Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners

November 21, 2018

Top 15 Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners

The internet is such a beautiful thing, and today we can sell a lot of products without literally having a product of our own. This kind of online business is called Affiliate marketing.  

It is based on revenue sharing. If you do not have a product, you can promote the products made by others to receive commissions from sales generated through your promotion pages.

If you do have a product, you can connect to promoters who will increase the awareness of your product in exchange of commissions generated from the sales via their channels.  

What is Affiliate Marketing? 

According to Neil Patel, Affiliate Marketing refers to the process of making money through the promotion of other people’s products.

Once you find a product you like, you can directly connect to the merchant and then promote it on their behalf. Your earnings will come from whatever products are sold via your links.  

According to Wikipedia, there are four parties involved in the affiliate network. It includes the merchant, the publisher, the network and the customer.

The actual marketing consists of the affiliate marketer on one end and the product creator or seller at the other end.  The publisher is also called the affiliate or advertiser. 

Types of Affiliate programs  

There are many forms of affiliate programs that exist. Many of this can be exhibited under a single affiliate company. These models may include:  

  1. Cost Per Action(CPA): This means that the affiliate receives commissions based on actions taken by the customer. This might be in the form of surveys, downloads, submissions, etc. 
  2. Cost Per Lead (CPL): This model pays the affiliate based on actions (leads) such as a “signup” which usually involves some sort of verification line credit card or email authentication 
  3. Cost per Click (CPC): This model means that “clicks” will generate commissions for the affiliate even when the merchant does not actually create a lead or sale.  
  4. Cost per Sale (CPS): this kind of affiliate network pays the affiliate when actual sales of products and services are generated. Typically, payment is a percentage of the sale value. 

Affiliate networks might integrate all of these models or a few of them. Also, it might be customized differently.

What are the best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners?

To help you select the right affiliate network today, here is a list of 15 top Affiliate Marketing programs you can join to make money online. 

1.ShareASale 

ShareASale Affiliate Program

ShareASale can be unarguably called the largest affiliate platforms in the world.

At the moment there are well over 4,000 merchants listed on the platform covering a wide range of products from  fashion to business products/ services. This fantastic affiliate network has a total of 18 years of reputable service to its clients as well as merchants.

As a direct merchant, it is quite easy to sign up on the network, and you can take advantage of their tutorials to get you prepared towards fully maximizing their platform.  

ShareASale is a private company situated in Illinois, USA and has been at this location since its creation in 2000.  

Also, if you need to boost your performance, you can take advantage of their technological tools to maximize your profits. 

However, if you have an inactive account with balance less than $25, it will be deactivated. If the amount is over $25, then you will be charged $25 per month until there is nothing left in it.  

Overview 

  • Commission payment: Direct deposit or Check 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • Referral program available 
  • Least possible Payout:  $50  

Pros

  • Quick payout schedule: The ShareASale affiliate network has a fantastic payment schedule, you will receive your funds on the 20th of every month as long as you have made at least $50. 
  • Secure platform to access offers: There are over 4000 merchants on this network, so there is a wide range of proposals to pick. However, you also have access to resources which can help you access offers seamlessly and choose the right offer for your website. 
  • Realtime tracking: Their Real-time tracking system is excellent and very reliable. 

Cons

  • Not quite userfriendly 

Comparing offers might seem easy to assess, but it does need a little more knowledge of analytics to find which offers are best for you. However, this problem can be quickly sorted out, because in a short time you will understand the network. 

2. CJ Affiliate Network

CJ Affiliate Program

Based on the strength of its Alexa rankings and traffic, the CJ affiliate network can be rightly called the world most significant and reputable affiliate marketing network.

This network has some of the greatest Fortune 500 companies as its merchants including Barnes & Nobles, GoPro, InterContinental Group and many more.

The CJ affiliate network, formerly called Commission Junction is preferred by many due to their simple user interface, fantastic customer support, and payment system.

They are not as big as the ShareASale network, but that is because it caters to only the top brands. 

Joining this network is free. However, an Account Manager will review your application and website before you can join.  

There are no special website requirements, but the quality output is necessary. You can also contact the merchants directly if your application was denied, but you believe you have the potentials of promoting them.  

You can earn up to 50% commissions on the CJ network; however, if you have not earned a commissionable transaction in six months, your account will be suspended. You will also be charged about $10 for the dormant account. 

This is because you will be showcasing some of the biggest brands in the world.

 Overview 

  • Commission payment: Direct deposit or Check 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • No Referral program 
  • Least possible Payout:  $50 (direct deposit) or $100 (Check) 

Pros  

Fantastic payment system: Like the ShareASale affiliate network, you will receive your funds at the 20th of every month.  

Customer support: The CJ Network has a fantastic support personnel. You can either get your queries solved by phone or email. Also, while generating sales/leaders, you will have dedicated account representatives assigned to you.  

Cons

Realtime sales tracking is faulty 

Sales are reviewed and either approved or denied by CJ on the 10th day of every month. However, their real-time tracking features may hinder your receipt of commissions at the right time.  Therefore, it is possible some sales you generated may not be tracked swiftly or even tracked at all.  , However, payouts are not quite as slow as any other Affiliate network.  

3. Rakuten Affiliate Network

The Global Leader in Integrated Marketing Solutions Rakuten Marketing

Rakuten Affiliate Network is a vast e-commerce store which sales everything from pet supplies to electronics.

They were previously called LinkShare and named as one of the highest affiliate network regarding affiliate surveys. However, the number of merchants on the Rakuten Network is not as much as the CJ or ShareASale network.  

Overview 

  • Commission payment: Direct deposit or Check 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • No Referral program 
  • Least possible Payout:  $50 

Pros

Reliability:  Although they do not have a lot of brands like the first two, they partner with some big brands and offers you a service you can confidently use. 

Lovely support team: There customer support is excellent and can be contacted at any time via the phone number or email.  

Cons

The user interface is not quite simple: Their website requires a lot of study hours to understand, and the help material is not straightforward. 

4. Tradedoubler

Connect and grow with Tradedoubler performance marketing
Connect and grow with Tradedoubler performance marketing

Tradedoubler has more than 2000 merchant partners on its affiliate network. When you live anywhere in Europe, this affiliate network can be quite useful for you. However, if you live in the US, there is a good chance you will not have some favorite US retailers on this network.  

Overview 

  • Commission payment: Direct deposit 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • No Referral program 
  • Least possible Payout:  $40 

Pros

  1. Many international payout platforms: The TradeDoubler is in many different countries, and so support many global payout schemes. 
  1. Two or more websites: With one account, you can manage a lot of affiliate websites. 
  1. Easy to manage earnings: with a pretty interface, you can keep track of your commissions. 

Cons

  1. Automated for UK bank accounts: When you own a UK bank account, payments can be made via Bank automated clearing. If do not hold a UK bank account, then you have to use international payout platforms. 
  1. Confusing terms and conditions: Their terms and conditions are a bit tricky. Ensure you read carefully. 

5. AWIN

Affiliate Marketing Join Our Global Affiliate Network Awin

The AWIN Network was formerly called Affiliate Window & Zanox. It is one of the largest affiliate networks in Europe with over 1600 merchants.

It was created in Germany in the year 2000, but their merchants originate from Europe especially Great Britain. However, they are active in about 11 countries, and their US network of merchants is continually growing.   

Products range include travel products, beauty, financial products, home and garden products and many more. You can advertise digital or physical products from prominent merchants such as Etsy, AliExpress, HP, and Hyatt.  

It’s not exactly free to apply on this network. You will be charged $5 for application but if successful this funds will be sent back to you. However, if your request is denied, then you lose the money.

With the AWIN network, you will have access to powerful tools such as a Wordpress plugin or a Google Chrome extension which lets you pitch one-off deals such as sponsored posts.  

Overview 

  • Commission payment: Direct deposit, Wire transfer, and Check. 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL and CPA 
  • Referral program available 
  • Least possible Payout:  $20/E20 

 Pros

  • Unique Payout schedule: AWIM pays its advertisers twice every month which is quite lovely for a lot of merchants. Also, payment is $20 minimum. 
  • Realtime tracking: Your sales generation are tracked as swiftly as possible.  
  • Easy user interface: Their website is straightforward to navigate, and you can access lots of plugins as well. 

Cons 

  • Signup fee: The signup fee of $5 can be a bit discouraging, especially if your application is denied. 
  • Lack of detailed tutorials: Tutorials and resources are limited; therefore, you will have to learn on the job. 
  • No FAQ/Knowledge base: There is no FAQ section to help you out.  Also, their customer support is quite slow. 

6. Impact

Transformative marketing technology to grow your business Impact

Impact which was formerly known as Impact Radius a fast growing affiliate market. Although the network is not as big CJ or ShareASale, it is a still a formidable platform with a lot of tools and campaigns that can boost your marketing strategies.  

Overview 

  • Commission payment: Wire transfer 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • No Referral program  
  • Least possible Payout:  $25 

Pros

Easy User interface: As an affiliate, you can quickly track your earnings and view new offers. 

Cons

Tech skills needed: Some tools might be a lot trickier to add to your website and may require a knowledge of tech to handle 

7. ClickBank

Best Affiliate Programs Top Premier Internet Retailer Clickbank

ClickBank affiliate network operates like ShareASale. Therefore, you can pick what you wish to promote.

However, ClickBank is famously known for its digital products, so this is the kind of products you will be advertising.

There are well over 6 million products on this network, so there must be something for you here. Also, you can earn up to 75% commissions on sales, but this depends on the kind of digital product. 

Overview 

  • Commission payment: Wire transfer, check, direct deposit, Payoneer 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • Referral program available 
  • Least possible Payout:  $50 

Pros

  • A lot of products: when you wish to advertise more of digital products, then this affiliate platform is excellent for you.
  • Also, their user interface is easily navigable, so you can find things to promote seamlessly. 

Cons

Maximum payout: with this network, you have a limited amount of earned referral sale of $150. This is not dependent on the kind of product.  

8. Amazon Associates

Amazon com Associates The web s most popular and successful Affiliate Program
Amazon com Associates The web’s most popular and successful Affiliate Program

Amazon also has an extensive affiliate network and may be regarded as one of the most popular worldwide. It is not just a big retailer in the US but all over the world as well.

Therefore, there is a wide range of products for you to advertise and earn commissions. 

However, Amazon pays up to $10% on commissions which is one of the lowest affiliate returns on sales. But the Amazon Inventory is diversified so that commission rates can change dynamically.  

Overview 

  • Commission payment: check, direct deposit, Amazon Gift payment certificate 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • Referral program available 
  • Least possible Payout:  $10 

9. eBay Partners

eBay Partner Network

eBay also hosts an affiliate program that is one of the largest in the world.

This is because its user based marketplace sells just about any item both physical and digital.

All you have to do is find the products you will like to promote and then do this using the eBay Partner Network tools to improve them and you will be paid soon.  

Overview 

  • Commission payment: direct deposit and PayPal 
  • Least possible Payout:  $25 

Pros

A big and diverse market: No other marketplace in the world rivals eBay. Also, it is user base so there must be a product for you. 

Straightforward affiliate program: You do not need a lot of training to use the eBay partner network. There are no complex applications or setup. All you need do is share your link for the product, and you will receive a commission when a sale is made through the link.  

Bonus commissions as a beginner: In your first three months, you will receive double the rate for each commission earned.  

Cons

Auction challenges: If an auction is initiated on the product, then you will receive nothing, even if the highest bidder was referred to the site by you. 

10. JVZOO

JVZoo Instant Commission Platform for Sellers and Affiliates
JVZoo Instant Commission Platform for Sellers and Affiliates

The JZVOO network is a lovely platform but runs a different method of payments for using their services. They charge after each sale and payments are instant via Paypal. However, there is a condition of using this.

Also, this network has a  wide range of e-based products on sales.

This includes online courses, internet marketing online courses and other kinds of digital products.

Also, it is widely used because there are no limits to the amounts of buy buttons, links, and call to actions you can place on your website.

Commissions also vary from product to product although you can get up to 50%.  

Overview 

  • Commission payment: PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net 
  • No Referral program  
  • Least possible Payout:  Any amount 

Pros

Easy application procedure: It is free to join, and your application can be approved instantly. Also, you do not even need a website to use this network. 

Lifetime/Unlimited cookies for you: Also, you can recruit second tier affiliates as well.  

Cons

Resources require a fee: There are lots of documentation and videos for you, but you must pay a onetime fee to access them 

Low quality: Many of their digital products are low quality and can be quite discouraging to your subscribers. 

No customer support: Since vendors connect directly with buyers, the platform did not set up any customer support segment.  

 11. Skim Links

Home Industry Leader In Affiliate Marketing Solutions Skimlinks

Skimlinks is a lovely platform and has well over 24,000 merchants. When you sign up with Skim Links, you can select any merchant or program on the platform.

It is a reputable affiliate program, and there are a lot of physical products and a lot of digital products as well.

Commissions vary from one merchant to the other. However, if you can get on the high tier vetted merchants called VIP and Preferred Partner programs, you will receive higher commissions.

Skimlinks is specially designed for content bloggers who do not want to fiddle around with too many technical aspects. All you need is a WordPress plugin for your site. 

However, it is free to join, but your revenues will be split while using the network. Skimlinks collects about 25% of your generated income. They also have a referral program which you will receive 35% of their yearly income from all your referrals. 

Overview 

  • Commission payment: Direct deposit, PayPal 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • Referral program available 
  • Least possible Payout:  $10 

Pros

  1. Excellent customer support: There customer support is impeccable. You can contact their customer care via email, and your queries will be addressed shortly. 
  1. Easy to use: it’s so easy to integrate plugins and other tools into your website. You only need a little knowledge of the computer to do so.  
  1. Simple payout schedule: Skimlinks ensures that you get paid at the end of every month. However, the exact date may vary. 

Cons

  • Limited: The network is limited to certain kinds of merchants and advertisers. You must have commerce related contents to use Skimlinks.  
  • Affects your website speed: Some websites might slow down after adding Skimlinks buttons and plugins. 

12. Flex offers

FlexOffers Affiliate Programs

Flex offers is also an extensive affiliate network. They have more than ten years of reputable service and will provide you with a wide array of tools and features that should boost your campaign. Also, they have different kinds of affiliate programs to choose from, and this is divided and subdivided to give ease of navigation when making your choice. You can also earn up to 50% of sales, and they have an excellent referral system where you can earn up to half the sales made by affiliates referred by you. 

Overview 

  • Commission payment: Direct deposit, PayPal 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • Referral program available 
  • Least possible Payout:  Unavailable 

Pros

  • Dedicated Affiliate Manager: Just like the CJ network you have your own affiliate manager to help you make the best of your marketing efforts 
  • Diverse choices: When using this network, you have a wide range of options. There is an Affiliate program for everyone. 

Cons

  • Single payment schedule: When you are in the US, you might receive payments via Direct deposit or wire transfer. For those outside the US, PayPal is the only option.  
  • Payout is equally slow: Flex offer will confirm your earnings every 60 days after you have generated that income. 

 13.  VigLinks

VigLink — Powering Content Driven Commerce

With VigLinks, the affiliate is not in charge. Their mode of operation resembles that of a middleman than a network.

This is because their goal is to generate the highest conversions to sales for the merchants linked to their system.

So they merely scan contents on the affiliate’s network and provide links to products that best suit the affiliate’s website and contents.

Therefore there is no classification of products or information about trends. Also, they have more of physical products and digital products and services available. The merchant and not Vigilink also set commissions. 

Overview 

  • Commission payment: PayPal 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • Referral program available 
  • Least possible Payout:  $10 

Pros

  • Seamless integration: The use of their plugins and other tools do not hamper on the speed of your website or social media account. You can also use it in apps if you want. 
  • Simple interface: As an affiliate, your dashboard would be easy to navigate and track your earnings. 
  • Excellent for bloggers: It’s a lovely option for bloggers who want to concentrate on their contents rather than creating marketing strategies for the products. 
  • Dynamic sales generation: when you begin a new trend of topics,  your products change. This, therefore, gives you the advantage of dynamic update links. 

Cons

Approval by merchants: even as VigiLinks controls the products that show up, you must request and receive permission from the merchant.  

14. PeerFly

PeerFly Affiliate Program for beginners

PeerFly Affiliate network has a lot of digital and physical products on its system. Also, if you refer affiliates, you will receive 5 percent of their income.

It also has a dynamic website, and there are well over 4,000 offers and programs to pick from. Many big brands such as Fiverr, CBS, and Target use this network.

To join, a quality website a necessity and although their commissions (which depend on the product) may not be precisely high, they are highly reliable. Therefore, you might have to pass through a rigorous application procedure before you are accepted. 

They ensure that you receive only high-quality products which have generated a high satisfaction rate from their existing affiliates. 

Overview 

  • Commission payment: PayPal, check, Wire transfer, Direct Deposit or Payoneer 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • Referral program available 
  • Least possible Payout:  $50 

Pros

Highly reputable: A lot of affiliates has expressed high satisfaction with the network 

Fast payout: You will receive payments every 7/15/30 days depending on the payment platform. 

Cons

Weak support: They only have a staff of 15 people, so customer support is a bit tricky, and the application procedure is also rigorous. 

15. Refersion Marketplace

Refersion Affiliate Monitoring Software

Refersion Marketplace is a lovely network that offers only direct contact with the merchants.

However, they have all the resources for you and sign up is free. However, they are still a growing network and so have a limited amount of merchants on their network.

Also, they do not receive a percentage of your sales, but you are required to pay a specific fee every month. What this means is that they have plans and limitations to the number of sales you are allowed to generate every month. 

Overview 

  • Commission payment: PayPal, Wire transfer, Gift Cards or Venmo 
  • Programs: CPS, CPC, CPL, and CPA 
  • No Referral program 
  • Least possible Payout: Unavailable 

Pros

Direct deals with merchants: with this network, you are in charge of the products you want to promote. Also, you can either establish pricing with merchants or take advantage of their offers listed on the marketplace. 

Impeccable customer support: They have a wide range of resources including direct customer support to take control of your queries. 

Cons 

Commissions are quite low: There are products on the network, that pay you about 1% of the revenue generation.  

Limits on sales: You are also not allowed to exceed sales for particular plans so it can be quite limiting.  

Concluding thoughts 

Affiliate marketing is sometimes called a “Pay for Performance” schedule because it depends on the efforts of the affiliate to be successful.

Therefore you should optimize your website or social media accounts and understand the interest of your audience before you pick the affiliate program for you.

Next, select different affiliate programs and test it out on your website.

Also, ensure that you also evaluate the offers placed by merchants on the network to ensure that you receive maximum income. 

Once you have the right affiliate program and a bit of marketing effort from you, you can monetize your blog or social account and make a lot of extra money online.  

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