My Take on the Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners (Plus the Worst Programs)

My Take on the Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners (Plus the Worst Programs)

Affiliate Marketing Poster

So that you need to develop into an affiliate marketer.

Let me rephrase.  You need to develop into a profitable affiliate marketer.


I can’t fault you for this.  Making a dwelling as an affiliate marketer is nice.

Along with all the ordinary “be your individual boss” advantages working wherever you need, there isn’t a earnings ceiling.  There actually isn’t.  Whereas I don’t know any personally, I’m certain there are affiliate entrepreneurs incomes greater than $1 million in internet revenue per 30 days.

I’m a reasonably profitable affiliate marketer incomes $10,000 to $18,000 per 30 days.

Simply so you recognize I’m not making this up, listed below are a number of screenshots.

Right here’s one verify for example acquired in Feb. 2020 (paid quarterly):

Affiliate check revenue for Q4

Listed here are current Amazon commissions (final 30 days):


Amazon affiliate commissions 30 days

ShareASale commissions:

ShareASale Affiliate commissions


Whereas the above might look like lots to some readers, it’s a pittance in comparison with what high affiliate entrepreneurs do.  It truly is.

I’ve had nice success with varied affiliate packages and dismal failures. I’m a member in most main networks. I’ve used umpteen in-house packages. I’ve carried out (and do) lead gen. I’ve give you artistic customized referral packages.  All-in-all, I’ve been round the block and do my share of affiliate marketing online.

Earlier than I dive into the listing of what I take into account the finest affiliate packages for rookies, I need to set out the 3 standards I take advantage of to evaluate an associates program.

3 Standards for Assessing an Affiliate Program

1. Likelihood of approval as a brand new affiliate marketer

It’s irritating getting rejected by affiliate retailers.  Don’t take it personally.  It’s par for the course.  A significant consideration in whether or not an associates program is sweet for rookies is whether or not you could have an affordable likelihood of being accredited.

2. Likelihood of success


One other consideration is how simple it’s to advertise the affiliate service provider(s) and have success.  Some affiliate marketing online is trickier than others.  That is positively a facet to remember.  There’s a studying curve to affiliate marketing online.  Good choices for newbies should take into account the potential a beginner has to earn income.

3. Ease-of-use

The least necessary however nonetheless price contemplating is the ease-of-use of the backend.  Some affiliate networks and packages usually are not simple to make use of.  Some are ridiculously simple to make use of.

Right here’s my listing.

NOTE:  For every program’s evaluation, I’m assuming you could have an honest web site up and working.  It’s nearly unimaginable getting accredited for any associates program with out a respectable web site (or electronic mail listing).

One of the best affiliate packages for rookies

1. ShareASale

I’ve a gentle spot for ShareASale.  It’s the first affiliate community I used to be accepted into.

It’s my favourite affiliate community from a consumer expertise foundation. It’s really easy to make use of.  It’s additionally comparatively simple to get accredited and most retailers are fairly simple to get accredited with.  That is what makes it an amazing choice for rookies.

Furthermore, there are literally thousands of retailers on ShareASale spanning just about each area of interest.

  • Likelihood of approval:  Excessive
  • Likelihood of success: Fairly good – though it varies by service provider.  The plus aspect is you could have 1,000s of retailers to select from.  That stated, you’re accredited on a merchant-by-merchant foundation.
  • Ease-of-use: Very simple to make use of. It’s by far my favourite affiliate community consumer interface.

2. Skimlinks

Skimlinks is right for rookies as a result of as soon as accredited, you could be an affiliate for 20,000 retailers.  Sadly although, Amazon not too long ago severed it’s relationship with Skimlinks.  Meaning if you wish to embrace Amazon in your promotions, it’s worthwhile to apply instantly with Amazon’s associates program.

Skimlinks provides two methods to make use of their service.  The primary is to place their code snippet on your web site which is able to flip each hyperlink to a service provider in the Skimlinks’ community into an affiliate hyperlink.  This makes affiliate marketing online dead-simple.

The second method is to make use of the Skimlinks hyperlink constructing device and create particular person affiliate hyperlinks one after the other.  I choose for this methodology as a result of I don’t like the lack of management of getting each service provider hyperlink was an affiliate hyperlink.

  • Likelihood of approval:  Good
  • Likelihood of success: Superb – though once more it varies by service provider.  The plus aspect as soon as accredited with Skimlinks, you’re accredited with each service provider.  Meaning you could have lots of promotional alternatives at your disposal.
  • Ease-of-use: Very simple to make use of. It’s a really slick and easy-to-use interface.

3. Amazon Associates

Replace April 15, 2020: Amazon is reducing affiliate commissions.  Ouch. Amazon continues to be ridiculously simple to advertise and converts nicely, however the commissions are turning into pennies.  Learn extra right here.  I’ll hold Amazon on this listing simply because it’s good for incremental income, however I’m undecided it’s viable as a main income driver anymore.

Most area of interest web site publishers ultimately develop into an Amazon affiliate, aka Amazon Affiliate.  Amazon converts nicely and sells just about every little thing.  Amazon is a web site the place simply sending site visitors to it is going to lead to commissions as a result of so many individuals purchase from Amazon recurrently.

  • Likelihood of approval:  Good
  • Likelihood of success: Superb.  In case you can ship guests to Amazon, you’ll be able to generate commissions.  In fact, the extra aligned your content material with the merchandise, the higher you’ll do, however even sending individuals there randomly will lead to commissions.
  • Ease-of-use: Very simple to make use of.  In truth, there are a lot of plugins that assist promote Amazon.  Amazon additionally provides many instruments you should utilize as nicely.  All-in-all, it’s a dead-simple program to make use of.

4. Software program affiliate packages

In case you’ve learn my weblog for some time, you recognize I really like selling software program.  I earn by far the majority of my commissions by way of selling software program.  The verify above is from selling software program.  I promote a number of different software program platforms throughout my niches as nicely.

I really like selling software program as a result of:

  • many supply recurring commissions,
  • software program converts nicely,
  • if you happen to select the proper area of interest, there are a lot of with low competitors.  That stated some have excessive competitors resembling electronic mail software program and web site internet hosting. I stear away from these. I look for tremendous area of interest software program that most individuals don’t know exists.
  • comparatively simple to get accredited.  In case your web site aligns with a selected software program, they’ll approve you.  I seldom get rejected.  Most are very glad to get associates on board and are keen to work with you.

The long run is vivid for software program affiliate promotion.  As our world continues changing into extra high-tech, increasingly more software program will probably be developed for each area of interest conceivable.

5. Customized affiliate preparations

A customized affiliate or referral association requires some legwork, which isn’t simple, however it may be the best approach to earn money as an affiliate.

I’ve carried out this a number of instances.

It’s simple as a result of there’s no competitors.

As quickly as a product or software program launches an associates program, all the bloggers come out of the woodwork selling it.

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However, if you happen to do one thing in the darkish, you find yourself the solely affiliate selling.  You’re the solely overview.  You get a monopoly on promotion.  And sure, I’ve carried out this in the previous with nice success.

How do you monitor and arrange the program?

What I’ve carried out is have the service provider create a customized touchdown web page.  All referrals that enroll by way of that web page is tracked to me.  It’s that easy.

You will need to have a web site that clearly reveals you can efficiently promote the service provider.  They won’t undergo the problem until they imagine you’ll be able to generate gross sales.

Do NOT counsel they get a proper associates program arrange.  After they try this, you lose your benefit.

6. Clickbank

I don’t promote a lot on Clickbank however some individuals do rather well there.  The explanation I’m together with Clickbank on this listing is as a result of it’s very simple to get accredited and as soon as accredited, you’ll be able to promote something in the community.  The commissions could be very excessive too.  Clickbank was the second or third community I joined.  Principally, I joined ShareASale, Amazon and Clickbank round the similar time.

The factor with Clickbank is it’s worthwhile to try the merchandise as a result of there’s a ton of junk there.  Be warned.

  • Likelihood of approval:  Superb
  • Likelihood of success: Reasonable.  I say this as a result of it’s largely info-products and it should align very tightly along with your viewers.  In case you do efficiently promote CB provides, you can also make some huge cash as a result of the commissions are excessive.
  • Ease-of-use: Very simple to make use of.  You may get affiliate hyperlinks with a number of clicks of the mouse.  It’s a nicely designed affiliate portal.

The worst main affiliate packages for rookies

In case you’re like me, you may be questioning what are troublesome affiliate packages for rookies.

My listing of adverse affiliate packages for rookies contains these which can be troublesome to get into, troublesome to make use of and/or troublesome to really efficiently promote.

Right here’s my listing.  Word, many bloggers take into account a few of the following as simple or good for rookies.  I don’t and I clarify why.

I’ve used each program listed above and under  with one exception and that’s Walmart.  In truth, the motive I haven’t used Walmart is the motive it’s included right here – they denied my utility therefore making it troublesome.

Lastly, simply because it’s listed under doesn’t imply you need to keep away from it. Usually the motive it’s there’s as a result of it’s troublesome to get accredited with.  In case you get accredited, you’ve jumped the hurdle.


I’ve been with for years and have earned tens of hundreds with the community.  Total it’s an amazing community however it’s more durable to be accredited by in addition to lots of the retailers in  In case you occur to get accredited with, you continue to have to use to every service provider.

The plus aspect with is it contains a few of the greatest manufacturers and corporations in the world.  It’s a top-tier community.

I don’t care a lot for the dashboard both.

  • Likelihood of approval:  Tough. You want a superb web site with respectable site visitors.
  • Likelihood of success: Reasonable.  I say this as a result of it’s laborious to be accredited.  Nonetheless, if accredited and your meant service provider approves you and your content material is properly aligned, you likelihood of success dramatically improves (assuming you could have web site site visitors and/or a superb electronic mail listing).
  • Ease-of-use: I don’t discover the backend very simple to make use of. It’s gradual too.  Not my favourite, that’s for certain.

2. Viglink

Viglink is like Skimlinks besides with Viglink it’s worthwhile to even be accredited by every service provider.  I don’t like this in any respect. It defeats the function.

The one motive I like Skimlinks is I get on the spot entry to 20K retailers. It’s a time-saver greater than the rest.  There are lots of retailers I promote in a one-off trend and don’t care to use to their program. I desire, as an alternative, to easily snag a hyperlink from Skimlinks.

Therefore, Viglink makes my “troublesome” listing.

3. Credit score Playing cards

Fortunes have been made with bank card affiliate packages.  In case you have focused site visitors, what may very well be simpler than promoting credit score?  Furthermore, you receives a commission when referrals fill out an utility.  In different phrases, you receives a commission even when your referrals don’t spend a nickel.  That is very candy.

Nonetheless, the motive it makes my troublesome listing is it’s very troublesome to get accredited.  Furthermore, there are heaps of rules surrounding bank card promotion.  I do know firsthand.  I not too long ago utilized for and was accepted with the program.  Making use of and getting accredited was like making use of for a job.  A number of hoops to leap by way of.

On high of that, they vet each piece of content material.  You’ll be fortunate if you happen to don’t need to make mountains of revisions.

All-in-all, it’s a significant problem.  Solely apply when you’ve got an excellent likelihood of constructing a ton of cash with them.  For instance, if you happen to publish a private finance weblog, by all means apply.  In case you run a crafting weblog and assume bank cards have common enchantment, assume once more.  You would possibly make a couple of bucks, however it’s not price the problem. Your time is best spent elsewhere.

4. Lead Gen

Lead gen is incomes from referring results in companies.  I used to do that with some native legislation companies (which was a customized referral association I arrange).

I at present do lead gen in a distinct business with one area of interest web site.

It may be very profitable, however it takes a little bit of know-how to do it nicely.

5. Influence Radius

Influence Radius is an affiliate community very like and ShareASale.  For some motive that I can’t determine, many huge firms get listed with Influence.

The explanation I say “can’t determine” is as a result of I discover the Influence Radius affiliate portal the most complex system in the world.  It’s so unhealthy that I don’t trouble selling retailers in there.  It’s an excessive amount of problem making an attempt to get a hyperlink.

Until your preferrred service provider is in there, look elsewhere.

6. Walmart

I used to be and am rejected by Walmart.  I don’t know why. I don’t actually care as a result of I simply ship the similar of us to Amazon, however for some motive it’s laborious to get into the Walmart associates program.

I adopted up the rejection electronic mail asking why and for a reconsideration.  I acquired no response. It’s like they don’t care.

I don’t maintain a grudge. I merely embrace them right here as a result of it’s fairly uncommon that I get rejected from an organization like Walmart given my numbers.

That stated, this rejection was 3 years in the past. I by no means bothered making use of once more.  Amazon is a pleasant outfit that’s glad to serve my referrals.

Moreover, I can promote Walmart by way of Skimlinks, which is what I do (to a really restricted diploma). All-in-all, I desire selling Amazon.

7. Finance provides

Final yr I utilized to be an affiliate for a finance publication.  It paid insanely excessive commissions on a recurring foundation.  The applying course of was a little bit of a problem.  I ran some promotions however bought nothing.

The factor with finance provides is there’s a ton of regulation concerned. It’s not the retailers’ fault.  They most likely detest the regulatory restrictions greater than associates.  However, it makes making use of for and complying troublesome.

On the plus aspect, in case your site visitors is properly aligned, you can also make a ton of cash with these provides.  In spite of everything, it’s in the “being profitable” sector which sells like gangbusters.

That’s a wrap.

I solely cowl the biggies.  There are literally thousands of in-house affiliate packages that I’ve not used.  Some could also be ridiculously good for rookies and others not so good.  It additionally relies upon on your area of interest clearly.

Don’t neglect about Monetizing with show advertisements

Don’t neglect about the show advert choice.  IMO, the best approach to earn money from content material websites is by putting show advertisements on the web site.  Whereas these gained’t earn almost in addition to affiliate packages on pages that concentrate on purchaser intent key phrases, utilizing advertisements provides you flexibility to publish content material on virtually any matter and nonetheless earn money.  There’s a motive 70%+ of my revenue is from show advertisements.

In case you’re new to this running a blog factor, attempt Ezoic (I take advantage of Ezoic on a number of websites).

Jon runs the place round right here.  He pontificates about launching and rising on-line publishing companies, aka blogs that make a couple of bucks.  His pleasure and pleasure is the electronic mail publication he publishes that’s “the finest running a blog electronic mail publication round.”

Hyperbole?  Possibly, however go test it out to see what some readers say.

In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and proprietor of a digital media firm that publishes a wide range of net properties visited and beloved by hundreds of thousands of readers month-to-month. Fatstacks is the place he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing enterprise.