27 Best Affiliate Programs
When you think of affiliate programs, you probably think of those hokey 1990s get started in real estate videos and on paper tutorials. Today’s versions come as video downloads, but the affiliate industry has expanded vastly since its early days. While you once only had opportunities that resembled a $99 course to teach you real estate investing, today you can choose from many more accessible opportunities to increase the likelihood of sales and the applicability of your products.
Setting Goals in Affiliate Programming
Your goal in any affiliate program should be to earn daily commissions via product recommendation. Some websites promote the idea that you should make about $900 to $1,000 per affiliate sale. Honestly, that’s kind of ridiculous. Those kinds of sales depend on someone gullible coming to your site and dropping a wad of cash if you are promoting some of the pie-in-the-sky products. Let’s agree that that is not a truly honest way to earn.
On the other hand, you can earn that kind of commission if you locate a program that lets you become an affiliate for something like car sales, tractor sales, etc. Today’s affiliate programs connect bloggers and online marketers with major corporations wanting to make sales and needing help doing it.
Affiliate Industry Categories
The affiliate industry now includes many product categories that nearly everyone needs such as VPNs, web hosting, website builders, beauty, fashion, travel, finance, fitness, marijuana/CBD oil, sports, music, video games, and cryptocurrency. You do need an active blog or website with active followers for this to work.
The blog can take time to build. You can use advertising to promote it though. You can use Twitter and other social media to promote your blog. Site rotators, backlink agreements with other blogs, and Facebook ads top the list of ways you can draw readers to your blog. You need to build your readership into the thousands to make any actual income. While experts like Adam Enfroy make $80,000 per month from one blog with 80 percent of that revenue coming from affiliate marketing, that is not common. Enfroy had worked as an affiliate program manager for many years and knew the business from the other side when he launched his blog in January 2019. His affiliate income stems from representing more than 90 programs.
You should start with one program. You need to promote it heavily, but honestly from the beginning. If you do not already have a blog, you can start one for free on BlogSpot or WordPress. You can also purchase webspace and host it yourself using a service like Ionos or Blue Host. While you can add the affiliate information at the outset, you should not expect to earn a ton of income from the start. Use logic. Expect to work hard to promote the blog and to promote the affiliate program, too. Choose something that offers universal appeal such as a web host, a services site, or an e-commerce outlet.
The 27 programs listed herein provide some of the best opportunities since they involve commonly purchased products and services. By choosing a program with universal appeal and a low-cost buy-in, you increase your potential sales. That makes it easier to move website visitors through your sales funnel. Try the following programs.
- 1. Fiverr: Fiverr lets freelancers sell their digital services on its web site. The affiliate program lets you promote the marketplace as a whole or specific service such as logo design, writing, or programming. As an affiliate, you can earn up to a $150 CPA per first-time buyer. You can also earn commission on return sales – up to $1,000 per sale. Fiverr uses a $10 CPA or 10 percent hybrid model for revenue sharing. Choose from more than 250 categories and more than 3 million digital services.
- Web hosting provides a popular category because it fills a need and an affordable product. Many people can afford web hosting that costs less than $5 per month while few can afford $99 for a real estate course. Every blogger, business, franchise, hobbyist, etc. needs a website. That means they need a web host. Choose your web host, then become an affiliate for that company.
- 2. Bluehost: Bluehost offers one of the best affiliate programs, with payouts beginning at $65. Its web hosting starts at $2.95 per month. This is a popular first program for many. You earn credit for each referral for up to 45 days following their initial Bluehost purchase. The payment cycle runs from the 16th to the final day of the month. You need a $100 minimum to release your payment.
- 3. HostGator: Another web host, HostGator, lets you chomp off a bit of the cost of their services by offering a discount. That might seem to work against a commission-based affiliate program, but it does not. Host Gator provides affiliates with landing pages that offer them a 60 percent discount and nets the affiliate up to $100 per sign up. HostGator provides a tiered commission structure, a performance-based commission option, a hybrid commission option, and recurring payments.
- E-commerce sites like Shopify and 3dcart, and WYSIWYG web design sites with bundled hosting comprise another low-cost, but high commission opportunity.
- 4. Weebly: About 40 million users built their website with Weebly. The drag and drop design mode makes it simple to create a snazzy site. The affiliate program pays a 30 percent recurring commission on the customer’s total time with the company. It features a 120-day cookie which means that when your website visitor clicks on your affiliate link, the cookie that gets placed on their computer stays there for 120 days. The cookie tells Weebly to give you the commission if during the next three months after the initial click the customer makes a purchase.
- 5. Wix: The website builder Wix has 100 million users and growing. Their affiliate program provides you landing pages in multiple languages to help you land the $100 per sale commission.
- 6. Shopify: Help others start their e-commerce website while earning commissions with Shopify. It adds to its 400,000 merchants every day and you can earn a 200 percent commission for paid stores.
- 7. 3dcart: The e-commerce platform 3dcart pays a 300 percent commission on paid stores. Known for its strong conversion rates and helpful affiliate managers, you can quickly earn in this program.
- Everyone needs to use a virtual private network (VPN), but only 25 percent do use one each month so there is huge room for growth. Many offer a free trial period so they can test the service. Affiliate opportunities in this category pay smaller commissions due to the low-cost product, but you earn well because so many individuals and businesses purchase the products.
- 8. ExpressVPN: Since 2009, ExpressVPN has protected customer’s online privacy. Their affiliate program pays depending on the length of service plan the user purchases – one month earns a $13 commission, six months earns $22, and 12 months earns $36.
- 9. NordVPN: NordVPN also tiers its commission payments. It pays 100 percent for the first month, then 40 percent for six months, one year, and two-year plans.
- 10. PureVPN: The PureVPN affiliate program also tiers its commission payments with 100 percent for a one month plan and 40 percent for longer plans. It also hosts contests for its affiliates, plus a reward system.
- Web apps and services help you build your website. Joining an affiliate program that provides these services lets you earn money b helping others find and use the same great services you do to build your email list, create website forms, etc. These software as a service (SaaS) sites typically offer recurring programs, affiliate programs that pay the affiliate a percentage each month since the services are by monthly subscription.
- 11. Aweber: The massive email marketing software company Aweber has an affiliate program. Every business needs to email marketing and Aweber provides templates and design tools. Affiliates earn a 30 percent recurring rate.
- 12. Buzzsprout: Podcasters need host sites and Buzzsprout answers the call. Their affiliates offer a 20 percent recurring payout plus a $20 Amazon gift card for new users.
- 13. Click Funnels: ClickFunnels provides businesses the landing page builder they need to crank out web-ready communications that move people through their sales funnel. Affiliates earn a 40 percent commission on all sales. The company offers numerous advertisements you can use on your website plus courses affiliates can promote.
- 14. Elegant Themes: More than half a million people use the WordPress library Elegant Themes which offers 87 easy-to-use themes. The number of bloggers grows every day and you can earn a 50 percent recurring commission.
- 15. GetResponse: The email marketing service, GetResponse, pays a 33 percent recurring commission to its affiliates.
- 16. Leadpages: One of ClickFunnels’ competitors, Leadpages, provides a dedicated web page builder, form builder, and calls-to-action designer. The affiliate program pays a repeating 30 percent.
- 17. SEMRush: The search engine optimization (SEO) tool SEMRush sells, BeRush, tracks keywords, generates insight reports, and conducts site audits. Affiliates earn a 40 percent commission.
- 18. Teachable: Anyone can use Teachable to develop an online course to sell on their website. Affiliates offer a 30 percent repeating commission.
- Travel companies, hotel booking sites, and travel agencies also pay affiliate commissions. If you write a blog about any travel topic, registering as an affiliate for these links can help you generate site income.
- 19. TripAdvisor: Many people use TripAdvisor to access local reviews of restaurants, hotels, and things to do plus to book hotels and restaurant reservations, and buy vacation packages. Affiliates earn a 50 percent commission using a 14-day cookie.
- 20. Expedia: The travel site Expedia varies its commission for affiliates depending on which of its 260,000 bookable properties on 150 websites they promote.
- 21. Hotels.com: Their competitor Hotels.com offer local booking on 85 websites. Their rewards program has 15 million members and you can still earn affiliate income on rewards member bookings using your affiliate link. Affiliates earn four percent commission on a seven-day cookie.
- Sports fans can offer affiliate links, too. Sporting goods stores, fan item shops, and specialty stores do a brisk business with a wide range of consumers so affiliates can earn well.
- 22. Dick’s Sporting Goods: The online and retail shops of Dick’s Sporting Goods sell athletic equipment, clothing, and athletic shoes. Affiliates earn a five percent commission on a 10-day cookie.
- 23. FanDuel: The sports fan’s site, FanDuel, pays $25 to $35 commission per signup. You continue to earn for the referral’s first two years on the site – a 35 percent commission.
- 24. TaylorMade Golf: This major retailer of golf equipment and clothing pays a five percent commission on a 30-day cookie.
- 25. Sports Memorabilia: The e-commerce home of sports memorabilia pays a nine percent commission on an unfathomable 365-day cookie.
- Fans of beauty and fashion can earn affiliate income from numerous programs, but massive retailers like Sephora offer the most rewarding programs.
- 26. H&M: Everyone buys clothing and H&M, one of the UK’s top retailers has gone international in recent years. Its affiliate program pays up to 7.4 percent commission on a 30-day cookie.
- 27. Sephora: Many people also wear makeup, so Sephora does brisk sales. It also sells items like body wash, soaps, haircare, etc. that appeal to a universal audience. Its affiliate program pays five to 10 percent on a 24-hour cookie.
No matter what your interests and regardless of your blog or website topic, you have affiliate opportunities that can provide you with additional ways to make money. Once you have your blog going and a decent number of regular readers, you can add affiliate links to earn more money.