15 Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners (2024)


If you’re just starting out in affiliate marketing, it can be hard to know where to begin. That’s why I have put together this list of 15 of the best affiliate programs for beginners.

In this list, you will find a variety of programs with different payment structures and opportunities for success. Best of all, you don’t have to cough up a boatload of money to get started.

I hope that by reading through this list of affiliate programs, you’ll get a better idea of what each program has to offer. This way, you can choose the program that’s right for your business

So you Want To Be An Online Business Owner?

Before I jump into the list, I think it is important for you to understand the amazing benefits that come with running your own online business. I love having an online business because it is very flexible.

And the best part is you can earn money from anywhere in the world as long as you have a computer and an internet connection.

In addition, you get to decide how much time and energy you want to put into your business each day, and there are no limits on what you can achieve.

But, if you’re thinking about running a business online or offline then there are some things that you should know. You will need to be prepared for the following:

  • Tons of work if you are doing everything yourself
  • Learning as much as possible before getting started
  • Making mistakes along the way

Starting and growing any type of company takes hard work, dedication, and discipline. But, it’s worth it in the end.

Be prepared to do some learning because technology changes at a rapid pace. What is the in thing today, maybe obsolete six months from now.

You can easily keep up with the latest trends in technology by subscribing to technology-related newsletters or blogs.

Lastly, there are so many mistakes that can be made when you’re first starting a business online, and there’s no way of predicting what will work for your particular situation.

That is why I decided to make this list because I made plenty of mistakes when I first started online. I started with affiliate marketing, but I took a lot of shortcuts to try and make money quickly.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Hand drawn concept whiteboard drawing - affiliate marketing model

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based advertising where the Advertisers (Vendors) pay commissions to their affiliates (Publishers) for referring customers to products or services.

The customer does not need to buy anything; they only have to be referred by an affiliate. This could include bloggers or content creators who write reviews and post them on their blogs as well as social media influencers with large followings like YouTubers (e.g., PewDiePie) and Instagram stars (e.g., Selena Gomez).

This arrangement is ideal for both parties because the merchant doesn’t have to spend much money on advertising, and the person promoting the product or service makes money by referring customers to make a purchase.

Affiliate marketing is also a terrific way for newbies to get their feet wet in the online world. It’s also a great way for more experienced marketers to supplement their income and diversify their streams of revenue.

You can earn commissions by promoting products that are relevant to your audience while gaining valuable marketing experience in the process.

And if you’re not interested in promoting other people’s products, there are plenty of opportunities out there where you can promote your own product or service.

The one downside of this business model is that sometimes inexperienced marketers will try and emulate the competition and promote a product but do it so poorly that can potentially affect whether customers will buy other products sold under the vendor’s name or brand.

Is Affiliate Marketing Profitable?

is affiliate marketing profitable for beginners

Affiliate marketing is profitable for all experience levels. However, for a beginner, the best way to start is with a merchant program program.

Merchant programs are simple because they allow you to make money by simply placing affiliate links, banners, or text on your site pointing to the merchant’s products and services.

There is no absolute need to build a website (although some more advanced marketers may find this easier). You can simply make a YouTube channel and place your link in the description. It’s that simple!

The only drawback of these types of programs is that you earn commission from only the sales made through those links. So the trick is to drive steady traffic to whatever medium you have chosen to promote affiliate products.

The goal here is not just about getting paid when someone buys something online; it’s also about building brand awareness so that people become familiar with you.

Over time, you can build a following by reaching out to them, and pitch products you want to promote.

Difference Between Affiliate Networks and Affiliate Programs

affiliate program vs affiliate network

As you gain more experience, you will start to branch out from affiliate marketing programs to an affiliate marketing network.

The difference between affiliate programs and affiliate networks is the level of service support provided.

While both are based on the same marketing strategy, they have different ways when managing affiliates and the work that goes into a company’s marketing efforts.

Affiliate Marketing Program

This is a business agreement where an advertiser agrees to pay an affiliate to promote their products on their channels.

For instance, a blogger or content creator places an affiliate link on their blog, which takes the customer to the advertiser’s website.

Affiliate Network

Networks are online marketplaces where Publishers and Advertisers come together to find new audiences. They make the process easier by automating commission payments, approvals for traffic sources, etc.

Affiliate Networks also standardize rates per sale so it doesn’t take as much time for advertisers to find the most qualified affiliates for them. You’ll also have an affiliate manager that oversees your account and provides you with any required support.

What To Look For In A Good Affiliate Program?

search engines

There are tons of affiliate marketing programs, but you just don’t want to jump into any program. You want to look for a program that includes:

  • A reasonable payment threshold
  • Commissions that are high enough to give you the potential for an income
  • Sign-up procedures that don’t require much of your personal information

Some other qualities you want in an affiliate program are access to affiliate managers and products with great conversion rates. You also want merchants who have strong SEO rankings so that they can compete against competitors in their niche.

Merchants will appreciate if the affiliates provide honest reviews about the products or services being sold by them too since this increases chances of sales and customer retention from happy customers.

The Top Affiliate Programs for 2024

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what affiliate marketing is and how it can be a great introduction for a beginner to start their journey of creating an online business.

Below, I have identified some affiliate marketing programs that a new affiliate can get into right now. I have broken down each one and the different features they provide.

Each company offers something different so there will be something perfect for any person looking at starting their own business.

Amazon Associates

amazon associates

Ideal for: Ecommerce

The Amazon Associates Program is one of the best affiliate marketing programs for newcomers getting started in affiliate marketing. The reason why is that it is free to join and only requires that you have a functional website.

The Amazon affiliate program is vast, encompassing all sorts of items available through its online store. They have everything from books to TV shows which means you can easily find anything your heart desires while contributing towards being rewarded by them as well.

In addition, Amazon provides all the tools necessary to identify key products, set up promotional offers, manage ads linking back to Amazon’s website, and track conversions from clicking on those affiliate links. They provide everything that an affiliate marketer needs.

The only drawback of Amazon is that they change their commission rates too often and their 24-hour cookie duration constrains customers. This means you may not get the sale on the exact product you are promoting.

Affiliate program specifics:

  • Commission: Varies from 1% to 20% commission, this primarily depends on the product category you want to get a commission for. The latest Amazon Commission Table outlines the fees you could potentially receive.
  • Monthly payout: Payment for the current month will be disbursed approximately 60 days after the month concludes. For instance, commissions earned in June will be compensated by the end of August.
  • Flexible payment methods: You can choose the option that suits you best. Direct deposit, check, or Amazon gift certificate.
  • Cookie length: The cookie remains active for 24 hours once the link has been clicked on. If a customer purchases the product after that, it won’t be counted as an Amazon Associates sale.


clickbank affiliate program

Ideal for: Digital Marketing

ClickBank is also another good affiliate marketing program for a beginner affiliate. ClickBank is a marketplace for digital products. You can buy and sell anything from web-based businesses to e-books.

ClickBank offers you a ton of programs that offer high-paying commissions. With over 17 years of experience, they have access to more than 200 million customers and can help you make up to 75% in commissions on your sales every month!

The downside of going with ClickBank is that since they’ve been around for so long, their Marketplace hasn’t seen any updates in almost two decades. In addition, certain products can result in very high refund rates which can lead to loss of revenue for your affiliate marketing business.

ClickBank Affiliate program specifics:

  • Commission: Varies depending on the product category. For example, a standard commission for digital products is 50% to 75%, and for physical products, it ranges from 1% to 7%.
  • Monthly payout: Payments are usually made every two weeks via check or direct deposit.
  • Flexible payment methods: ClickBank allows you to choose your method of payment. You can receive your payments via check, direct deposit, wire transfer, or Payoneer.
  • Cookie length: Some ClickBank products have a 60-day cookie period, however, this can be adjusted if the vendor agrees to do so.

CJ Affiliate

cj affiliate program

Ideal for: Online Marketers

CJ Affiliate (aka Commission Junction) is among the most well-known affiliate networks around, one I’ve been utilizing since I have been doing affiliate marketing. 

What makes it unique from Amazon is that CJ Affiliate concentrates on advertising products that have recognizable trademark names, along with smaller-sized services and product providers.

Ever since its launch over 20 years ago, it seems like every major company has partnered with them. Some of these companies include Zappos, Walgreens, and Verizon just to name a few.

CJ Affiliate has a wide variety of products and brands available, outstanding customer service that responds quickly in getting any questions or concerns addressed promptly and efficiently—and their affiliate link development tools are easy to use among the best I have come across so far.

One of the things I like about CJ Affiliate is that it gives me all the information you need at the click of a button. With their metrics, you can see if the affiliate programs you have joined are successful or not.

There’s no uncertainty included, so you can target precisely the products you want to promote and approximately just how much you can anticipate making per sale.

Cj Affiliate Review:

  • Commission: This varies depending on the vendor, but can be negotiated.
  • Monthly payout: You can choose to receive your payments via direct deposit, check, or Payoneer.
  • Flexible payment methods: Commission Junction offers a variety of payment options for its affiliates.
  • Cookie length: The standard cookie duration is 45 days, but can be set between 1 to 120 days.


shareasale affiliate program

Ideal for: Affiliate Partners

ShareASale is another popular affiliate program on this list, and it is partnered with the Awin network. It has been around for quite some time and it presently features more than 1,000 active merchants within its network.

It provides everything from e-commerce to software applications, meaning you’ll have an additional extensive option of deals to choose the right fit for your online business.

Whether you are a blogger looking to monetize your site or a beginner in search of your first affiliate program, you can make money with ShareASale.

ShareASale benefits:

  • Commission: Varies depending on the product category, but can range from 20% to 30% commission.
  • Monthly payout: ShareASale offers monthly payouts on the 20th. The minimum threshold for payment is $50.
  • Flexible payment methods: You have the option to select your preferred method of payment via direct deposit, check, wire transfer, or Payoneer.
  • Cookie length: The standard cookie duration is 30 days.


awin affiliate program

Ideal for: Marketers

Awin is an affiliate network that was launched in 2017 as a result of combining several affiliate networks into one. Since this merger, it has grown to become one of the most popular affiliate networks. It’s presently operating in 12 nations.

Awin is specifically created for affiliates, companies, and start-ups who want to promote products through affiliate marketing. This program has over 15,000 products and services, all of which cover all sectors of businesses operating online.

Awin is a great way for content creators to find the perfect advertisers and vice versa. Publishers can use it as an easy way to find products to promote and earn an affiliate commission in the process.

Awin Affiliate program details:

  • Commission: Vary depending on the vendor.
  • Monthly payout: Awin offers monthly payouts on the 1st or the 15th of each month. The minimum threshold for payment is $20.
  • Flexible payment methods: You have the option to select your preferred method of payment via direct deposit, check, wire transfer, or Payoneer.
  • Cookie length: The standard cookie duration is 30 days, but can be extended by the vendor if they agree to do so.

eBay Partner Network

ebay partner network

Ideal for: Ecommerce

The eBay Partner Network is much like many of the other networks that I have mentioned. In the past, it was just used as a way to clear out your garage and make some extra cash by selling other people’s junk.

Now eBay has turned into an online retail giant where you can find anything from antique furniture pieces to celebrity memorabilia on any day of the week. They even have an affiliate program.

Ironically, this is overlooked by many newcomers who instead opt to go with Amazon or the CJ Affiliate network their first time out (not necessarily a bad thing.

While there are plenty of benefits to Amazon and its affiliate program in general; newcomers should take some time before jumping into bed with Amazon and give eBay a look at least once.

Affiliate program specifics:

  • Commission: The current rate card ranges from 1% to 4% commission.
  • Monthly payout: eBay offers payouts on the 10th of every month. The minimum threshold for payment is $10.
  • Flexible payment methods: You have the option to choose your preferred method of payment via direct deposit or PayPal.
  • Cookie length: The standard cookie duration is 24 hours.

Rakuten Advertising

rakuten advertising affiliate program

Ideal for: Ecommerce, Content Creators, and social Media Influencers

The Rakuten affiliate network is a large Japanese marketing company that offers affiliate marketing services. Since 2005, they have been dominating the affiliate market by acquiring LinkShare.

For those just starting, Rakuten offers newcomers to Affiliate Marketing programs something they might not have before, a clear, easy-to-follow plan that will help them get up and running with their very first site without any of the hard work involved.

The interface is pretty similar to most other affiliate networks, but the merchants they represent are some of the best. They supply everything from gifts and flowers to consumer electronics and office supplies. The only potential downside is that Rakuten can be a little slow when it comes time for approval if your site has no traffic or low volume because you’re not considered as “big” in their eyes.

Rakuten Advertising program specifics:

  • Commission: The commission rates for individual advertisers may vary.
  • Monthly Payout: Advertisers must close out any posted invoices by the end of that month; payment is due to Rakuten in 30 days, with payout the next week. You must also have a minimum of $50 in commissions for Rakuten to send out your payment.
  • Flexible payment methods: Direct deposit, PayPal, or a traditional check are all available options for receiving funds.
  • Cookie duration: This may differ depending on the advertiser.


flexoffers affiliate program

Ideal for: Ecommerce, Content Creators, and social Media Influencers

FlexOffers is one of the largest affiliate networks available, as it has more than 12,000 merchants in its system. FlexOffers offers many opportunities for affiliates to earn passive income by promoting their products and services which means that there are a variety of options at your fingertips when you sign up with this network.

FlexOffers is a unique company because it allows bloggers to become affiliate partners for many different merchants. This means that you can easily promote the products from one merchant on your blog without having an account with them or being accepted into their program, just by using FlexOffers’ exclusive links!

One of the disadvantages of joining this program is that you will get less money than usual because FlexOffers takes its cut for every transaction. Additionally, the application process to join FlexOffers is somewhat cumbersome. As an affiliate, you’re partly responsible for the quality of conversions – so if your conversion rates are low, they might not let you in.

Flexoffers Affiliate program specifics:

  • Commission: Flexoffers pays a 20% commission for every new lead generated
  • Monthly Payout: FlexOffers follows a net-60 payout schedule, where payments are issued at the end of each month. This means that your payment will be received 60 days after the month in which you referred a customer ends. For example, any commission earned in April will be processed on June 30th. Highly successful affiliates have the opportunity to negotiate more favorable payment terms, such as net-30 or even net-7.
  • Payment method: You can opt to get paid through direct deposit, wire transfer, check, or with PayPal.
  • Cookie duration: 30-day cookie.

Shopify Affiliate Program

shopify affiliate program

Ideal for: Ecommerce

Shopify Affiliate Program is an affiliate network where entrepreneurs and others can share their passions with the world, and earn money by referring people to Shopify’s excellent services.

I think it stands out as one of the better affiliate marketing programs for beginners because it’s really easy to get started. It has a free and simple sign-up process, which is nothing more than answering two questions:

What’s my plan to make money as a Shopify Partner?

Which eCommerce platforms have I previously worked with?

Once I got approved for the program, I got my unique affiliate link, and then all I had to do was find something that appealed to me on their site and start promoting it. It makes earning money from home as an affiliate possible in just minutes.

Affiliate program specifics:

  • Commission: As a Shopify partner you can earn up to 20% for every new referral.
  • Monthly Payout: Shopify pays on a bi-weekly basis. This means you can get paid twice monthly as long as you meet the $10 minimum payment threshold.
  • Flexible payment methods: You can choose to receive payment by direct deposit or by PayPal.
  • Cookie duration: 30 days.

Impact Affiliate Network

impact affiliate program

Ideal for: Affiliate Marketers

Impact is one of the younger affiliate networks on this list. The business was started in 2008 by previous team members of Commission Junction, Savings.com, and Leadpoint.

At the time of this posting, there are more than 1,000 merchants in Impact’s network. Similar to Commission Junction, there’s a mixed selection of merchants that ought to fit most verticals.

The application procedure to register with Impact can be a tad bit more difficult than it is for CJ, but once approved, I discovered it is much simpler to get accepted by the merchants.

I believe Impact’s reporting and postback alternatives are a lot more versatile than those with the other affiliate programs. If a merchant utilizes several affiliate networks (which is typical), I typically will go with Impact.

Affiliate program specifics:

  • Commission: Variable depending on the brand and vendor.
  • Monthly Payout: Shopify pays on a bi-weekly basis. This means you can get paid twice monthly as long as you meet the $10 minimum payment threshold.
  • Flexible payment methods: You can choose to receive payment by direct deposit or by PayPal.
  • Cookie duration: 45 days.

Market Health Affiliates

Market Health Affiliate Program

Ideal for: Affiliate Marketers

If you are looking to take advantage of the explosive sales in the health and beauty niche, then Market Health is a great place to start. As its name implies, Market Health is all about selling health products like vitamins, supplements, skincare, and homeopathic remedies for common ailments.

Once you are approved as an affiliate you’ll have access to banners or landing pages depending on the promotion’s type to increase your chances of converting potential customers into paying ones.

You’ll get paid twice a month on the 1st and 16th with a $20 minimum payment threshold. If you generate up to 20 sales per day, you will earn commissions of 60%.

Getting approved is relatively easy, but you must have a website if you would like to be considered for this affiliate program. They don’t tell you this upfront during the application process.

Affiliate program specifics:

  • Commission: Market Health has a standard commission of 50% on all of its products.
  • Monthly Payout: Commission payments are disbursed twice a month, specifically on the 1st and 16th. However, before receiving a payment, a minimum threshold of $20 must be met.
  • Flexible payment methods: You can choose from multiple payment options including check by mail, bank wire, Skrill, or a pre-paid debit card via Payoneer.
  • Cookie duration: 30 days.


moreniche affiliate program

Ideal for: Affiliate Marketers

MoreNiche is similar to Market Health as it too is a health and beauty affiliate network. The key difference between the two is that MoreNiche’s network is geared more toward international audiences.

The payout schedule is about the same as Market Health, but instead of the 1st and 16th of each month, you’ll get paid on the 15th and end of the month. However, you must meet a $100 minimum payment threshold. Splitting hairs I know, but I think it’s worth mentioning.

Another thing that is worth mentioning is their commission rates. MoreNiche offers 30-80% commissions on many different products that are available for you to promote. So far this is one of the highest-paying affiliate programs that I have come across. With those types of earnings, you can make substantial income with the right marketing efforts.

Moreniche Affiliate program specifics:

  • Commission: Moreniche has a standard commission of up to 70% (vendor-dependent).
  • Monthly Payout: Commission payments are issued twice a month, on the 15th and last day of the month. But, before you can get paid you need to meet the minimum payout of £50.
  • Flexible payment methods: You can choose from multiple payment options including Payoneer, bank wire, Skrill, UK bank transfer, Paxum, or Bitcoin.
  • Cookie duration: No limit.

Fiverr Affiliate Network


Ideal for: Affiliate Marketers

Fiverr is a global marketplace for providing services, many of which include “gigs” such as logo design, video editing, music production, and so on. If you do affiliate marketing for any length of time there is no doubt that you will use Fiverr to find freelancers to outsource to.

Many people use Fiverr for just that, finding outsourced services or providing their services as freelancers. However, not too many people are aware that Fiverr also has an affiliate program.

Fiverr’s affiliate program works just like any other online program with the exception that they pay out up to $150 for every first-time buyer with their dynamic CPA model. Essentially you drive traffic to Fiverr from your blog or website and you get paid.

Fiverr program specifics:

  • Commission: 10% if you are signed up as an affiliate, but can vary if you opt for Fiverr’s CPA-based plans.
  • Monthly Payout: Commission payments are issued typically on the 1st of the month as long as you have reached the $100 payment limit.
  • Flexible payment methods: Payments are made via Paypal/Pioneer (below $1000), wire transfer (over $1000), or directly from your dashboard if you have a private account.
  • Cookie duration: 30 days from the initial click.

Wealthy Affiliate

wealthy affiliate affiliate program

Ideal for: Affiliate Marketers

Wealthy Affiliate (WA) is primarily an affiliate marketing training program that offers beginner-level tutorials on how to earn commissions through affiliate marketing. Once you complete either their Online Entrepreneur Certification or its Bootcamp, you are encouraged to join their affiliate program.

Believe it or not, you can earn consistent, reliable income by simply referring others to Wealthy Affiliate by referring customers using blog posts or social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

It’s not one of the premier marketing programs out there. However, I added it to the list because I think newbie marketers can benefit from the training they provide. That’s because you not only get to learn the basics of affiliate marketing, but you can apply what you learned using their platform.

Wealthy Affiliate program specifics:

  • Commission: Varies depending on membership level.
  • Monthly Payout: Commission payments are issued typically on the 1st of the month. You can set your minimum payment limit from $10- $5000.
  • Flexible payment methods: You can receive payments through various methods, including PayPal, debit card, gift card check, or direct deposit.
  • Cookie duration: Unlimited lifetime.


avangate affiliate network

Ideal for: Online Marketing

Avangate is the most innovative and diverse software affiliate network, with 22,000+ products to choose from. You will find everything you need in one place. This makes Avangate an easy-to-use eCommerce platform for both nooobs and advanced users alike.

What I like about Avangate is that it gives you the ability to make your links so that you can post banners, blog posts, etc. that go directly to a product page, which means more people will be able to see and buy what you’re selling.

As with some of the other programs I have mentioned in this post, Avangate pays you monthly in a variety of ways once you reach the $100 payment threshold. You can get paid by wire transfer, PayPal, check, or Avangate MasterCard.

If you are into software products, I would check this one out.

Avangate Affiliate Network specifics:

  • Commission: Varies depending on membership level.
  • Monthly Payout: Commission payments are paid 20 days from the end of the month for which the commission is due with a minimum payout limit of €100.
  • Flexible payment methods: There are multiple payment options available to you, such as PayPal, check, or direct deposit.
  • Cookie duration: Varies between 30 to 180 days depending on the selected vendor.

Final Thoughts

The best part about affiliate marketing is that it doesn’t require a large capital investment, and you don’t have to be an experienced marketer. These 15 programs are perfect for beginners who want to explore the world of affiliate marketing before committing to anything else.

You can’t go wrong with these any of these programs. They’re all excellent for beginners and have a great support team behind them to help you get started on the right foot.

If you’re looking for more information on how to get started in this lucrative industry, we’ve got tons of great resources here on ShoestringAffiliate.com


Which Affiliate Program Is The Best For Beginners?

Amazon Associates is a beginner’s best bet in the affiliate program universe. It’s user-friendly and you can find and promote products for whatever niche you choose for your business.

The commissions are not that high, but you will get a steady conversion rate on any product on Amazon.

For me, the key is if you understand the basics of affiliate marketing you can promote anything in any program.

I believe Amazon gives beginners that opportunity by allowing tho start small and grow big over time.

Which Affiliate Network Is Best?

CJ Affiliate is like the North Star in the online networking galaxy. With its wide array of products and user-friendly platform, it guides its users through their journey, whether they’re rookies or veterans.

What Are The Highest-paying Affiliate Programs?

If you are looking to strike gold, then ClickBank is your Eldorado. Offering high commissions, sometimes up to 75% depending on the vendor, it is a hotbed for online marketing.

Another platform with high commission rates is Shopify Affiliate Program where you can earn up to $2,000 per sale.

Other programs like Wealthy Affiliate and Avangate also offer high commissions, making them popular choices among online marketers.

What Are The Best Free Affiliate Programs?

The best affiliate marketing programs that are free for beginners are those that do not require any initial deposits and don’t require any special marketing or technical knowledge are Amazon Associates, Clickbank, and CJ Affiliates.

Can I do Affiliate Marketing Without a Website?

Absolutely! You don’t need a website to sail the seas of affiliate marketing. Any of the well-known social media platforms or email marketing can be your vessel. Just remember to create valuable, resonating content for your audience.

More importantly, having an active presence where people are interested in what you are promoting can lead them to become potential leads for your online business.

Which Website Theme Is Best For Affiliate Marketing?

WordPress themes shine like a lighthouse in the sea of websites for affiliate marketing. It’s user-friendly, customizable, and perfect for SEO optimization. Plus, it offers plugins specifically designed for affiliate marketing.

What Is The Best Program To Learn Affiliate Marketing?

Learning affiliate marketing can feel like deciphering hieroglyphics, but with Wealthy Affiliate, it’s as simple as ABC. Their comprehensive training program, supportive community, and handy tools make it the Rosetta Stone for aspiring marketers.

How Much Do Beginner Affiliate Marketers Make?

The answer to this is as vast as the universe itself. Earnings can vary greatly, depending on your chosen niche, effort, and the affiliate program. But remember, with dedication and the right strategy, the sky’s the limit!

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