Do you know affiliate marketing is a worldwide industry worth well over $12 billion? Since 2015, affiliate marketing has grown by 10% year on year. Joining the best high paying affiliate programs ans network can make a big difference in your online business revenue.
Affiliate marketing is one of the major sources of revenue for online businesses with over 16% of eCommerce shopping orders in Canada and USA.
The best high paying affiliate programs are sponsored by web hosting providers. Bluehost affiliate partner paid over $5 million to its affiliates in 2018. Affiliate networks focus majorly on three categories – fashion products and services, sports and outdoor activities, and health and fitness products and services.
The article will cover the major best paying affiliate programs suitable for marketing newbies. These programs will be grouped into categories such as – beauty, cryptocurrency, fashion, finance, fitness, marijuana and CBD oil, music, sport, travel, video games, VPNs, web hosting, and website builders.
If you don’t have a website, I recommend you create one with a content management system software like WordPress. You will need a domain and host. I recommend you start with Bluehost. They offer as low as $2.95/month for hosting.
You can also promote your affiliate products on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube or anywhere you can post a link to your audience. Promotion can be in the form of endorsements, reviews, or direct selling.
How did I come up with this list?
I am a software developer with over 5 years of experience. I have mostly focused on creating intranet software for companies I work with. However, I have never had a public-facing website or software.
There was a time I was looking for a content marketing website for sale on behalf of a friend to jump-start her blogging business. I stumbled on a website called Flippa. Flippa is a marketplace for online businesses. I found websites making a decent amount of monthly income. I was unaware blogs could make that much money.
So I began to research how these websites were being monetized. I found out that the well-monetized content websites and blogs were ones with great affiliate marketing systems.
So I began to collate all the affiliate marketing information and tactics of the highly-priced content websites and blogs – they focused their effort on these best high paying affiliate programs. I began to join these affiliate marketing programs myself and decided to share what I found out.
Before we get to the list, let me highlight some useful information you should know about affiliate programs.
What are Affiliate Programs?
Affiliate programs are arrangements between a seller and a marketer where a marketer earns a commission for any sales generated from the marketer’s referral traffic. There are usually 3 parties involved in the process. These are:
- The Seller: The seller owns the product for sale. Provides a link with a unique identity to the marketer.
- The Marketer: The marketer reviews the product and showcases it to their audience. The marketer shares the link provided by the seller.
- The Consumer: The consumer considers the product and proceeds to the seller via the link provided by the marketer.
Another party to consider in this process is the Affiliate Network. These are companies that connect sellers and marketers.
How to Join Affiliate Programs
Becoming an affiliate marketer is relatively easy. There are two forms of affiliate programs – the self-hosted programs and the affiliate network programs.
The self-hosted programs are run directly by the company and you can find them on their websites.
Other affiliate programs are provided by affiliate networks. Affiliate networks provide several affiliate programs on a single platform to help affiliate marketers manage their programs in one place.
Acceptance into an affiliate program occurs in few ways:
- Automatic approval
- Automatic approval when a marketer meets certain requirements
- Manual approval by an affiliate manager
How to Identify Best High Paying Affiliate Programs
Your goal is to target affiliate programs with high payouts, high average order value, high earnings per click, and high cookie duration. In order of importance, here are the four criteria to look for in a high paying affiliate program.
1. Commission rate
This is a percentage of sales that’s given to an affiliate for referring a new consumer. The higher the percentage the better. You also want to target high-value products. Imagine getting 50% on a $1500 product. That’s a $750 commission.
2. Average order value (AOV)
This is the total revenue divided by the total sum of orders. It means the average amount spent every time a consumer completes an order. To determine AOV, divide your total earnings by the variety of orders.
3. Earnings per click (EPC)
This is the amount an affiliate marketer earns for every 100 clicks to a seller’s website from the marketer’s link.
4. Cookie duration
Computer pages are stateless. Pages pass information from one to another via URLs, sessions, or cookies. Cookies are used by sellers to track affiliate sales. Cookie duration is the length of time the cookie remains on the computer system after clicking an affiliate link.
A 90-day cookie duration means that if a consumer clicks an affiliate link and makes a purchase within 90 days, the affiliate receives credit for the sale.
What Are Affiliate Networks
An affiliate network serves as an intermediary between publishers (affiliates) and merchants. It enables publishers to quickly find and participate in affiliate programs suitable for their website. It also allows merchants to reach a larger audience by promoting their affiliate programs to all of the publishers taking part in the affiliate network.
As a study shows 94% of affiliate marketers use more than one network. Affiliate networks are very essential for affiliate marketers as their platforms allow you to track your affiliate links in one place, receive prompt payment and compare commission rates. It makes sense because affiliate programs offer different incentives.
Now that you understand how affiliate networks work and the benefits they provide. How do you pick the best networks to join? Here are some key factors to consider:
- They are free to join
- Ensure they have lots of suitable merchants for your niche
- They offer high paying merchants
- They offer customer support
What Are the Best Affiliate Networks
Shareasale has been in the performance marketing business for over 20 years. They run an affiliate network with over 3,900 merchants and 1M+ affiliates. They’ve been in business for 19 years and are a leader in the industry. They are good for newbies affiliates who want to promote categories such as home and garden, fashion, green, and B2B.
Additionally, enjoy their platform features such as affiliate marketing classes, training webinars, merchant suggestions, and marketing tools to assist your learning curve. More so, the Shareasale platform offers easy access to affiliate links, reporting tools, and much more.
2. CJ (formerly Commission Junction)
CJ by Conversant is an industry heavyweight with over 20 years in the market. They facilitate 157M+ transactions annually and process $18B+ sales annually. The CJ network offers a big market to tap into. CJ affiliate network provides opportunities to partner with big merchants such as Office Depot, IHG, OverStock, Priceline, and much more.
They partner with huge publishing brands like CNN, Time, Digg, New York Times, and Buzzfeed. You can imagine the level of competition on their platform. This makes it quite challenging to get approval to partner with big brands if you’re a brand-new affiliate. You have to be really creative to get their attention.
Their platform is free and easy to join with real-time reporting and guaranteed monthly payments. I’d recommend it to experienced affiliates who want to work with the biggest merchants out there.
3. Rakuten (formerly LinkShare)
Rakuten has been in business for a long time as well – as far back as 1996. They run affiliate programs for big merchants like Sephora, New Balance, Ray-Ban, Udemy, and Virgin Holidays.
Rakuten Advertising provides a great platform with great features like rotating banners, learning materials, reporting, and advanced deep linking tools.
They have been in business for a while but don’t have many advertisers like CJ or Shareasale. In addition, their payment schedule may be inconsistent. I’d recommend them as a supplemental affiliate program.
Other popular affiliate networks include
Best Beauty Affiliate Programs
- Avon – Commission: Up to 10%
- Beautytap – Commission: 7.5% + performance bonuses; Cookie Duration: 7 days
- BH Cosmetics – Commission: 8%; Cookie Duration: 60 days
- L’Occitane en Provence – Commission: 2.5%; Cookie Duration: 45 days
- Madison Reed – Commission: $20; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- Sephora – Commission: 5-10%; Cookie Duration: 1 day
- Ulta Beauty – Commission: 2-5%; Cookie Duration: 30 days
Best CBD Affiliate Programs
- Grasscity – Commission: 10%, plus 5% of sub-affiliate sales
- Green Culltured– Commission: 60%; Cookie Duration: 365 days
- Seedsman – Commission: 15% of each sale
- THC University – Commission: $25 per student; Cookie Duration: 30 days
Best Cryptocurrency Affiliate Programs
- Binance – Commission: 20-40% of referral’s trade fees; Payout: Pay in real-time to Binance account
- Coinbase (referral program) – Commission: When a user buys $100 of BTC, receive $10 of BTC; Earning period: Once per customer
- Ledger Wallet – Commission: 10% of the net sale amount; Payout: Payout in BTC, with 0.1 BTC minimum payout amount
- LocalBitcoins.com – Commission: 20% of the user’s trading fee per trade; Earning period: 1 year from the user’s registration date
- Trezor Wallet – Commission: 20% of sales
Best Fashion Affiliate Programs
- Eddie Bauer – Commission: 5% per sale; Cookie Duration: 7 days
- H&M – Commission: Up to 7.4%; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- JNCO Jeans – Commission: 20%; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- Lane Bryant – Commission: 5%; Cookie Duration: 15 days
- ModCloth – Commission: 7%; Cookie Duration: 45 days
- MVMT Watches – Commission: 10%; Cookie Duration: 15 days
- Newchic – Commission: Up to 18% per sale; Cookie Duration: 60 days
- Nordstrom – Commission: 2-20%; Cookie Duration: 7 days
- Stitch Fix – Commission: 4%; Cookie Duration: 7 days
- True Religion – Commission: 7%; Cookie Duration: 7 days
- Warby Parker – Commission: 20%; Cookie Duration: 45 days
Best Finance Affiliate Programs
- Bankrate Credit Cards – Affiliate network
- Bank affiliates – Affiliate network
- Commission Soup – Affiliate network
- Credit – Affiliate network
- Equifax: Commission: $10-40; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- Freshbooks: Commission: $5 cost per lead, $55 per customer; Cookie Duration: 120 days
- Liberty Mutual – Commission: $3-17 cost per lead, based on the type of insurance
- NetQuote – Commission: $2.50-20 cost per lead, based on the type of insurance
- QuickBooks – Commission: 7%; Cookie Duration: 45 days
- TransUnion – Commission: $20; Cookie Duration: 45 days
Best Fitness Affiliate Programs
- Ace Fitness – Commission: 8% of sales
- BodyBuilding – Commission: 15% for new customers, 5% for returning customers; Cookie Duration: 9 days
- Bowflex – Commission: 7% of sales, AOV is over $2,000; Cookie Duration: 3 days
- Life Fitness – Commission: 8%+; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- ProForm – Commission 8-11% of sales
- TRX Training – Commission: 8% of sales; Cookie Duration: 30 days
Best Gaming Affiliate Programs
- Astro Gaming – Commission: 5%; Cookie Duration: 180 days
- Fanatical – Commission: 5%; Cookie Duration: 90 days
- G2Deal – Commission: 10-20% on software, 3% on other products; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- Gamefly – Commission: $15 per trial sign-up, 5% for new games, 10% used games; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- Twitch – Commission: 50% of subscriptions, 5% on game sales
Best Music Affiliate Programs
- Guitar Center – Commission: 6%; Cookie Duration: 14 days
- Musician’s Friend – Commission: 4%; Cookie Duration: 14 days
- Sam Ash – Commission: 7-10%; Cookie Duration: 60 days
- Singorama – Commission: 70% on instant downloads, 40% on shipped course; Cookie Duration: 60 days
- zZounds – Commission: 6% + bonuses; Cookie Duration: 45 days
Best Recurring Affiliate Programs
- amoCRM – Commission: 35%
- Aweber – Commission: 30%
- Buzzsprout – Commission: 20%
- ClickFunnels – Commission: 40%
- ConvertKit – Commission: 30%
- Elegant Themes – Commission: 50%
- GetResponse – Commision: 33%
- IpVanish – Commission: Up to 35%
- Leadpages – Commission: 30%;
- Moosend – Commission: 30%; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- Pabbly – Commission: 30%; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- PromoRepublic – Commission: 30%
- SemRush – Commission: 40%
- SpyFu – Commission: 40%
- Teachable – Commission: 30%
- Thinkific – Commission: 20%
Best Sports Affiliate Programs
- Dick’s Sporting Goods: Commission: 5% on average; Cookie Duration: 10 days
- Draft Kings: Commission: 40% of referral’s net gaming revenue first 30 days, 25% days 31+
- Fanatics – Commission: Up to 10%; Cookie Duration: 7 days
- FanDuel – Commission: $25-35 per signup, 35% rev share for referrals’ first 2 years
- Sports Memorabilia – Commission: 9% of sales; Cookie Duration: 365 days
- TaylorMade Golf – Commission: 5% of sales; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- Under Armour – Commission: 5% of sales; Cookie Duration: 30 days
Best Travel Affiliate Programs
- Booking.com – Commission: 4%
- Expedia – Commission: 2-6%; Cookie Duration: 7 days
- Hilton – Commission: 4%; Cookie Duration: 7 days
- Hotels.com – Commission: 4%; Cookie Duration: 7 days
- Hotwire – Commission: 2%; Cookie Duration: 7 days
- Marriott – Commission: 3-6%; Cookie Duration: 7 days
- Priceline – Commission: 3-5%; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- TripAdvisor – Commission: 50%; Cookie Duration: 14 days
- Travelocity – Commission: 2-4%; Cookie Duration: 45 days
- Travelpayouts – Commission: Up to 80%; Cookie Duration: 30 days
Best VPN Affiliate Programs
- ExpressVPN – Commission: $13-$36
- IPVanish – Commission: 30-100%
- NordVPN – Commission: 40-100%
- StrongVPN – Commission: Up to 200%
- Surfshark VPN – Commission 40%
- PureVPN – Commission: 40-100%
Best Website Affiliate Programs
- Wix – Commission: $100 per sale; Cookie Duration: 90 days
- BigCommerce – Commission: 200%+; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- Shopify – Commission: 200%; Cookie Duration: 90 days
- ClickMeter – Commission: 90%; Cookie Duration: 90 days
- Weebly – Commission: 30% recurring; Cookie Duration: 120 days
- ReferralCandy – Commission: $20 cash; Cookie Duration: 30 days
- Sellfy – Commission: 25% recurring; Cookie Duration: 90 days
- 3dcart – Commission: 300%; Cookie Duration: 45 days
- Site123 – Commission: $100-$182; Cookie Duration: 30 days
Best Web Hosting Affiliate Programs
- Bluehost – Commission: $65+
- Cloudways – Commission: $30+
- GreenGeeks – Commission: Up to $125 per sale
- Hostinger – Commission: $60+
- Hostgator – Commission: Up to $100
- LiquidWeb – Commission: 150% of sales
- WPEngine – Commission: $200+
As you can see, there are many great high paying affiliate programs to start now and begin earning passive income. Remember, here are the important criteria to consider when picking an affiliate program.
- Examine the commission rates, average order values (AOV), earnings per click (EPC), and cookie periods.
- Check if the program offers recurring or one-time payments.
- Pick a specific niche that matches your interests and easy to promote.
The affiliate market keeps growing. Start your blog or content website and join the market. Also, check out other ways to make money online.