When you’re first getting started with affiliate marketing, it can feel like an uphill battle. One of the biggest struggles that many beginner affiliate marketers have is finding a good affiliate program to work with.
All affiliate programs are certainly not created equal and choosing a bad one can be devastating for your online business. This is especially true when you’re first getting started. Because it’s so important to choose quality offers, you may want to choose one of my picks for the top 10 affiliate programs for beginners.
#1 – Amazon
- Site: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/
- Commission Rate: 1% to 10% based on category
- Cookie Duration: 24 Hours
Amazon is one of the top affiliate programs for Internet marketers of all experience levels. This is for a few different reasons.
First, Amazon offers thousands of products. If there’s a product out there that you can pick up in a retail store, you can most likely find it on Amazon as well. Amazon stocks a wide variety of different products from various manufacturers and third-party sellers who frequently add products that Amazon doesn’t carry on their own.
Second, Amazon has become a household brand that the most people are comfortable making purchases from. On top of that, many households across the world have Amazon prime memberships which makes them more likely to make a purchase on Amazon instead of other Internet retailers. This low barrier to buying can result in far better sale rates for you as an affiliate marketer.
Finally, Amazon offers multiple ad options for monetizing your website. If you’re providing information sites for example, you can use native shopping ads to provide products to your customers that they are likely interested in. They also offer multiple incentive programs for things like Amazon prime, Amazon free time and limited, Amazon credit cards and a few others throughout the year.
All in all, if you’re a beginner to affiliate marketing, you really can’t go wrong working with Amazon. Just be warned that you must make a sale within 90 days of signing up or you will lose your account. While this sounds very severe, the good news is that you can simply reapply and get access to the affiliate program once again.
#2 – eBay
- Site: eBay Affiliate Program
- Commission Rate: 50% to 70% of eBay revenue
- Cookie Duration: 24 hours
eBay is another great affiliate program that offers thousands of products in a variety of different niches. Thanks to its reputation, eBay is another brand that most consumers are comfortable making a purchase with.
While their fees can be a little confusing at first, once you understand how their system works, it makes a bit more sense. Instead of earning a flat commission percentage from the cost of products, you instead earn between 50% and 70% of the revenue eBay collects from sellers at the end of the purchase.
On average, eBay charges fees of around 10% when auction sell successfully. As an affiliate, you learn 50% to 70% of the fees that eBay collects. Just to simplify things a little bit, you are basically earning between 5% and 7% of the amount buyers are paying for items on the platform. This puts eBay in line with many of the other affiliate programs out there that offer so many different products.
#3 – Walmart
- Site: Walmart Affiliate Program
- Commission Rate: 1% to 18% with most categories averaging 4%
- Cookie Duration: 3 Days
Walmart is one of the largest physical retailers out there and most people are familiar with the brand. Since many people already shop at Walmart, they’re quite comfortable with making a purchase online through Walmart’s website.
Aside from brand recognition, Walmart helps affiliate marketers earn more money by offering a 3-day tracking cookie instead of 24 hours like many other physical goods retailers. As an affiliate marketer, this will allow you to earn more commissions as buyers will occasionally take a day or two to decide on making a purchase.
Walmart offers monthly payouts on the commissions and provides affiliates with multiple unique opportunities and contests to help you earn more money.
#4 – Target
- Site: Target Affiliate Program
- Commission Rate: Sliding scale from 3% to 8% depending on category
Target is another brand that is recognized by most consumers. Many people have already made purchases with the company and so there is a low barrier to entry when it comes to making sales through your affiliate links.
Targets affiliate program is somewhat different as it works on a performance-based sliding scale commission structure. What this means is that the more sales you make the higher the percentage of commission you earn. For example, if you’re selling baby gear, you will start a 3% commission and after selling 50 items, you jumped to a 3.5% commission.
Multiple affiliate programs, like Amazon, used to work in the same manner but have changed to flat commission rates in recent years. It’s important to note that for most affiliates, this is not a disadvantage as you will often gain higher commission tears quickly after your site has a little bit of age and a larger audience.
Target also offers several incentive programs for services like store credit cards and store memberships.
#5 – Apple iTunes
- Site: Apple iTunes Affiliate Program
- Commission: 2.5% on iTunes Music downloads 7% on most sales
- Cookie Duration: 24 hours for everything but Apple Music. Apple Music cookie is 30 days.
Apple is another company that has immense brand recognition and a very large following behind them. Almost everyone has at least heard of Apple and many people have invested in their products and services over the years.
This is created a brand following that many people trust and believe in. As an affiliate marketer, you can earn money promoting a variety of different Apple related products including Apple Music, songs on Apple iTunes, and even apps inside of the Apple App Store.
You’ve most likely heard the phrase before, “there’s an app for that.” It seems like there are more and more apps released every day for a variety of different niches and audiences. With the Apple iTunes affiliate program, can get in front of those and your audience you are looking for a variety of different downloads from Apple.
- Site: Etsy Affiliate Program
- Commission: 4% to 8% depending on category
- Cookie Duration: 30 Days
Etsy is a website that has been gaining popularity in recent years. If you’re not familiar with Etsy, it’s basically a collection of stores that allow storeowners to sell handmade goods and services. The neat part about Etsy is that you can often find custom-made products that are unique and make excellent gifts.
As an affiliate marketer, Etsy gives you an impressive 30-day cookie duration and pays between 4% and 8% commissions, depending on category.
If you’re in a niche that promotes gift giving and you’re looking for some unique products, this is one affiliate program that can really pay off for you as many of the products available on the platform are not available anywhere else.
- Site: Clickbank Signup
- Commission: Varies between individual products
- Cookie Duration: Varies between individual products
Clickbank is a marketplace that offers a wide variety of products across multiple niches. The site specializes in delivering digital products and most affiliate marketers who decide to use Clickbank operating niches like health, beauty, weight loss and making money online.
One word of caution, you must be careful when selecting a product to promote inside of Clickbank. This is because some products have poor reputations. So, to avoid this, stick to those products that are more popular inside of the Clickbank marketplace and always check to see what the refund percentages for any product you are considering promoting.
Clickbank has a few things going for them. First, many people who use the platform to sell goods and services will provide you with review copies if you request them. Typically, it is much easier to get review copies once you already have a website established and can show merchants that you are a legitimate online business. Second, Clickbank is very easy to get started with. It’s very easy to get approved on the platform and once you are approved, you can sign up for any affiliate program on any of the products offered in their marketplace.
The best part about working with Clickbank is that many merchants offer commission rates as high as 50% or more, depending on the niche and the individual product.
- Site: ShareASale
- Commission: Varies based on individual program
- Cookie Duration: Varies based on individual program
ShareASale is another affiliate network that offers a variety of different programs and products to promote inside of the platform. They boast having more than 3900 different affiliate programs to choose from and offer some impressive brands like US Polo Association, Reebok, Claire’s and more.
Commission percentages and cookie durations vary significantly from program to program, but there clearly outlined in the offers area of the site.
The biggest downfall ShareASale is that you must be approved for each individual program and merchant after getting accepted to the ShareASale platform. Thankfully, an affiliate manager will work with you to choose the best products and programs for your audience and business.
#9 – CJ Affiliate
- Site: CJ Publisher Page
- Commission: Varies based on individual program
- Cookie Duration: Varies based on individual program
CJ Affiliate, formerly known as Commission Junction, is an affiliate network with some impressive brands trusting them to run their affiliate programs. Brands like Zappos, Walgreens, Verizon and TurboTax, just to name a few, all work with CJ Affiliate to manage their affiliate marketing programs.
Just like with ShareASale, commission rates vary between individual programs and vendors, as do cookie durations. Also, like ShareASale, CJ Affiliate allows you to work with affiliate manager who can help you along the way when you’re trying to find the best products and merchants to work with for your audience in business.
One thing that should be noted about CJ Affiliate is that they are one of the best networks out there if you’re in a software related niche. They offer a lot of different affiliate programs for software companies like Symantec, Avast, Malware Bytes and many others.
There are thousands of different programs to choose from inside of the CJ Affiliate network and many of them pay 10% or more in commissions.
#10 – Wealthy Affiliate
- Site: Wealthy Affiliate
- Commission: Varies based on purchases
- Cookie Duration: Lifetime
Wealthy Affiliate is a site that teaches you how to run a successful affiliate marketing business, regardless of your current skill level. They offer training that covers everything from the basics of running a successful affiliate marketing business to more advanced strategies like paid advertising and social media marketing.
One of the most impressive things about the Wealthy Affiliate program is that they offer lifetime cookie durations. This means that if you send someone over to the Wealthy Affiliate platform, your visitor is tied to your tracking cookie from that point forward. This means that even if someone chooses to sign up at Wealthy Affiliate 6 months later, so long as they haven’t cleared their cookies, you still receive a commission for the sign-up.
Wealthy Affiliate offers some of the most comprehensive affiliate marketing training on the Internet and has tens of thousands of members with hundreds of success stories and more than a 10-year track record of helping people create successful affiliate marketing businesses online.
On top of their training, Wealthy Affiliate also offers an impressive tool chest that will help you and your visitors run a full-time affiliate marketing business without ever needing to purchase any additional products or services. Some of the tools included are a word processor, image lookup utility, thousands of royalty free images, a keyword research tool, premium managed WordPress hosting, and much more.
If you’re trying to find a great affiliate program for a business or make money online niche, or just want to further enhance your own affiliate marketing skills, Wealthy Affiliate is a great place to do both.
Best of all, they offer a free membership option that allows you to go in and try out their training and tools without you ever having to even provide your credit card.
Being a beginner in the world of affiliate marketing can often feel overwhelming. While it can be very challenging to choose the best affiliate programs for your audience and your business, taking a moment to look over some of the ones listed above is a great way to learn more about some of the many opportunities that you have with your future online business.
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