hands holding cash money

Wondering what affiliate marketing programs are best for beginners, plus how you can get started?

You’ve come to the right place for a 101 in affiliate marketing programs.


Affiliate marketing is an excellent income stream for bloggers, influencers, YouTuber’s, podcasters and other online businesses.

If you are relatively new to the online world when it comes to making money online I would argue that affiliate marketing is the best monetization strategy to get started with.

Why?

If you focus on the right affiliate marketing programs early on in your online business you can start making a consistent income with affiliates, even when your traffic is small.

 

Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners

Top performing affiliate marketing programs for beginners plus tips to succeed

This post contains affiliate links. Disclaimer here. This means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 


 

Below I’ll be highlighting the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners.

These affiliate programs can be found through some larger affiliate marketing companies and some smaller affiliates.

I’ll be sharing the following important affiliate program details:

  • Commission amounts – percentage and/or specific amounts
  • Cookie duration – how long an affiliate cookie will last from the click
  • Niches that certain affiliate programs are ideal for

This way you can understand what’s important when signing up for affiliate programs.

 

Wait, What’s an Affiliate Cookie?

A ‘cookie’ is a small file that is stored on a user’s computer for a specified period of time. The cookie file will be stored when a user clicks on your affiliate link.

This cookie is what will be used to track your potential affiliate referrals.

All cookies have a specific duration they are active. You’ll notice below that some cookies are active for only 24 hours (Amazon) and others for longer periods such as 30, 60 or 120 days.

 

Affiliate Marketing Definition:

What is Affiliate Marketing?

I would simply define it as…

Promoting a product with an affiliate link and receiving a commission if someone purchases through your link.

When you refer someone with your affiliate link, there is no extra cost for that individual. The company you are promoting will pay you a commission for that purchase and in some cases even a lead.

 

How To Become an Affiliate Marketer

young woman sitting cross legged with laptop

If you’ve been asking yourself how do I become an affiliate marketer? Let me walk you through the initial steps.

  1. Have a website or a blog*. I will assume you have already set this up if you are looking into affiliate marketing programs.
  2. Apply to some affiliate networks. I will be sharing some top networks below.
  3. Apply to individual affiliate marketing programs within those networks.
  4. Find other affiliate programs to apply for that relate to your website niche.

Once you follow these straightforward steps you can begin promoting your affiliate links.

Make sure to check out the section at the bottom of the post for some affiliate marketing tips to get you started.

*Note: You can do some affiliate marketing through social media channels without a website or blog, but it will be much easier to get accepted into top tier (and high paying) affiliate marketing programs if you do have a website.

 

Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners

laptop and money

Want to become an affiliate marketer? Here are the best affiliate marketing programs to join for beginners... #affiliatemarketing Click To Tweet

 

1. ShareASale

ShareASale Affiliate Dashboard screenshot

 

ShareASale is a popular affiliate marketing network and perfect for beginners.

Shareasale partners with over 3900 companies including major leading brands. This means you will have an easy time finding relevant products related to your niche.

The ShareASale affiliate program offers different commission rates and cookie durations based on the specific affiliate programs you join.

To get started with ShareASale, first create an account…

Become a ShareASale Affiliate 

Then you can join the below affiliate programs or do a search for program partners in the dashboard.

Here are some ShareASale affiliates I enjoy working with:

Tailwind

Social media scheduler specializing in Pinterest and Instagram.

  • Commission: Reoccuring 15% commission
  • Cookie Duration: 90 days
  • Ideal for these niches: Blogging, business, social media

Tailwind Affiliate Program 

 

WP Engine

Managed WordPress hosting with a variety of pricing plans available.

  • Commission: $35 to $200 per sale, plus bonus commissions on referrals
  • Cookie Duration: 180 days
  • Ideal for these niches: Blogging, business, social media

WP Engine Affiliate Program 

 

SEM Rush

All-in-one premium marketing tool… SEO, content marketing, competitor research, PPC and social media marketing from just one platform.

  • Commission: $200 per subscription sale, $10 per new trial activation
  • Cookie Duration: 120 days
  • Ideal for many niches: Blogging, business, marketing, SEO

 

SEM Rush Affiliate Program 

 

Creative Live

Creative Live is the premier source of online education connecting professional instructors with keen learners. Covering all types of courses from art & design, money & life, photo & video, crafts, music, audio and more.

  • Commission: 30% per sale
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days
  • Ideal for many niches: DIY, crafts, self-improvement, wellness, art and design, business, blogging, time management

Creative Live Affiliate Program 

FreckleBox.com

A wide range of unique personalized gifts for kids, including books, journals, school supplies, wall art, lunch boxes and much more!

  • Commission: 10%
  • Cookie Duration: 60 days
  • Ideal for these niches: Parenting, mom blogs, gifting, homeschooling

Freckle Box Affiliate Program 

 

2. Ultimate Bundles Affiliate Program

Ultimate Bundles screenshot of their affiliate marketing program

Ultimate Bundles has a number of digital product bundles that are perfect for a variety of niches. 

Here are some upcoming Ultimate Bundle programs that are worth mentioning:

Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle

  • January 11 – 15, 2021
  • Ideal for these niches: Home, minimalism, self-improvement, parenting/mom

The Genius Bloggers Toolkit (Flash Sale)

  • January 20 – 21, 2021
  • Ideal for these niches: Blogging, business, marketing, how to make money

Homeschooling Bundle (Flash Sale)

  • February 3 – 4, 2021
  • Ideal for these niches: Homeschooling, parenting, mom blogs

The Ultimate Productivity Bundle

  • February 22 – 26, 2021
  • Ideal for these niches: Business, blogging, self-improvement, productivity

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

  • March 8 – 12, 2021
  • Ideal for these niches: Self-care, personal growth, health and wellness, food

Creative Home Projects Bundle (Flash Sale)

  • March 15 – 16, 2021
  • Ideal for these niches: DIY, Crafts, Kids projects, Parenting

Christian Living Bundle

  • March 22 – 26, 2021
  • Ideal for these niches: Christian/Christian parenting blogs.

Gardening and Sustainable Living Bundle

  • April 12th – 16th, 2021
  • Ideal for these niches: Home, mom/parenting, eco-friendly living

Master Your Money Super Bundle (Flash Sale)

  • April 21st – 22nd, 2021
  • Ideal for these niches: Personal finance, frugal living

Other Popular Ultimate Bundles:

  • Creative Home Projects Bundle (flash sale), May 3rd – 4th, 2021
  • Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, May 19th – 24th, 2021
  • The Writers Toolkit, June 7th -11th, 2021
  • Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle (flash sale), June 15th – 16th, 2021

The above bundles are for the first half of 2021, but keep an eye out for other big ultimate bundles in these niches: business, health, lifestyle, family.

Become an Ultimate Bundles Affiliate 

 

3. Awin

Awin screenshot of homepage

I first joined Awin so I could become an affiliate for Etsy, but they actually have many more brands you can work with, in fact, over 15,000 advertisers!

If you want to join the Etsy affiliate program, first sign up to Awin…

Sign up to Awin 

Then you can join the Etsy Affiliate Program via these links:

Etsy US

Etsy Canada

  • Commission: 2% – 4%
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days
  • Ideal for many niches: Gifting, home and decor, wedding, crafts, lifestyle, fashion, self-care, etc.

Another Awin affiliate program I recommend and love: 

Freepik

I became a Freepik customer and affiliate recently with the launch of my printables shop over on my other blog.

They have 4.5 million graphic resources, including premium stock photos, PSD mockups, vectors, icons, frames and more.

Truly a premium resource with an affordable subscription model.

  • Commission: 15%
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days
  • Ideal for these niches: Blogging, business, art and design, work from home

Freepik Affiliate Program 

Once you sign up for Awin you can do a search for affiliate marketing programs that are perfect for your audience and niche.

 

4. Amazon Associates Affiliate Program

Amazon is an obvious choice as a beginner affiliate marketer.

The commission rates are much smaller than the above mentioned affiliate marketing programs, however, Amazon makes it really easy to promote and it’s a great place to start.

Tips for Maximizing Sales on Amazon:

  1. Use the OneLink program to monetize international traffic
  2. Promote Amazon Bounty Programs such as Prime, Audible, Prime Video, Amazon Music Unlimited and FreeTime Unlimited. I encourage you to sign up for the free trials to test out the products before promoting them.
  3. Use Amazon ad banners and product images to increase conversions. Like this example below…

Amazon Associates Program 


To master Amazon Associates I highly recommend the courseJourney to the Center of Amazon‘.

Created by a pro blogger who generates $4-5K every month on Amazon Associates alone!

Learn more about this super affordable course (only $67) HERE.


5. Send Owl

SendOwl homepage

Many bloggers and online business owners use SendOwl to promote their products.

If you have taken a course, purchased templates, eBooks, etc from a blogger and you want to promote it, SendOwl is the ideal platform.

  • Commission: 20% – 50% depending on the program
  • Cookie Duration: Different depending on the program
  • Notable Products: Easy SEO eBooks and courses, Bluchic WordPress themes, AngieGensler.com
  • Ideal for a variety of niches: Business, blogging, marketing

If you have a product you’d like to sell, SendOwl has an easy to use eCommerce platform and you can simply add a ‘buy’ button to any blog post or page.

Check out my Pinterest Planner to see how it works and if you’d like to be an affiliate for this product sign up to SendOwl below and then message me and I’ll add you in.

Sign up to SendOwl 

 

6. Fiverr Affiliate Program

Fiverr affiliate program homepage

Fiverr connects businesses with freelancers and offers services in over 300 categories.

This includes graphic design, marketing, website design, social media marketing, writing, video production and so much more.

  • Commission: Dynamic CPA up to $150 or $10 CPA + 10% RevShare
  • Cookie Duration: 365 days (Wowza!)
  • Ideal for a variety of niches: Business, blogging, marketing

Fiverr Affiliate Program 

 

What are the Best Affiliate Programs to Make Money? What to Look For:

What are the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners to make money? Here's what to look for... #affiliatemarketing Click To Tweet

There are many affiliate marketing programs out there, so it’s important for you to know the best affiliate programs to make you some real money!

 

Here are the key items to look for to maximize your affiliate income:

  • Commission Percentage: The higher the commission the more money (obviously). Pay special close attention. 
  • Cookie Period: The longer the cookie period the better. Some affiliate programs only have a 24 hour cookie period (Amazon), while others have up to a 12 month cookie period! On average you can find many fantastic programs that offer 30, 60 and 90 day+ cookie periods.
  • Products/services you have used and love: Always promote products you personally have used and loved. This way you can build trust with your readers.
  • Products your target audience are interested in and looking for: If there is a product that helps your audience with a problem they have – this is the right affiliate for you.

 

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: 8 Tips to Get You Started

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: 8 Tips to Get You Started... #affiliatemarketing Click To Tweet

 

1. Always Add an Affiliate Disclaimer Statement

It is a requirement to disclose if you are using affiliate links and you must disclose this before you share any links. Therefore, adding your affiliate statement at the top of the page is a best practice.

Below is the affiliate disclosure I use which you’ll see at the top of this post.

This post contains affiliate links. Disclaimer here. This means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

As you see, this links to my disclaimer page. In order to protect your blog, your content, your email list and yourself you legally need to have a legal disclaimer in addition to a terms of use page and a privacy policy.


Read more about these legal requirements in this interview with a lawyer (plus she has some easy legal templates). Use code SPECIAL to get 10% off anything in her legal shop.


 

2. Don’t Add Affiliate Links Into an Article as an Afterthought

You just won’t see sales this way (I speak from experience here)! Instead, think about an affiliate you want to promote and how you can write an article to showcase this affiliate product in an effective way.

Here are some examples of blog posts that perform well when promoting affiliate links:

  • Review post
  • Gift guide round up
  • How to / tutorial
  • Comparison post – this vs. that

 

3. Make Sure Your Affiliate Links Stand Out

Bold the link and ensure all links in your blog settings have a different colour that stands out from the non hyperlinked text. 

 

4. Embed Affiliate Links in Images

If you are promoting a product and adding an image, make sure to add your affiliate link to the image. Many people click on images instead of links, so by doing this small task you will increase your chances of affiliate income.

 

5. Think About Your Readers

Are you promoting affiliate products or services that will help your readers solve a problem or provide them with a solution?

If the answer is no, don’t promote it.

Whether you are a fitness blogger promoting a healthy cookbook or a personal development writer promoting online learning classes, you must write with your reader in mind

If this means promoting something with a lower commission or cookie period, do it anyway – as you will never get your readers to click if the product/service you’re talking about isn’t helpful to them.

 

6. Affiliate Product Must Relate to Content

I would think this goes without saying but I’ve seen many bloggers promote a product that doesn’t relate to the article or post they are writing about.

This is a reminder to not add affiliate links to content as an afterthought.

 

7. Understand Your Affiliate Rules and Terms

Did you know that Amazon does not permit the promotion of affiliate links in “private settings”?

This means:

  • eBooks
  • private Facebook groups
  • email marketing, etc

In order to promote an Amazon link, it must be in a public space – for example, your website!

Amazon also doesn’t allow promoting directly on Pinterest.

This means you cannot link a pin directly to Amazon (this is a no-no and could get you booted from their affiliate program).

Just to confuse you, other affiliate marketing programs are completely fine with you promoting a link directly on Pinterest. So, do your homework and understand where you can promote.

To make it easy, especially if you are new to affiliate marketing, promote on your website/blog to start and you will be good.

 

8. Promote Your Affiliate Posts More

The more traffic you get to your content the more eyes you’ll get on your affiliate promotions. So, always keep this in mind when creating Pins for Pinterest or scheduling Facebook posts.

 

Is Affiliate Marketing Worth It?

If you are looking to make a side income or full-time income with your website it’s important that you diversify. There are many ways to make money blogging, but one of the top strategies is affiliate marketing – especially if you want to make passive income.

If you truly focus on affiliate marketing you can make a consistent income every month.

Follow the strategies above, sign up for affiliate marketing programs related to your niche and see what affiliate companies work for you.

 

Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners: Conclusion

As you can see from the above information, my recommendation is to sign up for some large scale affiliate marketing companies.

Then you can find the specific affiliate programs that are best for your content and audience.

My biggest tip is to just get started. Sign up for two or three networks and begin!

Once you start promoting your affiliate links in different ways you’ll be able to see what’s working and what’s not.

 

I’d love to know, what niche are you in and what affiliate marketing programs will you join?

Share in the comments below…

 

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The Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners plus tips to start!