Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase an item, I may earn a commission. See my terms of service for details.
Publishers want to promote the top affiliate programs because they can yield more commissions. It’s as simple as that. Other articles highlight “the best programs,” but most of them include random and unvetted merchants that won’t lead to higher earnings. Let’s identify what excellent and profitable affiliate programs have in common.
A Fair Variable or Fixed Commission
Advertisers who pay single to low double-digit commission rates (or who nickel and dime publishers) aren’t worth your consideration, for example, Amazon Associates. A commission rate starting at 20 percent is what appeals to me. For fixed commissions, I’m open to experimentation. Note: some industries pay low commission rates because they operate on thin margins.
A Minimum Cookie Duration of 30 Days
Giving marketers one or a few days to convert traffic is ridiculous and unfair. By contrast, a 30-day conversion period allows for prospects to become customers and affiliates to get credit for their promotional efforts. Although thirty-day referral periods are a standard industry practice, a minimum of 90 days should be commonplace.
Excellent Affiliate Tracking Software
Affiliate tracking software is the cornerstone of success, and there are good and bad applications. Reliable tracking, user-friendly dashboards, and robust reporting make for excellent user experiences. Activity data—such as impressions, clicks, and conversions—should be available. Applications that omit activity data and reporting make it difficult to track and evaluate performance.
Other factors you should consider are a program’s earnings per click (EPC), acceptance rate, payout threshold, timeliness and frequency of payments, deep linking capabilities, and affiliate support. You’ll want to partner with merchants/affiliate managers who are intelligent, fair, responsive, and quick to resolve inquiries. Learn how to choose affiliate products and programs.
Best Affiliate Programs to Make Money
Let’s review some of the best affiliate programs available. With an array of affiliate networks, 30+ standard program categories, tens of thousands of programs, and terms changing daily; it’s impossible to identify every excellent affiliate program. However, you can use this list and these advertisers as benchmarks because they convert well, pay on time, and offer win-win terms. Regarding networks, I recommend and have made money with ShareASale, Impact, and CJ Affiliate.
A company might not mention an affiliate program on its website but may have one. Merchants typically link to their affiliate programs in their website menus and footers, and some offer programs on multiple networks.
Ecommerce Affiliate Programs
- Shopify – Up to $2,000 (commission rate)
Shopify provides everything you need to sell online, on social media, and in person. Create your store, manage products, accept payments, ship, and integrate with other apps. Learn about the Shopify affiliate program.
- Oberlo – 200%
Oberlo allows you to easily import products from suppliers directly into your Shopify store and ship directly to your customers. Learn about the Oberlo affiliate program (to promote Oberlo, you must join Shopify’s affiliate program).
- ShippingEasy – Up to $149
ShippingEasy integrates with ecommerce platforms to track orders and shipments, print labels, and save on postage. Learn about the ShippingEasy affiliate program. Learn about the ShippingEasy affiliate program.
- Square – Up to $202
Square helps millions of sellers run their business by providing payment, POS, invoice, scheduling, and payroll solutions. Learn about the Square affiliate program.
Marketing Affiliate Programs
- Constant Contact – $105
Constant Contact enables individuals and business owners to create and share professional-looking emails in minutes. Learn about the Constant Contact affiliate program.
- GetResponse – 33%
GetResponse is an all-in-one digital marketing platform that supports email marketing, automation, campaigns, online surveys, webinars, ecommerce, and CRM. Learn about the GetResponse affiliate program.
- TubeBuddy – Up to 50%
TubeBuddy is the #1 YouTube tool and browser extension for channel management, keyword and tag research, video SEO, competitor insights, bulk processing, marketing, and more. Learn about the TubeBuddy affiliate program.
- VidIQ – Up to 25%
VidIQ helps YouTubers and marketers grow their presence and brand on YouTube with a suite of tools for keyword research, SEO, analytics, and more. Learn about the VidIQ affiliate program.
Education Affiliate Programs
- 360training – 15%
360training offers online training and certification courses for industry professionals, for example, food and beverage, health and safety, real estate, and financial services. Learn about the 360training affiliate program.
- Pluralsight – Up to 75%
Pluralsight offers extensive online developer, creative, and IT courses that are taught by industry experts. It offers 6,000+ courses to businesses and individuals. Learn about the Pluralsight affiliate program.
- Skillshare – $10
Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of free and paid classes in design, art, business, marketing, technology, and more. Learn about the Skillshare affiliate program.
Financial Affiliate Programs
- TransferWise – Up to £20
TransferWise enables people to send and receive money–internationally and locally–at mid-market exchange rates and low fees. All costs are known upfront. Learn about the TransferWise affiliate program.
- Dun & Bradstreet – 30%
Dun & Bradstreet offers credit-building and credibility solutions for businesses. Learn about the Dun & Bradstreet affiliate program.
- M1 Finance – $100
M1 Finance offers a unique combination of automated investing with a high level of customization, allowing clients to create portfolios tailored to their exact needs. Learn about the M1 Finance affiliate program.
Hosting Affiliate Programs
- Bluehost – $65
Bluehost is one of the largest website hosting providers and supports millions of websites. Learn about the Bluehost affiliate program.
- Cloudways – Up to $125
Cloudways is a cloud platform that offers an effortless way to deploy and manage high-performance applications. Learn about the Cloudways affiliate program.
- Domain.com – Up to $110
Domain.com makes it easy and inexpensive to get the domain you want, fast. It also offers email, hosting, and security products. Learn about the Domain.com affiliate program.
- InMotion Hosting – $50
InMotion Hosting is a top-rated U.S. based web hosting company offering shared hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers. Learn about the InMotion Hosting affiliate program.
- Liquid Web – Up to 150%
Liquid Web provides managed web hosting and data center solutions. It offers cloud, VPS, dedicated, managed, and private cloud plans. It also owns iThemes Hosting. Learn about the Liquid Web affiliate program.
- SiteGround – Up to $125
SiteGround is a leading web hosting company with millions of customers. It offers shared and cloud hosting, dedicated servers, and domain services. Learn about the SiteGround affiliate program.
- WP Engine – $200
WP Engine provides managed WordPress hosting for sites around the world. It provides counsel and support to help brands create world-class digital experiences. Learn about the WP Engine affiliate program on ShareASale.
VPN Affiliate Programs
- CyberGhost – Up to 100%
CyberGhost VPN shields your personal data from the prying eyes of authorities and hackers. Learn about the CyberGhost affiliate program.
- NordVPN – Up to 100%
NordVPN is a top-rated VPN that offers military-grade online security and protection applications. Learn about the NordVPN affiliate program.
WordPress Affiliate Programs
- Thrive Themes – 35%
Thrive Themes sells blazingly fast, conversion-focused premium WordPress themes and list building plugins including Thrive Leads, Thrive Landing Pages, Thrive Architect, and more. Learn about the Thrive Themes affiliate program.
Other Affiliate Programs
- AppSumo – Up to a 100%
AppSumo is a daily deals website for digitally distributed goods and online services. Learn about the AppSumo affiliate program.
- Built Bar – 30%
Built Bar is truly a standout among protein bars with its exceptional nutritional profile and so many delicious flavors. Learn about the Built Bar affiliate program on ShareASale.
- Canva – Up to 100%
Canva is a graphic-design tool that helps people create images, logos, thumbnails, posters, and more. It provides access to over a million photographs and templates. Learn about the Canva affiliate program.
- Ginger – 50%
Ginger makes sure everything you write is mistake-free. It corrects all types of grammatical mistakes including punctuation, sentence structure, and style. Learn about the Ginger affiliate program on ShareASale.
- Grammarly – $20
Grammarly is the world’s leading software suite for perfecting written English. It checks spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, and enhances vocabulary usage. Learn about the Grammarly affiliate program on ShareASale.
- iMyFone – Up to 60%
iMyFone makes mobile utility software for iOS. It specializes in data recovery, storage management, data transfer, and privacy protection software. Learn about the iMyFone affiliate program.
- Incfile – $50
Incfile specializes in the formation of business entities. From LLCs to nonprofits, it has assisted more than 150,000 entrepreneurs to form their businesses. Learn about the Incfile affiliate program on ShareASale.
- Legal Templates – 35%
At Legal Templates, you can find the legal form you need, choose the state you live in, and quickly customize your document. Learn about the Legal Templates affiliate program on Impact.
- Morning Brew – $3.50
Morning Brew is a free daily email that delivers news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley in bite-size chunks. Learn about the Morning Brew affiliate program on Impact.
- Placeit – 50%
Placeit is a mockup and design tool that allows its users to create beautiful visuals and marketing materials instantly and straight from their browsers. Learn about the Placeit affiliate program.
- ShareASale – Up to $150
ShareASale is a leading affiliate network with the tools and technology to support advertisers and publishers. It pays $150 for qualifying merchant signups and $30 for qualifying affiliate signups. Learn about the ShareASale affiliate program.
- STDcheck – 40%
STDcheck takes the embarrassment and hassles out of conventional STD testing. It provides fast, affordable, and private STD testing to adults and minors at thousands of locations nationwide. Learn about the STDcheck affiliate program.
- Thinkific – 20%
Thinkific is an all-in-one online course platform that empowers anyone to quickly create, market, and sell excellent e-learning experiences. Learn about the Thinkific affiliate program.
- Zenefits – $25
Zenefits offers a comprehensive and mobile HR experience to simplify human resources. Learn about the Zenefits affiliate program on Impact.