Best Affiliate Marketing Programs and Networks — 2020

Affiliate Programs

As affiliate marketers, there are so many choices of affiliate networks and programs to choose from. You, of course, have Amazon, the 800 lb gorilla with something for everyone. It is free to join but with average commission rates of 4%-5%., you need to get quite a bit of traffic to do well.  Amazon also is a rapidly evolving company that has and will continue to change policies on a dime. It is good to be diversified. The world of affiliate marketing has many sources of offers for you to represent as an affiliate. These include …

  • Affiliate Networks
  • General marketplaces like Amazon
  • Vendor’s direct programs
All niches will have additional affiliate programs. You are doing a service to your community and increasing your authority by seeking out and reviewing these niche specific products.

 

Every affiliate can promote their hosting, email service provider and other products and services they use to run their business. This can be very effective and these programs typically pay very well.

You also can focus on recurring affiliate programs or high ticket items to further diversify your offers and income.

We have looked at hundreds of affiliate programs in many niches. All but one, Awin, is free to join. Here are our favorites for diversifying your affiliate income now.

Best Affiliate Marketing Programs

Amazon Associates Program

Amazon is the largest, most visible affiliate marketer in the world. There are products for any niche, no matter how obscure. One of the key things that will make a lead convert to a sale is trust. Amazon is the “king of trust”. Since almost everyone is familiar and comfortable with Amazon so there is no friction to have them reconsider that purchase.

They are a conversion machine.

The issue with Amazon is the commission rates. Some products pay as little as 1%. I avoid products with less than 5% commissions. It just takes too much traffic to get a decent commission. 

amazon affiliate rate card

Amazon Commission Rate

At Prosociate we make one of the best plugins for Amazon affiliate marketers. We know the Amazon affiliate program backward and forward and have lots of detailed information to help you make money with Amazon

Every new affiliate marketer should be an Amazon Associate. They make it very easy to get started and give you 180 days to make 3 sales. We are developers of plugins for Amazon – we have a great deal of experience with Amazon and thousands of customers.

Consider these data points:

  • Over 2 billion monthly visitors
  • 50% of all US e-commerce is Amazon
  • Over 500 million products in US marketplace
  • 95 million US Amazon Prime members
  • 9 out of 10 consumer use Amazon to price check
  • Prime Day 2018 > 100 million transactions

eBay has a very useful affiliate program. Like Amazon, eBay has a 24-hour cookie window. eBay commissions are paid based on the profit that eBay receives for a transaction (not the selling price like Amazon). We did an in-depth comparison of eBay vs. Amazon for affiliates that has more details.

ebay affiliate commission rate card

Commission Rates

The commission schedule pays from 50% to 70% of the fees.  There is a 100% bonus for new or reactivated buyers.

eBay also gives you easy access to their API. This lets anyone use products like Prosociate eBay to create affiliate links.

Affiliate Program Collections

Gorups of affiliate programs. Perfect for your niche or to compare programs on a topic.

Individual Affiliate Programs

The list below is our collection of reviewed affiliate programs and niches. These are the most popular and succesful programs, though not every program reviewed is recommended. This is an evergreen document that we will expand and update with new affiliate programs and niches.

Recurring and High Ticket Affiliate Programs

It is always best to spread your risk in terms of affiliate programs. You don’t want to be 100% dependant on Amazon for instance. They may change their commission rates … again. They may deauthorize you for some unknown reason … it happens.

One way to diversify is to have some higher ticket programs in the mix. These include …

How to Choose an Affiliate Marketing Program

How to Choose an Affiliate Program

There are so many affiliate programs to choose from. It is tempting to join lots of programs, place some sidebar ads, make an occasional reference to a product, etc. This generally does not work well. It has a very, very low conversion rate. A better approach is to really get behind a product. Have landing pages, product reviews (money pages), informational articles, email campaigns, bonus offers, etc.

You are much more likely to be successful with an affiliate program that you focus on and make a commitment too.

Another thing to consider, particularly if you are a successful Amazon affiliate is that Amazon is special.

Amazon has enormous trust, conversion capabilities, and familiarity in the marketplace. You can send them hot, warm or cold traffic and they will perform better than you can. This is not the case with other affiliate programs. Rather than just send traffic to other programs you will have better success with warming them up with information articles and success stories.

Choosing an affiliate program has a number of considerations …

What is the performance focus?

There are a number of types of actions that will generate commissions. Affiliate networks tend to focus on specific ones. The two most common are:

  • CPA programs (cost per acquisition) — These are like Amazon and other programs where you are paid when a referred customer makes a purchase.
  • CPL offers (cost per lead) — This is typical of a program with a free trial

Is there an affiliate manager?

One of the advantages of a smaller program is that you will have an affiliate manager to work with.  Find a good paying product from a smaller team very closely aligned with your niche. Create some great content and funnels. Spend a little on ads. Before you know it you will be able to ask for a higher commission rate, special coupon codes that align with your content strategy, etc.

What companies does the affiliate program represent?

A big benefit to an affiliate network is having many programs under one umbrella. Best to deal with an affiliate network that has a good overlap with your niche. Look for both products that overlap and price points. 

How do you get paid?

Most affiliate networks will pay with PayPal or ACH/Wire. If you are from a country with no Paypal you can usually use Transferwise to receive the ACH/Wire and forward it to your local bank account. A bigger issue is the delay in payments. this can be essentially immediate or as long as 60 days after the month-end of the transaction. If you are running paid ads this is particularly important.

What marketing support do they provide?

Do they provide custom discount codes, ad copy, videos, images and other parts you can use in content or ad campaign. Do they provide deep linking so that you can send your visitor to any content and get affiliate credit?

Getting Accepted to an Affiliate Program

Just like selecting keywords to target, you don’t want to focus on affiliate programs that don’t meet your site’s metrics. Many programs have traffic minimums, Alexa Rank, DA/DR rank, etc. There are so many programs to choose from it is best to focus on affiliate programs that want you. So how do you present your site as desirable …

  • Focus on programs squarely in your niche
  • Make sure your website has a clean design
  • Have a solid body of related content
  • Create a review of the vendor’s product in advance
  • Don’t have multiple ads on every page
  • Avoid controversial topics, nudity, drug use etc. on the site
Finally, take your time with the application. Pay particular attention to the marketing plan description. Talk about the success you have had with other affiliate programs. Let the reviewer know that you use and are a supporter of their product or service. If for some reason you get a denial for a program that is an especially good fit or desirable for your niche – ask for a review or reconsideration of the decision. Usually, affiliate managers have a lot of discretion. You simply need to convince them that you are going to send high-quality traffic and that you have an audience that wants their product.

Top Affiliate Marketing Networks

2Checkout

2Checkout specializes in digital products much like ClickBank and JVZoo, They work as a payment processing system for your digital product and have an associated affiliate community to help sell your downloadable product. Most products sols are software or SaaS (software as a Service)

  • 87 curencies and 15 languages
  • Mobile responsive checkout
  • Advanced fraud detection
2Checkout free affiliate program

AvantLink

Robust and mature affiliate network with over 10 year traqck record. They have a nice concentration of outdoor and sporting products to offer visitors. Based on Park City Utah they provide a cool  automatic link encoder  to create a link when you rmention a certain website, or  a certain keyword. So if you want to link to the affiliate merchant website whenever you mention the company name in any article, just add the company name as a keyword — nice.

  • Automatic linking
  • Sell ads to affiliate merchants
  • View program details before joining
  • App market and affiliate API
  • AvantLink signup form
avantlink affiliate program

Awin

Awin was formerly known as Affilaite Window. The away affilaite program is not free to join. They have a $5 fee to apply which is a bit unusual but you get it credited to your new account when approved. They have over 100,000 programs in niches from fashion and travel to beauty and business. They are very helpful for newer affiliates with easy approval and lots of tutorials and other helpful marketing materials

  • Great Dashboard
  • Newbie Friendly
  • Not Free, $5 ffee credited to your account.
  • Awin signup
awin free affiliate program

CJ Affiliate 

CJ was formerly known as Commission Junction. They are simialr to  Rakuten, and ShareASale. It is really a matter of who has the best products for you and which advertisers will accept you. CJ is one of the larger programs so there are many offers to choose from. They provide many types of performance marketing programs including : CPA, CPL, CPS, CPC. They have some great merchants includin: Booking.com, Cheapoair, As Seen on TV. 

cj affiliate program

ClickBank

ClickBank is known by most affiliate marketers and digital product creators. Like JVZoo, Warrior Plus, and 2Checkout they specialize in digital products. You do need to be careful with ClickBank as many of the offers are of lower quality. Many use email, solo ads and simialr marketing methods to promote the products. They specialize in info products with health, dating and self-improvement offers. Though ClickBank is free for affilaites there is a $75 charge to list products on the network

  • Millions of products
  • Free for affilaites and &75 for content owners to join
  • Many products are 40%+ commissions
  • Over 200 million customers
  • Join ClickBank
clickbank free affiliate program

FlexOffers

FlexOffers represents is the affilaite program of choice for many national retailers including: Travelocity, Macy’s, IHG, Nike and more. .  They have mainly Cost per Sale programs where you earn a commision when your referred visitor purchase. They also have some Cost per Action programs where uou are paid for free trials or email signups. They are a bit fussier with the approval process. You will need to verify both your website and a mobile number. FlexOffers has some powerful brands for you to consider for your affilaite marketing portfolio.  

  • 12,000+ advertisers
  • Strong Brands
  • Good support and dashboard
  • Join FlexOffers
flexoffers affiliate program

Impact 

Impact has a strong affiliate program. They were founded in 2008 by former Commission Junction employees. They place a strong emphasis on campaign testing and optimization. They have a great dashboard and many high profile merchants. they are not the fastest at approving you and do have a phone verification step. 

impact free affiliate program

JVZoo

JVZoo is very similar to ClickBank. They offer primarily digital products including, software, info-products, and ebooks. They have been largely passed by ClickBank but still have many strong products and fewer junk products than JVZoo. Unlike JVZoo each program approves you individually. A great feature is instant payouts from vendors that approve you. Unlike ClickBank JV Zoo id free for both affilaites and product creators. This makes it a great place to launch your first digital product.

  • Info and other digital products
  • Free to join for both affiliates and creators
  • High paying 40% commissions
  • Instant payments for succesful affiliates
  • Signup for JVZoo
jvzoo affiliate program

MarketHealth

MarketHealth specializes in health and beauty products, including over 200 that they manufacture themselves. They support over 100 countries and many of the promotions are available in local languages. Many of the programs offer recurring commission

If you are selling in health and beauty this is a must have network in your portfolio.

markethealth free affiliate program

MaxBounty

MaxBounty is CPA network —  advertisers pay for a specific action.

They offer CPA, CPL and mobile. Their niche strengths include market research, diet, dating, and real estate. Commission may be paid from a sale, form submission, download, or any other action performed by the referral.

  • Weekly Payments
  • Over 2000 active campaigns
  • Performance Bonuses
  • MaxBounty Signup
maxbounty affiliate program

MoreNiche

MoreNiche is not the biggest program and don’t have as many products to choose from as other programs. This is not a bad thing. Their products are really strong and they typically pay 30%-40%.   

The advantage of a smaller network like MoreNiche is that they give their affilaites personal attention. Helping with everything from SEO advice to website audits, and help with conversions. They even hold mastermind events.

  • Close team relationship
  • 30%-40% commissions
  • Strong Products
  • Join MoreNiche
moreniche affiliate program

PepperJam

PepperJam ants to do things differently. Publishers and advertisors can directly communicate with affilates being potentially offered personalized incentives. They have strong brands like Nordtrum, Retailmenot and Shutterfly. You can create a deep link for any advertiser using the Pepperjam Link Generator,. The Link Generator is attached to your bookmark bar on your web browser.

pepperjam affiliate program

Rakuten Marketing

Rakuten used to be known as LinkShare. They have been around since the late 90’s. Not as big as others with approximately 1900 advertisers. The offers are grouped by category for easy discovery.

They have a good mix of products with both large brands like Dior and trending companies in tech like TextNow. Their affiliate dashboard and support are well regarded. Many programs require individual sire reviews by advertisers.

rakuten free affiliate program

ShareASale

Shareasale represents a number of brands. many of the programs have auto-sign up. Some do require a review by the individual company affiliate manager.

ShareASale has a good mix of physical product companies and services. They have many household names in their merchant portfolio including Wayfair, Eastern Mountain Sport, NFL Shop, and WP Engine.

shareasale affiliate program

Trade Doubler

TradeDoubler has over 2,000 publishers and over 180,000 publishers. They are a very strong affiliate network with a large concentartion of European based products. They support many types of affilaites including coupon and comparison sites.

trade doubler affiliate program

Warrior+Plus

Warrior+Plus is a specialized network who focuses on digital products and almost all in the Make Money Online (MMO) space. They make it very easy to join and very easy to launch a new product if you want to try your hand as a product creator. Because of this ease of product launch many of the products are not the highest quality. To help find better products the search is often focused on the refund rate, sales, conversion rate and commission amount.

  • MMO products
  • Free for both affilaites and content owners
  • Greta for newbies
  • Good for solo ads and email marketers
  • Warrior+Plus signup
warriorplus free affiliate program

FAQ for Affiiate Programs

How much money can you make as an Amazon affiliate?

The key to Amazon is to get them lots of traffic with buying intent. Many Amazon Associates make form $100-$1000 per month. Exceptional ones make $1,000+ and companies like Wirecutter make 10’s of thousands per month.

Can you have pages with ads and affiliate program links?

Sure most programs including Amazon allow this. Just be careful to keep a good user experience and that ads are relevant to your niche.

Are most affiliate programs a scam?

No. In fact very very few. The key is to focus on the products. many products on ClickBank, JVZoo or Warrior Plus are questionable.

Do people make money with affiliate programs?

Sure they do. It’s a huge industry. People build sites and incrementally grow revenue as their content matures. Others build the sites until they have a revenue track record and flip it for a profit — then do another.

Is affiliate marketing dead or saturated?

Hardly. It is growing quickly. Now is the time to stake out authority in a niche.

Is affiliate marketing expensive to start?

No. This is one of the key differentiators vs, e-commerce, FBA, or even dropshipping. The only significant expense is content creation. If you can do this your-self you have a very very low cost to launch your business.

Can I be an Amazon or other affiliate without a website?

YSure you can. Amazon specifically requires either a website, video channel or app. Other affiliate channels will let you market with just email, paid ads, social traffic etc.

Conclusion

Amazon is great. But diversification is just good business. There are many affiliate programs for every niche. In addition to your Amazon and other affiliate products, try to focus on a few offers that pay more or are recurring. 

Keep an eye on this page, we will update it regularly.