The Top 10 Affiliate Programs of 2018 for Beginners

The Top 10 Affiliate Programs of 2018 for Beginners

With so many affiliate opportunities out there, not to mention choosing a profitable niche, it’s no wonder that some first time affiliate marketers struggle to achieve online success.

So with no further ado, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 affiliate platforms of 2018 for beginners below.

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10. Monster

Monster.com is an online job marketplace which operates globally. They profess to be the worldwide leader in connecting people to job opportunities. Job Seekers can create an account and receive job alerts whenever a suitable opportunity matching their wish list is advertised. Monster offers a number of partnership opportunities such as integration partners, newspaper partners, vertical partners and their Business Resource Partner Network.

If you have a website which focuses on employment or the job market, then Monster may be worth exploring. Application to become a partner is via an online contact form.

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9. ClickBank

Founded in 1998 in a garage in San Diego, California, the team at ClickBank work with over 500,000 digital marketers (affiliates) to promote lifestyle products created by passionate entrepreneurs, in 190+ countries. Products may be physical or digital. Affiliate marketers can earn up to 75% commission depending on the product category, with many of their subscription style digital products lending themselves to recurring commissions. However, ClickBank penalizes what it considers dormant accounts; Accounts with a positive (commission) balance with no earnings for a period of 90+ days, are penalized at a rate of $1 per day. Once the dormant account balance reaches zero, the fee ceases. This could be a detractor for the beginner affiliate whose earnings may not be consistent until they have a decent amount of traffic going to their website. ClickBank offer full training and support through their ClickBank university and online knowledge base.

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8. ShareaSale (part of Awin)

ShareASale has been operating exclusively as an affiliate marketing network since 2000. In January 2017 it was acquired by the global affiliate network Awin. Although the ShareASale platform is not mobile friendly and feels a little outdated, they are a trusted affiliate network and are certainly one of the big players in this space. There are over 3,900+ programs and products available, spanning over 40 different categories, which provides plenty of scope for the aspiring affiliate marketer to find a product or service to suit their niche.

Affiliates are paid once threshold commissions of USD$50 are reached.

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7. MaxBounty

MaxBounty work with affiliates and advertisers to generate millions in revenue each year, and take pride in paying their affiliates more per sale than their competitors (hence the name MaxBounty). They profess to be the #1 Cost Per Action (CPA) network in the world. This is achieved through their network of 200+ advertisers and over 20,000 affiliates.

With over 1500 different campaigns for affiliates to choose from, it’s highly likely that MaxBounty will have a suitable campaign or product that you can promote through your blog or affiliate marketing website.

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6. Commission Junction (CJ)

CJ, formerly known as Commission Junction, have been in the affiliate marketing space since 1998, and have grown from a small media and marketing channel to now being an essential marketing partner for some of the world’s best known brands. Their platform is very robust and CJ boast a feature rich user interface to help their affiliates drive higher conversion rates. They also offer real time reporting and monitoring through the affiliate dashboard.

In addition to their standard affiliate membership, they now offer a CJ Performer program for affiliates earning over $10k per month. This is a sought after status as the CJ team of marketing experts will work closely with the affiliate to optimize opportunities through their advertiser partnerships.

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5. Rakuten Marketing (LinkShare)

Trusted by globally recognized brands like Guess, Walmart, BBC Store, RayBan and New Balance to name but a few, it’s no small wonder that Rakuten Marketing is a force to be reckoned with. The industry voted Rakuten Marketing the number one affiliate marketing network for six years running. In 2016, they facilitated more than 100 million orders worldwide through their online platform and their affiliate network operates in 202 countries/regions around the world.

Maintaining client brand integrity is central to their ongoing success. With this in mind, Rakuten have implemented daily monitoring to identify any suspicious activity, and opportunities for improvement through their network of affiliates. Affiliate payments are made once you reach a minimum threshold of $50 (AUD/CAD/EUR/GBP/USD).

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4. JVZoo

JVZoo was launched in 2011 and in 2016 was among the Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies in America. JVZoo is a Software As A Service (SAAS) platform which automates online sales, marketing and delivery. They operate an expansive network to give their advertisers (partners) the tools and solutions they need to grow their business.

The JVZoo affiliate program is ‘newbie’ friendly with an easy to navigate website and loads of resources, tools and online training to help you run a successful online business. This is definitely an attractive draw card for new affiliate marketers, as well as their commitment to pay commissions out instantly through PayPal.

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3. FlexOffers

The more I learn about FlexOffers, the more I like their affiliate program. They have more than 6,000 products in nearly every retail category imaginable, from clothing, travel, entertainment, to finance and business. Many products are well-known international brands or newly trending companies, so it’s a great opportunity to promote a product when it’s hot off the press. A good thing about the FlexOffers site, is that they have published their full affiliate offers directory list, which enables you to scroll through their advertisers to quickly ascertain what products or services you might want to promote as an affiliate marketer.

As well as earning commissions through affiliate marketing of their advertisers products, FlexOffers have the FlexRev-$hare program which provides some interesting benefits for serious affiliate marketers. There’s also plenty of information, tutorials and online help available for new & experienced affiliates alike.

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2. Amazon

Amazon is undoubtedly one of the largest global online marketplaces and they offer a fantastic affiliate program. It is ideal for beginners because of the sheer product range, they have products to suit any imaginable niche you are thinking of getting into.

Newbies need to be aware of all their terms and conditions, they are a little heavy-handed in places, and the commissions are not as high as some other affiliate programs. But if you’re looking to ‘cut your teeth’ in affiliate marketing, Amazon is a perfect place to start. You might want to check out my recent article ‘Can You Make Money With The Amazon Affiliate Program?’

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1. Wealthy Affiliate

Coming in at first place is Wealthy Affiliate (WA).

Whilst WA does not offer affiliate links for thousands of products, they do have an extremely robust affiliate program, underpinned by three core products, which are:

  1. Wealthy Affiliate membership
  2. SiteRubix websites and domain hosting
  3. Jaaxy – SEO keyword research

The great thing about WA is that upon joining, you can opt to just use the tools, resources and website hosting, or embark on their boot camp course, which walks you through the steps to building and promoting affiliate products online. Read my recent article here.

Conclusion

These are just my top ten picks for new affiliate marketers, there are literally thousands of affiliate opportunities out there and it can be a daunting task to work out which is right for you.

If you’re new to online marketing, or considering working in this space, then Wealthy Affiliate should definitely be top of your list.

A word from someone who’s been there! Please please… don’t be tempted to sign up for every single program, you’ll be like a kid in a candy store – with far too much choice and you’ll end up completely confused and without focus.

Once you have joined up with Wealthy Affiliate and determined your niche, take your time to look at the other affiliate programs on this list and choose ONE or TWO to work with. Learn their program and systems well, and you’ll be in a great position to maximize your relationship, and the results, for you and your affiliate provider.

Find out more

If you found this article interesting, I’d love to hear from you. If you’ve got a question – get in touch using the comments section below, or contact me at Wealthy Affiliate via my profile here.

44 Responses so far.

  1. mason says:

    Hi Karen, thank you for the detail review of 2017 affiliate programs. I learned a lot for your information. As you have mentioned about WA, I am so impressed with the tool, support, and training program platform at WA.

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Mason, glad to meet a fellow WA member! Yes it’s a fantastic platform isn’t it! Now that my WA sites are up and running, I’m looking at which affiliate programs to work with. Amazon is great to learn the ropes with (hence my number 2 pick), but FlexOffers is going to be the program I focus on. They have a great range of products and an easy intuitive website to use. All the very best with your affiliate journey. Kind regards, Karen

  2. Philip says:

    That is a nice top 10 we got here. Some of them i know already but i like to try out the ones who are new for me. This is a really good help page whit interesting information tot affiliate marketeers.
    Thanks for sharing them.
    Phil

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Philip, glad to hear that you found the page interesting. FlexOffers is definitely an affiliate partner to consider, their site is really easy to use and they have a great range of lifestyle products. All the best. Karen

  3. Don says:

    Karen, great post. You have a great list in your top 10 affiliate programs. You’re #1 is mine as well. I love Wealthy Affiliate. I started back in 2014 and quit twice – that’s right I quit twice. I know, how can WA be my #1 program and quit twice? When I joined WA I had just been scammed a few times. I was leary, not sure if WA was real or not. On the other hand I thought it wasn’t fair to list WA as a scam without giving them a chance. Now I can say WA is the best online training for anyone wanting to make money online and as you point out in your post can make money promoting them as an affiliate. Nice informative post.

    All the best to you,
    Don

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Don, thanks very much for your feedback, glad to hear that you endorse WA as an affiliate platform. They definitely have all the tools and training an aspiring affiliate marketer would need to get up and running. Kind regards, Karen

  4. Chris Wardman says:

    Thank you so much for putting this list together and sharing it with the rest of us newbie affiliates. While I’ve heard of many, there are definately some that I’ll be checking out straight away.

    One question though:

    After finding your niche products via the likes of Wealthy Affiliates etc, can you promote more than 1 affiliate program at a time on your site?

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Chris, In most cases yes, but it would pay to check each affiliate platforms t&c’s before getting to carried away. I’d recommend that you only work with one or two affiliate platforms to avoid becoming completely confused. All the best, cheers, Karen

  5. Alice says:

    Hi Karen, thanks for this informative article.

    I am already a ClickBank Affiliate but I can’t seem to find the right products to review and promote on my websites so I am looking for other affiliate programs. I tried many times Amazon but I couldn’t get in. Every time I get to the verification part where they’re supposed to give me a call, it always says, “Call cannot be made this time.” Is it because I am outside the US? Oh by the way, what products does FlexOffers have?

    Anyway, I am already with Wealthy Affiliate which is a really great training platform.

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi there, the great thing about FlexOffers is that they have a full directory of their advertisers, which you can access without the need to be logged in. I’d suggest you head over to their site and have a look through this to see if they have the products you’d like to promote. It is quite an extensive list though. Alternatively, use the free registration option above in my post – if you click on flexoffers it will take you straight through to the sign up form and it’s very quick and easy to get up and running. All the best with your affiliate journey. cheers, Karen

  6. Arie says:

    As someone who is somewhat new to affiliate marketing (around 3 months), I have mainly been using Amazon’s affiliate program and eBay’s one a bit.

    I have not really tried any of the others but after reading this, I am interested in trying out some other options.

    I signed up for Flex Offers as that one seems like one I would be interested in trying and possibly Max Bounty down the road as well. Good list btw

    • KD Forsman says:

      Thanks for your feedback, yes MaxBounty and FlexOffers are both good options. All the best for your affiliate journey. Cheers, Karen

  7. Jenny says:

    What a great review of the top 10 affiliate programs. I am familiar with wealthy affiliate, as well as I am an affiliate marketer for Amazon. Thanks for sharing the additional information as I will certainly be looking into them as well

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Jenny, thanks for your feedback. How have you found being an affiliate marketer for Amazon? I’d be keen to get your thoughts on whether they are worthy of my second place ranking 🙂 All the best. Kind regards, Karen

  8. Craig says:

    Hi, I’ve used Shareasale and prefer it to some of the others. Interesting that you have Clickbank above that because last time I used Clickbank they started charging me when my sales stopped. Do they still do this when you don’t get any sales?

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Craig, you make a very good point here. ClickBank do penalise what they consider dormant accounts… If the account has a positive balance but receives no earnings for 90+ days, they the account is subject to a charge of $1 per day, with a tiered rate after 180 and 365 days respectively. I had overlooked this in my ranking, but agree with you that ShareaSale should be ranked higher than clickbank for that very reason, so thank you, I will edit this post accordingly. Thank you for the feedback, as it helps others considering ClickBank as an affiliate opportunity. Cheers, Karen

  9. roy says:

    Hi Karen,
    This is just what I have been looking for ! Am also at a stage where my website is just about up and running and it’s time to start looking for Affiliate Programs. Have amazon linked in and one or two others, but to find your top 10 was a real stroke of luck. Thank you, you made my day.
    Am going to go with you and take a good look at Flexoffers !
    I too think that WA is the bees knees. Haven’t earned anything yet (after 6 months) but am living in hope and putting in the time and effort.
    Roy

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Roy, Thanks for your feedback 🙂 Yes flexoffers is my pick after Amazon, just because they have such an extensive range of products and a great platform as well. All the best of luck with your affiliate journey. Cheers, Karen

  10. I know what you have posted here is a top of the line selection. Not to mention the the reviews.
    As an experienced marketer, I also agree with your No.choice.

  11. Chadimus says:

    Hey Karen!

    Great article! I’ve seen a few websites like this before, but I appreciate the top 10 list. I have heard of several of these programs before, like Rakuten, Flexoffers, and of course Amazon, but I think I’m also going to check out some of these others. Thanks for the advice about not signing up for all of them though.

    I can definitely vouch for Wealthy Affiliate as well. I’ve been with them for the past 3-4 months and already have a full website up and running with ads and links. They really do take the time to teach you and train you.

    Thanks again for the informational article!

    -Chadimus

  12. Owain says:

    Clickbank sure does sound interesting giventhe high commission rate. I just wonder though if my genealogy niche would fit in there.

    I also like the sound of CJ and making $10k per month some day. The idea of getting help when you get to that amount is another positive.

    I’ll have to look more into them. Thanks.

  13. Stephen says:

    Hi Mason,

    Thanks a lot for sharing this post with me. It was very informative. Especially the list of top 10 affiliate programs. I love your listing and arrangement. Indeed all the programs you mentioned in your post are very great.

    I like Rakuten, Sharesale, Click Bank and Amazon.

    However, I really like the fact that you placed Wealthy Affiliate as NO.1 They deserve it, why because, there no other platform like Wealthy Affiliate that offers you all the step by step video training that you will get from WA receive for free, plus two free website.

    Yes, Wealthy Affiliate is the NO.1 and I recommend it to all who are interested in making money online.

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Mason, thanks for your feedback. Yip although they are slightly different to the other affiliate programs on my list, I felt they deserved the number one spot, simply because of the ease of use of their site, the community support as well as their product offering. All the best, Cheers, Karen

  14. Rob S. says:

    I book marked this article because it lists all the best affiliate programs.
    Some of these I never heard of before. But the ones that I’m aware of have been around for a long time.
    I totally agree with Wealthy Affiliate being number one. This is the absolute best affiliate program out there for sure.
    Now while the others are good, and I use Amazon and Clickbank a lot, Wealthy Affiliate is still tops.
    I joined for free and have gone through their training which is awesome and cannot believe everything they offer you to help you with being an affiliate marketer.
    Great information for anyone looking for affiliate programs!

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi there, thanks very much for your feedback and glad to hear that you found the information useful. Have you tried FlexOffers? It’s also a very good affiliate program with a lot of products you can promote. Cheers, Karen 

  15. Thandava says:

    Hi Karen, Your list was really Amazing and very useful for beginners as you described. There are many newbies who are fully confused about what to promote and which affiliate program to choose, I will suggest your blog post to them from my side. There are some programs which I’m not aware till now, thanks for the list and waiting for your next interesting article.

    Your Friend,
    Thandava
    https://freakynow.com

  16. Andy says:

    Hi, Karen.

    Thanks for this list of affiliate programs. I am actually a member at some of them, but many of them I had not known about. For instance, I had heard about Monster.com as a great site for finding a job, but I did not know they had an affiliate program.

    The only one of these I have tried and have not had much luck with was Commission Junction. The have a huge selection of companies, but every one of them requires approval before you can be an affiliate, and every one I have requested approval from sends a rejection without fail. I know they are probably looking for websites with lots of traffic, but that means they’re pretty much off limits for people just starting out.

    Thanks again.

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Andy, Thanks for your feedback. I am currently working with FlexOffers as their program is pretty good and it’s a nice easy platform to use. Plus they have an affiliate referral which offers some great incentives for serious affiliate marketers. (click on the link in the post to view more information about this). All the very best, Cheers, Karen

  17. Jesseca says:

    Thank you so much Karen for this information!! This is very helpful to me as I am just starting out!! I will be joining some of the recommended programs!!

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Jesseca, Thanks for your feedback. I always recommend you do your own homework, as what suits my business may not suit yours. All email software providers have rules around affiliate marketing, so it pays to read the fine print to make sure you can operate within their guidelines, rather than getting a nasty surprise later down the track when you get pinged for breaching their terms of service. Best of luck, Cheers, Karen

  18. Kay says:

    Thanks for sharing this list with us. I have heard of some of these affiliate programs, such as CJ, ShareaSale, Wealthy Affiliate, and Amazon. I will certainly look into the others. It seems like MaxBounty, Clickbank are both great options. You mentioned that ClickBank offers training through their University, is that free?

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Kay, Thanks for your feedback, Clickbank university costs USD$47+(TAX) per month, though they do offer a free trial in some instances. FlexOffers is another emerging player that is definitely worth consideration – and they do have a free knowledge base as part of their platform. Hope that helps, Kind regards, Karen

  19. Cathy says:

    Hi there, I have a few questions to ask regarding Flexoffers. Many affiliate programs that are offered through affiliate networks and private programs can also be found on Flexoffers which is very confusing. So where should I be signing up? I am pretty sure I could only choose one.

    Also, I heard that you need to pay $500 to become a publisher with them. Is that true? Hope you can help to clarify. Thanks.

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Cathy, thanks for your comments and questions. If you create a login account at FlexOffers you should be able to access many of the affiliate programs you refer to within their application. As for becoming a publisher, here’s a link to everything about becoming one at FlexOffers. Feel free to PM me if you need any more info. Best wishes, Karen

  20. Ronnie Jordan says:

    This was an outstanding introduction to affiliate marketing opportunities. I guess I should consider expanding my horizons on trying some other platforms as well. I am still kind of new doing this so I am to stuck at trying to generate some conversions.

    But at least now I know all the opportunities that are available to me. Thanks a lot.

  21. GiuliaB says:

    Karen, thank you ever so much for giving a list of the best 10 affiliate programs. I must say I use Wealthy Affiliate and Amazon extensively, and find them most supportive and sought after – which means they both convert very nicely. However I had never heard of FlexOffers, JVzoo and Rakuten, and I am really intrigued by their success rate and by their popularity. I shall definitely look into them more closely. Once again, thank you.

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Guilia – Thanks for your feedback. I’m actually going to update this article in the next month or so, as I have been investigating other affiliate programs that might just pip this top 10! Be Sure to bookmark this page and visit back soon for my latest picks! Best wishes, Karen

  22. mercy says:

    This is so encouraging I am currently working on my blog and am happy to know there are so many affiliate programs out there thanks to your great article.Keep doing it!

    • KD Forsman says:

      Hi Mercy, thanks for your feedback, yes there’s some amazing programs out there for affiliate marketers. The best way to find affiliate opportunities related to your niche is to do a google search as follows ‘your niche + affiliate program’ – you will be surprised at how many results you’ll get. Best of luck, cheers, Karen

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