I don’t read webmaster forums as much as I use to, but I occasionally go back and take a peak at what people are talking about. I had a look at the affiliate marketing section of Webmasterworld the other day and not surprisingly people were bagging CJ.
I have never had much luck with Commission Junction. Linkshare and Shareasale are a little better. What I much prefer to do is to find an e-commerce site with an affiliate program in my niche. I give them a try and if I can make some sales and get paid I starting thinking of new ways I could use to promote their products.
I also try to make contact with their affiliate manager. I don’t bother them much, but if you have a question or a problem it is much better to be able email a particular person rather than a generic support email address.
Smaller e-commerce sites probably don’t have as much to spend on big advertising campaigns so they are more reliant on getting affiliates to promote their products. Having to go through a big third party who represents another big company just doesn’t work well.
I also don’t do any PPC campaigns so I am not competing with the original company in this area.
It does take some time to find products that convert well on your site, but once you find a couple of things that work, it is an easy way to build your passive income.