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best platform for affiliate marketing

Brandon Pierce joins the Affiliate Nerd Out Podcast for an insightful discussion on his journey in identifying the best platform for affiliate marketing. Unraveling the complexities of e-commerce SEO and affiliate management, Brandon, along with co-host Dustin Howes, dives deep into the Nerdatorium. They explore everything from work-life balance to building meaningful relationships with e-commerce clients. The episode takes a detailed look at the merits and pitfalls of using a major network versus a private platform for your affiliate program. With a focus on continuous learning and personal development, this conversation promises to be both enlightening and thought-provoking.

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When it comes to the world of e-commerce, understanding the nuances of SEO and affiliate management is crucial. As your guides in this enlightening journey, Dustin Howes and Brandon Pierce, we'll dive deep into the Nerdatorium. We will get nerdy about everything from balancing work and play to building meaningful relationships with e-commerce clients.

The winding path of when to request a backlink or affiliate relationship may seem daunting, but with insights from our companion Bradley, we aim to make it easier for you.

The Best Platform for Affiliate Marketing – Major Networks vs Private Platforms: The Pros and Cons.

One of the most pressing questions in affiliate marketing is whether to use a major network or a private platform for your affiliate program. Both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Major Networks.


  • Credibility: Major networks often have a well-established reputation, which can lend credibility to your affiliate program.
  • Extensive Publisher Pool: These networks usually have a large number of publishers, increasing the chances of finding affiliates who are a good fit for your program.
  • Easy Payment Processing: Major networks typically handle payment processing, reducing the administrative burden on you.


  • Added Fees: While these networks offer many benefits, they often come with additional costs that can eat into your profits.
  • Limited Customization: Major networks tend to offer less flexibility in terms of customization. This can make it difficult to tailor your affiliate program to your specific needs.
  • Difficulty Creating Deep Links: Deep linking allows affiliates to direct potential customers to a specific page on your website. However, this can be a complex process on major networks.

Private Platforms.


  • Cost Savings: Private platforms often have lower fees than major networks, allowing you to keep a greater share of your profits.
  • Greater Customization Opportunities: With a private platform, you have more control over how your affiliate program is set up and run, enabling you to create a program that aligns with your business goals.


  • Challenges Attracting Affiliates: Without the reputation of a major network, it can be harder to convince publishers to join your program.
  • Increased Administrative Burden: On a private platform, you may need to handle more of the administrative tasks associated with running an affiliate program, such as payment processing.

In summary, both options have their merits and drawbacks. Your choice between a major network and a private platform will depend on your business's specific needs and resources.

Knowledge Quadrant: The Importance of Continuous Learning.

In our journey through the world of e-commerce, we also discuss the concept of the knowledge quadrant. This tool is essential for guiding personal and professional development. It helps us understand where we are in terms of knowledge and where we need to go. Like what Brandon said,

“Always be on a path of learning. There's always something new to learn, and taking courses and adapting what you learn is essential.”

Beware of becoming stuck in the third quadrant, where you know what you don’t know. Sometimes, a metaphorical “slap in the face” is necessary to push us into the fourth quadrant, where we know what we know.

Choosing the Best Platform for Affiliate Marketing: Opportunities and Networks Explored.

As we wrap up our discussion, we highlight the importance of networking and seizing opportunities. Whether you choose a major network or private platform for your affiliate program, remember that building meaningful relationships is key.

Mastering the balancing act between work and play is also crucial. As Brandon Pierce, an SEO and affiliate nerd, shares his insights about life and work, we hope you'll find the inspiration to define your passion and excel in your field.

In conclusion, the best platform for affiliate marketing depends on your specific needs and goals. By understanding the pros and cons of major networks and private platforms, you can make an informed decision and build a successful affiliate program.

0:32Dustin introduces “Affiliate Nerd Out” podcast and welcomes guest Brandon Pierce.
1:19Brandon explains the significance of his SERP hat in SEO work.
4:33Brandon shares his background and journey into affiliate marketing.
5:31Brandon discusses his clients and how he helps them with SEO and affiliate management.
8:18Brandon explains the timing of requesting backlinks and affiliate relationships.
9:58Brandon discusses “link juice” and its impact on SEO.
13:20Pros and cons of major affiliate networks are discussed.
18:21Pros and cons of private affiliate platforms are explored.
21:15Brandon discusses the importance of publishers in finding the best platform for affiliate marketing programs.
21:48Certain networks allow for multiple platforms, benefiting affiliate programs and potentially finding the best platform for affiliate marketing.
22:24Convincing affiliates to join private platforms can be challenging but necessary for discovering the best platform for affiliate marketing.
23:28Utilizing tools like Awin, Skimlinks, and Trackonomics can help affiliate managers identify the best platform for affiliate marketing.
26:27Brandon and Dustin explore the potential of AI in partnership marketing and how it may impact finding the best platform.
28:06Reskilling and learning new skills can keep affiliate managers valuable in the search for the best platform for affiliate marketing.
30:16Brandon explains the knowledge quadrant and the importance of continuous learning
34:50Dustin and Brandon discuss the value of courses and learning from others in affiliate marketing to discover the best platform for affiliate marketing.
37:48Connect with Brandon Pierce on LinkedIn for affiliate marketing discussions and networking to uncover the best platform for affiliate marketing.

Wrap it up, Dustin.

There are pros and cons to each platform for affiliate marketing. Affiliate networks are more expensive, but they make your life easier in a lot of ways.

There is no perfect solution for a brand, and you are not going to get everything you want for the price that you want to pay. I'd suggest creating a list of the “must haves” and “nice to have;” figure out what is most important to you before demoing the platforms that are in your price range. If you are in the market for a new solution, check out my go-to solutions for affiliate marketing software.

Affiliate manager consultant

Dustin Howes


Dustin Howes is a partnership nerd spreading the good word about performance marketing. He is the chief coach at and is dedicated to helping companies grow their performance marketing channels. He also provides affiliate manager training and private consultations, helping companies find the right solution for their budget.

Find out more about Dustin here.