Business Model Options


When signing up as a publisher, you are asked to select a business model. A business model is a general description of how you plan to generate revenue and earn profits from your website or affiliate marketing channels. 

We outline the main business models here to help you decide where you fit. Which business model you select is ultimately your choice. You may want to ask your business advisers for help developing your business plan and deciding which model fits your website and affiliate marketing channels. If needed, you can change your selection on your marketing channel's details page


We can provide information to give you context, but we do not make recommendations. The business model you select is up to you, your accountant, and your legal team.

Business Model Options

These are the most common types of affiliate websites and the business models they support:

  • Loyalty and Rewards: Your primary business model is based on loyalty or rewards. Loyalty and reward sites give something back to the consumer in exchange for purchasing through the advertiser’s site. Rewards come in many forms, including cash back, airline miles, credit card points, or a percentage of a sale given to an organization.
  • Coupons and Deals: Your primary business model is based on offering customers coupons, discounts, and deals.
  • General Shopping: Your primary business model is shopping. Shopping sites can be thought of as a virtual mall. The consumer can shop for various products and brands without leaving the site. This type of publisher is not explicitly focused on coupons and deals.
  • Search: Your primary business model is based on search. You promote advertisers via natural or paid search engine marketing.
  • Price Comparison: Your primary business model is based on price comparison. Comparison shopping sites sell items where some comparison is made before the purchase. Often the publisher will have direct product links of the same product from different advertisers.
  • Content/Niche: Your primary business model is based on content, such as news stories, media, music, or video. Content sites focus on a specific area of interest. This type of site is usually not a shopping site, but users go to the site because they are interested in relevant content on the site. Content sites that do well with performance-based marketing blend their area of expertise with product recommendations.
  • Social Shopping: Your primary business model is based on social shopping. Social shopping sites usually combine shopping with user recommendations, reviews, lists, and other social network features.
  • User Generated: Your primary business model is based on user-generated content like communities, forums, and social networks.
  • Developer: Your primary business mode is using the tools and data Rakuten Advertising provides to integrate our services.
  • Other: Select this option if your primary business model does not fall into the other categories.

Next Steps

Learn more about the sign-up process or learn some Publisher Dashboard basics.  

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