Affiliate Marketing has a bad rep in the digital marketing world. Too many marketers try to sell products that they haven’t even tried. They’re just there to make a quick buck.
Here’s the secret to affiliate marketing success: Trust.
Affiliate marketing is all about making choices. There are too many options in the world, and people aren’t sure which to choose. This is where an affiliate marketer comes in. You give them the best choices, so customers won’t need to research everything.
So, how do people know if your recommendations are trustworthy? My readers know they can trust my recommendations because I only recommend products I have used and loved. So, here’s a list of the best affiliate programs I’ve tried over the years.
1. Amazon Associates
This is the business model for many tech-review blogs and YouTube channels.
I recommend a lot of books in my articles. For example, I think every blogger should read Blue Ocean Strategy. It’s a useful book that shows you how to stand out in a crowded market. The link I just used is an Amazon affiliate link.
As a blogger, you often organically talk about products. Let’s say you write an article about certain Yoga techniques. Well, what kind of mat do you use? It makes a lot of sense to mention it and includes a link to Amazon’s product page.
The cost barrier for Bluehost is low, yet the quality is good. This is why I often recommend it to people who’re beginning to create their websites.
It’s an excellent hosting product and a convenient way to make affiliate income.
Bluehost offers credit for up to 45 days after the first click. Some people may not immediately buy after clicking your affiliate link. With the 45-day referral time, your chances of getting a commission is higher.
Once your commissions reach $100, you can start withdrawing it. You get paid between the 16th and the end of each month.
If you want to start doing affiliate marketing, you need a website. And Bluehost is a great choice. Readers of my blog can get an exclusive rate of $2.95/month with this link. It includes a free domain, automatic WordPress install, and SSL Certificate.
WordPress is a great tool for blogging. I recommend sticking to your free WordPress integration (after registering with Bluehost) if you just want a simple blog.
But if you (or your audience) intend to sell digital products and courses like I do, then I highly recommend Kajabi. This platform is a one-stop-shop for everything you need: website builders, landing pages, email campaigns, product launches, and logistics—you name it. The value is good for the price.
Their affiliate program offers a percentage of every sale made within 30 days of link clicks. As long as the purchase is made on the same browser, within the time period or until the cache is cleared, then it’s automatically credited to your Affiliate Commission.
You can view and track your site conversions in its detailed Affiliate Marketing System.
I’ve been using ConvertKit for some time now. Beofre that, I used Mailchimp but found it too limiting. ConvertKit is a more effective email marketing tool. It’s also the best value for the price that I’ve seen in the market.
ConvertKit offers trigger-based website actions and a visual automation builder that helps me manage my constantly growing, large email list.
Their affiliate program is also generous. For every customer you convert with your link, you earn a recurring commission income of 30%. It’s not just a one-time-payment, like other programs. So long as the customer’s ConvertKit account is active, you get paid.
5. Elegant Themes (Divi)
Since many people use WordPress, Divi by Elegant Themes is a popular resource for bloggers who want to create beautifully designed websites.
You don’t need to hire professional designers to have a great site. And if you’re a designer, then Divi helps you fast-track your design process.
The best thing? Elegant Themes provides the highest commission percentage among all WordPress Theme companies.
Their program offers a 50% commission for every sale made through your affiliate link. It’s almost twice the industry standard!
Grammarly is a great second pair of eyes to look over your articles. I used it for this article and the 350+ articles I’ve published until now. The free plan can spot more grammatical errors and spelling mistakes than other free tools in the market.
But best of all, Grammarly’s Affiliate Program is a great way to earn incremental income. You earn twice: $0.20 per free user (yes, every new user who registers. No payment info needed!), and $20 for every Premium registration.
For most casual writers, the free Grammarly plan can be good enough. So, you earn something every time somebody clicks on your affiliate link and installs the Grammarly browser extension. It’s small but, considering it’s a free registration, more people are easily converted, and your earnings eventually compound.
As an affiliate business, you want to convert most visitors that visit you site. If you can’t make a sale, it’s important to collect emails and qualify leads.
LeadPages is a tool that helps bloggers create effective landing pages that converts your visitors. They offer custom-designed call-to-action, web pages and forms you can use to get the most out of each site visit.
Like ConvertKit, LeadPages offers an affiliate program with a recurring 30% commission income.
Knowing how you work is important. RescueTime, shows you detailed reports, trends and insights on how you spend your time. Even your offline activities can be tracked.
It provides automatic time tracking on apps, websites and documents you interact with. No manual entry needed. It helps you stay focused by blocking distracting websites and habits.
RescueTime offers a 15% commission for every paying referral. Subscriptions are monthly, so you can expect to earn a consistent 15% from every referral who remains active. You can easily monitor your earnings on your online reporting dashboard.
Audible offers the largest collection of audiobooks. For more voracious listeners, the free Audible Originals are a great bonus.
Since I recommend lots of helpful books to my readers, having an affiliate link maximizes my earnings.
Audible’s Affiliate Program pays in three, fixed structures:
- Audible Gold Digital Membership—For every Premium registration, you earn $10;
- Audible Free Trial Digital Membership—Even better than Grammarly ($0.20), every new registration earns you a generous $5.00. It doesn’t matter if they do the trial for 1 day or 30 days, you still earn your commission.
- Audible Audiobook Purchase—You earn $0.50 for every qualifying individual book purchase.
There are two ways you can become an affiliate for Audible. You can sign up as an Amazon Associate and generate a link for specific audiobooks. Or, you can sign up for their Creator Program (more for Podcasters and YouTubers).
10. Virtual Staff Finder
We’ll eventually need people to take care of other tasks while focusing on the most important ones. I’ve talked about how to hire the right people in my recently launched digital business course.
Some people go to Fiverr or Upwork, but if you’re looking for a more consistent role in your business (like a virtual assistant, ghostwriter, social media manager, etc.) then I recommend Virtual Staff Finder.
Based in the Philippines, VSF provides a selection of high-quality candidates to choose from. They do all the testing, background checks, and initial interviews. Then they give you the top three highly skilled contenders.
Affiliate Marketing Works Because of Trust
Writing this article was easy because I’ve used all the above services. This is also why I don’t recommend hundreds of products.
When I see a list that says they have “100 Best Affiliate Programs” or even 50, I’m skeptical. Who uses that many services? I know it’s tempting to recommend products/services just because they have a good affiliate program. It sounds like it’s a good way to make some money. But if it were that easy, everybody would do it.
Affiliate Marketing is about helping people find the right services and products. Do this well, and you’ll be earning well.