CJ Affiliate

Scam Risk is here to help you protect yourself and fight back
By: Scam Risk - Expert Reviewer

CJ (Commission Junction) Affiliate Review: Is It Legit?

Commission Junction was first established in 1998 and was acquired by ValueClick in 2003.

It was rebranded as “CJ Affiliate by Conversant” and relaunched in 2014.

Any affiliate marketers that I know still refer to them as CJ.

CJ was one of the top affiliate networks in the world.

But let’s see if it still holds today.

This review will go over CJ Affiliate to see if it really is the best affiliate marketing course out there.

You’ll learn whether affiliate marketing is the right online business for you.

And at the end, you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding CJ Affiliate and affiliate marketing in general.

But most importantly, you’ll see the exact system many others have used to build their own internet marketing business to over $40,000 a month in mostly passive income.

This system made them swear off affiliate marketing for good, because it uses some of the same skills but in a much more powerful and profitable way!

Table of Contents

CJ Affiliate Summary


Year Established: 1998

Number Of Merchants: 2,800+

Offer Types: CPA, Lead, Sale, Placement

What Is CJ Affiliate?

Commission Junction, or CJ Affiliate, is one of the top-ranked affiliate marketing platforms for physical and digital products. This company was established in 1998. It started operations back when the Internet was much different.

Google algorithms were not used to promote affiliate marketing. There was no competition.

CJ was an online business that was growing quickly. It attracted many affiliate marketers who made millions.

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, 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.

Signing Up

First, you need to enter some basic contact information. The confirmation email will then be sent.

You’ll then be asked to click the link in the email to proceed to the next stage. Here, you will have to enter your basic payment details as well as a password.

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 if there wasn’t an active website. It’s best to at least have a web presence.

Overall, the CJ Affiliates by Conversant application is simple and less complicated than other networks.

What Brands Can You Promote?

CJ always beat the competition when big brands were on their books.

In that respect, the network hasn’t changed much.

Here’s a rundown of the types of companies you can apply for via 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 other advertisers to this network.

So, are the other 2,869 advertisers (I did count them!) on CJ Associate by Conversant equally as impressive?


CJ’s got enough big hitters will make you forget.

Ease Of Use

The CJ Affiliate Dashboard by Conversant has remained virtually unchanged over the years with only a few cosmetic adjustments.

It offers a quick review of your account.

Many of the functions that you really need can be found in dropdown menus:

  1. Account 
  2. Advertisers 
  3. Links 
  4. Widgets (explained later)
  5. Reports – for stats nerds
  6. Mail – your internal CJ mail
  7. Placements (explained later)
  8. Insights (advanced reporting)

It’s essential to have them all in the same place like this because it prevents them from cluttering up other parts of your dashboard.

The CJ affiliate interface has a unique look and feel that I love. It doesn’t feel crowded, thanks to the muted colors.

I feel a bit 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

Even though I find this interface frustrating, the end result was worth the effort.

Click on “Advertisers” from the top menu to quickly search for programs by keyword or advertiser name.

This works well for general searches. But, the truth is that your niche is unique, so the programs you want will reflect that.

You can also search for specific categories or by:

  • Advertiser type
  • Advertiser status
  • Serviceable area
  • Language
  • Advertiser’s Country
  • Geographic Source
  • Currency

I find this a little too excessive. Each sub-menu also expands down, making it look and feel messy. Although I don’t know what the solution is, this screen is where UX really dies.

You can still save your searches, which is just as good considering the many parameters you can play with.

We now get to the real good stuff: filtering advertisers according to their profit 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 so 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 is 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 up 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 then 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 that you can create.

Pepperjam’s tabbed layout looks so much better than that.

CJ has two other tools that can be used 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.

You can then install JavaScript to one URL on your site. Then, every link you create is just a URL with no affiliate sticky-on bits.

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 we don’t know why they are called product “widgets”, the important thing is that they work.

We 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 snapshot of your performance as an affiliate marketer.

This dashboard’s Performance Summary section should be viewed 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 your affiliate links were clicked
  • 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 allows you to view popular advertisers and advertiser recommendations based upon 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)
  • Widgets
  • Reports (detailed performance stats)
  • Mail (messages from CJ)
  • Placements
  • PayPerCall (find PPC affiliate programs)

The dashboard is pretty simple, as it provides only the most essential information and links to other sections.

Getting Paid

It’s now time to look at how affiliates are paid and what you have to earn before being paid.

Payment Timeframe

Affiliate commissions pay on a net 30-basis, meaning that your referrals will be paid approximately 30 days after they make a purchase.

Locked commissions earned earn payments on the 20th of each month. Once that happens, it’s time to wait for your check or direct deposits to show up.

This generally takes no more than seven days.

Payment Methods

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.

Payment Threshold

Before receiving a payment, affiliates need to generate at least $50 worth of commissions.

Publisher Help

Typically, 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 basically 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 either use the contact form of their web chat support.

There isn’t a phone number 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.

The basic claim that these disgruntled people, not us, is that CJ Affiliate will close down your account without you being paid.

It is just one of many affiliate marketing programs that gets 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.

Weighing It Up

What is the objective summary of Commission Junction, then?


  • You have some serious brand names to promote.
  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • CJ affiliates have access to a large selection of link-creation tools.
  • You can also “sell” your ad placement space.
  • They pay like clockwork each month.
  • One of the oldest affiliate networks


  • Poor customer service
  • Difficult to get accepted
  • Limited payment options
  • No notice of termination
  • It can be challenging for programs to fit certain niches to be found.
  • They’re not the dominant force they used to be.

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 us, 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.

Is CJ Affiliate A Scam?

CJ Affiliate is definitely not a scam.

CJ affiliates make the common mistake of not reading the affiliate program terms carefully before signing up.

CJ lists affiliate program terms and conditions. For example, traffic to some programs is restricted to a small number of sources.

You might consider the following scenario: An affiliate program blocks PPC traffic. However, you decide to sign-up for the program and begin driving traffic through PPC advertising.

Affiliate programs will evaluate your traffic sources to determine the payout date and show you your progress and sales figures.

If they discover you are sending traffic to banned sources, they will deactivate the account.

CJ affiliate programs are independently owned and operated. CJ, as a company, should protect the rights of its affiliates and prevent advertisers from violating the agreement.

Research has shown that it does not always occur (at least in some instances).

This is why affiliates should carefully choose advertisers. Only work with proven advertisers who have a track record of success and a clean history.

Don’t buy a product because it seems good.

CJ itself is not a scam. However, CJ has an extensive affiliate network that makes it possible for advertisers to profit from affiliates.

Carefully choose which programs you wish to promote.

It is entirely possible to build a profitable, successful affiliate marketing business… But there are better ways to build a business other than with affiliate marketing.

Our #1 pick proves this. Because unlike CJ Affiliate, it actually provides real proof of real success from real people as recently as a few days ago.

Final Verdict: CJ Affiliate Review

CJ Affiliate, obviously, isn’t a scam. CJ Affiliate can be a powerful tool for affiliate marketers to earn money.

CJ Affiliate is not likely to bring in your primary income. However, it can be a great source of income for your affiliate marketing efforts.

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 free of charge on my top-recommended platform.

What Is Our #1 Recommendation For Making Money Online In 2021?

Our review team has come across a program in the real estate industry that is next level!

Although it’s not real estate in the traditional sense, it’s all digital.

Yup, Digital Real Estate!

Where CJ Affiliate falls short in my opinion in scalability. 

You can’t realistically expect to be able to set up a bunch of different Affiliate Marketing blogs and get NATIONAL traffic to them.

It just takes too many resources (money included) for any regular person to bootstrap.

But what if you could make even more money off of little local websites without having to spend tens of thousands to set up an affiliate blog?

With this digital real estate program, you can profit off LOCAL traffic to your website every single day!

Sound too good to be true?

Of course it does!

But it isn’t…in fact, business owners wish they had this skill!

All you have to do is build and rank a LOCAL website and forward the jobs off to a business owner in town, you could even email it to them!

This works for literally any service based business, tree service, plumbing, towing, etc. 

How do you get paid and how much?

Simple, after you forward the jobs off to a business owner and he makes some money off of them, you simply ask to make the deal beneficial for each other.

A fair price to charge per lead, depending on the industry is 10-20%…let’s just use the tree service industry for example and go by worst case scenario.

Let’s say you build and rank the site and only 10 jobs a month come in. The average tree service job is anywhere from $500-$2000!

That means at bare minimum you have an asset worth $500 a month!

See why they call it digital real estate now? That’s a rent payment. 

The great thing is how easy it is to scale. You don’t have to worry about spending boatloads of money on a single traffic source to get CRUMBS in affiliate income.

Remember CJ Affiliate talking about their little 10% commission off a $50 product? 

This one actually allows you to collect HUGE FLAT RATE DEALS. Truly passive income!

The training program takes making money online to a whole other level. The owner of the program walks you through how to build and rank a site hand in hand, with the occasional voice over when he is sharing his screen.

You will learn the importance of keywords, website name, how to send call notifications via email, backlinking, etc.

Once the training program is completed you will also have access to a Facebook group much better than the CJ Affiliate Facebook group in our opinion. This group is much more active.

Unlike CJ Affiliate, where you’re getting maybe $50 per sale, you could be getting 10-20X THAT. 

A business will always want more leads and another job. In fact it doesn’t even matter that the job isn’t coming from their website name…they see it as it is…expanding digital real estate.

Unlike Affiliate Marketing, more people have been able to walk away from their 9-5 job as well. 

Now, I know you probably have tons of questions… So, check this out to learn more.

Share This Article:
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Things We Liked:
Things We Didn't Like:
ScamRisk's #1 Online
Business Recommendation:
You know deep down what you're meant for. Now they will show you how to go get it.
Scam Risk

Be first in line to read all the new Scam Risk Reports as they're published!

Select the categories that interest you the most

We don't share your information with any 3rd parties and we will never spam you.