The affiliate marketing industry continues to grow with affiliate programs with high-paying affiliate opportunities for beginners and professionals.
This market is a great way to make money at home from the comfort of your own space, but there are some important considerations before you begin, like how much you will earn and the programs you will choose to take part in to be able to make more than just a few bucks every month.
Your decision about which affiliate marketing program you will take is an important one. Not all of them are created equal, so let’s dive a little deeper into what is an affiliate program in the first place so you can understand how you will make money and why it is crucial to be selective when choosing one or more.
What Is an Affiliate Program? – Making Money Online
To make it simple, an affiliate program is an agreement in which the company running the program incentives the “affiliate,” which can be another business or influencer, to send them referral traffic in exchange for commissions the affiliate receives per lead or user (most of the time).
The alignment of incentives between affiliates and merchants is one of the most popular ways for brands to expand their reach and attract customers.
Many companies permit you to sign up directly from their website for the affiliate program, but they also include some requirements and qualifications for you to be considered into it.
A link to an affiliate program is usually found in the footer of a company’s website. This link can take you to the sign-up page for the affiliate program for the network they use or landing pages that provide more information about how to become an affiliate for the company.
After creating an affiliate account, you can place a unique link known as the common “affiliate hyperlink” that will keep track of the traffic you provide the brand and guarantee you’re paid the commissions you deserve and have earned.
This link should be placed on your blog or social media channels to take the visitor to the merchant’s site.
Although affiliate marketing programs are the same for all companies, the way commissions are paid significantly will be different.
Affiliate programs may pay a commission only after a customer makes a purchase. However, others will reward the visitor for signing up for an email list or free trial.
There are significant differences in commission rates between affiliate programs based on how they work or are simply willing to pay their affiliates.
This takes us to the main topic: the importance of choosing the right programs and getting paid for the traffic and user you are taking to the brand’s site.
That being said, we have summarized the primary rewards or types of payments you receive whenever you take part in an affiliate program. The brand can offer them at once or a specific method based on the deal you close:
- Receive a percentage of sales: This is the most popular type of reward for affiliates since it allows you to receive a percentage of sales for every customer who clicks on your link and makes a purchase at the business site.
- Get a commission: Many affiliate programs offer a fixed payment based on the purchase price of the product or service.
- Get a Free Product: This reward is very popular among beauty influencers as well as refer-a-friend programs. Instead of receiving a cash payment, you will receive a product sample or an upgrade to your subscription plan. Although it is still appealing, affiliate marketing doesn’t provide steady income, and you usually want to participate in the program to receive money, not products.
Highest-Paid Affiliated Programs in 2021
Now that we have the concept clear, we can start suggesting what you’re here: the programs you should try to access if you want to earn money.
Although some people might be interested in the latter option of payment (free products), we won’t include any program with this option on this list. Why? Because as we mentioned, you usually join to earn money, not get products that you usually can resell, and if you could, it is a lot of work.
Therefore, only expect programs that generate either a fixed payment for the sales and clicks or a percentage for the interactions with your affiliate hyperlink. Keep in mind our recommendations are great as marketing programs for beginners or professionals trying to find new options.
HostGator is a great way to earn money since, unlike other web affiliate programs, it allows you to get up to $100 per sign-up and has flexible commission structures.
You only need to either dedicate a landing page for the program or include it in your blog posts and content where people can click on the link easily (if you make it difficult, under 30% of your audience will even click even less buy).
With the program, you can offer discounts for the accounts offered. Some vary from 40% to 60%, but everything depends on the offer by the affiliate program active and its conditions at the moment of requesting it.
In HostGator, tiered commissions are available. The more affiliates you refer, you will earn more commissions. Either a performance-based, hybrid, or recurring payment model is available.
When joining their program, you get a dedicated account manager, access to marketing tools such as banners, text hyperlinks, and email templates.
It makes it pretty easy for you to promote the link and help you earn commissions while they receive the expected results.
The cookie life (the duration of your affiliate links) goes up to 60 days, much more than usual programs that set it at 30 days. Keep in mind you won’t earn $100 during the first five sales but instead $65. However, after them, you get up to $100 easily.
Something you will notice on our list is that web affiliate programs will be quite included. Why? Because they are not only fair with their terms and payments but generous as well.
Many people can join, and although you have to meet some qualifications, as we have mentioned, it is possible to have your link and wait for some luck.
Now, the Bluehost affiliate program is super popular in the web hosting space since people are always creating and building websites. As a result, users want to find the best offer, and clicking on a hyperlink ends up being the best idea.
Their plans start at $2.95/month, with one-time payouts starting from $65+. The cost barrier is low and the commissions high in comparison, which gives you more opportunities to earn a high income without requesting viewers or visitors to pay for a high digital product or service. It is one they will need for their projects.
Once you sign up, you will receive credit for referrals for up to 45-60 days from the initial click. You will receive your monthly payment around the 16th of each month. To release your payment, you must have at least $100.
When being part of the program, you’ll have high conversion rates, access to banners and text links to assist the entire process of promoting the brand and links quickly.
Just as its name suggests, it is a VPN that allows users to access websites from other countries and searches that are usually blocked or banned from your location.
The brand offers an affiliate program that is quite popular, thanks to how easy it is for users to buy the product and receive commissions.
NordVPN’s commissions depend on the subscription plan that the customer orders. These include 100% for one month, 40% for six months, and 40% for one-year plans. The renewal for all of them is up to 30%.
The company has high conversion rates and dedicated account managers to assist you in driving sales.
However, the affiliate link duration is only up to 30 days which is quite short compared to the previous programs and the next to come.
ExpressVPN was founded in 2009 and is one of the most well-known options for online privacy protection.
One of the benefits of choosing it above other VPN services in the market is that part of its use is free when it comes to apps or extensions connected to your browser.
However, moving and retail with the part we care about, you get high one-time payouts depending on which plan users sign up for. 1 month is $13, 6 is $22, and 12 is $36.
This means you will get those numbers depending on the monthly, semester, or annual option the user chose while using your link to connect to the offer.
The cookie life is up to 90 days and, as you can see, longer than NordVPN. However, both offer great deals, and it is hard to compare them.
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing automation and CRM tool that has been around since 2003.
Its highly-respected marketing automation features have helped it become a well-known brand over the past few years.
The program can be used by any business involved in the online environment, such as eCommerce stores, B2C, and B2B firms. It is a highly reliable email marketing platform that sends out targeted messages and newsletters on every campaign.
The details about the commissions vary depending on the recurring referrals. You start at 20% of the service cost, while you can then go up to 30% depending on how frequent people sign up with your hyperlink.
The cookie life isn’t detailed in its platform nor other sources of information except when they provide it to you once been approved for the program.
Wix is a high-quality website builder with over 100 million users. It has become quite popular due to the free alternatives and premium options available which make it easy for anyone to build a website in a matter of minutes and without much effort.
The usual problem with building websites is that it can be expensive; you need to sign up for many services and know-how to code. Since Wix saves you time for this, people are choosing it over other web builders.
For its affiliate program, the commissions are very generous since affiliates get $100 per sale. They also have a wide range of landing pages that can be used in multiple languages.
The service has over 100 templates that can be used and customized with some personal and unique elements.
The price for the subscription starts at $29, and you still get $100 per premium referral.
However, its cookie life only lasts 30 days.
Shopify is the most famous eCommerce website builder worldwide. What it offers to customers and its users is earning a lot of money per sale even when other builders charge a high percentage of their earnings.
As a result, everyone prefers the platform whenever they are building an online store, thanks to their stable conversion rates. Their website also features valuable FAQs for affiliates and promotional ideas.
The commission rate varies depending on how much your users or people clicking your link pay.
The first one starts at 2x 100% commission for each referred plan’s first and second payments.
The Basic Shopify plan will allow you to earn $58 ($29/month + 2 = $58) if you follow the math. Shopify Plus plans are the exception since affiliates make a flat rate of $2.000 per conversion.
In some countries, Shopify can increase the payout by 300%.
Its cookie life is only 30 days, but this is due to the high rates offered for affiliates.
Cloudways is a managed hosting platform that provides high-performance services to growing teams and usually small businesses.
It is popular among users because it is stable, and its prices don’t go over the moon compared to others in the competence.
Cloudways offers two ways to earn a commission.
One-time fixed commissions start at $50 per sale and increase to 150$ depending on the sales volume, or the hybrid option, which includes a $30 Commission for each sale and a lifetime commission of 7% for the latter.
The long cookie window (90 days) allows you to earn more based on the sales volume than you think as long as you give good use to your marketing and strategies.
The program offers affiliate support managers to assist you in the process, which is a plus compared to other programs.
Constant Contact is a leader when it comes to email marketing. Since this type of marketing strategy is vital for bloggers, social media influencers, and affiliate marketers, you can expect people to always try to acquire a new service.
Constant Contact makes it easy to create stunning templates, share with your contacts and track real-time statistics while also offers an affiliate program that allows you to make decent amounts.
The rates vary depending on the customers—those who sign up for a free 60-day trial gett you a $5 payout. Direct paying customers earn you $105 in commission.
A subscription to the free trial customer upgrade will allow you to earn an additional $105.
This means it isn’t bad at all, and even when people sign for the free trial, you are already making some income. You would think not many choose to pay the premium option, but once they test the platform, over 50% decide to hire the services officially.
The cookie life goes up to 90 days, which gives you a great window to earn more referrals and wait for the additional $105 when people pay for the upgrade or not.
This service is one of the most trusted SEO tools that help online businesses and marketers with keyword research, tracking, and search engine optimization.
SEMrush’s tools are highly recommended for optimizing your website’s rank by conducting more effective keyword searches.
The affiliate program through BeRush (SEMRush’s exclusive affiliate program) is a great way for bloggers to make a recurring income, and you can even consider it if you believe that your audience or viewers would be interested. Everything depends on what you sell and market.
The best part about it is both the commission rate and cookie duration, which are 40% and ten years, respectively.
Although you don’t get commissions for existing referrals or returners, the cookie life allows you to bet for a long time and passive income.
If you are familiar with WordPress, you’ve probably heard about Elementor.
It is known for its extremely useful WordPress page builder. It allows users to drag and drop WordPress elements instead of going over every detail and searching for the options, which can be very annoying.
It also lets users view the pages and posts they have created before clicking “publish.”
Elementor offers a free version of their page builder, but the paid versions include advanced widgets, a theme builder, a popup builder, a WooCommerce builder, and many other features.
You earn commissions for the paid version, and this one is up to 50%. However, the cookie life is only 30 days, which can make it a bit hard to earn enough money with it, especially since you have to meet a $200 threshold to get paid.
Elegant Themes offers over 80 beautiful themes to choose from. Each theme is created by experts programmers who want to create a dynamic website that will engage visitors.
They also provide an intuitive interface with drag-and-drop page builders and easy navigation.
In addition, the service is known for creating beautiful themes and offering amazing plugins that can enhance those themes.
The following plugins are some of their most popular: Divi Builder, which allows you to drag and drop parts on your website, making it so much easier to build your page.
There are opt-in email plugins and social media sharing to make it easier for users to find you and share your posts.
The best part about the affiliate program lies in the 50% lifetime recurring commission and the six months for the cookie life.
Let’s face it, who doesn’t know WordPress? Well, what you probably didn’t know is about its referral program.
Many people doubt about joining it because it pays 20% on all referral sales. However, what those don’t know is that this applies to anyone who purchases a JetPack, WordPress.com, or WooCommerce product, and that’s where the real money is.
WooCommerce has more WP-based shops than any other product, and the extensions cost around $200 each. You can earn $40 per extension sales with a 20% affiliate rate.
Most people will need at least one premium extension in order to actually run their stores. It’s also the official WordPress referral network, so you can trust it. You could also see some decent checks from WordPress.com as the platform recently transitioned to a managed hosting-style model.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe is the most famous and used design software that offers a suite of creative and multimedia products.
There’s no single person who doesn’t need to use Adobe’s software (at least one of them), and, at some point, paying for the official service is needed to acquire all the benefits and support.
Thanks to this, affiliates can earn a lot of money thanks to Adobe’s Affiliate Program, which has an estimated revenue-generating capacity in the range of $9.03 million.
This makes it attractive for budding bloggers to join and other people who create content in another media type.
To earn commissions, you promote Adobe products, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
Your commission rate with be based on monthly subscriptions, which give you 85% of the first month, the yearly subscription based on a monthly payment that follows the previous rate, and the one-time payment for the year plan that provides you 8.33% of the first year (all this focused on the cost of the product).
Canva is turning to be a key platform and program for people who don’t know much about design and can’t afford Adobe’s products or pay someone to handle the task.
This is why this drag-and-drop designing tool that helps weed out the fuss and technical aspects of graphic design is an incredibly good option to make money as an affiliate: because way too many people use it and subscribe.
Although it offers great alternatives with its free option, you can get the best out of the tool thanks to the subscription, which is quite affordable and allows you to include over two members in your team who can use your premium account. There won’t need to pay for individual ones.
It offers thousands of beautiful templates with customizable layouts and features that can be used by any business, from startups to multi-million-dollar companies.
The commission rate goes up to $36 for each new Pro Canva Subscriber, which is a great deal based on the subscription cost.
But its cookie life is only 30 days.
Udemy is probably the most popular online learning platform at the moment, which is only increasing in popularity due to the pandemic and thousands of users wanting to learn new skills without leaving their homes.
This platform targets both students and adults, and the courses available are truly something to appreciate.
There are more than 30,000,000 students on the platform and over 50,000 instructors who offer courses in over 60 languages.
Udemy’s affiliate program is a great choice for educational blogs. It is hosted on Rakuten LinkShare but is also available periodically on other affiliate networks.
Your commission rate is 15% based on the course or subscription of the user, and although this seems low, many people are likely to subscribe to the platform.
The only problem is the cookie duration since it is only seven days, and we would definitely wish for it at least 30 days as most affiliate programs.
Fiverr, the largest marketplace for freelance services, has millions of freelancers, consultants, and creatives.
Every day, thousands of people sign up to join the community and have a better chance at finding more options to generate income, be it some extra cash or finally earn what they deserve.
Since this platform is quite popular, you can promote Fiverr’s largest online marketplace by signing up for the affiliate program and earn a lot thanks to how likely people are to sign up.
There are many options, from writing and logo design to programming or business services.
While the cookie life is up to 30 days, the commission rate goes from $15 to $150 CPA for every first-time buyer or when a sale is up to $1.000.
eToro Partners is a highly lucrative affiliate program of the most popular social trading platform.
With over 5 million users in over 140 countries, it tops the most used trading option in the market, and this number continues to grow rapidly.
One of the beauties of eToro is that it allows its users to post and communicate through their social trading platform to view trading statistics of other users, discuss trading strategies, and automatically copy other traders via eToro’s CopyTrader technology.
Thanks to this alone, it is no surprise that eToro has become the world’s most popular social trading platform. The eToro Partners program, a highly profitable affiliate program, brought more growth their way.
eToro Partners has over 50,000,000 members and is one of the most popular financial affiliate programs. With a network that is as successful and extensive as eToro, it’s easy to convert new traders and gain their trust to join the eToro platform.
Your commission rate as an affiliate will go up to $200 CPA and 25% in revenue share, while you have 45 days for the hyperlink.
Etsy is an online marketplace for craftspeople, artisans, makers, and thrifters. There’s a good possibility that you have heard of it since people who want to earn some cash or start an income based on their crafts choose it before any other platform or alternative.
Etsy has over 2 million active sellers and millions of products in its listings, making it one of the biggest platforms for those types of products.
It may surprise you to know that Etsy has an affiliate program for bloggers who are in the right niches (those related to artisans the products sold on the stores), allowing them to make extra income.
Etsy doesn’t disclose their commission rates clearly on its affiliate sign-up page, but many people earn money based on the program more than their own sales, which makes us believe it is a great alternative to make more than just extra income.
Just keep in mind they typically charge between 4% to 8% for qualified sales, and its cookie life is 30 days.
Hostinger, another popular web hosting platform, can offer affiliates up to $150 per sale.
It makes it one of the best affiliate programs due to the amount of money you can earn with just one referral, and since the sign-up is instant, you don’t have difficulties being part of the program right away.
Of course, the base payout for affiliate partners isn’t $150 in the first buys or referrals but rather $60 (which continues to be a great rate based on other programs included in other lists and even this one).
Their WordPress and small business plans offer a 90% discount and begin at $0.99/month. This gives them excellent conversion rates and why you can go up to $150 without many issues after a few people using your hyperlink.
They offer banners and other promotional tools, just like many web hosts, in other for you to promote the cookie. There are no referral caps, and you can send unlimited numbers of referrals.
To date, Kinsta offers the best cloud-based hosting for WordPress bloggers, and anyone who says the opposite is either because they haven’t tried or they are jealous of the possibilities and decide to go somewhere else (big mistake, if you ask us).
Kinsta is widely regarded as one of the most reliable managed-to-host providers for bloggers, with LXD orchestrated Linux boxes under the hood at all their data centers worldwide.
It is also known for providing lightning-fast hosting and SSL support via Let’s Encrypt to provide additional protection and seamless migration.
Not many can compete with it when it comes to safety and speed, which is why many people choose it over other alternatives. Thus, this is a great chance to make quite the money.
Their commission rate for referrals can make you earn up to $500 (depending on the plan value) + 10% monthly recurring life commissions, and since the cookie life is up to 60 days, you have very good chances.
Twitch allows anyone to stream live and view broadcasts and video games online. It is geared towards gamers and hosts esports competitions as well as influential personalities to suit a broad audience.
How does this involve an affiliate program? Well, all platform users have the option of partners in the first instance, and although it doesn’t look like an affiliate, it actually is and a very good one at that.
Thanks to the partnership program, most streamers make over 50% of their income, and you can easily include hyperlinks that add another source to earn the income.
Since Twitch is very interactive, including the fact that searches can be done based on specific categories and viewers can chat with other community members in real-time via chatbox, it is the favorite for over 60% of the gaming community and general viewers.
The commission rates reach 50% for subscriptions and 5% for game sales.
RedBubble offers independent artists a new way to make money from their passion and not have to quit their dreams of making it profitable.
Over 700k designers and artists use RedBubble to connect with millions of art-loving followers.
It is pretty easy to start since opening a profile shop takes only a few minutes. Once you find the design that you like, you can begin a transaction between creators and fans.
The commission rate is up to 10% of the sale. If the price is low, you can’t expect to earn lots of money. However, sales stack up the longer you remain in the program, and some reach over $500, allowing you to make quite the money per sale.
Its cookie life is up to 30 days, and they offer many payment methods to make it easy for you to withdraw the money.
99 Designs is another freelancer platform that you will find among options like Fiverr and Upwork. However, the big difference between it and the rest lies in that it specializes in connecting graphic designers with clients. Thus, it isn’t a general platform for everyone to find a specific job or opportunity.
It houses a list of specialists who can create logos and business cards for any prospecting client. This platform is also where freelance graphic designers can find gigs, full-time work, and a great place to finally start earning what they deserve.
Since it specializes in this field, you would get the best out of the commission program if your blog or content is related.
Your commission rate will start at $60 per new customer. After you have made more than 25 sales, you can upgrade to $80 for commission.
Upgrade to the highest tier at $100 per commission when reaching 50-lifetime sales.
The cookie life is undisclosed, but it does work with the 1-click attribution system.
This platform is another giant in the web hosting space and has been around since 2010.w
When it was launched, the company focused on providing premium-positioned WordPress hosting for the niche of selling lightning-fast hosting alternatives to bloggers and anyone who needed them.
If there’s something the service is famous for is for its reliability, and many choose it without second thoughts.
They have one of the best affiliate programs available for bloggers covering web hosting-related topics, which interests us in this case.
The commission rate reaches $200 as the minimum for WP Engine sales and 35% for StudioPress theme sales. The best part? Its cookie life is 180 days.
How to Get Started as an Affiliate Marketer
If you came here, that’s because you’re trying to finally include affiliate links in your blog or content, or you want to learn about the possibility of making money with this.
If it is the latter, you are probably wondering how you can start in this field since after reading all the options available, and remember we included the highest-paid affiliate programs only, you must be motivated to give it a try.
For it, we suggest you start a blog and make it grow a bit. Yes, you will have to work hard for the money you can get from the best affiliate marketing programs, but it will be worth it once you start earning all that passive income.
Blogging isn’t the only method since you also have affiliate networks that YouTubers or content creators of another type of media join. However, it is the most popular and usually the easiest method for people to earn money as an affiliate.
Now, if you’re wondering about affiliate network and how it works, we can explain it as platforms that partner with brands and you are able to enter their services to earn commissions from them. This usually saves time finding and joining paying affiliate programs worth it, but you receive less money per commission in the process.
Going back to the steps, you can either create a blog, include affiliate links in other parts of your content depending on which one you focus on, even in your social media, but this is as long as it is worth it as well.
If you are starting and already including hundreds of affiliate links, people won’t be willing to support you because, yes, they know you’re earning money for it. Therefore, focus on building your audience, which will help you to bet for recurring commission options and high-paying programs since most of them have qualifications you have to meet.
Choosing the Best Affiliate Marketing Programs
If you ask us, hosting affiliate programs is probably the best alternative due to their commission rates and how the platforms and services continue growing, providing a great opportunity for affiliate marketers to truly earn more than some cash.
We know you are wondering if programs like the Amazon associates program and eBay partner network aren’t good. After all, how could we leave the programs from these two platforms out of our list? Simple, they aren’t that good to be included.
Commission rates aren’t high, and the duration of their affiliate links doesn’t provide you many opportunities to get paid even when you handle the sales.
You have to focus on the best affiliate program offers in the short and long run to get the best out of your efforts and time ((and even money).
ClickBank affiliate programs aren’t something we want to include either. Why? Because not many people end up acquiring those products for the usual reputation they have. Spoiler: it is very bad.
You want to focus on earning commissions based on products and services. In this way, you are not limited to the few bucks you get for sign-ups and new customers.
Programs with recurring commissions are also the best ones you can choose from the list we compiled for you as long as you have great use of online marketing.
Finally, can you really make money with affiliate marketing? This is the most asked question among our followers and readers. We get why: it is uncertain if you will be able to sell products or earn commissions, especially considering that affiliate links don’t last that much.
However, be confident about it since even those affiliate programs for beginners provide great chances for you to make over $100 per month when starting.
Here’s Our #1 Recommended Online Business Model: