Looking for the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners? Over the last 15 years, I’ve used a lot of different affiliate programs, and I’ve found three main programs that work great for beginners.
The Amazon Associates Program is a great place to start, with its wide selection of products and high conversion rates. Recurring commission programs are great options since you only have to make the sale once and get paid regularly. Finally, high-commission programs pay well even if you only make one sale.
Now that you have an idea of the types of affiliate programs that can earn you some high income in the rest of this article, I’m going to go more in-depth with these affiliate programs giving your the pros and cons along with some examples of programs I promote.
Amazon Associates Program
For most people getting started, the Amazon Associate Program is one of the best places to earn your first income because of its wide selection of physical products.
Here are a few pros and cons regarding the Amazon Associates Program.
- High Conversion Rates
- A lot of People Shop on Amazon
- Earn Commissions on Everything Customers Buy
- It has a Wide Variety of Products.
- People Trust Amazon
- Has Strict Program Policies
- Low Commission Rates
- 1-Day Cookie Tracking
- Link Placements Can Be Tedious
- Image Sizes and Placements Not Easy to Work With
I find Amazon an easy solution if you’re selling physical products. However, this may not be the case in all situations.
Amazon doesn’t care about everything, and sometimes there are certain products you would rather recommend versus what’s available on Amazon.
Below are a few choices to help out.
1. Amazon – The Amazon Associates Program has a strong reputation; many people shop on this site. I order something on this site every week. This means even if they click the link and don’t buy the product, they might buy something else, and you will earn the commission for that product.
2. Walmart – The affiliate program is an excellent second to Amazon. This program doesn’t convert well as Amazon, but it still carries brand recognition. You can get free shipping if your order is sent to a local Walmart.
3. Target – Finally, you have the Target Affiliate Program, which carries many products. They are a decent option if Amazon and Walmart don’t work.
Why Amazon Associates Program is Good for Beginners
Overall I like Amazon Associates because so many people shop there, and the wide selection of physical products lets me keep everything in one spot.
The last thing I want to do is have five to ten different affiliate programs to manage when selling physical products.
Amazon also converts more visitors than almost any other affiliate program. Below is a snapshot of my current earnings.
Typically I see between a 10 and 15 percent conversion rate. For every 100 people who click on my links, I’ll get between 10 and 15 people buying.
This means even if you have a small amount of traffic as a beginner. Amazon Associates can still produce some great results.
The downside to all of this is that Amazon does not payout as well as it used to. I got around a 6% commission on most products sold when I joined this program. Now I get around half of that.
Below is a list of Amazon’s commission schedules.
Tips for Getting Started with Amazon Associates
So if you want to start with Amazon Associates, here are a few tips to help you.
Don’t Join Amazon Associates Until You Have Traffic. Amazon Associates has a rule that you must earn a commission at least every six months. If you don’t, they may remove you from the program for inactivity. Instead, join the program once you get 50 to 100 visitors daily.
Link to Higher Cost Products. With the lower commission rates, you’ll want to link to focus on higher-cost products. I’ve found $100 to $200 products to be the sweet spot.
Sell the Link. If you want more people to click your links, you’ll want to sell the link. You can tell people what they are getting and where you are sending them. Example: Check out XYZ Product on Amazon.
Recurring Income Affiliate Programs
Recurring income affiliate programs are my favorite type of program to join. They allow you to sell the product once, and as long as they stay a customer month after month, you will continue to get paid.
I have a few programs that I work with that do this, and I get a check from them every single month whether I bring in new customers or not.
Here are a few pros and cons of recurring income affiliate programs.
- Pays Commission Monthly or Annually as Long as they are a Customer
- Don’t Need a Lot of Traffic
- Pays Reliable Income Month After Month
- Not as Many of These Types of Programs
- Susceptible to Affiliate Program Changes
- Recurring Income Affiliate Product Can Be Competitive
Recurring Affiliate Programs
Below is a list of programs I’m affiliated with and some I’m not.
1. Teachable – The Teachable affiliate program lets people build their own online course business. They pay a 30% recurring commission, so if someone pays $100 a month, you’ll earn $30/month. Other programs in the online course platform niche also offer recurring income affiliate programs, such as Thinkific and Kajabi.
2. Convertkit – Email tools like Convertkit typically have recurring income affiliate programs. The Convertkit Affiliate Program has a 30% recurring commission.
3. Longtail Pro – Keyword research tools also tend to have recurring affiliate programs. The LongtailPro Affiliate Program pays out a 30% recurring income.
Why Recurring Affiliate Program is Good For Beginners
As a beginner, a regular income affiliate program works great because you don’t have a lot of traffic coming to your site, and even just 1 or 2 people signing up for one of these programs can earn you a nice income.
One product I mention quite a bit on Side Hustle Academy is Teachable. I use this product and like how it works with my online business. As a result, I like to promote it.
I’ve personally been earning payouts from Teachable over the last few years. However, that doesn’t mean these programs have any downsides.
First, there are only so many of these types of programs. I tend to find many of these products exist in the online business/ tech niches. So if you are in a niche that doesn’t relate to these products, it can be hard to incorporate them into your site.
Quick Tip: To get around this create a page on your site titled, Want to Know How I Started My Business? Here you can share your story and the tools you use to grow your business.
Finally, there tend to be many people promoting these programs, which means it can be hard to get a decent ranking if you’re looking to review these types of products.
Instead, I focus on adding these programs in my articles where they make sense.
Tips for Getting Started with Recurring Affiliate Programs
Below are a few tips to help you find success with these types of programs.
Teach, Don’t Sell. First, don’t be a pushy salesman regarding these programs. Instead, educate people about the product. How could these use the product? What essential tips could you share? If people can see its value, they’ll be more likely to buy.
Own the Product. Next, be the owner of the product. It will be evident to your readers if you don’t own the product. If you own the product, you’ll be able to share all the nuances that most other people won’t be able to share because they won’t take the time to use and learn more about the product.
Give Them a Reason to Buy. Finally, you’ll want to give them a reason to buy from you. If the affiliate offers a free trial or a percentage off, use that as your bargaining chip to get people to click your link.
High Paying Commission Programs
The final option to consider is high-paying commission affiliate programs. These programs usually pay out big and many times more than the original cost they paid to get the product.
I work with a few of these programs, and I like how they can send big commissions your way. Even if you only make one monthly sale, it’s well worth the time invested in the program.
Below are a few pros and cons regarding these types of programs.
- Payouts are High Even for One Sale
- Promote Top Brands
- Negotiate Even Higher Rates
- Low Conversion Rates For Beginners
- Can Be Competitive
- May Need to Make Regular Sales to Stay in the Program
Below are a few high-commission affiliate programs to consider.
1. Bluehost – If you have a blog, the Bluehost affiliate program is a great way to promote how you started your blog and why others should also start one. They typically pay out $65 to $85 per sale.
2. Shopify – If you promote any eCommerce stuff, then the Shopify Partner Program is a great way to earn extra money. Shopify pays a commission of $25 to $150 as long as they are a paying customer. You’re looking at a $500 commission if they buy the optional POS system.
9. Bankrate Credit Card Program – If you want to promote credit cards, the Bankrate Credit Card Affiliate Program will let you promote everyone from American Express and Capital One to Discover Card. Best of all, you can earn between $50 to $200 per sale.
Why High-Paying Affiliate Program is Good For Beginners
High-paying affiliate commission programs work great for beginners because of their high payouts per sale. As a beginner, you don’t have a lot of traffic, but even if you get one sale per month, the payout will be worth it.
One affiliate I work with is Bluehost. They pay $85 per sale and do a great job with their promotional materials.
However, as you can see below, I don’t convert many visitors to click my links, but even if I only convert a few people, I can earn some decent money.
I don’t want to make it seem like you should only go after high-commission affiliate programs, but I’ve also been a part of low commissions.
For example, I was part of one program that paid $3 for each signup. As great as the program was, it just didn’t pay out. I realized that the same amount of promotion went into promoting the lower commission product as the higher product.
One exception to this is the products you own. If you own the product and genuinely believe in it, then choose that product. It will come across as more authentic and original because you will have personal knowledge of the product.
Choosing a product purely on commission payout will likely make it harder to make the sale.
Tips for Getting Started With High-Paying Affiliate Programs
Now that you have a few ideas for High Paying Affiliate Programs, here are a few tips to help you get more sales.
Create a How-To Guide – First, create a solid how-to guide for the product. If you’re selling Bluehost, create a guide on how to start a blog. How-to guides work great for bringing people through the process and getting them to buy the product.
Create a Solid Product Review – You’ll want to create a product review next. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a YouTube video and a blog post. These two are the perfect combination to show people how the product works and what to expect if they buy.
Give Them a Reason to Buy From You – Finally, you’ll want them to give you a reason to buy from you instead of you. If the affiliate offers a free trial or percentage off, it could sway people to buy from you. If you want to go one step further, create a course or eBook and offer it for free for those who buy from your affiliate link.
Finally, don’t just choose the products I’ve promoted in this article. Take the time to find products that fit your niche and, most of all, that you use, as this will make it easier for you to promote.