If you’ve ever asked “What are the best affiliate programs for beginners?”, then this article is for you because I’ll be sharing with you some great affiliate programs for leading niches, how to join them, and answering other common questions you might have.
Affiliate marketing is a very lucrative stream of income to add into a company of any type, but often when you’re getting started, you’re confused about:
- What’s relevant and what’s not
- Who’s a good affiliate partner for your niche
- and, Where to find the best affiliate programs for you
- 1 What is Affiliate Marketing?
- 2 How much do Affiliate Marketers Make?
- 3 A Good Affiliate Program vs. a Bad Affiliate Program: What’s the Difference?
- 4 What Affiliate Program Pays Most?
- 5 Should you Sell High Ticket Products?
- 6 Should you Sign up with an Affiliate Network or Directly with a Merchant?
- 7 Are Affiliate Programs Free to Join?
- 8 What’s the Process to get Accepted into an Affiliate Program?
- 9 Is Amazon Associates the Best Affiliate Program? Not Anymore
- 10 The Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers in 2020
- 11 How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing as a Beginner?
- 12 Conclusion
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketers earn commissions for referring customers to products and services. In affiliate marketing, a partnership is formed between a merchant and a publisher (or affiliate); sometimes with the help of an affiliate network. Once the partnership is formed, the affiliate does media-style work to build an audience around a topic, and when they send customers to take action with the merchant, they can be paid for the lead or the sale (depending on the arrangement).
- How I Made my First Affiliate Sale (with Less than 2 Months of Experience!)
- The Beginner’s Guide to Affiliate Marketing
How much do Affiliate Marketers Make?
Similar to sales professionals, affiliate marketers earn a commission-based income. It’s not salary-based like a job. It can take time to get traction. In fact, most affiliate marketers make less than $19,000 in their first two years, however, after the process is mastered, and an audience is grown, you can earn upwards of $100,000 per month because there is no cap. The more you sell, the more money you make.
A Good Affiliate Program vs. a Bad Affiliate Program: What’s the Difference?
Good affiliate programs are reliable, they communicate well with their affiliate force, and they offer relevant products and services. On the contrary, bad affiliate programs may have issues with paying, don’t communicate, and can really make it not worthwhile to promote their products and services. Learn more about how to pick good affiliate program in my article here.
What Affiliate Program Pays Most?
While there are affiliate programs who pay out millions per month (like Amazon or Wealthy Affiliate), it doesn’t mean they will pay alot for everyone. It’s best to choose affiliate programs that sell products you feel confident about because the authenticity will help you sell the products.
Should you Sell High Ticket Products?
Many instructors are saying you should sell high ticket products, but the fact is high ticket products don’t always have the highest lifetime customer value. It’s best to sell products that fulfill the customers desires, so they’ll come back repeatedly for more advice and recommendations–driving your lifetime customer value up drastically.
Should you Sign up with an Affiliate Network or Directly with a Merchant?
As an affiliate, you have the choice to sign up with an affiliate network or direct with independent publishers. Both can be good options if they pay on time, they offer good commissions, they solve problems that are in demand with their products, and they communicate well with you as an affiliate.
Are Affiliate Programs Free to Join?
Some affiliate programs will require you to buy their products or services, which means it’s not really free. For most affiliate programs, they are free to join.
What’s the Process to get Accepted into an Affiliate Program?
For most affiliate programs, the process is very simple. You normally complete a short application with information about your business and your promotional methods. The merchant will review your application and decide if your website is mature enough, your niche is relevant, and your promotional methods are a match for the direction they want to go with their brand. Once they’ve reviewed your application and promotional methods, then they will either accept or decline your application.
Is Amazon Associates the Best Affiliate Program? Not Anymore
At one point, Amazon was one of the most admired affiliate programs. They have alot of products, and almost any niche can find products to promote. Many say their affiliate program accounts for their astonishing growth. Unfortunately, Amazon isn’t showing much appreciation to their publishers for their support.
Instead, they’ve repeatedly cut commissions, taking more and more of affiliate commissions away. The most recent cut on April 21 (during the COVID-19 pandemic) slashed commissions drastically! Some categories that were earning 8% commissions were cut down to 1%. For Amazon associates, this meant thousands of dollars in income lost at no fault of theirs.
As a result, Amazon is no longer the best affiliate program. It still has good conversion rates because most people are familiar with Amazon, but it’s not reliable, it keeps changing against the favor of affiliates, and it may be cut altogether (since it’s down to 1% commission for most things now).
The Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers in 2020
These are the best affiliate programs I’ve found. Each of them has next to it what affiliate network is managing it. If it doesn’t have an affiliate network’s name next to it, it’s because it’s managed independently.
Amazon Associates Alternatives
Affiliate Networks – CJ Affiliate, Share-A-Sale, Flexoffers, AWIN, and others are the best places to find thousands of affiliate programs at once. Get my full list of 9 recommended affiliate networks here.
Books-a-Million – 4%
Zazzle – Personalized Products – 15% – [Share-A-Sale]
Vistaprint – 4.8%-11.2% [Flexoffers]
Personal Finance (including Make Money Online)
Wealthy Affiliate – Affiliate Marketing Training, Networking, and Software – 40% recurring
Tailwind – Pinterest Marketing Software – 15% [Flexoffers or Share-A-Sale]
Grammarly – Spelling and Grammar Software – [Share-A-Sale]
Fiverr – Freelance Services and Software – $150 per sale or $10+10% rev-share
Convertkit – Email Marketing – 30% recurring
Aweber – Email Marketing – 30% recurring
GetResponse – Email Marketing – 30% recurring
Teachable – Digital Course Software – 40% recurring
Podia – Digital Products, Courses, and Webinars – All-in-one – 30% recurring
Creative Market – Social media templates, themes, etc. – 15% on a first-time purchase
SkimLinks – Replaces keywords with Affiliate Links
Incfile – Incorporation Services – $100 per sale
SEMRush – SEO software – $80
Leadpages – 24% – Landing page software
Thrive Themes – WordPress Conversion Software – 40% recurring
Clickfunnels – Sales Funnel Software – 40% recurring
BrightLocal – 12% of sales
Freshbooks – $5 per lead – $110 per sale [Share-A-Sale]
Quickbooks – Accounting software – up to $160 – [Flexoffers]
Thinkific – 20% [Share-A-Sale]
Udemy – Professional Development courses – 16%
Envato Marketplace – WordPress themes, stock videos, stock images, and copyright free content
Acorns – Money-saving software – $8.00 per lead and $32.00 per sale
Relevant Categories for Personal Finance Affiliate Programs
- WordPress Themes
- WordPress Plugins
- Web Hosting
- WordPress Courses
- Social media marketing tools
- Social media marketing courses
- SEO tools and courses
- Email Marketing
- Content Management Platforms (Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc.)
- Digital Product Platforms
- Conversion Optimization Software
- Business Opportunities
- Money Saving Hacks
- Money Saving Software
- Bookkeeping/Accounting software
- Timekeeping Software
- Productivity courses
- Personal Development Courses
- Business Startup Resources
- Physical Product Sales Software
- Physical Product Sourcing Solutions
- Credit Cards
- Debt Payoff solutions
- Small Business Solutions
- Investment opportunities (education, software, accounts, etc.)
Fashion and Beauty Affiliate Programs
Shopstyle Collective – An Affiliate Network averaging around 9%
Etsy – Handmade Products – 4% [Awin]
Estee Lauder – Women’s Skincare – 8% [Flexoffers]
Clinique – Skincare – 9.6% [Flexoffers]
Journey’s – Trending Shoes – 7% [Flexoffers]
Kenneth Cole – 5.6% [Flexoffers]
Sephora – 4% [Flexoffers]
JCPenney – 5% [Flexoffers]
The Sak – Handbags – 4-4.8% [Flexoffers]
Relevant Categories for Fashion and Beauty Affiliate Programs
- Clothing Accessories
- Department Stores
- Health & Beauty
- Sports Equipment
Health/Fitness Affiliate Programs
Platejoy – 6% [Flexoffers]
Under Armour – Fitness Clothing – 6.4% [Flexoffers]
Fresh Meal Plan – $36 [Flexoffers]
eVitamins – Vitamins, supplements, beauty and health related products – 8% [Flexoffers]
BPI Sports – Sports Supplements – up to 20% [Flexoffers]
Bulksupplements.com – All Supplements – 15% [Share-A-Sale]
Swanson – Health Products – 8% [Flexoffers]
Aadaptiv – Exercise from Home and Personal Trainers – $7.50-30.00 [CJ Affiliate]
Fit Track – Health Monitoring beyond the Scale – 12% [CJ Affiliate]
Relevant Categories for Fashion and Beauty Affiliate Programs
- Meal planning services
- Health and Fitness courses
- Natural Healing Solutions
- Health and Fitness Closing
- Health and fitness Equipment
- How to Start a Sports Blog – A Step-by-Step Guide
- How to Make Money as an Athlete with Affiliate Marketing
Electronics/Technology Affiliate Programs
Samsung – 6.4% [Flexoffers]
GoPro – Cameras for people on-the-go – 5% [CJ Affiliate]
Relevant Categories for Technology Affiliate Programs
- Technology Courses/Tutorials
Parenting Affiliate Programs
Crayola – 7.2% [Flexoffers]
Clickbank – Digital product platform
ABCmouse.com – Early childhood education – $4 per sale [CJ Affiliate]
Care.com – Babysitters and Nannies – $1 per lead and $15 per sale [CJ Affiliate]
Burt Bees Baby – Natural baby care products – 5% per sale [CJ Affiliate]
Buy Buy Baby – 1-3% and $6 per lead [ CJ Affiliate]
Relevant Categories for Parenting Affiliate Programs
- Child development courses
- Anger management courses
- Kids clothing
- Kids toys
- Educational tools and equipment
Advance Auto Parts – 5% [Flexoffers]
Piscifun – Fishing and Outdoor Equipment – 15% [Share-A-Sale]
4 Wheel Parts – Vehicle Parts and Accessories (especially off-road) – 4% [CJ Affiliate]
FITE – Sports Streaming – 25%-45% [ CJ Affiliate]
Relevant Categories for Outdoors Affiliate Programs
- Sports tools and equipment
- Survival courses
- Sports courses
- Outdoors equipment
- Outdoor clothing
- Safety equipment
- Disaster preparedness education and equipment
Bark Box – 12% [Flexoffers]
Chewy.com – $17.00 [Flexoffers]
ePlanters – Home and Business Plants – 8.4% [Flexoffers]
Wayfair – Commercial and Residential Furniture and Decor 7% – [CJ Affiliate]
Thumbtack – 36% [Flexoffers]
Applicances Connection – 5% [Flexoffers]
Aera Home Fragrance – 7.2%-8% [Flexoffers]
Bear Mattress – 5% [Share-A-Sale]
Home Depot – 2% [Impact Radius]
Relevant Categories for Home Decor Affiliate Programs
- Organization supplies
- Cleaning supplies
- Home management tools and equipment
- Remodeling tools
- Remodeling courses
- Decorative pieces
- Preservation tools
Party City – 4% [CJ Affiliate]
Ripley’s Believe it or Not – 10% [CJ Affiliate]
Grubhub – $8 [Flexoffers]
Enterprise Rent-a-Car – 2.4% [Flexoffers]
AT&T – up to $128 [Flexoffers]
Musicnotes.com – 6% [Flexoffers]
Overstock – 3.2% on sales [Flexoffers]
Hulu – $1.60 per free trial and $9.60 per sale [Flexoffers]
Nike – 4.8% [Flexoffers]
Kohl’s – 2.4% [Flexoffers]
BibleStore.com – 8% [Share-A-Sale]
Google Shopping – Helping people find the best prices across vendors – 0%-13.5% [CJ Affiliate]
Relevant Categories for Lifestyle Affiliate Programs
- Relationship courses
- Relationship events
- Personal development
- Personal Finance
- Home Decor
How to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing as a Beginner?
If you want to get started with affiliate marketing, it’s best to…
1. Choose a Niche
There are thousands of niches to choose from, but if you need a hand, check out my list of 100+ top niches and guide on how to choose a niche.
2. Build a Website
3. Set up Social Channels
Social media is a great place to meet new people (including potential customers). It’s best to set up your social media channels because they can lead to additional traffic and customers.
4. Publish Content
Your website is a resource center that answers questions for people online. It’s important to publish content because it plays a key role in your marketing plan, increasing brand awareness, and facilitating the online sales process.
5. Sign up for Affiliate Programs
You can choose from the affiliate programs listed here. It’s important to decide which affiliate partners would be relevant to the mission you have on your website.
How to Sign up for CJ Affiliate
Check out my tutorial showing you how CJ Affiliate works and the pros and cons of working with them.
How to Sign up for Flexoffers
Visit Flexoffers signup page after your website has been set up, and you’ve gotten content there. Fill out their application for publishers. Flexoffers will review your application and decide if you can be a part of the Flexoffers publisher network.
How to Sign up for ShareASale
Visit the Share-A-Sale signup page and complete the application for publishers. They will review your application and decide whether you can be a part of their publisher network.
How to Sign up for Independent Affiliate Programs
Many publishers manage the recruitment, payment, and software of their affiliate programs themselves–these are what we refer to as “independent affiliate programs”. Independent affiliate programs can offer very relevant products and services for your audience and great commission structures. Sometimes, independent affiliate programs don’t understand the seriousness of paying on time, informing affiliates of plans or upcoming sales, or supporting affiliates to get optimal results. Make sure to validate the affiliate program support is responsive and ethical.
6. Get Traffic
By publishing high-quality and in-demand content to your website, you’ll be able to attract people who are interested in your topics.
7. Make Money
When you find people who are looking to solve a problem, and you present a solution from one of your merchant partners, then you’re positioning yourself for sales and money.
If you’ve been looking for the best affiliate programs for beginners, hopefully you found what you’ve been looking for in this master list. Partnering with these companies can help you to solve problems for people in your audience and make good money along the way. If you need help maximizing your earnings with affiliate marketing, join me here for a free website and affiliate marketing training.
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