If you are thinking about signing up for affiliate programs, you’re in the right place. By opting into an affiliate program of your choice, you open the door for immense growth with largely passive income. This article highlights the best high paying affiliate programs for bloggers that will surely help kick-start your online income journey.
What is an affiliate program?
Affiliate programs, also known as partner programs or referral programs, are agreements in which an online merchant pays an affiliate (like a blogger) a commission to send the merchant traffic to their website.
The most common method is when an affiliate links to the merchant’s website and is paid a fee when someone makes a purchase. This is considered affiliate marketing and is a proven advertising model that serves merchants and affiliates well.
How do I join an affiliate program?
The process of signing up with an affiliate program varies depending on the merchant, but it’s typically a simple, straightforward process. First, define your blog’s niche and level of expertise. There are various affiliate programs to choose from, and each offers unique benefits.
Next, choose an affiliate program that aligns best with your niche. If you launch an electronics website, join a beauty affiliate program and begin marketing beauty products to your target audience, you’re less likely to be successful.
There is a higher chance of success by signing up for programs that pair well with your audience’s interests and your blog’s focus. The best way to join an affiliate program is to create and launch a website that embodies your chosen niche.
Then, determine how you’ll get paid by the merchant. Most affiliate merchants use a payment platform like PayPal or Stripe.
How do I make money with affiliate programs?
Once you have a website and are accepted into an affiliate network, you’ll get access to that affiliate’s publisher dashboard. That’s where you’ll discover your unique affiliate links.
It might be tempting to put up random content and add affiliate links within the content. However, this strategy is not very effective in the long run. It is essential to build engaging content that elevates the affiliate link to ensure it generates traffic and, ultimately, affiliate revenue.
Then, when your readers click on the affiliate link, you’ll earn a commission if they purchase within a specific amount of time.
What should I look for in an affiliate program?
When searching the best high paying affiliate programs, there are a few key factors to consider:
- Cookie duration: As much as we wish we were talking about actual cookies with chocolate chips inside, cookie duration will not satisfy your sweet tooth. But it does play an essential role in the success of affiliate marketing. It is essentially the time you have to seal the deal once a link is clicked. Some affiliate programs offer as much as 120-day cookie length while others provide as low as 30 days. The longer the cookie length, the sweeter it is.
- Commission rates: Depending on the size of your audience, you can generate quite a bit of revenue from affiliate marketing alone, even while you sleep. Not every affiliate program offers the same commission rate. Many implement different commission structures such as pay per sale/action (PPA), pay per lead (PPL) and pay per click (PPC). Some provide a hybrid structure that is a mix of more than one type.
- Recurring vs. one-time commission: Recurring commission-based structures certainly have their advantages compared to one-time commissions. It provides ongoing commissions, whereas one-time commission structures are precisely that, just one time.
- Free to join: Most affiliate programs allow you to join for free. Be wary of those that cost you money upfront, as those programs may not have the biggest return on investment (ROI).
- Good customer support: Working with a merchant that delivers good support can make or break the online experience. It will bring you peace of mind knowing that you have support from the merchant. Support can be considered as live chat, email support, and marketing materials. Some programs go above and beyond and provide a dedicated account manager for affiliates.
Now that you have some background on affiliate marketing programs, let’s take a look at some of the best high paying affiliate marketing programs for bloggers.
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers in 2021
Fiverr is the largest online marketplaces for freelancing from creative to technical to business services and everything in between. The Fiverr Affiliates program is a partner program free to get sign up and is known to help affiliates earn up to $1000 for a single conversion. It’s as easy as creating an account, promoting Fiverr with your target audience, and start earning.
Once you create an account, choose a commission plan that best suits your business. Fiverr offers two options: Fiverr CPA and Fiverr Hybrid. Depending on which category your audience purchases from on Fiverr, you could earn different commissions from $15 to $150 with Fiverr CPA. Fiverr Hybrid features $10 CPA + 10% RevShare. The minute your audience starts buying on Fiverr, you are eligible for Fiverr CPA commissions.
Your unique affiliate links include a cookie length of up to 30 days. Once someone clicks your link and registers an account with Fiverr within those 30 days, you earn credit for the referral. Once they purchase, then you will earn a commission. With Fiverr Affiliates, you get paid for every first-time buyer. Not to mention, there are no limitations with referrals and lifetime eligibility.
In just under 60 seconds, you can have an affiliate account created with Grammarly and start earning big! Over the years, Grammarly has risen to the top of the Education category in affiliate marketing.
Grammarly is equipped with a highly competitive commission structure and proven high conversion rates. They reward their best performers with extras like cash bonuses and increased payouts, to name a few. The Grammarly Affiliate Program provides an impressive cookie duration length of 90 days and delivers top-of-the-line support.
With every free registration, you earn $0.20, and every premium plan purchase equates to $20. However, Grammarly is more of a one-time commission structure as you cannot earn more than once with one buyer. Once they make their initial purchase, it’s a done deal.
Tailwind is hands-down one of the best affiliate programs for social media management. They are officially partnered with Pinterest and Instagram to help take its users’ marketing goals to the next level. They provide a full suite of helpful marketing tools such as Smart Scheduling, Analytics, Content Discovery and so much more.
Tailwind’s affiliate program provides you with a 90-day cookie duration with opportunities to earn up to 25% in recurring affiliate commissions. A huge bonus with Tailwind is it doesn’t just start and end with a website. You can expand into mobile development as well as social networks. And, the application process is pretty straightforward.
Bluehost is an all-in-one platform that helps get a website set up with everything it needs from startup to launch, including domain, hosting, and more. The Bluehost Affiliate program enables users to earn $65 for every qualified hosting purchase using your affiliate link.
It’s entirely free to join, and the partnership comes with a dedicated team always available to help when the need arises. It’s as simple as promoting Bluehost on your website using custom banners and links. Bluehost is more of a one-time commission-based structure as it is only effective at the time of initial purchase. Their cookie length is up to 90 days.
5. WP Engine
WP Engine is a WordPress hosting platform catering to businesses of all sizes with over 1.2 million hosted websites across 150 countries. Their award-winning affiliate program delivers competitive commissions and optimized strategies to help you earn up to thousands of commissions for just a single referral.
When someone uses your link to purchase hosting, you can make a minimum of $200 or an amount equal to the first month’s payment, whichever is higher. This means it is strictly a one-time commission-based structure. Their cookie duration lasts up to a whopping 120 days! It’s no surprise this platform made it on the list for the best high paying affiliate programs. To apply, simply register at their affiliate site and create an account with ShareASale, then submit it for review.
HostGator is another popular web hosting platform with over 2 million hosted websites. They offer the tools necessary to create a low-cost website for startups and eCommerce businesses. It’s free to become a HostGator affiliate.
By promoting HostGator, you can earn anywhere from $65 to $125 per sign-up, depending on the number of sign-ups per month. With room for bonuses, limitless referrals, and over 100 ad designs, there is great potential to make some serious passive income using their platform. HostGator provides users with 60 days of tracking cookies. Since you can primarily earn only when someone signs up for HostGator hosting using your affiliate link, there is no recurring opportunity here.
Hostinger takes pride in providing millions with affordable website hosting solutions. By joining their affiliate program, you can earn a minimum of 60% from every sale generated using your unique affiliate link.
Hostinger offers a smaller cookie length of up to 30 days compared to other web hosting affiliate programs mentioned here. It’s fast, easy, and free to join their affiliate program. Once you are verified, you are provided access to your affiliate dashboard. While you may only have the opportunity to earn commissions on sign-ups, there is great potential for the commission values to increase in the future with the more user you bring to the Hostinger platform.
Sendinblue is an intuitive marketing platform that offers cloud-based digital marketing tools for small to medium-sized businesses. The Sendinblue platform helps you grow your marketing and sales from managing email campaigns, sending text messages, or automation.
Sendinblue offers multiple program types, from agencies to bloggers to incubators. They include a 90-day cookie duration with real-time tracking using Tapfiliate. If you send a free user to Sendinblue and they make an account, you will earn a small commission for the lead referral. Their affiliate program offers a recurring commission opportunity considering they pay for both leads and sales.
Email Marketing and Landing Pages
Convertkit is a successful email marketing tool that is great for bloggers. Not only is it one of the easiest recurring affiliate programs around, but it also enables affiliates to earn 30% commission per month for every creator that signs up and stays a subscribed customer of Convertkit.
They offer a 60-day cookie duration. The process of joining their affiliate marketing program is quite simple, and you do not have to be a customer of Convertkit to take advantage of the program. Success starts with having an established audience to market the email marketing tool. Once you start sharing the unique affiliate link, you can start earning.
AWeber is another powerful email marketing provider that caters to small businesses and entrepreneurs. They specialize in email drip campaigns and newsletters. Their affiliate program, AWeber Advocate Program, enables you to get signed up in just under 2 minutes and is entirely free.
Whether you are familiar with affiliate marketing or not, they help set you up for success. AWeber offers recurring 30% monthly commission with the potential to earn additional income of up to $300 per account using CJ Affiliate. While they provide a massive cookie duration of up to 1 year if you sign up directly through the AWeber site, if you sign up through the CJ Affiliate program, the cookie length is only up to 45 days.
ActiveCampaign is one of the leading affiliate programs due to its innovative marketing technologies that help users create meaningful customer experiences. By joining their program, you can earn up to a 30% monthly commission.
Some users make a couple thousand each month, whereas others reach hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly using the ActiveCampaign affiliate program. They also have a 90-day cookie duration.
Leadpages is a landing page builder tool that empowers users to build optimized web pages using built-in forms and calls-to-action. Their affiliate program offers a competitive commission rate of up to 50% for every new sign-up and future transaction so long as they remain a customer of Leadpages. It’s free and easy to become an Affiliate of Leadpages with 1-day approval turnarounds. Once you are approved, sit back and focus on generating traffic.
GetResponse is one of the best high paying affiliate programs out there when it comes to adaptability. They deliver users a simplified and modern tool to send emails, automate marketing, and create landing pages from one dashboard.
Unlike many other affiliate programs, GetResponse offers two commission plans to choose from: a one-time commissions plan of $100 per sign-up or a recurring plan with up to 33% commission as long as the person remains a customer of GetResponse. Both plans provide monthly payouts and free marketing materials. Their cookie tracking length is up to 120 days. Their program is free to sign-up for and is an excellent fit for freelancers, small businesses, agencies, and more.
BigCommerce is one of the largest eCommerce platforms on the market that powers thousands of online stores across more than 150 countries, serving various niche industries. The BigCommerce platform provides a substantial commission structure with up to 200% or $1,500 per enterprise customer. They offer a 90-day cookie length once your unique link is clicked. Simply apply and specify your media property types.
Shopify is a one-stop shop for eCommerce businesses. They help users sell online efficiently and effectively. Similar to BigCommerce, Shopify offers an excellent commission set-up with up to 200% for each user you send to them.
As an affiliate, you earn twice the monthly plan price the user purchases. However, the user must be active for two months to receive a payout via PayPal only. Unlike other platforms, Shopify offers only a 30-day cookie length. To apply for Shopify, you must own an active website, have an audience, and create original content. Applications can take up to 15 days for approvals.
Wix is a popular eCommerce platform that can help any size business scale and has everything needed to run an online store. This merchant provides affiliates a one-time commission structure of $100 per Premium sale and a 30-day cookie length. To qualify for commission payouts, you must first reach at least $300 per month in sales. The application process is as simple as 1, 2, 3. Sign-up, promote Wix, and get paid!
SendOwl is a platform where content creators can sell digital products, memberships, subscriptions, and more. As an affiliate, you can save money on your monthly SendOwl dues and earn 20% for every paid subscription. SendOwl provides a 90-day cookie length. Simply create a free referral account if you are not already a customer or start sharing your existing affiliate link and earn money!
18. Amazon Associates
Amazon is a leading marketplace for online retailers across hundreds of industries. If you need something specific, there’s a high chance Amazon has it. Depending on the type of products offered, you can earn anywhere between 1% to 10%.
Granted, this is a significantly smaller one-time commission structure compared to other affiliate programs on this list. However, the most significant advantage to becoming an affiliate of Amazon is the massive marketplace it has and this makes it not as hard to sell. As long as you have an active qualifying website, you can become an Amazon Affiliate. Amazon’s cookie length is one of the shortest at 24 hours.
Etsy is another massive marketplace specializing in unique hand-crafted goods. One-time affiliate commissions are based geographically and can range from 2-4% of the total sale price paired with a 30-day cookie length. Applying is simple, but you can only apply to the country you reside in.
Walmart is a national retail corporation known for its everyday low prices. Their affiliate program enables users to earn up to 4% on each sale through banner ads and links marketed on your website. Walmart provides a one-time commission structure and only a 24-hour cookie length. The program is free to join and can take up to a day for approval.
Bluchic provides elegant and feminine WordPress themes that help elevate an online business in the best way. With Bluchic, you can earn up to a one-time 25% commission off each sale and the affiliate program includes a 90-day cookie length.
The application process is managed through a third-party affiliate partner, SendOwl, and is entirely free. Themes retail from $79 to $347, which means you can earn from $19.74 up to $86.75 for each sale! Payouts occur on the first of every month via PayPal with no minimum needed to receive your payments earned.
StudioPress operates in collaboration with WP Engine and offers themes available for purchase. While this is not a recurring affiliate program, you can still earn at least 35% of the sales generated within the 60-day cookie length.
Elementor is a user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder featuring hundreds of widgets, templates, and much more to build an attractive and interactive website. Affiliate members of this program can earn up to 50% per sale, making it one of the highest paying affiliate programs in this category. To receive a commission, you must earn at least $200 first with no maximum on how much you can make. Elementor has a 30-day cookie period.
24. Elegant Themes
Elegant Themes is a theme library built for WordPress and includes over 80 user-friendly themes. Unlike other platforms, Elegant Themes offers a 50% one-time commission of every sale plus recurring commission for yearly renewals. Elegant Themes is one of the few affiliate merchants to offer a 180-day cookie length. To apply, simply visit their affiliate site and complete the application.
Teachable takes teaching to another level with beautifully designed online courses available at your fingertips. Considering this is a membership platform, affiliates can earn up to 30% recurring commissions. Teachable’s cookie tracking lasts 90-days and is a great way to enter the education affiliate realm.
Thinkific is another online course platform with robust education course-building tools. It offers up to 20% recurring commission. However, the recurring commission is only available for the first year of a customer’s lifecycle. Similar to Teachable, they offer a 90-day cookie length. To apply, simply visit their website and choose your partner track, whether it’s an agency, app developer, or marketing partner.
Udemy is one of the largest online course platforms with an expansive catalog. With Udemy, you can earn up to 15% commission for each course that someone purchases through your affiliate link. Their cookie length is just seven days, so it requires fast action for sign-ups. To apply, you must first have an active website, blog, or social media presence and abide by their brand guidelines.
Among the many education online course platforms, Skillshare has risen to the top as one of the most creative course platforms, offering classes on cooking to photography and more creative ventures. Skillshare offers affiliates a fixed commission of $7 for each new customer that signs up for a Premium membership or free trial. Their cookie length is 30-days. Joining is free for those who have an established presence online. One unique catch with Skillshare is free trial sign-ups count towards your commission.
Bonus tip: If you’re interested in launching an online course, check out our guide to best online course platforms for an in-depth review.
ShareASale is a popular affiliate network hosting over 1 million affiliates. Some of their top industries include home, garden, food, and fashion. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, ShareASale is a great place to start. With so many programs to choose from, you’re sure to find a program that works with your blog’s focus.
You can also make money referring others to ShareASale. Their commission structure begins with a one-time 20% commission of each sale. ShareASale is one of the few affiliate networks to offer a full year of cookie tracking.
Impact is a partnership relationship management software that helps publishers connect with top brands. If you’re looking to launch an affiliate program of your own, Impact would be the way to go. Popular brands that use Impact include Uber, Airbnb, Allstate, and more. With cookie lengths averaging around 30 days, the commissions vary depending on the partnerships you choose to align with. To get started, create an account with Impact, then sign in as a Partner. The application process is a bit extensive compared to other platforms, but well worth it.
31. CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction)
CJ Affiliate is another massive affiliate network with over 4 million partnerships created annually. Using cutting-edge technology, CJ Affiliate delivers an unparalleled affiliate marketing experience. Like ShareASale, there are a variety of affiliate programs available and cookie lengths can vary from program to program.
Rakuten is a popular affiliate network that features top merchants such as Walmart, Best Buy, and Macy’s, to name a few. The Rakuten network is a smaller network when compared to CJ or ShareASale, but they are packed with efficiency. The commission and cookie duration all depend on the specific merchant you sign up with. Like most of these platforms, you must have an existing active website and audience to market to to be considered for this program.
FlexOffers provides you access to over 12,000 different partnerships to build meaningful relationships. Commission and cookie duration all depend on the specific merchant you choose. Considering the massive library they have, you certainly have room to grow a thriving network. Not to mention, you’re paired with a dedicated affiliate manager.
ClickBank is an affiliate network that specializes in digital products but is not opposed to physical goods either. The ClickBank affiliate network is considered to be one of the smaller merchants online. Commission rates and cookie lengths depend on the merchant you sign up with. However, you’ll find flexibility of commissions with both percentage and flat-rate options. Cookie lengths vary but tend to be up to 60 days. It’s completely free to sign up and this can be done in under 1 minute.
AWin is another smaller affiliate network equipped with over 13,000 different merchants including, but not limited to, Etsy, HP, Gymshark, and Under Armour. Commission rates and cookie durations depend entirely on the merchant you choose. While it may be easy to sign-up for their affiliate program, AWin charges a $5 sign-up fee, which is then refunded if you are approved.
Final Thoughts About Best Paying Affiliate Programs
Don’t wait to get started with affiliate marketing just because your blog or website is new. There are plenty of opportunities to make passive income, even possibly while you sleep! It’s essential to choose products related to your niche and that you like, are familiar with, and can confidently support.
Like this article? Don’t forget to share it!