11 Best Affiliate Programs in 2022 – Highest Paying for Beginners

Last Updated on November 16, 2021

best affiliate programs

If you’ve ever thought about monetizing your blog, affiliate marketing should definitely make the list.

It’s one of the most lucrative ways you can make money online by earning commissions from products that you’ve recommended to your audience.

Imagine waking up in the morning to find that all that hard work you’ve put in to build up your blog and post great content has rewarded you. It’s a great feeling and necessary if you wish to scale your blog so you can live the life you want.

In this list, we uncover the 11 best affiliate programs that pay the highest commissions so you can earn more money.

To get started with affiliate marketing though, you first need to set up a blog.

Ready? Let’s Fly!

Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links that may provide a small commission to me at no cost to you (it will buy me a cup of coffee though 😉). However, I believe these are the best affiliate programs to help you earn the highest commissions. You can read more about my affiliate disclosure in my affiliate policy.

What are the Best Affiliate Programs?

1. Fiverr.

My number one recommendation for the best affiliate program overall.

best affiliate programs - fiverr

Commission: Choose from either a dynamic CPA plan (Fiverr CPA) ranging from $15-$150 OR receive a fixed (Fiverr Hybrid) $10 CPA + 10% RevShare for 12 months.

Cookie Life: 30 days.

There’s a reason I have put the Fiverr affiliate program at the top of this list. It covers pretty much every niche out there and is the easiest to promote for beginners.

The CPA commissions depend largely on the category your buyer purchases from. To see all of their commission rates, take a look here.

It is the largest marketplace for digital services. Think of it like the Amazon or eBay of the marketing industry. And it’s not limited to their main marketplace of digital services either.

Instead of selling services such as graphics and design, or programming, you can promote Fiverr Business (a guaranteed list of business-related, high quality, verified freelancers), and Fiverr Learn (online courses for freelancers and businesses looking to increase their skills).

Their dashboard is user-friendly and has plenty of creative resources to help you promote Fiverr, it’s clear why they are one of the best affiliate marketing programs.


2. BigCommerce.

best affiliate program - big commerce

Commission: 200% or $1500 per enterprise customer.

Cookie Life: 90 days.

BigCommerce is a powerful e-commerce platform page builder. Home to more than thousands of websites in over 200 countries, it is used in a variety of different niches.

As an affiliate, you could earn a whopping 200% on all referrals (meaning a maximum of $500!) and a massive $1500 for every customer that signs up to the enterprise plan.

They take care of most of your promotions with pre-made sale banners, emails, and more. Even with content creation in the form of webinars, linking to blogs is bound to save you time and money.

You get a dedicated account manager to help you drive more sales and a comprehensive affiliate dashboard to manage all your clicks, sales, commissions and track your performance.


3. ShareASale.

ShareASale Homepage

Commission: Set by the merchant and different for each offer.

Cookie Life: Set by the merchant and different for each offer.

Ok, so ShareASale may not be the highest paying compared to the last two programs, BUT…it has a lot of potential for you to earn plenty of money.

They have over 15,000 different merchants to choose from with no limit on how many you can join.

Affiliate programs vary but include, home and garden, fashion, beauty, sports, and health. They also offer webinars, tools, and training programs to help you on your way and grow your online revenue.

If you’re just getting started with affiliate marketing then I highly recommend you start with ShareASale first.

If you’re also a merchant with a physical product already then you can also sign up and look for affiliates to promote your product.


4. CJ Affiliate by Conversant.

Best Affiliate Programs - CJ Affiliate

Commission: Set by the merchant and different for each offer.

Cookie Life: Set by the merchant and different for each offer.

Arguably one of the oldest affiliate networks to date with over 20 years in the industry.

Formerly known as Commission Junction, CJ Affiliate pays out roughly $1.8 Billion, yes Billion with a ‘B’ in commissions to their publishers (that’s you).

You are also able to get paid in over 150 different currencies to choose from via direct deposit, check, or Payoneer.

Their platform is really user-friendly and reliable. Next to their customer service department who come up with suggestive ways to help you and your business grow.

A major advantage to join CJ Affiliate is that you get to partner up with major brands like CNN, Time, Buzzfeed, and Wirecutter, to name a few.

Of course, the downside of this is that they have quite a strict and fussy sign-up process to work with these larger brands. You may also need a good amount of traffic already to your website, so get creative to stand out and get accepted.

However, their reliable monthly payments and awesome real-time reporting make it a great program to join if you’re a serious affiliate marketer.


5. ClickBank.

best affiliate programs - clickbank

Commission: Set by the merchant and different for each offer. Potential of 90% payouts.

Cookie Life: 60 days.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a super affiliate or just starting out, every single offer that is available for you to promote on ClickBank has been through a rigorous onboarding process. This means you can be sure that no matter what product you want to promote it will likely convert.

There’s a range of products to choose from including the arts and entertainment industry, marketing, parenting, and health niches.

ClickBank offers some of the highest commissions available out of any affiliate marketplace. You can search for products that are willing to pay out up to 90% in commissions!

What’s even better, is that you can also funnel your customers into upselling and thereby increasing your commissions again.

If you’re after a more stable income though, then recurring revenue is what you’re after. ClickBank has subscription offers, meaning you’ll continue to get paid well after the initial sale.

With over 4000+ marketplace products and $4.2 Billion in commissions paid to date, it’s easy to see why ClickBank is one of the leading online retailers.


6. Spocket.

best affiliate programs - spocket

Commission: Up to 30% (unlocked via a tiered system).

Cookie Life: 90 days.

Dropshipping is on an upward trend at the moment for online business owners. A problem that they’re facing though when sourcing products from Asia, is the long shipping times it takes to get to customers.

This is where Spocket comes in. They are a dropshipping supplier, wholesaler, and distributor of the United States and European products.

As an affiliate there are 3 tiers:

  • Bronze – Receive 20% Commission
  • Silver – Receive 25% Commission (unlocked after 100 conversions)
  • Gold – Receive 30% Commission (unlocked after 1000 conversions)

Once you refer a paying customer you get one step closer to unlocking the next tier and closer to earning up to $1080 a year per customer.


7. MaxBounty.

best affiliate programs - maxbounty

Commission: Set by the merchant and different for each offer.

Cookie Life: Set by the merchant and different for each offer.

Even though MaxBounty has been around for the better part of a decade, there are only around 1,500 programs and their model is definitely different than most on this list.

Most of the offers on this platform are a cost-per-action (CPA – like making a sale) type of model. However, if that doesn’t suit your promotion model, then it’s no problem.

You can choose from cost-per-lead or even cost-per-install offers.

If that wasn’t enough to make it different then how about this? Where most other programs make your customers complete a transaction before you see a commission, MaxBounty will allow you to get paid simply by driving traffic, people who download a lead magnet, or even sign up for free trials.

As a new affiliate, you have the opportunity to earn a $1000 bonus. This is payable to any affiliate who earns a minimum of $1,000 per month in their first 3 months. Hmm…not bad right?

What’s more they pay weekly where most affiliate programs payout monthly.

Because they have partnered with trusted brands such as Norton, Microsoft, and Apple, their sign-up process can be a little in-depth to try and vet out scammers and people who aren’t serious about their program.


8. Shopify.

best affiliate programs - shopify

Commission: 200%

Cookie Life: 30 days.

Having built a few dropshipping and private label stores online, I’ve experienced Shopify’s dashboard first hand.

They have everything you need to get started with building an online store including, a website builder, domain and web hosting, shipping through Sendle, analytics into your store’s performance, plugins, and more!

If your audience is in the e-commerce space then definitely check out the Shopify affiliate program. Affiliates can earn up to 200% of the customer’s monthly subscription.

On the advanced plan that’s $598 every month from just one customer!

As a bonus, there’s a 100% bounty if you can refer someone to the enterprise program with a one-time reward of up to $2000.

Pair this affiliate network up with the Spocket (already integrated with Shopify) affiliate program, and you’ve got a powerful combination income stream.

Of course, there are a few drawbacks to any affiliate program. In this case, it’s that your target audience must be looking to sell products online and haven’t found an e-commerce platform to sell yet.

You may also need some traffic already coming to your website as I’ve known affiliates who have been knocked back when they were just starting out.

Beyond that, once you get accepted, their support teams are knowledgeable and help you with guides and sales courses to help you with conversions.


9. Constant Contact.

best affiliate programs - constant contact

Commission: $5 for each referral that signs up for their free trial and $105 when they pay for a new account.

Cookie Life: 120 days.

Constant Contact is a powerful email marketing tool for small businesses (yes even bloggers). They have tools to help you market your ideas, make it easy to build your professional brand online, attract customers and sell more products.

You can find new leads through their Instagram and Facebook Ads tool, email marketing automation, and even improve your lead magnet effectiveness.

The affiliate program allows you to receive $5 for every free trial you sign up (no credit card required) and then you get $105 if they convert to a paying customer. So you can refer as many visitors to their website as you can, there’s no cap on commissions.

It may not be the most amount of money, but it is easy! If your audience would benefit from the tools, then it’s not a bad partnership to try.


10. Amazon Associates.

best affiliate programs - amazon affiliates

Commission: 1% – 10% (depending on the category)

Cookie Life: 24 hours.

Pretty much everyone has heard of Amazon by now, and what’s more, is that there’s an ever-growing number of people that have an Amazon account.

While this technically isn’t an affiliate program as such, it is a place where you have access to any product in the Amazon marketplace to promote. That’s over 1 million products!

Recently, Amazon has reduced the commissions and the cookie length which was definitely not welcomed by fellow affiliates. Earning just 1% on most categories now means you’ll need to really increase the volume in sales commissions to make it worth your while.

Where you’ll get the most bang for your buck is from the beauty and clothing products. Both earn up to 10% commissions.

And the 24-hour cookie length is really way too short.

If your target audience is a busy mom who clicks on your affiliate link and then has to go pick up the kids from school, come back and make dinner, put the kids to bed, wakes up, takes the kids to school, does the shopping, only to now check out of her Amazon cart and it’s now 25 hours later, you don’t get the sale.

Of course, it’s not all bad. With more and more people now shopping online and have built up that trust with Amazon, it is an easier place to get your feet wet and start making some sales instantly.

For example, if you’re in the travel industry, you can promote luggage, clothes, or accessories.

Probably one of the best things about the Amazon Associates program is that if a customer has a product that you have recommended in their cart, but also has other items in there as well you get the commission on the entire cart!

Going back to our travel affiliate example, let’s say they promote a suitcase and then the customer adds a spatula, some pet treats, and a bath towel. You get the commission on all those items.

Amazon has also now introduced the Amazon Influencer Program. This is a little different from the Associates where if you have a social media influencing account, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube then you can be accepted here as well.

You get your own storefront with Amazon through a unique URL where you can recommend any product you like. You can also promote the actual URL rather than individual products each time.

So if you’ve got a decent amount of followers and social influence why not give this program some thought too.


11. eBay Partner Network.

best affiliate programs - ebay partner network

Commission: 1% – 4% depending on the category with maximum rates per transaction.

Cookie Life: 24 hours for “Buy it Now” items, otherwise 10 days for auction items.

While eBay may have more products over Amazon (approximately 1.4 Billion), there are some harsher limits.

These limits include things like, a maximum commission limit of 3% or $550 for vehicle parts and accessories whichever is less per transaction. You can look at the complete rate card here.

Not to mention that if you send someone to an auction and they win the product, but the auction took longer than 10 days you, unfortunately, don’t get the sale. Even if your customer was the winning bidder.

Again though, if you’re just starting out then perhaps this could be a place for you to get some experience with affiliate marketing with the diverse range of products and some big-name brands.


Affiliate Marketing FAQs

What is an Affiliate Program?

It is a partnership between an influencer or another business, known as the “affiliate”, and a company to promote products that the company offers. The affiliate then takes that offer to their audience (hopefully it is relevant), who then click on a specific link (affiliate link) that tracks their journey.

If someone then goes through to purchase that product, the affiliate then receives a commission from the company for referring that customer to them.

You can check out my ultimate guide to affiliate marketing for more information.

How do I Join Affiliate Programs?

There are two ways you can join a program:

1. Go to the specific company website and look for the word “affiliates” which usually sits in the footer, or search for “Brand + affiliate” into Google.

2. Join an affiliate network. Inside you will find merchants (companies) that you can then individually join, provided it makes sense to your niche.

In both cases, some merchants approve on the spot, whereas others may take a little longer and have it processed by an actual person.

Most of the larger companies will assign you an affiliate manager to ask any relevant questions you have and to get the most out of their program.

What are the Requirements to Join Affiliate Programs?

You will need a website and a way to receive payments. Some merchants pay directly into your bank account, where others can transfer through PayPal or to a multicurrency account like Wise.

A few things to note with your website to help with success:
Make sure it’s secure with an SSL certificate. This is the HTTPS that you see in the address bar.

It’s better to email from a professional email address, for example, name@yourcompany.com. So having yourname@gmail.com may not get you approved.

Most hosting providers give you a free email account when you sign up (but don’t rely on it for too long – ask me how I know this).

Should I Pay to Join an Affiliate Program?

In short, no. Especially if you’re a beginner. You’re the one bringing in revenue for the company for a small piece of that sale price. It doesn’t make sense to pay a company for that privilege when you are the one doing all the work.

What to Look for When Choosing a High-Paying Affiliate Program?

Ultimately, choosing an affiliate program is a numbers game. There are 4 things to look for when searching affiliate companies:

1. The Commission Rate – How much will you get per sale? The higher the better.

2. The Average Order Value (AOV) – To get this amount, get the total revenue and divide it by the number of sales.

3. The Earnings Per Click (EPC) – This is important for affiliates because it gives you the revenue for each click you send to an advertiser.
To calculate it:
Earnings
per click (EPC) – Cost per click (CPC) = Net profit per click
To put it another way, if your EPC is higher than your CPC, you’re making money. Cha-ching!

4. Cookie Length – A cookie identifies a specific user that has clicked through a unique link. This cookie stays for a defined period of time on the customer’s computer (don’t worry, it’s totally safe). The longer the cookie life is the better.
For example:
A cookie duration of 10 days means that the customer must make a purchase through the affiliate link within 10 days for you to be credited with the sale and get the commission.

Putting this all together, there’s really not much point being an affiliate for a $20 bath towel where you receive only a 2% commission. That’s only 40 cents!

What would be better is if you’re promoting a $1000 product with a 20% commission. That’s $200. Much better.

So you want high commissions, high AOVs, and long cookie lengths to get the most out of affiliate marketing.

How Much Can I Get Paid as an Affiliate?

Depending on the product and niche, it can be as low as 1% or as high as 100%!! Yes, it is possible (but not necessarily the norm) to make the full price as a commission. Usually, products like these are trying to establish themselves in a market and they tend to ask for reviews afterward.


Bottom Line

Affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize your website. No one program fits every person and every niche. That’s why there are so many out there.

You need to make sure that what you are promoting though is of benefit to your audience for it to work.

There’s no point in promoting cooking utensils to a golfing audience.

A good thing about affiliate marketing is that there’s no limit to the number of programs you can join. You can sign up to as many as you like.

Just remember that you should be choosing programs that have high AOVs, EPCs, commissions, and long cookie lengths.

The affiliate marketing industry is booming and now is the best time to jump in on the market.

To get started with affiliate marketing, you’ll need a website. I recommend Siteground for just 47% off at $6.99/month.

Which programs have you signed up for? Are there any more you want me to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

It’s time to be the pilot of your life and not the passenger.

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