The 20 Best Affiliate Programs For Beginners (2021 Guide)

What are the best affiliate programs for beginners

If you’re new to affiliate marketing, it can be daunting.

You could promote thousands of different programs, all of them making the same promises of hefty commission payments.

But how can you even pretend to know which offers are worth your time and effort?

The thing is: You can’t.

It takes years of making horribly expensive mistakes to figure that stuff out.

You’ll be glad to hear that I’ve already made all of those mistakes (and then some) for you.

I’ve taken the lessons learned to share my favorite affiliate offers with you, saving you months of work and giving you a competitive advantage over people who don’t follow me.

So here’s my list of the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners.

Let’s get to it.

The Best Affiliate Marketing Programs For Beginners

Here are our favorite beginner affiliate programs. Keep scrolling for a detailed review of each.

ProgramCommission rateCookie duration
FanFuel40% per sale90 days
Market HealthUp to $75 per sale30 days
eBay Partner NetworkUp to 4% per sale24 hours
Commission JunctionVariesVaries
Amazon Associates ProgramUp to 20%24 hours
Nord VPN30% - 40%30 days
ClickBankUp to 100%60 days
Bluehost$65 per sale120 days
AppSumoUp to 100%30 days
Elementor50% per sale30 days
Shopify100% (first 2 payments)30 days
Link ConnectorVariesVaries
FiverrUp to $150 per sale30 days
Rakuten AdvertisingVariesVaries
Etsy4% per sale30 days
Semrush$10 per trial/ $200 per sale120 days

1. FanFuel

FanFuel Homepage

FanFuel is the affiliate arm of Wolfson Brands, a company that specializes in products for the health and fitness market.

What sets them apart from their competitors is that their products are used and endorsed by professional athletes as well as health and fitness-focused social influencers.

But their product line also includes nootropics to enhance human performance, hair loss treatments, and cosmeceuticals.

So you have a range of products that can appeal to multiple audiences across several niches.

The additional benefit for affiliates is that you can earn more from their offers because there’s no affiliate network in the middle to eat into your commissions.

Fanfuel No Affiliate Middle Man

Affiliates promoting their offers will earn 40% commission on each sale, more than many of the other affiliate programs in this roundup.

Why You Should Promote FanFuel

They offer a generous commission rate, a broad range of products to promote and truly understand the affiliate marketing landscape.

  • Commission rate: 40% per sale
  • Cookie Duration: 90 days
  • Payment Methods: Bank transfer, PayPal, Payoneer
  • Products: Health supplements


2. Market Health Affiliate Program

MarketHealth Homepage

Market Health operates a hybrid affiliate marketing model – they’re an affiliate network, but they also manufacture and distribute their own range of healthcare and beauty products.

That presents affiliates with the opportunity to promote different products to different niches without joining multiple affiliate programs.

Their products span men’s health, weight loss, teeth whitening all the way to pet health products.

And with new products coming online at a pretty regular pace, you’ll always have something interesting to pitch to your audience.

MarketHealth offers

Another benefit is that you’re dealing with a savvy affiliate marketing team with over two decades of experience in the industry.

So they’re interested in helping you make as much cash as possible because that means you’re generating a lot of revenue for the business.

This program is a personal favorite of mine and ranks as one of the best affiliate programs in this roundup and the health/wellness niche in general.

Why You Should Promote Market Health

You get a wide range of products to pitch, excellent commission rates, and a tenured company with a proven track record in affiliate marketing.

  • Commission rate: Up to 60% or $75 (dependant on the offer)
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days
  • Payment Methods: Bank, check, wire, and Skrill
  • Products: Beauty products and health supplements


3. CJ Affiliate Network

CJ Homepage

Commission Junction is allegedly the largest affiliate network in the world.

They represent thousands of advertisers across dozens of different verticals, so beginners should be able to find at least a handful of programs to promote.

A perk for new affiliate marketers is that you’ll get to work with a dedicated affiliate manager in most cases.

These people can help take your affiliate marketing career to the next level with their insights and advice.

CJ Insights And Advice

The interface is also intuitive, and you get lots of training materials via Commission Junction University.

And you also get paid on a Net 30 basis, so you won’t be left waiting months to bank those affiliate commissions you worked so hard to earn.

The only real snag with Commission Junction is that you need a live and active website if you want your application to be approved quickly.

Why You Should Promote Commission Junction

As an affiliate marketer, you get to work with leading brand names, very competitive commission rates, and experienced affiliate managers as standard.

  • Commission rate: Depends on individual program
  • Cookie Duration: Depends on the advertiser
  • Payment Methods: Check, direct deposit, or Payoneer
  • Products: Various


4. NordVPN Affiliate Program

NordVPN Homepage

NordVPN is a security software company started by friends in 2012 with just a single VPN server.

Since then, they’ve grown to a VPN service that offers thousands of servers to its more than 14 million users worldwide.

VPNs is a competitive niche, but it’s also a niche experiencing 11% growth per year, and with growth comes opportunity.

But how is Nord different from any other VPN affiliate program you can find online?

You’ll find them promoted quite heavily by prominent social media influencers like Casey Neistat and Philip DeFranco.

Part of the reason is that NordVPN is regarded as one of the best services of its type out there.

NordVPN Best services of its type

But the other is that big influencers typically only promote products that convert well i.e. they make money from the promotion.

Their affiliate marketing program offers a 40% commission for all new accounts that sign-up through your affiliate link, but you can also earn 30% on renewals.

This is a no-brainer if you’re looking for one of the best affiliate programs in the personal and Internet security niche.

Why You Should Promote NordVPN

They’re an established brand in the Internet privacy and security market with a popular affiliate program and worthwhile commission rates.

  • Commission rate: 40%
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days
  • Payment Methods: Check, direct deposit, or Payoneer
  • Products: VPN


5. ClickBank Affiliate Program

ClickBank Homepage

ClickBank is one of the oldest affiliate networks, starting out from a garage in 1998.

And though it’s not quite the powerhouse it once was, ClickBank can still be a ready source of income for affiliates today.

There are multiple ways to monetize a niche, including display ads and affiliate programs – they’re quick and easy to use.

Digital products on ClickBank tend to get overlooked because they take that little bit of extra effort to review and promote properly, as do their healthcare and beauty products.

But the payoff is in the commissions you can earn as a Clickbank affiliate. Even relatively inexperienced affiliate marketers can bank $100+ commissions for a single referral.

Clickbank Empowering Entrepreneurs

An added bonus is that many of these programs also offer some kind of recurring revenue model, so you sell once and get paid several times over, and all because of one visit to your affiliate site.

The trick for any ClickBank affiliate is picking the right offers to promote to the right audience.

Why You Should Promote ClickBank

They offer a diverse range of products suitable for markets as varied as health to spirituality and making money online with the added bonus of recurring commissions.

  • Commission rate: Varies
  • Cookie Duration: 60 days
  • Payment Methods: Bank transfer, wire, check
  • Products: Digital information and health supplements


Note: If you’ve tried ClickBank and didn’t like it, you can try other affiliate networks like ClickBank instead.

6. Bluehost Affiliate Program

Bluehost Homepage

Bluehost is one of the many web hosting companies operating under the banner of EIG.

Since 2003, this company has established itself as a solid choice for affiliates and small businesses looking for affordable hosting and as a lucrative affiliate offer.

It’s one of the best affiliate programs in this roundup by earning potential, paying at least $65 per referral.

That’s why you’ll see Bluehost mentioned and recommended on so many marketing blogs i.e. it’s a lucrative offer, as are most web hosting affiliate programs.

And it’s also a good service for beginner bloggers, meaning people promoting this offer can make that recommendation without feeling like they’re doing anything wrong.

People need to find web hosting before they set up their website or blog…

So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t point aspiring bloggers and online entrepreneurs towards Bluehost because everyone benefits.

Bluehost Benefits

Driving a high volume of sales to Bluehost can result in nothing short of spectacular affiliate revenue.

Back when he was still publishing monthly income reports, Pat Flynn would show how he was routinely making $30k per month in referral fees.

That makes it one of the potentially highest-paying affiliate programs in this roundup.

Why You Should Promote Bluehost

They’re an established and trusted name in the world of web hosting and their affiliate program converts a high percentage of traffic into sales.

  • Commission rate: $65 per sale
  • Cookie Duration: 120 days
  • Payment Methods: Check, direct deposit, or Payoneer
  • Products: Web hosting


7. Awin Affiliate Program

Awin Homepage

Awin (Affiliate Window) is a network with an international reach, representing over 14,000 advertisers and has publishers in 180 countries.

It’s also one of those affiliate networks that gets overlooked in favor of more popular ones like CJ Affiliate by Conversant or ShareASale, for example.

And that’s a real shame because they have some really unique advertisers that you won’t find anywhere else.

These aren’t ultra-niche products or services either. They’re all mainstream but are also exclusive to Awin to the point that many of their advertisers don’t list their affiliate program anywhere on their website.

So you could potentially find some hidden gems in their ‘Affiliate Directory’.

Awin Affiliate Directory

The only downside to Awin is its interface is a little messy – it gets the job done, but it could be streamlined to improve UX.

There’s also the detail that they charge new affiliates a refundable $5 to sign up with them. While it makes sense to do this, it’s enough to put some affiliates off because the “fee” sounds scammy.

Why You Should Promote Awin

They’re an untapped mine of affiliate offers with enough diversity in their advertiser portfolio to meet the demand of dozens of niches, along with all the tools you need to promote a given offer.

  • Commission rate: Varies
  • Cookie Duration: Varies
  • Payment Methods: Direct deposit, wire transfer
  • Products: Various


8. Semrush Affiliate Program

Semrush Homepage

Semrush is one of the most popular SEO, competitor research, and content marketing tools on the market.

It offers marketers a comprehensive suite of tools to do everything from keyword and backlink research to optimizing existing pages of content.

That’s why you’ll find so many SEOs promoting it in their blog posts and YouTube channels.

But there’s also the tiny detail that Semrush loves rewarding its affiliates with lots of cash.

You get $10 for every referral that signs up for a free trial and $200 for any referral that chooses a paid account.

Semrush Rewards

They operate their affiliate program in the form of Berush, which is managed for them by Impact Radius.

This offer can generate a great affiliate income for an affiliate marketer with the right audience – their most successful affiliates claim to earn 6-figures ($100k+) per month.

It’s also one of the oldest affiliate programs in this roundup.

Why You Should Promote Semrush

It’s one of the best SEO tools on the market and is one of the highest-paying affiliate programs online today.

  • Commission rate: Up to $200 per sale
  • Cookie Duration: 120 days
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, check, direct deposit, wire transfer
  • Products: SEO software


9. ShareASale Affiliate Program

ShareASale Homepage

ShareASale is a network that’s been in business for over two decades now and is home to almost 4,000 different merchants.

It was acquired by Awin in 2017 but still operates today under the ShareASale brand.

And while it might not have the most attractive or interactive interface, they set themselves apart from other affiliate networks in the breadth of their offers.

It’s a great network to check out if you’re looking for a mix of mainstream offers such as CBD oil and mattresses.

But you’ll also find a range of other programs on offer that are a bit more off-the-beaten-track such as business incorporation, seeds, or teeth alignment services, for example.

ShareASale Merchant Search

These are all the sub-niches that you might overlook because you’re too busy trying to be next WireCutter or whatever.

A good reason for new affiliates to sign up with ShareASale is they welcome newbies and won’t kick you off the network if you don’t make any sales within the first 180 days.

Unlike most affiliate networks, including the bigger ones…

Why You Should Promote ShareASale

They’re an affiliate-friendly network with products and services to suit almost any niche you can think of.

  • Commission rate: Varies
  • Cookie Duration: Varies
  • Payment Methods: Check, direct deposit, Payoneer
  • Products: Various


10. Elementor Affiliate Program

Elementor Homepage

Next up on our list of the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners is Elementor, arguably the most popular WordPress page builder on the market today.

Elementor has put the power of publishing within reach of tens of thousands of non-techies who want a slick-looking website but lack the coding chops to make that a reality.

This is why it’s currently powering 8 million websites across hundreds of industries.

Elementor is also relatively easy to sell because it’s supported by a savvy marketing team, constantly has new features added to it, and has a very active Facebook community.

There are many other WordPress page builders on the market, but Elementor just does a better job marketing itself.

This means you can recommend a product that does what it’s meant to i.e. you have a clear conscience.

So how does it compare to the other affiliate marketing programs in this roundup?

Well, you get a 50% commission per sale, which comes to $24.50 per sale for a single license or $499.50 if you sell an ‘Agency’ license.

Elementor 50 Percent Commission

That makes it a great affiliate program in terms of affiliate earnings potential.

Why You Should Promote Elementor

They’re a market leader with a product that’s easy to use, easy to sell, and can potentially make you a lot of money.

  • Commission rate: 50%
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days
  • Payment Methods: PayPal
  • Products: WordPress page builder


11. FlexOffers Affiliate Program

FlexOffers Homepage

FlexOffers is one of those affiliate networks that fly under the radar of most new affiliate marketers.

There are two reasons for this.

The first is that they’re simply less well-known than the bigger players in the market like CJ and Amazon.

And that’s a shame because – in our experience – they have a really friendly affiliate management team who want you to succeed.

The second is that their business model means you’ll receive a lower commission rate for a given affiliate program from their portfolio of merchants.

That’s because FlexOffers take their own cut from your referral.

Which effectively means you’re a sub-affiliate for this particular affiliate marketing service provider.

But the beauty of their approach is that new affiliates can sign up for, promote and profit from programs that they’d otherwise be declined for, including a range of credit card offers.

FlexOffers Affilliate Partner Testimonial

Another neat way to leverage FlexOffers is to find out if a company has an affiliate program that they don’t advertise on their homepage but do offer via this network.

Something else worth knowing about FlexOffers is that they offer Net 7 payments for top performers, which in plain English means, “You can get paid weekly.”

This is one of the best payout deals you’ll get from any of the mainstream affiliate networks.

Why You Should Promote FlexOffers

They provide newcomers to affiliate marketing with access to thousands of affiliate programs but without the hassle of dealing with multiple networks/rejections.

  • Commission rate: Varies
  • Cookie Duration: Varies
  • Payment Methods: Check, PayPal, direct deposit, wire transfer
  • Products: Various


12. Shopify Affiliate Program

Shopify Homepage

Shopify is an online e-commerce platform that provides businesses and brands of all sizes with a straightforward way to sell online.

And without any of the need to know technical jargon, hire web developers or any of the dozens of other issues that can cause a new online business to stumble and fail.

Instead, your visitors just choose from plans starting at $29/mo but no more than $299 per month, or a fraction of what a custom online e-commerce solution would cost.

That’s why more than 1.7 million businesses use Shopify.

Shopify Empowering Businesses

It’s also what makes them a good program for affiliates to promote i.e. they’re a recognized global brand with a solid reputation.

So you won’t have to explain who Shopify is. Instead, you can spend your time explaining how easy they make it for entrepreneurs to create their online store.

This affiliate program offers a 200% commission rate for sending new customers their way, with that figure made up of 100% commission on the first two payments made by a new customer.

And you also have the option to earn recurring commissions from referrals and ‘Plus’ upgrades.

That puts it way ahead in earning potential when compared to most other affiliate marketing programs you’ll find.

Why You Should Promote Shopify

They offer aspiring online entrepreneurs a simplified way to start an e-commerce store. They also offer the highest commission rate of any of the affiliate programs in this roundup.

  • Commission rate: 100% on first two payments
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days
  • Payment Methods: PayPal
  • Products: E-commerce solutions


13. LinkConnector Affiliate Program

Link Connector is another one of those affiliate networks you’ve probably never heard of despite the fact super affiliates use them extensively.

That’s because they have a huge range of merchants to choose from including a lot of leading brand names.

So what makes them different from other networks?

As a beginner, you have less competition to work against in terms of promoting a given offer.

These same offers also remain relatively untapped by most other affiliate marketers.

That’s because they’re too busy chasing 2% commissions on Amazon to bother looking for other opportunities.

The downside is that the interface is antiquated, to say the least.

But if you can get past the visuals, this network has a lot to offer new and experienced affiliate marketers alike.

Why You Should Promote Link Connector

They’re overlooked by most affiliate marketers and have a great range of merchants who tend to pay slightly above average commission rates, plus you get to work with a dedicated affiliate manager.

  • Commission rate: Varies
  • Cookie Duration: Varies
  • Payment Methods: Check, PayPal
  • Products: Various


14. Fiverr Affiliate Program

Fiverr Homepage

Fiverr started in 2010 as an online gig service where you could hire people to complete various tasks for just $5.

A little over a decade later, it’s grown to become a platform where creators can earn a full-time living selling their services to businesses that need their help.

It also benefits small businesses because they can hire the “talent” they need as and when they need it, but without the hassle or expense of a full-time employee.

Fiverr Help To Businesses

The beauty of the Fiverr affiliate program is that you can promote multiple affiliate offers to almost any audience you can think of.

Creators offer products that span everything from digital marketing services to spiritual counseling.

So that makes it one of the easiest and best affiliate marketing programs for beginners to promote because there’s a Fiverr gig to suit everyone.

The Fiverr affiliate program is available via CJ Affiliate by Conversant but they also appear to operate an in-house affiliate program.

But your main focus as an affiliate marketer should be on their commission payment structure because you can earn up to $150 per referral. That’s better than most finance affiliate programs.

Why You Should Promote The Fiverr Affiliate Program

They’re a leading name in the gig worker space with a commission structure that makes it more than worthwhile to promote their service.

  • Commission rate: Up to $150 per referral
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days
  • Payment Methods: Check, direct deposit, Payoneer
  • Products: Digital services and physical products


15. Rakuten Advertising

Rakuten Homepage

Rakuten is a Japanese online retailer that moved into the affiliate marketing network space in 2005 when it acquired LinkShare.

The company was known as Rakuten LinkShare for several years before they more recently completed the rebrand to Rakuten Advertising.

This network is home to several big brand names across multiple verticals, but they also represent thousands of smaller merchants with a very diverse range of products.

Rakuten For Advertisers

So there’s a variety of products and services for you to promote spanning dozens of categories with something to suit the majority of niches.

Another perk of signing up for the Rakuten affiliate program is they have a pretty low barrier to entry – you just need an active website and not be promoting anything hateful or violent.

Why You Should Work With The Rakuten Affiliate Network

They have thousands of merchants to promote, are relatively easy to sign up with, and have been part of the affiliate industry for almost two decades.

  • Commission rate: Varies
  • Cookie Duration: Varies
  • Payment Methods: Check, direct deposit, PayPal
  • Products: Various


16. AppSumo Affiliate Program

AppSumo Homepage

AppSumo is an online marketplace that offers deals on the latest tech products as well as ongoing discounted plans or packages for more established brands in the tech space.

What this means, for example, is that you can get a lifetime license for a software product as a once-off cost instead of having to pay a monthly subscription fee.

This can save you thousands of dollars per year in membership and licensing costs for software that directly benefits your online or offline business.

And their affiliate program then allows you to share the good news around these offers with your audience.

AppSumo’s product offerings are varied, ranging from marketing and analytics tools to membership to stock photo sites and productivity tools.

So what does this affiliate marketing program have to offer you?

AppSumo Benefits

You can earn up to 100% commission on all sales referred through the affiliate link on your site.

But you do need to do your due diligence here when selecting products to promote because, unfortunately, some of the products on AppSumo aren’t as good as they sound on paper.

Why You Should Promote AppSumo

They’re the “go-to” source for discounted offers on a wide range of products and SaaS tools and pay up to 100% commission on all sales to new customers.

  • Commission rate: Up to 100%
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, check, direct deposit, wire transfer
  • Products: Software and SaaS memberships


17. Etsy Affiliate Program

Etsy Homepage

Etsy is an online marketplace where crafters, makers, and doers can sell their wares to the general public without ever needing to build their own website.

They’re not the only option for crafters to sell online, but none of their competitors have the same presence in the market or the same variety of products from creators.

And that’s good news for beginner affiliates because it means that Etsy is a great place to refer your visitors to if they’re looking for a personalized gift that has not been mass-produced.

Or even just something quirky as a treat for themselves or their pet, including everything from portraits to pet sofa beds.

It’s that varied.

How does this offer compare to the other affiliate programs in this roundup?

Etsy Benefits

Awin manages their affiliate program so you’ll need an account with them before you start promoting this offer.

You’ll earn a flat 4% commission on all sales made through your affiliate link and have a 30-day cookie to play with.

Why You Should Promote The Etsy Affiliate Program

Your visitors can find gifts or creative services they won’t find anywhere else, and you’re supporting small businesses at the same time.

  • Commission rate: 4% per sale
  • Cookie Duration: 30 days
  • Payment Methods: Direct deposit, PayPal
  • Products: Craft products


18.  Pepperjam Network

And now we come to Pepperjam, a network named after jams that the owners once sold at a local farmer’s market.

Today, they have thousands of merchants in their directory of affiliate offers, including major brands like Puma, LendingTree, Nordstrom, Netgear, ACE Hardware, and many others.

But there are also lots of more niche offers like business services, clocks, CBD products, pet medications, and survival gear.

Long story short, you’ll find at least a handful of products to promote, almost no matter what niche you’re operating in.

Pepperjam Partnership

And again, because Pepperjam is a smaller affiliate network, they’re eager to work with new affiliates,  so you can expect a warm welcome from their dedicated affiliate managers, as long as you have an active website.

Why You Should Promote Pepperjam

They’re a hidden gem in the world of affiliate marketing with lots of CPS offers as well as CPA offers that pay up to $125 per referral.

  • Commission rate: Varies
  • Cookie Duration: Varies
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, Direct deposit
  • Products: Various


19. Amazon Associates Program

AmazonAssociates Homepage

If you’ve been a fan of Diggity Marketing for any length of time, you’ll know that we don’t push the Amazon Associates program.

The reason for that is you can simply make more affiliate income with other programs.

But the fact remains that this program is popular with beginners and those in the early stages of their affiliate marketing business.


  • It’s very easy to sign up for
  • It’s very easy to use
  • There are tens of thousands of products to promote
  • They’re a trusted name in online shopping
  • Their commission rates are low but still higher than other similar programs

And on the subject of commissions, here’s what you can expect to earn per referral for each category:

Another issue is that Amazon is notorious for changing its commission rates, so what you get paid today…you might not get paid tomorrow for the same referral.

Amazon Commission Rates

But that doesn’t stop thousands of new affiliates from signing up for this program every single day.

Just bear in mind that successful affiliate marketers tend not to use Amazon’s affiliate program in the long term.

Why You Should Promote the Amazon Affiliate Program

They’ve made it as easy as possible for beginners to use and profit from, and are the biggest online retailer in the world.

  • Commission rate: Depends on product category
  • Cookie Duration: 24 hour
  • Payment Methods: Direct deposit, check, gift card
  • Products: Various


20. eBay Partner Affiliate Network

eBay Partner Network Homepage

Beginner affiliate marketers often overlook the eBay Partner Network because they’re all too busy applying to more mainstream affiliate networks and programs.

eBay is a mainstream business, but most consumers view it as an auction site and nothing else.

It can be a goldmine for affiliate marketers in certain niches, though, partly because it has over 1 billion active listings at any given time.

eBay Benefits

And no matter how obscure a product might be, you can be pretty sure you’ll find it on eBay, and you can then earn a commission for sending warm referrals their way.

eBay’s commission rates are roughly on a par with those offered by Amazon, although do bear in mind that the top-selling products on eBay are brand new electronic items.

That means, as an eBay affiliate,  you’ll be working with a commission rate of no more than 2%.

With that said, the eBay Partner Network is easy to sign up with, with approval often taking just 24 hours.

Why You Should Promote the eBay Partner Network

They have hundreds of millions of different products to promote, reasonable commission rates, and a relatively painless application and approval process.

  • Commission rate: Up to 4%
  • Cookie Duration: 24 hours
  • Payment Methods: PayPal, bank transfer
  • Products: Everything


Wrapping It Up

And there you have it – 19 of the best affiliate programs for beginners to promote via their affiliate sites.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, by any means.

Instead, it’s to illustrate what’s possible even if you’re a complete newbie.

I know how difficult it can be to find reliable information on affiliate marketing.

That’s why I put together my Affiliate Lab training course – so you don’t have to go through the same process of trial and error that I did.

All you have to do is follow a proven system that I’ve spent years developing.

The door is open.

Only you can step through it.