How to choose the best affiliate marketing programs is the number one question on the mind of beginner marketers. You find products that work with your niche. Then you put links to the products in your blog posts or sales copy.
If someone clicks the link and purchases something, you may get the commission. Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn money online and the first choice for beginner marketers.
Related Post: Start Affiliate Marketing Today
Today, I will be talking about the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners.
This post was originally published on June 1, 2017 and has been updated to be current with new information. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Full disclosure is here.
Welcome to Fearless Affiliate. My name is Irma and I help new bloggers to learn the ropes. There is a lot to take in that first year of blogging, from choosing a niche to changing your mindset from worker bee mentality to that of successful entrepreneur.
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Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners
These 3 networks are easy to get started with, and easy to be accepted to.
One of the most popular of the affiliate programs, Clickbank has products for pretty much any niche imaginable. They do specialize in digital products, so this will satisfy your visitors who want instant gratification.
There are plenty of legit products on Clickbank, like the “21 Day Sugar Detox” and “20 Minute Body”.
All products have the information for your commission, as well as other relevant details. There is a bit of a learning curve, but they have an excellent knowledge base. You will be up and running in no time! Just copy and paste the links directly into your post to link to the product.
Related Post: Get Started with Clickbank!
Clickbank has been promoting products for 17 years.
Caveat Emptor though; you still need to be diligent that the product that you are going to promote is a good one. Some shady ones have slipped through the cracks over the years!
Be sure to have a look at the sales page for each item that you want to promote. If you would buy it (or have in the past) chances are that visitors to your page will buy as well.
You DO NOT have to sign up with Clickbank University to promote products through Clickbank
Clickbank University (“Click U”) is the affiliate marketing education program that Clickbank offers. It is a monthly paid membership.
ShareASale has also been in business for 18 years, and they are my personal choice for awesome products to promote.
They are very popular with my affiliate associates, because they have products like NFLshop.com and MLBshop.com as well as children’s clothing, yard and garden products, and great stuff the “blogging about blogging” crowd.
They have “3900+ affiliate programs covering every niche” and extras like real time reporting and direct deposit.
ShareASale has an easy to navigate dashboard layout.
When you choose Merchants from the top menu, it will take you to a page that shows the pertinent information for each product in a clear, easy to read format.
You can see immediately how much of a commission you will get with each product. You can also see how long the cookie will stay viable with your website’s visitors, which is important information, especially for the ones that do not expire!
In 2017, ShareASale was acquired by the global affiliate network Awin. Commission payouts start at $50.
3. Amazon Associates
AmazonFBA (fulfilled by Amazon) is the largest online retailer in the world.
If your country has its own Amazon, then you can get signed up in no time. You must sign up for each country (locale) that you want to use because your associates id will not work for all countries. Amazon also has the most detailed sign up process.
One of the easiest programs to use, Amazon has all manner of banners and ads for your website. They are easy to ad as links, and customizable for specific niches, or you can have a generic Amazon search box on your site.
The only downside with Amazon is that their cookies are only valid for 24 hours.
If the visitor does not purchase within that 24 hours, the sale is not valid for your commission. On the plus side of that is if the visitor purchases something completely different from what you are promoting, you will get the commission.
Is it better to promote one high-end products or many lower cost products? You will have to test that for yourself.
All purchases are made through the amazon website and “fulfilled by Amazon” do not require a shopping cart for your website.
Amazon Commission are very small compared to other affiliate programs
However, Amazon has millions of products, so if people buy many items the commissions can add up quickly.
Commissions increase with your number of sales, so basically after Amazon has built trust with you, then the commissions increase.
The commissions that you earn are paid in different ways depending on how you requested to be paid. There a minimums for each type, depending on whether it is direct deposit, cheque, or gift card.
Bonus Affiliate Program: Google AdSense
Everyone applies to AdSense right away. They are the easiest ad program to get into and you only need a website that is indexed.
Just type Google AdSense into a Google search bar to be taken to the website to sign up.
It can take a long time to collect on your first payout, which is $100.00. Earning money with ads is dependent on how much traffic you have coming to your website. Most new websites have very little traffic in the beginning.
When approved, the ads will appear on your page, usually in 30 minutes to an hour.
Google tries to tailor the ads to the type of website that you have and you have plenty of choices of for how the ads show up on your website.
There is also some finesse required with ad placement so that your site does not look spammy, cluttered, or is overly slow. Two great spots are the sidebar and the footer of your website.
If you have Google Analytics set up for your website, ad payouts are based on your “sessions”.When you get enough sessions (25,000 in one month), you can apply to MediaVine.
The most important consideration for an affiliate program: What is your niche?
You need to seek out affiliates who mesh with the message that you are conveying on your website. Who do your competitors have links to on their sites? You may be able to find some really good fits that you were not aware of just by checking out the competition. These will likely be independents, because if they are affiliated with any of the programs that I mentioned, you will see that program somewhere in the link.
There are thousands of independent affiliates that are related to specific programs or websites, and can be found at the bottom of the main page of a website, along with other pertinent information. You can join any of these programs if you meet the criteria for promoting them. I have an independent affiliate link for Brain Sync with Kelly Howell on my post “success is a state of mind”.
I hope that this post has helped you figure out which program to start with. I recommend picking one program, like ShareAsale, and learning how to find great products that fit with your niche.
Then put Google AdSense on your site to see if ads are something that you want. Not everyone does, but it is good to try it out.
And be sure to sign up for my free weekly newsletter of tips for bloggers and get The 5-Minute Guide to Affiliate Marketing. See if you are ready to get started with earning passive income that lasts forever.
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14 thoughts on “How To Choose The Best Affiliate Marketing Programs”
Wow, it was really interesting, I enjoyed reading. Look forward to reading more good materials on the subject. Thank you for sharing this!
Hello Daniel and thank you for your comment!
Loved the article! I’m signed up with ShareASale but haven’t actually used it yet. I’m also signed up with Amazon Associates… my niche is Travel, do you have one that you would recommend? Thanks!
Hi Courtney and thank you for your comments!
I would suggest Amazon Associates to begin with, and place ads for items that travelers might like, such as containers, stacking travel bags, portable clotheslines (depending on the type of travel). You can promote these items in reviews with links to the site, or place ads for individual items below the post. Then watch ShareASale for more items that you can link to. Amazon has an amazing amount of fun and new items for travel (I have many in my wish list!).
Thank you for your post! This was very informative!
You are welcome Misty and thank you for dropping by!
Thanks for the info Irma, the Fearless Affiliate! Love the name. I appreciate how thoroughly you provide the information here. I had been thinking about some kind of online business, but I did not quite know how it worked. I can see now how affiliate marketing might help me out. I am definitely a beginner, and this information is helpful.
Awwwh thank you Judith!
I really appreciate your kind comments. Affiliate Marketing is what I was born to do, I know this now. I want to share this information, in small bites, for other people who are thinking of going this way to make supplementary income.
Awesome choices, thank you for the reviews! Personally Share A Sale is one of my favorites! Their company selection is vast and in all different niches. I have not tried Click Bank so I may have to give this one a try!
Hello Baukje, and thank you for your comments!
I am looking forward to promoting ShareASale, especially after I saw Spanx and Premiere Dead Sea products, which are both brands that I know.
Those are 3 solid ones. Are you an affiliate with all of them yourself? If you had to rank those from easiest to jump in with to hardest, how would you rank them? I know amazon accepts everyone, but what about, say, Click Bank. I know several merchants that are partnered with them and I’ve thought about joining myself.
Hi Eric, and thank you for your comments!
I would say that Clickbank is the easiest to sign up with, and it is easy to navigate. I love that they have digital products, which are so easy to deal with. And many of their products are already “packaged” with great advertising pages and information. I just find that it can be a bit tricky trying to sort out who is legit sometimes.
ShareASale is also easy to sign up but there is paperwork (for taxes) if you live outside the USA, which I have not completed yet as it goes by snail mail. Otherwise, their sign up is easy as well, and they have some excellent quality items that I look forward to promoting.
Amazon has the most work when it comes to sign ups; I think it took me 20 minutes to complete! So much to decide, and you have to complete it all before you can start picking out your banners.
And AdSense, it is super easy, but you have to wait for approval. The only thing I do not like is where the ads are placed on my site, but I am checking to see how to change that.
Your post is packed with great info. I was not aware of a couple of the affiliate programs that you have listed. Thank you for sharing.
And thank you for your comments Bob 🙂