Looking to monetize your content or earn a passive income? If so, you might be considering joining an affiliate program.
You would be happy to know that every day, thousands of creators benefit from a recurring cash inflow by partnering up with other companies via affiliate programs.
There are many types of affiliate programs, ranging from online courses to website builders to marketing and business affiliates.
But before we explore the best affiliate programs with the highest earning potential to ensure you can make money off the content you provide, let’s learn what exactly an affiliate program is?
What is an Affiliate Program?
An affiliate program connects publishers, like blog owners or influencers, with companies looking to promote their products or services.
These programs often offer reporting tools, training, and other resources to help you become a successful affiliate marketer.
How do Affiliates Make Money?
The affiliate gets an affiliate link from which clicks can be tracked — typically using cookies. The cookie then tracks the user to see if they make a purchase. If they do within an allotted amount of time, then the affiliate will earn a commission.
Each cookie has a length or cookie life, which simply define how long the cookie will be tracking the user’s online activity.
Why Should You Join an Affiliate Program?
Affiliate programs can connect you to thousands of brands. This makes them one of the most straightforward ways to monetize a blog or earn passive income.
Here are a few more benefits of joining an affiliate program:
- No need to chase payments; the platform handles it for you
- Choose products or services that make sense for your audience
- Some affiliate networks offer rewards and incentives—so the more you sell, the better your commission rates
- Access to analytics and reporting tools so you can track your progress
Top 15 Affiliate Programs to Help You Make Money
Below I have put together a list of the 15 best affiliate programs that I have used over the years. I will give you my honest opinion on each program so you can make an informed decision on whether to sign up with them or not.
1. Amazon Associates
Commission: 1-10% (depending on the product category)
Amazon is one of the most popular online shopping platforms, so if you’re looking to buy something, chances are you’ll find it on Amazon.
As the largest e-commerce store globally, Amazon provides access to millions of products from baby gear to home goods, makeup, and much more.
The platform is pretty easy to navigate, and getting started only requires a few minutes. Plus, you can earn a commission for any product your readers buy in the next 24 hours – not just the specific products you share.
One of the main advantages of doing affiliate marketing with Amazon is that people already know the company and love to shop there, so it’s not a hard sell.
ShareASale was founded in 2000 in Chicago and ever since it has paid millions of dollars to its affiliates. They have a great list of affiliate programs for the various niche.
They are one of the largest players in the affiliate marketing field, and they offer highly competitive commission rates. However, the interface can be a bit tough to use, so I suggest taking advantage of the training they offer
You can join ShareASale program now. It usually takes 2-3 working days to get approval for the program.
Commission: Varies by merchant, but averages around 5%
AWIN is probably best for experienced affiliates who can hit the ground running without a lot of guidance or feedback from the program.
They offer access to a wide range of merchants, including StubHub, Hyatt, AliExpress, and UnderArmour.
There is a $5 fee charged to apply to become an affiliate, but if you’re approved, the $5 will be added to your account. If your application is denied, however, you will lose the $5 fee.
AWIN operates globally, but it is most heavily concentrated on British and EU merchants.
4. CJ Affiliate
Commission: Varies by merchant
CJ Affiliate is one of the world’s largest and oldest affiliate marketing networks. They connect merchants with more than 14 billion readers annually and help affiliate marketers earn more than $1.8 billion every year.
The program boasts 43% year-on-year growth in commissions, so it’s an attractive option. However you need a good amount of traffic to get accepted, and there are strict conditions for staying on as a publisher.
The sophisticated toolbox may take some getting used to but has great features for more advanced affiliate marketers.
Commission: Up to 75%, though most are much lower
ClickBank is a global affiliate marketing platform providing access to a wide range of products you can promote, including physical and digital ones.
With 6 million digital products in over 20 categories, reaching 200 million people worldwide, ClickBank is a popular choice among affiliate marketers.
What’s more, this program offers very high commissions, as high as 75%, and ClickBank is known for its regular reliable payouts, which is a huge drawcard.
Commission: $15-50 for Fiverr CPA, $10 CPA + 10% RevShare for Fiverr Hybrid, or 30% of every Fiverr Learn course order.
Fiverr has a few products you might promote on your own website or blog – including Fiverr, Fiverr Pro and Fiverr Learn.
If you work with clients who might need to hire a freelancer for marketing, design, or tech skills, or you write a blog for entrepreneurs and want to promote Fiverr Learn, you might want to consider partnering with Fiverr.
With over 5.5 million users, Fiverr offers affiliates a dashboard to manage and monitor campaigns, and creative assets to help you promote their services.
Commission: Varies by merchant
FlexOffers connects publishers with more than 12,000 advertising programs and 500 premium advertisers.
Like many of the larger affiliate networks, they offer access to a massive range of products, including automotive, clothing, accessories, electronics, education, health, and home and garden.
Every publisher is also assigned a dedicated account manager, and they offer a quick approval process.
Commission: Varies by merchant
With over one billion listings from a wide range of product categories, eBay’s affiliate program shares a lot of the same advantages as Amazon’s – well-known brand, high conversion rates, and a diverse selection of products.
Advertise eBay products on social media, your blog or website, and get commission from every product sold via your link.
Signing up to the eBay Partner Network is simple, and there is a never-ending supply of interesting products to promote, including popular trending products and daily deals.
Commission: Varies by merchant
Formerly called VigLink, Sovrn//Commerce works a bit differently than other affiliate programs in that it is specifically designed for bloggers.
It is a top-tier publishing platform that connects publishers with hundreds of merchants. They do this automatically using natural language processing to connect you to the merchant with the highest commission.
They also provide access to detailed performance metrics to help you increase conversions. The platform also connects publishers with sponsored content opportunities.
Commission: Varies by the merchant
JVZoo was founded in 2011 and has since rocketed to near the top as one of the most popular affiliate programs out there. JVZoo is unusual in that there are no upfront costs for either publishers or merchants.
JVZoo’s income is exclusively from charging fees (to both the merchant and the affiliate) after a sale has been made.
It is also unusual in that it pays commissions instantly via PayPal rather than once a week/fortnight/month like other affiliate programs.
Commission: $65 per sale
Bluehost, a web hosting platform that supports more than 2 million websites, offers a phenomenal affiliate program for any business or entrepreneur looking to monetize their blog or website.
If you promote Bluehost’s products or services on your own blog or website, you can earn anywhere from $65 to $130 per sale generated from your website — a lucrative fee.
Best of all, it’s free to join their affiliate program, and Bluehost offers reliable tracking to ensure you get credit for each lead you provide them.
Commission: Up to 15%
PartnerStack is an affiliate program focusing on the promotion of software products and tools, including many well-known and popular software.
The company claims that 30% of software sold actually comes through channel partners, so if your audience has a particular software interest, there’s great potential for you here.
PartnerStack is big into building partnerships between affiliate marketers and product owners, so you’ll benefit from pinpointed analytics and high growth potential.
Commission: Up to 50%
Leadpages is an online tool that lets you create easy-to-customize landing pages to collect contact information and boost your conversion rates.
Their affiliate program is only open to Leadpages customers. Each paying customer referred brings in a lifetime commission of 30%. Membership prices range from $25 to $200 per month.
Leadpages will sometimes run special offers, such as a $5,000 bonus for affiliates who drive 10+ sales by a given date. All affiliates get access to banners, sidebar images, and social media-friendly links.
Commission: Up to 8%
Similar to Amazon, Target’s affiliate program is designed to help bloggers and publishers earn income from selling Target (the brick-and-mortar retailer) products.
Since most Americans are familiar with and trust Target, the affiliate program can be quite lucrative for well-positioned content creators.
Commission: 30% recurring
ConvertKit helps its customers grow their customer base via landing pages, forms, and email drip campaigns.
ConvertKit’s affiliate program is primarily addressed to existing ConvertKit users who feel their audience could benefit from email marketing products.
The program offers a lifelong 30% commission for every referred paying customer or webinar subscriber.
With plans ranging anywhere from $29 per month all the way to $2,000+, the income potential is a very attractive offer, and it costs you absolutely nothing to join the program.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to monetize your content. An affiliate program makes it far easier to connect with merchants so you can focus on what you’re best at: publishing great content.
The best affiliate programs ease the process of earning passive income and make the life of affiliates much more straightforward.