Learning how to do affiliate marketing can be essential to your success. But even if you’ve got your website, ad, or social media platform set up perfectly, you still need a company to partner with. That’s where affiliate programs come into play.
In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing programs. You’ll learn why they’re needed and read more about some of the best-paying affiliate programs available to you as a newcomer.
But first, you need to know what they are and how they work.
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What is an affiliate program?
Affiliate programs, also known as associate programs, are arrangements where a brand rewards an individual for bringing in customers or sales.
Here’s how they work: An individual—such as an influencer, creator, or website owner—and a brand sign up on an affiliate platform. Then, both parties explore ways to collaborate and discuss compensation.
When they’ve agreed on the terms, they kick off their partnership. The individual uses special links to track sales or traffic sent to the business’s website. If this traffic converts into sales, the brand pays them a commission.
The 16 best affiliate marketing programs for beginners
You might be familiar with Shopify as a platform that lets you start, grow, and manage a business. But did you know that it also lets you work as an affiliate marketer?
The Shopify Affiliate Program provides the opportunity to make referrals and earn. Joining the program is free, making it accessible for anyone with an audience interested in ecommerce. As a Shopify affiliate, you get to use your influence to help others launch successful Shopify stores.
Shopify provides affiliates with several tools to help them succeed. You’ll have access to a creative library, lead magnets, and even a monthly newsletter. These resources are geared to help you create engaging content that converts your audience into Shopify users.
Commission rate: $150 per full-priced plan referral, varies with the merchant’s location.
Payment cycle: Withdraw any time or opt for biweekly payments after reaching a minimum $10 balance.
Payment method: Direct deposit or PayPal.
Second on the affiliate programs list is Amazon Associates.
Founded in 1996, Amazon Associates is one of the top affiliate programs for beginners. In fact, it was the first online affiliate marketing program in the world.
Since its inception, it’s been helping online marketers make money by advertising to the millions of customers that shop on Amazon each year. When an Amazon affiliate shares a link that leads to a sale, they earn referral fees from the transaction.
And since thousands of businesses are learning how to sell on Amazon each year, the potential for affiliates to grow is seemingly infinite.
To get started as an Amazon affiliate, all you have to do is click the “Sign up” button on the Amazon Associates page.
Commission rate: Anywhere from 1% to 20%, depending on product type.
Payment cycle: Sixty days after the current month ends. Amazon also holds payment until you earn at least $10 as an Amazon Associate.
Payout method: Check, direct deposit, and Amazon gift card.
ClickBank is one of the oldest affiliate networks, and is still going strong. Its affiliate information is completely open to anyone, making it a valuable affiliate platform to consider for your success.
ClickBank started out of a garage in 1998 but quickly grew to become one of the top retailing and affiliate sites in the world. It currently boasts a large number of affiliates, who’ve earned billions in commissions promoting ClickBank products.
Because of its vast network, it’s an excellent option for getting started, no matter your expertise.
- Business and investing
- Arts and entertainment
- Green products
- Home and garden
To become a ClickBank affiliate, you’ll need to start an account, input your personal and payment info, and then finalize your account to get started.
Commission rate: Between 50% and 70%, on average.
Payment cycle: Weekly or biweekly.
Payout method: Payoneer, wire transfer, check, and direct deposit.
eBay offers one of the highest paying affiliate programs on the internet, through the eBay Partner Network. Commissions are in the 50% to 70% range.
Unlike with some of the other affiliate marketing programs on this list, as an eBay affiliate, you’ll be working directly with eBay and its products. While you’ll be working to a small degree to help sellers, the primary relationship is between you and eBay.
And just like with Amazon, you’ll be working with a platform that businesses want to sell on. With opportunities like eBay dropshipping, growth is virtually assured.
As a bonus, eBay doesn’t require you to work with it exclusively. You can be an eBay affiliate and still work with other merchants and programs to make additional income.
To get started, you’ll need to apply to join its affiliate program, which takes about five minutes. It’s by far one of the easier application processes.
Commission rate: Varies between 50% and 70%, depending on the product type.
Payment cycle: Around the 10th day of each month to accounts that have made more than 10 units of a country’s currency (i.e., $10 USD, £10, etc.).
Payout method: PayPal and direct deposit (if the affiliate’s country supports it).
5. CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction)
The CJ affiliate network is one of the bigger affiliate programs, accounting for 7.15% of the affiliate software market share.
According to its website, the company works with twice as many Internet Retailer 500 companies than any other affiliate program. CJ also boasts that merchants favor its site twice as much as other affiliate marketing programs.
And when you take a closer look at everything it has to offer, that claim seems to hold up quite nicely. There’s a vast list of niches you can find on the site, not to mention the all-inclusive “other” category.
So with a reputation like that, it’s not hard to see why CJ should be high on your list when considering which affiliate program to choose.
Commission rate: Varies based on the commission set by the advertiser (seller).
Payment cycle: Two monthly payouts, first on the 20th and the second on the 28th of each month.
Payout method: Payoneer and direct deposit.
GiddyUp is suitable for beginners because it offers an affiliate manager and helpful tools to assist you with different aspects of its program.
You can partner with more than 150 DTC (direct to consumer) brands across a range of verticals, including travel, electronics, health and wellness, and more. GiddyUp’s affiliates get exclusive access to these ecommerce businesses.
The company also provides a creative library to assist your digital marketing campaigns, robust tracking, and real-time data, so you can analyze your performance month over month.
Plus, a dedicated affiliate manager offers guidance on how to track conversions and provides details on the items present in the company’s portfolio.
Commission rate: Varies based on referral types.
Payment cycle: The 1st and 15th of each month. You must earn at least $25 in order to make a withdrawal.
Payout method: Foreign bank transfers, ACH, and checks.
Impact is one of the few affiliate marketing programs that connects individuals with top brands like Airbnb, Uber, Adidas, and more. It’s known for its automation tools to help streamline your campaigns and generate more sales.
You can join and manage partnerships with these companies for free—the brands span various categories, including beauty, travel, retail, fitness, and others.
After signing up with Impact, you get access to a marketplace where you find top brands and contact their affiliate managers directly.
Impact generally pays by CPA (cost-per-action), which means you’ll get a commission when your audience buys something through your affiliate link.
Commission rate: Varies depending on the brand.
Payment cycle: You can decide which day you want to withdraw your affiliate earnings each month.
Payout method: BACS, PayPal, or direct transfer.
Awin is another top affiliate program for beginners. It doesn’t require you to have a website—you can join using any of your social media profiles, like Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube.
All affiliates applying to Awin undergo a compliance check verifying their details. You must also make a $5 deposit to join the program, which Awin will reimburse once you reach your first payment threshold.
Awin offers access to more than 21,200 brands, including leading brands and household names. You can visit the company’s advertiser directory and search for any program you want to join, or contact someone from the brand to discuss a collaboration.
Commission rate: Varies based on rates decided by individual sellers.
Payment cycle: On the 1st and 15th of the month for the previous month’s commissions. You need to earn at least $20 in order to cash out.
Payout method: ACH, BACS, or international wire transfer.
ShareASale is another popular affiliate marketing network with thousands of merchant partners. You can join it to find products and services to promote across nearly 40 consumer categories. ShareASale also adds 260 new affiliate programs to its network each month.
Signing up with ShareASale is free, which appeals especially to beginners. And the platform’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to get started.
Plus, ShareASale provides a variety of commission rates based on the benchmarks set by the merchant.
Commission Rate: Varies by merchant. Each seller on the platform sets their own commission rates.
Payment cycle: Affiliates receive payments either monthly or semi-monthly. However, there’s a minimum $20 earnings threshold before you can withdraw.
Payment method: Options include direct deposits, paper checks, and ACH transfers.
10. Shopify Collabs
Shopify Collabs is the perfect Shopify affiliate program for creators and influencers. Here’s why: It’s a one-stop-shop for connecting with top ecommerce brands. You can easily search for brands that match your style and audience. This means less time hunting for the right affiliate opportunities and more time creating content that resonates.
For brands, Shopify Collabs is equally valuable. Those who sign up get access to a massive database of influencers they can search through to find suitable affiliates. What’s more, companies can send products, set up unique discount codes, and track affiliate sales from within their Shopify store.
Commission rate: Varies by merchant.
Payment cycle: Creators receive affiliate income after 30 days. Payouts are manual or automatic, depending on merchant preferences. If automatic, it’s a $25 minimum threshold for a semi-monthly payout.
Payment method: Bank account, wire transfer, and PayPal.
AffiliaXe connects affiliate marketers with global brands spread across various countries and niches. You can find companies to work with in the home improvement, fashion, and electronics sectors, among many others.
What sets affiliaXe apart is the personalized support it offers. Each affiliate gets a dedicated account manager. This person helps you choose the best links, find suitable programs, and maximize your earnings.
Plus, the company offers a referral program where you earn an extra 4% commission for the first six months on any affiliates you refer to the network. It’s a nice perk for growing the affiliaXe community.
Commission rate: Varies, as each seller decides their own rate.
Payment cycle: Biweekly, either on the 15th or at the end of each month. You’ll need a minimum of $100 to qualify for payout.
Payment methods: Wire transfers, ACH, checks, debit cards, Payoneer, and PayPal.
Fiverr is a freelance marketplace that connects businesses with freelancers across a wide range of services. Customers pay in advance, outlining their project needs, and then freelancers bid for these jobs.
The affiliate marketing program at Fiverr offers diverse commission structures. You can earn a flat rate for each new acquisition, a percentage of the order value, or a combination of both.
This hybrid model includes a fixed CPA for the first purchase and a revenue share for any ongoing subscriptions.
Commission rate: Fiverr offers varying commissions based on the product and plan type, with flat rates for specific categories and $15 to $150 for courses and subscriptions.
Payment cycle: Monthly, net 30, once your Fiverr account has a minimum of $100 earned.
Payment methods: PayPal or Payoneer below $1,000, wire transfers above $1,000.
FlexOffers has been around for more than a decade, making it a veteran in the affiliate marketing scene. It offers a wide range of content tools and an easy-to-use dashboard.
FlexOffers is best known for its FlexRev-$hare program, where affiliates earn extra when their referred sub-affiliates generate sales. This provides an extra boost to regular earnings.
But, FlexOffers might not be ideal for beginners. The training materials are limited, and you need a good following to get in.
Commission rate: Varies depending on the merchant and publishers.
Payment cycle: Every month on NET 60 terms.
Payment methods: Bank transfer, check, PayPal, or wire transfer.
Digital marketers and entrepreneurs, take note of the Brand24 Partner Program. It’s a profitable venture for those with audiences keen on online marketing tools. This program focuses on offering solutions for online monitoring, social media management, and competitor analysis.
Brand24 backs its affiliates well. They provide a variety of marketing materials to help with promotion. Affiliates get early access to high-quality content and updates on new product releases. This keeps you ahead of the curve. Plus, you get professional support, tutorials, webinars, and an account manager.
What’s more, Brand24 offers a powerful tracking system with a dedicated panel. You can use it to monitor your performance and referrals in real-time.
Commission rate: 20% on all affiliates you refer to Brand24.
Payment cycle: 13th of each month, in full.
Payment methods: PayPal and Stripe.
Teachable is a platform where anyone can sell online courses in their expertise area. It’s designed for those looking to earn by teaching what they know.
When you enroll in Teachable’s affiliate marketing program, you become a Teachable partner. This role lets you earn commissions. You can make up to a 30% commission on Teachable subscriptions. This commission continues for up to a year per sale, as long as your referral remains on the platform.
What sets Teachable apart is that it shares proven marketing language with its affiliates. This unique approach offers you a head start in promotion efforts. Plus, Teachable will send monthly emails to keep you informed about the latest platform features and changes.
Commission rate: Up to 30% on a recurring basis.
Payment cycle: Daily, weekly, and monthly payment options are available.
Payment methods: Direct bank transfer, Stripe, and PayPal.
Last, but not least, is the Rakuten affiliate publisher program. This program has the third-largest market share of affiliate networks, at 7.25%.
Rakuten is connected to more than 2,500 different retail brands that sell all kinds of products. Find the item and merchant that suits you best, and then click on the Apply button to proceed.
One of the more unique elements of the Rakuten affiliate program is that most of the companies are heavily involved in the affiliate screening process. If you’re not a good fit, don’t be surprised if the answer comes back no.
But once you’ve gotten approval, the rest of the process is simple. Find the offer that fits your content or ad, generate your link, and then start earning money as an affiliate.
Commission rate: Varies based on the partner merchant’s commission rates.
Payment cycle: Rakuten pays out 90 days after it has been paid by the merchants. You must also earn a minimum of $50 in commissions in order to receive your payment.
Payout method: Check or direct deposit.
Summary: 16 best affiliate programs for beginners in 2024
Now that you know a bit more about some of the top affiliate programs for beginners, explore them for yourself. Discovering the best affiliate program and brand for your niche may take time, but it will be worth it. Just be sure to do your homework and avoid any potential scams.
In summary, here are the top 16 affiliate programs for beginners to make money in 2024:
- Amazon Associates
- eBay Partner Network
- CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction)
- Shopify Collabs
- Brand24 Partner Program
Were you aware of these affiliate marketing programs? Which one are you going to try first? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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