Having a blog was probably to pursue your passion. What if you can convert the opportunity to earn money while writing about things you like? Interested? Well, then it is time to think of the possible affiliate programs that you can include in your blog or website.
When it comes to making money, there are quite a few options online, but if there is one that pays you good returns with literally no capital, it is affiliate marketing. It doesn’t matter whether you are an amateur or a professional, all that you need to know is your niche, and you are ready to sell and make some good money online. In terms of affiliate programs, there are quite a few runs by many different companies in a different niche, and it is up to you to choose the one that matches your taste and also is much suited for the returns you are expecting. I hope that you have a fair idea of what affiliate marketing is all about and how you can find the best niche for you. You can check out our other articles on these topics to get more information, just in case if you missed them.
Before we delve into the best paying affiliate programs, let us just understand why choosing the right affiliate program is imminent and how the commission structures generally work.
Choosing the right affiliate program
If you observe marketers at the top of the chain, you will see that they stick to the products that offer the highest commission. Finding the right affiliate program that offers outstanding commission is the best strategy to make it big in affiliate marketing.
While the affiliate programs are by themselves not adequate for making wealth online, they provide you with the brand value, considered as the superpower in the online market. The value of a brand and the content it shares online is indeed the best way to establish as a successful affiliate marketer. With an established brand value, you can create a secure foothold online and be successful too.
Commission structures for affiliates
There are different commission structures followed by different affiliate programs and knowing how and which to choose is your key to success.
When choosing commission structures in affiliates, the best way to be successful is to diversify your interests, choosing structures that will most likely bring definitive profitability to your business. As far as commission structures go there are two definitive ones that you need to aim for to have as part of your affiliate marketing strategy.
- High ticket products: These are products that sell at an upward cost of $1000 and are generally on the backend of the sales funnel. Imagine having to make $10,000, will it be easier to make it by selling products that are worth $20 per sale or the ones worth $1,000 per sale?
- The latter is, of course, a more comfortable option, for you need to sell a lesser number of products.
- Recurring payouts: This is probably the easiest, effortless and powerful way to make money online through affiliate marketing. A good example is a referral in a multilevel marketing strategy. Whenever a person you refer makes a sale, you continue to earn a commission on it and when another person whom they have referred makes a sale.
- Another example is getting your customers on a subscription. Here again, depending on the frequency of their subscription service, you stand to gain a commission in regular intervals.
When you diversify your income streams in affiliate marketing, you are in a better position to build a better market strategy, establishing yourself online and build experience as an affiliate marketer.
What are affiliate marketing networks?
In simple words, it is a place for publishers (Affiliates) and advertisers (Merchants) connect with each other. These networks also provide the affiliate marketers and the advertisers with conversions, tracking, information that will help to make decisions and more. They also manage commission tracking and handle the payouts.
Of course, you will find quite a few affiliate networks each offering different features, one can be better than the other. It is about knowing what every program has to offer and how to choose the one that will be the best for you.
How to choose the best affiliate program?
The value of an affiliate program is gauged by the products that you promote. When you are choosing an affiliate program, you need to pay attention to a few factors which are crucial to make it a successful venture.
- The popularity of the product which has to be decided based on their reviews, brand reputation, etc. There are high paying affiliate programs with a not so good product, which means making an income is equally tough.
- The kind of commission structure (as discussed above), that the program offers. It is important to know if it is worthy of spending time promoting the products from a financial perspective.
- The duration of cookies which will enable you to earn an income every time a customer from your referral link makes a purchase, making way for recurring payouts.
- The programs that offer good backend products will improve your earnings considerably.
- The percentage you can make by referring others to the affiliate programs known as the second tier commissions.
Let us now take a look at ten of the best and top paying affiliate programs, covering products that you can promote and make more money. Please note that this is a list in random order, but not ranked based on our preference.
Amazon Associates Program
When we speak of associates or affiliate program, we can never go ahead without mentioning Amazon Associates program. Amazon is one of the largest wholesale and retailer across the world with a presence in many different countries and has users in billions. What also makes Amazon a truly best platform for an affiliate program is the availability of varied products.
From kitchen appliances to the latest gadgets, from fashion to home décor, there is a whole gamut of products available in Amazon. So, you will never have to worry about not finding your niche product.
And if you are a beginner, then this program is just the right one to kick start your affiliate marketing career. Few of the benefits of the Amazon Affiliate Program include:
a) Availability of products that suits different audiences making it easy for you to make your pick.
b) The commission percentage based on sales begin at 4% which is pretty good, and it can go as high as 8.5%
c) There is no discrimination on the product you can make money from. You can choose the cheapest of the lot or the most expensive of the lot and still make money by selling them.
d) Being a brand that is well-known and trusted, you don’t have to worry about credibility when selling Amazon products to customers.
What makes it a boon for beginners in affiliate marketing are their terms. You will get a commission whenever a customer buys a product through you. Additionally, even if the customer doesn’t buy the product but simply adds it to the cart, there is a 30-day period, within which he/she can buy, and still get you the commission for the sales. Also, if the customer clicks on the link and doesn’t buy the product which you referred them to but makes a different purchase within 24 hours, you are still eligible for the commission.
On the flip side, the affiliate programs are not combined or integrated across countries. If you have joined the UK affiliate program, you need to join US affiliate separately to choose products from the US Amazon list. In terms of support, the assistance still needs some working out, and certain products pay flat commission rates irrespective of the number of products you sell while in some the rate increases with the number of goods sold.
Rakuten Affiliate Network
If a network has topped the charts for being the best affiliate networks for many years, (consecutive for more than 6 years), then it is definitely the Rakuten network. This Japanese company offers you a network with more than 1000 advertisers, in-depth linking features and much more to ensure success.
Earlier known as Buy.com, Rakuten has nearly 90,000 products from about 38,500 shop owners and has customer base crossing the 18 million mark. The Rakuten Ichiba is among the largest of the eCommerce sites in Japan and is also the largest in the world in terms of sales. The Rakuten network was earlier referred to as LinkShare and is mostly used by smaller brands and niche products.
So what makes Rakuten marketing a good place for affiliate marketers?
- For one their interface is quite friendly, and if you are new to affiliate marketing, you will find the platform to be straightforward to follow and use.
- The program consolidates all the information you want in one place, and since you would be working across different brands, it makes way for a great way to access information.
- If you are looking for a specific set of audience, then this program is probably your best way to reach them.
- Ad rotation is one of the most amazing features offered by Rakuten marketing network. This makes your process more efficient while also helping publishers to make the best out of their ads.
- Ideally suited for those looking to invest in niche markets from smaller brands and thrive along.
With more than 100 billion orders placed across brands through Rakuten marketing, it forms the best place for starting out on your affiliate marketing journey. However, there are certain prerequisites that you need to meet to be part of this community, failing which you will be suspended from working with them.
You will have to go through an affiliate screening process at every merchant level, and unless approved, you will not be able to be an affiliate for the specific merchants.
On the flip side, there are no definitive payout schedules, and they are very selective in choosing their affiliates. And they also have limited coverage in terms of products and that is probably the reason why their quality is of the best in the affiliate networking options. They also do not support PayPal like the many other affiliate networks.
Clickbank offers a platform for both sellers and affiliate marketers and is counted among the most trusted of the affiliate marketplace. There are thousands of companies with thousands of products offering you the chance to promote what you want and to make revenue while doing so.
If you are still searching for your niche, then this place is definitely a haven for you. With information on every product available, even if you don’t have an account, Clickbank offers you the venue for comprehensive niche research.
However, do not make this as a place for only research though. It is an affiliate program that will give you a good start in affiliate marketing, especially for beginners.
With nearly $3billion in sales every year and with a history spanning more than two decades, this platform offers the best place for affiliates, whatever is your niche. They are majorly into promoting digital products and have a customer base of more than $200 million customers across the world. And then they have a humungous list of options you can choose from, that you will never have any doubts about finding the niche that you are looking for.
- The features are very friendly and are definitely a boon for those who are amateurs in affiliate marketing.
- The potential for sales is very high, thanks to the diverse product niche and categories available to you.
- There is no need for you to have a website to register with Clickbank which is not found in many other affiliate programs.
- They offer a step by step guide for newbies, which makes it easy for you to step into the world of affiliate marketing.
- There is an option for you to request the product copy and study it in detail before mentioning the same in your website. There are also merchants who provide you with banners, promo videos, email swipes and other promotional materials which will prove quite useful in building your content.
- Signing up to this marketplace is quite easy, but a few of the merchants will want to get more information before allowing you to be an affiliate for their products.
- The commission rates are mostly on the upside, and there are also chances of you to make a secondary commission for any up-sell made by certain merchants too.
On the flip side, the company is yet to offer digital payment methods, with the only wire transfer, direct deposits, checks, Payoneer as the options for now. Also, there is a limitation of about $150 for a referral sale, irrespective of the product that you are selling. You also have to be wary of certain spam products in the list.
There is also a minimum payment threshold that one has to meet for the payout to be done. This is mentioned as part of their payments policy and the minute you touch the threshold, and then your payment is made promptly without any delay.
Commission Junction Network (CJ Affiliate)
Counted among the oldest affiliate marketing networks, CJ (Commission junction) brings with an extensive platform of publishers and advertisers, and products corresponding to a range of different niches. Also, the names in the advertising industry are big that you will do really well promoting their products online.
The program has been rebranded as CJ Affiliate recently and comes with an experience that spans more than two decades. According to the website, the merchants favour them more than other affiliate marketplaces, and it seems to hold true if you take a look at the features.
If you are looking for reasons on why you would need to choose CJ as your affiliate program, then here are a few that might help you consider this platform.
- The company has been working with more than 500 companies with about 3,000 products to the inventory list.
- Every product is from a well-known brand, and hence you don’t have to worry about the quality of the product. And the highest number of products help you the chance to choose the niche that you want, without compromising.
- There are also merchants who seek you out, which means you can expand and build upon your brand as an affiliate marketer.
- The platform is designed keeping new users in mind, with user-friendly interface and easy to use navigation.
- The dashboards are among the best features of CJ, as it provides you insights into your campaigns offering you the choice to improve and make the best out of your campaign.
- EPC tool of Commission Junction is a tool that will help you find the offer that is best suited for you. This tool can help you find how much every offer will give you for every click, and you can choose based on the data it fetches.
On the flip side though, the network doesn’t pay out unless there is an approval from the merchant on the payment. This means a delay in payouts and backlogs of payment which does not sit well with many of the users. There have also been cases where the merchants reject the traffic that you have generated for them, ending up in you losing time and effort.
Also, given its popularity, the competition is high, and it means the beginners will find it quite challenging to survive initially until they get the knack for affiliate marketing. However, if you are already an affiliate marketer, then you can definitely improve your career perspective by seeking out far reputed merchants on this site.
With more than 4,000 merchants, many of whom are exclusive only to this network, Share A Sale is one of the most straightforward interfaces for affiliate marketers. Regardless you are an advertiser or a publisher (affiliate marketer), you will find this network an easy to access and easy to use platform.
It also provides you with information that will help improve your business, on the product that you want to promote, like the average sales, the average commission, rates of return, etc. This way you can get a sense on the kind of product and how it is treated in the market.
Share A Sale is a network that promotes more digital products than others. With more than 1 million affiliates, they deal in multiple products including home, garden, food, fashion and drink and more. With a business that has been in existence for nearly two decades, they have a well-designed platform with features that are helpful to both advertisers and affiliate marketers alike.
The network offers speed, accuracy and transparency at every stage making it the most sought out platform by everyone.
What makes them more popular is,
- The flexibility in payouts as they offer both standard and digital options as per the customer convenience.
- There is no shortage of the products that you want to choose from their wide range of the network. There are quite a few of them, and you will never have to worry about not finding your niche product.
- With the metrics that they provide, it is easier for you to find the products that are best suited to your requirements.
- The payment is made promptly on 20th
of every month, provided the affiliate marketer has met the threshold limit.
- With 1000 merchants exclusively available on ShareASale only, some of the offers are not found anywhere else.
On the flip side, the reporting systems are old in comparison to other affiliate networks. They are accurate though, but it would serve better to improve the current reporting algorithm.
Whether you are a website owner who wants to monetize on the traffic or a novice marketer, looking to grab a foothold in the affiliate marketing industry, Avantlink is the best place to be.
Rated among the top for affiliate referrals, Avantlink also follows the same working model as any other affiliate program, connecting businesses, advertisers and publishers and affiliate marketers. And if you are new to affiliate marketing, then Avantlink is your best option.
They offer quite a lot of information about the products featured, merchants, tools that can be used along with other features which makes them a viable option to sign up for.
When it comes to traffic monetization, the information provided by them is immense. They also provide you with ways to monetize your incoming traffic through deals, seasonal coupons, paid placements and so on.
- There are a lot of merchants, and there is never a shortage of products when you have signed up with Avantlink, which is probably the most significant benefit of this program. The reason could be because of the catalogue-based merchants who are in tie-up with the company. With so many offers to promote, you will never have to worry about revenue.
- The reporting structure is quite robust and gives you an instant update on sales and other fixtures. So you will know what you have sold and how much you earned immediately rather than waiting for a day or two to see the report.
- With real-time data, you have the chance to tweak your strategy to make better profits. Their API is quite useful in helping you design your own tools which are again a different perspective from that of other affiliate networks like Amazon.
- The WordPress plugin they offer allows you to access information about your campaign without actually logging into their website.
- The payout to the affiliates happen every 25th, and they offer two payout options – direct bank transfer for those in the US and PayPal for others.
- There are a variety of tools and features that you can explore on their website and yet you will find it quite user-friendly, perfect for beginners.
On the flip side though, the customer support is quite lacking with Avantlink. There is no live customer support team, and you have to write an email for any clarifications or queries. And the response to your emails can take more than 24 hours which can be frustrating at times when what you need is crucial information.
eBay Partner Network
When writing an article on affiliate networking, how can we not speak about eBay, a leading eCommerce player across the world? Their business model is slightly different from that of other similar eCommerce sites like Amazon, and yet they are ever popular among people who love online shopping (which is almost everyone!)
There are millions of products to promote which makes it the most favourable network for affiliate marketers. While this colossal marketplace is purely driven by users, you will always find something that you can promote and that which matches your palate. You can use the network tools provided by eBay and scour through their huge list of items to find the one that you want and promote to make a mark as an affiliate marketer.
Given that there are products sold based on bidding, you should understand how the program works to make the most out of eBay. Their affiliate program is however similar to that of the Amazon associates program. You just have to sign up for the program, get the links from the affiliates and start using them on your website.
There is a specific fixed percentage offered as commission depending on the product you choose. It can be anywhere from 4% to 12%. What you need to remember is the commission you earn is part of the sale commission made by eBay from the merchant.
- A diversified marketplace, there is always a need for some product by someone at some place making it easy for you to find what you want with ease.
- There are no complexities in the rules, and all you need to do is share a link for the product you promote, and you are paid every time when a product is bought through your link.
- They pay double commissions on the first three months which is nice extra money when you are starting out fresh in the affiliate marketing.
- Some of the products listed on eBay show good traffic which makes it an easier target to make your audience go for it.
- During seasonal holidays, there are huge discounts offered by eBay, which brings in a lot of traffic, eventually making your website more popular with a better conversion rate in no time.
- Commission structure is far superior to other similar programs, and they make PayPal payments too.
On the flip side, it could be quite challenging for a beginner, and the commission structure keeps changing and can be quite confusing to understand.
A renowned platform in affiliate marketing, most of the merchants on Revenuewire use the concept of pay per action for their affiliates. While the marketplace covers a humungous range of products, it majorly includes digital and software items in its repertoire.
With the products easy to download from online portals, there are many products which offer as high as 75% as affiliate commission. The product listing contains a lot of information including description, per sale earnings, etc. There are products which are considerably new will provide you with lesser competition and an unsaturated market to tap into. This will assure you higher revenue and a better rate of conversion.
- There is no fee required to join the business on Revenuewire, and the commission percentage is quite high in comparison to others.
- The products are available online, completely digital and can be downloaded to your mobile devices and PC.
- Tools that provide you with real-time information on payment, tracking results and sharing the same with the merchants and affiliates.
- The team continues to support the affiliates at every step when assistance is required making it a perfect place for the beginners to start out on affiliate marketing.
- A strong user interface with easy to navigate and access options for everyone to use with training material for every process.
It would be worth it if you can invest some money along with time in understanding the products that are offered and choose the one that is up to your expectations. This could be a disadvantage if you are not looking to invest.
If your niche is software products, then this is a great place to start out in affiliate marketing, especially for these online digital products.
From different products and niches to varying commission options, Flexoffers has everything you would want from an affiliate marketing network. There are 12000+ advertisers; they are well-known for managing affiliate programs making them the first choice for many companies to hire them. They help to check a match between affiliates and the affiliate programs, tracking performance, sales and commission tracking and much more.
They have some of the leading advertisers on the list including Lenovo, Olay, Yahoo, Avon, Holiday Inn, etc. And the product categories range from automobiles to consumer electronics, lifestyle products to entertainment related.
The Flexoffers is a good place if you are a business owner who is looking for affiliates to promote their product or if you are an individual who is looking to make some side income through affiliate marketing.
- Thanks to the huge list of products, you can choose depending on the niche you are familiar, and you want to pursue.
- The payments are flexible, and the payments are made at frequent intervals.
- There is no restriction on whom and from where can become affiliates. It accepts affiliates from across the world, no matter where you are from.
- The commission per conversion is quite high due to which they are ranked among the top marketing programs for affiliates.
- There is assistance to improve on your campaigns and to help you keep your ROI on point.
On the flip side, there are so many offers so that it becomes too difficult to choose one that is of the best choice for you.
Avangate Affiliate Network
Avangate is a company that takes care of the management of digital commerce, subscription billing for sales channels, global payments for services like SaaS companies. With a cloud platform for backup, the company has been working consistently to improve its customer value and provide them with the opportunity to reach across the world.
The company has more than 4000 businesses enrolled in and is spread across about 180 countries covering brands such as Brocade, HP Software and Bitdefender.
With only a select few programs supported by them, the network offered by Avangate is the best if you are into technology and software. While it is not easy to get access to become an affiliate on this network, the fact that the platform has well acclaimed and renowned companies listed makes it worthy of your time and effort.
- With the high ticket companies on the platform, the commissions are on the high, and yet the conversion rates will be lower given the product cost.
- It is more of a B2B network, and hence it would benefit you more if you are into B2B clients.
- With partners from renowned firms, you don’t have to worry about getting cheated out of your payouts. It is highly trustworthy.
- It has a footprint across the world and hence offers you the chance to become truly global.
- There are options to automate your billing and renewals.
On the flip side, the products offered to cover only a few niches and may not be suitable for everyone. If you are not into software, then you may not find this to be of much value. Another factor that you need to remember that even though the signing up is quite easy, every offer requires you to apply for them and it is up to the company to choose you. There will be different requirements for each advertiser, and it can cause a delay in your process.
After reading this article, now you have a fair sense of understanding on the different affiliate programs in the market and how their payout structures work, the pros and cons of the different affiliate programs, etc. Apart from those mentioned in the article, there are various other affiliate programs which might be smaller in size and yet offer a lucrative income stream too.
When it comes to affiliate marketing, it is always better to choose products that spark a sense of familiarity as it will help you be authentic in your content. Research thoroughly to find the right program with which you can be successful in the field.
There are affiliate programs that cater to every niche from travel to finance. Understanding your niche and finding the right affiliate program or merchant may not happen overnight. You will have to spend time understanding the different affiliate programs in order to make the best out of your affiliate marketing career. You have to be however wary of potential scammers and pick up the affiliate program that will take you to a better state in affiliate marketing. Therefore, as a beginner, it is always a good idea to start with one of the reputable programs I have noted here.
Hi, this is a really good article!
From the 10 I had signed up with 5 but honestly, I use only 3 of them. I’m making enough money from those 3 I feel there is no need for the other 2 (yet).
From the remaining 5, I have never heard of Revenue Wire or Flex Offers.
Who would you rate as your top 3?
Welcome to Club for Rich!
Thanks for sharing your experience with the top affiliate programs, and for your comment.
The answer to your question depends on your niche, and if the niche is a product or service? Generally speaking, the Amazon Associates Program would be the place to start affiliate marketing journey for any ‘newbie’ as the sign-up process there is quite simple, and the support platform is resourceful.
Please shoot us a private message, and we can try to guide you with the top three networks relevant to your niche.
Thank you very much for this enlightening article. Indeed it is important to go for the top popular affiliate marketing sites when thinking of registering. The chances of earning on those platforms are very high even for starters because they have gained a large audience all over the world in past years.
I find this post very helpful, thank you once again for sharing.
Welcome to Club for Rich!
Very true – Thanks again for your comment and we are glad you found the article useful.
Thanks for writing this article on the top ten affiliate marketing program, I must commend you for a job well done for taking your time to write it. it is such an educative and informative article and I find it useful in my findings as a newbie.
To be successful in affiliate marketing is not an easy job like any other job. Doing research on affiliate programs can be an advantage when you know how to do it well and while doing that it is also essential not to get caught by scam affiliate programs because that can make people lose trust in you.
Thanks for the article again. You have saved lots of my guessing time and time on research work.
Thanks for your comment and it is great you found our review useful.
You are correct. They are many unreliable affiliate programs, and some do not sound as they claim on their websites.
We recommend sticking with the big players in the market especially when you are a ‘newbie’. Once you establish as a profitable online space, then that would be the time to try some of those not very popular programs promising high affiliate margins.
I hope this helps and feel free to contact us with any of your specific questions. We love guiding people in the Club towards the direction of wealth accumulation.