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100+ Best Affiliate Programs of 2020 (High Paying For Beginners)

Looking for the best affiliate programs, but finding the right one seems like a nightmare? You’ve come to the right place.

When you’re thinking about affiliate marketing, chances are you’re hoping to wake up in the morning to something like this:

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Source: Top 5 SEO

Passive income – the holy grail of financial independence.

The truth is that while affiliate marketing is far from being some kind of magic wand that will guarantee money rolling in, however, if done effectively, it can allow you to have a substantial stream of passive income.

In fact, Inc.com magazine is predicting that in 2020 spend on affiliate marketing is expected to rise to $6.8 billion in the U.S. alone.

Someone out there is capitalizing on that spend, right?

One of the perfect examples of an affiliate marketing success would be Wirecutter – internet’s favorite product review website that quickly grew in popularity and after a few successful years of generating substantial profits was acquired by The New York Times in 2016 for more than $30mln.

If that doesn’t smell like an opportunity, we don’t know what does.

This list includes over 100+ affiliate programs in our favorite software-related categories such as web hosting, eCommerce & website builders, VPNs, as well as other popular niches like fashion, beauty, sports, music, among others.

We’ve vetted every program in this guide and believe they are the best for generating affiliate revenue for various reasons, which will cover later in the post, so stay with us!

But first – what exactly is an affiliate program?

What is an Affiliate Program?

Simply put, an affiliate program is an agreement in which the company running the program is incentivizing another business or influencer (the “affiliate”) to send them referral traffic in exchange for commission payouts.

It is one of the most common ways for brands to extend their reach and attract new customers because of the full alignment of incentives between merchants and affiliates.

The process usually works by placing a unique, trackable link (an “affiliate link”) on one’s blog or social media channel, which takes the visitor who clicks on it straight to the merchant’s website.

While the process of promoting affiliate products is more or less the same across various merchants, the ways commissions are awarded vary significantly.

Some affiliate programs offer a commission to the affiliate only after a customer completes a purchase, while other merchants already reward for getting the visitor to sign up for a free trial or email list.

Besides that, there are also significant differences between affiliate programs when it comes to commission rates. Thus, we’ve created this list of the best affiliate programs to guide you through what’s available out there and the most critical factors in choosing the program tailored to your needs.

Just to give you a quick overview, there are three main types of rewards in affiliate marketing:

  • Percentage of Sales: This is by far, the most common type of rewarding the affiliate. In this case, you will receive a set percentage of the sales whenever the customer clicks on your link and completes a purchase on the merchant’s website.
  • Commission: Many affiliate programs choose to compensate the affiliate with a one-time fixed payout based on the value of the service or product the customer purchased.
  • Free Product: Fairly popular reward among beauty influencers and refer-a-friend programs. Instead of a cash payout, you receive a free product sample or subscription plan upgrade. While still attractive, it doesn’t translate into building a steady income from affiliate marketing, so you won’t find any of those programs on our list.

Now that we’ve got the introduction to affiliate marketing covered, it’s time to explore over 100 affiliate programs that pay the highest commissions in 2020.

Best Web Hosting Affiliate Programs

crop 0 0 1000 522 0 BlueHost Hosting scaled

Web hosting is probably the most popular affiliate marketing category out there. Every site, however big or small, needs hosting. Therefore, pretty much every affiliate writing about digital marketing, blogging, or online business will likely end up promoting web hosting services first.

When it comes to picking the best web hosting affiliate program, you have to be careful. Don’t just choose the one that offers the highest commission; pick the one that is fast, reliable, and well known for its high-quality support.

Additionally, since people rarely move from one hosting provider to another, the customer retention rates remain at very high levels. As a result, merchants often offer attractive commissions on promoted plans making web hosting niche a highly lucrative one for the affiliates.

Ultimately, thanks to the essential nature paired with high commissions, web hosting companies provide some of the best affiliate programs, which is why we placed them at the top of our list.

Here are our top picks for the web hosting affiliate programs:

1. Bluehost

Commission Rate: $65/sale for starters. Commission rate increases up to $130/sale based on the volume of referred sales.

Cookie Life: 60 days

Bluehost is one of the world’s 20 largest web hosting companies, jointly hosting over 2 million domains with its sister companies, HostGator, Page, and FastDomain. The Bluehost affiliate program is top-rated in the web hosting niche. With their plans starting at as low as $2.95/month and one-time payouts starting at $65+, you’ll enjoy high conversion rates and commissions. The company has paid out more than $5 million in commissions in 2019 alone, making it one of the most handsomely paying affiliate programs in the web hosting space.

Pros:

  • Free to join
  • Fast 2min sign-up
  • High one-time payouts starting at $65
  • No cap on earnings
  • Wide range of promotional resources
  • Very responsive affiliate support team

Cons:

  • You have to be approved to join the affiliate program.
  • Payment processing takes between 45-60 days after the sale was made.

2. Hostgator

HostGator is a well-established shared web hosting provider, hosting over 8 million websites on their servers. It offers an attractive, flexible commissions structure, co-branded landing pages, and various special offers.

Commission Rate: Starting at $65 for the first 1-5 sales and increases as more purchases are made up to $100. You can choose between a performance-based or a hybrid commission model that additionally offers small recurring payments.

Cookie Life: 60 days

Pros:

  • Free to join
  • High commission rates
  • High conversion rate
  • Dedicated affiliate account manager
  • Access to marketing tools like banners, email templates, etc.
  • Can create custom coupon codes for customers

Cons:

  • Requires approval and some initial of traffic
  • Lengthy wait for payouts

3. Cloudways

Cloudways is a managed hosting platform focused on providing high-performance services to growing teams and smaller businesses. Cloudways’ affiliate program offers two attractive commission structures allowing the affiliate to customize payout based on personal preferences.

Commission Rate: Cloudways offers two commission pathways. Affiliates can choose between larger, fixed one-time starting at $50/sale up to 150$ depending on sales volumes and “hybrid” option, which includes a $30 commission for the sale plus a 7% lifetime commission.

Cookie Life: 90 days

Pros:

  • Tracking dashboard to monitor visitors and purchases
  • Affiliate support managers
  • Two options for payouts (one-time & hybrid)
  • High commission payments
  • Long cookie window

Cons:

  • Must make at least $250 to get the payment

4. Hostinger

Hostinger is another popular web hosting platform that can offer affiliates up to $150 per sale on a tiered pricing structure.

Their affiliate partner program offers a base payout of around $60, with the opportunity to make up to $150. And since their small business and WordPress plans have a 90% discount and start at $0.99/month, they boast excellent conversion rates.

Like many other web hosts, they provide banners and promotional tools to help new affiliates get started. Finally, there are no payment caps, and you can send unlimited referrals.

Commission Rate: Minimum commission rate of 60%

Cookie Life: Info not provided

Pros:

  • High conversion rate
  • Instant sign up
  • Minimum of 60% commission
  • Affiliate control panel
  • Many different banners to choose from

Cons:

  • Very little information is provided before signing up

5. Kinsta

Kinsta offers the best cloud-based hosting for WordPress bloggers, hands down (they power our website). Utilizing Google Cloud and LXD orchestrated Linux containers under the hood at their data centers around the world, Kinsta is widely considered to be one of the best managed hosting providers available for bloggers. The company has a reputation of providing lightning fast hosting, SSL support via Let’s Encrypt for added protection, optimized backups and hassle-free migration amongst many other features.

Commission Rate: Earn up to $500 for every referral (depending upon plan value) + 10% monthly recurring lifetime commissions

Cookie Life: 60 days

Pros:

  • Real-time tracking on a customized multilingual affiliate dashboard
  • 60 day conversion window
  • Create your unique affiliate link with a single click and point it anywhere on the Kinsta website
  • Quick promotional materials and banners

Cons:

  • Affiliates are not allowed to take part in any incentivized programs, business opportunity sites or post links to Kinsta (whether a referral link or not) on coupon sites
  • Affiliates are only allowed to use advertising materials promoting Kinsta that are approved by Kinsta

6. WP Engine

Another giant in the web hosting space, WP Engine has been around since 2010 when they launched into the industry as a premium-positioned WordPress hosting provider that focused on the niche of selling lightning fast hosting plans to established bloggers, businesses and companies that need reliable hosting. They’ve also got one of the best affiliate programs on the market for bloggers that cover web hosting related topics.

Commission Rate: $200 minimum commissions for WP Engine sales and 35% of StudioPress theme sales

Cookie Life: 180 days

Pros:

  • Dedicated affiliate dashboard to track your referrals
  • Team of affiliate managers standing by for any questions
  • The ability to create custom landing pages with the WP Engine design team

Cons:

  • You must apply to join the affiliate program before being accepted

Best Website Affiliate Programs

Shopify affiliate program

After web hosting as the most popular affiliate category, website builders like Wix and Squarespace and e-commerce platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify are a close second when it comes to digital products. As the first step bloggers take to create a website is choosing a web host; the same is true for business owners looking to build a website.

Plus, because paying customers may stay for 24-36 months, and they have a high lifetime value (LTV), SaaS companies can afford to pay higher than 100% of the monthly sale price.

Here are our top picks for the website affiliate programs:

1. Shopify

Shopify is the world’s most popular eCommerce website builder, boasting 400,000 merchants and a substantial 200% commission on paid stores. With their name recognition comes stable conversion rates. Plus, their website features helpful affiliate FAQs and promotion ideas.

Commission Rate: 2x 100% commission on the first and second payment of each referred paid plan. In this case, the Basic Shopify plan will let you earn $58 ($29/month x 2 = $58). The exception is the Shopify Plus plan, where the affiliate earns a flat rate of $2,000 per conversion. In some countries, Shopify increases the payout to 300%.

Cookie Life: 30 days

Pros:

  • Pays high commission rates.
  • The payout threshold is just one sale.
  • You get a full-time affiliate marketing manager.
  • Publishers can create links for tracking purposes.
  • The affiliate portal is user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Cons:

  • Deep linking is available but is a bit disorganized.
  • A 30-day cookie is satisfactory but a longer cookie (45 to 90-day) would be nicer. 

2. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a SaaS e-commerce platform with over 60,000 merchants. They are known as the e-commerce platform of choice for growing brands because of their built-in features and advanced functionality.

Commission Rate: Generous 200% bounty payment on the plan’s price, meaning you can earn either $60, $160, $250, or $1,500 per paying customer.

Cookie Life: 90 days

Pros:

  • High commissions
  • Provide banners and text links
  • Dedicated account manager 
  • Weekly affiliate newsletter with content templates and SEO advice

Cons:

3. 3D Cart

3dcart is a fast-growing eCommerce platform that hosts its own program and offers a 300% commission for paid conversions. They boast reliable conversion rates and have accommodating Affiliate Managers that lend a helping hand.

Commission Rate: Up to 300% per sale

Cookie Life: 120 days

Pros:

  • Generous commission
  • Access to marketing content
  • Very long cookie duration
  • Bonuses and incentives

4. Wix

Wix is another high-quality website builder with an insane 100 million users. They provide their affiliates with $100 per sale and feature a lot of great landing pages to use in multiple languages.

Commission Rate: $100 per sale

Cookie Life: 30 days

Pros:

  • $100 per premium referral
  •  An abundance of creative resources
  •  Premium membership models fit a variety of customers

Cons:

  • The monthly payout threshold is $300
  •  One-time payout. Not-recurring affiliate revenues.

5. Webflow

The Webflow affiliate program is designed for influencers, educators, bloggers, and others to get paid for the designers and developers they refer to Webflow.

Commission rate:  50% of all payments for 12 months

Cookie Life: 90 days

Pros:

6. Weebly

Weebly is a simple website builder with an impressive 40 million+ users. It is not the most advanced website builder, but their drag and drop interface makes it very easy to build a quick website. They offer a 30% recurring commission for as long as the customer is active, and feature a generous 120-day cookie window.

Commission Rate:

Cookie Life:

Pros:

7. Site123

Site123 is another famous website builder that allows you to create mobile-friendly websites with a lot of templates to choose from and a simple user interface. Their affiliate program provides up to $182 payouts, and you can only withdraw your funds after you receive $300 of commissions.

Commission Rate:

Cookie Life:

Pros:

8. Elementor

Elementor is known for its extremely useful WordPress page builder. The Elementor page builder allows users to use drag and drop features in WordPress. It also gives the user the opportunity to see what their pages and blog posts look like before hitting “publish.”

Elementor offers a free version of their page builder, but the paid versions include advanced widgets, a theme builder, a popup builder, a WooCommerce builder, and many other features.

Commission Rate: 50% per sale

Cookie Life: 30 days

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Variety of logos and banners to choose from
  • No limit on what you can make

Cons:

  • Must meet a $200 threshold to be paid
  • Shorter cookie life than some programs
  • Must wait 30+ days to receive a payment

Best Email Marketing Affiliate Programs

Constant Contact Affiliate Program

Here are our top picks for the email marketing affiliate programs:

1. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a leader when it comes to email marketing. These days email marketing is essential for bloggers, social media influencers or affiliate marketers. Constant Contact helps you to create using beautiful templates, share with your list and track real-time stats. The best part about Constant Contact is that also allows you to earn a decent amount via their affiliate program.

Commission Rate: Payouts start at $5 for every customer who signed up for a free 60 days trial. You also get $105 commission from a direct paying customers. If the free trial customer upgrades subscription, then you are eligible to receive an additional $105.

Cookie Life: 90 days

2. Get Response

GetResponse claims to be “the world’s easiest all-in-one online marketing platform.” It offers marketing automation, sales funnels, eCommerce, landing pages, opt-in forms, webinar software, customer relationship management (CRM), surveys, and ad banner builders.

GetResponse has two affiliate programs that anyone can join. Its self-hosted program uses proprietary affiliate tracking software while the other program is on the CJ Affiliate network.

Commission Rate: Affiliates can earn excellent recurring and one-time commissions. The self-hosted program pays a 33 percent recurring commission. The recurring payout will last for as long as the user remains a paying customer. If the customer upgrades to a higher-priced plan, your commission will increase. The CJ Affiliate program pays $135 for every sale.

Cookie Life: Both programs have 120-day cookies

3. Active Campaign

ActiveCampaign is an email marketing automation and CRM tool that has been around since 2003.

However, it has made a name for itself over the last few years mainly on the back of its highly impressive marketing automation features.

Commission Rate: Starting at 20% and increasing up to 30% recurring commission on referrals.

Cookie Life: No info provided

4. Aweber

Aweber is an email marketing software that is great for businesses and marketing teams because of their email templates and design features. They offer a 30% recurring rate.

5. Convertkit

ConvertKit is one of the hottest email marketing providers that offer automation capabilities developed specifically for bloggers & creatives. The subscription-based service is focused on bloggers, small businesses, and podcasters who are looking to simplify their email marketing process. ConvertKit simplifies the process of capturing more leads and selling more of your products.

Commission Rate: Recurring 30% commission for the lifetime of each customer you refer (paid monthly)

Cookie Life: 60 days

Pros:

  • No threshold to meet in order to get paid
  • 30% monthly recurring commission (this is huge)
  • Personalized overview dashboard gives you all the details on your earnings

Cons:

  • 30-day delay on commission payments

Best Blogging Tools Affiliate Programs

Here are our top picks for the blogging tools affiliate programs:

1. SemRush

SEMrush is a trusted source for SEO tools that help online businesses and marketers with their keyword research, tracking and search engine optimization. The tools offered by SEMrush come highly recommended for improving the ranking of your website by doing more effective keyword research. Their affiliate program is a great option for bloggers to earn a recurring income via BeRush (SEMRush’s exclusive affiliate program).

Commission Rate: 40%

Cookie Life: 10 years

Pros:

  • Variety of promo materials in 7 languages
  • Each month the BeRush team runs the BeRush Contest where participants can win up to $100 for the best content
  • Commission payments made up to twice a month
  • Exclusive promotional rights to one of the world’s leading competitive intelligence services

Cons:

  • Account balance needs to reach $50 or more to get paid
  • No payments are made for referring existing or returning SEMrush users

WP Rocket

Short Pixel

OptinMonster

Monster Insights

Grammarly

Best Design & Creative Tools Affiliate Programs

Adobe Affiliate Landing Page

Here are our top picks for the creative tools affiliate programs:

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe is a US-based multinational computer software company that offers a suite of creative and multimedia products. With a revenue-generating capacity of $9.03 billion, it’s easy to see why joining Adobe’s Affiliate Program is an attractive opportunity for many budding bloggers. Currently, bloggers can promote Adobe products like their Adobe Creative Cloud (which includes Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign, all useful tools for crafting the perfect blog layout), Adobe Stock, and Adobe Document Cloud to earn commissions.

Commission Rate:

  • Monthly subscriptions: 85% of first month
  • Yearly subscriptions (monthly payment) provide: 85% of first month
  • Yearly subscriptions (one-time payment) provide: 8.33% of first year

Cookie Life:

Pros:

  • Access to a comprehensive selection of ready-to-publish marketing banners and text links
  • Up-to-date information on new product launches
  • Regular and exclusive promotions for added income
  • Dedicated Adobe Affiliates dashboard
  • Deep linking opportunities

Cons:

  • Document cloud and Stock are only available to promote in specific countries

Canva

Best Online Education Affiliate Programs

Here are our top picks for the online education affiliate programs:

1. Udemy

Udemy is another extremely popular online learning platform, potentially even the largest in the world. Aimed at both adults and students, this platform has more than 30 million students and 50,000 instructors that teach courses in over 60 different languages. With over 245 million course enrollments so far, Udemy’s affiliate program is an attractive choice for those who have educational blogs. The program is hosted on Rakuten LinkShare and is periodically available on other affiliate networks.

Commission Rate: 15%

Cookie Life: 7 days

Pros:

  • Thousands of available classes to promote on virtually ever topic imaginable (with hundreds of pre-designed banners)
  • Deep linking opportunities
  • Over 100+ sub-categories
  • Promotional assets and tools available to help you drive sales

Cons:

  • Low commissions
  • Relatively high payout threshold ($50 minimum)
  • Their affiliate program landing page and description could use some love

2. Coursera

3. SkillShare

4. TreeHouse

5. LinkedIn Learning

Best VPN Affiliate Programs

NordVPN Affiliate Program

Since 2013, almost 25% of global internet users have used a VPN every month and the market is growing year over year. Due to this technology’s exploding popularity, all different types of affiliate sites can recommend setting up a private internet connection to their readers.

In fact, our editorial team has hopped on the bandwagon as well with our 19 Best VPN Services post. Some of us also use a VPN to secure our internet on public WiFi, stream Netflix when we’re traveling abroad and so on.

Since these companies charge a recurring fee to use their online services, affiliates typically receive a recurring payment or large one-time payout for users after signing up. It’s one of the most popular affiliate categories and there are plenty of great programs to join.

Here are our top picks for the VPN affiliate programs:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN’s commissions are based on the subscription plan ordered by the customer, including 100% at one month, and 40% for 6 months, one year, and two-year plans. They also have strong conversion rates and dedicated account managers to help you drive sales.

2. IPVanish

IPVanish is one of the best VPN services on the market and boasts some of the best payouts in the VPN industry.

1-month package: 100%, then 35% recurring. 3-month package: 40%, then 35% recurring. 1 & 2 year package: 40%, then 30% recurring.

3. ExpressVPN

Founded in 2009, ExpressVPN is one of the most popular options for users looking to protect their privacy online. They offer high one-time payouts based on the plan a user signs up for: 1 month is $13, 6 months is $22, and 12 months is $36.

4. PureVPN

PureVPN has one of the most fun programs, with contests, a reward system, and custom notifications letting you know when you’ve made a sale. Similar to others on this list, they offer 100% for month one and 40% for longer plans.

5. StrongVPN

StrongVPN has been around since 2006 and has a popular affiliate program. They pay every month and offer up to a 200% payout for sales generated.

Best Online Job Site Affiliate Programs

Fiverr affiliate program landing page

Here are our top picks for the online job site affiliate programs:

Fivver

Although we covered a wide range of highly profitable affiliate programs in this article, there’s one that stood out with its high payouts, flexibility, and ease of promotion.

If you’re not yet familiar with Fiverr, think of it as the Amazon of online services.

As of today, Fiverr is the largest freelance services marketplace fathering millions of creatives, consultants, and freelance specialists.

By signing up for the Fiverr affiliate program, you get to promote the world’s biggest marketplace for online services. From logo design and writing to programming, WordPress gigs, and business services, the options are endless.

And after promoting these services, affiliates earn up to a $150 CPA for every first-time buyer or up to $1,000 per sale with their $10 CPA/10% revshare hybrid model (service prices go up to $10,000).

Overall, with 250+ categories and over 3 million digital services you can promote, Fiverr is our overall #1 choice as the best affiliate program.

FlexJobs

SolidGigs

Contena

SurveyJunkie

Best Finance and Credit Cards Affiliate Programs

Here are our top picks for the finance and credit cards affiliate programs:

QuickBooks

FreshBooks

TurboTax

Bonsai

Revolut for Business

Best Investing & Trading Affiliate Programs

Here are our top picks for the investing and trading affiliate programs:

1. eToro

eToro Partners is the highly lucrative and diverse affiliate program of the most popular social trading platform, eToro. The eToro investment network has over 5 million registered users from over 140 countries and is quickly growing. eToro allows their users to connect like never before by allowing them to communicate and post through their social trading platform, view other users trading statistics, discuss trading strategies, and automatically copy other traders with eToro’s patented CopyTrader technology.

There’s no wonder why eToro is the worlds leading social trading platform and the platform is gaining new users every day. eToro’s extensive growth is due to not only their amazing investment and copy trading services, but the highly lucrative affiliate program, eToro Partners. eToro Partners is one of the most successful financial affiliate programs in the world with over 50,000,000 paid affiliates. With a network as vast and successful as eToro’s, it’s easy to convert and acquire new traders to the eToro platform.

Commission Rate:

Cookie Life:

Pros:

  • Promote the leading social trading platform
  • High conversions
  • Excellent reporting and tracking software
  • Very lucrative commission plans

Cons:

  • Takes some time to build up your following

2. Plus500

Plus 500 is an international firm providing online trading services. It is an online service that allows people all over the world to trade online. It was founded in 2008. The firm has its headquarters in Israel. The platform was initially based on Windows OS but the firm has gone on to release web and Android based platform for its users.

Commission Rate:

Cookie Life:

Pros:

Cons:

3. Coinbase

Commission: When a user buys $100 of BTC, receive $10 of BTC
Earning period: Once per customer

Commission Rate:

Cookie Life:

Pros:

Cons:

4. Binance

Commission Rate: 20% of referral’s trade fees, 40% if holding 500+ BNB, paid in real-time to Binance account.

Cookie Life:

Pros:

Cons:

Best Retail Affiliate Programs

Etsy affiliate programme

Here are our top picks for the eCommerce marketplace affiliate programs:

1. Etsy

There’s a good chance that you’ve already heard of Etsy—an online marketplace for crafters, artisans, makers, and thrifters. Since 2012, there have been over 2 million active sellers on Etsy and many millions of products listed.

You may not know that Etsy also has an affiliate program that bloggers in the right niches can use to generate some extra income.

Commission Rate: Etsy isn’t forthright with their commission rates on their affiliate sign-up page. Based on third-party reviews though, they’re typically between 4% and 8% for qualifying sales.

Cookie Life: 30 days

Pros:

  • Variety of banners and ads available as well as curated page
  • Any sales made during the 30-day cookie period are attributed to the affiliate — not just an initial sale
  • Referrals work internationally

Cons:

  • No guarantee of approval—applicants are “evaluated based on criteria such as type of site, site quality, site content, variety of site content and items promoted, brand identity, and alignment with Etsy’s values.”
  • $5 sign up fee that is refunded after your first payment from the program
  • Naturally, Etsy sellers can’t earn an affiliate income on their own products. However, they also can’t earn an affiliate income on products similar to their own products (odd).
  • Low percentage of sales for their payout compared to many other affiliate programs

2. Amazon Associates 

Who hasn’t heard of Amazon? This platform is a giant in the eCommerce world, and its popularity continues to grow. So, if you ever talk about products that could potentially be for sale somewhere on Amazon, then it makes sense for you to join Amazon Associates to begin collecting (small) commissions on the products people purchase after following your Amazon affiliate links.

Commission Rate: Varies between 1.0% and 10.0% depending on the product category. You can learn more about Amazon’s standard commission rates here.

Cookie Life: 24 hours (90 days if a referral adds a product to their shopping cart during a session you refer)

Pros:

  • Easy sign-up
  • Access to nearly unlimited products you can promote
  • Payments can be made by direct bank deposit, Amazon gift card or check

Cons:

  • Low commission structure that makes it challenging to earn significant payouts without sending a high volume of traffic their way
  • Affiliates only have a 24-hour window to earn a commission after someone clicks on their affiliate link

3. eBay

eBay has been around since the dawn of time. OK so that’s not true, but as far as the internet goes, they’ve had a long run.  Their listings include almost anything a buyer could ask for from long-forgotten vintage memorabilia to brand new merchandise.

With a name as well-known as eBay, a high conversion rate is guaranteed with their affiliate programs.

Commission Rate: 50-70% of eBay’s revenue share. New or reactivated eBay users double the commission rate.

For example, if eBay’s revenue share is $10, the affiliate will make $5-$7. If the person purchasing the item is new to eBay, the affiliate will make $10 – $14 on the sale

Cookie Life: 24 hours

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Earn commission on any listing—including your own

Cons:

  • Short cookie life
  • Low commission rate per sale
  • Some of the information about the affiliate program is outdated on the site. For instance, under the FAQ’s section, they list a different commission rate system than they do on their main partnering page
  • Blog posts and pages will have to be updated frequently for auction items listed on eBay

4. Walmart

Walmart is an American multinational retail corporation (largest discount retailer in the world). It operates chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores and grocery stores. It was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton. As of October 31, 2018, Walmart has 11,277 stores and clubs in 27 countries, operating under 55 different names.

Commission Rate:

Cookie Life:

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Cons:

5. RedBubble

Commission Rate:

Cookie Life:

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Cons:

Best Travel Affiliate Programs

From hotels and travel platforms like Expedia to airlines and vacation packages, people are buying travel packages online more than ever before – so why not cash in?

Let’s say you’re a travel blogger with an audience of loyal readers.

You can recommend hotels, travel packages, airlines, and travel equipment from travel affiliate companies and get a referral fee from each sale.

There are also a lot of customization options. You can integrate hotel booking sites into your website, choose specific destinations, and showcase properties that interest you. For example, you could start a niche affiliate site about “Denver Family Vacations,” write content about the top things to do in Denver, guides about the local area, and promote specific hotels.

Travel review sites with links to specific vacations and hotels are a fun way to create a unique experience for your readers and offer an endless supply of customizable options. Commissions are either paid at booking or when a visitor checks out of their hotel.

Here are our top picks for the travel affiliate programs:

1. TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is a popular travel site that’s primarily known for its local reviews of things to do. They also allow you to book hotels, vacation packages, restaurant reservations, and more. They offer an incredible 50% commission with a decent cookie duration of 14 days. Based on their referral fees, they are our #1 choice for the best in the travel category.

2. Expedia

Expedia is a major global travel brand that is the parent company of others on this list. They allow their affiliates to promote over 260,000 bookable properties with 150 websites in 70+ countries. Based on their website reach and network of properties, they are #2 on our list.

3. TravelPayouts

Travelpayouts calls themselves “The Ideal Travel Program to Monetize Your Travel Website”and we have to agree. They cover a wide range of services and integrate other travel platforms like Booking.com, Airbnb, rentalcars.com, and more. Their travel affiliate marketing platform offers up to an 80% commission, but the average is 1.6% for flights and 6% for hotel bookings. Their cookie duration is 30 days.

4. Booking.com

Booking.com offers flights, hotels, car rentals, and airport taxis. By joining, you get access to over 2.2 million properties, and they offer 4%, but there is a downside as the cookie expires when a user closes their browser.

5. Hotels.com

Hotels.com is another way to make money with hotels and they offer localized services with 85 websites in 35 languages. They also have over 15 million members in their rewards program. They offer 4% and 7-day cookie duration.

6. Hilton

Hilton is a global hotel brand that offers luxury hotel stays and a wide range of hotel properties. They offer a 4% commission, and their cookie length is seven days.

7. Marriott

Marriott is another hotel brand offering a large selection of hotels to promote in their program. They offer 3% for vacation packages and 4-6% for hotels. They provide a cookie length of 7 days.

8. Travelocity

Travelocity is a travel platform known for its price match guarantee and affordable prices. They offer a 2-4% commission and extend a generous 45-day cookie length.

9. Priceline

Priceline is known for their cheap deals on hotels, flights, and more. They offer a 3-5% commission and a 30-day cookie duration.

10. Hotwire

Hotwire offers last minute travel deals and access to cheap flights and hotels. They provide 2% with a 7-day cookie.

Best Fashion Affiliate Programs

Fashion affiliate programs are perfect for bloggers and influencers looking to recommend the latest fashion trends on Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube – and make money from their recommendations.

When recommending fashion products, you should focus on a sub-niche so that you hone in on your audience and are the go-to resource for your specific type of fashion.

Once you’ve figured out your sub-niche, search for clothing and accessories that match your brand. Keep in mind; there are also fashion platforms like RewardStyle and Shopstyle Collective to help you find fashionable products to promote.

In the end, the fashion affiliate company that you choose to work with should match your unique style, and you should like their brand.

Here are our top picks for the fashion affiliate programs:

1. Eddie Bauer
Commission: 5% per sale
Cookie Duration: 7 days

2. H&M
Commission: Up to 7.4%
Cookie Duration: 30 days

3. JNCO Jeans
Commission: 20%
Cookie Duration: 30 days

4. Lane Bryant
Commission: 5%
Cookie Duration: 15 days

5. ModCloth
Commission: 7%
Cookie Duration: 45 days

6. MVMT Watches
Commission: 10%
Cookie Duration: 15 days

7. Newchic
Commission: Up to 18% per sale
Cookie Duration: 60 days

8. Nordstrom
Commission: 2-20%
Cookie Duration: 7 days

9. Stitch Fix
Commission: 4%
Cookie Duration: 7 days

10. True Religion
Commission: 7%
Cookie Duration: 7 days

11. Warby Parker
Commission: 20%
Cookie Duration: 45 days

Best Beauty Affiliate Programs

Top beauty affiliates have huge followings on their blogs, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and social media channels. Their ardent followers are hungry for the latest cosmetic tips and product reviews. Therefore, beauty and makeup influencers tend to be tutorial-focused with videos and images showcasing how to use their newly endorsed products.

Because of this popularity, there are a ton of beauty affiliate companies to work with, but you have to choose the brands you promote as commissions vary widely. For instance, beauty affiliate payouts range from 2-10% on average, and earnings can vary widely.

Finally, choose a brand to promote that pays well and matches your personal preferences and style.

Here are our top picks for the beauty affiliate programs:

1. Madison Reed
Commission: $20
Cookie Duration: 30 days

2. Avon
Commission: Up to 10%, average is 3%

3. Beautytap
Commission: 7.5% + performance bonuses
Cookie Length: 7 days

4. BH Cosmetics
Commission: 8%
Cookie Duration: 60 days

5. L’Occitane en Provence
Commission: 2.5%
Cookie Length: 45 days

6. Sephora
Commission: 5-10%
Cookie Length: 24 hours

7. Ulta Beauty
Commission: 2-5%
Cookie Length: 30 days

Best Sports Affiliate Programs

The sports industry is predicted to reach $73.5 billion in market value in 2019. This revenue includes media rights, merchandising, sponsorships, and the rise of fantasy sports.

If you’d like to tap into this vast market, take a swing at a sports affiliate program.

To recommend products from specific sports companies, join a sporting goods, fan gear, or golf affiliate program. Additionally, another strategy is to take your fantasy football knowledge and make commissions from daily fantasy sites like Draft Kings or FanDuel.

Sports aren’t one of the most significant categories in affiliate marketing. However, the sports vertical is a good one for bloggers who already review the latest sports equipment.

In due time, you can be successful by building your brand around a very specific sports sub-niche and coupling that with an in-depth knowledge of the products you’re recommending.

Here are our top picks for the sport affiliate programs:

1. Dick’s Sporting Goods
Commission: 5% on average
Cookie Duration: 10 days

2. Draft Kings (referral program)
Commission: 40% of referral’s net gaming revenue first 30 days, 25% days 31+

3. Fanatics
Commission: Up to 10%
Cookie Duration: 7 days

4. FanDuel
Commission: $25-35 per signup, 35% rev share for referrals’ first 2 years

5. Sports Memorabilia
Commission: 9% of sales
Cookie Duration: 365 days

6. TaylorMade Golf
Commission: 5% of sales
Cookie Duration: 30 days

7. Under Armour
Commission: 5% of sales
Cookie Duration: 30 days

Best Fitness Affiliate Programs

Whether you’re a bodybuilder, running coach, personal trainer, or an Instagram model, fitness companies payout for your physical fitness recommendations.

By partnering with a company like Bowflex and recommending their high AOV products, you can earn a high commission on every order.

Fitness is one of the highest paying affiliate verticals. The high average order value (AOV) of products like treadmills and ellipticals offer excellent earnings per click (EPC) for affiliates.

Here are our top picks for the fitness affiliate programs:

1. Ace Fitness
Commission: 8% of sales

2. BodyBuilding.com
Commission: 15% for new customers, 5% for returning customers
Cookie Duration: 9 days

3. Bowflex
Commission: 7% of sales, AOV is over $2,000
Cookie Duration: 3 days

4. Life Fitness
Commission: 8%+
Cookie Duration: 30 days

5. ProForm
Commission 8-11% of sales

6. TRX Training
Commission: 8% of sales
Cookie Duration: 30 days

Best Gaming Affiliate Programs

If you are a gamer, Twitch streamer, or upload YouTube videos, there are a ton of video game affiliate programs.

The Twitch Affiliate Program gets gamers one step closers to realizing their financial dreams by allowing affiliates to monetize audience subscriptions and video game sales.

All you need to join is 50 Twitch followers and 500 broadcast minutes over the last 30 days, seven unique broadcast days, and an average of 3 or more concurrent viewers. Alternatively, you can recommend video game subscription services like Gamefly and generate income from new trials and game purchases you create with your affiliate links.

Ultimately, look for a video game affiliate company that best matches your gaming interests.

Here are our top picks for the best gaming affiliate programs:

1. Astro Gaming
Commission: 5%
Cookie Duration: 180 days

2. Fanatical
Commission: 5%
Cookie Duration: 90 days

3. G2Deal
Commission: 10-20% on software, 3% on other products
Cookie Duration: 30 days

4. Gamefly
Commission: $15 per trial sign-up, 5% for new games, 10% used games
Cookie Duration: 30 days

5. Twitch
Commission: 50% of subscriptions, 5% on game sales

Best Music Affiliate Programs

The music industry contains composers, artists, sound engineers, music teachers, music equipment manufacturers, vocal coaches, and more. With all of these different product niches and affiliate companies, there are plenty of ways to profit with high paying music affiliate programs.

If you’re a sound engineer, you may review the latest guitars, microphones, and audio equipment. If you’re a music teacher, you may recommend online music courses. There are countless ways to generate revenue with your music knowledge.

Above all, make sure that you deeply understand the products you promote so that your audiences get the best recommendations.

Here are our top picks for the best music affiliate programs:

1. Guitar Center
Commission: 6%
Cookie Duration: 14 days

2. Musician’s Friend
Commission: 4%
Cookie Duration: 14 days

3. Sam Ash
Commission: 7-10%
Cookie Duration: 60 days

4. Singorama
Commission: 70% on instant downloads, 40% on shipped course
Cookie Duration: 60 days

5. zZounds
Commission: 6% + bonuses
Cookie Duration: 45 days

Best Dating Affiliate Programs

The online dating niche is huge and so it is not surprising that there are many dating affiliate programs to choose from.

More than 40% of American couples now meet online and the number is getting higher every year. Online dating is here to stay and so starting a dating affiliate website can be a great asset for years to come.

Here are our top picks for the best dating affiliate programs:

1. Match.com
Commission: 50%
Cookie Duration: 120 days

2. eHarmony
Commission: 20%
Cookie Duration: 45 days

3. Elite Singles
Commission: $7 for a completed personality test (pay per lead)
Cookie Duration: 45 days

4. Cupid Media
Commission: 75%
Cookie Duration: 45 days

5. People Media
Commission: 50%
Cookie Duration: 120 days

What to Look For in High Paying Affiliate Programs?

By now you should know that not all affiliate programs are equal. Some niches pay more than others. But, choosing which programs are worth your time can be tricky especially when you’re just starting out! So, we’re going to explore nine all-important things to look out for when choosing high ticket affiliate programs.

That’s what you should look for in high paying affiliate programs:

1. Commission Rate

The commission rate is imperative. Different programs offer different rates of commission. This is usually a percentage of the sale price, but in some instances, your commission is a fixed rate per affiliate sale. So, double-check how the affiliate program calculates its commission to get a better feel for what you’ll earn with the program.

The higher the rate of affiliate commission, the better.

It’s also worth seeing whether the program offers incentives for newbie affiliates. For instance, do they reward hitting sales targets with a boost in commission? LambdaTest is an excellent example of this in action; they’re offering newbies 50% commission on their first transaction and then 25% after that.

If you’re looking to get into a niche with plenty of high paying affiliate programs offering attractive rates of commission, generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with SaaS (Software as a Service).

Typically, due to their subscription-based nature, SaaS companies boast higher customer lifetime values (CLTV) and profit margins and, consequently, impressive affiliate commission rates. So, if this is a niche that interests you, go for it, it could be incredibly lucrative!

Take BigCommerce as an example. You’ll receive a 200% bounty per referral! You’ll also earn $1,500 for every Enterprise customer you secure. Plus, there are no commission caps, obligations, or minimum commitments – what’s not to love about that?!

BigCommerce Affiliate Program Landing Page

While we’re on the subject of commission, remember retailers have full control over their affiliate programs. They can, therefore, reduce their high commission rates at any time. Take Amazon as an example, who announced in April it was slashing commission rates on some of its physical products. Amazon was paying 8% on home improvement products, which is now down to 3%, while groceries have plummeted from 5% to only 1%! When you hear of horror stories like this, it makes selling digital products all the more attractive.

2. Commission Type

On the whole, there are two types of commission:

  1. One-time payouts
  2. Recurring commission

The one-time model does what it says on the tin, i.e., when you make a sale, you’ll be paid a one-off commission for that sale. So, the more referrals you get, the more you earn.

Whereas, over the long-term, the recurring commission model enables you to earn a passive income. Typically this commission structure comes into play when companies offer monthly subscriptions for SaaS products, online courses, digital merchandise, etc.

So, how does this work?

Say, the high paying affiliate program you’ve signed up for is a SaaS website building platform, and you’ve just secured a sale. In this event, the company doesn’t just pay a one-off commission, instead, (provided the customer doesn’t cancel their subscription), the affiliate program also pays you monthly (or whenever the subscription rolls over).

Speaking of different commission structures, what Cloudways has to offer is pretty impressive, as they give you the freedom to choose a commission structure that best suits your needs. Their slab model outlines four performance-based ‘slabs’ that correspond with different commission rates. Please refer to the table below for more details:

Cloudways Affiliate Commission Structure
Source: Cloudways

Alternatively, you can opt for the hybrid commission model, which furnishes affiliates with a $30 upfront bonus followed by a 7% lifetime commission.

Cloudways Affiliate Commission Structure
Source: Cloudways

If you’re unsure which to opt for, Cloudways provides a commission calculator, so you can estimate your earnings before picking the right model for you.

One-Time Payouts – The Pros:

  • You’ll enjoy a nice chunk of cash once you make a sale.
  • It’s a great way to get started with generating passive income.

One-Time Payouts – The Cons:

  • You need to secure more referrals as you’re only paid per sale – which means more time marketing and driving referral traffic.

Recurring Commissions – The Pros:

  • You’ll enjoy a regular income after securing just one sale.
  • The kinds of companies that utilize the recurring income model typically offer higher commissions

Recurring Commissions – The Cons:

  • How frequently you’re paid is entirely at the vendor’s discretion – this could be weekly, monthly, yearly, etc.
  • If your customer cancels their subscription, your commission stops.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best recurring affiliate programs out there:

Affiliate ProgramType / NicheRecurring Commission
ElegantThemesWordPress Themes / Plugins50%
SemRushSEO & SEM Tools40%
LeadPagesLanding Page Builder30%
ConvertkitEmail Marketing30%
AweberEmail Marketing30%
GetResponseEmail Marketing33%
ThriveThemesWordPress Themes25%
SocialPilotSocial Media Tools30%
LiveChatLive Chat Support20%

3. Average Order Value (AOV)

In addition to commissions, you also need to look at the ‘average order value.’ This measures the average price of orders placed with the merchant over a set period. Again, the higher the AOV, the better.

To calculate AOV, merchants need to divide the total purchase amount they make over a set period, by their number of sales. Say, for example, a retailer made 250 sales totaling $10,000, the AOV would be $40. Simple, right?

Affiliate programs with higher AOVs typically facilitate upselling, cross-selling, and bundle products together. Some merchants also offer free shipping and discounted products. All these techniques work wonders for selling additional products and services, which means, in theory, you should enjoy a larger paycheck as an affiliate.

Our tip is to sign up for affiliate programs in the B2B software market, typically products and services in this sector boast a higher AOV than B2C.

4. Earnings per Click (EPC)

With affiliate marketing, sometimes you don’t even have to make a sale to earn money! Some high paying affiliate programs pay affiliates on a ‘per click’ basis, i.e., you just need to entice people enough to click on your affiliate link. You’re then paid according to how much traffic you push their way.

If you’re new to online marketing, this is one of the best affiliate programs for beginners,

because there’s no pressure to make a sale! If you’re interested, check out JVZoo, this affiliate network has tons of ‘pay per click’ programs to choose from.

pay per click affiliate programs - jvzoo affiliate network
Source: JVZoo 

5. Cookie Duration

Cookie duration is sometimes referred to as a ‘referral period,’ so don’t let this interchangeable terminology confuse you because both phrases mean precisely the same thing.

For those who aren’t in the know, ‘cookie duration’ is the window of time an advertiser will pay an affiliate for their referred customer. For example, if an affiliate program has a 48-hour cookie duration, and the person you refer buys 50 hours later, you won’t get a bean.

So, the longer the cookie duration, the better. It’s crucial to check this before choosing an affiliate program because it can really impact your affiliate income. For example, the Amazon affiliate program only has a 24-hour cookie lifespan, which isn’t very long at all!

6. Cookie Attribution

Cookie attribution allows merchants to track and assess how customers interact with their site. With this info at their disposal, they can then pay out commissions.

However, there are two types of cookie attribution:

  1. First vs. last-click attribution
  2. The two-tier system

Let’s explore each of these in turn…

First vs. Last-Click Attribution

Think about this: what happens if a consumer clicks on your affiliate link and then on somebody else’s? Who gets the commission?

This is where the affiliate policies set by the merchant come into play. You’ll have to see which side the merchant falls on the ‘first click vs. last-click’ cookie attribution debate.

If the merchant credits the ‘last link,’ whoever provided the consumer with the last affiliate link they clicked on before making a purchase, gets the commission. Conversely, if their policy favors the ‘first click,’ whichever affiliate scored the customer’s first click, receives the commission.

The Two-Tier System

Whereas the two-tier model allows affiliates to earn commissions not only on their sales but also from any transactions secured by affiliates, they refer to the program.

Below is an example of a standard two-tier structure:

1st Tier: You make a 25% commission on your direct sales

2nd Tier: You make a 10% commission on any sales made by your sub-affiliates

Of course, these figures vary from program to program, but you get the idea.

Notable affiliate programs that offer a two-tier system include WP Engine, Fiverr, and ClickFunnels.

7. Product Conversion Rate

It doesn’t matter how high a commission rate is, if an affiliate product doesn’t convert into sales, it’s not worth promoting. This is where ‘product conversion rate’ comes onto the scene.

Put simply; this is the percentage of prospects that turn into actual customers. You want to focus your time on affiliate programs offering high product conversion rates.

But, what’s a ‘good’ product conversion rate?

This varies across industries. However, WordStream notes that 2.35% is the average rate. Yet the top 25% of marketers have managed to score a conversion rate of 5.31% or higher!

Unsurprisingly, the quality of a product landing page massively impacts conversions. So, you’ll want to pick an affiliate partner that provides top-notch landing pages – as the better the landing page and sales funnel, the more likely customers purchase, and you’ll receive a commission.

Take Hostinger, web hosting provider as an example; their landing pages are fabulous! Special offer countdown, attractively priced service, and a clear CTA – it’s all there! See below to get a feel for what we’re talking about.

Hostinger Web Hosting Landing Page

In addition to creating beautiful landing pages, there are other things affiliate managers can do to boost product conversion rates. Most notably, running promotions affiliates can offer prospects. After all, who doesn’t love a bargain?

8. Vendor Reputation and Customer Satisfaction

If you’re promoting subscription-based products, you’ll want ones with low churn rates.

This metric highlights how many customers unsubscribe later down the line. It stands to reason, affiliate programs with lower churn rates provide longer-term recurring commissions.

However, this metric isn’t always published by affiliate managers. But, you can do some digging to see what their customer satisfaction levels are like. If people LOVE the product, the lower its churn rate is likely to be.

So before signing up for an affiliate program, head to Google and read a few customer reviews. What’s their average rating? Are customers, on the whole, pleased with the product? Use this research to decide whether a potential product/service is worth marketing to your audience.

Also, it’s worth keeping an eye on the churn rate once you start promoting the product. You can use this formula to calculate this metric:

One minus your customer retention rate = a percentage churn rate

This makes identifying products with higher church rates easy. Once you know what they are, you can drop them and focus on marketing products of value to your audience.

Wondering where to find a reputable top paying affiliate program?

We suggest starting your search with an affiliate network such as ShareASale or CJ Affiliate. They meticulously screen and review all publishers, giving you the peace of mind that you will end up promoting only high-quality affiliate offers.

9. Affiliate Support

Ideally, you’ll want to sign up with affiliate programs that support you. This is all the more essential if you’re a newbie, as there’s a good chance you’ll have questions and queries you’ll need help with (don’t worry – we’ve all been there).

When assessing whether a vendor provides decent affiliate support, see whether they offer a dedicated account manager or at least a point of contact that you can access via email, phone, or live chat.

We suggest getting in touch from the get-go, to give you a feel for how they handle affiliates. For instance, you could try asking the affiliate manager if they’ll consider increasing your commission over time – once you have a proven sales record.

You’ll also want to check what marketing materials (if any) the vendor provides. Are they good quality? Some companies offer affiliates tried and tested landing pages that are proven to convert. Similarly, many give affiliates graphics and banners to use on their website to capture the eye of potential customers.

Summary: Best Affiliate Programs

No matter which one of the best affiliate programs you want to join, there are a ton of highly lucrative categories to match your particular interests.

First, when choosing a program, remember to check the commission rates and cookie durations.

Second, look into if the program is recurring, or provides one-time payments.

Finally, choose a niche that matches your interests, and you can passionately promote.

The affiliate market is growing as fast as ever, and the opportunities are wide open.

Remember, the first step is to build your affiliate website on WordPress.

First, to create your affiliate site, we recommend you get started with Bluehost for just $3.95/month. 

Did we miss any of the best affiliate programs out there?

If you’re a member of another great affiliate program you’d like to share with us, please mention it in the comments below!

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