Top 10 Affiliate Programs For Beginners: Complete Review 2021

One of the ways you can make extra income with little to no startup cost is through affiliate programs. In Fact, more than 80% of brands are already using affiliate programs. 

Further, statistics reveal that the total spend for affiliate marketing in a year is approximately $12 billion. Affiliate programs are an easy way of earning commission from brands after driving traffic to their website or stores.

As a beginner, it is not always easy to identify brands that allow affiliate programs. Besides, you need to be aware of a profitable niche before you start marketing. 

However, that shouldn’t be your worry anymore. With this guide, we’ll take you through the top 10 affiliate programs that work for beginners. Let’s get started.

What Are Affiliate Programs?

Have you come across the phrase affiliate program? Are you wondering how it works? What does an affiliate do? As a beginner, all these questions that revolve around affiliate programs are legit, and you have the right to information. 

So, to make it easy for you and help you get started on the right foot, we’ll take you through everything you need to know beforehand. The big question here is, what is an affiliate program?

An affiliate program is a way of earning where a merchant pays an affiliate an agreed commission for promoting and marketing their company. For the store owner to identify traffic from a specific influencer or marketer, they have to provide a private or custom link. 

Simply put, the affiliate gets a commission if the clients click on the link or perform an action. We can look at an illustration to make it simple for you to understand. 

You want to be the affiliate marketer for a bookstore. We’ll call it the ABC Store. You check out if they allow affiliate programs, and to your surprise, they are open to the idea. 

So, ABC Store creates a custom link and shares it with you. You start marketing specific books on social media, YouTube, or within your blog if you have any. 

Your target audience clicks on the link from your marketing platforms, and some convert in the process. The merchant or store owner pays you the agreed commission for driving traffic and conversion to their store. 

It’s a win-win for you as the affiliate and the store owner. Now, this is what is referred to as an affiliate program or associate program. 

How Do Affiliate Programs Work

From the definition of affiliate programs above, you can already tell how affiliate programs work. So, for this program to be successful, three main actors need to be involved. 

These are: the store owner, the marketer/ influencer or affiliate, and products or services. The advantage of affiliate marketing is that you have more options or niches to make a selection. 

As an affiliate, you do not need heavy investment. It is not a must for you to have a blog, website, or YouTube channel. The most affordable method to use for marketing is through social media. 

You can make money by using Instagram. First, you need to grow your follower’s list if it’s necessary. Next, identify the products and merchants to work with and reach out to them. Once they verify and give you the affiliate link, you can proceed to marketing.

With Instagram, you can place the affiliate link on your bio profile. You get paid when customers take action or convert by clicking on your link. 

What Is High Ticket Affiliate Marketing

With the definition of affiliate programs in mind, we can look at high ticket affiliate marketing. It is different from the usual associate program.

This type of affiliate marketing involves marketing few products that generate high commission. There are fewer sales which in turn lead to higher profits. 

High ticket generates more commission especially if you’re selling an expensive product or a sales transaction. Unlike affiliate marketing that requires more sales to earn a high commission, with the high ticket it’s the vice versa. 

If you’re marketing an expensive item, you earn more profit from fewer sales. An affiliate in the High ticket program earns a minimum of $100 per transaction. 

There are several high ticket programs like Kajabi, Sandals resort, Hubspot, and Bigcommerce

Top 10 Affiliate Programs For Beginners

As you consider getting started with affiliate marketing, you need to begin by identifying a more profitable niche. Next, figure out the products to promote.

More than 65% of marketers connect with their clients by using social media. How do you identify the affiliate programs?

Here’s a list of the ten best affiliate programs for a beginner:

  1. CJ Affiliate
Affiliate programs

CJ or Commission Junction is one of the established affiliate programs with over 20 years of experience. CJ affiliate links the advertisers and merchants to drive the desired results. 

To get started as a CJ affiliate, you need to create an account first. CJ has standards that every advertiser with the program should meet. 

You should own an active website, understand the commission terms, and your website should not have adult or gambling content. The benefit of using CJ as a beginner is that it provides you with the platform to get started. 

You have multiple brands to select and connect with and promote items within your niche. However, a drawback to using CJ is that every company has its requirements to fulfill.

While at it, some clients accept affiliate requests instantly while others take too long to respond to publishers’ requests. 

  1. Amazon Associates
amazon associates

For a beginner, Amazon associates is the best affiliate marketing programs to help you get started. In your search for affiliate programs, you must have come across Amazon.

To be part of Amazon associates, you have to sign up and create an account. The affiliate shares products and Amazon services with their audience using custom links and tools. 

You earn a commission when your audience takes action, like signing up for a program or making a purchase. Commissions differ depending on the product category.

  1. Impact

Impact is an affiliate program that helps you identify brands to connect with and market products. You have direct access to global brands in various niches like beauty, travel fitness, and retail. 

As an affiliate, you can manage all your workflow from impact. Besides, you have access to different features like analytics and reports. With the cross-tracking feature, your brands can also monitor client activities. 

Impact helps you negotiate your terms and services. Do not worry about payments. You can choose to withdraw money from Paypal or BACS. 

  1. ClickBank Affiliate

Getting started on affiliate programs can be daunting. However, Clickbank offers an affiliate program that works for both beginners and experienced affiliates.

ClickBank exist for over 20 years, and it has over 4,000 products to sell. Unlike other affiliate programs that offer a maximum of 10% in commission, ClickBank offers high commissions of 90%. 

Are you worried about payments? ClickBank pays affiliates on time and has so far paid commissions worth over $4 billion. The benefit of using the affiliate program is that you receive recurring commissions for products with subscriptions.  

  1. eBay partner network
ebay partner network

If you prefer an affiliate program that connects you with local and global brands, you need to look into eBay. It has 1.4 billion listings and features to help you market and earn higher commissions.

To become an affiliate, you need to identify a niche first. Next, integrate the various platforms like mobile, web, and social profiles with eBay. 

Users engage with your eBay platform, and you earn a commission for each qualified lead. Affiliates receive payments in several ways. That is through commission, bonuses, and flat fees.

Similar to Amazon Associates, eBay has different commissions based on the categories. The affiliate program has high commissions ranging from 40% to 80%. 

  1. Awin

Awin is an affiliate program for beginners, startups, and entrepreneurs who are interested in affiliate marketing. As of 2020, it generated over 182 million sales.

To get started, you can identify a niche that works for you. The categories are: finance and insurance, retail and shopping, telecommunication and services, and travelers. 

Creating an account with Awin is free. You can manage your account, build partnerships and promote brands. The platform has more than 225,000 active affiliate partners from around the world.

  1. ShareASale
share a sale

ShareASale is part of Awin. It is a platform for affiliates, agencies, and merchants. If you’re looking for new sources of income, ShareASale has got your back.

To get started, select a brand to partner with from the 39 categories. It is free to create an affiliate account on the platform. The real-time reporting feature helps you monitor when a user clicks on your banner or makes a sale.

The reporting dashboard makes it easy for the affiliate to monitor performing merchants and identify broken links and other helpful insights. 

As a beginner, it can be hard to identify a merchant to collaborate with. ShareASale combines all your commissions and sends you the payments for the month. 

The platform has various payment options like ACH and direct deposit. In addition, you can check your funds and monitor campaigns that earned you the most sales.

  1. Rakuten Advertising
rakuten advertising

Rakuten advertising has been in affiliate and marketing for over 20 years. Similar to other affiliate programs, you have to get started by creating an account. However, Rakuten has a more in-depth registration process. 

Here’s a screenshot of the registration page:

rakuten advertising 1

For 10 years, Rakuten advertising has been voted as the number one affiliate marketing network. One of the marketing methods that affiliates use is running campaigns. 

With Rakuten, you can create relevant and personalized ads that attract customers to click and view. With ads advertising, you’re free to include links to products that buyers are interested in buying.

Rakuten advertising has tools and technology to improve your experience on the platform. With link automation, you can convert advertisers’ links into trackable links that generate commission.

  1. FlexOffers
flex offers

FlexOffers has more than 12,000 affiliate programs, and it is also an award-winning affiliate marketing network. The fast, dedicated affiliate managers offer assistance to users to help resolve issues as soon as possible.

The affiliate program has different categories for publishers. In each category, you have multiple programs to select. Examples of affiliate categories are: automotive, digital products, business, education, consumer electronics, financial services, and family.

FlexOffers provides a solution to both advertisers and publishers – it has more than 5,000 advertisers. The registration page has four steps – account information, company information, traffic sources, and the confirmation page.

  1. Etsy Affiliate

Affiliates from the Etsy affiliate program earn a commission from each piece shared. Etsy is a marketplace that sells creative and unique items. Etsy is open to all affiliates apart from voucher and cashback sites. 

To get started with Etsy, you need to start by creating an affiliate account. To earn a commission, you have to link to Etsy products or content. 

An affiliate earns a commission from a cookie that is within 30 days. Each conversion or sale earns you a commission. Once you’re part of the Etsy affiliate program, you access the trend reports, competition, and Etsy content.

Here’s a breakdown of Etsy commission structure:

  1. 4% commission on a qualified sale;
  2. Commission on a web cookie that is within 30 days;
  3. Commission on a mobile cookie that is within 7 days. 

Which Affiliate Programs Are Best For Beginners

The list above has the best affiliate programs for a beginner. A challenge that you’re more likely to face is getting a client to work with.

Not all affiliate programs will need a website. However, if it is necessary for you to have one, you can easily create a fully functional site with a platform like Shopify

Before you get started, you need to identify a niche. Next, ensure you select products or services you’re comfortable promoting. 

Now that we have given you a list of the top affiliate programs, you can select the ones you’re comfortable with and explore each to see if they work for you. Affiliate marketing programs are a suitable source of income. 

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