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7 Best Affiliate Marketing Programs to Make Money Online

Most people start their blog to earn some extra cash. After all, it’s one of the easiest and effective methods to get some bucks online. But, Google ads is not the only way to do that. Affiliate marketing has overtaken even Google ads in terms of revenue generation. It is more effective because you already know the interests of your audience. All you need to do is find relevant products to sell on your blog. If you cannot find relevant products that your audience takes an interest in (and you can proudly recommend), then you won’t be able to turn traffic into cash. 

Therefore, in order to help you find better (and relevant) products to sell on your blog, we have compiled the list of the best affiliate marketing programs. With these high paying affiliate programs, you can get access to thousands of merchants and products from all over the world. Whether you want to promote traveling, physical products, digital products, one product brand, or a big name, affiliate programs on this list will connect you to something that fits in your niche. Plus, these top affiliate programs make the whole product search thing very easy. So, let’s dive right in. 

1. Amazon Associates 

Amazon Associates or Amazon Affiliate Program is currently the most popular affiliate marketing program worldwide. It lets you sell physical products worldwide. With this program, you can earn a commission on pretty much any physical product you sell. And the best thing is, in some cases, you may not have referred to that product at all. Confusing? Let me explain! 

Suppose you convince your reader to buy a $20 electric toothbrush. Your reader clicks on your affiliate link but doesn’t like the toothbrush. They end up buying a $700 Smart TV instead. Now, as long as their online session remains within the cookie duration (24 hours), you will earn commission from the sale. However, this scenario is only valid if the product isn’t already in their shopping cart. 

Still, the possibilities for you to earn money with Amazon are endless. In earlier days, Amazon used to pay affiliates a commission on the basis of sales. But, since 2017, they have moved to a flat rate. Hence, you are paid a flat rate on the basis of the category or niche of the product.  Sure, this change isn’t attractive for big affiliate sites. But it makes Amazon affiliates even more lucrative for smaller websites as they don’t have to worry about hitting a particular sale amount to get higher commission fees. 

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Below are some of the highest paying Amazon Associate categories: 

Women & men’s fashion, Kids Private label, Beauty, Luxury: 10 percent

Home and home improvement, Furniture, Lawn & Garden, Pets: 8 percent

Apparel, Amazon devices, Watches, Jewelry, Handbags, Shoes: 7 percent

Business and Industrial supplies, Beauty, Musical Instruments: 6 Percent

Tools, Outdoor equipment: 5 percent

2. ShareASale 

ShareASale is another popular affiliate network among bloggers. While Amazon’s affiliate program focuses only on products listed on Amazon, ShareASale has no such limitation. It has over 5000 merchants from all over the world listed on its website. Plus, it also has a free sign-up process. No need to pay them any fees!

You can sign up to any of these merchants from the dashboard, generate their affiliate link, sell the product, and check your stats. That means you will have to individually apply to each merchant and get their approval before you can start selling their product. This approach is vastly different from Amazon, where you use one Affiliate address to attach to any product you are selling. 

No matter your niche or category of products, you will find some offers worth considering and promoting. Among the physical products, there are plenty of small and big merchants. For example, there are Reebok Shoes, NFL Shop, Warby Parker, etc. So you can sell their products or just go for a new brand if you want to. 

Moreover, ShareASale lets you sell digital products along with physical products. For instance, on the digital side of sales, you can sell anything from a WordPress theme, plugins, software, and hosting, etc. Note: Because you have to sign up for merchants individually, their commission rates and cookie duration may vary. 

3. Awin 

Formerly known as Affiliate Window, Awin is yet another famous affiliate network. It provides you access to over 13 thousand merchants from around the world. Back in 2017, they acquired ShareASale, although kept it as a separate entity with different merchant and different rules. 

Awin is a parent company of ShareASale, which features similar big and small brands. Some of the notable brands on this platform are HP, Under Armour, XE, AliExpress, and Etsy. You can also find countless merchants across a range of smaller and less popular niches. As the company was founded in Germany, you will notice there are more European merchants on this platform than any other. 

Just like ShareASale, you will need to sign up for each merchant individually before you can sell their products. Once they approve you, you can then generate affiliate links and track any sales. The average commission rate and cookie duration vary considerably across merchants. However, their minimum payout is $20, much less than ShareASale’s $50. 

With that out of the way, it’s pertinent to mention their one disadvantage: its sign-up is not free. Awin requires a $5 sign-up fee. If your sign-up gets approved, you are refunded the amount, but you lose it if you are not approved. 

4. CJ Affiliate 

Formerly Commission Junction, the CJ Affiliate is another affiliate marketing program that brings merchants under a single umbrella. It’s very much like ShareASale in terms of selling and buying. Currently, there are over 3000 merchants from around the globe on this platform and 15 offices worldwide.

Some of the big names on CJ Affiliate are Grammarly, GoPro, OverStock, Lowes, IHG hotels, and more. You can also find lots and lots of smaller merchants selling products in any category you can name. CJ Affiliate boasts 43% year on year growth in commission, which is fantastic if you ask us. 

All the affiliate commissions are paid on a monthly (30 days) basis. That means you will receive your commission on the referrals approximately 30 days after the sale has taken place. All the payments are scheduled for the 20th of the month for any locked commission. After that, you just have to wait for your cheque to show up. It usually takes 7 days in the US.  

However, the main disadvantage of this program is that it’s not beginner-friendly. Your blog must have good traffic before you can get accepted as an affiliate. Moreover, there are some very strict conditions to stay as a publisher. Their toolbox also requires some getting used to before you can fully utilize the features. Overall, it’s a very good option for professional and advanced affiliate marketers. 

5. ClickBank 

ClickBank is an affiliate network specializing in digital products, though you can also find some physical products on its platform. It is geared towards the smaller and lesser-known end of the merchants. For instance, here, you will find many merchants selling their online books, courses, membership websites, and other digital products. 

Therefore you can find such micro-niches which are hard to find on big-name affiliate websites like Amazon and CJ. And if, by luck, your blog is on the same micro-niche, you can earn a pretty decent amount. ClickBank also offers very high commissions for most of its merchants – as high as 80 percent. Not to mention, a 10 USD minimum payout makes it even easier to get paid. ClickBank’s cookie duration is 60 days. 

ClickBank offers weekly payments. Its reliable payout policy is another huge drawcard. Besides, there are many products on its platform that can be sold on a recurring basis. This makes affiliate marketing of such products very easy for you. You can also upsell to boost your sales and weekly income. 

The main downside of Clickbank is quality. As these are mostly small sellers, you may not find many high-quality products to promote. Sure, over the years, it has gotten better with its review system to weed out bad merchants, yet you still have to be very careful with product selection. 

6. Walmart Affiliates 

Sure, Amazon Affiliates is a big name in the business. After all, Amazon holds approximately 55% of the entire US eCom market. In comparison, Walmart is just 3% of the online retail market. But things started to change when Amazon Associates moved to its new category-based fixed commission structure. That’s when the Walmart affiliate marketing program became a little more attractive in terms of commissions. 

Today, Walmart offers better commissions than Amazon in some categories. And it’s slowly snatching the market share from the world’s biggest retail giant. To give you a perspective, Walmart is offering a 4% commission on toys. In contrast, Amazon gives only a 3% commission. Similarly, selling Contact lenses on Walmart gives 10% commission, while they are on the prohibited list of Amazon. 

What’s more, Walmart’s tracking cookie works just like Amazon and lasts for 3 days. That’s triple the duration of Amazon’s tracking cookie. Furthermore, the Walmart Affiliate Program is free to join. You don’t need any sign-up fees. Simply sign up and get access to your dashboard. It uses LinkShare to track all the sales, product impressions, click through and commissions. 

So, If you are an affiliate, you can generate particular text links to virtually anything on Walmart. There is plenty to sell from this platform, from Apple products to food & household items, gift cards, personal care, precious metals, and impulse merchandise. But it has a $50 minimum payout, which is much higher than Amazon.

7. eBay Partner Network 

As you can tell by its name, the eBay Partner Network is eBay’s affiliate program. It lets you earn a commission for promoting and selling eBay listings on your blog. You read that right! You can sell anything listed on eBay, which of course, gives you access to a massive selection of products. 

While eBay mostly deals with physical products, you can find some digital products there as well. The exact commission rate depends on the product category, letting you earn anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of the revenue. 

An interesting thing about eBay affiliates is their cookie duration. While it is limited only to one day (just like Amazon), you can still earn a commission if the auction of a product takes up to 10 days to end.  Besides, the minimum payout is much lower than all of the above-mentioned programs. It is just $10. 

However, the eBay partner network has one major downside. As you know, eBay works like an auction. A product can be sold within a day or may take a month. Once it has been sold, it may not be there for you to sell. Because of this transient nature of the products, marketing, and selling eBay listings is hard. Therefore, we suggest finding only permanent listings (there are plenty!) if you want to try eBay’s partner network. 

More Affiliate Ad Networks

These aren’t enough? Alright, no worries! The internet is huge, and the affiliate marketing programs are many. Below are some good affiliate ad networks you can use to increase your income: 

  • GiddyUp
  • Rakuten Affiliate Program
  • Avangate Affilaite Network
  • FlexOffers
  • M4trix Network
  • PartnerStack
  • Elementor
  • Affiliate
  • Fiverr

Final Thoughts: Which affiliate network to use?

So, these are the best affiliate programs to make money online. But the question arises, which affiliate network to subscribe to? Well, the good thing about these high-paying affiliate programs is that you don’t need to choose one. You can sign up for all of these above at the same time. This way, you can find the best products suitable for your niche and get the best payout you can. Signing up for the best affiliate networks means you can then find some good offers to promote on your blog. However, keep your convenience in mind. Logging in to 10 different dashboards on a regular basis can be a little too much to handle. In any case, we wish you all the best and hope that you learned a thing or two from this article. Let us know your thoughts in the usual place.

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