Quick Start Guide


Affiliate marketing requires time, effort, creativity, and communication. It is essential to build relationships with your advertiser partners and consumer followers. Once you join Rakuten Advertising as a publisher, you can access leading brands, updated tools and technology, and outstanding support when needed.

To begin a successful affiliate marketing channel, you must have:

  • Your own live website, blog, or customized social media site.
  • Unique, quality content that adds value for users.
  • A well-designed business plan.

Below are some essential steps and common terms to help you get started with affiliate marketing and your Rakuten Advertising account.


Review these requirements and recommendations before starting your affiliate marketing efforts.

Step 1: Sign Up

Signing up is free. Enter your email and password, then validate your email and answer a few questions. After completing the registration process, you will be brought to the Publisher Dashboard.
You can always go to Rakuten Advertising and click Login, then Affiliate Publisher in the upper right corner of the page.
Log In
From the Publisher Dashboard login, enter the email and password you provided at registration and click Login. The New Publisher Dashboard (Beta) will open. Review the Help Center or contact Customer Support if you need any help.


There are currently two Publisher Dashboards. The Legacy Publisher Dashboard is accessible while important features are migrated to the New Publisher Dashboard (Beta).

Step 2: Partner with Advertisers 

Now that you are in the Publisher Dashboard, here is how to start.

 Success Tip

You may be asked for your SID if you were invited to a campaign. This is located in the top right-hand corner of the Publisher Dashboard.

Find Advertisers

You will want to work with advertisers in the content categories you promote. There are several ways to find these advertiser programs in the Publisher Dashboard

  • Use the Advertisers tab drop-down and select Find Advertisers. This will give you a search box to find advertisers by name. You may also see recommendations or recent advertisers listed below.
  • Or select Find Advertiser Offers. Press Filter to select a specific advertiser, commission type, commission range, or other criteria. Relevant offers will be listed below.

After selecting an advertiser, click View Offer to see a summary of the advertiser and its program.

Apply For a Program
To start promoting advertisers you must be approved into their programs. To apply to an advertiser's program, press View offer details, then Apply in the offer you want to join. Advertiser's Terms and Conditions vary, so read them thoroughly. You will receive a system email or notice once approved.

 Step 3: Products and Links

Once your applications are approved, you can link to an advertiser's site and products. You will earn a commission when your links and codes are used to make purchases.

Advertisers offer a variety of link types that contain affiliate codes and other information that ensures you receive proper commissions for any sales you generate. Go to Links, then Find Links in the Publisher Dashboard. You can search for links by keyword, results will be broken out into types. To use an advertiser’s link, click on Get Link. To see more from that advertiser, click the 3-dot menu button in the lower right corner of the advertiser’s quick view.

Under the Links tab, we have Link Tools. This can help with Deep Links, which direct your visitors to a specific page on an advertiser's site rather than just the homepage. You may need to shorten the links for social media or email communications.

 Step 4: Earn

 Success Tip

Set up your account in the Publisher Dashboard to ensure you get paid. In the toolbar, select Account, then Account Details. Fill in any information not captured during registration. Pay particular attention to setting up your US Income Tax, non-US tax, and payment method information so you can receive your commissions.

Getting Paid

There are several things to keep in mind about getting paid. There are multiple options for payments, and they may vary with location. Our payment cycle occurs weekly on Wednesdays; however, advertisers are invoiced monthly. You must also meet a minimum threshold before a payment is generated.

The timeliness of receiving payments depends on the advertisers; some pay out quickly, while others may take time to process invoices and payments. You can monitor this in the Publisher Dashboard, click Accounts then Payments to see reports for keeping track of your advertisers' payments progress.


Affiliate marketing has its own set of terms. There is a comprehensive glossary of terms available. To get you started, here are a few important ones you should know:

  • Advertiser, Merchant, Brand: A person or organization selling products or services on the web.
  • Publisher, Affiliate: You may think of yourself as a discount site, content creator, or any other of a number of things. The industry term is publisher, a person or organization running a website that partners with one or more online advertisers. The publisher places links on their site to promote the merchant's products or services. In exchange, the publisher receives a commission for all valid transactions referred.
  • SID: Site identification is a unique number used in our network to identify your publisher account. include it in all communications with us.
  • MID: Merchant identification is a unique number used in our network to identify the advertiser’s affiliate program.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR): This is a way of measuring the effectiveness of a campaign by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions.
  • Impression: A single instance of a link shown to a user.
  • Orders per Click: Orders per click, also called conversion rate, is the percentage of clicks on an affiliate link that leads to a sale or other commissionable action.
  • EPC: Earnings per click are obtained by dividing the commissions earned by the number of clicks, or click-throughs, that generated these commissions.
  • AOV or AOS: Average order value or average order size represents the sum of sales divided by the number of orders.

Next Steps

As you continue your Affiliate journey, we recommend the following steps:

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