s strengths. Give brands an idea of where you have been and where you want your business to go. 

We also highly recommend using this space to post about statistics. Tell brands about your traffic and who reads your site. Are you popular with Zoomers? Do you have a large following of 25 to 35-year-old media fans who buy every movie you recommend? Let brands know. 

what is a network profile?

4) Add Your Promotional Properties

Promotional Properties are the place you work where you will be sharing brand links. This is where you can mark yourself as an influencer.

Select the Promotional Properties option to share everywhere you promote advertiser brands. Will you be linking on social media? Do you plan on just posting links on your website? This is vital information, so don’t leave anything out. 

Make sure you list everywhere you plan on promoting CJ affiliate links. You must let advertisers you work with know everywhere you promote their links. Not following this rule can lead to the closing of your account.

What is promotional property? It's everywhere you will be promoting content from the affiliate network

5) Company Details And Taxes

You should be paying taxes on your income online, but thankfully, CJ ensures your business is legit. If you’re worried about personal security, now or in the future, you might want to get a PO Box for official business. You’ll need to tell CJ what currency you want to be paid in, your company’s mailing address, and fill out a W-9 or W-8BEN. 

Provide your tax information, make sure you fill this out if you want to get paid

6) Provide Payment Information

This is where you set up how you’d like to be paid. You cannot enter this information until you’ve filled out the tax information. CJ pays out either via direct deposit or check.

Payments are issued within 20 days of the end of the month, provided you’ve met the payment threshold. CJ pays out after $50 for direct deposits and after $100 for checks. 

Payment information is how you will be paid by the network. This includes if you want direct deposit or a check.

7) Some Final Questions

Finally CJ asks a few questions to figure out what kind of business you run and how to help you. Answer these questions honestly. You can always go back and update, but if you’re unsure if the answer is yes, the answer is probably no. It’s important not to promise things you can’t deliver. 

A final selection of questions about the current state of your business. This helps the network pair you with businesse.

CJ is an incredible opportunity for creators, bloggers, and makers of all sorts to help sell the products they love. However, it’s not for everyone. You can be removed from the program if your traffic or clicks don’t meet CJ’s expectations.

If, however, you’re ready to jump into the wild world of affiliate sales, CJ is one of the best platforms to join. Just make sure you’re ready when the moment comes.

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