16 Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners To Make Money in 2022.
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when building an affiliate marketing business is finding the best affiliate programs for beginners.
After all, there are thousands of high paying affiliate programs to choose from.
Choosing the wrong affiliate program could potentially set you back months, whereas the right one could see you generating your first affiliate buckaroos before your site is even "finished".
So – because this is a question we get asked a lot – we’re going to dedicate our time together in this blog post looking at the best affiliate programs for beginners.
And we’ll try to give you a far more balanced view of why signing up for affiliate networks sometimes makes more sense than an in-house affiliate program, and vice versa.
Best Affiliate Marketing Programs For Beginners.
Amazon Associates Affiliate Program CJ (Commission Junction) Affiliate Program ShareASale Affiliate Program ClickBank Affiliate Program Rakuten Advertising Affiliate Program Impact Affiliate Program Awin Affiliate Program Etsy Affiliate Program eBay Partner Network Affiliate Program Fiverr Affiliate Program Refersion Marketplace PepperJam Network FlexOffers Affiliate Program Avangate Affiliate Program MaxBounty Affiliate Program LinkConnector Affiliate Program.
Affiliate Networks vs. Affiliate Programs.
The first mental hurdle you have to cross is the difference between in-house affiliate marketing programs (merchants) and affiliate networks.
Some beginners treat these terms as if they’re interchangeable – they’re not.
Let’s say you build an authority site around outdoor sporting equipment, promoting products like trampolines, water slides, lawn sports, etc.
You’d then have the choice of either signing up to several (or dozens!) of affiliate marketing programs for different manufacturers and suppliers.
Or you could simply sign up to a network that can connect you with the majority of the product suppliers you want to work with.
The sensible route for somebody new to affiliate marketing is to simply sign up with affiliate networks and go from there.
But affiliate networks aren’t some kind of panacea.
In fact, there are some affiliate programs that only exist outside of affiliate networks, so you’d have to sign up to them individually.
My favorite example of this was back when I started out as an affiliate marketer…focusing on replica lightsabres.
True story – I made a lot of money selling toy lightsabres.
The company behind them was called Master Replicas, and they ran a great affiliate program. So I had to sign up directly with them because they "owned" the prop and replica lightsabre market back then.
Years later they migrated to an affiliate network, but the payouts were lower, the terms were pretty bad and eventually,
I just let the affiliate site die of a broken heart…and broken affiliate links.
So, we’re going to look at both sides of the game.
Firstly, the best and most popular affiliate networks, and secondly a range of diverse and reasonably generic enough affiliate programs that they apply to most audiences.
What To Look For In A Good Affiliate Marketing Program.
Ease of Use.
When you’re first starting out in affiliate marketing you should make things as easy as possible on yourself.
That includes signing up for affiliate programs that not only make sense but are equal parts great management and great design.
After all, the very last thing you want to have to deal with is an affiliate program with a clusterf**k of an interface.
This can make creating affiliate
links, or uploading a banner, an absolute nightmare.
I’ve been that soldier – crying over my keyboard because the geniuses behind a given affiliate program created an interface so complex that the only person capable of "solving it" would have to be a hybrid of Stephen Hawking and Doctor Strange.
Affiliate networks tend to not have that problem – their goal is to make your life in affiliate marketing as easy as possible.
Because if you’re not making money (i.e. passive income), then they’re not making money either – nor are their clients.
With that being said, there are just as many in-house affiliate programs that are the affiliate marketing version of the Sistine Chapel.
But the point we want to reinforce here is that ease-of-use should be a deciding factor for whatever affiliate program you choose.
It won’t be as much of an issue when you have a little more skin in the game.
Point of contact.
Things will go wrong from time to time.
Links will stop working, or you’ll have a question on why last month’s sales report looks like it’s upside down.
That’s exactly when you’ll need help from a dedicated affiliate manager.
Affiliate networks tend to have a slight advantage here because you can rely on their support staff in addition to the affiliate manager for whatever program you have a question on.
Just bear in mind that affiliate managers are no different from face-to-face managers in that some of them are really good and some are awful.
Always check what kind of support you’ll get before you sign up for any affiliate program i.e. do you have a dedicated affiliate manager.
"Jack the guy from IT takes care of that" isn’t the type of answer you want…or should accept.
Commission & Payments.
Find out not only how much you’ll get paid by a given affiliate program, but also when you’ll actually get paid.
Most affiliate programs are Net 30, but some are Net 60 and even Net 90.
What the above means in plain English, is that most affiliates are paid 30 days after making a sale, but others don’t get paid for 90 days.
That’s a long time to wait for your affiliate income, especially if you have bills to pay.
16 Best Affiliate Marketing Programs For Beginners.
Now let’s take a look at the best affiliate marketing programs for first-timers— those that give you the best chance of making money online with your new business.
1. Amazon Associates.
Amazon Associates Program) is one of the oldest affiliate programs out there. And it’s vast, encompassing all of the products they sell online. So if you can find something on Amazon, you can sell it and get a cut of the profit.
And that includes everything from books to bullhorns, and anything in between – there’s something for every audience.
Amazon’s affiliate marketing program is pretty much the first place we send brand new affiliates simply because it’s so easy to use, especially when creating your first affiliate link(s).
Pssssst. Want to learn how to build an Amazon affiliate site free of charge? We give you step-by-step instructions. You can also check out our Amazon Affiliate Program Review.
Type: Affiliate network.
You get paid: Net 60.
Payment threshold: $10.
Best suited to: Affiliate marketing beginners building their first site.
International brand recognition – everyone knows what Amazon is 385 million products for Amazon Associates to promote They place huge focus on customer service, so you benefit from that Link creation and management is super easy Easy-to-use affiliate dashboard.
Amazon changes their mind on commission rates as often as they change their underwear The 24-hour cookie is far from ideal.
2. CJ Affiliate.
CJ Affiliate — formerly known as Commission Junction — is one of the oldest affiliate networks out there, one I’ve been using since about 2002.
What makes them different to Amazon is that CJ Affiliate specializes in big brand names, as well as smaller product and service suppliers.
So, at the time of writing this they represent mahoosive companies such as Zappos, Walgreens, Verizon, Under Armour, Trip Advisor, Staples, Sonos, Disney Shops, Sears, and Samsung.