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ShareASale Review 2021 – Is it Legit & Safe?

ShareASale Review
In this ShareASale Review, we'll see if this affiliate network is really worth your time? How can you become an affiliate at ShareASale and other important details to help you get started.

Whether you’re an experienced affiliate marketer or just started out on this journey, chances are that you may have heard about ShareASale.

ShareASale is one of the oldest, largest and most reputable affiliate network out there.

With thousands of merchants and products to promote, my relation with ShareASale started out way back, and during this time I’ve made some good money from this affiliate network.

Although there have been some minor changes in its policies, commission structure and other aspects but overall, ShareASale has remained quite consistent with its policies and instead have grown its network by many times.

Being its affiliate for a long time, I have decided to write a ShareASale review to help out especially those newcomers who are in search of the best affiliate networks.

About ShareASale

ShareASale is an affiliate marketing platform based out of Chicago, US. It was founded in 2000 by Brian Littleton. To date, there are around 16,550 merchants and around 225,000 affiliates registered on ShareASale.

ShareASale Info

Back in 2017, ShareASale was acquired by Awin for $35 million dollars. Although Awin itself is a prominent affiliate network but given the reputation, Awin’s leadership decided to continue the brand of ShareASale as a separate entity.

ShareASale, just like any other affiliate network provides a platform for Merchants to find marketers for their products. These marketers or affiliates help the merchants in promoting their products and in return, they mainly get paid in form of commissions.

I said “mainly” because you can also make money in ways other than the normal, revenue-share model, however, a good majority of the merchants pay on a sale basis.

Since my blog revolves around telling my visitors how to make passive money online, In this review, I will keep myself restricted only to the “affiliate” side of ShareASale. I’ll only discuss about the merchants when necessary.

So first, let’s start our review with the basic question of how can you join ShareASale as an affiliate.

How to Join ShareASale as an Affiliate?

Joining ShareASale is a simple and straightforward process. You just have to submit an application which is then evaluated by the ShareASale team and if they feel that you’re the right person to be a part of the network and won’t affect their reputation in any negative way, they’ll let you in.

To sign up for ShareASale, you need to follow the below steps:

#1. Select Affiliate Sign Up from the dropdown on the upper-right corner

ShareASale Affiliate Sign Up

#2. Enter your Username, Password, and Country in the fields and then click Step 2. If you don’t find your country on the list then ShareASale may still let you in. Just follow the steps explained here.

ShareASale Affiliate Account Creation - Step 1

#3. Enter the URL and the language of your website in the relevant fields. Since this field is mandatory, this shows that you do need a website to become a ShareASale affiliate and the chances of becoming one are next to none if you don’t own a website.

ShareASale Affiliate Account Creation - Website Info - Step 2

#4. Go ahead and add further details about your website and your marketing strategies and then click Step 3. Since ShareASale, just like any other large-scale affiliate network, is conscious about its reputation, most likely it will turn down your application if you plan to promote its merchants on a pornographic website or a website that has been plagiarized or has shady content.

ShareASale Affiliate Account Creation - Promotional Strategies - Step 2

#5. Enter your valid email address. To increase chances of approval, make sure that your email address is based on your website’s domain. Ordinary email addresses (like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) may work but the chances are lower. Click Step 4 once done.

ShareASale Affiliate Account Creation - Email Address Confirmation - Step 3

#6. Now, it’s time to enter your personal details. From your Full Name to your Telephone Number and Address. Make sure you fill them accurately. Don’t worry about the Support Phone Pin and leave it as is. In the Program Description field, give a brief overview of how do you plan to promote ShareASale’s merchant and what channels are you going to utilize. Of course, in addition to the website.

ShareASale Affiliate Account Creation - Contact Information - Step 4

#7. ShareASale will also ask you to confirm if your website is an incentive website and you testify that you own the domain that you’ve mentioned. Answer appropriately and then jump to Step 5

ShareASale Affiliate Account Creation - Website Information - Step 4

#8. In the end, let ShareASale know that how you want to get paid. This can be changed later so select Choose Later just in case you’re not sure. Click Complete Sign Up once you’re done so that ShareASale may review your application.

How Long Does ShareASale Take to Approve an Affiliate Application?

It depends of many factors as ShareASale reviews an affiliate application quite meticulously and that’s why there is no set time limit. For some, it has been 1-2 business days and for others, ShareASale has approved their application within 24 hours.

So I cannot objectively say that how long does it take to get approval. However, provided that everything is fine in your application and ShareASale does not have to do additional digging to verify your information, you should expect a positive response in a day.

What if ShareASale is Not Available in Your Country?

ShareASale does not offer its platform to every country and there are a bunch of countries from where you cannot create an affiliate account.

There could be multiple reasons and not able to receive payments through PayPal is one of them.

Just in case you happen to be from that very country then there’s no need to worry.

No love is lost here.

Remember, ShareASale’s primary objective is to find affiliates for its merchants so that they can promote and sell more of their products and that is why despite being from one of those countries which are not in the list, ShareASale can still let you in if you’re able to convince them that having you as their affiliate will be quite beneficial for ShareASale’s merchant.

And for that purpose, you need to send them an email letting ShareASale clearly know about the following important points:

  1. Your basic introduction
  2. Your experience in Affiliate Marketing
  3. How much sales have you made so far as an affiliate and in what niches do you specialize
  4. Your website and how much traffic does it get on a monthly basis
  5. If your website is new then let them know about the prospects. Clearly state the niche of the website and what programs do you intend to join to promote on your website. Needless to say that the product that you want to promote should closely align with the overall niche of your website
  6. In addition to the website, what other channels do you intend to utilize to promote the merchants’ products such as email marketing, etc.
  7. How do you plan to get paid. If PayPal does not work in your country then what’s the other available method of payment that you can accept or if there’s any workaround that you’ve discovered to receive PayPal payments.

Once you have all this information, add them in the email and shoot it at this address: [email address]

Is ShareASale Free? How Much Does it Cost to Join ShareASale as an Affiliate?

So let’s address one of the frequently asked questions about ShareASale.

Is it free? Is there any cost such as a monthly or one-off subscription payment to become part of ShareASale as an affiliate?

I’ve read on some websites that ShareASale charges a one-time $5 fee from affiliates, however, I haven’t had to pay such amount. So my experience is completely different as I made into this affiliate network without spending even a dime.

As far as my experience is concerned, joining ShareASale is absolutely free. It doesn’t charge anything.

In fact, not only becoming an affiliate on ShareASale is absolutely free but you don’t have to pay anything later on in form of monthly subscriptions as well.

Sign up for ShareASale – It’s ABSOLUTELY FREE

How Does ShareASale Make Money?

ShareASale charges its merchant to access its affiliate platform. The different fees that the merchants have to pay are:

ShareASale Merchant Fee

And that’s the cost of slightly reduced commissions that an affiliate has to bear on every affiliate program.

  • A one-time access fee of $550
  • $100 deposit – This deposit is used to pay the affiliates
  • 20% cut (Network Transaction Fee) of the affiliate’s commission or $35 if any merchant is not able to generate at least $35 in a given month. For instance, an affiliate makes a sale of $100 and is given 10% commission ($10). Merchant will then have to pay 20% ($10 x 20% = $2.00) of that commission amount to ShareASale. This does not impact the affiliate’s commission though.

Additionally, ShareASale also has paid advertisement running on its website where the merchants pay so that their programs are promoted to the affiliates. Hence they are able to approach more affiliates to promote their products.

How to Find and Join Affiliate Programs?

This is basically where you will find ShareASale’s user interface quite simple, helpful and kicking some serious asses.

#1. From the main menu, hover on Merchants and then select Search for Merchants.

Search for ShareASale Merchant

#2. You can search merchants based on their categories, keywords, power rank, etc.

#3. Once ShareASale shows you the list of merchants based on the option you choose, you can sort and filter not only the merchants based on different criteria but also different products. The search result can be filtered based on sales commission, lead commission, 7-Day EPC or 30-Day EPC, PowerRank, etc.

Sort ShareASale Merchants

#4. An even better option that ShareASale provides to find and narrow down the list of the best affiliate programs is by Modifying Search. Using this option you can apply even more filters like:

  • Auto-Approval
  • EPC Greater Than
  • Commission Rate Greater Than
  • Two-tier Program
ShareASale Modify Search

By modifying your search you can find the best affiliate program that matches your own niche and the revenue-model.

How to Generate Affiliate Links

You’ve found your affiliate program and product to promote and you’ve also been accepted by the merchant as their affiliate. Now, it’s time to find the affiliate link so that your sales can be tracked.

#1. To find your affiliate link, from the main nav-bar, click on Links and then Get a Link/Banner

ShareASale - Get a Link/banner

#2. This will take you to a window where all the merchants who have approved you are listed. Click on the Get Links button

ShareASale - Get Links

#3. Here you can choose the type of creatives, such as banners, etc., and links to promote your affiliate links.

Get Links in ShareASale

What are the Pros & Cons of Joining ShareASale?

Pros

#1. Prominent Merchants Under One Roof

The very first benefit of joining ShareASale is that you don’t have to wander all over the internet looking for products to promote. Believe me, that’s too much a hassle.

As a blogger, your primary concern should be generating content for your readers. Not looking for the products to promote and sign up at every other website. ShareASale take care of this headache.  

So this affiliate network makes it easy to find products and merchants, sign up for their affiliate programs or even leave any program if you feel that the chemistry does not match with the merchant.

In addition to this, ShareASale houses some prominent and trusted merchants over a wide array of niches. Some of the famous brands on ShareASale are:

Famous ShareASale Merchants
  • Reebok
  • Qatar Airways
  • Gliks
  • Croton Watches
  • PetMate
  • NameCheap
  • And various others

#2. Rich Dashboard Sharing Vital & Helpful Metrics

The second benefit is that ShareASale provides you with a rich dashboard and a control panel. This control panel helps a lot in monitoring your performance. You don’t only have a bird-eye view of your activities, your sales, your merchants, commissions, etc. but you can further dig into details of multiple factors that you might need to improve your sales.

Before joining any merchant, you can check out their overall performance and see how much commissions are they paying, what’s their EPC (Earnings-Per-Click) so that you can plan your budget for your PPC campaigns, their creatives (banners, links, etc.), conversion rates and much more.

ShareASale Reports

Once you start promoting any product, ShareASale provides helpful indicators such as how many clicks have you received, what is your conversion rate, which banner or link has received the clicks, and which creative has helped in making a sale. All of this information proves to be quite helpful in fine-tuning and optimizing your sales strategy to earn even more commissions.

#3. Access to Product Data Feeds, & Creatives

The third benefit of joining this platform is that they offer you tons of different marketing tools. For e.g. different sizes of banners, promotional widgets, access to product data feeds, videos, etc.

If you’re planning to create an e-commerce store then ShareASale has your back. With their Create-A-Page feature, you don’t have to write tedious code to create HTML pages adorned with the products. Just copy and paste their code and your website will start displaying a list of products on your website.

ShareASale Product Datafeeds

In addition to the above, you have ready access to the deals and coupons that you can offer to your visitors and boost your sales.

#4. Multiple Payment Methods

ShareASale offers multiple payment methods to its affiliates. The affiliate can choose between PayPal, ACH, Bank Wire or checks so when it comes to the fact that how you want to get paid, you are never out of choices.

Create Free Account On ShareASale and Start Earning Commissions. 

Cons

Over the many years that I’ve been using ShareASale, I haven’t found any significant cons that are worth-sharing. Maybe the fact that seeking approval from every merchant separately may sound like a downside especially after when your application is thoroughly vet by ShareASale but other than that, I cannot think of any other disadvantage of using this affiliate network.

How Many Ways Can You Earn Commission on ShareASale?

Generally speaking, there are three main types of merchants in ShareASale. Or in other words, there are three ways you can make money by promoting the products of the merchants.

#1. Pay-Per-Sale

As the name suggests, you make money per sale. So in order to make money, you first need to make a sale. Most of the merchants operate under this program.

#2. Pay-Per-Lead

This program pays you per lead, which means that to earn commissions, you don’t have to make a sale. In fact, you just need to convince your prospects to fill out a form and that’s it. The commission per lead varies from merchant to merchant and the numbers of merchants in this program are lesser than Pay Per Sale.

#3. Pay-Per-Click

The merchants in this program pay you per click. These are the clicks that they receive when a prospect clicks their banner or a link with your tracking ID. They track the clicks coming from your tracking ID and then pay you.
Needless to say that the number of merchants in this program is way less than the above two programs I’ve mentioned. In fact, you cannot even enroll for any merchant’s offer operating under pay per click program unless you have at least one payout from ShareASale.

#4. Pay-Per-Call

There’s one more program that pays you per call. However, the eligibility of this program depends on a combination of different factors including how long one has an account with ShareASale. Additionally, the amount of commission you’ve earned also plays a role in deciding the eligibility for this program.

#5. Other Miscellaneous Ways

In addition to the above 4 ways, there are also other miscellaneous ways where you can earn commissions from ShareASale. For instance, I was promoting one of the merchants’ product (a cloud accounting software) on my blog. From time to time, I’d receive offers from the merchant to perform miscellaneous actions to earn commissions. Some of these actions were as menial as placing their banner on my website or emailing my list. This was in addition to the commission I’d have received on had visitors followed a link on the banner or email and purchased the product.

How Much Money Can You Make From ShareASale?

Again, that depends on a variety of factors such as the commission per sale, popularity of the product, conversion rate, and most importantly, the intensity of your own efforts.

So at best, it’d be broad generalization if I give you an idea.

Having said that, just for an example, let’s pick up an affiliate program that pays decently on ShareASale. Nothing too fancy or extravagant neither too miser when it comes to the commission.

Let’s say you decide to promote Ooni Pizza Ovens. A decent merchant in the Home & Decor niche.

ShareASale Merchant Information

If we look at its numbers, it has a conversion rate of 8.94% and earnings-per-click (EPC) of $160.70 over the last 30 days.

One can also see the results of the last 7 days but I prefer stats over a longer period of time.

Now, if we go by the conversion rate (8.94%) this means that if you’re able to bring 100 genuine visitors to this website using your affiliate link, almost 9 visitors will actually make a purchase, and given that the average commission is $17.98 – you will potentially earn (9 x $17.98) $161.82 from these 100 visitors.

Similarly, if we go by Earnings-Per-Click (which actually means earnings per thousand clicks), for every thousand clicks that you’ll receive on your banner/affiliate link, etc. you’ll earn $160.70.

Do keep in mind though that these are average results and the actual numbers may vary from individual to individual. However, in the long run, and using your best capability, you can expect these results and this is from a merchant who is not too generous in giving away affiliate commissions.

There are many other affiliate programs on ShareASale that pay way too more than the merchant in this example so you can expect higher income utilizing the same marketing efforts.

What is the Minimum Payout?

The minimum amount of commission that you need to earn before withdrawing money from ShareASale is USD $50.00.

How Does ShareASale Pay You?

There are 3 main modes of payment.

  1. Via Check (different fees apply for checks being maled via FedEx to either Canada, US or rest of the world)
  2. Wire Deposit
  3. Payoneer (this has been recently added).
  4. PayPal

Final Word

Concluding this review, I want to say that ShareASale provides a great opportunity to all the affiliate marketers to make good amount of money online.

With its diversified portfolio of merchants spanning a multitude of niches, it’s quite hard not to find a product that suits your own niche. Whether they’re the traditional physical products or the new-era, digital products. ShareASale specializes in both.

Additionally, its super-simple and yet, rich user interface provides great insights about which merchant to promote. Besides, with commissions from some merchants that are upward of $300, ShareASale becomes a default choice for all the affiliates to make some big bucks in affiliate marketing.

Especially If you’re a WordPress blogger, ShareASale can be a great avenue to monetize your website as you’ll definitely find some good merchants and use their creatives such as banners and products data feeds to promote on your blog.

Besides, if you’re already using ClickBank to promote digital products through Affiliate Marketing, ShareASale can become a great substitute for ClickBank. I have written a separate article in which I have discussed 23 Best ClickBank Alternatives and ShareASale is one of them. So make sure you check that article out as well.

If you’re impressed by this review and want to become a part of this affiliate network, you can sign up here.

In case there are any confusions or questions, just let me know in the comments section.