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If you’re reading this post, you’re probably just getting started in the world of affiliate marketing.

You might have just built a blog and you’re now looking at how you can monetize it. On the flip side, maybe you’ve dipped your toe in affiliate marketing, but haven’t found the best affiliate program that works for you.

What is an affiliate program - best affiliate programs for beginners
Source: Commission Junction

No matter what stage you’re at in your affiliate marketing journey, we’re going to give you the scoop on the best affiliate programs for beginners in 2019. 

What is an online affiliate program?

Put simply, an online affiliate program is the bridge between an advertiser and a customer. The affiliate program connects the advertiser and the consumer through the publisher (you):

And if you’re new to the world of affiliate marketing, you may also be asking, what exactly is affiliate marketing. Here’s a quote from Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income:

“Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”

Pat Flynn | Smart Passive Income

More on affiliate marketing in our complete guide to becoming a successful affiliate marketer here.

Cost per Lead  (CPL)

When you start looking at different products to market, you may come across some affiliate programs that offer a commission based on Cost per Lead (CPL). A lead may be something as simple as an email, or it might be a form that needs to be completed.

The commissions for CPL are usually much lower than they are for Cost per Click or Cost per Sale (CPS).

With that being said, an email is much easier to acquire than a sale.

Cost per Click (CPC)

Sometimes, a brand will offer a commission based on the number of clicks or impressions that you generate. This is especially common in the travel and fashion industries.

CPC based affiliate programs can work well if you market the product or service well and can drive a solid number of clicks.

Cost per Sale (CPS)

Cost per Sale (CPS) is the most commonly used commission structure. Under the CPS model, you’re paid a commission when someone buys a product or service on the advertisers’ website after clicking through your affiliate link.

The amount you’re paid will vary depending on the advertiser, but generally speaking, CPS is the most profitable structure to follow.

When you’re doing your research, try to find advertisers that have great landing pages to help convert your users into a sale.

How to Choose the Best Affiliate Program for Beginners

There are thousands of online affiliate programs and it can be hard to decide which one to choose.

It’s important to understand the difference between affiliate programs offered through affiliate networks (third parties) and those offered directly by the brands themselves (the advertiser).

Affiliate networks will host hundreds or thousands of advertisers (brands) that you can choose to market.

If you choose to market products for an advertiser on an affiliate network, you will be dealing with the network e.g. commission junction, not the advertiser (brand).

Some brands, like Ebay as an example, have their own online affiliate program. In this post, we’re going to refer to this as direct.

If you’re interested in marketing a specific brands products, simply head on over to their website and if they have a direct affiliate program, you’ll usually find a link to an application form in the website footer.

Some brands prefer not to advertise their affiliate programs, but if there’s a company that you really want to work with to market their products, send them an email and ask what they can do for you.

What is affiliate marketing
Source: Regent SEO

Whilst not always the case, some brands offer slightly higher commissions through their direct affiliate programs. This is because they’re not paying a fee to advertise on an affiliate network.

In this list of the best affiliate programs for beginners, we’ll highlight what type of affiliate program we’re talking to: direct or network.

We’ll also help you understand what fees there are to join (if any), what their commission structure is and the cookie duration.

These are all important factors to consider when choosing the best affiliate program, but hold on a second, why is cookie duration important?

Post Affiliate Pro explain this well:

“The cookie life time parameter in an affiliate program defines how long will be a valid relation between the visitor and affiliate, after the visitor has clicked an affiliate link.”

Post Affiliate Pro

In essence, the shorter the cookie duration, the less time you have to close the sale. If the cookie duration is longer, it allows for your user to do some research and come back at a later stage.

When they return to the store within the cookie duration and purchase a product, you’ll get a commission. If they return outside the cookie duration, you won’t.

The Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners in 2019

As a newbie in the affiliate marketing world, choosing the best affiliate program in 2019 is not an easy task. That’s why we’ve put together our list of the best affiliate programs for beginners in 2019:

1. Amazon Associates Affiliate Program

Amazon affiliate program

Amazon Associates is one of the most popular online affiliate programs for beginners. Why? Because they have a huge range of stock that can service most affiliate niches.

This means that regardless of whether your niche is gym leggings or dog leashes, you’ll probably find it on Amazon.

Another great thing about becoming an affiliate of Amazon, is that you’ll make money from any sale, not just from the specific product that you’re marketing.

For example, you’re marketing a self help book, and someone clicks your link to buy a TV – you get the commission for the TV.

Cost: Free to join

Direct or Network: Direct

Commission: Up to 10%

Commission structure: CPS

Cookie duration: 24 hours

2. Clickbank Affiliate Network

Clickbank affiliate program

Clickbank has been in the game for over 17 years and is seen by many as having one of the best affiliate networks for beginners. Whilst many other affiliate networks attract big brands, Clickbank is known for working with the little guys.

When you’re looking at what products to market, you’ll want to focus on the gravity score. Gravity is the metric that Clickbank uses to show how well a product is selling.

Whilst a high gravity score means the product sells well, it also means more competition. Our recommendation is to consider products with a gravity score between 30 and 100.

Cost: Free to join

Merchant or Network: Network

Commission: Up to 75%

Commission structure: Varies with each advertiser

Cookie duration: 60 days

3. Ebay Affiliate Program

Ebay affiliate program

With over 1 billion listings at any one time and 175 million buyers annually, Ebay is a great option for affiliate marketing beginners. Their wide range of products mean that, similar to Amazon, they’re able to cater to almost any niche.

Whilst Ebay used to offer a 7 day cookie window, they’ve now instead introduced a 24 hour cookie.

With Ebay estimating that 89% of items listed have a fixed price, this change in cookie duration mostly affects auctions.

And with auctions only accounting for 11% of all listings on Ebay.com, this still qualifies Ebay as one of the best affiliate programs for beginners.

Cost: Free to join

Merchant or Network: Merchant

Commission: Up to 50% – 70% of eBay revenue

Commission: CPS

Cookie duration: 24 hours

4. Rakuten Affiliate Program

Rakuten affiliate program

Rakuten’s affiliate program was voted the Blue Book’s #1 affiliate network for 7 years in a row. Working with advertisers like Ray-ban and Amex further cements their credibility as one of the best affiliate programs for beginners.

Boasting over 100 million orders (as of 2016), Rakuten are a great choice for beginner affiliate marketers that have a global reach.

Cost: Free to join

Merchant or Network: Network

Commission: Varies with each brand

Commission structure: Varies with each brand

Cookie duration: Varies with each brand

5. Commission Junction Affiliate Program

CJ Affiliate Program

Commission Junction’s affiliate program is one of the largest and most established affiliate networks in the market. Paying out almost $2 billion USD per year to affiliate marketers is also pretty impressive.

Working with advertisers like Go Pro and Priceline means you have a broad range of big brands to work with.

Also, their support team is hands down one of the best, helping affiliate markets grow their commissions by 43% YOY. Wow.

Cost: Free to join

Merchant or Network: Network

Commission: Varies with each merchant

Commission structure: Varies with each merchant

Cookie duration: 1-120 days (varies with each merchant)

6. AWeber Affiliate Program

Aweber affiliate program

AWeber is an awesome email marketing and automation tool that I’ve personally used.

They also have a pretty awesome affiliate program. Not only do they offer 30% commission on sales, they also offer 30% on recurring sales.

That means you get paid every time one of your referrals renew their plan. If they renew their plan 10 times, you get paid 10 times.

On top of everything else, they have a 365 day cookie duration. This means that when someone clicks your affiliate link, and goes on to purchase, you earn a commission, even if it’s a year later.

Cost: Free to join

Merchant or Network: Merchant

Commission: 30% (recurring)

Commission: CPS

Cookie duration: 365 days

7. Shopify Affiliate Program

Shopify affiliate program

Shopify is the platform of choice for a growing number of e-commerce brands.

It’s also very popular amongst entrepreneurs getting started in e-commerce. And with good reason, it’s a great platform.

I’ve used it personally, and given it’s ease of use, it’s worth it’s weight in gold. This in turn makes it a great product to market.

With the average sale making you close to $60 in commission and a maximum of $2,000, keep this one top of the list when you’re considering which affiliate program to choose.

Cost: Free to join

Merchant or Network: Network

Commission: 200%

Commission structure: CPS

Cookie duration: 30 days

8. Ali Express Affiliate Program

Ali Express affiliate program

Similar to Amazon, Ali Express is a great platform to refer to because of their wide range of stock and millions of products listed. The majority of their stock comes from China, so you’ll find it often undercuts Amazon for many items.

High commission rates and an easy application process makes this online affiliate program hard to miss.

Cost: Free to join

Merchant or Network: Merchant

Commission: Up to 50%

Commission: CPS

Cookie duration: 3 days

9. Peerfly Affiliate Network

Peerfly affiliate program

Peerfly is one of our favourite affiliate networks. They were voted number one in 2015’s Blue Book and because of their small independent network, they’re able to offer very competitive commissions.

Don’t be put off by Peerfly’s rigorous application process, it’s worth it.

Cost: Free to join

Merchant or Network: Network

Commission: Varies with each merchant

Commission structure: Varies with each merchant

Cookie duration: Varies with each merchant

10. Flexoffers Affiliate Program

Flexoffers affiliate program

With over 12,000 advertisers at any one time, and an award-winning affiliate marketing network, Flexoffers is one of the key players when it comes to choosing an affiliate network.

One of their key selling points is what they call their FlexRev-$hare program. The program allows you to refer other publishers to the network and earn up to 50% of Flexoffers profits.

Cost: Free to join

Merchant or Network: Network

Commission: Varies with each merchant

Commission structure: Varies with each merchant

Cookie duration: Varies with each merchant

Conclusion

So that’s it, our list of the 10 best affiliate programs for beginners. As you can see, there are a lot of options to choose from, and this barely scratches the surface.

What it hopefully does do, is help you recognize and get started with some of the more recognised (and reputable) players in the game.

“There are so many affiliate programs out there, you stand to make a lot of money online by simply finding and testing the ones available in your niche”

Perrin Carrell | Authority Hacker

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help.

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2 thoughts on “Top 10 Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners 2019 (PASSIVE INCOME)”

  1. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  2. Now lots of bloggers earning a massive amount of money from the affiliate marketing. If we have a strong audience base, then we can make a good amount from affiliate business. Thanks for the excellent post.

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