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10 Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners

Best Affiliate Programs

10 Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners

If you’re new to affiliate marketing, you’re likely overwhelmed by the numerous things you have to do. There’s no need to worry, even though there’s a lot you need to learn.

Anyone can start blogging. However, not everyone can monetize a blog effectively through affiliate marketing. Even some seasoned affiliates don’t know all the ways to make the most out of their content.

If you are interested in joining the affiliate marketing world, read on to discover how you can make money from the comfort of your home.

What Is An Affiliate Program?

Affiliate programs also referred to as associate programs, are arrangements where individuals(online merchants) get paid a commission when they help a merchant website generate sales (traffic).

The online merchants usually post links to the parent company and are paid based on a specific agreement. The agreement usually depends on the number of people the affiliate will send to the merchant website and whether they purchase a product or perform any other action.

Recruiting online merchants is an excellent marketing strategy. Affiliate marketing is advantageous for a merchant website since it’s cheap and effective. Simply put, merchant sites pay affiliates any time the link on affiliate websites or content sites generates sales.

In every affiliate program transaction, there are at least three parties involved. These are:

  • The merchant site
  • The customer
  • The online merchant

Affiliate programs have grown in popularity in recent years. For most sites that don’t sell services or products online themselves, existing as an affiliate is an excellent way to participate in e-commerce and earn a semi-passive income.

How Affiliate Marketing Works

This is the oldest kind of online marketing, whereby you get paid a commission when you refer someone to any online product, and they purchase it.

Big companies such as Google, Amazon, and Apple have affiliate programs. These programs are free to join for anyone regardless of your geographical location.

The commission usually ranges depending on the product type and how much it costs. The product an affiliate promotes determines the commission they’ll get paid, which is typically a percentage of the product’s cost.

Affiliate marketing involves the following  easy steps:

  • Signing up for an Affiliate program
  • Picking a product you wish to promote—the merchant site will give you a unique link
  • Sharing the link on digital platforms, YouTube Videos, Blogs, among others
  • When someone uses your link to buy a product, you earn a commission

Most e-commerce companies have free affiliate programs—signing up for affiliate programs is as easy as creating an online profile.

Once you get your unique link, you can use it to recommend the product any time you are marketing. Whenever a customer clicks your affiliate link and ends up buying the product, you’ll receive a commission.

Is affiliate marketing as simple as it sounds? Affiliate marketing is complex and easy at the same time.

It’s simple because signing up for a program is easy, and receiving payment has been made easier with the advancement of technology. Payment is automated due to the advent of services such as Payoneer and PayPal.

Types Of Affiliate Marketing

The primary types of affiliate marketing are:

1. PPP (Pay Per Performance)

PPP is the leading type of affiliate marketing. It’s also the most profitable type of affiliate marketing for online merchants.

In PPP,  an affiliate only earns a commission when their referral generates a sale. This means that merchant sites save a lot of cash in this type of agreement.

What makes PPP profitable is that affiliates earn a commission of between 15-20% for every successful sale.

2. PPS (Pay Per Sale)

In PPS, merchants pay affiliates a fixed commission anytime a customer buys a product based on the affiliate’s referral.

Most merchants usually prefer to pay a fixed fee instead of paying a commission for every sale. Whether the merchant pays a commission or a fixed charge, the fee is usually higher than what affiliates earn with pay-per-click.

3. PPC (Pay Per Click)

This is among the most common types of affiliate marketing for affiliates with small websites as it’s the simplest way for them to earn some cash.

In PPC, the affiliate earns a commission every time a visitor clicks on the merchant’s text ads or banners. The affiliate gets paid whether the visitor purchases a product or not.

The commission is low—usually a dollar or less per click.

2. PPL (Pay Per Lead)

PPL is similar to PPS only with a slight variation. This type of affiliate marketing is common with finance and insurance companies that rely on leads to grow their business.

In PPL, affiliates earn a commission if visitors fill out a company’s application form based on their recommendations. The commission is usually fixed.

What’s The Difference Between Affiliate Programs And Affiliate Networks?

In simple terms, an affiliate network refers to an online marketplace where affiliates can find suitable offers. Affiliate networks basically act as a middleman. At the same time, advertisers have the opportunity to work with leading affiliates without the hassle of having to do intensive research to find suitable affiliate partners.

On the other hand, affiliate programs refer to arrangements that pay individuals(online merchants) a commission when they help a merchant website generate sales(traffic).

Affiliate programs don’t have intermediaries—the programs are directly developed, managed, and promoted by the merchant websites. Therefore, affiliates don’t have a guaranteed payout.

Affiliate programs are very profitable and require affiliates to have excellent communication skills in order to retain customers. However, marketing using affiliate programs is more effective for well-established companies.

10 Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners

1. ClickBank

Clickbank’s affiliate program has been in operation since 2004 and was among the first affiliate programs. Its affiliate features include:

  • Cookies that last for 60 days.
  • A Commission of up to 75%.
  • The payment term differs (Net 30-60).

If you are interested in selling digital products, Clickbank’s affiliate program is perfect for you.

Clickbank is different from other platforms that depend on well-known brands. Clickbank focuses on products from independent entrepreneurs and small businesses globally.

The platform also has many affiliate marketing materials that you can learn from. Some guides can assist you in finding the best products to promote. The platform has a gravity score that you can use to determine the sales a product is generating.

The higher the score, the higher the competition. Therefore, you should pick products whose score ranges between 30-100.

The structure and commission rates differ depending on the product. Some products have recurrent upsells and commissions to boost your earnings.

2. Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is among the best affiliate programs for beginners. It’s ideal for first-timers in any niche. The features of this program include:

  • Cookies last for 24 hours
  • A Commission ranging between 1-10%
  • The payment term is Net 60

The program has received pushback from online experts attempting to sell customers costly affiliate items.

Despite this, the program continues to be the most lucrative affiliate marketing program in the marketing industry.

Joining Amazon Associates is simple, and there are no minimum sale requirements.

However, you have to make a minimum of three sales within the first 180 days after joining to continue being a member.

Amazon Associates doesn’t pay gold. Nevertheless, you earn a commission for every sale you make.

3. eBay Partner Network

This affiliate program has over 1 billion product listings that you can promote and more than  175 million buyers every year. This platform is more or less like Amazon Associates. However, eBay only offers commissions of up to 5%. Its features include:

  • A Commission scale that ranges between 1-5%
  • Cookies last for 24 hours
  • The payment term is Net 30

For auction listings, the 24-hour cookie can be a disadvantage. However, there’s no need to worry because 80% of the program’s product listings are new non-auction products.

You earn a double commission if you refer a new customer or a user who’s never purchased anything through eBay in the last year.

4. CJ Affiliate

This program is a reinvention of the Commission Junction affiliate network. Cj affiliate is among the few programs that have been in the business for more than 20 years. The platform boasts affiliate commissions averaging $1.8 billion.

The features of this program include:

  • Commission: Up to 30%
  • Cookie duration: Varies (1-120 days)
  • Payment term: Net 60

This program has over 3,000 brands—both big and small. They have brands such as Office Depot, Samsung, GoPro, Underarmour, and Lowe’s.

Some of these brands pay higher commissions on the CJ Affiliate program than their in-house affiliate programs. In addition, CJ Affiliate has among the industry’s leading support staff and affiliate tools.

In this program, merchants are the ones who set their commission rates, the minimum being $0.30 for every transaction.

5. ClickFunnels Affiliate Program

This is among the most lucrative programs for both seasoned and beginner affiliates. The terms of the program include:

  • Cookies last 30 days.
  • A Commission of 40% (recurrent) + 5% on other items + rewards.
  • A Payment term of Net 15.

ClickFunnels is popular among seasoned affiliates since it has an out-of-this-world offer—they’ll cover your lease for any luxury vehicle of your choice.

You earn a $500 lease coverage every month by inviting 100 active users. You can double your monthly lease coverage if you double the number of active users.

If you don’t consider this beginner-friendly, there are tons of other money-generating opportunities on the platform.

A basic ClickFunnel plan costs about $97, while the more expensive plan costs $297. There’s an even more costly enterprise plan.

You get an MMR of $38.80 every time you invite a new user to the platform. Imagine how much you’d get for inviting 20 new users every month!

ClickFunnels also has a second-tier commission structure that can be a reliable source of income.

In addition, there are many other avenues for you to earn commissions.

For example, there’s the One Funnel Challenge, where you can earn a commission of $100 for every referral, and the Funnel Script, where you receive 40% for every sale.

The platform also has other free offers where you can earn a commission. These include:

  • Expert Secrets Book where you can earn a potential commission of $927.
  • DotCom Secrets Book where you can make a possible commission of $967.
  • 108 Proven Split Test Winners Book where you can earn a potential commission of $197.
  • FunnelHacker Cookbook, where you can earn a possible commission of $933.
  • Funnel Graffiti Training where you can earn a potential commission of $144.

6. Rakuten Marketing

Rakuten Marketing is a Japanese company that began affiliate marketing in 2005 after acquiring Linkshare. The program features include:

  • A varying commission (Up to $50 for every sale)
  • Varying cookie durations
  • Payment term differs (Net 30 to Net 60)

The program has won awards owing to its investment in technology.

The program’s best features are ad rotation and automation. Targeting is made easier since you can link to a specific page on the merchant’s website.

Rakuten Marketing is beginner-friendly, although its application process is stricter than other affiliate marketing programs, particularly for sites with fewer sales.

If you wish to have multiple income streams, Rakuten Marketing is among the top affiliate programs for new users and is worth considering.

The platform partners with more than 1000 advertisers such as Pacsun, Ray-Ban, JanSport, Amex, Virgin, and New Balance.

7. ShareASale

ShareASale is as beginner-friendly and simple as Amazon Associates. The platform’s features include:

  • A commission range of between 2-8%.
  • Cookie length varies between 30-160 days.
  • The payment term differs, but it ranges between Net 30 and 90.

This affiliate program is ideal for beginner affiliates looking to promote products from startups. However, ShareASale also has partnerships with well-known brands.

The program has over 5,000 advertisers. Out of these, 100 are exclusive—this means that the only way to be an affiliate for their product is through ShareASale.

ShareASale doesn’t have the most intuitive or beautiful interface. However, if you look past this, there’s a lot of money to be made from this platform.

8. ActiveCampaign

This affiliate program is among the best email marketing platforms available. ActiveCampaign’s features include:

  • A recurrent commission of 20% – 30%.
  • Cookies that last for 90 days.
  • A payment term of Net 60.

The affiliate program is free to join; however, you have to be an ActiveCampaign user before you start promoting the product.

ActiveCampaign has a tier structure that determines the percentage commission an affiliate will earn from a referral.

There are three tiers; silver, gold, and platinum. In the silver tier, affiliates earn a 20% commission for every transaction, while in the gold and platinum tiers, affiliates earn 25% and 30% commissions, respectively.

Gold tier affiliates must make sales amounting to $100 in three months or have monthly active accounts that amount to $500 to earn a commission, while platinum tiers’ three-month sales must amount to $500 or active accounts amounting to $500 every month to get a commission.

9. Shopify Affiliate Program

  • Payment term: Net 5.
  • Cookie period: 30 days.
  • Commission: 200% for each sale and 20% recurring

Shopify is the top e-commerce web hosting service provider. It hosts leading e-commerce stores globally like Nestlé, Budweiser, Tesla Motors, and Kylie Cosmetics.

Since there’s increasing popularity of making passive income online and the dropshipping model, beginners shouldn’t have a hard time promoting Shopify.

Shopify Rates

The standard sale for every user is $58. You can make up to $2,400 for every sale with the average plan solely and $2,000 for each sale with Shopify Plus.

10. Fiverr Affiliates

If you think that digital or physical products are overrated, you can promote services.

Fiverr Affiliates program allows affiliates to promote freelance services. You can get $150 for every new referral on Fiverr Pro and $50 per referral on Fiverr services. The terms of the Fiverr affiliate program include:

  • A Commission of up to $150.
  • Cookies that last an entire year.
  • Payment term of Net 30.

Different services on this platform have varying commission rates.

For example, some services under animation and video, tech and programming, and game development can earn you $50 for every referral.

You can also get a 30% commission on AND.CO accounting software and a 30% commission on Fiverr courses.

Fiver Affiliates is also on CJ Affiliate, and they have the same commission payment. However, if you want to deal with Fiverr directly, you should sign up via their straightforward in-house affiliate marketing program.

Steps To Begin Affiliate Marketing

Below are six steps for how to get started with affiliate marketing:

1. Pick Out A Niche

You have to identify a niche that you’ll be targeting even before starting an affiliate business. It should be something you’re passionate about, like a hobby or interest—it’s easier to work on things you like.

The niche you pick should be in high demand. Your niche won’t generate much profit if there isn’t enough interest in the product. Finally, you need to consider if there are affiliate programs available in the niche you’re targeting. You won’t make sales if there are no programs.

2. Establish Your Platform

A platform can be a number of different things. For instance, you can begin a podcast and place it on iTunes, post YouTube videos on your channel, or write articles in your blogs.

3. Get A Commissionable Commodity

The most appropriate way to get a commissionable product is by finding a good affiliate program. Ensure that the program is efficient and reliable—don’t promote a commodity just for the sake of earning cash.

Take your time and find an affiliate program that aligns with your personal interest, brand, and niche.

4. Create High-Quality Content

After identifying your product of interest, start promoting it by creating excellent content in the form of podcast episodes, YouTube videos, or articles. Make sure the content is in line with the product you’re promoting. You’ll be more successful if you create more content.

How To Promote Affiliate Programs

Social Media

Affiliate marketing on social media platforms can generate huge sales and revenue. This is among the most popular platforms you can use to promote affiliate programs. You can post the product features and images to attract buyers.

It’s easier to do affiliate marketing on digital platforms compared to other ways of affiliate program promotion—social media is simple to use, and you can effortlessly attract a wide audience. Popular platforms for affiliate marketing include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. This is the most effective way to promote affiliate programs.


You can use vlogs for affiliate marketing. Make YouTube videos describing the product and services to your audience. You can even include links in the description or coupon codes for your affiliate. When a consumer uses your affiliate link or coupon code to buy items, you’ll get a cut of the sale.


As a blogger, you can use your blog as a means of marketing affiliate products. Choose products that are in line with your blog topics and niche. Ensure you post affiliate links in your content to direct your audience to sites where they can buy the products you highlight. You’ll get a commission percentage if viewers use the link to purchase products.


E-mail is a powerful affiliate marketing medium that allows you to deliver content and affiliate links to a specific audience. You must get the target audience’s email address then send them your content as a newsletter or product round-up. You can use various tools to manage and expand your contacts and mailing lists.

Paid Search Campaign

This entails paying search engines to display advertisements on the internet and share affiliate links through the ads. Although a paid search campaign is an expensive marketing mode, it’s an effective way to get the appropriate consumers for services and products.

Useful Affiliate Marketing Tips

1) Have Passion For What You Do And Learn From Others

You must love what you’re doing to be successful in affiliate marketing. Otherwise, there’ll be no difference between you and a jaded office worker laboring day and night to settle bills.

Even though the path to success is full of challenges, you have to brace yourself and work through these setbacks. For this reason, it’s essential to enjoy what you’re doing as this will inspire and motivate you to have a positive perspective of things—you’ll find new ways to tackle every challenge that comes up.

Try learning from others and doing research to find out what they’ve been doing. Adopt and implement effective practices into your affiliate marketing approach.

One way to interact with your fellow affiliate marketers is by joining affiliate marketing groups on Facebook. You can also participate in other discussion forums and boards you encounter. Alternatively, you can hire an expert to train you or pay for affiliate marketing courses.

2) Familiarize Yourself With The Product And Devise A Plan

You should never market a product you know nothing about. Before you promote anything, study the product down to the most insignificant detail. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in a very unpleasant situation.

For example, you may be stranded if potential buyers ask you detailed questions about the product, or you may promote a product variant that’s out of sale. You might even find it challenging to describe the product properly, and no one will listen to you from the word go!

Once you familiarize yourself with the product’s fundamentals, devise a plan. You should make a solid plan that’ll help you promote the product effectively. Without a sound strategy, you have no reason to try marketing the product since you’ll likely hit a dead end.

Use the 5Ws rule to develop a business plan: What, Why, When, Where, and Who.

  • What are you marketing?
  • Why would people want to purchase?
  • When are you marketing it?
  • Where are you marketing it?
  • Who are you marketing it to?

Assess the situation from a potential consumers’ point of view. Outline the benefits they’ll get from buying the product you’re marketing—factor in all these details when drafting a plan.

3) Be Consistent

Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme, so don’t entertain the thoughts of amassing a great deal of wealth in your first month.

Like any other business, affiliate marketing takes effort and time to attain results. You’ll have to progress slowly but surely until you achieve stability and confidence in your business.

There’s no standard duration to establish yourself as a prosperous marketer with stable income—it may be years, months, or weeks. You just need to be consistent and remain true to yourself to succeed in the long run.

4) Establish A Good Reputation

You can’t be successful in affiliate marketing if you don’t have a good reputation.  Your reputation should precede you—a good reputation is highly beneficial even if it’s only in your little niche market.

Work on establishing funnels, assets, and valuable listings instead of creating a one-page campaign. Build strong connections and relationships with fellow marketers and dominate your field.

5) Remain Active And Build A Strong Team

Since your workload will increase with the continuous growth of your affiliate marketing “image,” you’ll have to build a formidable team.

Building a reliable team is the best way to delegate duties and have more time to yourself—micromanaging will affect your personal life and hurt your affiliate marketing career, so refrain from it! Look for a few people who share a similar interest with you. A team will help you remain on track and continue expanding.

Most importantly, you must remain active. Since it may be hard to stay creative when you’re exhausted, strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle to stay active. Work out every day, allocate time to yourself and eat healthily—your well-being is a priority!

Morning exercise will keep you on your toes and active during the day. A simple jog can keep your mind fresh. Having a team will help you maintain a flexible schedule and get time to work out and look after yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are Affiliate Sales Incremental?

Yes, affiliate sales are incremental. Incremental sales are units traded through a particular marketing campaign. The campaigns can be in the form of social media ads, influences, affiliate marketing, and other ways.

For an affiliate sale to be incremental, an individual outside the company must drive the movement that leads to that purchase. That sale should be made with a push from a social media channel, affiliate, or partner.

2. Are Performance Marketing And Affiliate Marketing Similar?

No, affiliate and performance marketing are not the same. Performance marketing integrates various price structures depending on the performance of the ads.

For instance, the number of times a product was clicked or viewed or how frequent a sale is made. This marketing strategy involves methods such as display advertising or pay-per-click (PPC).

Affiliate marketing is categorized under performance marketing since commissions are based on performance when a sale is made.

3. What’s The Highest Number Of Affiliate Programs I Can Join?

Don’t join more than three affiliate programs on one site. Ensure you research the programs you’d like to join beforehand and be certain that they don’t mind you joining other programs.

4. What’s A Super Affiliate?

This is an individual who has established an influential and thriving affiliate business and steadily drives a great majority of sales from the programs they market, compared to other affiliate partners in the program. Super affiliates earn a lot of money from affiliate marketing in the range of 5 to 6 figures and sometimes are eligible for custom commission structures.

5. Can I Have An Affiliate Program In Several Countries?

Yes, you can have an affiliate program in multiple countries. Since the internet is globally connected, you can promote your affiliate programs in multiple regions.

Ensure you customize your content to varying sub-groups if you work with affiliates in different countries. It’s important to consider language for affiliate strategies that you set internationally.

6. What Are The Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing Compared To Others?

Since affiliate marketing pays out commissions on sales, there are limited chances that promotions won’t generate Return On Investment (ROI). It promotes your product to new consumers while tapping into the diverse expertise of your publishers.

You can easily manage the budgets since the channel offers visibility and transparency. It’s simple to maintain affiliate networks and deal with customer service and returns.

Bottom Line

The list above only has some of the affiliate programs available for beginners. These programs will help you get started in affiliate marketing with much ease.

Take note that the main things that’ll determine the success of your affiliate marketing business are the quality of your products and the standard of your leads or traffic. These tips will help you navigate this volatile and competitive industry and increase your chances of earning from your affiliate marketing efforts.

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