11 Best Affiliate Programs to Earn Money  

So, you’ve chosen to go into the lucrative world of affiliate marketing. That’s fantastic! 

If you’re just starting out, you might be thinking what types of affiliate marketing programs you could use to make some real cash. 

Perhaps you want to diversify your income for a content site that makes money from display advertising, or you want to monetize your blogging material.

Chances are, no matter what business or specialty you choose, there is an affiliate network that will meet your requirements. 

Here’s a Quick Recap of What Affiliate Marketing Is All About. 

If you’re still trying to figure out what affiliate marketing is, it’s best to start from the beginning. Simply said, affiliate marketing is when you sign up with a firm or a network to sell their products or services. You normally get a commission if someone purchases anything or performs a desired activity. 

These desired activities may include someone clicking on a link on your site to buy a product on Amazon or completing an offer from one of the affiliate networks discussed in this tutorial. You are then compensated. 

Amazon affiliate and AdSense are two of the most prevalent income methods for these programs today.

Before moving into uncharted territory for the first time, check to see whether other affiliate marketers and bloggers have discovered potential in the same field.  

To measure market demand, look into if other WordPress and beginner SEO sites in your industry are offering affiliate items.

If there are other affiliates, it is typically a positive indicator because you know they would not try if there was no opportunity for income growth. You can also compile their affiliate partner offerings into a spreadsheet for later use when you begin rating your own site.

How to Decide the Best Affiliate Marketing Program for Beginners 

When deciding on the finest affiliate program to begin with, there are several variables to consider. You should investigate each program’s offers, the niches it serves, and the quality of both digital and physical things it provides.

You should consider whether or not you want to devote time and effort to advertising these items on your website and social media. 

Another factor to consider while choosing on the best affiliate network for people just starting out is simplicity of use.

Read evaluations on how other affiliates appreciate the dashboards of the programs, how much help they provide their affiliates, and what software as a service (SaaS) tools they provide for individuals who do not have a background in technology or web development. 

If you are unfamiliar with establishing a WordPress website, email marketing, lead pages, or even plugins, you should look for a service that can manage this for you.

Consider only programs that make joining their network advantageous to both them and you. If you see affiliates grumbling about a lack of real-time help or how tough it was to join from the beginning, you should look into another program. 

The affiliate marketing program you choose should also have a thorough reward system for its affiliates that is clearly documented. If you see reviews concerning affiliate commissions not being paid on time, payouts not being completed, problems with PayPal payments, or anything else connected to this, you’ll probably be better off going with a network that truly pays you for your efforts. 

When deciding on the greatest match, evaluate how many businesses an affiliate network or program presently has. If there aren’t many successful affiliates advertising and selling the product, it would be advisable to search for something that is at least making money for others. After all, why would you spend time and money advertising something that has obvious income potential? 

Now that you know what to search for depending on your personal and professional objectives, we should discuss the distinctions between the various affiliate business structures. 

Difference Between In-House Affiliate Programs and Affiliate Networks 

There are two different types of affiliate models you could use in your business when first starting out: in-house affiliate programs and affiliate networks. 

In-House Affiliate Programs 

This includes Amazon’s affiliate program, which is managed through its own partner program. Other in-house affiliate programs exist, but Amazon is one of the most prominent. The network (in this example, Amazon) runs its own affiliate software (either custom developed or off the shelf) and distributes referral commissions to its affiliates via a dashboard they put up. 

In this strategy, you route traffic to the network’s offer, which may be a landing page or a form submission. The network will advise you on how to promote the affiliate offer (typically within the framework of a clear marketing policy), and some will even provide marketing content that your company can use to increase conversions and establish trust. 

These networks will aggressively recruit new affiliates in order to broaden the reach of their product, and they will frequently employ an affiliate manager who oversees everyone in the program. This is an excellent option for business owners wishing to advertise a new product since these networks will handle the affiliates (you in this scenario), allowing the firm providing the offer to focus on other aspects of the business other than marketing. Now that you have a better knowledge of what affiliate marketing is, are aware with the many models available, and know which niche you want to pursue, what are the best affiliate programs for individuals who are just starting started? 

Here’s Our List of the 11 Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners 

1. Amazon Associates 

While you may be just starting started, if you’ve done any research on affiliate programs for beginners, you’ve probably heard of the Amazon Associates program. When it comes to generating money through this monetization approach, the Amazon affiliate network is a leader. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of tutorials and courses available on how to use this network to earn a career. It’s no surprise that the program ranked first on our list given its popularity. However, there are several considerations to consider when using this application. 

Amazon is a retailer, not an affiliate network. The majority of the other programs on this list are affiliate networks, which essentially manage the relationship between you and the firm with the affiliate offer. Aside from the program’s popularity, you may be thinking about the advantages of implementing this affiliate program in your organization. 


The fact that this affiliate program is the largest and oldest in the world says a lot. Because Amazon has created such a well-known affiliate program, you can be confident that you have a solid basis to work from. 

When reading Amazon affiliate program evaluations, you will undoubtedly note the latest modification to the program’s commission structures. While this did cause some firms that relied primarily on this cash source to suffer, those who had diversified their revenue streams were less harmed. The best thing about this program is that it always pays you on schedule (usually 30 days after the purchase). 

This program’s simplicity of use is also noteworthy. It is ideal for individuals who want to get started quickly because it is one of the easiest applications to navigate and integrate into an existing business. Whatever specialty you are interested in, the variety of items available through the Amazon program is unrivaled. With so many different things to choose from, the Amazon affiliate network is undoubtedly a great candidate for novices, and you can change links to better paying offerings once you start ranking. 


Apart from the unclear commission updates, one disadvantage of this scheme is that Amazon has a rigorous terms of service clause that you must obey. Search Amazon affiliate reviews for incidents of affiliates being reported for unclear reasons for violating terms of service. These concerns are typically easily remedied, but they are worth highlighting and keeping in mind as an additional subtlety to the software. 

The Amazon affiliate program gives considerably lower payments than some of the other programs on our list due to its massive size and number of affiliates. With the recent changes to these affiliate commission rates, you should examine if this program will help you accomplish your business objectives on its own. Another issue that many affiliates have with the Amazon program is that the cookie duration (usually 24 hours), which is the tracking code used to verify if someone who clicked on your link made it all the way to the checkout window, is substantially shorter. 

Another disadvantage of this scheme is that you will not have a real affiliate manager to assist you if any problems arise. Many affiliates report that it may be difficult to receive clear answers from anybody in this program, and problems frequently take significantly longer to handle before being resolved. As a result, we always recommend that you diversify your money streams as much as possible. You shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket, and if your business is primarily based on Amazon affiliate income, you might think about diversifying further. 

Many affiliates who come to our marketplace rely too much on Amazon, and although this program is fantastic for the sheer quantity of goods you may customize to your requirements, you should always try to diversify. 

2. CJ – Commission Junction 

Commission Junction is a massive affiliate network that collaborates with businesses and promotes items all around the world. With over 20 years of expertise in the affiliate industry, it has a track record of being a terrific alternative for individuals just starting out 


This affiliate program is ideal for newcomers because it has been around for a while and gives a solid base to build on. With so many brands and enterprises to connect with and begin selling items in your specialty, you should absolutely explore this network if it matches your business objectives. 

The CJ user interface has received mixed reviews, with some believing it is extremely user friendly and others arguing it is difficult to adapt to. The following are some of the most prevalent disadvantages of using this network as a beginner: 


Every brand and firm in the CJ affiliate network have unique and highly stringent standards in order to be admitted into their program’s offer. Unlike Amazon’s program, CJ does not allow you to advertise any and all goods you want without prior clearance. 

Some merchant brands and firms may provide immediate access, while others may take weeks or even months to answer. When you initially start out, this may be quite irritating since you may have already put a significant amount of sweat equity in getting your content up to relative niche standards. 

Another disadvantage of this affiliate scheme is that many of the brands and organizations seeking affiliates will come and go. Even some of the most well-known businesses frequently vanish from the program without warning, which may be quite problematic. Others have expressed worry about how difficult it was to reach customer service regarding concerns such as cancelled accounts with no explanation. While there is certainly amazing potential in this program, particularly for those that create relationships with the affiliate brands and firms in the network, as a newbie, you should be aware of the following drawbacks. 

3. Impact 

Impact is another wonderful affiliate network to consider when getting started in affiliate marketing since it leads the way in dashboard functionality and user interface (UI). With an easy-to-use interface and extensive performance tracking and reporting, this tool is ideal for businesses looking for more performance data to assist guide business choices. 


With over 1,000 products across a wide range of genres, this affiliate program is sure to offer something for you. It’s no surprise that this product has one of the greatest user interfaces and reporting dashboards. 

Impact’s customer service is also well-known for being excellent for both new and experienced affiliates due to the assistance it offers to everyone in its program. Your help requests are accompanied with useful information and informative “How-to” articles, giving you the impression that the software genuinely cares about your success. Other things that set Impact apart from the competition include the fact that many businesses will welcome you into their program quickly. This might be because this program is a little more tough to get into at first, so let’s go through some of the anchors that could be weighing you down within this program. 


As previously said, the Impact affiliate program is not as simple to join as the other choices we’ve discussed. Depending on how you look at it, this may be both beneficial and negative. Because many businesses will opt to admit you into their program sooner as a result of the additional criteria to apply, you may find this advantageous depending on your long-term ambitions. Many people have expressed dissatisfaction with the learning curve for this product, owing to the additional functionality under the dashboard. Because there is so much functionality integrated into this affiliate network, some customers have reported a few glitches and other backend difficulties that you should take in mind while making your selection. 

4. Awin 

Awin is your typical online marketplace, such to Amazon and Etsy, with over 13,000 advertisers now engaged in its affiliate network. The items and services covered by this program are divided into four categories: 

Finance and insurance entail traditional loans, personal banking, real estate, savings and investments, credit cards, and insurance business offerings. 

Clothing, accessories, gadgets, and so on are examples of retail and shopping. 

Telecommunications and Services – This area covers offerings for education, training, web hosting, and other services. 

Travel includes cruises, vacations, railroads, hotels & lodging, auto hire, airlines, and general tourism. 

The Awin affiliate network provides a variety of digital products and services in a variety of areas, so an affiliate can advertise any of the aforementioned categories. As a marketplace, the platform is ideal for content producers, site owners, influencers, and technology-based partners looking to promote their goods by forming profitable partnerships. 


One reason why the Awin affiliate program is a fantastic choice for novices is that it has over 15,000 active advertisers and over 200,000 publishers in its network. This implies lots of deals and items to pick from for someone just starting out, and with over $150 million in sales created since 2019, there is surely money to be made via this program. 

If your company operates outside of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, you may take advantage of Awin’s higher commission rates from a variety of global partners. The Awin affiliate network has a Chrome plugin that allows affiliates to simply generate links across all of its partners. This is especially handy for Etsy customers who want to be more hands-on with their affiliate marketing material. Awin’s items are more e-commerce focused, so keep this in mind when comparing Awin to other affiliate programs based on any previous material you have. 


The Awin affiliate program’s age is the first possible disadvantage that comes to mind. It is a newer network that was formed by the amalgamation of two previous affiliate networks. Some may regard this as less “solid,” and therefore not having the finest framework on which to develop your entire organization. Again, diversify whenever possible. 

Another issue that many affiliates have with this network is the user experience in the dashboard after acceptance. The bulk of customers have complained about the UI and dashboard being incredibly difficult to use. Although no technical expertise is necessary, the dashboard itself is not very user-friendly. 

This network’s approval mechanism is also quite poor, and response rates can take significantly longer than some of the other programs we describe here. Some customers have also experienced “spammy” type sites, so be cautious while looking for an affiliate deal to promote. 

5. ShareASale 

Another prominent name on this list is ShareASale, which works with the Awin network. The program offers cutting-edge technology to assist affiliates and merchants in finding a location to collaborate on effective marketing campaigns. 

This network’s client services include tools to help you develop and expand your own affiliate company, as well as a large selection of brands and goods. 


ShareASale has been operating for a while and now has over 1,000 active merchants in its network. It provides everything from e-commerce to software, so you’ll have a far greater range of options to pick from. 

The application procedure for ShareASale is also incredibly simple and straightforward, making it simple for newcomers to capitalize on this momentum. Insightful measures like average sales, conversion rates, and profits per click (EPC) are presented, although they might be difficult to grasp at times. 


As previously said, the portal design is archaic, making it difficult to move around the dashboard to grasp the offered information. Because the user interface has gotten a lot of criticism for being unfriendly, it might be tough to develop relationships with possible partners, which will not help you improve as a novice. 

6. FlexOffers 

FlexOffers is a large affiliate network with over 12,000 affiliate programs and 500 sponsors. Its affiliate program areas include automobile, business, education, entertainment, legal services, sports, and travel, among others. Its new publishing platform has gotten rave reviews, and the affiliate network may be one of the largest in the industry. 


With such a large network of merchants to select from, this is an excellent program for any topic, regardless of the sort of affiliate content you intend to provide. FlexOffers operates a little differently than the other programs we’ve reviewed. If you desire, it provides unique sub-affiliate programs in which you join up as a FlexOffers affiliate using its link and share the revenue you make, making it easier to enroll into that merchant’s program. 

FlexOffers claims to introduce 50 new advertiser programs every day, so if nothing fits your preferred niche now, something may appear shortly. This is an excellent chance for individuals who are just getting started, since you may wish to have some new offerings to incorporate into your company strategy right away. 


FlexOffers has a large flow of accessible offers, as previously noted, but one disadvantage is the difficulties some affiliates have in being paid out. We’ve seen several reports of affiliates not being paid on time for various reasons. Keep this in mind if you have other cash invested and rely on this revenue to make future enhancements to your firm. 

As with the sub-affiliate scheme, the path you choose with this network will influence the amount of money you may anticipate to make. Another barrier is the tough signup procedure, as partners are quite selective about who they accept into their programs, which may explain the necessity for a sub-affiliate scheme in the first place. Because you will require a well-designed, professional-looking website as soon as you set sail, this curriculum may not be the ideal choice for people with limited expertise. 

VigLink, previously known as Sovrn, is an affiliate network that takes a fresh look at standard affiliate marketing techniques. Sovrn purchased VigLink to grow its publisher monetization platform, which was launched in 2009 to assist publishers in monetizing their content through the automated inclusion of affiliate links. 


You won’t have to bother about manually generating, tracking, and arranging any of your affiliate links with this affiliate program’s automation; instead, simply put the VigLink code to your website’s header/footer and the VigLink automation will handle it all for you. 

VigLink will analyze each of your site’s pages and, if any domains or URLs are affiliated with organizations in the VigLink affiliate network, it will convert that URL, domain, or content into a VigLink affiliate URL. The program also searches for distinctive keywords such as people, localities, points of interest, and other phrases that may be linked to a certain partner’s offer in its network. 

This means that the affiliate links will be added to your sites automatically, with no more work on your part. The most important decision you’ll have to make from here is whether to go with a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-acquisition (CPA) merchant offer. This has a lot of promise for people who want to monetize user-generated content on your website’s forums and communities. 


We mentioned how the automated link tools supplied by VigLink might be beneficial in hastening your entry into the world of affiliate marketing, but this can also be a disadvantage. Depending on how these links are put on your website or inside your content, they may result in lesser conversions than if you had placed a different product than what the AI recommended for you. 

Your site speed should also be a concern here, in that adding additional code that will need to be scanned each time a user populates your landing page might lead to lower conversions as well. The only way to tell whether the automatic link tool is a good fit is to try it out and see if manually placing links leads to higher conversion rates. As with most automated services, not everything should be trusted to perform accordingly. Be sure to check that any links this affiliate program does provide you are in proper working order. 

8. Skimlinks 

like VigLink (Sovrn), has built an automatic link building mechanism for its affiliates to use by simply adding a piece of code to their website. Skimlinks is unique in that it converts ordinary links from over 20,000 internet shops into affiliate links without any effort on your part. Skimlinks will deduct 25% from the price of this link creation service. Merchants do not pay you; instead, the Skimlinks service generates money from all merchant commissions. 


One significant advantage comparable to VigLink is that you will not have to manually build and track affiliate links, allowing you to focus on more essential matters. This platform also has a lot of promise for those who want to commercialize user-generated content, such as forums and communities housed on your website. 

This affiliate program is massive, with over 24,000 active merchants actively delivering offers to affiliates. With such a diverse choice of topics, you will undoubtedly discover the ideal product for your affiliate site’s content. 


For others, the automated link generator may be more of a hindrance than a help. Another disadvantage of this network, like with many other programs we’ve discussed, is that some affiliates have complained about not receiving their payouts. Users frequently report that whenever they achieve a particular amount in sales, generally beyond the $1,000 payment threshold, they receive notification that their account has been stopped for suspicious conduct. Keep this danger in mind when you decide whether or not to expand your affiliate company to this extent – and the same applies for every other scheme we’ve covered. 

9. ClickBank 

ClickBank, another affiliate network behemoth, has been active for more than 20 years and has grown to over six million clients worldwide. It is well-known for paying some of the highest commission rates to its affiliates (up to 75% in some cases) and for making it simple to enroll. 


The fact that you do not need previous clearance from a merchant to begin marketing its offer makes ClickBank one of the greatest affiliate programs for individuals who are still new to this field. Some merchants may need particular items before approval, however this is extremely uncommon. Many of the offerings on this network also include recurring commissions for individuals wishing to construct an automated system to obtain conversions and, eventually, money. 

It’s also worth noting that the ClickBank affiliate network has a reputation for paying out on schedule. Most of the merchants located on its dashboard will also give most of the marketing material and page text you’ll need, such as presale pages, product photos, and brand logo designs. All of this promotional content may truly assist you showcase your offer in a trustworthy manner while also increasing your conversions. ClickBank is certainly one of the top alternatives for newcomers just getting started in affiliate marketing, but there are a few things to bear in mind if you select this network. 


The major disadvantage of ClickBank is that it has grown so famous over the years, and competition for these items is tough. With high approval rates and minimal testing done by ClickBank in terms of quality control, it may appear that the most “obvious” money-making goods are already oversaturated with other affiliates. Another disadvantage is that the return rates for this network are substantially greater than for some of the other programs on our list. 

The ClickBank interface is also considered antiquated and provides less performance tracking metrics than some of the other choices already discussed. In addition to an antiquated design, the offers on ClickBank’s network appear to be older. For many of these merchants, the strategy has been to prioritize high-pressure direct sales copywriting above well-designed photographic material. As a result, many first-time affiliates may be uneasy with this high-pressure sales tactic. The majority of this is due to the fact that so many other affiliates join every day and promote the same items within their niche. 

10. Rakuten Advertising 

Rakuten Advertising (formerly Rakuten Marketing) is a global affiliate marketing service provider with over 150,000 publishers and companies. The firm claims to have the largest pay-for-performance affiliate marketing network on the Internet, and it has an excellent program for new affiliate marketers. 


Rakuten advertising provides its affiliates with a great dashboard that is very easy to use and gives some “out of the box” performance measures and data that make marketing the offers within your business model a breeze. Customer assistance has kept many affiliate company owners afloat while managing their affiliate offerings, and the account managers that come with its subscription tiers have been known to be quite helpful. 


Some of the disadvantages of this affiliate program are more general in nature, such as missing report metrics and other performance indicators that are not recorded. Because little analytics are shared with you, you will frequently have to guess which affiliate offers to target within your content. 

This network’s approval rates are also not the ideal for those just starting out. To be authorized for this affiliate program, you will most likely need to be a more established affiliate rather than a new one. Aside from getting accepted, the commission rates for this program aren’t the best (typically around 20%), which means you’d need a lot more visitors to convert on these offers compared to some of the other network possibilities. Furthermore, the Rakuten interface is quite antiquated, resembling dashboards usually encountered in 2005. Outdated interfaces have been a pattern for several of the affiliate programs on this list, and the next brand on the list is the oldest. 

11. Ace Hardware 

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That’s correct! One of the most well-known names in the US for tools and home improvement also has its own affiliate program, making it an excellent choice for individuals wishing to start advertising content in this industry. This affiliate network is fantastic because of the vast variety of items available and the trust you earn simply by having a reputable brand name that most people will have heard of in this field. 

The Ace Hardware affiliate program features numerous helpful resources for individuals just starting out in affiliate marketing, as well as some unique incentives not seen in other programs. 


The Ace Hardware affiliate network includes hundreds of alternatives in the home improvement sector, offering a vast range of excellent items to pick from. If you are selected, Ace Hardware will offer you all of the tools you need to include into your content, making the setup process short and simple. 

Daily information on impressions, click-throughs, conversion rates, best performing goods, and commission reports are shown simply and easily on your dashboard. Another benefit of this affiliate scheme is that you get a 30-day cookie for traffic who clicks on your offer but does not convert. This is especially important for more expensive things that may require longer nurturing before traffic is ready to purchase. 


The fact that you must be in the home repair sector for this program to generate any meaningful money is the largest stumbling block. Because of this limitation, the Ace Hardware affiliate program will not meet the needs of everyone. Because the Ace Hardware affiliate program utilizes the same software as Impact, if you don’t like the functionality of the Impact affiliate program, you might not like the functioning of Ace Hardware’s affiliate program too. 

With a variety of affiliate programs to select from and a clearer understanding of how our best picks compare, the next step is to enroll in one or more of the programs listed in this list. 

How to Apply for Affiliate Programs 

You’re probably wondering how to become accepted for affiliate programs if you’ve found a network or program that suits your specialization and financial goals. 

Each network will have distinct standards for affiliate program approval. Most will demand a current website with high-quality, unique content, and others may require a certain amount of traffic. 

Each individual partner’s website has information on how to apply for affiliate programs. Unless you’re joining up for particular programs like Ace Hardware, you’ll have to figure out how to get accepted for associate programs with each partner once you’ve been approved for the network. 

The procedure is typically simple here. When you’ve identified a possible affiliate partner, you may ask to join their network. Each partner will also have various needs, so when you first start off, it’s a good idea to request to join a few different ones in case you don’t presently fit the standards for one. 

The Affiliate Program You Select Could Provide You with a Profitable Exit 

You should have a better idea of how these programs differ from one another and how to be authorized for affiliate programs based on which programs best meet your company goals and intended niche. Many affiliate site owners never consider how they might diversify their affiliate revenue outside of the network in which they are already participating. 

Diversifying your affiliate offers helps keep your firm viable if any of your other affiliate income suffers a setback. Once you’ve created a good quantity of traffic and money across several affiliate offerings, you’ve given potential purchasers a more value business, which may command a higher sales price. 

If you’ve added one of the high-paying affiliate programs on our list to your business and want to see how much you might sell it for, use our free online business value calculator. 

There, you may discover how much your affiliate company is worth in comparison to similar businesses already on the market. 

For those who wish to bypass the initial process of applying, building a website or Shopify store, and gaining enough traffic to create a steady income, visit our marketplace to locate an affiliate business that is already making money and sailing in the direction you want to go. 

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