Affiliate marketing is one of the most common ways of making money online. The idea is pretty simple: you have a blog or a community of some sort, and you earn a commission for every purchase people make of the products you promote.
So, let’s say you have a blog about skincare, and you’re really passionate about it. One of the best ways to monetize it is to find an affiliate program or network that will help you promote products you trust to your readers and make money without actually creating a product yourself.
Affiliate programs are arrangements where an online merchant website pays affiliate websites for traffic. In other words, affiliate websites, meaning you, post links to the merchant website and you get paid a commission for this.
How much money you make with an affiliate program will depend entirely on the amount of traffic you send to the merchant’s website, the amount of purchases you get them, or some other parameter that’s previously discussed and agreed to.
Now that we’ve covered the bare-bone basics, let’s take a look at some of the best affiliate programs for 2019 so you can choose the ones that relate to your community the most!
Top Affiliate Programs in 2019
Amazon is one of the most popular online marketplaces in the world. One of the reasons for said popularity is that they provide anything, from snacks to drones, right to your doorstep. This is great because virtually every niche out there will find a space on Amazon, which is why Amazon Associates is a great place to start affiliate marketing.
Among the benefits that Amazon Associates has to offer we have there’s a discount of up to 10% on any product sale from the links you share. Also, all purchases that people make on Amazon as a result of your link, even if it’s not the product you were promoting, will be counted towards your affiliate revenue. What’s more, there’s an incredibly diverse selection of products, which means that orders are always larger than just the one product you promote on your community.
There are a few drawbacks to keep in mind as well. For example, the affiliate cookie lasts 24 hours, which means that if people click on your link after that period and they make a purchase, you won’t get any revenue. There are also not many payout options; you can only get your money by check, bank transfer or Amazon gift cards. This is something that could change in the future, we’ll see!
The eBay Partner Network, also known as EPN, is one of the best affiliate programs out there and it has been available for a long time. It has a lot in common with Amazon Associates, because eBay, as you may already know, also has an established reputation and they offer a great variety of products that every niche can take advantage of.
Affiliate cookies on eBay also last only 24 hours for “Buy It Now” products, same as Amazon, so you won’t get any revenue for purchases made after that period. And the cookie duration for auctions is 10 days. This is important to know because eBay is more auction-based than Amazon, so commissions will be different. Rather than paying a commission for the final sale price of the item, they pay for the fee they charge for the auction.
There’s good money to be made on eBay because they offer a great product diversity, customers have a high emotional input, but it’s also worth noting that not all of your readers will like auctions and that products won’t be available at all times.
Target is yet another great option for a great number of niches. Even though Target’s product variety is not as vast as Amazon’s or eBay’s, it’s still very strong. One thing’s for sure, it might be difficult for you to find products if your niche is a bit more obscure than the average and they won’t have top-of-the-line products for you.
As opposed to the affiliate programs on this list so far, the affiliate cookie duration on Target is a lot longer: 7 days. Another important benefit is that their fee structured is based on volume, which is great. It’s important to note that commissions are capped for certain categories; it’s a matter of doing your research.
Target is not the best option for people who operate within the health and beauty community because the rates are quite low, but they do have a lot to offer for markets such as home goods, apparel, and outdoor goods.
Another drawback to keep in mind is that people often choose going to Target instead of buying online. Meaning that many of your readers may browse online, and then just shop in person.
Overall, Target offers massive brand recognition, a decent selection of products, and a volume-based fee structure that can be quite lucrative if you’re in the appropriate niche for this affiliate program.
ClickBank is another popular affiliate program that’s been around for quite some time. Since their conception, they’ve provided over 200 million different products and because their market is so vast and easy to use, it’s definitely a great option to keep in mind.
The commission rates on ClickBank will vary according to the vendor as well as the duration of the affiliate cookies. One of the best things about this affiliate program is that they’ve done this for so long, they know how to keep both affiliates and publishers happy.
An example of this effort is the fact that they offer a joint venture program that allows you to have a joint venture with vendors, which means you’ll be able to set up collaborative business deals.
At ClickBank it’s also very easy to promote upsells and products that generate continuous commissions. The user experience is great with this affiliate program because you don’t only have a great chance of making money, you’ll also find that the interface and the payment process runs super smoothly.
Another thing to keep in mind about ClickBank is that they’re one of the few affiliate programs that provide a paid training program called “ClickBank University”, where you’ll be able to learn more about affiliate marketing, programs and how to make the most of it.
Rakuten is one of the leading online stores out there where you can find anything from high-end products and gadgets to pet supplies. This online store offers an affiliate program that will reward you for helping them make more sales.
One of the big benefits is that Rakuten is an award-winning store that has grown quite a reputation and they have partnerships with brands such as the NBA. This means you’ll be promoting products you can trust.
The drawback here, if you can even call it that, is that if you want to get started, you must apply for each of the brands you’re interested in personally. This, of course, allows you to make better choices, but it will take some time. Keep in mind that their database is not easy to navigate and it’s not exactly straight-forward, but they make up for it by providing a great support team you can contact whenever you need.
Leadpages is a well-known online marketing tool that gives everyone the opportunity to create landing pages for better conversion. They offer a fantastic product and if you’re in the digital niche, your readers and community will definitely want to know about this.
The great thing about this product is that, if you have the audience for it, it will sell itself because it’s such a high-quality product that gets the job done. It’s also very powerful and efficient for what it does, and the payouts are incredible.
The only real drawback is finding an audience that will be interested in this product, because, even if it does sell itself, the audience is very specific.
StudioPress is another great option for the digital niche because they provide a great service. What they do is they create customizable, responsive and adaptable hosting and themes for WordPress, which makes any WordPress site more accessible and functional.
This service also sells itself if you have the right audience for it because it will allow people to grow their WordPress site and it makes their job that much easier. The payouts are incredible, at 35% per sale, and they will grow up to a point with each referral.
The drawback here is the same s with Leadpages. This is a service that’s meant for a very specific niche, so it’s definitely not for everyone. At least at the moment!
CJ Affiliate is a platform that has been a part of the affiliate marketing industry since ‘98, which means they’re quite experienced and they have built a great reputation. They offer products for every niche and they’re one of the largest programs out there.
CJ Affiliate is definitely one of those programs you can trust, not just because they have been around for so long, but also because they have created the expertise necessary to know what they’re doing and provide great options for you.
Do keep in mind that the application process is very strict, which means their standards are very high. This shouldn’t discourage you, though, it should inspire you to bring your A game.
If you use WordPress or if you’ve ever considered doing so, Bluehost is one of the most well-known and recommended hosts available. This is due to many reasons. For starters, their services are affordable, the packages are flexible enough to cover your needs, and customer support is great.
They have a great reputation and their services are something you can recommend with confidence. The referral process is straight-forward; all you need to do is sign up, get the referral link, and get paid for each person who buys their packages.
The good news is that this service sells itself, especially given that WordPress recommends them as well. The only drawback is that you’ll need to be part of a specific niche to get people interested. If you have a web hosting blog or community, this is definitely something you can take advantage of.
ConvertKit is one of the leading email marketing platforms out there and they’re known for their customizable experience, which is why they’re well-know and highly recommended. If your audience is interested in this kind of service, ConvertKit will be able to cover their needs very easily and it’s a service you’ll be able to stand behind.
One of the great benefits is that the affiliate revenue will be active as long as your account is active and making money. This means that they won’t cut you off at any point, which makes everything very straight-forward and simple.
Something to keep in mind about this affiliate program is that it takes a month to confirm every commission because they offer a 30-day refund policy, which means you won’t get paid until this period has passed.
One of the great things about this affiliate network is that they offer a $1,000 bonus to any affiliate that makes $1,000 per month during the first three months. They also make weekly payments and they offer digital payout options, not to mention top earners get a lot of different rewards.
The only drawback is that they’re not as established as other programs or networks on this list, but it’s definitely worth a look.
You won’t need to find products to promote because they will choose what to advertise on your site. All you need to do is provide the space and they’ll do the rest. You can choose what kind of ads are more appropriate for your site and they’re one of the most well-known and trustworthy platforms online.