Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners [2020]

Say you want to promote products that you don't have to own? and get paid right? Great idea, this is called affiliate marketing and this post will help you find the best affiliate program to join in 2020.

Online affiliate programs are a bridge between the customer and the advertiser. Publishers are connected to consumers and advertisers. 

If you are a complete affiliate dummy then have a look at this post first.

Don't forget to checkout this legit affiliate training system to maximise your earnings.

So, let's get rolling.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

If you’ve never dabbled in affiliate marketing before, then you may be asking about what it is and how it works.


“Affiliate marketing is when you promote products made by different companies and earn a commission for doing so. All you have to do is find a product you like and promote it to others. For each sale you make, you’ll earn a percentage of the profit.”

Types of affiliate marketing programs!

The first thing you’ll want to do is think about some products you’d like to market.

There are many types of affiliate programs and these can pay you per lead, per click or per generated sale.

Most people use pay per sale affiliate programs.

1. Cost Per Lead [CPL]

You may find some programs that offer commissions based on Cost per Lead, or CPL model. Leads can be an e-mail, a phone number, or a longer form that needs to be filled out.

Be advised that CPLs pay a lot less than Cost per Sale [CPS] or Cost per Click.

However, if you’re a person who e-mails a lot, this could still be advantageous to you as it is easier to make sales through this mode of communication.

2. Paid per Click [PPC]

Occasionally, brands will offer commissions based on how many impressions or clicks you’re able to generate, which is quite popular in the fashion and travel industries.

If your service or product is marketed well and you can produce a lot of clicks, a CPC program might work for you.

3. Paid per Sale

One of the most common commission structures used is Cost per Sale or CPS.

With this model, you’ll receive a commission if someone purchases a service or product on the promoters webpage after they click your affiliated link.

Have a look at the trusted affiliate programs that pay for sale here.

Depending on the promoter, you could make a significant amount of money.But in general, if you’re looking for a model that will allow you to make a decent profit, Cost Per Sale is the way to go.

While you’re researching advertisers, try to find one that has a good landing page that will convert your visitors into a sale.

10 Trusted Affiliate Programs to Join

It’s not easy to choose an affiliate program if you’re new to the world of affiliate marketing, which is why we have a list of some of the top affiliate programs and networks for novices for this year.

1. Amazon Associates Affiliate Program

Definitely the most popular affiliate program for beginners is the one offered by Amazon. They sell a lot of products that can service the niches of most affiliates.

So if your niche is cat food or gym equipment, or basketball, there’s a pretty high chance you’ll find it on Amazon’s site.

You’ll make money from all of your sales which is even better than making money only from a specific product you’re marketing. It’s a win-win and another great thing about becoming one of Amazon’s affiliates.

Say you’re marketing a self-help book for instance, but someone clicks on your link to purchase a TV instead. You just received a commission on the TV.

Join Fee: Free
Network or Direct: Direct
Commission: 1-10%
Commission Structure: CPS
Cookie Length: 1 day (24 hours)

2. ClickBank Affiliate Network

For over 17 years Clickbank has been seen as being one of the best affiliate programs for novices. Most affiliate networks attract popular brands, while Clickbank works with smaller, less popular brands.

You’ll need to place most of your focus on a product’s gravity score as you’re researching the kind of items you want to market.

Clickbank uses this metric to show how well something sells. If the gravity score is high, it means your product is selling well and is also very competitive. Products with gravity scores between 30 to 100 are what we recommend.

Join Fee: Free
Network or Direct: Network
Commission: You’ll receive up to 75%
Commission Structure: Varies depending upon the advertiser
Cookie Length: 60 days

3. Ebay Affiliate Program

eBay has over a million listings during any one time and over 175 million annual buyers, making them an excellent option for people who are new to affiliate marketing.

The wide variety of products means that they’ll accommodate almost any niche.

The old cookie window was 7 days with eBay, but it’s now 24 hours instead. eBay predicts that around 89% of their items have a fixed price, which means that this new cookie duration will mostly affect their auctions.

Auctions only account for around 11% of eBay’s overall listings; however, we still consider them to be a good affiliate program to use if you’re a beginner.

Join Fee: Free
Network or Direct: Network
Commission: Varies depending upon the brand
Commission Structure: Varies depending upon the brand
Cookie Length: Varies depending upon the brand

4. Rakuten Affiliate Program

Blue Book voted Rakuten’s affiliate program #1 for 7 straight years. Advertisers such as Amex and Ray-Ban have strengthened their credibility, making them a good choice for beginners as far as affiliate programs go. 

As of 2016, Rakuten has had over 100 million orders which gives them a huge global reach.

Join Fee: Free
Network or Direct: Network
Commission: Varies depending upon the brand
Commission Structure: Varies depending upon the brand
Cookie Length: Varies depending upon the brand

5. Commission Junction Affiliate Program

One of the most established affiliate networks on the market as well as one of the largest is Commission Junction’s affiliate program. They pay affiliate marketers around $2 billion a year which is very impressive.

This company works with advertisers such as Priceline and Go Pro, which means you’ll have a lot of major brands to work with if you become an affiliate through Commission Junction.

They also have an outstanding support team. They go above and beyond to help affiliate markets grow their commissions up to 43% which is a pretty big deal.

Join Fee: Free
Network or Direct: Network
Commission: Varies depending on the merchant
Commission Structure: Varies depending on the merchant
Cookie Length: Between 1 to 120 days depending on the merchant

6. AWeber Affiliate Program

AWeber is an automation and e-mail marketing tool that I’ve tried before. Their affiliate program is not only awesome, but they offer 30% commissions on sales as well as 30% on repeat sales.

Each time your referrals renew their plans, you get paid. If their plan is renewed 10 times, you’ll be paid 10 times.

In addition to that, they offer a cookie duration of up to 365 days. If someone clicks on your affiliate link a year later and purchases a product, you’ll still make a commission.

Join Fee: Free
Network or Direct: Direct (Merchant)
Commission: You’ll receive up to 30% on a recurring basis
Commission Structure: CPS
Cookie Length: 1 year (365 days)

7. Shopify Affiliate Program

Numerous e-commerce brands are using Shopify as their platform of choice.

It’s extremely popular among entrepreneurs who are new to e-commerce. It’s a no-brainer why this platform is great.

I’ve used this myself and it’s very easy to use. This alone makes this program worth your time to check out.

An average sale can net you up to $60 in commission. The maximum commission you can receive is $2,000. When you’re thinking about which affiliate program you should use, Shopify should be kept at the top of your list.

Join Fee: Free
Network or Direct: Network
Commission: You’ll receive 200%
Commission Structure: CPS
Cookie Length: 30 days

8. Ali Express Affiliate Program

Ali Express is similar to Amazon in that they have a wide variety of products and millions of product listings. Most of their stock comes from China, which undercuts Amazon on many of their items.

However, this program offers high commission rates and has an application that’s pretty simple to fill out, making Ali Express an affiliate program worth looking into.

Ali Express is similar to Amazon in that they have a wide variety of products and millions of product listings. Most of their stock comes from China, which undercuts Amazon on many of their items.

However, this program offers high commission rates and has an application that’s pretty simple to fill out, making Ali Express an affiliate program worth looking into.

Join Fee: Free
Network or Direct: Direct (Merchant)
Commission: You’ll receive up to 50%
Commission Structure: CPS
Cookie Length: 3 days

9. Peerfly Affiliate Program

One of our favorite networks is Peerfly. Blue Book voted them number one in 2015, due to their rather small independent network which offers competitive commissions. 

While their application process is rather lengthy, it’s worth trying.

Join Fee: Free
Network or Direct: Network
Commission: Varies depending on the merchant
Commission Structure: Varies depending on the merchant
Cookie Length: Varies depending on the merchant

10. Flexoffers Affiliate Program

Flexoffers has over 13,000 advertisers online and a marketing network that has won numerous awards. When it comes to selecting an affiliate network, Flexoffers is a major player.

Their FlexRev-$hare program is one of their main selling points. You can earn up to 50% of Flexoffers’ overall profits if you refer other publishers to their network.

Join Fee: Free
Network or Direct: Network
Commission: Depends on the merchant
Commission Structure: Different depending on the merchant
Cookie Length: Different depending on the merchant

Tips on choosing an Affiliate Program?

With the numerous affiliate programs available online, it is a daunting task to figure out which program to use.

Affiliate Network or brands own affiliate program?

It’s important that you know the main differences between affiliate programs made by the advertiser and those offered through third party affiliate networks.

Affiliate networks host thousands of companies which you can select to promote.

If you decide to promote products for affiliate networks rather than advertisers, you will only be be dealing with affiliate networks.

Some brands such as eBay have their own online affiliate programs. For the purposes of this article, this will be referred as direct affiliate programs.

Main Things to look out for:

1. visit a companies web homepage and look for an application form for the company’s direct affiliate program. 

2. If the brand doesn’t advertise their affiliate program but you still want to work with them, send them an e-mail and ask them if there is anything they can do for you. 

3. Some brands have commissions that can be slightly higher with their direct affiliate programs that is because they are not paying fees to advertise with an affiliate network.

About Affiliate Cookies?

While all of these factors are important when you’re considering an affiliate program, cookie duration is one of the most important? Why, you ask? Post Affiliate Pro says:

“The lifetime parameter of a cookie in an affiliate program tells you how long a valid relationship between the affiliate and visitor will last after the visitor clicks on an affiliate link.”

Essentially, if the cookie duration is short, you won’t have as much time to close a sale. If the duration of a cookie is longer, a buyer will probably do some more research on the product and come back later to buy it.

If the buyer returns to the store during the cookie duration window to purchase the product, you will receive a commission. If customers return after the cookie duration is finished, you will not get paid.

Closing Remarks

This list only touches on a few of the programs that are available – there are many more out there to pick from. 

I personally prefer CBD , Essential oils and pet niche so have a look at them too.

We hope this list will get you to not only identify, but actually try these most reputable, recognisable programs that are out there. 

Don't forget to checkout this legit affiliate training system to maximise your earnings.

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